Convenient Car Repair: Pick-up and Delivery Service

Mechanic with gloves

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this year challenging, but many businesses are finding a way to stay safe while providing customers with the services they need. Chapel Hill Tire has introduced a few creative solutions recently to support our customers, including our pick-up/delivery option. Here is a closer look at pick-up and delivery mechanic services and when they may be right for you!

How Does Pick-Up and Delivery Vehicle Service Work?

Chapel Hill Tire has integrated our pick-up/delivery services directly into our scheduling tool. Simply select “pick-up and delivery” when making an appointment, and you will get a call confirming that mechanics are available during this time. If there is a scheduling conflict that may prevent pick-up options, they will find a different time that works for you. 

During your pick-up time, you just need to leave your keys in your unlocked vehicle. Our professionals shuttle to your home or work and bring your car back to the shop. Using careful sanitation measures—such as latex gloves, steering wheel covers, disinfectant wipes, and more—our experts work to keep your vehicle safe. We will keep you updated by text during your service visit. Once it has been completed, you can pay by text for a completely contactless transaction. Finally, the professionals at Chapel Hill Tire will return your fully-serviced vehicle to you. You can read our full pick-up and delivery guidelines here.

Contactless Service for Uncertain Times

Chapel Hill Tire has made our pick-up/delivery service FREE during the COVID-19 pandemic to support clients who may not feel safe or comfortable visiting the shop. This service ensures that customers do not have to compromise their safety to get the quarantine car care they need. We also offer contactless curbside service for drivers looking for another way to stay safe during mechanic visits. 

Pick-up/Delivery When You Feel Hesitant Driving

If you feel uncertain about driving a car that is due for service, pick-up and delivery service options are perfect for you. While our experts cannot pick up unsafe or inoperable cars, we can address looming service concerns. This gives you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will be fully serviced the next time you get behind the wheel. 

Getting the Service You Need, Even During Busy Days

Pick-up and delivery vehicle service is perfect for those who have a jam-packed schedule. Car problems do not wait to strike until you have time to take care of them. Whether you are busy with work, school, family, or all of the above, sometimes your car issues are not at the top of your priority list. You can get the service you need no matter what your schedule looks like when you choose vehicle pick-up and delivery. 

A Look at When Pick-Up Options Might Not Help

While a mechanic will always work to give you a hand, there are certain issues that they may not be able to help you with during pick-up/delivery service. For example, if your car is not operable, they will not be able to get it to the shop. Unfortunately, our mechanics do not offer towing services. The experts at Chapel Hill Tire will talk with you when confirming your appointment to ensure that your vehicle issue can be serviced with our pick-up/delivery offerings.

Chapel Hill Tire Pick-Up and Delivery Service

We take safety seriously here at Chapel Hill Tire, and we are working hard to meet the needs of all of our customers during this uncertain time. Chapel Hill Tire proudly offers contactless services at all eight of our Triangle-area locations, including those in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro. Make an appointment with the experts at Chapel Hill Tire for your pick-up and delivery vehicle service today.

Where Can I Get My Turn Signal Bulb Replaced?

Vehicle using a turn signal

Arguably, one of the easiest ways to irritate other drivers on the road is to forget your turn signal. Rightfully so, as this can create safety hazards or simply inconvenience other drivers. Perhaps the most frustrating part about poor turn signaling is that it is not always the driver’s fault. Have you ever heard honking on the road despite careful driving? Or found that your turn signal is making unusual noises? Perhaps you find that drivers are frequently not letting you over when you signal a lane change? These are all signs that you may be due for a turn signal bulb replacement. All eight Chapel Hill Tire mechanic locations offer bulb replacement services. Here is a quick look at everything you need to know about your turn signal lights. 

The Basics: Turn Signal Bulb Overview

Most turn signal lighting systems include four separate bulbs: front left, front right, rear left, and rear right turn signals. These are often placed within the headlight/taillight systems. Many newer vehicles also feature two additional turn signal lights: one placed on each of the side rearview mirrors. In North Carolina, your front turn signal lights must be white or amber in color, and your rear turn signal lights must be red or amber in color. 

Front and Rear Turn Signal Bulb Replacement

For your safety on the road and a pass on your annual inspection, all of your turn signal bulbs must be bright and effective. Thankfully, the vehicle bulb replacement process is easy for professionals. A mechanic will often detach your headlight or taillight lens, carefully remove your old bulb, and install a new turn signal bulb. This is a quick and affordable repair that restores functioning to most turn signals. 

