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Levin Learn Blog
Symptoms of A/C Troubles
Repair & Maintenance
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 17:50
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air conditioningThere’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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brakesMany 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.

 
3 All-Season Tires You Can Trust
All About Tires
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 12:08
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tireWhen it comes to issues of gas mileage, safety, and wear-and-tear, nothing can do more good on your vehicle than a set of reliable, well-made tires. Here are 3 that fit most automotives and won’t break the bank.

1) Firestone Precision Touring
A popular tire due to its low price, reliable traction and sleek, one-size-fits-all design, the Precious Touring is used as a stock tire on many big-name vehicles, including the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevy Malibu. It features wide traction, which makes for improved handling, and prevents hydroplaning during bad weather. 

Good for: Mid-size to luxury sedans, coupes, and family cars

2) Continental PureContact
The PureContact is said to outlast most general all-season tires, and it comes with a special perk — the letters “DWS” on the outside of the tire stand for Dry, Wet and Snow, and they alert drivers to tread depth and safety. When all three letters are visible, the tire is safe to drive in all three of these conditions. Once the letter S disappears after some use, the tire is no longer recommended for driving in light snow.

Good for: Mid-size to luxury sedans, coupes, family and crossover vehicles

3) Michelin Defender
When you need to make sure the kids get to practice on time every time, the Michelin Defender is a great, reliable addition to your family vehicle, and is known for being quiet — you’ll have a safe, comfortable ride, every time. The tire also features low rolling resistance, improving your gas mileage by as much as five miles per gallon.

Good for: Family vehicles such as minivans, and compact- or mid-sized crossover vehicles like the Honda CR-V, or Jeep Cherokee.

Levin Tire offers tires from all major manufacturers, and we can recommend the best tire for your make and model. Stop by or call your nearest Levin Tire Center, and we’ll make sure you’re on the road safely and comfortably.

 
ASE-Certification: Why Does It Matter?
Repair & Maintenance
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00
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Mechanic-iStock-680x452If you explore our website, you’ll notice that we mention that all of our technicians are “ASE-Certified.”

But why is that important?

First of all, ASE exists to protect you, shop owners, and technicians by holding technicians to a high standard of mechanical knowledge. Established in 1972, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a nonprofit organization that certifies individual technicians — not the auto shops themselves.

To be certified, technicians are required to pass the ASE Certification test, which includes automobile, medium/heavy truck, equipment, bus, and collision repair skills, among others. They also need to have two years of on-the-job training or one year of on-the-job training and a two-year degree in automotive repair in order to qualify.

And it’s not easy — only 66% of individuals pass their ASE test on the first try! Technicians must also retest every 5 years to stay on top of ever-changing automotive technologies.

When a technician is ASE-certified, it gives managers and employers tangible proof that their technicians are trained in the latest automotive technologies. It also gives you, the customer, peace of mind. And when it comes down to it, you want to take your car to someone you trust.

Our Levin Tire Center technicians are among the 300,000 currently certified in the U.S., so you can always count on us to know what’s best for your car or truck. Stop by your nearest location today.

 
Be Tire Smart: Play Your P.A.R.T.
All About Tires
Written by Kelly Thompson   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 14:19
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RMA TireCareSafetyAt Levin Tire, we love two things: tires and our customers. So it’s no surprise we get pretty excited around this time of year. After all, it’s the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s National Tire Safety Week. That’s an entire week where we get to talk about tire safety to our customers, all with the goal of keeping them safe. All of us at Levin support this program because we care about educating our customers about ways to be safe on the road.

So, how does proper tire care increase driver safety? Well, let’s talk about the National Tire Safety Week Slogan: “Be Tire Smart Play Your P.A.R.T.” The four key factors in proper tire care are: Pressure – Alignment – Rotation – Tread. Sounds pretty simple, right? Let’s talk a little more about what each word means when it comes to tire care.

Pressure refers to the inflation pressure of your tires. The right amount of inflation is important. Too much or too little pressure can lead to tire failure, which can cause serious accidents. You’ll find pressure guidelines for your vehicle in the owner’s manual, as well as on your vehicle. Look for a chart located on the door edge, door post, glove box, or fuel door. Always check your pressure at least once a month and before long trips. And don’t forget the spare!

Alignment means adjusting the angles of your wheels so they perform the way the manufacturer intended. Misalignment can cause uneven and rapid tread wear, as well as the feeling of “pulling” to one side when you’re driving. Let Levin Tire periodically check your wheel alignment to correct these issues.

Rotation adjusts the position of your tires to prevent irregular tire wear, which can lead to flats and blowouts. Your owner’s manual should detail how often your tires should be rotated, but if not, 5,000 to 8,000 miles is a good rule of thumb.

Tread lets your tires grip the road, so you don’t slide around on wet roads. Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn to about 2/32 of an inch. You can test your tread length with a penny. Place it upside down into a tread groove. If you can see any part of President Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. High and low areas of wear, or unusually smooth spots are two more indicators to change your tires.

Now that you understand the ways to be tire smart, it’s time to play your P.A.R.T! Stop in your local Levin Tire location this week for FREE tire safety inspection.

 
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