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Wheel Balancing at Jones Automotive

Posted March 03, 2019 04:17 AM

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Belton drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on Texas roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Jones Automotive, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.

Most people in Belton are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Belton hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Jones Automotive in Belton if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Belton area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner's manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Jones Automotive. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785

 



Under Pressure in Belton: TPMS

Posted February 03, 2019 08:21 AM

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in Belton, or have 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 underinflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Texas roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Belton drivers 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 Belton drivers 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 vehicles are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the 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, minivans and pick-ups. Besides warning drivers in the Belton area when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won't come without increased costs. 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. Belton service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. The pros at Jones Automotive have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Belton drivers.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, Jones Automotive will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to be 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 Belton drivers.

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 vehicle care at your Belton 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 Belton if drivers 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. You can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Safe driving!

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in Belton

Posted January 27, 2019 08:39 AM

A lot of people get custom wheels in Belton. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that.

Consulting your Jones Automotive tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your Belton driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some people in Belton like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most Belton drivers don't realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your vehicle's anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn't know what changes you made so it can't tell how fast you're going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your vehicle engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in Texas. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your vehicle. Your Jones Automotive service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in Belton.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



Automotive Tips from Jones Automotive: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

Posted January 06, 2019 10:10 AM

When Belton drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Jones Automotive tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in Belton: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Jones Automotive

Posted November 04, 2018 07:48 AM

Taking care of our tires is part of vehicle care for Belton drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve and extend the life of the tires, so it's well worth the effort and expense for Belton drivers to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.

The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle's tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it's an important number for Belton vehicle owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction and handling on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.

Don't be tempted to add a bit of extra air to your tires when you fill them. Overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear unevenly because of improper contact with the road. It will also affect the handling performance of your vehicle.

Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all of the tires to spend time on the front of the car so they all experience the extra wear.

For most vehicles, tire rotation is simply a matter of moving the front tires to the rear and vice versa. Some vehicles, however, recommend a cross-rotational pattern. Other vehicles use asymmetrical tires, which means the right tires have to stay on the right side of the vehicle and the left tires on the left. Some vehicles use differently sized wheels on the front and back of the car and should not have their tires rotated.

What kind of rotation do you need? Check your owner's manual or talk to your service advisor at Jones Automotive. Your owner's manual will have information about how to rotate your vehicle's tires as well as letting you know how often you should get it done. For most vehicles, that's usually every 5,000 miles or 8,000 kilometers Your friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive professionals can also offer auto advice about tire rotation. A quick tire inspection can also indicate whether or not your tires are due to be rotated.

When it comes to tire maintenance for Belton drivers, wheel balancing is usually what we know least about. Balancing a wheel is necessary to keep it in constant contact with the road. If a tire is not balanced properly, it actually hops along the roadway. You can feel this hopping as a vibration in your steering wheel if the unbalanced tire is a front tire. You'll feel the vibration through your seat if a rear tire is unbalance. Properly balancing your tires is important and will extend their life span, improve handling and improve the safety of your vehicle. When you replace your tires, the new tires need to be balanced.

Never use different sized tires on the same axle of a vehicle. In other words, your front tires need to be the same size and your rear tires need to be the same size. Mixing sizes can lead to some serious handling problems for Belton drivers.

If you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle, all four tires need to be the same size. If your tires are wearing out, you can sometimes make a new tire purchase fit within your budget by only buying two tires at a time. When you do this, the new tires should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. Rear tires are more in need of the traction than your front tires to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces. If you drive a vehicle around Belton, you need tires, so you need to know how to care for them. The safety of your vehicle can depend on the condition of your tires.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



The Jones Automotive Guide to Custom Wheels

Posted September 16, 2018 05:09 AM

If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, 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 Belton drivers 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 vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Jones Automotive tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. 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 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 Belton custom wheel shop, like Jones Automotive, can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Belton. 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 vehicle, 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 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 Jones Automotive 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 Jones Automotive in Belton.

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

 Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785

 



Tire Tread Depth for Belton, Texas Drivers

Posted December 10, 2017 12:13 PM

Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don't have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider 2/32 of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider 1/32 to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Jones Automotive; (just call (254) 939-3785) to find out what your requirements are in the Belton, Texas, area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there's just 2/32 inch/1.6 mm of tread left. But does that older standard give Belton vehicles enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32 inch/3.2 mm. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Belton vehicles also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it's wet or snowy in Belton, Texas, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you're driving in Belton over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there's not enough tread depth on a tire, it can't move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Belton drivers will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph/112 kph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32 inch/3.2 mm of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph/89 kph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph/89 kph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph/72 kph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That's a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile (.16 km)  of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Belton drivers follow that far behind the vehicle ahead? Obviously, this is a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do people in Belton know when their tires are at 4/32 inch/3.2 mm? Well, it's pretty easy. Just insert an American 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.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But an American penny gives you 2/32 inch/1.6 mm to Abraham Lincoln's head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32 inch/3.2 mm.

Tires are a big ticket item, and most people in Belton, Texas, want to get thousands of miles/kilometers out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Jones Automotive in Belton.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



How Much is Enough for Belton Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth

Posted October 25, 2017 07:53 AM

Most Belton drivers know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they're need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it's for Belton vehicle owners to know the answers to these questions.

First of all, it's important to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Texas auto safety laws. That's why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.

In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Texas professionals are arguing that it be changed.

The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Belton drivers immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.

A tire's contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road's surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can't shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Belton drivers since the vehicle won't stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.

A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime's depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 (1.6 mm) tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph (89 kph) when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.

Let's suppose that you're on a busy Belton road in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn't bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph (89 kph). That is a major difference.

What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32 (3.2 mm)? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph (72 kph). Still not a good situation. But it's better.

Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn't have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It's a matter of physics.

The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear be changed from 2/32 (1.6 mm) to 4/32 (3.2 mm). The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in Texas and nationally.

Of course, until the standard changes, you'll have to decide whether you'll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.

You can use an American quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32 (3.2 mm). Place the quarter into the tread with George's head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn't cover George's hairline, you're under 4/32 (3.2 mm). With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.

You can measure the 2/32 inch (1.6 mm) tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe's head, it's at 2/32 (1.6 mm). Tires are super important when it comes to vehicle care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 in (3.2 mm) is good auto advice.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785
http://jones-automotive-3.autodealertips.com



Below 45 Degrees in Belton: Consider Winter Tires

Posted October 01, 2017 10:24 AM

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Belton drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Texas drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Belton area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with Texas winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Belton temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Belton drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among Belton drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Belton drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. Belton drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Jones Automotive. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Belton drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any Texas season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in Belton.


Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



Buying the Right Tires and Wheels in Belton, Texas

Posted June 19, 2017 01:46 AM

Everyone in Belton, Texas eventually replaces their tires, whether it's because they're worn out or they're just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in Belton, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let's group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.

One category is often referred to as "summer tires". Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads around Texas and they're also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.

So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you'll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.

There's a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there's a lot of snow and ice, look for the mountain and snowflake icon that signifies a severe snow rating. If you have milder winters and still want a performance component, they make a winter tire for you as well.

For many people, an all-season tire is the answer. You will give up some of the performance at the extreme ends of the summer tire/ winter tire spectrum, but you will find a long wearing tire that gives both good highway performance and winter traction on our Belton, Texas, roads.

Within the all-season category, there are many choices that your tire advisor at Jones Automotive can help you evaluate.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785