Can Heat Kill a Car Battery? How to Protect Your Battery in the Summer

Car in summer

When it comes to the health of your battery, cold and hot weather can both affect it. While many people are aware that the winter can cause problems for car batteries, you might not know that heat can be more dangerous for them. As you try to keep your car’s battery in great shape over the summer, take a moment to find out more about how heat affects car batteries and why it can sometimes cause them to die.

Can Heat Affect a Car Battery?

The optimal temperature for car batteries is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature goes above 80, the heat can negatively affect your car battery, causing corrosion and reducing its lifespan. 

Heat negatively impacts car batteries due to the evaporation of the battery’s liquid catalyst-electrolyte. These electrolytes are responsible for fueling the battery’s internal chemical processes. On a hot day, your car’s engine compartment’s temperature can increase to 140 degrees or higher, creating the perfect environment for evaporation to occur. When your battery’s liquid catalyst-electrolyte begins to evaporate, it can corrode the battery’s lead plates and damage the internal structure. 

Higher temperatures can also corrode your battery’s terminals and connectors while speeding up your battery’s chemical reactions, causing a faster discharge. Additionally, heat can cause battery charging system malfunctions, leading to an overcharged battery. All of these factors contribute to a shortened battery life. 

Can Heat Kill a Car Battery? Can Extreme Heat Cause a Car Battery to Die?

Since the heat can cause multiple problems that lead to a reduced battery life, high temperatures can cause your battery to die. If your battery suddenly stops working during the summer, there’s a good chance it was caused by heat, and the battery will probably need to be replaced.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Car Battery From Heat

If you live in North Carolina, you know the temperature over the summer can go well above 80 degrees. As a result, it’s essential to pay attention to your battery’s health throughout the summer. Below, you can find a breakdown of the five main tips to protect your car battery from excessive heat:

  • Park in the shade or a garage: If you have a garage, parking inside it through the summer can keep your battery at a lower temperature when your vehicle isn’t in use, reducing its exposure to extreme heat. Those who can’t park in a garage will want to park in the shade during the summer. When you can’t park in the shade or a garage, you can use a car cover to keep your vehicle cooler by deflecting the sun’s rays.
  • Avoid shorter drives: When you turn on your car, it uses a lot of your battery’s energy, and as you drive, the car’s alternator will recharge the battery. However, shorter drives don’t give your alternator much time to recharge the battery and raise the risk of your battery discharging. Since the heat is already straining your battery, it’s best to drive at highway speeds once a week for around 30 minutes to give your battery time to recharge.
  • Protect your battery from corrosion: You don’t want parts of your battery corroding, as it can reduce the battery’s lifespan and performance. Besides regularly cleaning off corrosion from the battery, you can prevent corrosion from happening in the first place by using terminal protectors or a trusted anti-corrosion spray. Both of these options are designed to lower the risk of corrosion and protect your battery.
  • Receive a radiator flush: Your vehicle’s radiator is designed to cool down your engine, which, in turn, helps stop your battery and other components from overheating. If your radiator isn’t flushed on the right schedule, it can lead to a hotter engine and a battery damaged by excess heat. Most vehicles need their radiators flushed every 50,000 to 75,000 miles, so if you’ve passed the 50k mark, it’s best to flush your radiator to lower the risk of heat-related damage to your battery.
  • Schedule a routine inspection: Before the summer reaches its hottest temperatures, it can be a good idea to schedule a battery inspection. During this inspection, a mechanic can tell you your battery’s age (batteries typically last three to five years), tighten any loose terminals, check for damage, and clean off corrosion. They can also perform a load test with a digital load tester, which tests how well the battery holds voltage. If the test reveals it’s below a 50% state of health, you’ll need to replace your battery.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for Car Battery Replacement Services in the NC Triangle

If you think heat has impacted your battery and need a battery replacement service in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, turn to Chapel Hill Tire. Our certified mechanics can inspect your battery and provide any needed repair or replacement services to ensure your vehicle has the power it needs. We also recommend checking out our selection of coupons to see how much you can save.

Learn more about our vehicle battery services today. If you need to bring your car in for service, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

EV Won’t Start? Why You Should Check the 12v Battery

EV that won't start

Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) might not think they have to pay attention to their 12-volt battery. After all, their EV also has a much larger battery that provides the electricity needed to move the vehicle and power the electric motor. Despite the presence of a high-voltage battery, EVs still use a 12v battery to power various electronic components, such as onboard computers, interior lighting, locks, and windows. 

Since the electricity from a 12v battery also helps start your vehicle, you should know why EVs need 12v batteries and how to check if your 12v battery is the reason why your EV won’t start.

Why Do EVs Have a 12v Battery?

While high-voltage batteries excel at powering your EV’s motor and handling propulsion for your vehicle, their high amount of voltage makes them unsafe for other functions. For example, high-voltage batteries in EVs tend to have 400 or 800 volts, and if they powered your vehicle’s smaller systems, hundreds of volts of electricity would be running through these systems all the time. This high voltage could create a significant safety issue, as a driver or passenger could come in contact with a great deal of electricity if a crash causes a short circuit.

Besides the safety concerns of high-voltage batteries, most of your EV’s electrical devices will only use 12 volts or fewer. As a result, your power door locks, HVAC fan, airbags, ADAS technology, power windows, and onboard computer run safely and effectively with a 12v battery. Even when your vehicle is off, your 12v battery will remain on, powering important systems like your vehicle’s alarm and other security features. If an EV used its high-voltage battery to continuously power these systems, it could strain the larger battery and shorten its lifespan.