If this does not repair your turn signals, there are a couple of different possible issues you may be experiencing. First, you may have an electrical or wiring problem. These issues are rare, but they can be dangerous. This makes professional diagnostics and service essential. More commonly, this may be an issue with foggy and oxidized lenses. The sun’s UV rays can discolor the acrylic on your headlights and taillights, which can make it difficult to see properly-working bulbs. Headlight restoration services may be needed to address these additional concerns. 

Side Mirror Turn Signal Bulb Replacement

Side mirror turn signal lights are often powered by small LED bulbs, which use very little energy and have a long lifespan. They are much less likely to need replacement than traditional turn signal bulbs. The replacement processes vary based on the type of installation you have. For some vehicles, a small LED bulb replacement is a quick and easy fix. For other vehicles/systems, you may need to replace the entire turn signal attachment. Thankfully, rearview turn signals are an added convenience, meaning that they are unlikely to impact your vehicle safety or annual safety inspection. 

How Do I Know If My Turn Signal Bulb is Dead?

The easiest way to avoid turn signal issues is to regularly inspect your bulbs. Luckily, burnt out turn signal bulbs are easy to detect. First, you simply need to park your car in a safe location. Next, turn on your emergency lights and circle your vehicle to ensure that all four of the main light bulbs are bright and working properly. Make note of any bulbs that seem like they may be dimming and have them replaced before they can become a safety hazard.

Additionally, many vehicles have a safeguard that will let you know when your bulb is dead or dimming. Newer vehicles may include a dashboard warning notification. For other vehicles, you may notice that your turn signal is beeping faster or louder than usual. These are all common signs that a bulb is dead or on its way out. However, some vehicles do not include any kind of lightbulb replacement indicator. You can check your owner’s manual for more insight on the turn signal bulb notifications your vehicle includes. 

Dead Turn Signal Bulb Hazards

Whether you don’t know your bulb is burnt out or you simply haven’t had the time to get this replacement service done, a malfunctioning turn signal can create trouble on the road. First, it can limit your ability to communicate with other drivers. For example, your hazard lights will instead communicate like a turn signal when one of your bulbs is not working. This can also prevent you from effectively conveying your intentions to change lanes or turn.

Beyond the prominent safety hazards present, failure to indicate can earn you a ticket on the road. Even if you are properly engaging your turn signal, broken bulbs will prevent effective signaling. Additionally, a burnt-out turn signal bulb can earn you a failure on your annual vehicle safety inspection

Chapel Hill Tire Local Turn Signal Bulb Replacements

When your turn signal light goes dark, the mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. You can get your turn signal bulb replaced at any of our eight Triangle-area mechanic locations, including those in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Make an appointment with the experts at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location for a turn signal bulb replacement today!

What Is Checked During a Vehicle Safety Inspection?

Annual NC vehicle Inspection

If you are due for your annual vehicle safety inspection, you may be thinking about your car and trying to decide if it has any issues that will prevent it from passing. Put your mind at ease with this vehicle safety inspection checklist from the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire.

Safety Inspection Check 1: Headlights

Properly functioning headlights are necessary for maintaining visibility at night and during inclement weather, as well as helping other drivers see you. Both of your headlights must be functioning and effective to help you stay safe and pass your inspection. Common issues include burnt-out bulbs, dim headlights, discolored headlight lenses, and cracked headlights lenses. These can often be repaired with headlight restoration services or replacement bulbs.

Safety Inspection Check 2: Tires

Over time, tire tread becomes worn and loses its ability to provide necessary traction on the road. This can result in handling and braking troubles, which are heightened during inclement weather. Tire health is necessary for passing both safety and emissions inspections. Keep an eye on your wear indicator bars or manually inspect your tire tread to ensure that it is at least 2/32 of an inch tall. Beyond just the tread depth, you can fail your safety inspection if your tires have any structural tire issues, including cuts that expose the cords, visible bumps, knots, or bulges. These can be caused by extended wear and tear or by specific wheel problems, such as bent rims. If any of these issues are present, you will need new tires to pass your inspection.

