4 Car Care Resolutions to Save You Money in 2022

Mechanic completing an in-depth service

As we settle into 2022, you might be trying to stay on top of your New Year’s resolutions. Did saving money make your list? The mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire may be able to help! Here is a look at 4 maintenance services and car care tips that can save you money this year.

1. Maintain Proper Tire Care

Did you know that proper tire care can help you save money at the pump? Imagine riding a bike with a flat, uneven, or damaged tire? It requires much more energy than riding a healthy bike. The same concept applies to your car. If your tires are out of shape, your car will have to work harder (and use more gas) to produce results. This extra effort can also lead to costly repairs as it extends stress to multiple vehicle systems. It is important to keep up with tire rotations and routinely check your tire pressure, age, and tread depth. You can also keep an eye out for signs of a nail in your tires or uneven tread wear (such as one tire becoming more worn out than the others).

2. Keep Up With Routine Oil Changes

Do you find your oil change dashboard light constantly lit? While our mechanics won’t judge you for your oil change neglect, we will warn you of the extra costs this can bring. A simple (and affordable) oil change can save you thousands of dollars in engine damage. Oil has vital cooling properties—absorbing up to 40% of your engine’s heat. It also lubricates your engine, allowing this system of parts to work together seamlessly. Together, these functions can help you dodge the most costly engine problems. 

Dirty, old, depleted, and contaminated engine oil can also cause some extra unexpected costs. For example, did you know that degraded engine oil can cause premature battery failure—especially in the winter? In the colder months, your engine oil will move more slowly—causing strain on your battery. If your engine oil is contaminated, it will require even more effort from your battery—often leading to premature failure. As such, routine oil changes may help extend the lifespan of your battery. Visiting a local mechanic for fresh engine oil can also help you save money at the pump by eliminating unnecessary exertion from your vehicle. 

3. Don’t Forget Cabin Air Filter Changes

When you find your vehicle’s heater or air conditioner broken, many drivers assume they are simply low on coolant. However, your car’s HVAC system circulates coolant through a sealed system. What does that mean? Unlike your engine oil, coolant does not become depleted over time unless there is an underlying problem. It is a much larger service to find and repair the source of the leak. The most common cause of damaged vehicle HVAC systems is dirty cabin air filters

As the air filters become clogged, they will have to work harder to pass air through. This added stress can cause costly HVAC system damage. You can save money and stay comfortable by ensuring your cabin air filter stays clean this year. 

4. Accept Help When You Need It

Between work, family, friends, and other obligations, you might not always have time to visit a mechanic. Busy scheduling can make it impossible to take advantage of cost-saving services. This year, we implore our drivers to accept a little help when they need it. If you need help keeping up with your car care, Chapel Hill Tire will come to you with our pick-up and delivery mechanic service. During this service, our professionals will come to your home or work and bring your vehicle back to the shop. Once it is fully serviced, we will drop it back off to you. Car care (and New Year’s resolutions) have never been more simple. 

Chapel Hill Tire Convenient Car Care

The professionals at Chapel Hill tire are here to help you meet all of your car care resolutions and save money this year. We proudly serve the greater Triangle area with our 9 locations across Apex, Raleigh, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Durham. Our professionals also serve surrounding communities, including Wake Forest, Pittsboro, Cary, Knightdale, Hillsborough, Morrisville, and beyond. We invite you to make your appointment here online or give our professionals a call to get started today!

Auto Mechanic Pick-Up and Delivery: Everything You Need to Know

Mechanic extending a set of keys - pick-up and delivery mechanic service

When you don’t have time to visit the shop for a service or repair, our mechanics will come to you! While it might sound too good to be true, Chapel Hill Tire does it every day. Our professionals are here to answer your questions about mechanic pick-up and delivery service. 

How Much Does Pick-Up and Delivery Mechanic Service Cost?

Pick-up and delivery service is free for our drivers! Yes, you read that right. You can get your vehicle serviced without leaving your seat, tailored to your schedule—all at no additional cost to you. 

Does My Car Service Qualify for Pick-Up and Delivery?

Almost all car services qualify for pick-up and delivery, including:

Unfortunately, we cannot tow your vehicle to our shop for service. As such, your car must be in drivable condition for pick-up and delivery. If you have a question about whether or not your vehicle qualifies for this service, please give your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location a call. 

