Category: Tires and Wheels

Below 45 Degrees in Colorado Springs: Consider Winter Tires

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Colorado Springs drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Colorado auto owners ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Monument area are much better designed for the wide range of detrimental conditions that come with Colorado winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Colorado Springs temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That’s an essential concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet Colorado Springs conditions. But it also means that Colorado Springs car owners are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can actually pack up with snow, which makes them more harmful than a bald tire.

Many winter tires use a micro-pore compound that lets the tire bite into ice and snow. They have wider grooves around the tire that help expel snow. They have a rounder casing to better cut into the surface of snow. Modern winter tires available at Colorado tire shops also have sipes, or thin slits cut into the tread. The edges of these sipes can grab ice and snow so that the tire retains traction on almost any surface. The sipes also help to expel water and slush from the tread. In short, a lot of time and engineering has gone into improving winter tires.

The all-season tire that is popular among Monument drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Colorado Springs car owners in either season, but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. Colorado Springs drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days, but that also means they get a lot better performance for their cash.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed at your Colorado Springs service center or Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. It’s best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Colorado Springs car owners always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

Imagine this: You take a corner on an icy Monument road and your rear end starts to slide. What happened is that the front end slowed for the turn, but the rear end hasn’t figured that out yet. If you have high-traction tires on the front of your vehicle, that makes the problem worse. You’re slowing the front end faster and harder, which makes the back end fishtail even more.

Putting the higher traction tires on the rear will give Colorado Springs auto owners more control for turns, regardless of the type of vehicle driven. Of course, that makes putting high-traction tires on all of your wheels even smarter. Why not give all of your tires the best traction they can get? Some Colorado Springs assume that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles only need winter tires on two wheels. Why? Doesn’t it make sense to give all four wheels the same level of traction and control? Four-wheel or all-wheel drive cannot compensate for poor traction.

Another false assumption held by many Colorado Springs auto owners is that if you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you won’t need winter tires. Traction is important for good acceleration, steering and stopping. And tires provide traction. Traction control and anti-lock brakes can only improve on that traction. The better the traction, the better the traction control and anti-lock brakes will work. In other words, the better the tires, the better those systems will work for Colorado Springs drivers.

A Canadian law requires all passenger vehicles, rental cars and taxis registered in Quebec to have winter tires on all four wheels from November 15th until April 1st.

If you’re shopping for winter tires and live where there is a lot of snow in Colorado, look for a mountain with a snowflake in it molded into the tire’s sidewall. This symbol means the tire complies with severe snow standards. All-season tires have an M&S stamped on the sidewall. M&S stands for mud and snow.

For more critical auto advice about tires for any Colorado season, meet with your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tire professional. They can help you opt for the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us Colorado Springs drivers.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine Advice On Buying New Tires

Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Colorado Springs driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all Colorado seasons.

Colorado Springs off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Colorado Springs? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Colorado Springs motorists shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at Colorado tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some essential adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the SUV. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your SUV with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your SUV on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Colorado Springs a lot longer.

Helping Colorado Springs Drivers Get the Right Tires

Every Colorado Springs vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy Colorado roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at Monument temperatures below 45°F. At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Colorado Springs weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in Colorado and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in Colorado, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second critical consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at Colorado tire stores. Colorado Springs auto owners will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Colorado Springs motorists who drive off-road around Colorado may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Colorado Springs streets and freeways. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Colorado Springs as a statement of style or to add personality to your SUV. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your SUV, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor for more information about tires.

How Much is Enough for Monument Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth

Most Monument drivers know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they’re need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are pricey and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it’s essential for Monument car owners to know the answers to these questions.

First of all, it’s essential to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Colorado auto safety laws. That’s why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.

In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Colorado Springs motorists are arguing that it be changed.

The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Colorado Springs motorists immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.

A tire’s contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road’s surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can’t shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Colorado Springs auto owners since the vehicle won’t stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.

A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime’s depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.

Let’s suppose that you’re on a busy Monument interstate in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn’t bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph. That is a major difference.

What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph. Still not a good situation. But it’s better.

Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn’t have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It’s a matter of physics.

The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear from 2/32 to 4/32. The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in Colorado and nationally.

Of course, until the standard changes, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.

