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Bells Mill AutoCare

964 Bells Mill Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23322

(757) 436-5950

Bells Mill AutoCare Vehicle Maintenance Tips and Videos: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

Posted on January 15,16 by truck2

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Chesapeake motorists ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely corrected. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

Run flat tires should not be fixed. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tech can review your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely fixed or if it should be replaced – and then help you get back on the road.

Give us a call

Bells Mill AutoCare
757.436.5950
964 Bells Mill Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Chesapeake VA Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

Posted on December 25,15 by truck2

When winter approaches in VA, Chesapeake car owners break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Chesapeake area winter conditions. Your pickup needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Chesapeake car owners want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your pickup 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 VA winters.

There are some specific things Chesapeake motorists we 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 Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Chesapeake 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 considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service professional 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 Chesapeake motorists 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 VA drivers. 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 VA 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 critical if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

Bells Mill AutoCare
964 Bells Mill Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322
757.436.5950

Winter in Chesapeake, VA always makes motorists think of their windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the VA winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing for Chesapeake drivers to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it hurts fuel efficiency too. You may need special winter tires in Chesapeake as well. Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

This is a a key safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow on VA s is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.

Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Bells Mill AutoCare

Posted on December 16,15 by truck2

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake is a lot like buying shoes, except that Chesapeake car owners’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of VA road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Chesapeake area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Chesapeake need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough VA mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Chesapeake area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Chesapeake often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Chesapeake are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the VA tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Chesapeake folks get what they pay for.

At Bells Mill AutoCare, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Chesapeake motorists to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Chesapeake motorists.

So, some good auto advice for Chesapeake auto owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Bells Mill AutoCare

Posted on November 13,15 by truck2

A lot of us Chesapeake auto owners like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for VA car owners to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Chesapeake drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Chesapeake.

If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are vital factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

First of all, it’s vital for VA auto owners to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

It’s not as hard for Chesapeake auto owners as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

Rolling diameter is vital because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Chesapeake motorists who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

Further, many vehicles in Chesapeake are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as dangerous safety concerns.

Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many VA auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Chesapeake, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Chesapeake roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few vital adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

Bells Mill AutoCare tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Chesapeake motorists select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.

For example, if you drive off-road around Chesapeake, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from costly damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around VA, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare technician inspect to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake.

Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of critical preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to review their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also reduce your braking and handling performance.

So smile and show off your vehicle around Chesapeake. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!

Under Pressure in Chesapeake: TPMS

Posted on September 29,15 by truck2

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Chesapeake or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause detrimental and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on VA roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Chesapeake car owners who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Chesapeake motorists to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their pickups are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the vital TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Chesapeake motorists when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Chesapeake car owners. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Chesapeake service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other important equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Bells Mill AutoCare service professionals have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Chesapeake car owners.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Bells Mill AutoCare service advisor will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Chesapeake motorists.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Chesapeake tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Chesapeake if car owners don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Chesapeake car owners can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Bells Mill AutoCare Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Posted on August 27,15 by truck2

Welcome to the Bells Mill AutoCare automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most Chesapeake and Norfolk auto owners tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Norfolk drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.

Bells Mill AutoCare Tire Safety Washington vs. LincolnLet’s focus on stopping in wet Norfolk conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Norfolk drivers can actually spin out of control – endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won’t stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your pickup tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Bells Mill AutoCare tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your pickup on wet Norfolk roads.

So that’s why it’s so important for VA motorists to replace their pickup tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely bald pickup tire.

At Bells Mill AutoCare, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Norfolk highway. A safe stop from VA expressway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your pickup tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Norfolk car owners have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head – the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, pickup tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Norfolk want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.

The Bells Mill AutoCare Guide To Custom Wheels

Posted on June 10,15 by truck2

If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your pickup, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Chesapeake motorists have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the pickup when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your pickup. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Chesapeake professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Chesapeake custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your pickup are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason car owners should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Chesapeake. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your pickup, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in pricey damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Bells Mill AutoCare to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Helping Chesapeake Drivers Get the Right Tires

Posted on March 11,15 by truck2

Every Chesapeake vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy VA roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at Chesapeake temperatures below 45°F. At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Chesapeake weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in VA and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in VA, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second essential consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at VA tire stores. Chesapeake auto owners will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Bells Mill AutoCare tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Chesapeake motorists who drive off-road around VA may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Chesapeake streets and highways. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Chesapeake as a statement of style or to add personality to your pickup. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your pickup, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Bells Mill AutoCare service professional for more information about tires.

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

Posted on December 31,14 by truck2

Hey Chesapeake, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our VA streets? How can you tell on your pickup?

While there may be legal requirements for the Chesapeake area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.

2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question recently.

We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies.

The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Chesapeake. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water covered stretch of road near Chesapeake, VA. Your tires must be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means that the tire has to move the water away from the tire so that the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water.

Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:

  • New tire tread depth
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 2/32 of an inch

So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.

Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.

Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That’s a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.

How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.

How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?

For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

Bells Mill AutoCare
964 Bells Mill Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322
757.436.5950

Shake It Up in Chesapeake!: Why Wheel Balancing

Posted on October 29,14 by truck2

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Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Chesapeake drivers generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Chesapeake motorists want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare technician spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Chesapeake car owners are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Chesapeake drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your pickup — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the interstate, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the detrimental vibration. When Chesapeake drivers’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and important suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake can prevent pricey repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your pickup as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your MPG. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Bells Mill AutoCare, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Chesapeake vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your pickup. Balancing your tires is part of important preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Bells Mill AutoCare. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Chesapeake car owners’ nerves.

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Contact Information

auto shop repair

Bells Mill AutoCare

964 Bells Mill Rd.

Chesapeake, VA 23322

Phone: (757) 436-5950

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Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.


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8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday
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