Safety Inspection Check 3: Turn Signals

Your turn signals (sometimes referred to as directional signals or indicators during inspections) are necessary for communicating your upcoming actions with other drivers on the road. Your turn signals must be fully functional and intact to pass your safety inspection. This inspection process checks the turn signal lights on the front and back of your vehicle. Common issues that lead to failure include burnt-out or dim bulbs, which are easily restored with turn signal bulb replacements

Safety Inspection Check 4: Brakes

The ability to properly slow and stop your vehicle is key to staying safe on the road. Both your foot brake and your parking brake are checked during an NC safety inspection, and they both need to work properly for you to pass. One of the most common brake problems that can cause you to fail your inspection is worn brake pads. This issue can easily be repaired with proper brake service.  

Safety Inspection Check 5: Exhaust System

While NC emissions inspections are relatively new, exhaust system checks have been around for years as a part of the annual safety inspection. This safety inspection step checks for removed, broken, tampered, or disconnected exhaust system parts and emissions control devices. Depending on your vehicle, this can include your catalytic converter, muffler, exhaust pipe, air pump system, EGR valve, PCV valve, oxygen sensor, and others. 

It used to be common for drivers tamper with these devices in an attempt to improve vehicle speed and performance. This practice has become much less popular over the years, so this check will likely only cause you to fail your safety inspection if an element of your exhaust system is failing. However, if you do choose to tamper with your emissions control devices, it could earn you a $250 fine in addition to a safety inspection failure. 

Safety Inspection Check 6: Brake Lights and Other Accessory Lighting

Listed as “accessory lighting” by the DMV, this component of your safety inspection includes checking your brake lights, taillights, license plate lights, reverse lights, and any other safety lights that may need servicing. Much likely your headlights and turn signals, the most common issue here is dim or burnt-out bulbs, which can be fixed with simple bulb replacements

Safety Inspection Check 7: Windshield Wipers

To help with visibility during inclement weather, your windshield wipers need to be working properly. The blades also need to be intact and functional without any noticeable damage in order to pass your inspection. The most common issue here is broken windshield wiper blades, which can be quickly and affordably replaced.  

Safety Inspection Check 8: Windshield Glass

In some (but not all) cases, a cracked windshield can lead to a failed inspection in North Carolina. This is often the case if the cracked windshield obstructs the driver’s vision. It may also cause a failed inspection if the crack impacts the proper functioning of any other vehicle safety device, such as the windshield wipers or rearview mirror mounting.

Safety Inspection Check 9: Rearview Mirrors

North Carolina safety inspections check both your rearview mirror and side mirrors. These mirrors must be properly in place, mounted securely, effective, easy to clean (no sharp cracks), and simple to adjust. 

Safety Inspection Check 10: Horn

To ensure that you can communicate with other drivers on the road, your horn is checked during your annual safety inspections. It must be able to be heard 200 feet ahead, and it cannot have any harsh or unusually loud sounds. The horn must also be securely mounted and safely wired. 

Safety Inspection Check 11: Steering System

As you might have guessed, proper steering is essential to vehicle safety. One of the first checks here involves “free play” with your steering wheel, which is the term used to describe any extra motion needed from your steering wheel before it begins to turn your wheels. A safe steering wheel does not exceed 3-4 inches of free play (depending on the size of your wheel). Your mechanic will also check your power steering system for signs of damage. This can include power steering fluid leaks, loose/broken springs, and a loose/broken belt. 

Safety Inspection Check 12: Window Tints

If you have had your windows tinted, they may need to be inspected to ensure that they meet the NC state guidelines. This only applies to after-factory window tinting. An expert will use a photometer to ensure that the tint has a light transmittance of more than 32% and that the light reflectance is not 20% or less. They will also ensure that the tint is properly placed and colored. Any professional tinting your windows should follow state guidelines, so this is unlikely to cause you to fail your inspection.

Motorcycle Safety Inspection

The NC safety inspection guidelines are roughly the same for all motor vehicles, including motorcycles. However, there are some adjustments made for motorcycle inspections. For example, instead of requiring two properly-functioning headlights, motorcycle inspections only require one. 

What Happens if I Fail my Vehicle Inspection?

Unfortunately, you cannot renew your NC registration with a failed safety inspection. Instead, the DMV will block your registration application until the safety inspection is passed. Thankfully, these inspections are completed by mechanics, who happen to know a thing or two about safety repairs. You can have any safety issues serviced to ensure that you pass your inspection.

Unlike an emissions inspection, you cannot file a waiver or become exempt from passing your safety inspection. One exception does apply to NC motor vehicles: antique vehicles (35 years or older) are not required to pass a safety inspection for vehicle registration.

