Dempsey's Tire Center

Archive for July, 2009

Brakes

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Brakes

brakesHaving safe brakes is critical for your car and your safety. Here at Dempsey’s we offer complete brake services, everything from new pads, rotors and upgrades.

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Repairs

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Repairs

repairsAt Dempsey’s Tire and Service Center, we can do most of your routine car repairs and maintenance. We offer quick same day service on most items and can often do while you wait if you’re in a hurry.

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Tire Pressure Important

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Driver & Tire Safety

Making Sure You Have Correct Tire Pressure

Making Sure You Have Correct Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure and Your Gas Mileage
Keeping Your Tires Filled Saves Gas and Money.
By Matthew Wright, About.com

Did you know that how much air you have in your tires can have a direct affect on your gas mileage? It’s true. Here’s why:

Let’s say your tires are supposed to be filled to 35 psi. If they are filled correctly, six square inches of your tire are touching the road, just the way your tires were designed. But let some air out, and now the pressure is only 30 psi. Since your tire is like a balloon, the more air you have on the inside, the rounder and more firm your tire becomes. If you had six square inches touching the road at 35 psi, the flatter 30 psi tire will have eight square inches touching at once, making it harder for your engine to get things rolling from a dead stop. Here’s another way to think of it. Say your dog is going to the vet, and she’s not so interested in moving toward the car, so you pull. You start out pulling her with all four of her feet on the ground. We’ll call this four square inches touching. But then she plops her rear end on the ground. You’re now pulling 12 square inches, and boy is she harder to drag toward the car.

Unfortunately you can’t dangle a piece of salami in front of your car to make it go, so you’re left using the engine, which uses more gas the harder it pulls. Filling your tires to the correct pressure will make it easier on the engine, and that means you’ll be using less gas. It can make a difference of a three or four miles per gallon. That’s at least 36 more miles to the average tank of gas. At one tank of gas per week, you could be adding 1,872 free miles in a year! That’s savings, and that’s Automotive Empowerment for no money at all.

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Alignment

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

alignment1Wheel alignment is one of the most important things you can do to protect and help preserve the life of your tires. We suggest that you have us look at your alignment if you’re investing in new tires or if you’re getting uneven tire wear.

See the following articles for a complete description about alignment:

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Wheel Alignment – Ride Height, etc.

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

Wheel Alignment Defined
By Matthew Wright, About.com

Kingpins, Set Back, and Ride Height
Kingpin Offset/Scrub Radius:
Kingpin offset is the distance from the center of the wheel contact face to the intersection point of the kingpin extension. The line through the center point of the spring strut support bearing and the control arm ball joint corresponds to the “kingpin”. The scrub radius is influenced by camber, kingpin angle and wheel offset of the wheel rim. This is set at the factory and is not adjustable.

Set Back:
Set back is the amount by which one front wheel is further back from the front of the vehicle than the other. It is also the angle formed by a line perpendicular to the axle centerline with respect to the vehicle’s centerline. If the left wheel is further back than the right, setback is negative. If the right wheel is further back than the left, setback is positive. Setback should usually be zero to less than half a degree, but some vehicles have asymmetrical suspensions by design. Setback is measured with both wheels straight ahead, and is used as a diagnostic angle along with caster to identify chassis misalignment or collision damage. The presence of setback can also cause differences in toe-out on turn angle readings side-to-side.

Ride Height:
Ride height is the distance between a specified point on the chassis, suspension or body and the ground. Measuring ride height is an indirect method of determining spring height, which is important because it affects camber, caster and toe. Low ride height indicates weak or sagging springs. Ride height should be within specifications before the wheels are aligned.

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Wheel Alignment – Thrust Angle

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

Wheel Alignment Defined
By Matthew Wright, About.com

Thrust Angle, Included Angle and Steering Axis Inclination
Thrust Angle:

The angle between the thrust line and centerline. If the thrust line is to the right of the centerline, the angle is said to be positive. If the thrust line is to the left of center, the angle is negative. It is caused by rear wheel or axle misalignment and causes the steering to pull or lead to one side or the other. It is the primary cause of an off-center or crooked steering wheel. Correcting rear axle or toe alignment is necessary to eliminate the thrust angle. If that is not possible, using the thrust angle as a reference line for aligning front toe can restore center steering.

