Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach

Tires do a lot of vital work for Huntington Beach car owners. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Huntington Beach. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such essential work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Huntington Beach car owners:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Beach Benz will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your friendly Beach Benz service advisor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Huntington Beach car owners. They’re essential for keeping you safely on the road in Huntington Beach. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

Below 45 Degrees in Huntington Beach: Consider Winter Tires

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 Huntington Beach drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. California motorists 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 Fountain Valley area are much better designed for the wide range of detrimental conditions that come with California winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Huntington Beach temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That’s a vital concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet Huntington Beach conditions. But it also means that Huntington Beach car owners are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually 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 actually pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

Many winter tires use a micro-pore compound that lets the tire bite into ice and snow. They have wider grooves around the tire that help expel snow. They have a rounder casing to better cut into the surface of snow. Modern winter tires available at California tire shops also have sipes, or thin slits cut into the tread. The edges of these sipes can grab ice and snow so that the tire retains traction on almost any surface. The sipes also help to expel water and slush from the tread. In short, a lot of time and engineering has gone into improving winter tires.

The all-season tire that is popular among Fountain Valley drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Huntington Beach car owners in either season, but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. Huntington Beach drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days, but that also means they get a lot better performance for their cash.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed at your Huntington Beach service center or Beach Benz. 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. Huntington Beach drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

Imagine this: You take a corner on an icy Fountain Valley road and your rear end starts to slide. What happened is that the front end slowed for the turn, but the rear end hasn’t figured that out yet. If you have high-traction tires on the front of your vehicle, that makes the problem worse. You’re slowing the front end faster and harder, which makes the back end fishtail even more.

Putting the higher traction tires on the rear will give Huntington Beach drivers more control for turns, regardless of the type of vehicle driven. Of course, that makes putting high-traction tires on all of your wheels even smarter. Why not give all of your tires the best traction they can get? Some Huntington Beach assume that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles only need winter tires on two wheels. Why? Doesn’t it make sense to give all four wheels the same level of traction and control? Four-wheel or all-wheel drive cannot compensate for poor traction.

Another false assumption held by many Huntington Beach drivers is that if you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you won’t need winter tires. Traction is important for good acceleration, steering and stopping. And tires provide traction. Traction control and anti-lock brakes can only improve on that traction. The better the traction, the better the traction control and anti-lock brakes will work. In other words, the better the tires, the better those systems will work for Huntington Beach drivers.

A Canadian law requires all passenger vehicles, rental cars and taxis registered in Quebec to have winter tires on all four wheels from November 15th until April 1st.

If you’re shopping for winter tires and live where there is a lot of snow in California, look for a mountain with a snowflake in it molded into the tire’s sidewall. This symbol means the tire complies with severe snow standards. All-season tires have an M&S stamped on the sidewall. M&S stands for mud and snow.

For more critical auto advice about tires for any California season, communicate with your friendly Beach Benz tire professional. They can help you decide on 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 best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us Huntington Beach car owners.

Timing Belt Replacement in Huntington Beach

Today we want to talk to Huntington Beach motorists about timing belts. They’re something that many Huntington Beach drivers don’t know much about and yet your vehicle won’t run if it’s broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner’s manual, it’s not the kind of thing that most Fountain Valley auto owners remember because it’s not well understood.

Let’s review what a timing belt does. As most Huntington Beach drivers know, the engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It’s called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.

Now, not all Westminster and Garden Grove vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. The leading auto makers started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now Huntington Beach drivers and Beach Benz service specialists are left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of auto manufacturer engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous for auto owners depending on where they are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.

Interference sedan engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it’ll cost a chunk of money to repair the sedan engine.

So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. There aren’t tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from Beach Benz may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that’s in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the expensive damage it’ll cause. There’s no middle ground.

So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner’s manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles, ask your Beach Benz service advisor right away if your auto manufacturer requires a timing belt replacement.

Contact Beach Benz to learn more about your car’s Timing Belt
You can find us at:
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
Or call us at 714 842-9816

Sometimes Huntington Beach auto owners can go quite a while without a failure, but we’ve seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It’s not worth the risk.

What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Huntington Beach or Costa Mesa? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it’s usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn’t a cheap procedure, but it’s a fraction of what it could cost to repair the costly damage caused by a failure.

At Beach Benz in Huntington Beach we’re all about trying to prevent pricey repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. Thanks to AutoNetTV for their great auto video tips.