Chapel Hill Tire Annual Vehicle Inspections

Visit your local Chapel Hill Tire location for your next vehicle safety inspection. Chapel Hill Tire has 8 Triangle-area locations conveniently located throughout Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. We offer annual safety inspections as well as any vehicle service you may need to successfully pass your inspection. Our mechanics also offer emissions inspections if you find that this is required for your registration. Make an appointment here online or give us a call today to get started!

Is a Coolant Flush Necessary? Coolant Flush FAQ

Coolant Flush in Chapel Hill

It can be hard to keep up with all of the care that your vehicle needs. When a light comes on in your dashboard or a mechanic lets you know you are due for a new service, this can surface lots of questions. One common source of service confusion is the coolant flush. Thankfully, Chapel Hill Tire has you covered. Here is a look at the answers to all of your common coolant flush questions. 

Is it Really Necessary to Flush Coolant?

Perhaps the most common question surrounding this service is, “Are coolant flushes really necessary?” The short answer is YES.

Your engine creates friction and heat in order to run properly. However, your engine is also made of metal pieces, which are malleable and vulnerable when heated. Extensive heat can cause a blown radiator, cracked gasket head, warped cylinder, and melted seals, among numerous other serious, dangerous, and expensive issues. To protect your engine from this heat, your radiator contains coolant that absorbs excess heat. Over time, your coolant will become worn out, burnt, and contaminated, causing it to lose its cooling properties. While you might not like hearing that you are due for an extra service, coolant flushes are necessary for a safe and healthy vehicle. 

Does Coolant Matter During Cold Weather?

As we approach the fall and winter temperatures, you may become increasingly tempted to ignore coolant services. Does coolant matter in the cold weather? Yes—the friction and power of your engine generate heat year-round. While the summer temperatures certainly do intensify engine heating, coolant is still incredibly important in the winter. Additionally, coolant contains antifreeze, which will protect your engine from the dangers of cold temperatures. 

What is the Difference Between Coolant and Radiator Fluid?

When reading your owner’s manual or various resources online, you might find “coolant” and “radiator fluid” terms used interchangeably. So are they the same thing? Yes! Radiator fluid and coolant are different names for the same material. You might also find it referenced as “radiator coolant,” which offers the best of both worlds.  

Is Coolant the Same as Antifreeze?

Another common question that drivers ask—“Is antifreeze the same thing as coolant?” No, these two are not quite the same. Rather, coolant is the substance used to regulate the temperature of your engine. Antifreeze is the substance within your coolant that prevents freezing in the winter. You might find some sources that refer to coolant as providing cooling properties only; however, since the coolant often contains antifreeze, it has widely become a general term that encompasses both. 

How Frequently Are Coolant Flushes Needed?

Generally speaking, a coolant flush is often needed every five years or 30,000-40,000 miles. However, coolant flush cadence can be impacted by your driving patterns, local climate, vehicle age, make, and model, as well as other factors. Consult your owner’s manual or a local professional for insight on whether or not you are due for a coolant flush. 

Additionally, you can look for signs of a needed coolant flush. These include a sweet maple syrup car smell and vehicle engine overheating. Take a closer look at these and other signs of a needed coolant flush here

How Much Does a Coolant Flush Cost?

Many mechanics try to hide their prices from customers, which can create questions, confusion, and unpleasant surprises. While we cannot speak for the costs you will face at other mechanic shops, Chapel Hill Tire offers transparent pricing for every coolant flush and other services. Our coolant flushes cost $161.80, which includes the safe disposal of your contaminated fluid, professional-grade cleaning of your cooling system to remove rust and sludge, high-quality new coolant, coolant conditioner to keep it preserved, and a visual inspection of your entire cooling system. 

Chapel Hill Tire: Local Coolant Flush

When you are due for your next coolant flush, visit one of Chapel Hill Tire’s eight Triangle-area locations, including our mechanics in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Our professionals will help you drive happy by getting you in, out, and on your way with fresh coolant. Make your coolant flush appointment today to get started!

What is the Best Way to Buy New Tires?

Hunter Tire Machine at Chapel Hill Tire

When it comes to buying new tires, you want to ensure that you get the right tires for you at a great price. This investment can help improve your fuel efficiency, upgrade your driving experience, and keep you safe on the road. How. So what is the best way to get to the tires you need? Here is a look at the 3 most common options for tire shopping. 

