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Jake's Tires, Brakes
& Exhaust Page

WE'LL CHECK THEM FREE. WE'LL ALSO CHECK YOUR
FLUID LEVELS TO BE SURE YOUR CAR IS RUNNING SAFE.

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IS IT TIME FOR NEW TIRES? BE SAFE! CHECK YOUR BRAKES CHECKING YOUR EXHAUST
treadTest breakTest exhaustCheck
TAKE THE PENNY TEST. SIGNS YOU NEED NEW BRAKES WHAT?

Stick a penny into a tire groove with Abraham Lincoln upside down. If you can see the top of Abe's head, there’s not enough tread to be safe (or legal)

Tires also have built-in wear indicators: each groove has four or five spots around the tire that are 2/32 of an inch (minimum legal tread depth) higher than the rest of the groove. These high spots will create a visible gap in the groove.

Check around the tire to see if one part is wearing faster than another. Also, look for "cupping," a series of flat spots on the edge of the tread; Check the sidewalls for bulges, indicating a problem with the internal structure. If you can see wire mesh or threads, it’s not be safe to drive on.

A move from the South to the north means you'll be needing snow tires; if you'll be using what was an off-road vehicle on pavement, you may need tires better-suited to asphalt.

Finally, emotion & aesthetics can play a part in tire buying: you might just like the way a certain tire makes your vehicle look, or you may be very interested in new tire technologies like run-flats.

Jake’s 252 Garage has the best prices on new tires. For cost estimate click here.

Your vehicle’s brakes are one feature that should always be in top working condition.

Look, listen
There are two ways to check for brake wear on disc brakes: by looking and by listening. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel’s spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced.

Have you ever heard a high-pitched screeching sound when you applied your brakes? That’s a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. You should be aware of this sound (which is loud enough to be heard while the windows are up, but not necessarily loud enough to be heard over the radio or air conditioner). If you hear it regularly, quickly make an appointment with your mechanic.

Here are some other signs of brake problems. If you experience any of these, you should visit Jake ASAP:

Reduced responsiveness or fading. If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal “sinks” toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. One telltale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less “slimy” texture.

Pulling. If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need an adjustment or to have the fluid replaced.

Grinding or growling. This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely, most likely beyond replacement. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal (the disc and the caliper) rubbing together. This can “score,” or scratch your rotors. If this happens, your mechanic may tell you that the rotors need to be “turned” or replaced.

Vibration. A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.

For many owners, maintaining the vehicle’s brakes is something that is often overlooked. But keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and, more importantly, help you avoid a collision.

A loud exhaust is only one symptom of a problem. Others are less obvious and can be more hazardous to your health.

When checking your ride’s exhaust, keep in mind that this test is best performed during the warm part of the day. If you check your vehicle’s exhaust during a cold night or morning, you will often see your vehicle release large clouds of exhaust, but this emission is usually simple a result of condensation and the difference in temperatures, and isn’t generally anything to be worried about.

This is another aspect of your inspection where having a helper with you comes in handy. While at the wheel or starting your engine, have your handy helper situate himself or herself at the rear of your ride beside the exhaust. His or her main purpose for this test is to observe the type of exhaust or emissions released by your vehicle as you start your engine.

If your assistant happens to observe bluish or dark smoke coming out, then this is a sign that your engine is burning too much oil. In this event, your engine may require a ring job. The ring job indicates a slight adjustment of your engine’s rings.

If, however, the smoke appears dense and white, then this usually indicates that there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s engine head. Take your vehicle to a professional mechanic and have him or her check the engine head for repair or replacement.

You need to keep your ride running idle for a few more minutes. Observe how the engine performs. Is your ride constantly in danger of stalling or is there violent rocking in your vehicle caused by the engine running too tough? If so, then your ride requires a tune-up, especially if you haven’t had one done in a long time.

Now, turn off your vehicle’s engine. Do you observe a residual chugging noise where the engine appears to be trying to turn over once more? If yes, then your vehicle may need to have its timing professionally adjusted or the timing belt replaced. Because timing belt replacement or adjustment requires special equipment like the timing light, this is a job best done by a professional mechanic.

Keep your vehicle running smooth by making sure your engine is performing at its best.

© 2012 JAKE'S GARAGE. FULL SERVICE AUTOMOTIVE CAR AND REPAIR. BEST TIRE PRICES. NO CHALLENGE IS TOO GREAT FOR JAKE.