Is Your Car “Rain Safe”?

1124-wet-roadTwo of the most important keys to keeping your car “rain safe” are wipers and tires.

For many people, driving on a rainy day is more hazardous than driving in winter weather. According to the American Automobile Association, wet road surfaces contribute to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. In fact almost 50 percent of weather-related crashes happened during rainfall, but just 17 percent happened, while it was snowing or sleeting. These statistics can be partially explained, of course, by the fact that many drivers have the good sense to stay home during a bad winter weather. But the statistics also reflect a sobering truth: Drivers often do not respect the rain, and they fail to adjust their driving habits to hazardous conditions.

Safety starts before you drive, and one of your goals should be to see and be seen. Replace windshield wiper blades that leave streaks or don’t clear the windshield in a single swipe. And don’t forget about the wiper found on the rear window on most of today’s crossover and sport utility vehicles. Also, make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly and be sure to turn on your headlights whenever you drive to boost your visibility. In fact some states require the use of headlights whenever windshield wipers are in use.

Another goal is to be sure your tires have enough tread depth to provide adequate traction on wet roadways. You can check each of your tire’s tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down (Washington’s head) into the tire’s main grooves. If you can’t see the top of Washington’s head, your tires should still be able to adequately channel away enough water to keep a grip on the road surface. If however, you can see space over his head, then the grooves simply aren’t deep enough to maintain good wet traction and you should be shopping for replacement tires.

The air pressure inside your tires also plays an important role when it comes to wet driving conditions. If your tires are overinflated, you can lose grip because not enough of the shoulder tread will stay in contact with the road surface. If your tires are underinflated, the tread grooves will close up which won’t allow water to escape. When a tire’s grooves can’t evacuate the rain, and a layer of water builds between the tire surface and the road surface, hydroplaning occurs. This is a loss of traction that prevents your vehicle from responding to your steering and braking input. If it occurs with all four tires at the same time, your vehicle simply becomes uncontrollable.

Now that we’ve checked out tires, lights, and wipers, here are a few suggestions for driving safely in wet weather conditions:

Slow Down and Leave Room

Focus on staying 3-5 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you in wet driving conditions. Watch the vehicle in front of you as it passes a fixed marker, such as a street light. Then count 3-5 seconds. Allowing extra distance behind another vehicle gives you more time to react if something unexpectedly happens.

Avoid Using Cruise Control

Cruise control is great when driving in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. Driving in wet weather requires more concentration on every aspect of driving. While braking disengages cruise control, sometimes braking isn’t warranted. Avoiding cruise control allows more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation, thus maximizing your safety.

Know when to lean on technology, and when not to

While some technologies are not advisable for use during bad weather, others can help. Do not depend on cruise control, adaptive cruise control or forward collision warning systems during the rain. Wet weather may affect the systems’ sensors and reduce their reliability. On the other hand, vehicles equipped with traction-control prevent the wheels from slipping on wet pavement and helps the driver maintain control when stopping or accelerating in the rain.

Responding to a Skid  

Even careful drivers will occasionally experience a skid. A skid is defined as when the tires lose their grip. When you feel your car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic. Continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the car to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

Overall you want to be extra cautious in wet weather. Slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and allow ample stopping distance between you and the cars in front of you. Also, do these things one-at-a-time; brake, turn, then accelerate.

Additional information on safe driving tips can be found here.

Schedule an appointment at any of our 13 convenient locations, get a tire price quote, or check out some money saving coupons!

CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

CJ’s Guide to Safe Wet Weather Driving

water-on-windshield-e414fceffdb22069ffcf14e5f1911113A clear view

Keep your windshield and windows clean. It’s important to clean the inside of your windows at least once a week – more often if you smoke. Use your defroster to keep front and rear windshields clear.

On a cold day, move the heat control to “hot” and let the engine warm up before you turn on the defroster/defogger and fan blower. This will prevent moisture from collecting on the inside of the glass. If the glass gets foggy, open a window slightly and turn the defroster fan to a higher speed. Use your air conditioner to reduce humidity.

