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Levin Learn Blog
Premier Tires vs. Economic Tires
All About Tires
Written by Brad Timofeev   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:48
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Tire replacement—it happens to the best of us. And the most common questions we hear from customers usually pertain to cost or performance. For example, "Which tires won't break the bank but will keep me safe in a rough winter?" or "I need high-performance tires for my new car...where do I start?" Understanding the kind of tires you need can prevent you from unnecessary under- or over-spending, and decrease your risks while on the road.

Here, we have three main categories of tires, divided up by cost. Keep in mind—just because a tire is classified here as "economic," doesn't mean it isn't a great tire. These are some of Tire Review's best picks for 2014, and how much you spend depends on what kind of car you drive, how you drive it, and where you live.

Premier Tires vs. Economic Tires
All Season Tires

Hankook Optimo H727

Hankook Optimo H727

The Hankook Optimo H727 is designed for sedans, coupes and minivans, and is a cousin of the H725A that normally comes as original equipment (O.E.) on modern vehicles. Featuring a comfortable ride, this all-season tire handles well in wet conditions, resisting hydroplaning or skids.

 

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

DWS stands for Dry, Wet and Snow, indicating that this is definitely a tire for every season. The letters also appear as indicators for drivers, letting you know when it's time for a replacement. When brand new, all three letters are visible, and once wear-and-tear takes a toll, you see DW, then just a D, then—you get the idea.

High Performance Tires

Goodyear Eagle GT Radial

Goodyear Eagle GT Radial

For those who own a sporty coupe or a car that's low-to-the-ground but on the high end of the price range, you might want to cut costs where you can while you're still making payments. The Goodyear Eagle GT Radial is for you. It carries all the features of other high-performance tires, including a wide tread and sweeping grooves that are off-set to handle any water on the road, but without the price tag of other high-performance tires.

 

Dunlop SP Sport Maxx High Performance

Dunlop SP Sport Maxx High Performance

The SP Sport Maxx was originally developed for the Nissan GT-R. It includes Dunlop's Hybrid Jointless Band Technology(INSERT TRADEMARK SYMBOL), helping the tire to keep its shape. So when winter wanes and it's time to get that convertible out, the Dunlop will be ready—some would say that's worth a little extra.

Winter Tires

Cooper Weather-Master S/T 2

Cooper Weather-Master S/T 2

Indiana isn't known for its mild winters. And keeping yourself and your family safe is the priority. Cooper's Weather-Master is the perfect candidate for whatever Mother Nature brings us. It's studdable and fits a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to vans to your 1978 Chevy.

 

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

This tire lands on so many top-ten tire lists it's not even funny, so we're not the only ones giving it due praise. It fits all types of sedans, and includes special compounds that help keep the tire's rubber flexible in freezing temperatures. You can't control the weather, but you can control the way your car handles in it.

 
A Costly Loss
For the Driver
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
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Expensive Car KeysAll it takes is a moment of forgetfulness — maybe you set your keys down and get drawn into conversation, leaving them behind. Maybe you put your key fob in your pocket, and take a dive into the pool. Regardless of the circumstances, losing your car keys is a much more expensive mistake than it used to be.

Prior to the 1990s, we didn’t all have fancy keys, which meant car theft was much easier. You could just go to the local hardware store and make a copy of anyone’s key. To prevent that, car manufacturers have adapted, first by adding transponders (small microchips) to ignition keys, and more recently, with the use of one-touch fobs that require programming in order to operate.

But it’s that same solution that has become a problem for many people — because technology or no, most people have had their keys go missing at some point. And now the bill to replace that theft-proof key can be anywhere between $100 and $700, depending on the make and model you drive.

So what can you do to avoid shelling out hundreds for a replacement? The best measure, according to Edmunds, is to invest in a replacement now, before it’s too late. Not only that, but if you have the replacement to play around with, you can teach yourself how to program it, instead of relying on the dealership.

 
The Goodyear Blimp Still Flies
Miscellaneous
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:56
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Goodyear Blimp Still FliesThe Goodyear Blimp has been an iconic symbol for as long as most of us can remember. But the blimp of today, with its LED lighting and projection capabilities, is a far cry from where it started more than 100 years ago.

