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Todd Holliday's Winchester Tire and Alignment
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Important Things to Know About the Cost of Auto Repair
At full-service automotive service centers like Todd Holliday's Winchester Tire & Alignment, profit margins are a lot narrower than many people imagine. Cars are far more complex, thus the tools and diagnostic equipment are also more complicated. Diagnosing why your Check Engine light is on may require a machine that costs $18k. Ask a senior technician how much he/she has invested in tools, initial education and ongoing training.

For example, a carburetor used to be a pretty simple part to maintain and repair. Nowadays, an electronic fuel system repair in Memphis requires a technician to have a higher level of knowledge and expensive diagnostic equipment to read and interpret the numerous trouble codes. And it doesn't end there. Shops must pay subscription fees for database services to locate and order the right parts. Buying or leasing shop space has risen along with other commercial real estate prices in Memphis TN.

All the technology that makes today's cars safer, more reliable, more fuel-efficient, more comfortable, more environmentally-friendly and full of more nifty gadgets comes at a price for drivers. And complying with government regulations tacks on additional costs.

Hopefully, today's post sheds some light on the factors that affect your auto repair bill. The team at Winchester Tire & Alignment believes that quality service performed by veteran technicians saves money in the long run and protects your automotive investment.

Todd Holliday

Winchester Tire & Alignment

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Wheel Alignment at Winchester Tire & Alignment
Memphis drivers need to be concerned about wheel alignments for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are out of alignment, they can pull to one side, maybe pretty hard. A moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic on a busy street in Memphis or completely off the road. And a bad alignment will chew up your tires very quickly.

We had one guy in our auto service center who said his wheels were a little out of alignment before a family vacation, but he didn't think it was that bad. So he didn't take care of it before he left. A couple of long days of highway driving and his front tires were worn down to the cords. He had to take a half day out of his mountain vacation to find a rural town big enough to have a tire center for replacements.

All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and point in the same direction. Sometimes one or more goes out of alignment and is pulling against the rest of the team. In addition to excessive tire wear, this also hurts fuel economy.

Part of the alignment service at Winchester Tire & Alignment is an inspection of the steering and suspension components. Whatever caused the wheels to be knocked out of alignment in the first place may have also damaged important parts. So we want to be sure to replace broken or bent parts as needed. The process corrects alignment of each wheel along three axes (toe, camber and caster) as well as front to rear alignment.

Your owner's manual may have a recommendation for how often alignment should be checked. If not, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Winchester Tire & Alignment service advisor. Here are some things that should tell drivers that they need an alignment check right away:

Your vehicle is pulling to one side, your steering wheel isn't centered, or you see unusual tire wear. Give us a call and schedule your appointment today! 901-345-5484

#wheelalignment #tirewear #carpullstooneside


Winchester Tire & Alignment
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Diesel Engines

