At AutoNetTV we love doughnuts. So let’s pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today’s discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don’t eat them now – your going to need them later.
Many Spring auto owners want to accessorize their car – you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Houston area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Hufsmith drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.
So let’s talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It’s not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your family car suspension, you’ll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.
Let’s think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They’re all about the same size. So if we pretend they’re tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we’ve made the hole bigger on some. That’s like having a bigger wheel – but the rolling diameter is the same.
It’s important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the family car wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won’t work properly.
Some auto owners have cars with electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let’s think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.
Low profile tires from top car makers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you’ll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there’s more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Spring folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.
TX auto owners need to watch out that the contact patch isn’t so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we’re talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair can help you get this right. He’ll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels, and get you rolling.
Also, if you drive off-road in TX a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair knows how to help.
And don’t forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you’ll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair after you get your new shoes. AutoNetTV wants you to safely have the look you want.
Stop by C&A Transmission & Auto Repair to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires. You’ll find us at 20336 Holzwarth Road in Spring, TX 77388.
No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the auto maker to issue recall notices to Spring residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The auto manufacturer then tries to contact all Spring auto owners who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Spring service center.
To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call: C&A Transmission & Auto Repair 20336 Holzwarth Road Spring, TX 77388 713.960.4534
These recalls always affect safety, so Spring auto owners would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.
Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.
Recalls are pretty serious for Spring auto owners and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Spring car owners still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, car makers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Spring service centers (including C&A Transmission & Auto Repair) how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.
Your Spring technician receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Spring motorists can buy access to these for an annual fee.
Whatever your source, pay attention to Spring vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.
Modern cars and trucks in and around Spring run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Spring drivers without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then us TX motorists have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players.
We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.
Fortunately, battery technology has given Spring car owners resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your family car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak which makes it even more vital to get it replaced.
Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries in the shop at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring, TX. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must for any Spring auto owners working with their battery. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the family car’s paint. Of course, avoid short circuiting the battery as well.
Replacement car batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live where it gets cold in TX you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.
Sometimes there is quite a price range in Spring auto part stores for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as “good”, “better” and “best”. More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves bucks in the long run for Spring auto owners.
Some Spring car owners wonder why C&A Transmission & Auto Repair and other Spring auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Houston HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Hufsmith doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Houston area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your family car brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy TX freeway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your family car engine, however, C&A Transmission & Auto Repair diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Houston motorists’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Hufsmith, Spring, and Tomball drivers that the trouble code tells the C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The family car computer’s trouble code just tells the C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair customers. The C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Houston service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These critical databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course C&A Transmission & Auto Repair wants to figure out what’s wrong with your family car and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.