Is Mechanic Pick-Up and Delivery Service Safe? 

Not only is pick-up and delivery service safe—it is perhaps one of the most safeguarded ways to receive automotive service. 

  • Safe for you: During these uncertain times, Chapel Hill Tire is doing its part to keep you safe. Pick-up and delivery services are completely contactless. Our experts will confirm your preferred key pick-up process—including the option for you to leave your keys in the car for us. You can also pay by text or by phone for a contactless payment option. 
  • Safe for your car: Driving a car that is due for service requires careful, experienced driving practices. Who better to take care of that than professional drivers and mechanics? Your car is in safe hands when you choose pick-up and delivery service. 

How Do I Sign Up For Pick-Up and Delivery?

  • Step 1: Click “Make an Appointment”
  • Step 2: In the “Select Appointment Type” drop-down menu, click the “Pick-Up and Delivery” option. 
  • Step 3: Fill out and submit the form using the on-screen guidance. 
  • Step 4: Our professionals will be in touch to confirm your appointment. 

Does Chapel Hill Tire Offer At-Home Service?

Our mechanics will come to you! However, we do not perform any at-home services at this time. Our mechanics are committed to providing customers with only the highest level of care, safety, and service. At-home mechanic services would not allow our experts to access the advanced suite of in-house technology, tools, and equipment that help us provide industry-leading service. Instead, we bring your car back to the shop and deliver it back to you fully serviced. 

Am I Within a Chapel Hill Tire Pick-Up Service Area?

With our 9 Triangle-area locations across Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro, Chapel Hill Tire proudly accommodates an expansive service area. We also proudly extend this service to drivers in nearby communities, including:

Chapel Hill Tire Pick-Up and Delivery Service

When you are ready to access the convenience of pick-up and delivery mechanic services, Chapel Hill Tire is here for you! If you don’t see your question answered here, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We invite you to make your car care appointment here online to get started today!

5 Dead Battery Tips and Tricks To Keep You Moving

a car battery warning light on a dashboard

As the weather begins cooling down, drivers often find themselves stranded with a dead battery. However, there are still some tips and tricks that may be able to help you make it to a mechanic for a battery replacement. The local auto service mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with insight. 

Check Your Engine Oil

If your car is having a hard time turning over, you might be able to give it a boost by ensuring your oil is fresh. When the cold weather sets in, it makes your engine oil move slower—which causes your vehicle to require an extra surge of power from your battery. Tainted, contaminated, and expired engine oil can add even more stress to your battery. Ensuring you have fresh engine oil may be able to buy you a little time while you get your battery replaced.  

Phone a Friend: How to Jump a Car Battery

When you find your car battery dead, naturally, you are due for a battery replacement service. However, it can be hard to make it to the mechanic when your car refuses to turn over. In these cases, a simple jump-start can get you on your way. Jump-starting your car can be easy with the help of a friend. All you need is a set of jumper cables and a second running vehicle. You can read our 8-step guide to jumping a car battery here.

Find the Right Tools: Can I Jump a Car Battery By Myself?

With the right tools, it is possible to safely jump-start a car battery by yourself. However, it can be hard to get the right tools without a running car. Primarily, you will need a special battery pack to jumpstart a dead car battery by yourself.

Individual jump-starting battery packs are available for order online and in some major retail/hardware stores. These batteries have attached jumper cables and the power needed to jump-start most car batteries. Simply follow the included instructions to charge and jump-start your car battery.

Give it Some Time

Here is a common myth: the cold weather kills your car battery. Rather, the cold weather slows down the electrochemical reaction that fuel’s your battery power. As such, it is during the coldest times of day that your battery will struggle the most. By giving your car a little time to warm up, you might have better luck with your battery later in the day. 

Additionally, if your car does start, it does not mean your battery is good to go. Without proper replacement, you will likely find your car battery dead again in the morning. Instead, take the time to have a new battery installed by a professional mechanic.

Check for Corrosion

Corrosion can also prevent your battery from starting—especially on colder days. It drains the charge out of the battery while limiting its ability to accept a jump-start. You can have your battery terminal ends professionally cleaned or replaced to eliminate corrosion concerns.