Buying Tires In-Store: The Local Tire Shop Experience

If you feel uncertain about what you are looking for in new tires or how to get started, a local tire shop can help put you at ease and guide you through this decision. At a tire shop, you can speak one-on-one with local experts for insight. This gives you professional expertise, answers to all of your questions, and support throughout each stage of the buying process. Best of all, once you have found your tires, an expert can get them changed for you, making it a convenient one-stop process. If you are looking for ways to protect your wallet and your investment, you can also speak with an expert about available protection plans, warranties, and discounts that may be available. 

Buying Tires Online: Convenience and Control

Some drivers have a little more experience with tire buying and may be looking for a more streamlined purchasing process. If you want more convenience and control over your buying experience, online tire shopping may be the best route for you. One benefit of buying tires online is that you can easily access additional information. It is simple to read through reviews and connect with tire experts online or by phone with any questions you may have. You can also use online tools, like the Tire Finder, to match your vehicle with potential tire options. Adding filters by size and features allows you to easily narrow down your search results and find exactly what you are looking for

Dealership Tires: Think Before You Buy

Many drivers are tempted to buy their tires from the dealership that sold them the car (some drivers even think this is their only option). However, you should know that you can often find lower prices and better deals when you explore beyond the dealership lot. Dealerships often offer a more limited selection of tires at higher prices. If you are looking for proof, ask for a price estimate and compare it with that of your local tire providers. At a shop like Chapel Hill Tire, we are so sure that our prices will beat out the dealerships’ and other competitors that we offer a Price Beat Guarantee

Chapel Hill Tire: Your Local Tire Shop

When you are ready to buy new tires, visit the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. We have a vast selection of available tires sure to meet the needs of your car, truck, SUV, or crossover. Our experts even offer a Price Beat Guarantee to ensure that you get the best possible price on your new tires. We work hard to ensure an upgraded customer experience, both online and in-store. Make your appointment at one of our 8 Triangle-area locations (including tires in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro) or shop online today to get started!

Vehicle Light Services: Staying Safe and Passing Your Inspection

headlight service near me

Your vehicle’s lights are designed to help you stay safe, promote visibility, and communicate your vehicle’s movements with other cars on the road. Whether it is a dead headlight, a bad brake light, or a burnt-out turn signal bulb, missing one of your vehicle lights could create a serious accident. This is why having a dead bulb is a quick way to earn a ticket or fail your vehicle safety inspection. Here is everything you need to know about vehicle light services and what you can do when one of your bulbs goes dark. 

Turn Signal Bulb Replacements

I think it is safe to say that nobody enjoys an encounter with someone who doesn’t use their turn signals. This is for good reasons, as failure to indicate can create confusion on the road or cause an accident. However, even if you consistently use your turn signal, it will not be effective without a bright turn signal bulb. 

You can check your turn signal bulbs regularly by simply parking your car at home or another safe space. Next, press each of your turn signals individually or turn on your emergency lights to set them both off at the same time. Exit your vehicle and make sure that all of your turn signal bulbs are functioning and bright—including the bulbs on the rear and front ends of your vehicle. When you notice a bulb dimming, it is essential to get it replaced before it has the chance to burn out completely. 

Brake Light Bulb Replacement

It is best not to wait until you’re rear-ended before discovering that your brake lights are out. However, checking your brake lights is often more challenging than checking your turn signal lights. If possible, it is easiest to check your brake lights when you have someone’s help. Have a friend, partner, neighbor, co-worker, or family member press the brakes while you inspect the back of the car. If you can’t find someone to help you check your brakes, you may consider driving to a nearby mechanic. The experts at Chapel Hill Tire will check your brake lights for you for free to see if you are due for a new bulb.

Headlight Bulb Replacement

Unlike your brake lights or turn signal bulbs, issues with your headlights are incredibly easy to detect. This is because headlight issues should be apparent to you when you are driving at night. Has one of your lights gone dark? Driving with a single headlight presents serious safety issues and could earn you a ticket, which makes headlight bulb replacement a top priority. Thankfully, this service is quick, simple, and affordable. 

Keep in mind that headlight dimming does not always mean that your bulbs are going out. Headlights are made of acrylic, which can begin to oxidize over time as it is exposed to the sun’s UV rays. The oxidation gives your headlights a foggy, opaque, or yellowish tint. This is made worse by the dirt, dust, chemicals, and debris that can build up on your headlights over time. If your headlights are dimming out and your bulbs are in good condition, you may need headlight restoration. This service involves professional-grade cleaning and protection for your headlights to bring them back to life. 

