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  • Are you riding on a new set of winter tires this season? We routinely hear from our customers what a difference they make in their winter driving but it’s important to know there are several things that can be done ...

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  • Are your headlights cloudy? While it may appear to only be a cosmetic issue to your vehicle, it actually can severely impact the amount of light your headlights are able to provide resulting in a risk to your safety. Reduced ...

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  • It’s no secret that the rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University has been intense, but that has not prevented a few individuals from participating on both sides of the field as players or coaches. What famous University ...

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  • It’s definitely not an ideal situation but its one most of us Michigan and Ohio drivers will find ourselves in before winter is over, driving during a heavy snowfall with limited visibility.

    Obviously, the best way to stay safe during ...

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  • Before you get behind the wheel for a long road trip, take a minute to answer one question that is important to your safety and the safety of your passengers: How old are the tires on your vehicle?

    There is an easy way to identify the date a tire was made by reading its Tire Identification Number, which is also referred to as the tire's serial number.  Tire Identification Numbers are batch codes that identify the week and year the tire was created.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) require that Tire Identification Numbers are on every tire. DOT serial numbers make up a combination of the letters, followed by ten to twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.

    All tires made after 2000 have four digits representing the week and year each tire was produced. If a tire has a number code only three digits long, the tire was made in the 1990s.

    You can determine the age of a tire by looking at the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number. The first two digits identify the week and the last two digits to identify the year.

    Finally, when you buy new tires, hold on to your sales receipt. Some tire standard manufacturer warranties cover their tires for four years from the date of purchase or five years from the week the tires were manufactured.

    Let's say you have a receipt showing you purchased new tires that were manufactured exactly two years ago.  The tires will be covered four years from the date of the purchase for a total of six years since they were manufactured. If you lose the receipt in this same case, the warranty coverage for your tires will end five years from the week the tire was produced resulting in the tire manufacturer's warranty.

    For additional convenience, Belle Tire provides customers their invoices via email with the warranty coverage listed.  The warranty information provided can be for either the number of miles or years that the warranty is covered.

    Visit a local Belle Tire store to speak with a tire expert who can help answer any questions you may have regarding the age of your tires.

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  • Not all drivers are ready to buy a more fuel-efficient car but there are a number of ways to save money, whatever vehicle you drive. Here are three easy to remember fuel saving tips.

    Lighten Up

    Weight is one of fuel economy's main adversaries, so removing unnecessary items or passengers from your vehicle can equate to real fuel savings.

    Keep in mind that roof top carriers, bike and ski racks don't do your cars fuel economy any favors, even when they are empty.

    Watch Speed and Acceleration

    No matter what kind of car you drive, you can save fuel immediately by going easy on the accelerator. Quick starts and full-throttle acceleration can boost fuel consumption. Saving fuel is all a matter of degree – light acceleration can save more than medium acceleration and full-throttle jack-rabbit starts.

    Also, remember that top speed plays a part.  Each car reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed; however, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage usually decreases quickly at speeds above 60 mph. For each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, it is like paying 5%-30% more per gallon for gas.

    Inflate Your Chances at Prevention

    Keeping your car tires inflated properly is critical to fuel efficient driving. Underinflated tires  can lower the gas mileage of a vehicle even if they are off by just a single psi. 

    Proper tire inflation can improve mileage up to 3.3% or $0.11 per gallon according to the United States Department of Energy. Check your owner's manual or the placard in the vehicle's doorjamb for the proper inflation pressure.  If your car's tire pressure monitoring light is on or you need assistance, visit a local tire store to have an expert check your tires and fill them to the correct pressure.

    Don't just stop with checking your tires because keeping your engine running efficiently is just as essential to save gas. Even if your car seems to be running well, that perplexing check engine light could represent a dead oxygen sensor or some other emissions control problem that can cause the vehicle to waste several miles per gallon.

    Limiting your cars weight, maintaining posted speeds, keeping your tires properly inflated and maintaining your engine can all help impact savings on gas. It can also be great for the environment. One gallon of gas produces 19.4 pounds of CO2, so by following these three easy tips it can keep money in your wallet and CO2 out of the air we breathe.

    If you have any questions about any of these tips, stop in to speak to the experts at any Belle Tire location.

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  • Move over Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile® there’s a new signature automobile in town and this one doesn’t get soggy when wet!  L.L. Bean has created the “Bootmobile,” a Ford F-250 Super Duty truck with a 20 foot long and 13 ...

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  • Do you normally wait until the warning light comes on before fueling up? Me too! I dread filling up my tank while standing in the freezing cold and blowing wind so I put it off as long as possible. This ...

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  • Home to several University of Michigan athletic teams, what is now known as Crisler Center was constructed in 1967 and subsequently renovated in 1998 and 2001. The arena was named after legendary Wolverine football coach Herbert O. “Fritz” Crisler.  In ...

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  • Did you find your vehicle slipping around out on the roads during our recent snow fall and storms? While we have definitely been experiencing a relatively mild winter with above average temperatures and below average snowfalls throughout Michigan and Ohio, the winter season has finally arrived. You may be driving on a set of worn tires with low tread and are considering putting off your tire purchase until the Spring, our advice in a word is “Don’t!” It is definitely not too late to improve your winter driving experience and invest in a set of winter tires.

    Our customers are constantly surprised at the tremendous difference that can be made just by investing in a set of winter tires. There are many benefits to buying a set of winter tires for your vehicle including:

     • Increased mobility and traction in winter conditions including snow and ice.

    • Improved gas mileage as winter tires can actually help you get more miles per gallon.

     • Decreased wear on your all-season tires that can spin during winter driving conditions and increase their wear.

     • Another potential savings is the cost of a tow truck should you need to be pulled out. While winter tires aren’t perfect they can definitely reduce your risk of getting stuck this winter.

     Check out our other blogs posts on winter tires: A Time for Winter Tire and Wheel Packages and Give Your Car an Edge with These Great Winter Tires. Come in and see one of our Tire Experts at your local Belle Tire and we can help determine the perfect tire for your vehicle. 

    Source: National Motorists Association

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