Levin Learn Blog
Speed Rating of Tires
For the Car Lover
Monday, 02 March 2015 15:12
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Tire Speed RatingsWhile it's obvious that there are many kinds of tires for sale, it may come as a surprise that tires come with different speed ratings. We all have to follow the same speed limits, right?

Some highways in Germany actually do not have speed limits, which led to European speed ratings indicating the top speed capability of vehicles using those tires. The ratings are based on laboratory tests and the list below shows speeds converted from kilometers per hour. Ratings from L-V are the most common speed capabilities and vehicle uses.

L - 75 mph (Off-Road & Light Truck Tires)
M - 81 mph (Temporary Spare Tires)
N - 87 mph
P - 93 mph
Q - 99 mph (Studless & Studdable Winter Tires)
R - 106 mph (H.D. Light Truck Tires)
S - 112 mph (Family Sedans & Vans)
T - 118 mph (Family Sedans & Vans)
U - 124 mph
H - 130 mph (Sport Sedans & Coupes)
V - 149 mph (Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars)
W - 168 mph (Exotic Sports Cars)
Y - 186 mph (Exotic Sports Cars)

And while law-abiding drivers probably won't be reaching some of these speeds, the rating system is a good way to identify a tire's capabilities and can be used to help you select the best tires for your vehicle.

For great savings on all your automotive service needs visit our coupon page.

Auto Safety Kit: What’s in your car?
Levin Learn Blog
Friday, 27 February 2015 16:28
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Safety TipsAre you ready for an emergency on the road? Whether you need to get help, improve your visibility or make simple fixes, a safety kit can be your best friend in a moment of crisis.

Cellular phone and car charger. Keeping your phone on and charged prepares you to call 911 or roadside assistance. Keep tabs on where you are, so you can give them your location, which isn't always available to 911 operators.

Reflective triangle, warning light or flares. Making your vehicle visible to other drivers is vital when you are stuck on the side of the road. Battery-powered lights and reflective signs will keep you visible when it's dark.

Flashlight or lantern. A light source can help you investigate the problem, when it is safe to do so. A bright, weatherproof flashlight is best. You can also find specialized lights with clamps and stands. Spare batteries and a bulb will insure that your light will work!

Tire jack and lug wrench. While these items are standard accessories, it's important to check that they are still in good operating condition and that you know how to use them.

Jumper cables or portable battery booster. Ever loan out your jumper cables? Check to see they still are where they belong. When you don't have a second car to help you get started, a portable battery booster will do the job.

Fire extinguisher. Car fires are not uncommon. Compact fire extinguishers are made for easy storage. These products can help you keep a small flame from turning into a big problem.

Spare fuses. Electrical problems can leave you a tight spot. Sometimes, a burned-out fuse is all you need to get back on the road. Check your owner's manual for the types of fuses to keep on hand.

First-aid kit. Travel kits come with a wide array of materials to help you with pain and injuries. Tape, bandages, instant cold packs, survival blankets, ointments, and more are packaged in small, convenient cases.

Gloves and rags. Roadside emergencies can be messy and awkward. Keep yourself clean and unscratched with a pair of inexpensive work gloves. Use rags to clean up messy spills and slicks.

Auto club or roadside assistance information. Do you have a membership or favorite business to contact? Keep membership cards and phone numbers in your car at all times.

Pen and paper. Keep it old school with a notebook and pen, so you're ready to leave notes and share information.

Common sense and few practical supplies will help you in a roadside emergency. While it's never fun to break down, you can make the best of a bad situation with a well-stocked auto safety kit.

For great savings on all your automotive service needs visit our coupon page.

The Lowdown on Coolant Flush and Fill
Repair & Maintenance
Friday, 27 February 2015 15:31
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Coolant FlushUnlike rotating tires or changing oil, there is no standard rule for how often your vehicle needs a coolant flush and fill. Radiator size and coolant mix vary from one vehicle to another, and driving habits differ from one person to another.

Why is coolant flush and fill service needed?

  • Radiators get dirty and antifreeze gradually looses its ability to cool the engine and keep it from freezing in winter.
  • Coolant contains rust inhibitors that age and become ineffective over time.
  • This service will extend the life of your transmission and cooling system.

So how often do you need this service? A flush and fill every other year or every 40,000 miles—whichever comes first—is recommended by most vehicle manufacturers. You can also purchase a pH level litmus test to check the acidity level of the antifreeze. You just dip the strip into the radiator and check the resulting color against a key.

Don't put off a coolant flush and fill, just because you can't see or hear a problem. The cooling system is a key player in how well—and how long—your vehicle will run.

For great savings on all your automotive service needs visit our coupon page.

It’s Alignment Time
Repair & Maintenance
Thursday, 26 February 2015 09:31
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car alignmentsWinter is prime time for alignment troubles. Driving through potholes and over rough pavement can easily cause misaligned wheels. Bumping into curbs and parking dividers often has the same effect: your wheels are no longer pointing in the same direction as your vehicle!

Trouble signs
Pulling to one side, drifting and vibration are signs that your wheels are out of alignment. A visual inspection of your tires will also show unusual, even squiggly, tread wear. These signs are more than annoying: they mean your tires are wearing unevenly, vehicle handling is poor and the chance of a blowout has been increased. Your comfort and your safety are being reduced.

The alignment habit
Even when your vehicle has no obvious handling issues, checking the alignment should be a part of routine maintenance, along with regular air pressure checks and tire rotations. The experts at Levin Tire and Service Center will check your vehicle's alignment and let you know how your steering and stability systems are affected. You'll save money on tires and be ready to drive with confidence.

Is it time you had your alignment checked?

For great savings on all your automotive service needs visit our coupon page.

5 Tire Safety Myths
All About Tires
Thursday, 26 February 2015 09:19
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fotolia 74003427 1Is your tire knowledge based on fact or fiction? Here are 5 tire safety myths that could put you in a dangerous situation.

Myth: You can check air pressure by kicking the tire.
Kicking or looking at tires does not really give you an accurate idea of inflation. A visual inspection can be off by 10-20 percent. To be safe, use a gauge to measure pressure when the tires are cold.

Myth: Flat fixer fluid is okay to use.
Repairing a flat tire with a product injected through the valve is like putting a skimpy bandage on a bad cut. It might help you temporarily—such as moving your vehicle a short distance from a dangerous location—but has extremely limited use. Also, using this kind of product can void your warranty.

Myth: Tires that have lost more than 10 percent of pressure can simply be re-inflated.
What has happened to make your tire pressure so low? Re-inflating the tire does not address the root of the problem or deal with damage already made by driving on an underinflated tire.

Myth: Tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) warnings aren't urgent.
These systems signal a more than 25 percent drop in pressure, which can dramatically affect vehicle handling, leading to loss of control, flats and blowouts. TPMS systems are in all cars built since 2007, with the purpose of reducing accidents and fatalities.

Myth: As long as there is visible tire tread, the tire is safe.
Tires with 2/32" of tread are legally worn out in most states. Also, tires age, regardless of mileage. Over time, tire materials lose their flexibility and become more prone to cracking. Therefore, all tires should be inspected after 5 years of use and replaced after 10 years.

Talk to the experts at a Levin Tire & Service Center about the best ways to protect and maintain your tires. Find the location nearest you in Northwest Indiana.

For great savings on all your automotive service needs visit our coupon page.

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