What to do When a Vehicle Bulb Goes Out

It is essential to get your bulb replaced as soon as an issue arises. If you know your way around a car, your owner’s manual will detail bulb replacement processes that you can follow. However, the wiring, bulbs, and pieces surrounding your lights are often fragile and may be dangerous for inexperienced hands. Depending on your type of vehicle, this service might also require specialty tools. All of this is to say, vehicle bulb replacement is best left up to an expert. 

It is also important to note that your vehicle is a balanced machine, so every light has a pair between the left and right sides. In most cases, both lights in each pair were installed at the same time with the same type of bulbs. While this is not always the case, chances are that if one headlight, brake light, or turn signal light goes dark, its pair is not far behind. Many drivers choose to have the second bulb replaced to ensure that they will not be left immediately returning to the mechanic for the same service. 

Chapel Hill Tire Light Services

If you are due for a bulb replacement or light service, bring your vehicle to the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. We proudly offer these services through our eight Triangle-area mechanic locations, including Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. Make your bulb replacement appointment here online or give us a call today to get started!

How Often Should I Replace my Wiper Blades?

Vehicle with Windshield Wipers

Are you finding yourself having a hard time seeing during the rain? Effective windshield wipers are essential to both your safety and the safety of others on the road. While you may not think twice about your wiper blade health until an issue arises, thinking ahead could save you a lot of trouble. This leaves drivers with questions, such as “When do I need to change my wiper blades?” Chapel Hill Tire has the answers here to your common questions about windshield wiper blade replacements

How Often Should I Change My Wiper Blades?

Many drivers make the mistake of waiting until their wiper blades are coming undone before having them replaced. For full effectiveness, your wiper blades need to be changed twice each year. This can be impacted, however, by your wiper blade brand quality, your usage patterns, and other external factors. If you are unsure whether or not you need new wiper blades, bring your vehicle by an expert for insight.  

Do I Need New Windshield Wiper Blades?

Beyond just the twice-yearly replacement cadence, you can easily look for additional signs that your wiper blades need to be switched out. 

  • Ineffective wiper blades: Perhaps most obviously, the first and most prominent sign that you need new wiper blades is that they have become ineffective. Poor-functioning wipers are a sign that you are past due for replacements. 
  • Visual declination: You can also visually inspect your wipers for signs of declination, including tearing, rubber rot, and rusting beneath the rubber. These issues will render your windshield wipers incapable of proper functioning. 
  • Irregularities during use: Your wiper blades should swipe smoothly across the glass when you use them. If you notice any squeaking, streaking, or bouncing, this is a sign that you are due for new wiper blades. 

When it comes to replacing your windshield wiper blades, it is always better safe than sorry. Waiting too long for this vehicle service can leave you facing hazards on the road. 

Dangers of Waiting on Wiper Blade Replacements

Inclement weather can strike at any moment, and it is essential that you are ready. If you wait too long to get your wiper blades replaced, you could find yourself without the tools you need to safely drive in these conditions. In a best-case scenario, this could leave you waiting under an overpass for the rain to clear. In a worst-case scenario, you could create an accident or cause harm on the road.

Windshield wipers (paired with windshield wiper fluid) also work to clear away unexpected impairments that may obstruct your vision, including bugs, dirt, and more. For all of these reasons, wiper blade issues can also cause you to fail your vehicle safety inspection

How Much Do New Wiper Blades Cost?

While we can’t speak for other mechanics, Chapel Hill Tire offers transparent pricing to take the guesswork and the deception out of service visits. New windshield wipers only cost $9.95-$14.95 at Chapel Hill Tire, depending on the brand and type you need. Best of all, this cost includes expert installation. 

What Makes Wiper Blades Decline?

Like any other vehicle part, your wiper blades require care and maintenance. Wiper blades can become damaged by ice and overnight freezing during the winter. During the warmer months, your wipers can also be warped by the sun and the heat. These stressors accelerate the standard wear and tear that your wiper blades will experience during regular usage. 

Chapel Hill Tire Local Wiper Blade Replacement

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, we install trusted wiper blade brands, such as Michelin, so that our customers can drive with confidence. Our professionals will inspect your wiper blades and install new, high-quality wipers that perfectly fit your vehicle. Make an appointment with your nearest Chapel Hill Tire mechanic location to get started today!

