Are Repairs on Hybrid Cars More Expensive?

Hybrid car decal

Over the years, hybrid vehicles have exploded in popularity. Since they’re a more eco-friendly, fuel-efficient option to traditional cars, it’s easy to see why many people opt to go hybrid with their next vehicle purchase. Despite their advantages, you’ll likely want to consider a hybrid’s repair costs before you make a large financial commitment. If you’re interested in purchasing a hybrid vehicle, you should know about repairs that can be more expensive with a hybrid car and ones that are about the same in a car that only uses gasoline.

Hybrid Repairs That Can Be More Expensive Than Traditional Repairs

Due to the difference in their design compared to traditional vehicles, hybrid vehicles sometimes require more expensive repairs. As you consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle, review the most common hybrid vehicle repairs that usually cost more than those for traditional vehicles below:

1. Battery Replacement

Battery replacement is one of the most significant repairs a hybrid vehicle owner can encounter. Hybrid cars have two batteries: one is a 12v battery that is used for smaller functions like starting, locking, and interior lighting, and the other is a much higher voltage battery that is responsible for moving the vehicle.

The larger of the two batteries has a lifespan that usually lasts from 100,000 to 200,000 miles and costs anywhere from $1,000 – $8,000 to replace, making it one of the most significant repairs in hybrid cars. Due to the higher cost of a new battery, you’ll likely want to opt for a hybrid vehicle that runs on a longer-lasting battery to avoid having to replace it before you’re ready to sell your vehicle.

2. Regenerative Braking Systems

Alongside their unique battery system, hybrid cars rely on a regenerative braking system that helps recharge the vehicle’s battery during braking, allowing for a longer-lasting battery life. Regenerative braking is more specialized than braking mechanisms in traditional vehicles and can be more expensive to repair. However, the system means less wear on your brake pads, meaning costs of routine brake pad replacement will be reduced.

The costs to repair these braking systems may vary by the repair shop and the type of hybrid you purchase. As a result, you’ll likely want to research the costs of repairing the regenerative braking system of the hybrid you’re interested in buying. You can also check with local automotive shops to see how much they typically charge for regenerative braking system repairs.

3. Cooling Systems

Hybrid cars have additional cooling systems to regulate the temperature in their electrical components. Because of these more specialized systems, the labor and components can be more pricey than traditional vehicles, as there may be fewer technicians in your area who can repair these types of problems. The parts for hybrid vehicle cooling systems can also be harder to obtain, resulting in a higher cost to repair them. 

Before you purchase a hybrid vehicle, check with local repair shops to see how much they charge to repair hybrid cooling systems to make sure the costs fit your budget. 

Hybrid Repairs That Are Comparable to Traditional Repairs

While you’ll likely pay more for some repairs, there are several repairs that cost about the same for hybrid and traditional vehicles. Find out more about the most similarly priced repairs below:

1. Routine Maintenance 

Standard repairs such as oil changes, tire rotation, fluid flushes, and brake pad replacement are all comparable in price to traditional fuel-powered cars. All of these fixes are essential to the basic functionality of your hybrid car, so it’s good news that they aren’t as costly as some more specialized hybrid repairs. 

2. Suspension and Steering

The suspension and steering systems in hybrid cars do not differ that much from gasoline-powered vehicles. If you need some work done on your hybrid vehicle’s steering rack, shocks, or struts, it should run you about the same amount due to a hybrid’s similarity with traditional vehicles. 

3. Body Repairs 

Any kind of body damage caused by accidents, such as paint issues, dents, or bumper repair, is not drastically different in a hybrid car from a traditional vehicle. If you need routine bodywork, you’ll be spending a comparable amount of money.

4. Exhaust System Repairs 

Fixing the exhaust system in a hybrid car versus a fuel-powered vehicle will cost about the same amount at the end of the day. Components like exhaust pipes and mufflers are similar in both types of cars, and even though the systems differ in a few ways, the repairs will be about as expensive.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for all Hybrid Car Repairs Near You in the Triangle

Once you’ve purchased a hybrid vehicle and are looking for hybrid car repairs near you in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, Chapel Hill Tire has you covered. Our team of technicians is trained to service all types of vehicles, including hybrids, and will be happy to provide any repairs or maintenance you might need. We’re also proud to offer several promotions to keep your costs as low as possible.