Can a Dead 12v Battery Cause an EV Not to Start?

Though your EV needs its high-voltage battery for propulsion, the 12v battery plays a critical role in starting it. When you turn on your EV, the 12v battery will start the high-voltage battery pack. If the 12v battery is dead, your high-voltage battery won’t start (and neither will your EV!). 

What Causes a Dead 12v Battery?

Your EV’s 12v battery is almost always on, even when you’re not driving your vehicle. The electrical components in EVs also tend to consume more energy than those in gas-powered vehicles. Both of these factors cause your EV’s 12v battery to die faster, with EV batteries expected to last between three to six years. If your EV won’t start and your 12v battery is past the three-year mark, there’s a fairly good chance the battery is dead and needs to be replaced.

At times, however, dead 12v batteries can be due to mistakes from the manufacturer. In a Wall Street Journal article about 12v batteries in EVs, the writer discusses how software anomalies, sensor failures, and faulty parts have caused some EV 12v batteries to die prematurely and deplete faster than they should. Checking for news about recalls, needed software updates, or faulty parts concerning your EV can be helpful when diagnosing why your battery died. 

How Does an EV Charge the 12v Battery?

12v batteries in EVs will need to be charged regularly to perform at their best. If your EV’s 12v battery discharges too much and goes below its recommended voltage for too long, it can be damaged and need to be replaced. Without enough of a charge, your 12v battery also can’t properly provide enough power to your EV’s electrical components.

As a result, your EV’s high-voltage battery will trickle charge your 12v battery, delivering a small amount of electricity to it while your vehicle is on. Typically, your 12-volt battery will also be recharged when your EV is plugged into a charger. If your EV isn’t trickle charging the 12v battery properly, it could also be the reason for a dead EV battery. 

Turn to Chapel Hill Tire for EV Battery Repair and Replacement Services in the Triangle

If you’re EV won’t start and you’re looking for EV battery replacement services in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Apex, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area, Chapel Hill Tire has you covered. Our team can inspect your EV to find out if the 12v battery needs to be replaced. After our inspection, we can provide any repair or battery replacement services your EV needs to work at its best. We also offer a selection of coupons to ensure you can get a great deal on our services.

Learn more about our hybrid and EV services today. If you need to bring your car in for service, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

100k Miles? 200k? When is the Best Time to Sell a Car?

Used car being sold

If you’re thinking about selling your used vehicle, you can receive more for it by being strategic about when you put it on the market. Since most people know that vehicles depreciate fairly quickly, potential sellers should be aware of the primary factors that often affect the price of a used vehicle. By knowing these factors and considering whether selling your vehicle is worth it in the first place, you can ensure you’re making the best financial decision possible.

When Is the Best Time to Sell a Car? 3 Factors to Consider

The general rule for selling a car is to sell it before you need to since it can help you avoid accepting an offer below your asking price. Though this rule is a good one to follow, you can increase your chance of receiving your asking price by selling at certain times. Before you put your car on the market, review the following three main factors that affect when it’s the best time to sell a vehicle:

1. Between Periods of Major Depreciation

According to Edmunds’ data, vehicles tend to lose the most value in their first two years and then again in their fourth year. For example, they discuss how a Ford F-150 pickup would lose 28.6% of its value in the first year, 6.8% in the second, 5.1% in the third, and about 15% in the fourth year

This spike in depreciation in the fourth year is largely due to warranties expiring. As a result, selling your vehicle in the two or three-year range tends to help you receive the best return due to the amount of depreciation that typically occurs in the fourth year. After the fourth year, you can expect another major drop in value at the eight-year mark, so selling before your car reaches its eighth year is another good strategy if you plan to keep it for more than four years.

2. Mileage 

Alongside the age of your car, its mileage can affect its price. Below, you can find a breakdown of how different mileages can affect a vehicle’s selling price:

  • 30,000 to 40,000 miles: Most manufacturer general vehicle warranties tend to expire between 30,000 to 40,000 miles. This mileage range also tends to be when more costly maintenance or repairs are needed. The expiration of warranties and costlier repairs mean car owners can often receive more money by selling before they reach 30,000 miles (or the mileage when the warranty runs out). Conversely, if you sell between 30,000 to 40,000 miles, you’ll likely receive less money for it.
  • 60,000 to 70,000 miles: The next major mileage range you’ll want to watch out for is 60,000 to 70,000 miles. In this mileage range, vehicles tend to need another costly maintenance service, and their manufacturers’ powertrain warranties will likely expire. Like the previous range, you’ll want to sell your car before the powertrain warranty expires (usually below 60,000 miles) to receive the best price for it.
  • 90,000 to 100,000+ miles: When a car reaches the 100,000-mile mark, buyers can be far less willing to meet your asking price for it. Though cars don’t automatically stop running well past 100,000 miles, many buyers will see any number over 100k and either try to get a better deal or write off buying the car entirely. Due to this common reaction to a vehicle over the 100,000 mark, it’s best to try to sell in the 90,000 range to receive a higher payment.

Keep in mind that though higher mileage will often result in a lower selling price for a vehicle, other factors can also affect it. For example, keeping up with maintenance can help you sell your car for more compared to a similar car with the same mileage that hasn’t been properly maintained. 