When someone mentions diesels around Memphis, images of smoky, rattly trucks may spring to mind. The fact is that the modern, clean diesel engine is much more refined than in the old days. Sure, diesel engines remain a very popular choice with heavy duty pick-up truck drivers in Memphis, but they are finding their way into nearly every segment of the automotive market. Why is that? Well, it's science.
Diesel fuel contains more energy than the same amount of gasoline. So it takes less diesel fuel to do the same amount of work as gas. So diesel drivers get more miles per gallon/kilometers per liter and lower emissions. In Europe, where fuel is very expensive and good fuel economy is very important, around half of passenger vehicles are powered by diesel engines. This goes for small economy cars all the way up to the world's most luxury vehicles.
The driving experience is also very good with diesel engines. In fact residents may not even be able to tell the difference between riding in or driving a diesel powered vehicle. So what are the factors to when deciding whether or not to choose a diesel engine?
One consideration is price. Diesel engines cost more to build and are an extra cost option for most vehicles. So residents need to do the math to see how long it will take the increased to pay for the extra up-front cost of a diesel engine. The cost of diesel fuel in Memphis is also a factor. There is no clear correlation between gas prices and diesel prices because the refining and distribution systems are so different. This means that the difference in price per gallon/liter for diesel and gasoline can vary a great deal depending on where you live in the Mid-South. Just watch diesel and gas prices for a while (or talk with a diesel owner in Memphis ) so you can get a feel for how much price per gallon/liter figures into your purchase decision.
Also important to know is your expected use of the vehicle. For example, if you tow heavy trailers or haul heavy loads around the Mid-South, the extra power many diesel engines offer (while getting better fuel economy than a gas engine) may help you make your decision. Your highway/city driving mix may play into the decision as well. Diesels shine in the highway fuel economy department. And the more you drive in a year, the more attractive diesel engines become.
If your vehicle has a diesel engine, remember that it still requires maintenance like your gas powered vehicles always have. Oil changes, cooling system service, power steering, brakes, tires, etc. – all need to be maintained. Some of the schedules may be different because of the unique design of diesel engines. Your friendly and knowledgeable Winchester Tire & Alignment will be able to help you properly maintain your diesel vehicle, helping it last longer and continue to deliver great performance and efficiency.
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Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment - Keeping you informed. Hyundai is recalling nearly 88,000 cars in the U.S. because an electrical short in the antilock brake system. This short could cause an engine compartment fires.
The recall affects certain 2006 Sonatas and 2006 through 2011 Azeras.
Hyundai says that water can get into the antilock brake module, which can overheat and cause a fire. This can happen even when your Hyundai Sonata or Hyundai Azeras is turned off. It was not clear if the cars should be parked outside until repairs are made. Winchester Tire & Alignment recommends disconnecting the battery and contacting your dealer for detailed information on getting the no charge repair.
Dealers will install a relay in the main electrical box to shut down the antilock brake modules while the cars are turned off. But it was unclear if the fix would solve the problem of electrical shorts while the engines are on.
The recall should begin Feb. 23. Documents show one overheated module in South Korea and one fire in the U.S., but no injuries.
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Don’t fall for cheap auto repair and maintenance!
Choose one repair shop you trust and have ALL repairs and maintenance performed at that shop!
Communicate Properly. The better you are able to explain to a service advisor what’s wrong with your vehicle the easier it is for a technician to diagnose and fix the problem. It’s a good idea to write down ahead of time what ails your ride, noting specific sounds, sensations, leaks and smells, and when and how often they occur. What happened just before the car stopped running; how did it run and act the day before it didn’t start? Also note when the vehicle was last brought in for service, because today’s problem may be related to last month’s repair.
Here are a few terms that can help explain common auto symptoms that can also serve as a checklist for a vehicle that’s headed for the repair shop:
• Backfire. A gunshot-like sound that comes from the engine or tailpipe.
• Bottoming: Excessive noise or harshness that’s usually felt through the steering wheel or passenger compartment when going over bumps.
• Bucking: This is felt when the engine hesitates or the transmission slips as it changes gears and the vehicle lurches.
• Dieseling: What occurs when an engine continues to burn fuel and runs briefly after the car has been switched off.
• Hesitation: A brief loss of power upon acceleration.
• Knocking: Also known as “detonation,” this is a rapid rattling that’s heard upon acceleration.
• Misfire: Hesitation that occurs when fuel in one or more of an engine’s cylinders fails to ignite properly.
• Shimmy: A side-to-side motion that can be felt through the tires and/or steering wheel.
• Sluggish: How a car feels when it’s not accelerating smoothly or strongly enough.
• Surge: A sudden, usually upward, change in the engine’s speed.

Todd Holliday's Winchester Tire and Alignment, not cheap but fair prices and a two year 24,000 mile parts and labor warranty. A Honest Repair Shop is always better than a cheap repair shop!
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Upsizing Wheels and Tires in Memphis, TN
Hello, Let's pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for our discussion of upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don't eat them now – you're going to need them later.

Many drivers want to accessorize their car and make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some custom wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs out there to get you the look you want. And for many, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that vehicles 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 drivers should consider when they want to upsize their wheels. It's not exactly a do it yourself 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 suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels in Memphis TN .

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 assume 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 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 vehicles today have 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 the 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 drivers with trucks or SUV's love the extra control.

You do have 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 friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Winchester Tire & Alignment 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.
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Heater Core
Mid-South drivers may wonder where the warm air in a vehicle's comes from. Well, as your engine starts to warm up, it also warms the coolant/antifreeze that circulates around the engine and through the radiator. There is also a hose that carries coolant/antifreeze from the engine to the heater core and another that takes it back into the engine. The heater core looks like a little radiator and lives in the air blend box behind the dashboard.

When you turn on the heat, air blows over the heater core and is warmed, and comes into the car. Some vehicles have a heater valve that moves coolant through the heater core when the heat is on and bypasses the heater core when the heat is off. In other vehicles, the temperature of the air is controlled within the air blend box by how much air is directed over the heater core.