Learn more about our hybrid vehicle services today. If you need a repair for your gas or hybrid vehicle, please make an appointment at one of our 11 Triangle area locations.

What’s Up With That? Getting By With A Little Help From Our Cars

When a car is driven off the showroom floor, it’s not just as beautiful as it will ever be — it’s also at its safest, with a fresh set of tires and brakes, and everything mechanical in perfect working order. 

In today’s cars though, safety features go far beyond the physical and mechanical, into what are collectively called Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, or ADAS. Relying mainly on computers, sensors, chips, and electronics, these powerful defense mechanisms can help correct for driver errors across the whole range of a vehicle’s functions. And in the future, they may even go so far as to allow for fully self-driving cars.

But to really understand these ADAS, let’s go back to the original driver-assistance system that started it all: Anti-lock brakes.

The First ADAS

From the time of the first automobile, ineffective braking has been a major cause of accidents. Applied too heavily, brakes could “lock up”, further sending the vehicle into a skid (or worse). 

As early as the 1920s, automobile manufacturers were looking for ways to prevent this worst-case scenario with hydraulic mechanisms, and later with purely mechanical systems in the experimental Ford Zodiac circa 1950.

But it wasn’t until 1971 when Mario Palazetti of the Fiat Research Center developed the first of what would become today’s ADAS: An entirely electronic, computerized system to prevent brake locking.

From there, it was off to the races, with designers creating a whole range of ADAS: Electronic stability controls, blind spot information systems, adaptive cruise controls, and traction control. With each advancement, cars became safer to drive — and more resistant to human errors.

Driver-Assistance Systems Today

With increasingly sophisticated technologies and more powerful computers available year by year, today’s cars are safer than ever thanks to comprehensive ADAS systems. In fact, there are so many different ADAS that the Society of Automotive Engineers has created a classification system, divided into six levels (0 through 5).

At level 0, ADAS provide information for the driver that they’ll then have to interpret on their own. These include parking sensors, lane departure warnings, blind spot information systems, forward collision warnings, and more.

At level 1, ADAS systems can take control over one function of the car, whereas at level 2 the car can take over multiple traffic functions at once. Adaptive cruise control, emergency braking systems, and lane centering all fall within level 1, while things like highway assist and autonomous parking fall firmly within level 2.

Levels 3 through 5 have not yet been fully integrated into cars that you can buy off the lot, with many of their features still in the experimental stage. With each level of increase, the car does more of the driving — with level 5 being fully autonomous driving.

The Future of ADAS

From the introduction of driver-assistance systems just over 50 years ago, we’ve progressed to a point where fully autonomous cars are being tested on America’s roads. Could we see a future where drivers will no longer need to have a physical hand in operating their vehicles? It’s certainly possible — but that will also mean that maintaining your vehicle’s systems becomes more important than ever.

That’s why we’re always keeping up to date on the latest developments in automotive technology here at Chapel Hill Tire: So that no matter how cars and driving change, you’ll always be able to rest easy knowing that you’ve had your maintenance taken care of at one of our 11 locations in the Triangle.

Our News: Toyota Camry Donation

It’s the skilled technicians at Chapel Hill Tire that make it possible for us to do great work for our community, keeping your cars in good working order through general maintenance and repairs. But before we get to see our technicians’ skills in action, it’s the Triangle’s dedicated automotive teachers who make their education possible — so we’re always looking for ways to support our teachers and schools.

This month, that comes in the form of a big donation to Durham Technical Community College. By repurposing one of our loaner cars, we’re grateful to be able to help the school’s automotive program prepare to teach even more students how to work on hybrid and electrical vehicles.

“Our automotive program has several certificate options, a diploma option and an associate degree option,” says H. Ward Taylor, director of Automotive Systems Technologies at Durham Tech. “We currently have built a classroom and lab to teach Hybrid and Electric Vehicle technologies, both of which are incorporated into next year’s plan of study.”

As technologies continue to change, we’re always looking to be on the cutting edge. By donating a 1999 Toyota Camry to Durham Tech’s automotive program, we’re hopeful for the opportunity to bring up a whole new generation of students who will be skilled in hybrid and electric vehicle maintenance and repair.

“Receiving this donation of the hybrid Toyota Camry from Chapel Hill Tire will help us teach our students this technology, and we are very grateful to the team at Chapel Hill Tire for this donation and all the other help they have provided the program over the years.”