Included Angle:
The sum of the camber and SAI angles in a front suspension. This angle is measured indirectly and is used primarily to diagnose bent suspension parts such as spindles and struts.

Steering Axis Inclination (SAI):
The angle formed by a line that runs through the upper and lower steering pivots with respect to vertical. On a SLA suspension, the line runs through the upper and lower ball joints. On a MacPherson strut suspension, the line runs through the lower ball joint and upper strut mount or bearing plate. Viewed from the front, SAI is also the inward tilt of the steering axis. Like caster, it provides directional stability. But it also reduces steering effort by reducing the scrub radius. SAI is a built-in nonadjustable angle and is used with camber and the included angle to diagnose bent spindles, struts and mislocated crossmembers.

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Wheel Alignment – Toe

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

Wheel Alignment Defined
By Matthew Wright, About.com

Toe is a measurement of how much the front and/or rear wheels are turned in or out from a straight-ahead position. When the wheels are turned in, toe is positive (+). When the wheels are turned out, toe is negative (-). The actual amount of toe is normally only a fraction of a degree. The purpose of toe is to ensure that the wheels roll parallel. Toe also serves to offset the small deflections of the wheel support system that occur when the vehicle is rolling forward. In other words, with the vehicle standing still and the wheels set with toe-in, the wheels tend to roll parallel on the road when the vehicle is moving. Improper toe adjustment will cause premature tire wear and cause steering instability.

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Wheel Alignment – Castor

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

Wheel Alignment Defined
By Matthew Wright, About.com

Wheel alignment is important to the health of your car or truck. If you hit a massive pothole, you might bump your suspension out of the carefully calculated locations that the components have been set. All of the elements that make your car go straight are called “alignment.” Some shops try to make it seem like rocket science, but wheel alignment is a fairly straightforward affair. The inclusive term “wheel alignment” involves three main measurements — caster, camber, and toe. These measurements have standards that a technician uses as targets of adjustment. In other words, get as close as you can to the right measurement.

The good news is that most modern cars only have adjustments for toe. Caster and camber went the way of the dodo thanks to the McPherson strut.
casterCaster is the tilting of the uppermost point of the steering axis either forward or backward (when viewed from the side of the vehicle). A backward tilt is positive (+) and a forward tilt is negative (-). Caster influences directional control of the steering but does not affect the tire wear and is not adjustable on this vehicle.

Caster is affected by the vehicle height, therefore it is important to keep the body at its designed height. Overloading the vehicle or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster. When the rear of the vehicle is lower than its designated trim height, the front suspension moves to a more positive caster. If the rear of the vehicle is higher than its designated trim height, the front suspension moves to a less positive caster. With too little positive caster, steering may be touchy at high speed and wheel returnability may be diminished when coming out of a turn. If one wheel has more positive caster than the other, that wheel will pull toward the center of the vehicle. This condition will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the least amount of positive caster.

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Wheel Alignment – Camber

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Alignment

Wheel Alignment Defined

By Matthew Wright, About.com

camber

Camber is the tilting of the wheels from the vertical when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When the wheels tilt outward at the top, the camber is positive (+). When the wheel tilts inward at the top, the camber is negative (-). The amount of tilt is measured in degrees from the vertical. Camber settings influence the directional control and the tire wear.

Too much positive camber will result in premature wear on the outside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.

Too much negative camber will result in premature wear on the inside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.

Unequal side-to-side camber of 1° or more will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the most positive camber.

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Been Using Dempseys for Years

by on Jul.23, 2009, under Testimonials

I’ve been using Dempsey’s Tire Center for years. I know all the guys there and they take good cae of me and they have great prices on tires.
GP
Sewell, NJ

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