View Post

Brake repair: What you should keep in mind

In Brakes by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

At Steve’s Auto Repair, we rotate tires and check brakes for our digital vehicle inspection, which is done as part of our oil change.

Lincoln Mercury.We conducted an inspection on a Lincoln Mercury and learned that the customer didn’t notice that the brakes had gone metal to metal. Because we are a full service shop, we are able to take care of these kinds of jobs.

What brake repair looks like

Grinding noise on brakes.

Grinding noise on brakes

In this particular case, the brake pads and rotors were simply worn down and need to be replaced. However, it’s important to keep in mind that brake repair doesn’t just involve changing the brake pads and rotors. It’s about looking at the rest of the brake system to make sure everything is working correctly.

You also need to check the bleeders on the calipers. Make sure we can actually open them and bleed the brake fluid out. Are there any hardware issues that have to go with the brake caliper? Is the brake caliper piston boot torn? Is the caliper piston seized where it won’t retract into the caliper housing? Those are some other problems that can occur and make the brake pad and rotor wear faster than just normal wear and tear. 

A brake line going bad can also cause this. There’s an issue called “brake line checking,” which is when a little piece in the brake line becomes loose. When you press the brake, the fluid goes past. As you release it, a piece acts like a flap, preventing the fluid from releasing and maintaining pressure on the brake.

In order to conduct brake service correctly, you need to release the bleeders before you push the pistons back on the brake caliper. You don’t want to be cramming dirt back into the Anti-lock braking system (ABS) or the master cylinder. 

Once the brake job is done

Technician performing brake fluid exchange.After everything is put back together, you will want to do a brake fluid flush. We use the BG fluid, which has a flushing agent in it. So, it’s not just a brake fluid exchange, like some other places do. Over a period of time, the brake fluid will get some moisture in it and – under extreme braking – the moisture can boil, resulting in a soft pedal. These problems arise as the brakes heat up when you’re coming down from the mountains after visiting with grandma or when you’re commuting. If you’re a commuter, you’re braking all the time. Even if you’re in stop and go traffic, you’re heating up the brakes quite a bit.

Using the correct lubrication on the back of the pads, or the metal contact points for the hardware or the calipers where they meet on the caliper bracket is also a necessary step in brake repair.

Using an impact gun, using an electric impact, or torquing the wheels back down is one of the last things often missed at a lot of places, including people who are working on their vehicles at home. Not using a torque wrench can automatically mess up the brake job from the get go. You start getting some lateral run out, which can cause some brake pedal pulsation later. Then, you basically have to do the brake job all over again. 

Wherever you go to get your vehicle worked on, ensure that it has ASE certified technicians. Our techs are trained to look for these different types of conditions and make sure that the brake job is done right.

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.

View Post

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire ready for any conditions

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Inclement weather can sometimes catch us off guard. However, there is one tire that is always prepared.

The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire can handle different kinds of conditions you face.

It is able to take on roads that are dry or slippery, a trait that is especially helpful in the snowy winter weather and when thunderstorms pop up during the summer. 

This has become a favorite among many car owners for quite a few reasons.

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire offers great traction

First off, this all season tire is one that a lot of drivers trust. What makes this all season tire so reliable? The answer can be found in its design.

Featuring an asymmetric tread, the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire is able to provide great traction in wet weather conditions.

The shoulders consist of treadblock blades, which lock with one another as you’re going around corners. This gives you additional support on slick surfaces.

Severe snow certified, this Goodyear tire maintains its grip on icy, wet and snowy roads. No matter what nature hurls at you, you can feel safe and confident in your travels.

Ability to move water away

If you check out the middle of the tire, you will see 3-D treadblock blades and evolving traction grooves. Overtime, the grooves change from deep to wide, enabling them to move water and slush away. 

Some parts of Northern Virginia are prone to collect water during heavy rainfall. Having tires that can push away water helps drivers avoid hydroplaning.

Plus, it works well in hot and frigid temperatures, thanks to soybean oil in its rubber compound. 

The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire is able to help you get where you need to go while also providing a comfortable ride.