Marc has this to say about the donation: “We are honored to support Durham Tech’s automotive education department by donating one of our loaner cars. This partnership reflects our core value of ‘Being Grateful and Helpful,’ and our commitment to fostering the next generation of skilled automotive professionals.”

Our People: Logan Gray, General Service Lead

photo of a set of wrenches beside a bumper sticker with a yellow smiley face that reads "Drive Happy" and a blue ball cap with a yellow smiley face

As part of our commitment to treating each other like family at Chapel Hill Tire, we mean to treat everybody like family — and that means finding ways to give everyone equal opportunities to succeed.

“In a male dominated field like the automotive industry, I want young women out there to know that they are capable too,” says Logan Gray, General Service Lead at the Fordham Boulevard location. “I pursued a career in healthcare for nearly a decade before getting tired of pushing paper. And when I decided to go out on a limb and apply at Chapel Hill Tire, they really gave me the opportunity to discover my passion for something I once overlooked!”

That passion may have started early in life for Logan, who grew up on an alfalfa farm surrounded by heavy machinery, go-karts, and ATVs. But it wasn’t until she started at Chapel Hill Tire that a lot of doors opened for her to be part of a team:

“I am blessed to be at a shop with four Master Technicians and many other co-workers that are constantly sharing whatever information they come across. We truly do win as a team!”

Even outside of her day-to-day work at the Fordham shop, Logan stays active in the automotive community, mentoring young women in this ever-growing field.

“One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most during my time at Chapel Hill Tire was working with The Power of Us summer camp and the Summer Careers Academy. There was a young lady there who had just graduated high school, and had never even considered automotive as an option — but after finding out how much she loves it, she is now enrolled in her local community college’s automotive program while working with us part time at the Fordham location. It is really awesome watching her continuously excel!”

In addition to her efforts at educating young women about potential careers in the automotive industry, Logan finds deep satisfaction in the everyday work of helping every customer that comes in:

“As a service lead, I spend a good bit of my time up front with the service advisors, and I can see how flustered some of our customers are when they come in. It can be totally overwhelming to have a problem with your only method of transportation. And sometimes, when I can tell a customer that their problem has been solved, it seems as if I can actually see the weight lifted off their shoulders. That is super gratifying.”

We’re grateful and thankful to have Logan as such an integral part of our Chapel Hill Tire family, and can’t wait to see all of the amazing things she’ll be doing in the future!

Our Values: Treat Each Other Like Family

Chapel Hill Tire Values

Of all the values that the Chapel Hill Tire team lives by, Treating Each Other Like Family comes first. Because while we are striving for excellence, working on being grateful and helpful, saying yes to customers and each other, and winning as a team, it’s the family unit that ties us all together — and makes it possible for us to come to work each day with a smile on our faces, and leave knowing that we’ve done good in the world.

But what does it really mean when we say that Treating Each Other Like Family is a core value at Chapel Hill Tire? 

Well, it starts with the way we treat each other, day in and day out. In a family, everybody has a role to play — and that means that we also share a mutual respect for the important jobs that everyone has to do, from the service counter to the technicians to management and maintenance. And when one of our CHT family members is having a tough time, we rally around to help them, reaffirming that they’re an integral part of this family unit.

In the past year, those qualities have led us to being recognized for three outstanding awards in our community: The “Best Places to Work” award from Triangle Business Journal, “Best in Chapel Hill” award from Chapel Hill Magazine, and a nomination for the Business Excellence Awards from the Chamber of Commerce. We really couldn’t have done it without the hard work and continuing efforts of every member of the Chapel Hill Tire staff.

But family doesn’t stop outside of our doors, either. It’s just as important to us to extend our sense of family into our community of customers and friends in the Triangle, through initiatives like our 12 Days of Kindness, making donations to local automotive programs, and giving back to the teachers that put so much effort into raising our kids right.

And we strive to treat everyone that comes into one of our Chapel Hill Tire locations like family, from the moment they walk in. By treating each other like family first, we set the tone for how every CHT team member treats our guests — with kindness, empathy, and a constant willingness to be grateful and helpful. After all, without our amazing customers and community members, Chapel Hill Tire wouldn’t be here in the first place.

