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How complicated is a BMW alignment?

In Alignment, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Potholes, curbs and normal wear and tear can throw off your wheel alignment. Overtime, they can also cause abnormal tire wear, which will shorten the life expectancy of your tires.

Here are a few signs that your BMW needs a wheel alignment:

  • Your vehicle is pulling to one side
  • You notice abnormal tire wear
  • If your Automatic Driver Assist System (ADAS) is engaging when it’s not supposed to 
  • Your steering wheel isn’t centered

When performing a BMW alignment, you need to make sure that the auto repair shop has qualified automotive technicians, up-to-date wheel alignment machines, and current software to give your vehicle the best alignment.

On today’s complicated vehicles, one thing that often gets missed is recallibrating the steering angle sensor after performing a wheel alignment. This can affect steering, handling and braking.

Another thing to be aware of is to make sure that you may need to recalibrate the ADAS, which includes lane assist and vehicle avoidance systems. With all of the electronic systems tied together to make sure that everything is safe, a simple tire alignment isn’t so simple anymore.

Discount alignments are not always the best, as you may not have a knowledgeable mechanic working on your vehicle that would know about these systems. Setting the toe and letting it go is not a good alignment.

On many BMW models, there may not be an adjustment for camber and toe, but there are aftermarket parts that can be installed that will bring the alignment into specification. This will help your tires last a long time and allow your vehicle to provide the best handling.

Even when a BMW is new, they are set up to basic specs, but may not have an accurate alignment. After that, it’s recommended that when you get new tires — or every 30,000 miles — you should get your BMW alignment checked. If you live in the Northern Virginia area, your alignment should be checked once a year.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Tires and passing Virginia Safety Inspection

In Inspection, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

State inspections are an annual requirement that help keep drivers safe.

Why would my tires not pass Virginia Safety Inspection?

tire state inspection fail tread wear indicators

A tire that is flushed with indicators will fail state safety inspection.

There are many reasons why a vehicle’s tires may fail.

Inspectors must follow certain guidelines that are set forth by the state.

When it comes to tires, they will evaluate the tread depth and wearing patterns.

tire state inspection fail secondary rubber steel belts

When secondary rubber and steel chords are showing on a tire, it will not pass state safety inspection.

A tire won’t pass if secondary rubber or inner steel chords are showing.

Foreign objects, such as nails or screws, in the tires is another indicator.

 Other signs are if the tread is flushed with indicators or if the tread is under 2/32 inches in three locations.

tire state inspection fail nail screw in tread

Foreign object damage, such as nails and screws in tire, will fail state inspection

Vehicles that have bent or damaged wheels and rims will fail Virginia Safety Inspection. 

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

tire state inspection fail large sidewall cracking

Rubber cracking on an older tire. A large crack will fail state safety inspection.

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Reliable Goodyear tires for various makes and models

In Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

What you use your vehicle for and your daily mileage are a couple factors you should keep in mind when shopping for new tires.

Here are some dependable Goodyear tires that are good for various makes and models.

  • Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire: Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires are reliable for all types of weather. Its tread pattern and traction grooves help evacuate water, mud and snow away from underneath the car. More information about the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires can be found on the Goodyear website.
  • Goodyear’s Assurance ComforTred Touring Tire: Goodyear’s Assurance ComforTred Touring tire is good for every season. They offer ComfortEdge sidewalls for more comfortable handling. Here is more information about this tire.
  • Goodyear’s Kelly Edge Tire: The Kelly Edge Tire is an economical tire that’s quiet and comfortable. It gets good traction and has a treadlife of 55,000 miles. To learn more about the Kelly Edge Tire, visit the Goodyear website.

If you have any questions about these tires or others that we offer at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire, feel free to give us a call (703) 670-8005.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Dashboard lights: What do they mean?

In Battery, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

When you first turn the key to your vehicle, a lot of the times you will see dashboard lights turn on as it does a system check.

But when they stay on, the various icons can indicate that there’s a problem.

Here is more information about what the lights mean:

Check engine light Woodbride, Virginia

Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light can come on for many reasons. When it blinks, there is a more immediate concern with an engine problem that could cause catalytic converter damage. When it’s blinking, in this condition, you should not wait to go to your auto repair shop.

If the check engine light comes on and stays on, the reason could range from a loose gas cap to an internal engine problem. It’s just an indicator that something is going on with a car or truck and should be looked at soon.

 

ABS light Woodbride, Virginia

Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Warning Light

Your Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Warning Light that is yellow indicates that there’s an issue with the anti-lock brake system, which prevents your brakes from locking up in an emergency to help you maintain steering control.

 

 

Brake warning light Woodbridge, Virginia

Brake Warning Light

This light is red, which would warn you of a hydraulic brake failure. If this light comes on, you shouldn’t drive your vehicle because you could lose hydraulic pressure and may not be able to stop your car.

 

 

 

Oil pressure light Woodbridge, Virginia

Oil Pressure Alert Light

A vehicle’s Oil Pressure Alert Light means that the engine oil pressure is decreasing. You should stop as soon as it’s safe to do so and check your engine oil.

Before bringing your vehicle to an auto repair shop, make sure that your oil level is correct.

 

Battery light Woodbride, Virginia

Battery Alert Light

The Battery Alert Light indicates that your vehicle’s battery is short on power. There could be a problem with the battery or it might be charging accurately.

When this icon appears, it could mean you have a bad battery, a bad alternator, an electrical issue or a broken wire.

You should bring it to an auto repair shop to have it checked out.

 

Tire pressure light Woodbridge, Virginia

Tire Pressure Monitoring Light

When a Tire Pressure Monitoring Light turns on, it’s saying that one of your tires is too low. It may mean that there’s a problem with the tire pressure or tire sensor.

If the light stays solid, it means that there’s a tire pressure issue. If it blinks for a minute before going solid, it’s a sensor or module problem.

 

 

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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What you should do if you have a flat tire

In Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

You’re on your way home after a long day when you hear an odd noise coming from your car.

Once you get to a safe spot, you pull over, get out of the car and find … a flat tire.

So, what do you do?

Drivers who are on the interstate and can’t get far enough off the road, should call a tow truck. It isn’t worth changing the tire between your car and the highway.

Another option is to change the tire yourself.

Drivers should avoid using fix-a-flat, because it can compromise the tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors located in the wheel.

If fix-a-flat is used, let the repair shop know, because it’s hazardous and can be harmful to the automotive technician.

If you’re in a safe location and decide changing your tire is the best option, start by setting up safety equipment, such as safety triangles. Make sure the wheels and parking brake are secure and that your spare tire jack is working.

After you get the car jacked up, you need to take the lug nuts off. Once the flat tire is removed, you should put the spare on and tighten the lug nuts.

Doing some routine checks can help prevent you from getting stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire.

Each week, check your jack and make sure your spare tire is inflated.

Don’t ignore your TPMS light if it goes on.

Tire pressure on vehicles that don’t have a TPMS system should be checked regularly.

You can’t always tell by the naked eye. Some tires may look softer if you turn your wheel a certain way.

Keep in mind that not all flat tires are repairable, especially those with punctures on the inner or outer shoulder or sidewall.

Some injuries in the center third of the tire can be fixed, depending on the angle and diameter.

But if a hatchet runs through your tire, we’re not going to be able to repair it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.