Built to last for years to come

Purchasing new tires can be expensive, and it may be tempting to choose a cheaper option. But, like many items, you get what you pay for. The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire is worth the investment.

This Goodyear tire has a long lifespan. Drivers who choose it don’t need to worry about replacing it for a while, because it’s backed by a 60,000 mile warranty. So, it can last between four and five years, for those who drive 12,000 to 13,000 miles a year.

Whether you’re a Northern Virginia commuter or an adventure enthusiast, the all season tire should be kept in mind.

If you’re thinking about buying a set of these tires, now is the time to do it. Goodyear is currently offering a rebate on certain tires. Until December 31, 2021, you could get up to $200 back when you buy four Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires using the Goodyear credit card.

To learn more information about this deal, reach out to a local auto repair shop that sells Goodyear tires.

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.

View Post

Checking tire tread depth: How to tell if you need new tires

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Every few years or so – whether you’re having a state inspection done, you have a flat tire, or during an oil change – you may hear that you need new tires. This is advice that shouldn’t be ignored.

Tires play a key role in protecting drivers and those riding along with them. 

Grooves and siping can be found around a tire and work together to keep it connected with the road. This is especially important during rainy conditions, when hydroplaning is possible.

When you purchase new tires, the tread depth typically ranges from 8/32 of an inch to 14/32 of an inch, depending on the tire. Through everyday use, this decreases overtime.

In order to pass the Virginia safety inspection, the tire tread depth must be at least 2/32 of an inch. (You can read more about what inspectors look for in this article we wrote.)

How to check tire tread

So, how can you tell if the tread depth is too low?

Well, you can try the tire penny test. Here’s out it works: Hold a penny vertically on the grooves so Abraham Lincoln is upside down. 

You shouldn’t be able to see the top of his head. If the top is visible, it’s time for new tires. Part of the head remaining covered indicates that the tire tread exceeds 2/32 of an inch.

If you still aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to have the tire tread depth checked at a car repair shop. They will be able to tell you for sure and recommend tires that fit your vehicle and budget.

Checking tire tread depth.

Another way to check it is through a method that most mechanics use – a 32” of an inch gauge. This is where you’re making a determination of where the minimum is for Virginia safety inspection and when it’s time to think about replacing tires. The state minimum is 2/32 of an inch. Most tire manufacturers recommend getting new ones around 4/32 of an inch, mainly due to the ability to move water away from the tire.

It’s a good idea to continue monitoring tire tread. Tires that are experiencing a significant amount of wear in one area can indicate a problem. Uneven tire wear, for example, could mean that you need a wheel alignment.

Buying new tires? Here are some things to consider.

If you’re ready to buy new tires, make sure you don’t just go with the cheapest option – unless you plan to sell the vehicle soon. 

Yes, your wallet may approve of the less expensive choice for the time being. However, cheaper tires won’t have as high of a speed rating and, therefore, won’t grip the road as well as those that cost more. 

Goodyear Tire is a reliable brand that produces all kinds of great options, including the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire and the Goodyear Assurance Fuel MaxLife Tire. You also can’t go wrong with Kelly Tire, which has the Kelly Edge A/S Tire.

Road hazard insurance is another expense that you should keep in mind. We offer a nationwide road hazard warranty that kicks in when a tire isn’t repairable. A tire may not be able to be repaired, depending on the injury’s angle and location

The road hazard warranty, which we offer on tires you buy from us, covers up to 100 percent of the cost of a new tire if the old tire can’t be repaired and is within the first 33 percent of its treadwear. It’s prorated after that.

So, even though you are putting more money up front, it could save you on future expenses.

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.

View Post

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire: A dependable option

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Life brings you to many places – from the day-to-day tasks of work and errands to the activities you look forward to, like celebrations and travel destinations.

As you hit the road, you need a tire you can rely on for protection and endurance.

Goodyear Tire produces many options that keep drivers on the road. The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire is one that does just that.

Whether you’re taking on tight corners, or inclement weather, this all season tire is up for the challenge.