A bright idea

When you drive on wet streets, mud and dirt splash on your headlights, reducing illumination by up to 90 percent. Stop periodically during a long trip to clean your headlights. If your vehicle is not equipped with daytime running lights, drive with your low-beam headlights on at all times – especially on dark or overcast days. Use low beams and fog lights in fog.

Drive smart

Wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are most dangerous during the first 10 minutes of a heavy downpour as oil and debris first rise up, then wash away. Knowing how to handle poor traction reduces the potential for hydroplaning, skidding or getting stuck in the mud.

You need steady pulling and moderate power when traction is poor. The best remedy when wheels are stuck in the mud or a soft shoulder is to apply power slowly. Keep the wheels pointed straight ahead so the vehicle can move in a straight line. If you can’t go forward, try backing out, steering in the vehicle’s tracks. Accelerate carefully, giving enough fuel to prevent the engine from stalling and ease along gradually until traction improves.

Steering clear of collisions

You may need to take evasive action in poor weather to avoid a collision. Steering around an obstacle is preferred to braking at speeds above 25 mph because less distance is required to steer around an object than to brake to a stop. In wet weather, sudden braking often leads to skids.

5820b8c1e861719fad906841eb9330b7xRecognize water hazards

Your vehicle’s grip on the road depends upon a small area of contact where the tires meet the road surface, called the tire’s footprint. The amount of water on the road, your speed and the condition of your tires affect footprint traction.

When driving in water just one-twelfth of an inch deep, each of your tires has to displace one gallon of water per second. Adequate, full tread allows water to escape from under the tires. Proper inflation also improves traction. Low tire pressure allows the tread to squeeze together, narrowing the tread channels, and reduces the tire’s ability to wipe or channel away water.

Identify the signs of hydroplaning: when enough water builds up that the tire tread grooves can’t handle, the tread blocks lose contact with the road surface creating a loss of control. Properly inflated tires with good tread should be enough to maintain contact as long as speeds and driver input are controlled. To reduce chances of hydroplaning, slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

Putting on the brakes

Stopping on a slippery surface requires more distance, so increase your following distance. Focus your attention as far ahead as possible – at least 20 to 30 seconds. Keep a safe distance of at least 4-5 seconds of distance behind the vehicle in front of you.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are designed to prevent wheels from locking and to retain steering control during panic braking. Sensors located at wheels detect lock-up. The anti-lock system relieves pressure as needed, allowing all four wheels to continue to turn while maintaining steering control.

You should use the “plant and steer” method with antilock brake systems. Do not remove your foot from the brake or pump the pedal.

If you apply pressure and the wheels lock momentarily, you might feel the brake pedal pulse back against your foot. This is normal. Just hold the brake pedal down and steer. Pumping the pedal actually works against the system.

Summing it up

To maximize your driving safety in wet weather conditions, be aware of the road conditions, reduce speed appropriately, and be prepared for challenging situations. Make sure all of your lights and wipers are working properly. And don’t take your tires for granted. Make sure they have enough tread depth left and keep them properly inflated so they can keep control of your vehicle in your hands.

Get a tire price quote, or schedule an appointment for any of our 13 convenient locations today! Save even more with manufacturer rebates or CJ’s coupons here.
CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

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Featured Tires: BFGoodrich’s All-Terrain T/A® KO2