So as we move into this holiday season, the entire Chapel Hill Tire team would like to take a moment to thank you for becoming part of our family. It means the world to us to have your support, and we’re so thankful for the opportunity to continue to become an even bigger and more essential part of the Triangle community.

Our Community: 12 Days of Kindness

Aerial photo showing green trees and buildings

The holiday season is a time of giving — and there’s nothing that we love more at Chapel Hill Tire than being able to give back to our community. Whether that’s in the form of giving our teachers a helping hand, donating to local automotive programs, or simply living by our values of being grateful and helpful, we’re always looking for ways to return the kindness that our community has shown us.

That’s why we’re so happy to announce the return of one of our favorite holiday traditions: The 12 Days of Kindness.

“Every December, we’ve always looked for ways to give back to the community and try to bring our customers into the process. It started with us partnering with local food banks and offering our customers $10 off oil changes if they brought in a can of food,” said Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire. “We started exploring new ways of giving back to the community… Then during Covid, we renamed it the 12 Days of Kindness — because we thought the world could use a little more kindness — and it stuck.”

And so, from November 16 through November 24th, we accepted nominations for recipients of twelve $1,000 car care vouchers. If you missed the opportunity to nominate someone, be sure to check back in next year. Maybe you know someone in the Triangle community who you would like to see recognized for their kind, giving, and selfless nature?

“We’re looking for those community heroes who are known for giving more than they receive,” says Marc. “It could be a church volunteer, teacher, or maybe a neighbor who is always there when someone needs a hand.”

Recipients of these car care vouchers were selected on November 30th, after Chapel Hill Tire’s leadership team had time to review all of the submitted applications. One winner will be announced each day from December 11th through December 22nd, accompanied by a video honoring both the recipient and the person who nominated them. You can find our previous year’s videos here.

“We are thankful that we get to use our God-given talents to help our neighbors drive happy all through the year,” says Marc. “We really enjoy showing our gratitude in this way, and we have a lot of fun with it. Be sure to check our Facebook page or from December 11-22, to share the joy.”

Yellow and Red Dots on Tires: What Do They Mean?

tires with yellow dots

Even if you’re not a car expert, it’s good to know the basic visual components of your vehicle so that you can know when it’s time to take it into the shop. Tires are some of the most important parts of your car, and keeping them balanced is essential to their long-term performance. One way you can keep your tires in great shape and catch issues early is to know what the red and yellow dots on the sides of your tires mean. 

As you try to keep your vehicle’s tires in the best shape possible, knowing what these dots mean and how they affect wheel balancing can make the difference between a set that lasts you 10 years and having to replace them earlier than you’d like.

What Do Yellow Dots on Tires Mean?

Yellow dots on a tire’s sidewall mark the lightest point of the tire. While manufacturers take great care in making the most perfectly balanced tire possible, there can still be imperfections. In order to make up for the uneven weight most tires naturally have and balance the tires, the lightest part of the tire is lined up with the valve stem, which is installed on the heaviest part of the wheel. 

In the manufacturing phase, the yellow dot helps installers easily find the lightest part of the tire and match it with the wheel’s valve stem. However, mistakes can occur, and the yellow dot might not always be located next to the valve stem. In this case, improper weight distribution can occur, causing tires to vibrate and unevenly wear when driving. Checking that the yellow dot is lined up with the valve stem on a new vehicle or when you install new tires can help prevent improper weight distribution. 

What Do Red Dots on Tires Mean?

Similar to the yellow dot on the sidewall of a tire, the red dot also aims to prevent issues with wheel balancing during manufacturing. On a tire, the red dot indicates the tire’s highest point, which is the most imbalanced part. If you have a red dot on your tire, you’ll likely have another red dot or sticker on the wheel itself behind the rim. On the wheel, the red dot indicates the wheel’s lowest point, and this red dot should line up with the red point on the tire. 

Lining up these dots will offset the unevenly distributed weight of the tire and reduce vibrations caused by the tire’s highest point. If you have yellow and red dots on your tires, you should ignore the yellow dot entirely. Instead, make sure the red dot on the tire is lined up with the red dot on the wheel when you purchase a new vehicle or a new set of tires.

Why Do Balanced Tires  Matter?

