Belle Tire Blog


  • There are few things better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day but did you know January is National Soup Month in the United States?


    Soup was one of the world’s first fast foods and there ... Read the Full Story


  • Do you have one of these on your windshield? You may not know how dangerous driving with a damaged windshield truly is.

    The windshield of your vehicle is crucial to the structural support of the cabin. In a front end ...

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  • Whether you are new to winter driving in places like Michigan or Ohio or a long-time resident, it can be helpful to review how to drive safely during the winter months.

    Perhaps you drive at night? Well, it feels like it because most people head out into the dark when they leave work in the winter. Did you know that death rates for night time driving are three times higher than daytime driving, according to the National Safety Council

    There is always some natural risk in driving, and that increases during the dark, especially during snowy and icy road conditions. Here are some tips for driving at night and during inclement weather in the winter time.
     

    Driving in the Dark

    Remember that, even with headlights, it is extremely difficult to detect pedestrians, bicyclists and others. Use your headlights between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Don't drive if you're too tired and follow these recommended steps from the National Safety Council:

    • Use the snow brush to remove any snow that hasn't come off the windshield, hood or headlights. 
    • Don't drink and drive. Not only does alcohol severely impair your driving ability, it also acts as a depressant. Just one drink can induce fatigue. 
    • Never text and drive. Put your mobile phone in your glove box until you reach your destination or need it for an emergency. 
    • Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. 
    • When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low beams so you don't distract drivers ahead of you. 
    • If an oncoming vehicle doesn't lower beams from high to low, avoid glare by watching the right edge of the road and using it as a steering guide. 
    • If you're too tired to drive, stop and get rest. 
    • Pull off the road as far as possible, if you have car trouble. Turn on flashers and the dome light.  Stay off the roadway and get passengers away from the area.
    Driving in Freezing Rain

    Heavy and freezing rains will cause more problems because your tires can begin to hydroplane. In this case, the key to keeping your tires in contact with the road is to simply slow down.
     
    Consider buying a dedicated set of winter / snow tires for your vehicle, since they are specially made to dig down and bite into snow and ice. Winter tires are designed to do this because they are made from softer rubber compounds that retain their flexibility in cold weather and freezing conditions.

    Driving in Snow and Ice 

    An important winter driving skill to learn in snow and ice conditions is the controlled slide. If your vehicle begins to slide, take the following steps to regain control:

    • Take your foot off the gas pedal
    • If you have anti-lock (ABS) brakes, apply them firmly (Otherwise, pump them gently only if you are about to hit something)
    • Steer the car into the direction of the skid to straighten out the car (Then steer in the direction you wish to go)
    While you cannot control everything that other drivers do on the road, you can do your best to be prepared for any situation. Slow down and leave wider spaces between you and other drivers when you encounter bad winter weather and dark conditions. Read the Full Story













  • Many of us still follow the old adage that it is necessary for our car’s engine to “warm up” before driving it during the cold winter months. Of course, for some the motivation is the added benefit of getting into ...

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  • Great Lakes, No Clouds

    According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, The Great Lakes contain about 84% of North America’s surface fresh water, as well as about 21% of the world’s supply!

    Only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia have ...

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  • Performing routine car maintenance is a relatively simple way to correct and ensure the overall health, preservation, and value of your vehicle.  Review your vehicle's owner manual to find the maintenance recommendations that will help keep your car in top condition. 

    A trusted tire store with ASE certified professional mechanics can properly service your car on the regular schedule outlined in your car's manual. They will also help identify and fix some of the most hazardous vehicle conditions including worn tires, bad brakes, malfunctioning lights and worn wiper blades. 

    In addition to increasing the life of your vehicle, regular maintenance checks and updates to your vehicle will make it safer for you and your passengers. If your vehicle does break down while you're on the road, follow these simple rules:

    • Park your vehicle so it can be seen for a safe distance (200 feet, if possible) in each direction.
    • Move your vehicle off the road.
    • Turn on your emergency flashers. 
    To help avoid a potentially costly breakdown, here are some basic car care tips:

     




    Care For Your Tires – As a good rule of thumb, have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. This can vary depending on the amount of driving you do. Check the air pressure in your tires every other time you stop to fill up at the gas station. This simple procedure can also help your car’s fuel economy. 

    Check Your Belts And Hoses – Look for a belt or hose that has a crack or corrosion. These parts are usually made of rubber and will eventually wear out. If you’re still unsure, belts and hoses can be checked during an oil change or at your vehicle’s annual checkup.

     


    Check Your Oil
    – Engine problems can result if the level of oil in your vehicle is too high or low. Owners of both new and older vehicles can consider using synthetic motor oil to help increase the mileage between oil changes. For example, Belle Tire offers a variety of motor oil viscosities for different makes and models.


    Check Your Coolant – The ideal level of coolant should be between the low and high markings. Check your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where your coolant reservoir is. If you are checking the coolant yourself, never take the cap off if your vehicle has been recently driven.