When you think of the BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, you think of toughness and durability. They are after all the tires that invented the all-terrain category, setting the standard for on- and off-road performance. Did you know that the original All-Terrain T/A® KO has been replaced BFG’s All-Terrain T/A® KO2?
According to the manufacturer, the KO2, which is constructed with the patented CoreGuard™ Technology, has a 20% stronger sidewall, 15% more treadlife on asphalt (and 2X more treadlife on gravel), 10% more mud traction, and 19% improved snow traction in comparison to the original KO. When it comes to toughness, traction, and treadlife, this tire is BFGoodrich’s toughest All-Terrain tire ever. It is currently available in 70% of market sizes for light truck application, with more sizes coming in early 2016.
The KO2 is positioned in the BFG product screen between the Rugged Terrain and the Mud-Terrain. The Rugged Terrain tire is built with a more highway friendly (think long mileage and low noise) tread design that can also handle some modest or occasional off-road usage. The Mud-Terrain tire is for the customer that loves getting dirty and takes the concept of off-roading and mudding to new heights. The KO2 does well on the highway and is great for more frequent off-road adventures.
Consumer feedback on the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A® KO2 has been overwhelmingly positive. Most users recognize that it’s an upgrade over the original KO. Competitor tires in this category include the Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Adventure, the Hankook Dynapro ATm (RF10), and the Michelin® LTX® A/T2. With the new KO2, the BFGoodrich brand will continue to be a staple of quality amongst its’ competitors.
One of CJ’s associates was fortunate enough to attend ride and drive training in Vermont, where he drove a Jeep Rubicon through some very rough and rugged terrain. The Rubicon was equipped with a few BFGoodrich tires, including the Rugged Terrain T/A, the All-Terrain T/® KO2, and the Mud-Terrain T/A® KM2. While the Mud-Terrain was meatier, the KO2 did a fantastic job handling the harsh conditions on the rocks, steep and loose inclines and even some mud, while driving in low gear. While all of the tires were very impressive, you got the impression that the highway tread tires would get chewed up quickly in such rough terrain, but the KO2s performed exceptionally well, without any signs of chipping or chucking. Based on our own as well as our customer’s experiences, the new BFG All-Terrain T/A® KO2 is at the top of our recommendation list.
Get a tire price quote 24/7/365 on our website or stop by any of our 13 convenient locations today! Check out any applicable manufacturer rebates or CJ’s coupons here.
CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

Winter-Driving1

Winter Driving Tips

When temperatures fall below freezing and precipitation makes roads slippery, driving can be both stressful and dangerous. Motorists should know what they can do to remain safer when winter driving is a necessity as well as how to deal with winter road emergencies. CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services and AAA reminds motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather conditions and recommends the following driving tips:

  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated. Your tire pressure will decrease about 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside temperature drops.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.

Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival. Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having CJ’s conduct a winter season safety inspection. CJ’s is proud to be an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility and seasonal safety inspections are always free.

If you must travel during a winter storm, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Gently pushing the gas pedal to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Take your time; don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight, remember, it takes longer to slow down on icy roads. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold braking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. Unless you have to, don’t stop completely. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop, versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, or you can maneuver around an obstacle, do it.

Don’t power up hills. Applying too much gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. There’s nothing worse than trying to accelerate on an icy hill. Once you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down a hill as slowly as possible.

Be sure to take along a fully charged cell phone, plus pack up blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle…just in case. If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle, as it provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This includes: floor mats, newspapers or paper maps. Don’t try to walk in a bad storm, it’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.

Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, turn your 4 way flashers on to make it easier for rescuers to find you. If your battery starts to die, you will see the lights dim in enough time to turn the car on and recharge the battery. Don’t over exert yourself, if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.

If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill. Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

However, the best winter storm driving tip is this: Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, remember not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate, if you don’t have somewhere that you absolutely need to be, stay put and enjoy the winter weather from indoors.

Schedule an appointment at one of CJ’s 13 convenient locations today. We can check your battery, wipers and brakes, as well as get you set up with a great set of winter tires.

Should you get a conventional or synthetic oil change?

Conventional Oil Changes vs. Synthetic Oil Changes

If you’ve ever gotten your car’s oil changed, you may have been asked if you would like a synthetic blend or full-synthetic oil change, instead of a conventional oil change. Though you have probably heard the terminology before, you may not be sure exactly what it is or, more importantly, it might be a good thing for your car.

