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Metro closing down for a while? Get your car ready

In Fuel Economy, Fuel System, Maintenance, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The word on the street is that the Blue Line, and several other area Metro lines will be closed for an extended period of time. This temporary Metro closing inevitably means that you’re probably going to be in your car more frequently, to get to work.

While we can’t get you out of the impending traffic nightmare that’s ahead, we can get your car prepared for those extra miles, and wear and tear – and save you some money too.

How to prepare for the temporary Metro closing

Fuel maintenance

For starters, when was the last time you had a fuel maintenance service on your vehicle? Many people forget how dirty fuel injects and filters can impact their car’s fuel economy. And you’re going to need the best fuel economy possible, heading north toward Washington, D.C. each day.

At Steve’s, we offer a BG fuel induction service that will improve your fuel economy, and get your engine running more smoothly. During the service we’re able to clean the fuel injectors, which will help balance your vehicle’s air and fuel ratio. It’s a service that should be performed every 15,000 miles, but it’s especially important now to catch up on it, now that you’re going to be on the road more.

Air filter

You also should have your air filter checked regularly. Did you know that a clogged air filter can reduce your fuel economy by 15 percent? That really adds up!

Get new tires

Another thing you’re going to want to invest in with the Metro closing temporarily for repairs is your tires. A lot of people don’t realize this, but your tires can have a big impact on your car’s fuel economy, and your stopping speed.  It’s very easy for one of our technicians to take a look at your tires and assess the condition, before making some recommendations.

With all of those traffic-filled miles ahead, you’re going to want to focus on one of two things – fuel economy and stopping time. At Steve’s we’re a Goodyear dealer, and if you’re looking to save

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Tire.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Tire

We all hate it, but short stops and being cut off are an unfortunate part of having to drive for the morning commute in Northern Virginia. And if you want to avoid an accident, then it’s going to be important that you get tires for your vehicle that are designed to deal with those challenges. Especially for when you’re trying to quickly merge or switch lanes, having a sporty performance tire with good stopping power is going to be an asset. Especially with the huge influx of vehicles that will be on I-95 and I-66, you’re going to need all of the help you can get. That’s why we would recommend the Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season Tire was designed with stopping ability in mind. Having those extra couple of seconds, thanks to a good set of tires, can be the difference between a near-accident and damaging your vehicle. It has an asymmetric tread that makes handling easier, and it has a fantastic grip for all seasons and essentially all weather conditions. Its full-depth siping and biting edges help with its stopping ability and response.

Regardless of if you’re worried more about fuel economy, or stopping speed, both tires are a great investment to make for the coming months. You can’t change the Metro being closed, but you can do everything you can to make sure your car will have peak performance while you’re stuck in the daily commute traffic.

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.

Noticing car problems after storm? Get them checked out.

In Alignment, Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Transmission by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Last weekend, the entire area was pelted with more than a foot of snow, with up to almost three feet in some places! Even though the snow has stopped and you’ve managed to dig out your driveway to get back on the roads, you may be experiencing some car problems following the storm.

Here are some common issues that our technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has seen following the blizzard, that you should get checked out as soon as possible:

  1. Tires
  2. Transmission
  3. Windshield wipers
  4. Rim wheel
  5. Wheel alignment
  6. Windshield washer fluid

More information on each topic can be found below.

More about car problems

Tires

If you’ve been driving on icy roads in your neighborhood, hitting blocks of snow and debris on your travels, or even running into curbs hidden beneath the snow, then you run the risk of a flat tire. Our technicians will be able to assess the damage to your tires if you’ve got a flat, and make recommendations on repair or replacement.

Transmission

If you own a truck or you’ve been out plowing, the storm likely put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Particularly if you were moving over large amounts of snow, or were trying to plow streets, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle’s transmission to be damaged. We’re seeing several plows at our shop this week to fix transmission related issues.

Windshield wipers

One the most common things we’re seeing is damage to vehicles’ windshield wipers. Even if you lifted them up before the storm, the weight of the snow on the front of your car, or placing the wipers back on the windshield before all snow and ice were completely removed can cause them to be bent or broken. This is something our technicians can quickly switch out for you, and get you back on the road in no time.

Rim wheel

When heading out on the road after digging your car out, you may have noticed some shaking and vibration while driving. While this could be another more involved issue with your vehicle, a lot of the cars we’ve seen this week were having this shaking in their car because ice and snow were still in the rim wheel of the tires, throwing off the car’s balance.

Wheel alignment

Hitting curbs or icy patches won’t only cause a potential flat tire – it can also mess with your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Particularly after hitting chunks of ice or other debris, if you notice your car pulling to one side on flat pavement, then it’s a good idea to bring your car to a shop to have it looked at.

Windshield washer fluid

Not able to use your wiper fluid to clear your windshield? Drivers that didn’t check their windshield washer fluid to make sure it was at appropriate levels and the right mixture before the storm may be having issues with using their wipers correctly, as the wiper fluid is frozen inside.

