Gear Up for Winter Driving This Holiday Season

The weather outside may be frightful, but your commute doesn’t have to be — that is, if you take the proper steps to prepare your vehicle for winter weather. Be prepared with Firestone Complete Auto Care’s winter driving safety tips to help make sure you arrive home safely for the holidays.

•    Be proactive! Winter only magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips and the streets get icy.

•    Make certain the engine is in peak condition. Also, check the cooling system. Coolant should be replaced per the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

Tire Pressure Is Key During Summer Travel

It’s summertime, and vehicles are rolling out of garages and hitting the pavement. Warm weather offers a variety of outdoor travel opportunities and roadtrip fun. And to be sure your vehicle is operating safely, it is important that tire pressure be at proper levels.

Most motorists know that routine tire-pressure checks can preserve tire life and help drivers to avoid potential accidents from blowouts, uneven wear and under inflation. Even so, tires can lose air pressure without appearing to be underinflated, and motorists may not notice a slow leak. New technology is taking the guesswork and potential for human error out of the equation.

Stay on Track to Your Destination With Regular Tire Maintenance

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When the rubber meets the road this summer, will you be prepared? Summer heat can be tough on tires, which makes regular tire checks a critical part of your general vehicle maintenance schedule. Heat combined with improper tire pressure, uneven wear or damage and poor alignment can cause potentially dangerous driving conditions and put a damper on your summer road trip plans.
“Unfortunately, 83 percent of motorists aren’t aware of how under- or over-inflated tires affect a vehicle’s steering and breaking control as well as fuel economy,” explained Mark Ballard of Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer. “In addition, regularly checking your tires for uneven or worn tread and bald spots, as well as replacing all four tires instead of one or two at a time, will help avoid hazards like blowouts and keep you on track to your destination.”
According to the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (RMA), more than 23,000 tow-away crashes were due to flat tires.
Here are the top five tips to ensure proper tire safety:
1. Get Pressure Right. In its 2011 Tire Care Awareness Survey, the RMA found that 62 percent of drivers don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door or fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool, and don’t forget the spare. A properly inflated tire will save you nine cents per gallon at the gas pump and improve vehicle fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent.
2. Don’t Overload Vehicle. Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
3. Rotate Before You Go. Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 — 8,000 miles prolong the life of the tire and help maximize your tire investment. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate.
4. Straighten Up. Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful. The RMA survey also found that 52 percent of drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald. Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip wet roads. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.
To get more information on tire maintenance and safety, visit

2011 New Year’s Resolution: Start Taking Better Care of Your Vehicle

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – While we might slip up on our New Year’s resolutions at times, this year you can resolve to take better care of your car all year. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips for winter vehicle maintenance to get you started!
* Be proactive. Winter only magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips and the streets get icy. Make certain the engine is in peak condition. Also check the cooling system. Coolant should be replaced per the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
* Be on schedule. Have your motor oil changed regularly. Use the specified weight and grade of oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Also make sure to check that the heating/defrosting system is working properly.
* Be prepared. Prepare for potential winter emergencies by using your trunk as a storage place for emergency items. Important items to have on hand include: a properly inflated spare tire; ice scraper; windshield de-icer; flashlight; blanket; extra clothes; bottled water; cell phone car charger and non-perishable snacks.
* Be on the defensive. Take a defensive position against winter driving conditions, and take care of your tires. Once it gets cold, tire tread and pressure should be checked weekly. A tire’s PSI measurement can drop one pound for every 10-degree drop in temperature. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider installing winter tires, which are specially designed to grip slick roads.
* Be diligent. Use common sense during adverse road conditions. Reduce your driving speed, and increase your following distance in hazardous winter weather. If you get stuck in the snow, don’t spin your tires — this can overheat them and possibly cause damage. Use sand, gravel, kitty litter, an asphalt shingle or other gritty items to help your tires gain traction when stuck.

Save Money, Help the Environment With Properly Inflated Tires

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Tips for a Spick, Span And Green Home

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now a standard safety feature on all new cars in the United States. TPMS automatically monitors tire pressure and alerts the driver when the pressure in one or more tires becomes significantly low — and potentially dangerous.
Still, conducting monthly tire pressure checks is one of the smartest driving moves you can make. Not only are properly inflated tires critical for vehicle safety, they also increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Increase Fuel Efficiency
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 3.56 million gallons of gasoline are wasted every day due to incorrectly inflated tires. The good news is you can improve gas mileage just by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. In fact, one study showed that if gas costs $3 per gallon, proper tire pressure can save you up to $432 at the pump each year.
Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the typical car in the United States releases more than five tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. By keeping tires properly inflated, you can reduce your vehicle’s “carbon footprint” by an average of 327 pounds per year. Because a tire can lose up to half its air pressure without appearing to be under-inflated, you cannot rely on a tire’s appearance to determine whether it’s properly inflated or not.
Tire Pressure Tips From Schrader
To help ensure your tires are properly inflated year-round, here are some tips from Schrader, the inventor and leading manufacturer of TPMS worldwide:
* Check the pressure in all four tires — and the spare tire — monthly with an accurate tire gauge, and always check tire pressure before a long road trip.
* The “right” pressure for your vehicle’s tires can be found in the vehicle’s manual or on the driver door edge, glove box or fuel door. Do not follow the information listed on the tire sidewall.
* For the most accurate reading, tires should be checked when they are cool.
* Always remember to replace the valve cap.
For more tips, including what to do if the TPMS symbol illuminates on your dashboard, visit Schrader created the site to help educate drivers about TPMS and the importance of proper tire pressure.

