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Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Timmons Vehicle Service

2018-04-22 10:27:03

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill is a lot like buying shoes, except that Pleasant Hill vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy CA road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Pleasant Hill drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around CA need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough CA mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don't vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Pleasant Hill often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Pleasant Hill area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don't hesitate to ask your Timmons Vehicle Service tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the CA tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don't have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, you get what you pay for.

At Timmons Vehicle Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a "60,000 mile/100,000 km tire." This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you're really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It's always better to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you're driving on Tier 3 tires, it's a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That's the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Pleasant Hill area drivers.

So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you'll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there's some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't have to purchase tires as often.

Good vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

 

Problems with Suspension Solved at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill

2018-04-16 09:41:04

A vehicle's suspension system is tough. It can last for years and after lots of driving for Pleasant Hill drivers. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Pleasant Hill drivers to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection at Timmons Vehicle Service . An ineffective suspension system will decrease the driver's control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks reduce the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your vehicle might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately a safety feature of your vehicle, it's always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it's time for new shocks. Your technician at Timmons Vehicle Service will check your shocks visually. If they're leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any one of these symptoms warrants an inspection of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Pleasant Hill drivers should never put off suspension repairs. If you experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to — or better than — the original shocks on the vehicle. The original equipment was for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Pleasant Hill drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Pleasant Hill drivers. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your vehicle's handling performance, then you should upgrade to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Pleasant Hill or tow a trailer, then you should definitely be getting heavy-duty shocks.

 Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Timmons Vehicle Service Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

2018-04-08 08:26:03

Pleasant Hill residents often ask the question: "Will using premium gas make my car run better?" The answer is simple. But first, let's talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Pleasant Hill, CA, also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your vehicle manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Automotive Tips from Timmons Vehicle Service: Making Your A/C System Last Longer

2018-04-02 12:44:03

Pleasant Hill drivers know that if their air conditioning system isn’t making cool air like it used to, there is a problem. It may be as simple as adding more of the right kind of refrigerant.

Your A/C requires special compressor oil, which circulates through the system along with the refrigerant, to lubricate and protect expensive components and keep seals and gaskets from drying out. If refrigerant has leaked out – so has the compressor oil. This oil needs to be replenished whenever refrigerant is added.

An air conditioning inspection at Timmons Vehicle Service will uncover any potential problems and identify any necessary repairs needed to get Pleasant Hill drivers on the road to cool air once again.

Give us a call.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Timmons Vehicle Service Advice on Buying New Tires

2018-03-26 12:13:03

Today's tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Pleasant Hill driver's style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all CA seasons.

Pleasant Hill off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires' high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren't interested in off-roading around CA? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Timmons Vehicle Service tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional at Timmons Vehicle Service can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your vehicle on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don't forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Pleasant Hill a lot longer.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Automotive Tips from Timmons Vehicle Service: Wiper Blade Options

2018-03-21 10:27:03

Wiper blades are critically important to Pleasant Hill drivers for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Pleasant Hill drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.

If you live in CA where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or you do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly and professional Timmons Vehicle Service service advisor can share the options available for your vehicle and help you decide which wiper blades are optimal for you.

Give us a call.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

The Edible Engine

2018-03-11 04:51:03

You may have had a friend whose vehicle was the victim of hungry rodents.  After all, mice, rats and squirrels—even rabbits—have been known to gnaw on wires in engine compartments, causing vehicle electrical systems to go haywire.  They can disable a vehicle completely and be very expensive to fix.

In 2017, some drivers noticed their vehicle's wiring was being chewed and found out the automaker was using a relatively new material for covering their wires: soy.  Many of the repairs to their new vehicles weren't covered under warranty by the manufacturer when it was discovered rodents were eating the wiring.  So the owners filed a class action suit, saying the soy covering was essentially baiting the critters. 

The automakers tell a different story, saying mice, rats and squirrels have been chewing through wire insulation long before it was made out of soy. 

Regardless of what the insulation is made of, vehicle owners should make sure rodents aren't chowing down and creating a problem in the engine compartment.  They can have their repair facility check for these signs:  Little bits of acorns, leaves, chewed up plastic and animal droppings in the engine's nooks and crannies.  Using a black light, your technician can detect animal urine, a sure sign that they've been using your engine compartment as a warm apartment, a nest and a dining room. 

You can take steps to prevent rodents from chomping your vehicle's parts.  Honda—one of the vehicle manufacturers that uses soy-based wiring covering—makes a rodent tape.  It contains a spice called capsaicin that rodents find too hot to handle.  Other preventative measures include installing metal mesh around wiring harnesses or spraying the engine compartment with special rodent-repellants. 

Rodent damage can cost one vehicle owner thousands of dollars to fix, not the kind of bite anyone wants taken out of their bank account. 

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Let Timmons Vehicle Service Help You Extend the Life of Your Car

2018-03-04 01:27:03

If you haven't shopped in the Pleasant Hill area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Pleasant Hill, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.

On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Pleasant Hill drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.

Too often, Pleasant Hill vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.

For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at Timmons Vehicle Service. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.

The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.

If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your Timmons Vehicle Service pros can advise you.

Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.

Most Pleasant Hill drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at Timmons Vehicle Service would have cost us.

So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Pleasant Hill area neighborhood. At Timmons Vehicle Service, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.

As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At Timmons Vehicle Service, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Timmons Vehicle Service

2018-02-25 10:29:04

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Pleasant Hill drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that Pleasant Hill vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Timmons Vehicle Service can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our CA environment will be better for it.

Pleasant Hill drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and Timmons Vehicle Service service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

Pleasant Hill drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Timmons Vehicle Service Really Save Gas?

2018-02-18 05:39:03

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But Pleasant Hill drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at Pleasant Hill gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Pleasant Hill drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. Pleasant Hill drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Timmons Vehicle Service.

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Timmons Vehicle Service in Pleasant Hill can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. Pleasant Hill drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at Pleasant Hill gas pumps.

Timmons Vehicle Service
855 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
925.938.9665

 

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