 3. Time of Year

Typically, used cars sell faster and for more in the spring and early summer. During this time of year, people will have just received their tax refunds, meaning they’ll likely have more spending money. Additionally, people are often looking for vehicles for road trips over the summer, family vacations, or for a bit of joyriding when the weather is nice. Since it’s more enjoyable to drive during the spring and summer, vehicles like convertibles and sports cars tend to do especially well during this time period.

Can It Pay Off to Keep Your Car Until It Can’t Be Repaired?

Unless you love always having a new car, you may want to keep your current vehicle as long as possible. In a May 2024 Wall Street Journal article, Joe Pinsker discusses how the increased cost of new vehicles, insurance policies, and maintenance is leading some car owners to hold onto their vehicles longer.

The article goes on to state that the average cost of a new vehicle in March 2024 was $46,660 compared to $39,950 three years prior. Insurance costs were also up 22.2%, and maintenance costs were up 8.2% in 2024. 

These stats make selling a used vehicle that runs well less attractive for many car owners, as the buying cost for a new vehicle is much higher than years before, and you may have to pay more for insurance when switching to a new one. While maintenance costs are up, an older vehicle might also need fewer specialized parts compared to newer vehicles, helping to keep repair costs lower. 

Besides the financial downsides of new cars, vehicles are lasting longer on average, with the average age of U.S. vehicles reaching 12.6 years in 2024, a record high. As vehicles tend to be more durable now, your vehicle will likely last longer before it suffers from a repair that can’t be fixed (or is too costly to justify). 

While a variety of factors can affect how long a car lasts, it’s actually quite common for vehicles to reach the 200k mark before being replaced. As long as the vehicle is well-made and regularly maintained, it can be worth driving longer after 100,000 miles. Plus, by that point, you’ll likely have paid off your car loan, making it far more affordable to own compared to a new vehicle.

Turn to Chapel Hill Tire for Car Repair Services in the Triangle

If you’d like to keep your car in great condition before you sell or want to extend its life for as long as possible, Chapel Hill Tire can help. As a leading automotive repair shop in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding areas, we’re prepared to provide the maintenance, repairs, and replacement services you need to keep your car running at its best. We also offer a great set of coupons you can take advantage of to save money on our services. Learn more about our vehicle repair services today. If you need to bring your car in for service, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

Vehicle Alignment: Why It’s a Serious Risk for New Cars

New car with vehicle alignment issue on a road

If you’ve purchased a car in recent years, chances are it has an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). These systems aim to prevent injuries and death while driving through various safety technologies. For example, a vehicle with an ADAS will often have features like lane departure warnings, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and automatic parking. When your vehicle isn’t properly aligned, however, its ADAS can be impacted, raising your risk of an accident. 

As more and more cars rely on an ADAS to enhance vehicle safety and performance, it’s essential drivers understand how an improper vehicle alignment could put them at risk while driving.

Vehicle Alignment Explained

Otherwise called wheel or tire alignment, vehicle alignment refers to adjusting a vehicle’s suspension with alignment tools to ensure tires are angled correctly when the vehicle is on the road. If the vehicle isn’t evenly aligned, its tires won’t make contact with the road at the correct angles, and the wheels will be pointed in different directions, resulting in poor handling and excess tire wear.

By aligning the wheels of a vehicle with vehicle alignment tools, mechanics ensure the vehicle will stay straight when you’re driving, handle corners more smoothly, and keep your tires in good shape for longer. Proper alignment can also help your vehicle’s gas mileage and provide a safer driving experience. 

Why Is Proper Vehicle Alignment So Important for New Cars With an ADAS?

For older vehicles without an ADAS, improper tire alignment can cause several issues. For instance, an out-of-alignment vehicle will often pull to one side of the road instead of staying straight, leading to accidents. Improper alignment also causes tires to wear faster, which raises the risk of poor traction and tire blow-outs. 

While all these issues are serious for old and new vehicles, the increased use of ADAS in new vehicles increases the risks of improper tire alignment. When your vehicle uses an ADAS, the system relies on your vehicle’s sensors and cameras to make the proper calculations. If your alignment angles (i.e., toe, camber, and caste angles) aren’t properly aligned, these calculations can be thrown off. Without the right calculations, features associated with your ADAS won’t have the correct information to work properly.

This incorrect information can result in issues that range from the merely annoying to the very dangerous. For example, if your vehicle alignment is off and is causing your vehicle to pull to the right, its lane assist feature may start sending you alerts to stop and take a break. These alerts would be due to the ADAS thinking your constant corrections to the left are indicators you’re not driving safely.

Besides causing your ADAS to send you mistaken alerts, vehicle alignment problems could make your vehicle take a corrective maneuver when it doesn’t actually need to. For instance, your vehicle might brake or swerve unexpectedly due to ADAS sensor errors caused by an improper alignment. Of course, unexpected braking and swerving are major safety issues that lead to wrecks and serious injury. 

How to Avoid ADAS Issues From Poor Vehicle Alignment

Cars with ADAS must be properly aligned to ensure the sensors can send accurate data to the ADAS. If you notice any of the following signs of an alignment issue, you should take your car to a trained mechanic for an inspection:

  • Your steering wheel won’t stay centered
  • Your tire wear patterns are abnormal
  • Your vehicle pulls to the left or right
  • Your tires make squealing noises while driving
  • Your steering wheel feels loose

By taking your car in as soon as you notice any of the above signs, you can prevent ADAS issues from occuring. Since vehicle alignment problems can significantly reduce your safety, an alignment repair isn’t something you want to put off. 