Maintaining control

You should feel confident and in control as you’re driving.

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire has shoulder blocks, which enable you to manage your commute and any adventures that arise.

If you look closely at the tread, you will see small lines called “sipes” that come in various sizes and are set at different angles. 

Why is this important? Well, these sipes enhance the grip as you travel along curvy roads. 

Great for all seasons

Having a tire that can be used all year round can be very helpful and stress relieving. We also recommend the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire for this reason.

If rainy weather is heading your way, you can be assured that it will help keep you and any passengers safe.

Hydroplaning can happen easily to any driver, especially when an area is experiencing heavy rainfall. Four open grooves located on the Goodyear tire move water away, reducing the chances of this happening.

Its tread is dependable in dry and wet weather and provides improved grip during snowy and icy conditions.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire offers long lifespan

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire can be trusted for many reasons. In addition to being an all season option that provides great handling, it’s also a tire that’s built for longevity. This tire can last as long as 50,000 miles. 

It’s normal for tires, overtime, to see wear from daily use – as long as they aren’t wearing unevenly. When this one experiences wear, it still offers a confident grip. That feature can be attributed to the biting edges its sipes make.

Plus, it does its job while also giving you a comfortable ride.

Rim protection is another nice perk the tire provides. If you accidentally hit a curb, there’s no need to worry. A rim protector prevents damage when these situations occur.

This Goodyear option comes in many sizes and can be found on all kinds of vehicles, including SUVs, trucks, crossovers, and sedans. If you’re considering this tire, reach out to a local repair shop or tire shop near you to see if it’s a good fit for your vehicle.

We offer a wide range of tires – including Dunlop, Goodyear and Kelly – to meet your budget and needs.

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.

View Post

Environmentally friendly actions we take

In Uncategorized by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

We believe in helping our community. Part of that support includes doing our part to help protect the place we live and work in.

From the services we offer to the parts that are replaced, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire follows several environmentally friendly procedures.

Old brake rotors.

Recycling products, environmentally friendly tires available

For example, many of the products we replace are recycled. A company is hired by us to process old oil and coolant. Car batteries, brake rotors, and other scrap metal are picked up and recycled, as well.

Recycling these fluids and parts enables us to reduce waste and discard them in a safe and appropriate way.

Tires also play a part in our goal to be eco-friendly.

On top of having tires recycled, we sell and inform customers about eco-friendly tires, which weigh less and require less force in order to move.

You can determine which tires are environmentally friendly by taking a look at the tread depth, which are going to start at a lower number.

When repairing flat tires, our technicians use plugs rather than Fix-A-Flat, which is bad for the environment. Anyone who uses this product is charged a hazmat fee. That way, we can have it recycled like our oil and coolant.

Vehicle next to Emissions Inspection Station and Certified Emissions Repair Facility signs.We offer emissions inspections and repairs

Steve’s Auto Repair is an emissions inspection and repair facility.

When performing Vehicle Emissions Testing – which is managed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) – inspectors ensure that a vehicle isn’t leaking oil or has any audible exhaust leaks. They also make sure it has a catalytic converter, which is responsible for reducing how much air pollution is produced.

Conducted every two years, an emission test is required on vehicles that are parked in certain localities. Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park are among them.

We can repair problems that would prevent a car from passing the emissions inspection. The numerous issues that would cause a vehicle to fail include engine malfunctions, catalytic converter problems, misfires, and the check engine light turning on.

Our business’ emissions inspection program was recognized earlier this year for following license requirements and completing inspections in a “dedicated and commendable” manner.

Other ways we try to be eco-friendly

To keep our car repair shop clean, our staff uses biodegradable cleaning products. They contain natural substances and aren’t harmful to the environment or animals. 

When the building isn’t in use, we avoid wasting electricity by turning off computers and almost all lights – our security lights are the exception.

Even though we are already taking environmentally friendly actions, our company is considering other options for the future. Installing a waste oil heater is one idea we are looking into.

We are also planning to upgrade our lights, as they burn out, to energy saver lights.

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.