Both the yellow and red dots in your vehicle attempt to make it easier for installers, mechanics, and vehicle owners to properly balance a vehicle’s tires. If the red and yellow dots on your tire indicate you have imbalanced tires, you’ll likely run into several issues. You can find the main reasons to check that the yellow or red dots on them are properly aligned below:

  • Properly balanced tires will give you a smoother ride in your vehicle. If your tire balance is off, you may feel unwanted rumbling or bumping while you’re on the road. 
  • If your tire’s balance is off, it won’t wear evenly. Tire wear is inevitable, but if yours are breaking down unevenly, they will need to be replaced prematurely, costing you money in the long run. 
  • Imbalanced tires will cause more rolling resistance in your car, making your engine work harder and use more fuel. 

What Do You Do When Your Tires Aren’t Balanced?

When you notice that the yellow or red dots on your tires aren’t lined up correctly, you’ll likely run into wheel balancing issues. Though it can be tempting to try to fix the issue on your own, tire balancing is not something you should try to do yourself. It is a delicate procedure that is easy to mess up if you don’t know what you’re doing, and improper wheel balancing could land you in a worse situation than when you started. 

Instead of trying to perform wheel balancing on your own, you’ll want to bring your car to a vetted auto mechanic if your tire’s yellow or red dots indicate the wheels are imbalanced. It’s also best practice to bring your vehicle in every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to check your tire balance or if you start to feel strange rumbling when driving. When you get your tires balanced by a professional, you’ll likely save money in the long run, and your car will run smoother and handle exactly like you want it to.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for all of Your Wheel Balancing Needs

If you’re looking for wheel balancing services near you in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, or the surrounding areas, choose Chapel Hill Tire Auto Center. Whether you need a routine inspection of your wheel balance or you’ve noticed your wheels vibrating more than they used to, our mechanics can solve the issue. Before you schedule an appointment, review our promotions to find a great deal on our many services!

Learn more about our tire balancing 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.

How to Jump-Start an Electric Vehicle

jumper cables for an EV

At some point in almost all vehicle owner’s lives, they’ll need to break out the jumper cables and ask someone to lend a hand or, in this case, a battery. Though most people have either jumped a gas-powered car or seen someone jump a vehicle, many people aren’t sure how (or if) they can jump an electric vehicle (EV). Typically, EVs shouldn’t need a jump due to their design, but EV owners should still know the ins and outs of jump-starting their EVs just in case.

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Jump-Start the Large Voltage Battery in Your EV

EV cars have two batteries: one is a high-voltage battery responsible for moving the vehicle, and the other is a 12v battery used for smaller functions like starting, locking, windows, onboard computers, and interior lighting. If your 12v battery is drained, your vehicle may not start, and it’s safe to try to jump it.

However, if the larger high-voltage battery in your car is drained, you can’t use another car’s battery to jump it. Instead, you’ll need to recharge it at an EV charging station, and if it won’t charge, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic.

6 Steps to Jump-Start Your Electic Vehicle

When your 12V battery is dead and not powering various functions in your EV, you can safely jump-start it by following the steps below:

1. Follow Safety Precautions

Before you try to jump-start your EV, it’s important to make sure you’re as safe as possible. For example, you’ll need to park or tow your car away from potentially hazardous traffic. Next, turn off the EV and confirm it’s in park.

 In addition to turning off the vehicle, check that anything that could draw power from your 12v battery is turned off. For example, headlights, interior lights, and windshield wipers should be turned off. Finally, locate your vehicle’s battery using your EV’s owner’s manual. 

2. Gather Your Tools 

Alongside following safety precautions, you’ll need to have a few tools to jump-start your EV’s 12v battery properly. These tools include:

  • Jumper cables that are in good shape.
  • A functioning gas-powered vehicle (using an EV or hybrid vehicle to jump an EV isn’t usually recommended).
  • A cloth to clean debris off of the battery and the jumper cables.

3. Connecting the Jumper Cables 

While much of the previous two steps are similar to a gas-powered vehicle, the actual process of jumping an EV is different. Review the following steps to connect your jumper cables to your EV and another vehicle:

  • Locate the positive and negative terminals on both vehicle’s batteries. 
  • Connect the red (positive) clamp to the positive terminal of the dead vehicle’s battery. Ensure the red and black connectors never touch while doing so.
  • Connect the other end of the red cable to the working vehicle’s battery.
  • Attach the black (negative) clamp to the negative terminal of the working vehicle’s battery.
  • Attach the other end of the black clamp to the negative grounding point of the dead EV battery.