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for Vehicle Alignment Services in the Triangle

If you need vehicle alignment services in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, or the surrounding Triangle area, turn to Chapel Hill Tire. Whether your vehicle has an ADAS or not, our mechanics have the vehicle alignment tools and training to properly align your vehicle and ensure its safety before you take it out of the shop. Since our team knows how important your ADAS is to your car’s safety and importance, we take great care to ensure our work doesn’t impact the proper functioning of your ADAS’s sensors and cameras.Learn more about our wheel alignment services today. If you’re ready to bring your vehicle into our shop, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area. We also offer a great set of coupons you can take advantage of to keep your costs low!

Car Key Fob Not Working? 4 Next Steps 

Young woman with broken key fob.

Key fobs are extremely convenient—until they stop working. If you own a car that doesn’t use a physical key, you may run into issues starting or getting into your vehicle if your key fob dies. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that may help you diagnose the problem so you can get back on the road. In this article, we’ll go over four steps to follow if your key fob dies and some answers to frequently asked questions about key fobs.

Step 1: Check Your Key Fob’s Battery

Fixing your key fob might be as simple as replacing the fob’s battery. Typically, key fob batteries last between three to four years. If your fob isn’t working and the battery is older than three or four years, you probably need to replace the battery.

If you don’t know what battery to use when replacing the old one, your car’s manual should have directions on what type of battery you need to order for your fob. Once you have your new battery, open your fob with a small screwdriver, take out the old battery, put the new one in, and test it out.

If your key fob starts working, you’re good to go! If it still isn’t working, move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Reprogram the Key Fob

If your key fob isn’t working after you replace the battery, the programming could be at fault. While the exact steps may vary by model, you can find a general overview of how to program a car key fob below:

  • Enter Programming Mode: Get into your car and close all the doors. Put your key into the ignition and turn it so it’s in the “On” position without starting the engine. Typically, a vehicle will signal that its programming mode is on by making a chime or causing the doors to lock and unlock. Some cars will require you to go between “On” and “Off” several times before the programming mode starts, so check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out how many times you need to switch between the positions.
  • Press the Key Fob Button: With the vehicle in the “On” position and the programming mode started, press and hold the lock or unlock button on the fob for about 10 to 30 seconds. Your car may make a noise indicating that the fob has been programmed. 
  • Test the Fob: Test and see if your key fob is working. If it is, you’re all set!

Some vehicles require the fob to be programmed at the dealership or by a professional. If you own a vehicle with a fob you can’t program yourself, there isn’t really a workaround, and you’ll need to take it to a qualified professional.

Step 3: Check for Physical Damage

Like any piece of technology, key fobs can suffer from physical damage, which can break them. Give your fob a good once-over to make sure that there aren’t any cracks, the buttons are working, and it isn’t overly dirty. 

You can also open the key fob to inspect the circuit board if you’re comfortable doing so. Check for any signs of corrosion or visible damage on the circuits, as those can definitely cause problems. If your fob is damaged, you can see if it can be repaired at an auto shop, but you may need to replace it entirely.

Step 4: Seek Professional Help

If you still can’t get your fob to work, you should take it to your preferred auto shop. A technician can help you diagnose the problem and get your fob working again. If the mechanic can’t repair your key fob, the shop might be able to replace it for you.

Broken Key Fob FAQ

If you have additional questions about key fobs, review our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to key fobs below:

1. How to Start Car With Dead Key Fob? 

If your car uses a keyless fob to start, knowing how to start a car with a dead key fob is essential to ensure you can still drive your vehicle. Most cars with keyless technology will start if you hold the “dead” fob up to the ignition button and try again. There may also be a small key in the fob for situations like this! If your key fob has one of those, look at the manual to find where you put the key into.

2. How to Unlock Car With Key Fob Inside? 

If you’ve accidentally locked your car with the fob inside, you can try to get the door open with a hanger or similar tool. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, a locksmith or a roadside assistance provider should be able to get your car open for you in just a few minutes!

3. What Do I Do If I Got My Key Fob Wet?

If you dropped your key fob in water or got it wet, you can try to place it into a bag of rice to dry it out. Unfortunately, water will damage the chip inside the fob and may break it. Try drying the fob out for a bit in uncooked rice before you see if it works. If it’s still not functioning after drying it out, you may have to get a new fob. 

Key Fob Problems? Turn to Chapel Hill Tire

If you’re having issues with your key fob and you live in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, Chapel Hill Tire can help. Whether your vehicle uses a keyless fob system or a traditional key fob, our mechanics can diagnose and fix the problem so you can get back on the road. If your fob doesn’t end up being the issue, we can perform a diagnostic on your vehicle to get to the bottom of the problem and get your car fixed.

When you’re ready to bring your car in, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area. You can also check out our promotions to find a great deal on our many services

Everything You Need to Know About Shock & Strut Replacement 

shocks and struts

Nobody likes an uneven ride, and if you’ve recently noticed that your vehicle seems to not be handling as smoothly as it usually does, it might be time to take a look at your shocks and struts. When these components of your vehicle’s suspension break down, they’ll cause your car to bounce and can make it difficult to control your vehicle. 

Due to the importance of shock and struts for vehicle safety, handling, and comfortability, you’ll want to know what they are and some answers to common questions drivers have about replacing shocks and struts. 

What Are Shocks and Struts?

Shocks and struts play an integral function in your car’s suspension system, as they mitigate bumps in the road and make your car handle smoothly. While you may have heard people use the terms interchangeably, shocks and struts are actually different parts altogether. 