If your battery is still struggling to start, you may be far overdue for a battery replacement. There could also be an issue with your alternator, starting system, or another component failure. In this case, you may need to see a mechanic for a battery/starting system inspection or professional diagnostic services. 

Chapel Hill Tire: New Battery Installation Services

When you are almost due for a new battery, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We install new batteries throughout the Triangle—with 9 locations across Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. If you sense that your battery is getting ready to die but do not have time to visit a mechanic, our pick-up and delivery service can help! We invite you to make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today! 

How to Protect Tesla Rims from Curb Rash

Tesla driving at sunset

Damaged, scratched, and bent rims can happen occasionally on the road. However, since the introduction of the Tesla car brand, mechanics like Chapel Hill Tire have seen an uptick in rim damage and services. Why? Tesla vehicles are especially prone to rim damage. Our local Tesla mechanics are here with a look at why Tesla rims become scratched and what you can do to protect your wheels. 

What Is Curb Rash?

In terms of Tesla wheels, drivers and mechanics alike often use words like “curb rash,” “rim rash,” and “curbing.” So what exactly does this mean? When a tire scrapes across a curb during a turn, it can leave a harsh scratch across the rim. In worst-case scenarios, drivers may find bent, damaged, or torn rim metal. Tesla vehicles are notorious for “curb rash.” Why? Let’s take a closer look at why Tesla rims become scratched so effortlessly. 

Why Do Tesla Rims Become Scratched?

Tesla wheels are built with foam in the middle, making the design slightly different from most cars. While the foam provides a smooth and quiet ride, drivers often find that the Tesla wheel design creates a perfect storm for curb rash and rim scratches:

  • Tesla Optical Illusion: Some Tesla drivers have reported that the design of the Tesla can present an optical illusion of sorts—making the car seem more narrow than it actually is. As such, drivers are more likely to misjudge the width of turns and “kiss” the curb. 
  • Thin Tires: Most rubber tires jut out beyond the rim—providing an added layer of protection. On the other hand, the metal of Tesla rims sticks out further than the tire rubber. This design leaves the metal rims as the first point of contact for curbs during misjudged turns.
  • Curb Level: Teslas are relatively low to the ground. Unlike larger cars, trucks, and SUVs—which might elevate the rims slightly above certain hazards—this design puts Tesla rims level with the curb. 
  • Self Driving and Parking: Some drivers have reported that Tesla vehicles have scratched the rims while engaged in self-parking or self-driving features. 

Collectively, these hazards have led to a significant uptick in rim rash—specifically in Tesla vehicles. 

How Can You Protect Tesla Rims?

There are a few options available to drivers when it comes to protecting their rims. Some drivers choose to drive more defensively—carefully trying to avoid curbing. However, it can be challenging (if not impossible) to dodge everything the road throws at you. 

For comprehensive protection, our mechanics install AlloyGator rim guards on Tesla wheels. Using a blend of super tough nylon, these installations fit seamlessly onto your wheels while providing enhanced damage prevention. At the time of publication, AlloyGators are the only TUV- and MIRA-certified wheel protectors on the market. 

5 Benefits of Rim Guards

  • Higher resale value: Rim damage can lower the resale value of your Tesla. By preventing rim damage, you can avoid this costly depreciation. 
  • Preventing costly damage: While rim guards are an investment, they pay for themselves in preventing even more costly wheel and rim damage
  • Preventing structural wheel damage: In addition to preventing scratches, AlloyGator rim guards can absorb the impact of potholes and other road hazards. 
  • Avoiding metal hazards: In severe cases, scratched rims can result in sharp, jagged edges around your metal wheels. These could become safety hazards, especially if you have small children that could become poked, cut, or scratched.
  • Custom aesthetic:  Rim guards allow you to customize your Tesla vehicle. You can match your existing rim color, match your Tesla exterior color, or choose from a variety of other color options. 

Is AlloyGator Rim Protection Available for All Vehicles?

Yes, AlloyGator rim guards can safeguard almost any vehicle. However, not all cars require this level of protection. Most rims have built-in security, with the tire rubber jutting out further than the metal rims. AlloyGator rim guards are perfect for drivers with specialty rims or luxury vehicles with more extravagant rims.

