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Tire Tread Depth for Greeley, Colorado Drivers

2017-06-26 11:50:03

Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don't have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider 2/32 of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider 1/32 to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Phil's Pro Auto Service; (just call 970-353-2739) to find out what your requirements are in the Greeley, Colorado, area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there's just 2/32 inch/1.6 mm of tread left. But does that older standard give Greeley vehicles enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32 inch/3.2 mm. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Greeley vehicles also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it's wet or snowy in Greeley, Colorado, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you're driving in Greeley over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there's not enough tread depth on a tire, it can't move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Greeley drivers will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph/112 kph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32 inch/3.2 mm of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph/89 kph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph/89 kph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph/72 kph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That's a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile (.16 km)  of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Greeley drivers follow that far behind the vehicle ahead? Obviously, this is a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do people in Greeley know when their tires are at 4/32 inch/3.2 mm? Well, it's pretty easy. Just insert an American quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But an American penny gives you 2/32 inch/1.6 mm to Abraham Lincoln's head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32 inch/3.2 mm.

Tires are a big ticket item, and most people in Greeley, Colorado, want to get thousands of miles/kilometers out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley

2017-06-19 06:56:03

When we Greeley residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.

Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Phil's Pro Auto Service usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.

Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.

That's where some Greeley residents get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don't understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.

Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn't say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. Your Phil's Pro Auto Service service technician still has to find the underlying problem. It's a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn't tell him what is causing your fever.

Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what's wrong with a vehicle that isn't running right. But it doesn't do away with the need for your friendly and knowledgeable Phil's Pro Auto Service service technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care, still requires the human touch.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Service Center Standard and Procedures

2017-06-11 04:15:03

All Colorado pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Greeley automotive service centers including Phil's Pro Auto Service have procedural standards for each service they perform. Phil's Pro Auto Service technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, Colorado service centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Greeley customers leave happy with how their vehicle performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The Colorado automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual Colorado service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how Phil's Pro Auto Service grades problems and communicates their recommendations. If your service advisor tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing

They may suggest repair or replacement:

If the part is close to the end of its useful life - just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request - like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is recommended because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak but not leaking, the technician may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car's handling, but his shocks haven't failed. The may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer's wishes.

Under these guidelines the Greeley car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let's say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Greeley service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician's recommendations.

The Colorado automotive service industry and Phil's Pro Auto Service want the best for you and for you to keep coming back.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

 

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley

2017-06-06 06:10:03

Tires do a lot of work for Greeley drivers. 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 Greeley. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such important 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 Greeley driving:

  • 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/8,000 km or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Phil's Pro Auto Service 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 and knowledgeable Phil's Pro Auto Service service advisor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.


Tires are a big investment for Greeley drivers. They're designed for keeping you safely on the road in Greeley. 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?

 Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Phil's Pro Auto Service Brake Service for Safe Stopping in Greeley

2017-05-30 10:23:03

Let's talk about something critical for all Greeley drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

Here's an explanation on how your disc brakes work:

The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around Greeley. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.

Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don't replace the pads when they're worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We've all heard grinding brakes and it's not a pretty sound.

If a rotor isn't scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Phil's Pro Auto Service technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.

Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it's cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley than to rebuild the piston.

So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Let Phil's Pro Auto Service Help You Extend the Life of Your Car

2017-05-21 10:42:03

If you haven't shopped in the Greeley area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Greeley, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.

On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Greeley drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.

Too often, Greeley vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.

For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at Phil's Pro Auto Service. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.

The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.

If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your Phil's Pro Auto Service pros can advise you.

Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.

Most Greeley drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at Phil's Pro Auto Service would have cost us.

So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Greeley area neighborhood. At Phil's Pro Auto Service, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.

As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At Phil's Pro Auto Service, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Greeley Drivers: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

2017-05-15 09:40:04

Greeley residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.

Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.

So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do Greeley residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?

Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for Greeley residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.

Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.

Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty Colorado conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for Greeley drivers.

Greeley residents may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, or only driving your vehicle on short trips around Greeley.

When a vehicle only makes trips under four miles/six kilometers, or under 10 miles/16 kilometers in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule. 

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.

Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection. The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live in Colorado and what kind of oil we use.

When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping Greeley residents save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for Greeley Automobiles

2017-05-08 08:43:02



Greeley drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down Greeley, Colorado, streets and roads.

When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Greeley are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let's discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley? First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's centerline. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Greeley area. It's better for vehicle owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear; by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Phil's Pro Auto Service when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in Colorado.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Keeping Your Greeley Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

2017-05-03 07:15:03

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Greeley house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it's C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. It filters out common Colorado air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Greeley vehicles have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Colorado. Last check, about 40 percent of new vehicles sold in Greeley come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for people in Greeley. Your vehicle can be a haven during our Colorado allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner's manual for replacement guidelines. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't mention your cabin air filter, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Phil's Pro Auto Service for a recommendation. It's usually every year or 12,000 miles /19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Greeley area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service urges Greeley drivers to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Greeley more enjoyable.

Come by and we'll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

 

Let Phil's Pro Auto Service Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

2017-04-25 12:29:03

Greeley area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.

But a lot of Greeley drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.

There are a lot of vehicles on Colorado roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) really be that easy for Greeley drivers?

Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.

But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to Phil's Pro Auto Service for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.

If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.

At an oil change, your technician at Phil's Pro Auto Service will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.

The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at Phil's Pro Auto Service for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up vehicle care that will keep older cars running well.

Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles (320,000 km), the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new vehicle.

Good vehicle care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of Greeley drivers who have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.

So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley. 

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

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