Shocks refer to individual pieces located behind a vehicle’s tires, where they absorb shock and prevent the vehicle from bouncing. In contrast, struts are made up of multiple suspension parts that support the vehicle’s chassis. 

Like shocks, struts make it easier to control a vehicle and keep drivers comfortable by absorbing shock from the road. Unlike shocks, struts are designed to keep your vehicle’s tires in position while supporting your vehicle’s steering and braking systems. As weight-bearing components, struts are also usually stronger than shocks. 

Many cars have shocks at one end of the suspension and struts at the other, but some vehicles (particularly older ones) only have shocks. Your vehicle’s user manual will have more information on the specific type of suspension system in the car, and you can always take it to your mechanic if you’re ever concerned or have questions.

5 FAQs About Shock and Strut Replacement 

Since your vehicle’s shocks and struts are essential for smooth handling, comfort, and safety, it’s essential you know all about the replacement process. As you try to decide if you should take your vehicle into your local shop, find out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about shock and strut replacement below:

1. When Should You Replace Shocks and Struts?

Knowing when to replace shocks and struts will vary from driver to driver based on where they live. However, it is generally recommended to replace shocks & struts every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. If you’re noticing a lot of bumpiness or unevenness in your car’s driving lately, there’s a good chance your suspension is having issues, and you’ll want to bring your vehicle in for an inspection even if you haven’t reached the 50,000-mile mark.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Replace Shocks and Struts?

Strut and shock replacement costs can be anywhere from $450 – $1,100. The cost can vary based on vehicle type, parts used, and the amount of time it takes the mechanic to perform the labor. 

3. How Long Does Shock and Strut Replacement Take?

The time it takes to replace shocks and struts depends on your vehicle’s type and the mechanic’s experience level. Generally, it takes about two to four hours to replace four shock absorbers, with struts usually taking about an hour longer. However, these are only rough estimates, and you’ll want to ask your mechanic about how long it usually takes to replace struts or shocks on similar vehicles.

4. What Goes Into Shock and Strut Replacement?

To replace struts, the mechanic will disassemble the current setup on your chassis before removing the old strut. Next, a mechanic will install a new strut and re-install any parts that were disassembled during the replacement process. Since shocks are stand-alone components and not connected to a bunch of smaller pieces, they’re easier to replace. A mechanic will simply unscrew the shock and replace it with a new one.

5. Will I Need Wheel Alignment After Shock & Strut Replacement?

Typically, yes. Since strut replacement often affects the position of the tire alignment, it’s essential to ensure your tires are properly aligned before hitting the road. A qualified mechanic will ensure you have proper wheel alignment after they perform a strut and shock replacement.

6. What’s the Best Place to Get Shocks and Struts Replaced?

If you need new shocks and struts, the best place to go is a qualified mechanic that you trust. Do some research on the shops in your area, and get a couple of quotes on how much the job will cost.

Get a Smooth Ride With Chapel Hill Tire Auto

If you’re looking for the best place to get shocks and struts replaced in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, Chapel Hill Tire can help. When you bring your vehicle into the shop, our certified mechanics will take a look at your car’s suspension and help you decide the next best steps. While replacing shocks and struts in your vehicle, our team will work with you every step of the way so that you can be confident when you’re on the road. Before you schedule an appointment, check out our promotions to find a great deal on our many services

When you’re ready to bring your car in, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

The Truth About Used Tires: Are They Worth It?

Used tires being sold

Replacing your tires can be confusing. If you’re researching tire replacement, you may be asking yourself questions like: How often should I replace my tires? Should I replace all my tires at once? What type of tires should I get? 

Unfortunately, you can find a lot of false information on tires, but you don’t have to go into the process uninformed.

As you consider buying new tires vs. used tires, learn more about the risks associated with used tires and how buying new ones can actually save you money in the long run.

New Tires Vs. Used Tires: The Risks of Discount Used Tires

While it may be tempting to save some money by buying used tires, skipping out on a new set also carries some unwanted risks. The primary risks of buying used tires include the following:

  • Lower tread depth and reduced performance: Regular wear and tear will lower a tire’s tread depth, which can impact a vehicle’s traction and raise the risk of hydroplaning. If your used tires have worn down tread depth, you may not get the traction you need to brake in time. Even if the tread depth on the used tires you’re considering seems okay, it will be lower than the tread depth of a new tire.
  • Higher risk of pre-existing damage: Issues like punctures, deterioration due to weather or improper storage, and damage to the sidewall aren’t always easy to spot. A set of used tires you’re thinking about purchasing could have gone through multiple repairs without you being able to tell! If you buy a set that’s been damaged a few times, there’s a chance that the repairs could fail at an inconvenient moment. 
  • Larger chance of the tire failing quickly: When tires age, the rubber hardens, and they lose elasticity. If you’re driving on used tires, it’s like driving on borrowed time for the most part. They may seem great at first, but if they’ve had a lot of miles put on them, they can go bad quickly. 
  • Lack of reliability: It’s hard to gauge how reliable a set of used tires will be. With a new set, you can read reviews and get a sense of what to expect, but with used ones, it can be a coin toss. From reduced tread depth and ineffective repairs to hidden punctures and general wear, several factors can harm the reliability of used tires. 
  • Greater chance of needing frequent replacements: Buying used tires means you’ll have to replace them quicker than you would a new set. While you’ll save money in the short term by purchasing used tires, you’ll likely spend more in the long run, as you’ll have to replace your tires in a shorter time span.
  • Lower fuel efficiency: Poor tire traction increases resistance, which will make your car’s fuel economy worse. Lower fuel economy means more money on gas and less in your wallet! Since used tires will have less tire traction, you’ll likely pay more in gas when you go with a used set instead of new ones.

