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The front of a red car is parked near a leaning stack of shiny new tires
Choosing tires isn’t as complicated as it looks. Here’s a few things to look for.

One of the most essential maintenance checks on your car is your tire quality. Buying tires, and knowing when to buy, is important for your safety and to prevent unnecessary wear and damage to your car.

Most tires need to be changed between 25 and 50k miles. Not all drivers wear their tires the same. Sometimes it depends on how frequently the driver uses the vehicle. Sometimes it’s the type of terrain you drive on or even the type of car you drive. The type of tires, themselves, have different lifespans. Regardless, buying new tires is important when you have significant wear.

When do I know it’s time to get new tires?

This will depend on the kind of tires you have. There are a few signs to look for to determine if you need new tires.

  1. Tread – You should be able to stick a penny in your tread, the top of Abe’s head downward, and not be able to see the top of his head. If you can, it’s time for new tires.
  2. Age – Your tires have an expiration date on them. While this may not be the most reliable way of telling if your tires need replacing, if you drive a lot, and it’s past your expiration, it’s probably time. Also, tires should not be used after 10 years, at which point they start breaking down.
  3. Uneven wear – If your tires show more wear on the edges, or on one side more than the other, you need to get them replaced. Uneven wear can be caused by a number of factors, including under-inflation or needing an alignment.
  4. Sidewall damage – Some damage in the tread (like a nail, for example) can be repaired, but damage to the sidewall affects the integrity of the entire tire. If you see signs of sidewall damage, get new tires ASAP.

It’s important to properly maintain your tires to get the most mileage out of them and to stay safe on the road.

There are quite a few options when it comes to buying tires. A good tire shop will help walk you through your options and the benefits of certain tires. Here are a few things you’ll want to look at before you go to buy.

What size tires do I need?

Look at your car specs. Your owner’s manual should list the minimum specifications for buying tires. This is what the manufacturer recommends for safety and optimum car performance. You can also find this on the inside of your driver’s door. When buying tires, be sure to get an appropriate size.

What type do I need?

There are three main types of tires you can buy: Summer, All-Season, and Winter. Each has pros and cons. In warmer weather (like Central Texas) you’ll likely want summer or all-season tires. Summer tires often have better grip, handling, heat resistance, and less chance of hydroplaning. All-season offers a bit stiffer handling, but also can better handle snow (should you run into it) and last longer.

Here’s a breakdown:

Summer:

Best for: Sports cars, beginning drivers, summer temps, rainy weather

Drawbacks: Don’t last as long, not meant for cold temps, can’t drive well on heavy snow and ice.

All-season:

Best for: A variety of weather, drivers with trucks and SUVs, commuters, rolling resistance

Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, stiffer handling, and slightly less effective traction in rainy weather

Winter:

Best for: Regular snow driving, ice traction, road grip, SUVs and pickups

Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, more expensive, need to be switched out in the summer

For more informational tips and maintenance information, follow Fogle Collision Center on Facebook.

A pink gloved hand washes the front corner of a black car with a sudsy yellow sponge.
Washing your car regularly will help protect your paint from grime and chemicals it picks up from the road.

Nothing ages your car more than bubbling, chipping, or rusting paint. Your car is a large investment that you want to maintain properly, both to save you money over the years and to have a car you’re proud of.

Taking care of your paint is easy. Get in the habit with these tips.

Wash your car regularly

Dirt and grime can become stuck on your paint, and over time, certain road materials can damage your paint. Letting dirt and chemicals from the road stay there can eventually cause rust. Experts recommend washing your car every two weeks, depending on how often you drive and the sort of road conditions you’re driving on.

Use the proper tools when washing

There’s a myth that you can use dish soap as a substitute for car wash soap. This can strip the wax and polymers from your car that protect your paint.

Instead, buy a quality car wash soap in order to remove dirt and preserve your wax. Using a microfiber wash mitt or microfiber towel is also recommended for your paint. Some sites suggest using a T-shirt, but even clean, the cloth can scratch the surface and grind the dirt that may be on the surface into the paint.

Don’t forget to dry

Mineral deposits can be left behind with water droplets. Use a 100% cotton detailing cloth or a sheepskin chamois to gently get the water off.

Use wax and/or paint protectant

All protectants deter oxidation, but paint sealants are more advanced to protect your paint. Many waxes combine enriching oils and protective polymers for an attractive, and hardworking, shine.

Use clay

Detailing clay can easily be used to clean tough deposits on your paint, such as tree sap, tar, or bug residue. Many recommend using this at least once a year to get rid of stuck-on contaminates.

Park smart

Parking in the shade will help protect your car paint from sun-caused fading. If you can park in a garage, this will further protect your car from the elements and unexpected damages.

For more helpful car tips, follow Fogle Collision Centers on Facebook.

Man in white jumpsuit and respirator mask stands in a paint booth with various car panels.
It’s hard to know whether you’re getting a quality repair, but we have a few pointers for narrowing it down.

When you get in an accident, it can be overwhelming to find a quality collision repair shop that you can trust. Getting the best value for what you pay is important, but there are other considerations that make a quality repair.

As you search, keep a few steps in mind that will help you find a quality auto body shop.

1. Location

Convenience may be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to find a reputable collision repair shop. For a lot of people, that means finding a shop nearby. However, shops in an area where the property is more expensive may charge more for labor to cover the overhead costs.

Price is going to be reflected in the location, but that doesn’t mean the shop is better because they charge more.

2. Ask about certifications

Certifications verify that a shop has the equipment needed for, and the technicians are trained by, your car’s manufacturer. Find out if the shop is certified by the maker of your car.

Other certifications, such as iCAR, show that their technicians constantly train in general industry standards and technology. While general certifications like these are vital, certifications through the manufacturer further make sure your repairs will be done correctly the first time.

3. Ask for recommendations

Talk to people you know to find out where they take their cars for collision repair.

Online reviews and the Better Business Bureau can help you determine if the shop is reliable. If there are several good recommendations from sources you trust, it’s likely that repair shop performs quality work.

4. Ask about warranty

A reliable collision repair shop stands behind the quality work it does to a vehicle. Ask if the shop has a warranty on their paint and body repairs. Find out specifically how long the warranty lasts and what the warranty covers.

Warranties further ensure that if the work is not done right, they will fix it without additional costs. It also shows confidence in their shop’s work.

5. Get an estimate

When inquiring about estimates, find out if the repair shop offers free estimates and ask if they use the insurance company’s estimate or their own. Use a repair shop that provides their own estimate based on the technician’s interpretation of repairs, versus doing the repairs based on the insurance company’s estimate of what work needs to be done.

This indicates that the shop is not catering to an insurance company to get more future business. Instead, they’re using their expertise to provide an accurate estimate.

If your car needs auto body or paint services, contact the Houston collision repair shop that you can trust. At Bill Fogle Collision Center, we provide free estimates and a warranty for any repairs needed to your car. For more information, follow us on Facebook.

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