The engine cooling system, in a larger sense, also encompasses the heater core. Things that adversely affect, say, your radiator will also harm your heater core. The coolant/antifreeze contains corrosion inhibitors that coat the surfaces inside the cooling system, including the heater core. When the corrosion inhibitors are depleted, the cooling system can become corroded, filled with contaminants and may even start to leak.

There are several signs that warn of a leaky heater core: First you may have a sweet smell from your vents. This is coolant leaking and getting into the air. You may even see vapor coming out the vents and notice a film building up inside on the windows. Of course, breathing coolant vapors is bad for you.

You may also see coolant on the driveway. Depending on the design of your vehicle, you may even get coolant leaking out into the floor board of the car.

Coolant/antifreeze leaking out through the heater core means that the overall coolant level in the system will be low and the engine is in danger of overheating – which could cause a mechanical breakdown.

The good news is that the things you do to protect your cooling system also protect your heater core. Changing your coolant/antifreeze as directed by your owner's manual or upon the advice of your Winchester Tire & Alignment service advisor will help ensure your coolant has enough corrosion inhibitors working to protect this system. Also, quickly repairing any leaks and inspecting hoses for signs of internal breakdown will help keep any from becoming an emergency.

Make sure you consult with your friendly and knowledgeable Winchester Tire & Alignment service advisor about when your cooling system should be serviced.

Give us a call.

Winchester Tire & Alignment


Todd Holliday
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Service Intervals
Question:
I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help!

Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment Answer:
The simple answer is to follow the vehicle's recommended service intervals listed in your owner's manual or in your service center's database. But the team at Winchester Tire & Alignment in Memphis sympathizes with car owners because of the confusing intervals for modern vehicles.

The days of simple rules of thumb that applied to most vehicles are long gone. For example, let's look at an oil change: manufacturers' recommendations run anywhere from every 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) to 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). This big range comes from engine design and recommended types of oil - so drivers really do need to read and follow the recommendations for their specific vehicle.

Your owner's service manual will have a schedule for maintenance services and inspections.

Service items include:
Tire rotation, wheel balancing, oil change, coolant service, transmission service, brake system, power steering system, fuel system, differential service and transfer case service.

Inspections will include:
Alignment check, air conditioning, brakes, suspension, axles, exhaust, tires, lights emissions, belts and hoses and steering.

It's for drivers to remember there is no exception that would make it OK to extend an interval. These intervals already assume "best case" conditions for a safe margin of error. However, you may live or drive in conditions that are harsher than average. Your owner's manual may have a modified schedule for “severe service" - things like extreme temperatures, towing, hauling heavy loads around Memphis, short trips, stop-and-go conditions, etc.

Consult your owner's manual or talk with your Winchester Tire & Alignment service advisor about your driving situation and adjust your service intervals accordingly.

Give us a call.

Winchester Tire & Alignment

Todd Holliday, Owner
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Tire Replacement
New tire choices can be overwhelming.

Let's suppose you have a sports car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good in Memphis TN. When the weather turns bad, you can put on high-performance all season tires. For the kind of driving you like to do in Memphis TN, you want full on performance tires.

When it's time for new tires, visit with a tire professional at Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment in Memphis TN. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads around the Mid South.

Tires are a large purchase for drivers. With so many choices, you'll be able to get what's best for you.

Give us a call.
Winchester Tire & Alignment
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Winterization Car Service at Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment
Every year, your vehicle needs to be ready for winter. The last thing drivers want is to get stranded out in the cold. We need our vehicles 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 the winter.

There are some specific and necessary things that we need to do to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze protection is not set correctly it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your vehicle 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 Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold rainy months we always worry about being able to stop in time when it's slick out on area roads. The first thing for drivers to remember is to slow down and allow plenty of room to stop. A thorough brake inspection at Todd Holliday’s Winchester Tire & Alignment will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your Winchester Tire & Alignment 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 good idea to have your battery tested. A battery's cranking power really drops with the cold temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter cold cranking.

You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded when it's cold. If you will be leaving the area and 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 if you get stuck and need to run the vehicle to keep warm, and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

It's a really good idea for drivers to replace their wiper blades in the fall before the winter ice storms come to Memphis. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing for to consider is your tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees F/5.6 degrees C, the temperature drops in Memphis you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80°F/26.7°C outside in Memphis when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it's 40°F/4.4°C, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That's enough to be a safety issue and it's also hard on your fuel economy.


Give us a call.

Winchester Tire & Alignment

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12/11/17
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