4. Starting the Vehicles

Once you’ve properly hooked up your jumper cables by following the steps above, start the working vehicle and let it run for a couple of minutes. The running vehicle will help power get to your dead EV battery. After a couple of minutes, attempt to start the dead car. If it starts, great! If it doesn’t, try again in a few minutes. EVs that won’t start after you attempt to jump them a few times will need to be taken to a mechanic for further inspection.

5. Disconnecting the Cables

Now that your 12v battery is working again, you’ll want to disconnect the jumper cables in the opposite order that you attached them in. The steps to disconnect the cables can be found below:

  • Remove the black (negative) cable from the ground point on the jumped EV.
  • Remove the black cable from the battery of the jumping vehicle.
  • Remove the red (positive) cable from the jumping vehicle.
  • Remove the red cable from the jumped EV.

6. Final Steps

Let your EV vehicle run for about 20-30 minutes after it’s jumped to allow the battery to recharge fully. Finally, take your car to your local shop to get your 12v battery checked, as 12v batteries usually don’t need to be jumped. You could need a new battery, or there may be something that malfunctioned that caused it to die. 

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for all Your Alignment Needs

If you’re looking for an electric vehicle repair shop near you in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area, turn to Chapel Hill Tire. Whether you can’t get your 12v battery to work or have another issue with your EV, we can help. With over 60 years of experience, your car will be in safe hands at Chapel Hill. We pride ourselves on being a values-based company and strive to make every visit as seamless and easy on the customer as possible!

If you need a repair, please set up an appointment at one of our conveniently Triangle-area locations. You can also review our promotions to find a great deal on our many services.

4 Ways Wheel Alignment Can Save You Money

wheel alignment services

Tire alignment may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of routine maintenance for your car, but it is a crucial aspect of keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Whether you want to reduce costly repair bills, improve your car’s lifespan, or save money, wheel alignment services are essential. If you’ve noticed that your vehicle is pulling to one side or making noises while turning, it’s time to bring your car into the shop for a wheel alignment.

If you’re debating whether a wheel alignment is worth the cost, review the top four ways regular wheel alignment maintenance can save you money.

1. Better Fuel Efficiency

When your wheels are out of alignment, they make your engine work harder. The tires will create an increased amount of drag on your vehicle, and your engine will have to compensate by consuming more gas to keep your car moving forward. More gas consumption means more trips to the gas station and more money spent at the pump.

Properly aligned wheels won’t fight against each other to keep your vehicle moving straight, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Plus, getting them checked out is as simple as bringing them into your local shop for a tire service appointment. You may have seen some things about DIY alignment online, but it’s a time-consuming job, and it can be very difficult to replicate the results that you would get by sticking to a professional.

2. Improved Tire Lifespan

Are your tires showing wear and tear earlier than they should be? Your alignment could be the culprit. No matter how severe the alignment issue is, improperly aligned wheels will damage your tires over time. Even a small issue could reduce the lifespan of your tires by thousands of miles!

Ideally, a set of tires should last about six to ten years with regular use, and a new set of tires usually costs around $600.00. While you’ll need to get new tires eventually, delaying that process with routine tire alignment services will end up saving you a chunk of change in the long run.

3. Reduced Risk of Costly Repair Bills 

Your tires aren’t the only part of your car affected by faulty wheel alignment. For example, suspension and brake systems can also accrue wear and tear over time if your vehicle’s alignment is off. A suspension repair can cost between $1,000 – $5,000, depending on the severity of the damage and where you take your vehicle. That’s a huge amount of money compared to a visit for alignment maintenance.

When your tires aren’t properly aligned, they can develop different amounts of traction, leading to issues with your brake system not being able to apply the pressure needed to stop your vehicle. Alongside the high costs of brake and suspension repairs, issues with your brakes and suspension can be extremely dangerous. An alignment check is a quick and easy way to give you the peace of mind that you and your passengers are traveling safely.

4. Increased Resale Value 

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your vehicle, it’s important to make sure that your old vehicle is in the best condition possible before putting it on the market. Prospective buyers want to get the most for their money, and you want the best possible value for your vehicle.

