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Levin Learn Blog
Springtime Driving Safety Tips
For the Car Lover
Monday, 30 March 2015 08:14
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Spring Driving TipsThe sun is shining, the birds are singing and it's time to go for a drive. No worries, right? Unfortunately, spring is also unpredictable. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when you're on the road.

Slipping and sliding
It's going to get wet. When the clouds blow in and roads are sloppy, stopping distances are increased and handling is reduced. If you don't slow down, standing water can cause your vehicle to hydroplane. In recent years, the Federal Highway Administration has reported that almost half of all weather-related crashes involve the rain.

Puddles and flooding
Driving through water is a danger to you and your vehicle. While disc brakes typically handle water well, drum brakes can trap water. If your engine sucks in water it can lead to catastrophic water damage.

Your personal safety is also at risk. Never drive through a flooded road. A few inches can seriously affect handling and cause your car to stall. A foot of water can float a car. Plus, potholes and other hazardous road conditions could lie beneath the water. Be especially careful in the dark, when it is more difficult to judge road conditions.

More company on the road
Spring weather invites all kinds of new traffic on the roads: runners, bike riders and motorcyclists. Be sure to share the road with these individuals, taking special care when entering the road and at intersections. Drive like they are your friend or family member!

And more animals
Our animal neighbors are also stretching their legs. Some wild animals are emerging from hibernation, while pets may be inspired to explore in the fresh air. Be extra careful at dawn, dusk and the first few hours of dark. And remember, your safety comes first. Don't attempt to move or rescue an animal unless you can do so safely.

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

 
Spring Maintenance Check List
For the Car Lover
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 13:13
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Spring Car CareTrying to shake off cabin fever after a long winter? Just make sure your vehicle is ready before you head off on a long road trip. Winter can discourage us from getting scheduled maintenance done and puts extra wear and tear on our vehicles. That makes spring the perfect time for a safety and performance check. You can start with the following:

Air Conditioning: It's shocking how quickly we go from heating to cooling. To test your a/c, turn it on with blower at full blast. If the air doesn't cool quickly, ask a professional to check the system for adequate pressure and for leaks.

Battery: This essential component takes a beating in the winter. Have your battery inspected, a voltage reading done and a load test performed. Don't wait until dim lights or slow windows give you the hint that your battery is aging.

Belts and Hoses: You depend on belts to run accessories and hoses to heat and cool your vehicle. When hose and belt materials age, they begin to crack, peel and soften. An inspection of these replaceable parts can spare you an unpleasant surprise.

Brakes: Your hard-working brakes have been bathed in salty brine all winter. Spring is a good time to check for corrosion and wear. Even if you haven't felt or heard problems with your brakes, do you know when they were last checked?

Fluid Levels: Is your car thirsty? If only gas and oil are on your radar, think again. Automatic transmission fluid, radiator coolant, brake fluid, and washer fluid all contribute to safe, trouble-free driving.

Tires: With warmer temperatures, the rush from car to building isn't so urgent. Take a minute to do the quarter test for treadwear. Is part of Washington's head covered when you put a quarter in the grooves of the tire? That's 4/32 inch of tread. Also check the pressure in your tires before they warm from driving.

Need advice or assistance? Visit a Levin Tire & Service Center for your vehicle's spring check up. We have 7 locations in Northwest Indiana to best serve you. Soon you'll be back on the road with improved performance and confidence.

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

 
Winter’s 7 damaging effects on your car
For the Car Lover
Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:12
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Winter DrivingHad enough of winter? Your car's probably had enough of cold, frozen precipitation, and road salt, too. A little spring cleaning and maintenance are probably in order. Here are 7 common ways winter can affect your vehicle and what you can do in response:

1) Brake performance
Wintry conditions cover your brakes with a brine of salt and grime, which can cause binding and increase wear. A seasonal brake check will determine if your brakes are performing well.

2) Coolant effectiveness
Is your antifreeze ready for the hard work of cooling your engine in warmer weather? Fresh antifreeze not only does a better job of cooling the engine, it won't hurt your hoses, seals, and other components. Make sure you didn't skip any maintenance intervals for this service.

3) Dirty air filters
Driving on dirty, sloppy winter roads puts your air filter through its paces. Inspecting your air filter will show if it's too clogged to properly supply the engine with clean air.

4) Exterior surfaces
That road salt brine has been sprayed all over the exterior of your vehicle for how long? Without a good cleaning, road salt can damage the exterior surfaces and lead to rust and corrosion. Remove salt as soon as it's warm enough to wash your vehicle.

5) Overall performance
Did you experience record-setting cold and precipitation this winter? Extreme conditions stress your vehicle and can lead to performance problems. A general safety check now will give you peace of mind when you're behind the wheel.

6) Tire pressure and wear
Temperature changes can be dramatic and result in tire pressure shifts. Without proper maintenance, this can result in premature wear and poor handling. A tire inspection can also determine if hitting potholes has caused sidewall damage, which can lead to blowouts.

7) Wheel Alignment
Winter can turn roads into an obstacle course of potholes and heaved pavement. Snow can camouflage ruts and bumps, leading to extra wear and tear on your vehicle. That makes spring a perfect time to have your wheel alignment checked, to improve handling and keep your tires from wearing unevenly.

Visit a Levin Tire & Service Center for all your spring service needs. Say goodbye to winter and hello to a vehicle that's ready to roll.

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

 
How Can Dirty Air Filters Affect Your Engine?
Levin Learn Blog
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 09:20
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Air FiltersWhen you think of what a car needs to function, gas, oil and electricity are probably what come to mind first.

Air - free and plentiful - might not seem important. But just as you need clean air to breath, your vehicle needs clean air, too.

Your vehicle's air intake is bombarded by whatever's on the road: grime, dirty water, leaves, bugs, you name it. The air filter makes sure these contaminants don't get to your engine and cause abrasion and corrosion. Over time, however, crud clogs up your air filter and reduces the flow of air to your engine.

Some things to remember:

• Which brand of air filter you use is not as important as simply having a clean filter.
• A dirty filter won't hurt fuel economy in a modern engine, but it can affect performance.
• Your best bet is to replace the air filter regularly. Check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for a schedule.

Want your filter checked? It's part of our customary maintenance inspection. Want to do it now? No appointment is needed. Just pull into any Levin Tire location. We can check and/or replace your air filter and take care of other routine maintenance you may need.

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

 
Tires of the Future
All About Tires
Thursday, 12 March 2015 12:33
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New TiresThink you know what tires do? Goodyear has some new ideas that could dramatically impact how they perform in the future. At the 85th Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, the manufacturer unveiled two new concept tires:

• The BH03, a tire that generates electricity. Capturing the heat and energy that's generated as it rolls on the pavement this tire is designed to charge the batteries of electric cars. The design extends the distance a vehicle can travel without being plugged in for a recharge.

• The Triple Tube is a tire that adjusts to changing road conditions. As the name indicates, it has three tubes and three driving modes: a fully-inflated Eco/Safety position, a modified Sporty position with reduced inflation within the inboard shoulder tube, and a Wet Traction position that raises the tread in the center of the tire.

While neither of these tire models are ready for production, they show how tire manufacturers like Goodyear are ready to keep pace with the technological advances of car makers and provide drivers with new advances in safety and efficiency.

 
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