Thursday, March 13, 2008

When lightning met Sally

Sometimes when you catch sight of your true love it grips your heart like a good set of tires grips the road.
That’s how it was for Sally and Me. When I saw those sleek low profile black wall tires of hers, I knew she was the car for me! She, well, sorta, kinda, fell for me in that court room, as she was trying to get me incarcerated.
When I’m not racing in the Piston Cup series, my favorite thing is for Sally and I to go for a little race. I mean drive through the same tight windy roads where we fell in love with each other.

If you’re like me, falling in love can leave you a little weak in the side walls.
When that feeling comes over me I TURN to my friend Luigi who runs the world famous tire shop Casa Della Tire right here in Radiator Springs. Luigi is so passionate about tires and he knows exactly which tire is needed for any situation. Why, if it wasn’t for Luigi and his dependable tire buster Guido being in my pit crew I would not have, almost, won the Piston Cup.

Give us your SPIN on the matter Luigi; “Tires and brakes are the most important part of your car, from a safety stand point. Since Luigi only sells tires, that’s what I’ll be talking about. To get the most out of your tires the air pressure should be checked on a regular basis, Luigi likes to recommend checking it monthly. The correct air pressure recommendation appears in your owner’s manual, the sticker on the doorjamb or glove compartment door. Use an accurate gauge to check the tire pressure. If the valve stem has a little green cap, then that the tire is filled with nitrogen. If the air pressure is low you will need to go back to a tire store to have nitrogen added.
Nitrogen helps your tires last longer and may help your vehicle get better fuel mileage.

Your vehicle tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles. The rear tires are brought to the front and the front tires are crossed before they are installed on the rear of the vehicle.
Luigi says nothing shows your tires love like keeping them filled with air and rotated.

This next step is a little tricky. You are going to need to get on your hands and knees and look at the tread of the tire. What you are looking for is that the very inside of the tire tread matches the very outside of the tread if one side is worn down more than the other, that indicates that the vehicle is out of alignment and its wrecking your beautiful tires, which Luigi thinks is criminal.
Rub your hand across the tread, it should feel concave and smooth, if it has cupping in it, that indicates your shocks or struts are worn out or your tires are out of balance. At this point the tires might be wrecked. You better get to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires pronto.
If the tire tread feels feathered, that means the steering angle called toe is out of specifications, and the vehicle is out of alignment.
Any bubbles or tread separation is a very dangerous condition, call Mater to install your spare or tow you to a tire store."

Thanks for the information Luigi. I have to ROLL! I am so going to take my favorite Porsche out to dinner. Ka-chow!

Next week we are going to help you get a winning pit crew. It is also the last episode in our “Cars” trilogy.

I hope this article helps you. I am Ken Levine, the owner of Ken’s Quality Auto Repair in Thousand Oaks, where we specialize in Lexus and Toyota vehicles. If you have any car questions please e-mail me at, visit or call 805-494-4344

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