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What you should do if you have a flat tire

In Tires and Wheels by 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.

Steps for changing a flat tire

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.

How to avoid getting stranded

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.

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Does your BMW have an update for the oil filter housing?

In Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A common problem on some BMW engines is the oil filter housing may leak.

This can occur when the original, plastic housing warps and cracks.

Automotive technicians are able to replace it with updated oil filter housing that’s made out of aluminum.

Looking for oil leaks

There can be many places on a BMW engine that leaks oil. If a lot of oil is covering the engine, it could be difficult to determine where the leak is coming from.

One of the first places to start is to degrease the engine and then add an ultraviolet dye that’s compatible with the engine oil. Then, run the engine and use and ultraviolet light to locate the oil leak.

Generally, you can find it in one to two hours. Small leaks, however, may take between one and five days to show up. The vehicle might also need to be driven around and brought back to the automotive center to recheck it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire services BMW’s. Call today to make an appointment and ask us about our shuttle service. Check out our article about oil leaks for more information. 

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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High performance tires — Goodyear may be an option for you

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If you are looking for ultra high performance tires for specialty and original equipment, such as a Corvette, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-2 EMT Tire may be a good choice for you.

The steering responsiveness of this tire — with having a solid center line and large shoulder — helps deliver responsive steering and confident cornering. The run flat technology of this tire allows for driving up to 50 miles on a deflating or deflated tire at a top speed of 50 miles per hour*.

The wet traction capability of this tire is due to the full depth grooves and directional tread pattern that help provide efficient water evacuation for excellent wet traction.

Things to remember when getting high performance tires

When you’re putting new tires on a vehicle it’s a good opportunity to have the wheel alignment checked. This will ensure the longevity of your tire.

When you’re making a decision about high performance tires, give our service center representatives a call and they would be happy to work with you on what the proper and fitment would be for your vehicle.

It’s also a good idea to consider road hazard insurance since the investments of these tires is quite high.

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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State inspections for Hyundai vehicles

In Inspection, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Receiving a state inspection for a vehicle isn’t purposeless.

The law helps protect motorists throughout the year.

However, regular state inspections aren’t required in some states, such as Maryland. Drivers are only expected to have their vehicle checked when they purchase it.

This contributed to a recent incident that brought a Maryland family to Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

State inspections can help prevent problems

The lower control arm of the family’s Hyundai Sedan rusted and broke off while they were traveling. A lower control arm is connected to the frame of the vehicle and the steering knuckle by the lower ball joint.

Having their vehicle checked regularly could have prevented the issue.

“If they had been coming in for a yearly inspection, there would have been a better chance this would have been caught,” the General Manager at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire said.

The broken part didn’t lead to any injuries.

“Fortunately — in this case — they weren’t going too fast and didn’t hurt anyone, but imagine if they had been going down the highway like this,” the General Manager said. “So, this isn’t just about the individual, it’s about the safety of all drivers on the road.”

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.

Broken lower control arm on Hyundai Elantra.Hyundai Elantra safety inspections.

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Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire covering employees’ health care

In Community Involvement by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is making health care more affordable for its employees.

On December 1, the Woodbridge-based automotive repair shop started paying 100 percent of the basic health insurance plan.

“Small businesses are finding it more difficult to attract and retain qualified employees. The rising cost of health care is contributing to the issue,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said. “We thought, ‘What could we do to be more marketable in our industry and do something that would benefit the employees?’”

This is enabling an employee to purchase health insurance for his two children.

Employees of Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire also received more Paid Time Off (PTO) days that can be used if they’re sick or they need to care for family members.