Synthetic oil is, as it sounds, an engine lubricant, which has been artificially created from chemical compounds. Conventional oil on the other hand is refined from naturally occurring crude oil. Synthetic oil is generally thinner, resists temperature extremes better and generally lasts longer than conventional oil. From a car owner’s perspective, the most important feature, may be that by getting a synthetic oil change means you have less frequent oil changes than conventional oil.

Recommended oil change intervals may vary by vehicle manufacturers, in general conventional oil changes should occur every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If you get a synthetic oil change, you can bump that to 6,000 to 7,500 miles.

Here at CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services, we use Valvoline Oil products. We like to refer to our oil changes as good, better and best.

Good – Valvoline Premium Conventional Oil
“Daily Engine Protection”

  • Helps to keep the engine clean by minimizing deposit formation
  • Resists oil thickening by providing solid oxidation control
  • Improve gas mileage with the most commonly recommended grades by reducing friction*
  • Provide anti-wear protection exceeding current U.S., Japanese and European wear tests for gasoline engines where each grade is specified

* 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30

Better – Valvoline MaxLife™ Synthetic Blend Oil
“Designed for use in majority of vehicles, regardless of age or mileage”

  • Formulated with seal conditioners and anti-wear agents to fight against the four major signs of engine wear: Reduced Power, Oil Leaks, Loss of Fuel Economy, Increased Oil Consumption
  • Special seal conditioners rejuvenate seals in high-mileage vehicles within the engine block to help prevent oil leaks
  • Additional friction-reducing additives help enhance fuel efficiency and horsepower for high-mileage vehicles
  • Increased anti-oxidants reduce oil breakdown to help prevent engine-clogging sludge and deposit formation
  • Enhanced detergents bond to metal surfaces to help prevent deposit formation
  • Specially formulated to meet the needs of vehicles as they age past 75,000 miles; its advanced formula can also be used in newer cars to help prevent the causes of engine breakdown before they begin

Best – Valvoline Full Synthetic Oil with MaxLife™ Technology
“Highest level of protection”

  • 40% more anti-wear film than Mobil 1* to protect the important metal surfaces of your engine
  • Special seal conditioners rejuvenate seals within the engine block to help prevent oil leaks
  • Increased anti-oxidants reduce oil breakdown to help prevent engine-clogging sludge and deposit formation
  • Additional friction-reducing additives help enhance fuel efficiency and horsepower
  • Shear stable viscosity modifiers help prevent viscosity breakdown
  • Enhanced detergents bond to metal surfaces to help prevent deposit formation
  • Additional advanced ashless anti-wear agents help prevent premature engine wear
  • FSwMT is specially formulated to meet the needs of vehicles as they age past 75,000 miles; its advanced formula can also be used in newer cars to help prevent the causes of engine breakdown before they begin

* Based on anti-wear film generated in Cameron Plint Test, Valvoline Full Synthetic with MaxLife Technology 5W-30 vs Mobil 1 5W-30.

Find out more about Valvoline products here.

Oil changes are one of the most important services you can have preformed on your car. Whether you opt for a conventional or synthetic oil change, it is an important preventative maintenance service, which can extend the life of your car. It is also a good time for a certified automotive professional to get under the hood of you car and find any upcoming problems. They can identify other serious problems and fix them before you are left on the side of the road.

Save some time and schedule an appointment for any of our 13 convenient locations today! Check here for money saving offers and coupons.

CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

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Spring Car Care Tips

Winter sweaters and boots are being swapped out for shorts and sandals. Have you done any warm weather maintenance on your car? Warm weather means long weekend getaways and even longer vacation road trips, so taking the time to perform seasonal maintenance today can help avoid trouble later.

Here are 5 tips for spring and summer car care. In some cases, you’ll be able to perform these procedures yourself. Others are best done by a mechanic as part of a tune-up. Some will help your vehicle look better, but most will help it perform more efficiently and get better gas mileage.

1. Clean your car. Road salt can eat away at the undercarriage of your car. Take your car to a car wash that cleans underneath the car, or use a garden hose with heavy water pressure to loosen winter grime and salt. Vacuum and wipe down the interior. Washing and waxing can keep your car looking brand new!