Used Tires Vs. New Tires: The Advantages of New Tires

There are many benefits to buying new tires instead of used ones. While you shop around for tires, review the benefits of purchasing new tires below:

  • Improved performance: With new tires, you won’t have to worry about degraded tire tread or damage to other parts of the tire. Due to the lack of wear on the tread depth, you can be confident your braking action and traction won’t be negatively impacted when you purchase a set of new tires.
  • Better reliability: If your tires are new, they’ve never been repaired. Knowing that you’re driving on used tires can stress some folks out, so getting new tires can also be a way to ease your mind, knowing you can rely on your tires to hold up on the road for many years.
  • Greater Durability: New tires often come with warranties for defects or damage within the first year. They also haven’t had hundreds or thousands of miles driven on them already, so there won’t be any previous wear and tear. A lack of wear and tear makes new tires more durable, and it’s far more likely you’ll get the full lifespan out of them.
  • Higher Fuel efficiency: Newer tires won’t have the traction issues that used ones have. As a result, new tires should help you save money on gas over time, especially if they are fuel-efficient tires.
  • Smoother ride and improved handling: New tires will be balanced and aligned when installed, leading to a more comfortable driving experience. With newer tires, your vehicle will be more responsive when you need to brake or turn your vehicle quickly. This improved handling can be crucial for your safety during potentially dangerous situations on the road. 

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for the Best Car Tires in the Triangle

If you need tire replacement services in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, Chapel Hill Tire can help. When you bring your vehicle into the shop, our certified mechanics can help you select the perfect set of new tires from a trusted brand. Our team can also perform regular tire inspection, rotation, and alignment services to lengthen your tires’ lifespans. Before you schedule an appointment, check out our promotions to find a great deal on our many services!

Learn more about our tire replacement services and review our available tires today. When you’re ready to bring your car in, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

4 Tips for Beating Traffic in Cary, NC

North Carolina interstate traffic

Getting stuck in traffic during your morning commute or on the way home after a long day of work can be a nightmare. If you live in or around Cary, NC, you’ve probably sat in traffic on I-40, wondering when you’ll finally get to your destination. The growth in the Triangle over the last few years has led to an increase in traffic that can be hard to avoid for even the most seasoned NC drivers. 

Fortunately, you can often reduce the amount of time you’re spending on the road by following a few tips for traffic in Cary, NC. In this article, we’ll go over four tips on how to beat traffic in Cary and the surrounding Triangle area so you can plan your routes and not get stuck behind a semi on 95 for an extra 30 minutes!

1. Rush Hour Starts Earlier in Cary, NC

During the school year in Cary, rush hour tends to start earlier in the afternoon due to the number of drivers and K-12 schools in the Triangle area. Since many schools will let out around two or three in the afternoon, rush hour on local roads can start around these times as parents pick up their children from school. 

Smaller, local roads like High House Road and Harrison Avenue tend to become fairly congested after school lets out (and will only get worse until the early evening), so if you can avoid these roads in the mid-to-late afternoon, you’ll likely avoid traffic. In the morning, you can expect highways and local roads to start filling up and growing more congested around 8:00 a.m.

Keep in mind that while highways like I-95, I-40, and I-64 are great when they’re not busy, they can be a nightmare during rush hour for Triangle drivers. Besides slowing you down, these highways can also be dangerous, with I-95 listed as the most deadly highway in America in 2022, with 379 fatalities in 2020. Typically, these highways are worse between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and if you can make it to work or school without taking them during these times, you can avoid a great deal of traffic.

2. Avoid Cary’s Most Accident-Prone Intersections

Roads and Highways with a higher accident rate will lead to more frequent traffic jams. The intersection of High House Road and NC-55 is one particular area that can be more dangerous, as traffic gets pretty congested there during rush hour. 

Busy intersections like High House and Cary Parkway as well as Davis Drive and Morrisville Parkway are also spots that tend to have more fender bender incidents during high-volume hours. 

While you usually can’t avoid areas that are more accident-prone altogether, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and drive carefully to avoid any type of collision or accident. If you can avoid the intersections listed above, you’ll likely be safer and able to make it to your destination faster.

3. Use Waze (or Similar Apps) to Avoid Traffic

While you can avoid dangerous intersections and main highways during rush hour, accidents and roadwork happen all the time, which can delay even less well-trafficked routes. Even if you know your route to the office by heart, it can save you time to download an app like Waze to check for accidents, road work, speed traps, and other road conditions that could end up delaying your drive.

With an app like Waze, you can find the fastest route in Cary, as the app should take accidents and speed traps into consideration. If you’re frequently getting stuck in traffic, Waze will show you alternative routes, and it can save you a great deal of time if you give them a shot. These apps can also provide info on red light cameras in Cary, NC, which can save you a ticket and ensure you don’t try to beat a yellow light.