The storm may have kept you from going out, but don’t let car problems stop you too. Our technicians and service advisers at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can inspect your vehicle to make sure that everything’s in working order, and get you safely back out on the road this winter.

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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It’s that time of year: switching from summer to winter tires

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The weather is getting colder, and any day now there’s going to be snow on the ground. You know that driving in the snow can be a hassle, and sometimes even dangerous. And just like you change over from your summer wardrobe to your winter wardrobe, you need to swap out your tires for the season.

Summer tires

Summer tires have a lot of advantages. If you have a performance vehicle, like a BMW or an Audi, then you’re going to want a quality set of wheels to get more traction and tread for the best response when turning and braking on the road. And while summer tires are created to handle rain, hot pavement, and other summer weather factors, they’re not going to be able to perform nearly as well on slick and icy roads.

All season tires

BF Goodrich performance tire.

BF Goodrich performance tire

Many drivers opt for an all-season tire, because – as the name implies – they are built to be used in all seasons. All-season tires are designed to stand up to many weather conditions, across the seasons, but they’re no substitute for winter or snow tires, particularly if you’re in an area where there’s a moderate to severe amount of snowfall each winter.

Winter tires

Winter tires are created to perform in icy and snowy driving conditions, and provide the maximum amount of traction and grip on the roads. When you need reliability and you want to ensure safety out there on the roads this winter, the best way to make sure that happens is to have a set of quality winter wheels on your vehicle. They have the ability to perform on drive pavement, but they’re designed with inclement weather in mind. That extra traction is going to give you extra stopping time when braking, and when you’re driving around other vehicles, and you start to slide, those extra couple of feet can make a major difference in the outcome.

So when it comes to the safety and reliability of your vehicle in every season, making sure you have a set of summer and winter tires to alternate between the seasons is an excellent idea. At Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire we have technicians and staff that can answer all of your questions about the different types of tires, and which ones work best for your vehicle in all seasons, and all weather.

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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Test drives and training at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire

In Girl in a Mechanics World, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Written by: Teresa Anderson

Test drives and training at Steve's Auto Repair & Tire

Rafael Torres giving a driving and tire test class for BFGoodrich g force comp 2 a/s

Ever wondering what kind of training staff goes through at an auto repair shop, like Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire? A lot of times we get not only training videos and information to read and study from, but we also get to do plenty of ‘hands on’ learning as well.

I’d like to share my experience as a woman attending the BFGoodrich training course that was held at the FedEx Field on August 6.

Andrew Comrie-Picard giving a class on the BFGoodrich g force comp 2 a/s tire.

Andrew Comrie-Picard giving a class on the BFGoodrich g force comp 2 a/s

At the 5 hour training course, myself and several colleagues learned about the new and popular tire lines offered by BFGoodrich – like the BFGoodrich All Terrain KO2 Tire, and the BFGoorich g-Force Comp-2 A/S Tire. We had a class with one of the most knowledgeable tire experts out there, that explained the different tests that all BFGoodrich tires undergo, and how the results of these tests compare to other tires on the market. Things that may seem small, like grip in the rain, and dealing with seasonal weather, vary widely from brand to brand.

Test driving tires at BFGoodrich training

And we didn’t just learn about the different tires, we got to get behind the wheel and experience first hand, the performance differences between a BFGoodrich tire and a competitor’s tire – on a dry and a wet weather course.

BFGoodrich g force comp a/s tire testing on a ford mustang.

BFGoodrich g force comp a/s tire testing on a ford mustang

Hands down, one of the most valuable parts of the experience were these behind-the-wheel road courses, when it comes to giving us knowledge about tires that we can pass on to our customers. For each test, they had cars with the same year, make and model. The only difference was that one car had BFGoodrich tires, and the other, a leading competitor’s tire.

While I was afraid to drive on the wet track, and had a professional driver there to drive me on the course, I did drive on the dry track. During both courses we practiced accelerating, hard braking, fast turns and swerving in the different conditions, to really push the vehicle to its limit. People normally don’t think about the performance differences from one tire to another, but when I got behind the wheel with both sets of tired, I was floored by how much better the BFGoodrich tires performed. The difference was absolutely night and day.

Test drives and training at Steve's Auto Repair & Tire

BFGoodrich KO2 on a jeep at the ride and drive event held at Fed Ex Field

Overall, I felt that the BFGoodrich course was an excellent way to reinforce the things we’re constantly learning about tires and vehicles, and helping us to have a practical hands on understanding that we can pass on as knowledge to our customers. When it comes to the safety of yourself and your family, having technicians that can speak from experience about the quality and performance of tires is something you need to look for as a smart consumer.

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.

Did You Forget Something? Safe Driving for Spring

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Bad tire.Spring and summer mean increased driving time. Make sure to check your tire tread and inflation.  That means your spare tire too!  There is nothing worse than finding out all too late that your spare tire is also flat!

Your owner’s manual will tell you the exact recommended mileage for your spare tire.  As a general rule, these tires are not meant to be driven on for more than 70 miles.  Get all of your family’s spare tires examined, repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid a blow out like the one pictured here. ~Safe Travels!

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.