Tesla Rim Protection from Chapel Hill Tire

When you are ready to get your rims protected, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We provide and install AlloyGators in-house at our 9 Triangle-area locations. As Tesla service experts, our local mechanics can provide comprehensive care for your vehicle. You can find our shops conveniently located in Raleigh, Apex, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Durham. We invite you to make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!

Why Car Tires Deflate in the Winter: Mechanic Insight

Mechanic checking for low tire pressure

If you notice the u-shaped dashboard light with an exclamation point illuminate, you know it is time for a tire pressure refill. Most drivers find that this light is most active during the colder months. So why do tires deflate in the winter? How can you keep your tires protected from cold weather? The mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with insight. 

Winter Air Compression and Tire Pressure

The reason your tires deflate in the winter is the same reason doctors tell you to put ice on an injury—cold temperatures cause contraction. Let’s take a closer look at the science:

  • Warmer molecules move faster. These fast-moving molecules spread further apart and take up extra space.
  • Colder molecules move slower and stay closer together—taking up less space as they contract.

For injuries, this is why ice can help reduce swelling. For your tires, however, it means that the air is no longer supplying the same amount of pressure. As your tire air compresses, it can leave your vehicle vulnerable on the road. 

Impacts and Risks of Low Tire Pressure

What happens when you ignore that dashboard light and drive with low tire pressure? It could put your vehicle, your tires, and your safety at risk. Here are some of the issues you can expect from driving with low tire pressure:

  • Worsened Vehicle Handling: Your tires play a vital role in helping your vehicle start, stop, and steer. Low tire pressure can reduce the responsiveness of your vehicle handling—impacting your safety on the road. 
  • Increased Tread Wear: Low tire pressure causes more of your tire tread to be exposed on the road—causing increased and uneven wear. 
  • Worsened Fuel Efficiency: Have you ever ridden a bike with low tire pressure? If so, you will understand that low tire pressure causes your vehicle to work much harder. This can cause a sharp increase in fuel consumption—making you pay more at the pump.

What to Do When Your Low Tire Pressure Light Comes On

Can I drive with low tire pressure? When your low tire pressure light comes on, there is no need to panic. You do not want to drive for extended lengths of time with low tire pressure, but you should be fine to drive to work or school—as long as you plan to get your tires inflated soon thereafter. You can even score a free tire pressure refill at a local mechanic shop. 

If your tire pressure is low for reasons other than the cold weather, you may require additional services:

  • If your low tire pressure is caused by a nail in your tire or another puncture, it will need a simple patching service. 
  • If your tire is struggling to maintain tire pressure due to sidewall issues, old age, or other signs of decline, you will need new tires. 

How Much Should I Refill My Tire Pressure?

Many drivers assume that the information about tire pressure (PSI) is found in the tire’s DOT number. While some tires contain printed information about pressure, this is not always the case. Even so, there are easier ways to find out how much you should refill your tire pressure. 

The most straightforward way is to check your tire information panel for details about your desired PSI. This insight can be found inside your driver’s side door frame. Simply open your door, turn around to face the rear of the car, and look along the metal frame for a sticker with tire information. It will tell you the ideal pressure for your tires. You can also often find this information in your owner’s manual. 

Picture of a tire information sticker in a car

Tire Pressure Refills and Tire Services: Chapel Hill Tire

If the cold weather is keeping your tires down, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We offer complimentary refill services, among other conveniences designed to help the Triangle Drive Happy. Chapel Hill Tire has 9 locations across Raleigh, Apex, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Durham. We also proudly serve nearby communities, including Wake Forest, Pittsboro, Cary, and beyond. You can make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!

7 Mechanic Tips on Protecting Your Car from the Cold

two cars on a snow-covered road

How does cold weather impact your vehicle? What can you do to protect your car from the winter season? As the temperatures continue to drop, you may begin to notice signs of your vehicle struggling. The cold weather can challenge your vehicle from all angles. The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here to help with 7 cold weather car tips and services.

1) Maintain Your Recommended Oil Change Schedule

Oil changes are essential year-round, but they are especially important during the colder months. The cold weather makes your oil and other engine fluids move more slowly, which requires your vehicle to work harder to operate. Dirty, contaminated, and depleted engine oil can substantially enhance this stress. Double-check to ensure you are on track with your manufacturer-recommended oil change schedule. If you are close to needing an oil change, it might even be worth getting this service a little early to safeguard your car against wintery weather. 