You can use a quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32. Place the quarter into the tread with George’s head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn’t cover George’s hairline, you’re under 4/32. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.

You can measure the 2/32 tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe’s head, it’s at 2/32. Tires are a significant item for Colorado Springs motorists when it comes to car care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 is good auto advice.

Under Pressure in Colorado Springs: TPMS

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Colorado Springs or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause detrimental and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Colorado roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Colorado Springs auto owners who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Colorado Springs drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their SUVs are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the critical TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Colorado Springs drivers when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Colorado Springs car owners. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Colorado Springs service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other essential equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service professionals have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Colorado Springs car owners.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine technician will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Colorado Springs drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Colorado Springs tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Colorado Springs if car owners don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Colorado Springs drivers can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

All About Your TPMS In Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs motorists know that under-inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure for Colorado auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires.

It’s hard for many Colorado Springs motorists to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent federal law required car makers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all vehicles. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the auto maker’s pressure recommendations.

The law covers all passenger cars, SUVs, mini vans and pick-up trucks. The system must also indicate if it has a malfunction. This technology has been used in race cars for years. They are able to head off problems from under-inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your car’s automobile manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free for Colorado Springs car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tread wear. There is also a saving in property damage and travel delay. Also, the government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate there will be between $3,000,000 to $9,000,000 for every life saved.

Your safety is our priority at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes to Colorado Springs motorists at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and we pass the low cost on to our valued Colorado Springs clients as an expression of our good will. That’s why we’re concerned about how you perceive the changes that this new law has required.

Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, or a snow tire mounted, the service specialist now has to deal with the TPMS system. Sensors need to be removed and reinstalled. The sensors have to be reactivated after the change. And, unfortunately, the very act of changing the tire damages some sensor parts from time to time – it’s inevitable and can’t be avoided.

Even a simple tire rotation requires that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system needs to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries must be replaced periodically along with failed parts.

Colorado Springs service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Colorado techs have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you’ve noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Colorado Springs service center just wants to keep you safely on the road – and it’s committed to do so at a fair price. Rememer, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money On Tires

Monument drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your service advisor at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a SUV wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Colorado Springs to Manitou Springs, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help Monument folks’ tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear too fast in the middle.

Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more vital with them. Give Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine a call to get our recommendation for your SUV.

See your owner’s manual or ask your service professional at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tires are pricey and they are one of the most vital safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
3655 Galley Rd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
719-630-8729

Shake It Up in Colorado Springs!: Why Wheel Balancing

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Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Colorado Springs auto owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Colorado Springs car owners want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service specialist spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Colorado Springs drivers are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Colorado Springs car owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your SUV — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the freeway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the harmful vibration. When Colorado Springs auto owners’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and essential suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs can prevent expensive repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your SUV as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your gas mileage. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Colorado Springs vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your SUV. Balancing your tires is part of vital preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some costly ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Colorado Springs drivers’ nerves.

Talk To Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine About New Shoes For Your Vehicle

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Custom wheels are one way that Colorado Springs folks express themselves and personalize their SUV. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several critical factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the SUV, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Colorado Springs motorists start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require costly adjustments to your SUV suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Monument or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your SUV. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your SUV. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your SUV tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Colorado Springs at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine on 3655 Galley Rd. can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your SUV. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tech by calling 719-630-8729.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is vital that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your SUV engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more important it becomes to have your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine technician tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your SUV may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your SUV that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is essential that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some income. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Widefield motorists to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Monument? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on Colorado freeways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Colorado Springs car owners should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as expensive repairs down the road.

The Professional auto professionals at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine want to remind Colorado Springs car owners of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Tire Tread Depth for Colorado Springs, Colorado Drivers




Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine; (just call 719-630-8729) to find out what your requirements are in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give Colorado Springs auto owners enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the essential issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Colorado Springs motorists also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Colorado Springs Colorado, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving in Colorado Springs over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a dangerous condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Colorado Springs motorists will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Colorado Springs drivers follow that far behind the SUV ahead? Obviously, this is a critical safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do Colorado Springs motorists know when their tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.

Tires are a big ticket item and most motorists in Colorado Springs, Colorado want to get thousands of miles out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
3655 Galley Rd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
719-630-8729