Besides Waze, you can also check out live feeds of Cary, NC, traffic cameras. Some sites show live feeds, and you can view them for a minute before you hit the road to see if there are any accidents or traffic that could impact your drive.  You can also see what traffic looks like if you go to or tune in to Cary 11

4. Take a Short Detour Around Cary Station to Avoid Trains

One of the best tips for avoiding traffic is to make sure you don’t get stuck waiting for a train to pass. While you probably won’t regularly have to stop for trains in Cary, you might if you’re driving past Cary Station. This train station is located in downtown Cary, and trains can sometimes block the roads surrounding it while they wait for passengers.

Right beside the train station is North Harrison Avenue, with Cary Station (and its railroad tracks!) between Chapel Hill Road and Chatham St. If you decide to go through the intersections of Harrison Avenue/Chapel Hill Road or Harrison Avenue/Chatham Street, you could get stuck waiting for a train to pass. 

If you’re driving from the west side of Cary on Chapel Hill Road, keep driving past the train station until you reach a fork that allows you to get on East Durham Road. You can take East Durham Road past the rails and then take East Chatham St to get to the south side of the station without worrying about a train slowing you down.

If you need to get to the North side of the station and are traveling from the east side of Cary on West Chatham Street, you’ll reach a traffic circle that allows you to get off on West Durham Road. Instead of continuing down West Chatham Street, take the West Durham Road exit in the roundabout to get to the north side of Cary without having to stop for a passing train. You can also check the Amtrack schedule of Cary Station to see when trains may be blocking traffic.  

Stay Safe and On Time with Chapel Hill Tire

If you live in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area and need work done on your vehicle, Chapel Hill Tire can help you out. One of our qualified mechanics would be happy to examine your car and suggest any repairs it needs to get back into top shape. We also have a great set of coupons for any maintenance requirements you might have!

We can also recommend and help install dashcams for those who frequently drive in heavily congested areas. When these devices are installed in your vehicle, you’ll have a way to provide documentation should anything happen while you’re on the road. 

Learn more about our vehicle inspection and repair services today. When you’re ready to bring your car in, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area.

Breathe at Your Own Risk: The Threat in Your Car’s HVAC System

Air coming out of a car's vent with mold in the air

When people think of mold, their minds often turn to a bathroom or a basement. Both of these places are dark, full of moisture, and potentially don’t have great ventilation. What a lot of folks don’t realize is that their car’s HVAC system can be just as much of a breeding ground for mold spores as both of these places. HVAC systems in cars are also dark, damp, and subject to rapid temperature changes, creating an ideal place for mold spores to settle and multiply. 

As you try to protect yourself from breathing in mold while driving, learn more about the dangers breathing in mold can bring, how to detect mold in your car, and the best ways to get rid of mold in your car once you discover it.

The Dangers of Mold in Cars

Breathing in mold can cause a host of health problems in both the short and long term, especially for those with respiratory issues like asthma. For example, mold spores can trigger or enhance the negative effects of allergies and respiratory issues. The effects can even be more severe for children whose immune systems are still developing and people with compromised immune systems.

While mold may make other medical issues worse in the short term, it can also cause more severe health problems down the road if the exposure is constant. For instance, long-term exposure can result in people developing asthma and change a person’s immune and inflammation systems.

Why Is Mold in a Car a Problem?

Because the inside of a car is so small and the airflow is so restricted, any presence of mold in the AC system almost guarantees that you’ll be exposed to mold while driving. If you have your heater or AC on, you and your passengers will be breathing it in every time air is blowing through the vents. If you drive a lot, you’ll constantly be breathing in mold, raising the risk of developing short-term and long-term negative effects from mold exposure.

How to Detect Mold in Car ACs

Figuring out if there’s mold in your car’s AC isn’t always as simple as it may seem. If you’ve noticed a musty odor when turning on the heating or cooling in your car, that could be a sign of a mold issue. Any complaints of breathing issues, sneezing, watery eyes, or coughing while driving could also be caused by mold.

If the mold issue is bad enough, you might even be able to visibly see it on the vents in your car. Mold can come in various colors, including black, green, or white, and it often resembles a patchy or fuzzy texture.

If you are having issues that you think are mold-related and can’t locate any, it’s best to take your car to a professional to have them look inside your car’s HVAC system. They can inspect the inside of your AC box to see if there’s any unwanted growth. After the inspection, they can recommend steps to take care of the problem so you can get back to breathing easily. 

How to Get Rid of Mold in Cars and Prevent Future Mold Growth

If you’ve found mold in your car or want to prevent it, the following methods can help you get rid of it for good in your vehicle:

  • Clean and Disinfect: When you find mold in your car, you’ll want to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces in your vehicle with a mixture of mild detergent and water to get rid of any visible mold. After you’ve wiped the surfaces down, spray them with a mixture of white vinegar and water or any type of commercial mold remover that is safe for indoor use. 
  • Replace Cabin Air Filters: A clean cabin air filter in your car can significantly reduce the chance that mold will grow inside your HVAC system. If you can’t find your car’s cabin air filter or are having trouble replacing it, a professional at your local auto shop can help you.
  • Moisture Reduction: Reducing the amount of moisture in your car will help control and prevent mold spores from growing and multiplying. Parking in shaded areas, cracking windows when it’s not raining, and placing moisture-absorbing objects in your car, like silica gel packs, are all great ways of making sure it doesn’t get too musty in your vehicle.
  • Seek Help From a Pro: If you’ve tried all of the above methods and are still having mold issues, it’s time to talk to a pro. A good auto shop will provide a climate control service option that will have your vehicle’s AC system blowing clean air like it’s as good as new! During this procedure, the mechanic will remove your car’s cabin filter to treat the AC box with a foaming alcohol-based cleaner to kill mold spores and disinfect the ventilation system with an aerosol-based cleaner. 