2) Watch Out For Your Battery

While the cold weather does not damage your battery, it can deplete your battery’s charge. Combined with the fact that your vehicle requires an extra surge of power to start due to slow-moving engine oil, battery failure can leave drivers stranded in the winter. You can prevent battery troubles by ensuring your terminal ends are clean and preserving battery life, when possible. This includes unplugging chargers and turning off your lights when the vehicle is not running. You can also get a battery replacement at the first signs of a dying car battery. 

3) Park in the Garage

Naturally, the temperatures get colder after the sun sets—making this the most vulnerable time for your vehicle. You can help keep your car protected by parking in an enclosed garage each night. While most garages are not climate-controlled, they can insulate your car while keeping away the frost—with the added bonus of keeping morning ice off of your windshield. Just be sure to open your overhead garage door before starting your engine to avoid exhaust venting into your home and car. 

4) Keep an Eye on Tire Tire Pressure

When the temperatures drop, the air inside your tires compresses. Low tire pressure can lead to a wide range of troubles, including:

  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Poor vehicle handling
  • Increased risks of tire sidewall damage 
  • Enhanced and uneven tire wear

By ensuring you maintain the recommended pressure (as indicated on your tire information panel), you can help keep your tires protected. You can often even score a free tire pressure refill from a local mechanic shop.

5) Check-in on Your Radiator, Belts, and Hoses

One lesser-known risk of cold weather is the damage it can cause your radiator, belts, and hoses. Radiator fluid is a mixture between antifreeze and water. While antifreeze has an impressive freezing point of -36℉ (hence the name), water has a freezing point of 32℉. As such, your radiator fluid is susceptible to partial freezing during cold winter nights. This is especially true if your fluid is old, contaminated, or depleted. A radiator fluid flush can help keep your radiator protected. A mechanic will also check its supporting components—including the belts and hoses—for signs of wear.

6) Complete Tire Tread Checks

When the roads accumulate snow and ice, your tires will have to be extra responsive to keep you safe. To keep you and your vehicle protected, you will want to ensure that your tires have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread. You can read our guide to checking tire tread depth here. It is also necessary to keep an eye out for uneven tread wear and signs of rubber rot. 

7) Headlight Bulb Checks and Restoration Services

The cold, dark winter days and nights will put your headlights to the test. Double-check to ensure your headlights are bright and functioning properly. You may need a simple bulb replacement if you notice one of your headlights dim or burnt-out. If your headlights are dim or yellowing, this could be a sign of oxidized lenses. A headlight restoration service can repair this issue to keep you safe on the road during the darkest days of the year. 

Winter Car Care from Chapel Hill Tire

You can get the winter car care you need without ever stepping foot in a mechanic’s office with Chapel Hill Tire’s pick-up and delivery services. We invite you to make your appointment here online or give us a call today to get started! Chapel Hill Tire proudly serves the greater Triangle area with 9 locations across Raleigh, Apex, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. We also serve surrounding communities, including Wake Forest, Cary, Pittsboro, Morrisville, Hillsborough, and beyond! Save time and trouble this holiday season when you Drive Happy with Chapel Hill Tire.

5 Easy Car Improvement Holiday Gift Ideas

Toy car carrying an oversized gift

We all know someone who is impossible to shop for during the holiday season. With supply chain issues and product shortages, this year can bring additional challenges to gift-giving. It is time to start getting creative. The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with some suggestions on auto repairs and updates you can give this holiday season. 

1: New Tires

Tires are an investment, one integral to your vehicle safety, handling, braking, and fuel efficiency. If your parents, partner, or child is due for a new set of tires—this could be the perfect holiday gift. You can shop online with ease using our Tire Finder tool. It shows you all of the tires available for your loved one’s vehicle—allowing you to compare prices and features. You can also view the full pricing breakdown to avoid any hidden fees or surprises. The gift of new tires is an investment that will keep them safe and moving forward for years to come. 

2: Oil Change

As one of the most frequently-needed car maintenance visits, an oil change is a small service that can feel like a huge inconvenience. By giving the gift of an oil change, you can save your love one time while protecting their engine with this affordable service. Best of all, with pick-up and delivery, you won’t even need to leave your seat to show your loved ones you care.  