    Learn The Dashboard Lights – Again, refer to your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with some of your dashboard warning lights. These include: Check Engine, Service Engine, Electrical Fault, Brake Warning, ABS Brake Warning, Coolant and Oil. Ignoring these warning signs for too long could result in expensive repairs.


    Whether your car just came off the showroom floor or you drive a used vehicle, one of the best ways to extend its life is to practice regular maintenance.


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  • last christmas...

     

    After over indulging during the holidays, this is the time of the year many of us begin thinking about making resolutions for the New Year. The one mistake many of us make is setting the bar too high … leading to an inevitable failure.

     

    We often have good intentions of getting into better shape, quitting smoking or spending more time with family but without the proper planning our good intentions usually don’t make it past the month of January.

     

    So what are the top 10 most commonly broken New Year’s Resolutions?

     

    1. Lose weight and get fit
    2. Quit smoking
    3. Learn something new
    4. Eat healthier and diet
    5. Get out of debt and save money
    6. Spend more time with family
    7. Travel to new places
    8. Be less stressed
    9. Volunteer

    10.  Drink less


    There are some easy steps you can make to help you reach keep your resolutions in 2012. First, you need to accept that will power alone isn’t enough to keep your resolutions, pre-planning is key and can go a long way in increasing your odds of success. Set specific, measureable goals that are achievable. Instead of setting your resolutions at losing 40 pounds, your goal could be to lose 2 pounds a week instead. Perhaps what is most important, is accepting that slip ups do happen but it doesn’t mean you need to give up. Other tips to help you achieve your goals include compiling any supplies or resources you may need and sharing your goals with family and friends that can act as your support team. Be sure to reward yourself as you achieve the milestones that will set you up to meet your end goal.

     

    What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012? Do you have any tips for keeping your resolutions?

     

    Source:  TIME

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  • As the weather transitions in Michigan and Ohio, now is as good a time as ever to check your tire pressure. Tire pressure is set at ambient temperature, which is the temperature of the surroundings. A 10 degree drop in ambient temperature roughly drops your tire pressure 1 psi. For example, a tire that was set perfectly at 65 degrees in October would automatically be 3 psi lower at 35 degrees in December.

    Over time, a little air always escapes and with our busy lives drivers often neglect checking tire pressure. Between a drop in temperature and a month of not checking, a tire can easily be 5 psi lower than normal or more.

    As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to check the air pressure in your tires every other time you stop to fill up at the gas station. For details on how to properly set your tire pressure visit your local tire store to have your tires checked by ASE Certified professionals. Also read Let the Air Out! Nitrogen Tire Inflation Saves Money and Improves Treadlife to learn about the benefits of filling tire with nitrogen instead of air. Belle Tire is a Michigan based tire retailer actually invented the word Nitro-Nize®. Belle Tire offers nitrogen free with new tires and top those tires off for free the rest of their treadlife.

    In addition to checking your tires pressure and tire wear, here are some other tips you should not overlook when caring for your car:

    Top Ten Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

    Early Fall is a good time to get your vehicle ready for the colder weather ahead, but it is never too late to take your car in for routine maintenance. Here are the top ten tips you can do yourself, or request one of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians at Belle Tire to perform, to get your car ready for winter:

    1. Have your battery and terminal checked
    2. Have your radiator checked
    3. Change oil & fluids regularly
    4. Check belts and hoses for cracks, leaks and bulges as well as checking to see if all clamps are secure
    5. Get winter / snow tires installed
    6. Run through all signal and light functions to ensure they are working properly
    7. Check windshield washer fluid and wipers for wear
    8. Ensure the heater and defroster are in good working condition
    9. Get engine drivability problems corrected (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc.)
    10. Pack a kit with gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a first aid kit, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight and always have a charged cell phone.

    Remember, tire pressure should be checked with a quality air gauge as the inflation pressure can't be accurately estimated through a visual inspection. Take your car to Belle Tire to have your tires inspected and since winter is near, get your vehicle ready!

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  • Texting While Driving

    Dec 28, 2011

    Texting while driving

     

    Many of us know that text messaging while driving is a major hazard yet we continue to read and send text messages while on the road.

     

    Having a cell phone in your car with you at all times is smart. In case of any emergencies, you can quickly contact medics, police, family or friends to come to the rescue. If you’re going to be late for an appointment, you can easily pull over and make a call or send a text message.

     

    But it’s important to remember that texting while driving your car is extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18% of all fatal crashes are caused by driver distraction, such as texting.

     

    Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. And at 55 miles per hour, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

     

    So, this year consider making a resolution to be safe while driving. Send text messages before you leave your house and in between shopping stops. If you must make a call while driving, utilize a hands free device such as a Bluetooth or a talk to text service.

     

    Source: http://texting-while-driving.org/

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  • last christmas...

     

    Chopping down a holiday tree and bringing it to your living room is a common holiday theme in Michigan.

     

    But among the 50 states, where does Michigan rank in number of trees harvested in 2011?

     

    It hovers ...

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