2. Check  & rotate your tires. Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, so it’s important to check tire pressure after weather changes. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure for your tire, and never exceed that. Always check pressure when the tires are cold, since driving even a couple of miles to the gas station can provide a false reading. Higher pressure generally results in improved steering response and fuel economy, but a stiffer ride, and it wears out the tread in the center. Under-inflation generally provides a smoother ride, but it causes tires to wear out at the sides. It is also not fuel efficient, because tires need more power to push the vehicle.

Rotating your tires is a relatively simple car care procedure that will extend the tread life of your tires, and should be done roughly every 5,000-10,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is to rotate tires after every oil change

3. Check wiper blades. Your wipers work hard all winter removing dirt and debris, including salt spray. Since the life expectancy of a wiper blade is six months to a year, check that the blades are making full contact with the windshield and have not dried out. Don’t wait for a heavy spring or summer rainstorm to discover your blades aren’t performing properly. Also, check and top off the wiper fluid reservoir.

4. Change the air filter. The air filter prevents dust and other impurities from getting into the combustion chambers of the cylinders, resulting in wasted gas and weaker engine performance. According to the Car Care Council, replacing a clogged filter can improve mileage by as much as 10 percent.

5. Get everything under the hood examined. Flushing and filling your cooling system is cheap insurance against engine failure. Check the radiator cap, this will help to protect against boil-overs. Check your gas cap. If the seal is not tight, the gas in your tank can vaporize. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles have gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether, wasting almost 147 million gallons of gas every year. Check the batter and spark plugs. Make sure that the battery posts and connections are secure and free of corrosion. Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel.

Save some time and schedule an appointment for any of our 13 convenient locations today! Check here for money saving offers and coupons.

CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

Winter Tires – Do you need them?

WinterDriving

Consider winter tires for your vehicle – it could save you money and you’ll be safer.

Who needs winter tires?

YOU need winter tires! You might be thinking, “but I have an SUV or a light truck, I don’t need winter tires.” Or, “my car is equipped with traction control and ABS brakes, I’ll be fine.” No, you won’t. “OK, well I have Front-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive” – that’s great, but you still need winter tires.

An SUV or light truck is a heavier vehicle, so it will not slide as much as a lighter car. Traction control will keep you from overpowering your tires, but it won’t improve your tire’s traction. All it will do is limit your car’s acceleration to the traction level of your tires. ABS brakes will keep you from locking your tires, but it will not improve traction; it simply limits your vehicle’s braking to the traction level of your tires. Front-Wheel Drive will get you going in bad weather conditions, but it does nothing to help you stop. Also, Front Wheel Drive does not offer the best handling and corner. All-Wheel Drive vehicles are the best to power through snow, slush and ice, but if you do not give it the gripping power it needs (aka winter tires) you are undermining the performance of your vehicle.

Why do you need winter tires?

“I have all-season tires, I’ll be fine,” you might say. Not necessarily true. All-Season tires are intended to provide acceptable traction for a wide variety of conditions. However, because they cover a wide variety of conditions, they are not the best in any of them. The All-Season tire tread designs and compounds are engineered to provide more mileage and durability in cool weather and hot summers. These compounds are much less effective in freezing temperatures and in snow and ice.

Winter tires are designed to provide better traction, handling and braking capability on snow, ice or slush covered roads. They have more sipes (slits in the tread blocks) to increase the number of edges in the contact patch of the tire. As the tread blocks flex, each edge bites into the snow and ice. This helps to channel snow and slush across the tire’s surface and away from the contact patch.

Winter tires are also made with special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the extreme cold and allow for more control on dry roads. Most All-Season tires are made of a rubber compound that hardens at any temperature below 32°. This makes your tires slide across surfaces, rather than grip them. If you’re going to put on a few miles between December and March, winter tires may be a better fit for you.

How many winter tires do you need?