Making appearances
Founded in 1898, Goodyear entered the aviation industry in 1910, building hot-air balloons for competition and sport. It wasn’t until 1925 that the blimp really made its spotlight appearance, as the “Pilgrim” model was used for public relations, parades, and the Santa Claus Express program.

The blimp continued to be an event feature into the mid-century, but took on a new role from 1942-1944 when many Goodyear blimps were used as naval vessels. After the war, some blimps went on to continue their military service, but the primary focus for the blimps was still public relations and advertising. As the age of television developed in the 1950s, Goodyear blimps introduced aerial broadcasting, and that technology would become the blimp’s primary purpose for many years. Currently, the blimp is used to drive branding for the company, and with its large lettering and bold colors, it also embodies one of their taglines, “The best tires in the world have Goodyear all over them.”

Now and into the future
In August 2014, the newest blimp, Wingfoot One, appeared in the fleet. The blimp is 50 feet longer than any previous blimp, and has a maximum speed of 73 mph. And according to Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer, it’s the first redesign since the early 1940s.

Want to see the blimp fly, or take a ride and see for yourself? The schedule is kept current every month, and can be found on the Goodyear Blimp website here.

Plans for the future lie ahead, as Goodyear plans to release a new model in 2016, and another in 2018. We applaud the continuing aerial tradition of the easy-to-spot Goodyear Blimp!

 
Symptoms of A/C Troubles
Repair & Maintenance
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 17:50
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air conditioning for your carThere’s no dashboard warning light that tells you when it’s time to take care of your vehicle’s air conditioning. But the telltale sign, especially in the middle of a sweltering summer, is that it stops blowing cold air — making your road trips unbearable.

Your air conditioning system is made up of three crucial steps: liquidation, refrigeration, and evaporation. If dirt or debris isn’t properly removed in one of these processes, or if any one of the parts breaks down due to prolonged use, it can cause your vehicle's air conditioning to fail.

Other signs to look for include: 

• Dirt or debris coming from your air vents
• Weak or no airflow through the passenger cabin
• Warm airflow
• Strange odors
• Noises or sounds when you switch on the A/C

Annual maintenance of your vehicle’s air conditioning can go a long way in preventing problems before they start. We service all makes and models, but the service needed may vary, depending on the type of car you drive and the issue at hand. Systems in newer models can sometimes be easily recharged to regain proper function, while older vehicles may require more complex service, such as a radiator or compressor replacement.

If you’re feeling the heat, make an appointment with a Levin Tire Center technician today. We’ll get you cooled off in no time!

 
Brake Pad Replacement Breakdown
Repair & Maintenance
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:50
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brake pads - replacementMany of us drive every day, without giving much thought to the fact that our brakes are the only things keeping us from a crash at 60 miles per hour or more. And while they might not be the part of your vehicle that made you fall in love with it, regular maintenance is vital to your safety.

How do my brakes work?
The brakes of your car work much like the brakes on a bicycle. They’re comprised of a main hydraulic system with brake fluid, attached to a set of clamps – called calipers – that come together on the rotor. When you press the brakes, these calipers squeeze the rotor, and the friction is what stops your car.

The brake pads are between the caliper and the rotor, and need to be replaced roughly every few thousand miles, depending on your driving habits. If the brake pad wears down too far, the calipers start to wear on the rotor, which is much more expensive to replace/repair than your brake pads.

How can I tell if I need a brake pad replacement?
On each brake disk, there’s a device called a wear indicator. It contacts the rotor when the pad reaches a low level of wear, and you’ll hear a loud squealing noise when it’s time to change the pads.
You shouldn’t wait for the noises to start, though – it’s fairly easy to check the level of your brake pads on your own. Look between the spokes of your wheel, and you’ll see the metal rotor inside. The brake pad should be visible between the rotor and the caliper — it should be about a quarter of an inch thick. (If you can’t see through the spokes of your wheel, you can check the pads by removing your tire.)

If your brake pads are too thin, or if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, stop in and let our technicians take a look:

• Squealing or grinding sounds
• Vibrations on normal braking
• Having to press the pedal to the floor to stop

All of our locations perform brake pad replacements, and rotor replacements if necessary. Find a location close to home here.

 
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