3: Brake Pads and Rotors

Responsive brakes are a necessary element of vehicle safety. Over time, most braking systems will wear out the brake pad friction material and warp the brake rotors. If your loved one is due for brake services, this could be the gift that saves their life on the road. A professional mechanic can assess their brakes to determine the needed course of action. 

4: Trailer Hitch Installation

Do you have anyone in your life who loves adventure? A trailer hitch installation could make a great gift. Unfortunately, these vital installations no longer come standard on many capable vehicles. Giving the gift of trailer hitch installation can help your loved one unlock new adventures. Even small cars can make use of a trailer hitch for bike racks, small cargo carriers, and other unique attachments.

5: Headlight Restoration

Headlights are another key safety feature that can often go unchecked. Most headlights are made with acrylic lenses. The sun’s UV rays oxidize acrylic—causing yellowing, foggy, opaque, and dim headlights. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to oxidized headlights: restoration service. During this process, an expert will use professional-grade tools to remove and resurface the oxidized layer of the lenses. They will then polish on a protective layer to deter future oxidization.

Chapel Hill Tire Auto Service and Repairs in the Triangle

When you are ready to give the gift of car care, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We offer a comprehensive array of gift-worthy services. If you are busy during this holiday season, we can come to you with our pick-up and delivery service. Chapel Hill Tire serves the greater Triangle area with 9 locations across Raleigh, Apex, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. We invite you to explore our coupons, make your appointment here online, or give us a call to get started today! 

Cold Weather Care: Radiator Repair, Coolant Flushes, & Hose Services

Mechanic holding the cap to a car's radiator

Cold weather can create all sorts of trouble for your vehicle. You might find your low tire pressure light on as the air begins to compress. Perhaps your battery light comes on as the cold makes it challenging for your vehicle to start. However, one less noticeable effect of the cold weather is radiator damage. Our local mechanics are here with everything you need to know about cold weather and vehicle radiator care. 

Why is the Cold Weather Bad For Radiators?

You might be wondering, “Why does the cold weather put my radiator at risk?” When the temperatures begin to drop, the coolant inside your radiator can begin to partially freeze. While antifreeze will not freeze until it reaches -36℉, coolant is actually a mixture of antifreeze and water. Unlike antifreeze, water freezes at 32℉. As such, your radiator fluid can begin partially freezing during the cold winter nights. 

Radiator Troubles and Cold Weather

So what happens when your radiator fluid begins to freeze? This process can cause a few adverse side effects, including:

  • The metal components of your radiator can begin to contract
  • Your radiator fluid can begin to expand
  • Radiator fluid can leak through damaged components 
  • Your radiator hoses and hose clamps can become loose or damaged

In these cases, your vehicle will require professional radiator diagnostics and repair services. This may involve hose replacement, radiator replacements, hose tightening services, or coolant services, among others. 

Preventing Radiator Damage in the Cold Weather

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to keep your radiator protected. How do you prevent cold weather radiator troubles? Here are three main tips from our mechanics:

  • Park in the Garage: The easiest way to stop the cold weather from impacting your radiator is to park in the garage. This will protect your car from frost and ease the impacts of the harshest temperatures. 
  • Vehicle Covers: If you cannot park in your garage, you might consider investing in a vehicle cover. These will help trap in the heat of your vehicle and insulate your engine from the cold. 
  • Radiator Fluid Flush: Your radiator will be especially prone to cold weather impacts if it hasn’t received proper care. Sludge and debris in your radiator can impact the coolant freezing point and make your radiator more susceptible to cold weather problems. As such, it is essential you maintain your manufacturer-recommended radiator fluid flush routine. 
  • Routine Vehicle Maintenance: During routine service visits—such as your oil changes—your mechanic should take a look under the hood to visually inspect your belts and hoses. This will allow you to catch certain radiator issues early and minimize damage. 

Chapel Hill Tire Radiator Repair and Replacement Services

When your vehicle runs into winter radiator troubles, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire can help. We offer the experienced care that you need to ensure that your vehicle is protected. Chapel Hill Tire proudly serves the greater Triangle area with 9 locations throughout Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro. Our local mechanics offer convenient pick-up/delivery service—as well as a wide variety of coupons, deals, and promotions. We invite you to make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!