You need to put four (4) winter tires on your car. This ensures that you will have the optimum traction and control for your vehicle. If you put 2 different types of tires on your vehicle, you will have a vehicle with a “split” personality. One end of the vehicle will act and perform differently than the other end. This could exacerbate severe road conditions.

Can I use winter tires all year round?

You can, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Your winter tires will wear out faster in warm weather because of the soft rubber compounds. This could end up costing you more than switching between two sets of tires. Bridgestone Tire uses a great analogy – tennis shoes. You could wear them all year round, whether you were on the beach in the summer or in the snow during the winter. But wouldn’t it be better to wear flip-flops in the summer heat and boots in the frigid winter?

Still don’t believe us?
Watch this short video, which compares all season and winter tires.

At CJ’s you don’t need to schedule an appointment for tires, just stop in at one of our 13 convenient locations today. Check here for money saving offers and coupons.

CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

It’s getting HOT, HOT, HOT!

The mercury is slowly rising in the thermometer. The sweat is dripping down your face and your legs are sticking to the seat. You are stuck in stand still, rush hour traffic with nary a breeze to cool you down. You reach over to turn on your car’s A/C and hot air comes out. Uh-oh – what should you do?traffic

Your air conditioning system’s job is to keep you cool and comfortable. If it is not performing properly, our ASE-certified technicians can help. They will service your car’s A/C system to ensure that everything is in good working condition. This evaluation will make certain that any repairs suggested will restore the vehicle back to normal operating temperatures; this can be anything from adding Freon to your system or replacing A/C parts.

Even if your A/C system still seems to be blowing icy cold air, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment at your local CJ’s location for an A/C service. Over time, A/C fittings become loose, O-rings, hoses and seals wear out – and your refreshing cold air stops. Also, A/C systems can lose up to 0.3-0.6 ounces of refrigerant yearly. By keeping your system properly lubricated and the refrigerant levels met, you lower the risk of premature compressor failure.

Sometimes, when your vehicle’s A/C system breaks down, refrigerant can leak. Not only is refrigerant harmful to the environment, it is also harmful to your car. Leaking refrigerant can damage your vehicle’s evaporator and compressor. Getting a car air conditioner service at the first sign of trouble will save you both money and time.

Air conditioning services from CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services include:

  • Testing of air conditioning system for refrigerant leaks and interior cabin temperature
  • Restoring proper system refrigerant and lubrication levels
  • Restoring interior cooling ability

As the warmer temperatures arrive, you may also begin to notice a smell in the cabin of your vehicle. Each vehicle’s climate control system includes a filter element that helps remove dust, pollen, mold spores and other particulates from the air you and your passengers breathe. Like any filter, it needs to be changed regularly, particularly if you’re noticing some funky smells, however we recommend that you change it at least yearly.

Air is drawn into your vehicle’s engine as a critical part of the combustion process. The engine air filter captures airborne contaminants such as dirt, dust and even bugs before they can enter the engine. If your air filter gets too dirty or clogged, your engine won’t be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers. The engine will then run rich (i.e., too much gas and not enough air). When this happens, your car will lose power, run roughly and your gas mileage will decrease; your Check Engine light also may come on.

Some experts recommend changing your engine air filter as often as every 3,000 miles, while you are getting an oil change. Ask a CJ’s Associate to have our technicians visually inspect your air filter and give you their recommendations on replacement. You can also consult your owner’s manual and follow their recommendations on the frequency in which you should replace your engine air filter.

Schedule an appointment for an A/C service and air filters, at one of 13 convenient locations today. Check here for money saving offers and coupons.
CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

A Salute to Mom

We only have One Mom, One Mommy,
One Mother in this World, One life.
Don’t wait for the Tomorrow’s
to tell Mom, you love her
Author Unknown

 

Here at CJ’s we love our moms and yours too! Mom has a tough job. She keeps her household running smoothly, all the while taking care of boo-boos, sticky fingers, pets and thousands of other odds and ends. She gets up early, misses meals and goes to bed late, often waking up in order to make the nightmares go away. On top of this already full-time job, some moms even go the extra distance and work for someone else too.