Schedule a Climate Control Service Appointment at Chapel Hill Tire 

If you need help removing mold from your car and live in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area, Chapel Hill Tire can help. Our mechanics will be happy to take a look at your car’s ventilation system to see if there is a mold problem and take the necessary steps to clean it out. We can also give you tips on how to prevent mold growth in the future and provide any other repair services you might need.

Learn more about our HVAC repair services today. If you’re ready to bring your vehicle into one of our shops, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area. We also offer a great set of coupons you can take advantage of to keep your costs low!

5 Must-Know Safety Tips for New Drivers

A new driver with a set of keys

When a teenager gets their license, it’s an exciting time for them and potentially a stressful one for their parents. Driving on your own opens up a new world of freedom and possibilities, but with this newfound freedom also comes a good amount of responsibility. As new drivers, teenagers have to be aware that they’re in charge of not only their safety but also the safety of others on the road. 

As you prepare your teenager to start driving, review five important teen driver safety tips.

5 Important Safety Tips for Teenage Drivers

Whether it’s learning how to teach a teen to drive defensively, buying the best car for teen drivers, or installing teen driver monitoring devices in your teen’s vehicle, there’s plenty you can do to prepare your teenager for the road. Before you give your teen the go-ahead to drive without you, follow these five safety tips for teenage drivers:

1. Practice Defensive Driving 

Defensive driving is the best strategy you can use to teach a teen to drive so that they’re safe and sound on the road once they get their license. Your new driver should always be prepared to react accordingly to things like crashes, aggressive drivers, inclement weather, and everything else that can happen on the road, regardless of trip length.

Some important defensive driving best practices to communicate to them include paying attention to speed limits, giving an appropriate amount of space to the cars around them, and avoiding aggressive movements like tailgating or sudden lane changes. 

Try to drill into their head that it’s always better to be a few minutes late than put their life or other’s lives at risk. It’s okay to drive like a grandma!  

2. Minimize Distractions

Of all the wonderful things and conveniences that smartphones bring to our lives, they are also a massive risk for distraction when driving and can be a major teen driver safety risk. Your teen may want to change their music, look at that text they just received, or check any number of things on their phone while they’re driving.

It is extremely important to let them know that distracted driving is dangerous driving, and if they absolutely need to check or answer their phone, they should pull over to a safe location beforehand. 

You should be setting a good example by not using your phone while they’re in the car with you so that they can see what safe driving looks like. Getting them in the habit of getting their music and directions pulled up before they start driving can also be a way to reduce the chance they start using their phone while driving.

3. How to Perform Basic Car Maintenance  

Basic car maintenance is essential for anybody who is setting out to drive. Things like changing tires, jumping a car’s battery, checking tire pressure and tread depth, making sure your brakes are working, and monitoring fluids are all basic skills your teen should know when they’re getting started driving.

Your local tire shop should have all of the tools your teen needs to have in their car for basic vehicle care, such as a tire gauge, tread measurer, change kit, and jumper cables.  

Consider enrolling them in a new driver course at your local shop so they can learn all the skills they need from the pros. These courses are extremely informative and can make the difference between a new driver getting stuck on the side of the road or making it home safely. 

4. Take Advantage of Teen Driver Monitoring Software

Teenagers aren’t known for always making the most clear-headed and rational decisions. Fortunately, teen driver monitoring software can help parents know their teenager is driving safely. Even though you can have your teen install an app on their phone to track their driving, teens can often get around these tracking devices by turning off their phones or finding another way around the app. 

Instead of using a phone-based app, you may want to install an onboard diagnostic tracker in their vehicle to more accurately track and receive notifications about their speed, location, and driving performance (e.g., are they braking too hard?). Sometimes, vehicles have tracking capabilities already included with them that you can use instead of installing a third-party device and app.

While a teen driver may not love being tracked, it can be really useful in knowing how safely they’re driving without parental supervision—and keep them safe in the long run. If you notice they’re regularly speeding or doing something unsafe while driving, you can address the problem before it becomes a habit. If your teen is against monitoring technology, you can highlight how it can help you find them faster if they’re in a wreck or some other accident where they can’t call or text you.

5. The Importance of a Safe Car Over a Flashy One

A safe, reliable vehicle for your teen’s first car is a good way to learn the rules of the road and get used to operating vehicles in general. 

Flashy sports cars or big trucks may be fun, but a solid sedan will always be the best car for teen drivers. The Toyota Corolla is one of the gold-standard vehicles for a new driver, as it’s safe, easy to work on, and gets great mileage. 

If you’re planning on passing down an older car to your teen driver, be sure it’s up to date on all of its inspections and necessary maintenance before you hand over the keys. Have them come with you or help you as you get it ready for them to drive. Getting the car ready together can help them see what they should be doing themselves to ensure that their car is safe and road-ready!

Sign Your Teen Up for an Automotive Learning Workshop at Chapel Hill Tire 

If you live near Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area and you’re trying to help your teen get ready to drive, Chapel Hill Tire can help. Our Automotive Learning Workshop is a great way to get them ready for the road and provide them with the skills they need to be a responsible driver. We have all the tools and materials they may need when starting out, and we’d be happy to take a look at an older car to make sure it’s ready to go.

Learn more about our Automotive Learning Workshop today. If you need car maintenance or repair services, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area. We also offer a great set of coupons you can take advantage of to keep your costs low!