What’s Up With That? Those Numbers On Tires’ Sidewalls

Government agents are sending coded messages

No, it’s not the CIA sending secret transmissions to agents in the field. It’s not the combination to the lock on the door of some top secret government facility. It’s just that the Department of Transportation (DOT) really wants you to drive safely. So much so, that they put vital information that will tell you when it’s time to get new tires, right at your fingertips. You just have to decode it.

We’re not talking about tread wear, here. The quarter test (put a quarter in your tire’s tread with Washington’s head pointing toward the tire, if the tread doesn’t reach to his head, you need new tires), takes care of that.

We’re talking about your tire’s age. Even if you only drive on weekends. Even if that quarter reaches all the way up to George’s schnoz, your tires degrade over time.

How long does a tire last? About five years. How can you know how old your tires are? That’s where the code comes in.

How to read your tire’s DOT code

It packs a lot of information. It will tell you where the tire was made, what size it is, and who made it. But the info you want is the last four digits. They tell you the week and year it was made.

Start by looking for the letters “DOT” on the sidewall. Next comes the two digit plant code that tells you where the tire was made. Then you’ll see a two-number size code.  Sometimes, that will be followed by three digits that are used by manufacturers in the event of a recall.

You want to focus on the last four digits, the ones that tell you when it was made. For example, if the last four digits are “1520”, your tire was made in the 15th week — or about April 10 — of 2020. As soon as we pass the 15th week (April 10) of 2025, you want new tires, no matter how thick the tread might be.

Do you really need to worry about your tire’s age? It depends.

The average American drives about 16,000 miles per year. The average tires these days will go about 60,000 miles. So, the average American will wear out their tread in less than four years, and will never have to worry about this code. The quarter test will tell them that their tread has worn too thin.

But we’re not all average. Some of us drive a whole lot, and may want tires that can give us 80,000 miles or more of tread life.

Some of us don’t drive very much at all. We’ll want to take a look at the last four digits of that DOT code. And if the last two digits are five years less than the current year, we’ll want to start thinking about new tires.

Is it Time for New Tires? We’ll Check for You

And some of us don’t want to check our tire tread or decode that DOT number. But we sure do want to know if our tires are safe. If you have any doubts about your tires’ age, tread, or driving ability, just stop by and ask us to check them for you.

Our technicians will be happy to take a look at your tires and tell you how much life they have left. We won’t even charge you a quarter. And if it is time to get some new tires, our Price Beat Guarantee makes sure you get the best price on exactly the ones you want.

Our Community: Erin Matson

Aerial photo showing green trees and buildings

UNC Field Hockey star inspires us to strive for excellence in all we do.

UNC Women’s Field Hockey star Erin Matson continuously strives for excellence both on and off the field. As captain of the Tar Heels National Championship Field Hockey Team, she is an exemplary athlete. As an advertising and public relations major at UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, she is a great student. We couldn’t be more grateful to have Erin as part of our Chapel Hill Tire community.

Raised in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, some might say that Erin was destined to be a great athlete. After all, her mom Jill played softball and field hockey at Yale while her dad Brian played baseball at Delaware. Erin quickly grew up to be a star field hockey player. In high school, she earned All-America and All-Region honors, worked as a youth field hockey coach, excelled academically, and secured a spot on the UNC Field Hockey team.

Erin started in all 23 field hockey games in her freshman year, led UNC in goals and assists, and earned numerous accolades throughout the season. Raising the bar in her sophomore year, she led the nation in points and goals per game. As a junior, she was named first-team All-America for the third year in a row. Now, as a senior, she is also a member of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team.

Her classroom performance matches her on-the-field excellence.  She has been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll and the NFHCA National Academic Squad. After she graduates, she hopes to continue working with leaders, and aspires to earn a position at Nike. Despite all of her accomplishments and ambitions, though, Erin still enjoys the simple things in life. When she’s not helping her team win or mastering her course material, she enjoys going to the beach, attending yoga classes, or just spending the day shopping or watching sports with friends and family.

We feel very fortunate to have recently partnered with Erin in a Name-Image-Likeness deal and feel very proud to have her as part of our Chapel Hill Tire family. We look forward to cheering her on both on and off the field as she continues to strive for excellence.