Are You “Under Pressure”? Don’t Ignore This Dashboard Alert

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Beginning with the 2008 model year, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now standard on all new cars in the United States, but many drivers don’t know about them. Often, drivers are first introduced to TPMS when the icon on their dashboard illuminates, signaling that the air pressure in one or more tires is low — potentially dangerously low.

On average, underinflated tires are responsible for nearly 700 vehicle crashes every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, when all passenger vehicles are equipped with TPMS, the number of annual motor vehicle crash fatalities will decrease by about 120, and the annual number of injuries due to motor vehicle crashes will decrease by about 8,500.

To help raise awareness about TPMS and the importance of proper tire pressure, Schrader, the pioneer and leading manufacturer of tire pressure monitoring systems, has created This comprehensive site offers drivers key facts about TPMS, including how it enhances vehicle safety and why it is now mandatory on all U.S. vehicles. In addition to safety information, drivers can also find out how much money they can save with properly inflated tires and how proper inflation helps the environment.

If your car is equipped with TPMS, the light will come on when one or more of your tires are at least 25 percent below the recommended inflation pressure. When this happens, take caution and:

* Find a safe place to pull off to check your tire pressure. Keep a tire gauge with your set of emergency items in your vehicle.

* If the light comes on while driving at highway speed, immediately grab hold of the steering wheel with both hands in case you are experiencing a blow-out (rapid deflation) scenario. Slowly decelerate to a safe speed and find a safe place to pull off to check your tire pressure.

* Once checked, if the tires all appear normal, proceed with caution to have your tire pressure checked and filled to the proper tire pressure. This can be done at a gas station or tire service center.

* If needed, have the problem tire or tires and the TPMS system serviced at your nearest tire service center.

The TPMS light should go off within several minutes of driving on the repaired or re-inflated tires.

Visit for more information about TPMS and the importance and benefits of maintaining proper tire pressure.

Tips to Get Your Car in Shape for Summer

The days are longer, the sun is stronger and beach season is almost here, but getting in shape for summer means more than hitting the gym. It is also important to keep your car in tip-top shape before you get on the highway for an early summer getaway. Firestone Complete Auto Care has the following tips to get your vehicle road-trip ready:


Weather April Showers by Properly Preparing Your Vehicle

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – While it may be true that April showers bring May flowers, rain also creates wet roads and low driving visibility. To better weather the spring storms, Tires Plus recommends the following:

Keep the pressure on. Now is the time to pay close attention to your tires. Regularly check your tires for proper inflation, rotation, repair and replacement. Checking tire pressure is important; both under- and over-inflation lessens a tire’s gripping action. Further, rotating your tires can help correct irregular tire wear. Enlist the help of your local automotive technician in order to select a tire made for wet-weather driving and enhanced traction.

Wipe away the problem. Take a few moments to check your windshield wipers; they don’t last forever. If the rubber feels rough or is cracked, replace the wiper blades — in most climates about every six months.

Take tread seriously. Familiarize yourself with the “penny test” as a way to check your tire tread. Insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn, and the tire probably needs to be replaced. Your passenger tires should have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth; anything less is hazardous on the wet roads.

Avoid potholes. Hitting a pothole can damage your tire and/or the wheel of your vehicle. The sharp impact can cause immediate tire/wheel failure or internal damage that can lead to tire failure weeks later. Keeping your tires properly inflated will help reduce pothole damage and other road hazards.

Whether you are preparing for a long-awaited spring vacation or just everyday driving, don’t forget to properly prepare your vehicle to weather any storm. Take every precaution while on the road, and when experiencing wet road conditions remember to keep in mind that stopping distances will be longer than usual. And, finally, do not forget that proper vehicle maintenance can help your car stay newer longer this spring season.

Don’t Let Holiday Pressure Get to Your Tires

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The holidays are hectic. Working, attending family parties, overindulging on holiday goodies and shopping for that perfect gift can be stressful. Although the holidays are busy, they’re not the time to forget about regular tire maintenance.

Firestone Complete Auto Care recommends the following tire maintenance tips to help you and your family reduce stress and stay safer on the road this holiday season.

Don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Tires can lose one pound of air pressure per square inch (psi) every month and one psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, so it’s important to check your tires, including your spare, monthly. Use an accurate tire gauge. To find out if your tires are properly inflated, locate the recommended tire inflation pressure listed on the sticker on your vehicle’s driver’s side door jamb or fuel filler lid, or in your glove box, trunk or owner’s manual.

Never overfill — the “Max Press” number shown on the sidewall of your tire should only be used if it is the recommended pressure listed in one of the previous locations. Make sure to check your tire pressure when the vehicle has been driven less than one mile or has been sitting for at least three hours.

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Your tires should have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth. To easily determine if your tires are due for replacement, insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn, and the tire most likely needs to be replaced. If that’s the case, your next stop should be a trusted service center.

Live a balanced lifestyle. Uneven tread wear can signify a number of different problems, including over- or under-inflation, tires out of balance or wheels out of alignment. If your tread appears to be wearing unevenly, ask your service professional to take a look. Have your wheel alignment checked annually by an ASE-certified technician, and have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Proper wheel alignment, rotation and balance are important for correct vehicle handling, tire wear, braking stability and a smooth ride.