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Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Car Doctor

Many Oklahoma City drivers want to accessorize their vehicle - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Oklahoma City area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Oklahoma City drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.

So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your vehicle suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let's think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They're all about the same size. So if we pretend they're tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we've made the hole bigger on some. That's like having a bigger wheel - but the rolling diameter is the same.

It's important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the vehicle wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won't work properly.

Some have vehicles with electronically-controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let's think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.

Low profile tires from top manufacturers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you'll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there's more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Oklahoma City folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.

Oklahoma drivers need to watch out that the contact patch isn't so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we're talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at Car Doctor can help you get this right. He'll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels and get you rolling.

Also, if you drive off-road in Oklahoma a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at Car Doctor knows how to help.

And don't forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they'll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you'll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at Car Doctor after you get your new shoes. 

Stop by Car Doctor to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.

You'll find us at:

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

 

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Winter Prep Service for Your Auto

When winter approaches in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City residents break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Oklahoma winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Oklahoma City residents want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime - but the stakes are higher in cold Oklahoma winters.

There are some specific things Oklahoma City drivers need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Car Doctor in Oklahoma City. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Oklahoma City we always worry about being able to stop in time when it's slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Car Doctor service advisor to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is also a really good idea for Oklahoma City residents to have their battery tested. A battery's cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a Oklahoma winter. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote Oklahoma road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is a good idea in case you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm, which will also help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

 

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Automotive Tips from Car Doctor: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

When Oklahoma City drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Car Doctor tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

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All About Your TPMS in Oklahoma City



Oklahoma City drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for Oklahoma auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.

It's hard for many Oklahoma City drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual 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 U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Oklahoma City 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.

Oklahoma 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.

Car Doctor service advisors 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 Oklahoma City service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

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Picking the Right Tires in Oklahoma City

Shopping for tires in Oklahoma City can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Oklahoma City are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on Oklahoma roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Oklahoma City people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on Oklahoma roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Oklahoma City showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Oklahoma City roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Oklahoma City car owners. Talk with your Car Doctor tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

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Wheel Balancing at Car Doctor

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Oklahoma City drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on Oklahoma roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Car Doctor, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.

Most people in Oklahoma City are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Oklahoma City hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Car Doctor in Oklahoma City if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Oklahoma City area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner's manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Car Doctor. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

 

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Beware of Cheap Tires in Oklahoma City

Do you like to shop for shoes in Oklahoma City?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?

Oklahoma City drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on Oklahoma freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on Oklahoma highways, the tires need a high load rating.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Oklahoma City tire professional at Car Doctor. I think it's important that Oklahoma City residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”

The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Oklahoma City are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.

Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large Oklahoma tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Car Doctor tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market in Oklahoma City are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.


What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.

Give us a call.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

 

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Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires



Oklahoma City 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 technician at Car Doctor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, 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 Oklahoma City folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated 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 important with them. Give Car Doctor a call to get our recommendation for your vehicle.

See your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Car Doctor for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It's usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 km.

Tires are among the most important safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they'll take care of you.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

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By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Car Doctor in Oklahoma City

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Oklahoma City drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Oklahoma City tire store.

Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Oklahoma City drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.

The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Oklahoma City area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.

The R simply means this is a radial tire.

The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Oklahoma City, you will want a tire with a high load rating.

The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Car Doctor tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Oklahoma City drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on Oklahoma roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

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The Car Doctor Guide to Tire Specs

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Oklahoma City service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Oklahoma City drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Oklahoma City tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Oklahoma City. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Oklahoma City are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Oklahoma City area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting Oklahoma roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Oklahoma City drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturers original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable Car Doctor tire professional.

Car Doctor
1217 N.W. 5th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
405-232-1949
http://mdcar.net

 

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Car Doctor

Car Doctor is a pillar of the community. Car Doctor is a leader in offering name brand tires, wheels, auto repair and brake services for customers located in and around the Pueblo, Colorado area. Our goal is to focus on customer service. It is the foundation of our business. Car Doctor employs a well-trained staff specializing in the sale and installation of passenger car, performance and light truck or SUV tires. Custom wheels are available at Car Doctor. Special wheels and rims compliment any tire or customer vehicle. Complete under-car services, such as oil changes, brakes, shocks, struts, alignment, and transmission repair for both foreign and domestic vehicles are readily available at competitive prices. Take this opportunity to browse Car Doctor website or call us for personalized service.

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