One more activity to add to Mom’s day is to keep the family car maintained. She has to gather up the kids and make sure they have something to keep them occupied. She worries about them staying safe and clean. She worries about what the car maintenance is going to cost her. Will someone try to sell her a service she doesn’t need? Will they make sure her family’s vehicle is safe?

But at CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services, Mom doesn’t need to worry about any of these things. CJ’s has a clean, comfortable waiting room, complete with a refreshment station of coffee, soda and water. We have a kid’s play area for the little ones, where it is safe and clean. And for the older kids there is wi-fi and X-box. Mom can have a few moments to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

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We have a friendly and knowledgeable staff that will talk Mom through every step of her vehicle maintenance experience. Every car that comes into CJ’s goes through a multi-point inspection to ensure that all is well. And, since our staff works quickly and efficiently, Mom can be in and out the door, before the kids start complaining and have complete confidence in the safety of her family’s vehicle.

So Moms of the world, we salute you. And to make your life even easier, schedule your appointment online at one of our 13 convenient locations.

CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.

Driving Safely in the Springtime

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Driving in the first rains of spring can be almost as dangerous as driving in the snow and ice.

Now that winter is over, did you think that the weather would no longer affect your driving? Well, you aren’t in the clear yet. The warm spring rains can make springtime driving almost as dangerous as driving in the snow and ice.

What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? When the first rain falls, the water can mix with oil and dust to create a film on the road’s surface. Slippery roads reduce your car’s handling and increase the distance it takes to stop (up to 4 times normal stopping distance). According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit of 47 percent of all weather-related crashes from 1995 to 2008, and wet pavement in general accounted for 75 percent.

When you find yourself driving in these Spring rainstorms, follow these safety tips:

  1. Slow Down. Always drive at a slower speed when the roads are wet. Leave the house early and give yourself more time to get to your location.
  2. Turn off cruise control. Cruise control seems like a great way to keep a slow and steady speed during a rainstorm, however it can actually cause your car to speed up if you hydroplane. Also, you may not pay as close attention to the road as you should, with the cruise control on. Turn it off and stay alert.
  3. Avoid big puddles. If you spot a puddle ahead of you, safely maneuver around it. You can never be sure how deep the puddle is and if it is deep enough, it can cause serious problems for your car’s electrical system.
  4. Turn on your headlights. Even if the rain is really light, turn on your headlights. Not only is it a law, but it also helps to make your car visible to other drivers as well as helping you see the road and any debris or obstacles.
  5. Turn on your defroster. Windshields tend to fog up quickly during a rainstorm and can reduce your visibility.
  6. Brake earlier and slower. When you need to brake on wet roads, step on your brakes soon and with less force than you normally would. This will help to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, as well as alerting the driver behind you to give them plenty of time to stop as well. Easing on your brakes will also help decrease your car’s potential for hydroplaning. Also, if you feel that your car is starting to hydroplane, do not brake sharply or turn the wheel. Doing so increases your potential of skidding. Slowly ease off your gas pedal and steer your car straight until you start to feel your tires regain traction. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, lightly tap the brake pedal; if you do have anti-lock brakes, you can brake normally.

When driving in spring showers, pay attention to how your car responds in the rain. Is the steering looser than normal? Are you sliding when you brake? If so, your tires could be losing their grip and you might be hydroplaning. Slow down and get your tires checked as soon as possible

You should also check out your lights, wiper blades and tire pressure. By making sure that all your lights work properly, you are increasing your visibility, as well as your ability to see in the bad weather. Worn-out wiper blades may chatter or skip across your windshield, leaving streaks and reducing your vision. They should be checked and replaced at least once a year. Schedule an appointment at any one of CJ’s 13 convenient locations and we will be happy to give your car a once over and get you safely back on the road.

CJ’s Tire and Automotive Services – Better. Faster. More Affordable.