A car with properly aligned wheels and tires that are in good shape will net you a better sale than one that has had its maintenance neglected. Additionally, a comprehensive repair history is a major selling point for buyers, and having regular alignment checks on your vehicle’s maintenance reports is crucial to selling your car.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire for all Your Wheel Alignment Needs

If you’re looking for alignments near you in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or the surrounding areas, turn to Chapel Hill Tire. We’re pleased to offer free alignment checks to our customers, and if you do end up needing to have your wheels aligned, one of our highly qualified maintenance technicians will be happy to get your car back in working order. We pride ourselves on being a values-based company and strive to make every visit as seamless and easy on the customer as possible!

Our customer-friendly portal makes it easy to set up an appointment at our convenient locations in the Triangle area! You can also review our promotions to find a great deal on our many services.

Are You at Risk of a Blowout? Assessing Tire Sidewall Damage

tire sidewall damage

Whether you go over a curb or hit a pothole, any time your tires take any impact it can be a scary moment. Risking a blowout on a long car trip or your morning commute is something that everyone wants to avoid if possible. However, damage to your tire’s sidewall can occur accidentally and cause your tire to suddenly explode while you’re on the road. As a result, drivers should know the main types of sidewall damage that put them at the most risk of a sudden blowout.

4 Signs You’re At Risk of a Tire Blowout Due to Sidewall Damage

The outer facing layer of a tire is called a sidewall, and damage to it can put your tire’s safety in jeopardy. From cuts and punctures to bubbling and cracking, there are plenty of signs that indicate your sidewalls are damaged and could put you at risk of a blowout. Instead of hoping for the best while you’re on the road, review the top four types of sidewall damage that indicate you’re at risk of a blowout below:

1. Cuts

Cuts are probably the most common type of sidewall damage and occur when your tires come into contact with sharp objects on the road, such as glass, wood, or debris. 

Even if the inner parts of the tire are not exposed by the cut, it is important to have a professional assess the damage, as cuts can lead to rapid tire pressure loss or a complete blowout. If the cut is only a few millimeters deep, the tire can still be driven on, but any damage that goes deeper into the sidewall is cause for replacement. 

2. Punctures

Punctures to your sidewall can be harder to notice than cuts. Unless the object that punctured your tire is still lodged in the actual structure, it can be easy to miss with the naked eye. While punctures may not immediately cause a blowout, they weaken the integrity of the sidewall’s structure and, if left unattended, can lead to damage over time. 

Punctures in a tire’s tread can sometimes be repaired, but a puncture to the sidewall warrants a tire replacement. Since ignoring what may seem like a small amount of damage can cause a bigger problem down the road, you’ll need a mechanic to immediately inspect your tires if you’ve noticed a sidewall puncture.

3. Bubbling and Bulging

Bubbling and bulging are more obvious forms of sidewall damage but are just as dangerous as cuts and punctures. Sidewall bubbling can occur because of impact, a manufacturing issue, or even just age. It’s also possible to under-inflate your tires and cause sidewall bulging, as the weight of the car places more stress on the tire’s internal structure. 

Bulges and bubbles should be taken seriously, as they are a major cause of blowouts and cannot be repaired. It is recommended that you replace your tires as soon as possible if you notice any bulging in the sidewall.

4. Cracks and Dry Rot 

As tires age, they may develop dry rot and start to crack. UV exposure, weather changes, and any kind of caustic material that they may come into contact with can put wear and tear on them. 

Cracks that are barely visible may not need to be immediately replaced, but extensive cracking should be addressed ASAP. The internal structure of the tire could be compromised by the cracks, and the tire could be dangerous to drive on. Even if you think the cracking isn’t extreme, it’s worth bringing your car in and having a professional take a look.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire Car Center All Your Tire Needs

If you’ve noticed any of the types of sidewall damage above and are looking for tire service near you in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, or the surrounding areas, stop by one of Chapel Hill Tire’s many locations in the Triangle. Our team can inspect your sidewalls and make any needed repairs to ensure your tires aren’t at risk of a blowout. In the event you end up needing new tires, our online tire-finding tool takes the stress out of wondering if you’re making the right choice when it comes to your vehicle’s wheels.

Learn more about our tire services today. If you need your sidewalls inspected or your tires replaced, please make an appointment. Don’t forget to also check out our promotions to see how much you can save!