5 Ways to Make Your Car Last Longer

man selecting wrench from tool cabinet

If your vehicle is your prized possession, chances are that you want to try to make your car last forever. While “forever” may be a stretch, there are easy ways to keep your car lasting as long as possible. Here is a look at 5 tips that can help you preserve your vehicle, brought to you by the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire.

Vehicle Preservation Tip 1: Maintenance Flushes

While many drivers tend to dismiss the necessity of maintenance flushes, they are essential to the health of your vehicle. If you want to help your car last longer, they become even more necessary. Your vehicle relies on several different liquid solutions for proper functioning—including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and more. Over time, these solutions become worn, depleted, and contaminated, making it essential that they are cleaned and replenished with regular maintenance flushes. 

Vehicle Preservation Tip 2: Consistent Oil Changes

Some vehicle services are needed more consistently than others. Perhaps the most frequently-needed service in any car is an oil change. It can be easy to push your oil change off for as long as possible, but this can shorten the lifespan of your vehicle significantly. To keep your vehicle lasting longer, you need to maintain your manufacturer-recommended oil change routine.

Vehicle Preservation Tip 3: Park in the Garage

Harsh environmental factors can take their toll on your vehicle’s health. This includes extreme heat, cold, precipitation, and more. You can protect your vehicle from these stressors by simply parking in a protected spot, such as a garage. If you do not have a garage available to you, parking in a shaded spot or slipping on a vehicle covering when it is not in use may also help prevent damage from the elements. 

Vehicle Preservation Tip 4: Quick Repairs

As you continue to drive your vehicle, it is likely to eventually run into a problem. Quick repairs are essential to preserving your vehicle and keeping service costs low. The longer that you ride out a problem your car is facing, the worse it may become. Because all of your vehicle systems work together for proper functioning, one needed repair can quickly spread into other vehicle issues when left unattended. To keep your vehicle lasting longer, bring it in for a repair at the first signs of an issue. 

Vehicle Preservation Tip 5: Matching Driving Patterns with Maintenance

It is no secret that your driving patterns will impact your vehicle’s health and longevity. If you drive frequently, you should service your vehicle more frequently. It is also important to factor in the road conditions in your area. Dirt roads, for example, can cause excess engine dust and extra needed filter replacements. Bumpy, uneven, and pothole-filled roads may require more frequent tire replacements, tire rotations, and tire alignments

Conversely, it is also essential that you do not let your vehicle sit for too long without proper care. Car batteries and engine oil both deteriorate more rapidly when your vehicle is not in use. Leaving your vehicle sitting for too long can also rot its rubber components, which includes everything from your tires to your engine belts. You also risk rusted parts when your vehicle remains sitting for an extended period of time while exposed to moisture. Here is a full overview from our experts on the risks of a dormant car

Chapel Hill Tire Local Vehicle Service

If you need help keeping your car in lasting shape, visit your nearest Chapel Hill Tire mechanic location for leading vehicle service. Our experts are skilled in all of the services needed to help your car last longer. Make an appointment at one of our eight Triangle-area locations to get started today.

Trailer Hitch Installation for Small Cars

Subaru Hitch

We all know that trucks and large SUVs have extensive towing capabilities. However, compact cars can also benefit from a hitch. While you may not need to tow another vehicle or a large trailer, hitch installations can do wonders for the capacity of compact cars. Here is a look at everything you can do with a trailer hitch on your small or mid-sized vehicle. 

Trailer Hitch for Bike Racks

Perhaps the most common use of trailer hitches on small cars is for bike rack attachments. If you drive a compact car, chances are that your bike won’t fit inside. To take it along on your next adventure, you need a bike rack, which can easily attach to your car’s trailer hitch

Trailer Hitch Help for Canoes, Surfboards, and Paddleboards

For adventurers with a small car, lugging around canoes, paddleboards, surfboards, and other water accessories can feel challenging. If you are looking for a way to stabilize your transportation, a trailer hitch may be the solution you are looking for. Hitch attachments are available to give your compact car the extra support it needs. They provide a centralized security point at the back of your vehicle, perfect for tying down your surfboard, canoe, or paddleboard. 

Small Cargo Carriers

Do you have large cargo needs and a compact trunk? If your trunk space simply isn’t cutting it, a small cargo carrier can pick up the slack. These attachments connect to your trailer hitch to give you some extra room. Whether you are hitting the road for an adventure or gearing up for a move, small cargo carriers can help. 

Fun and Useful Trailer Hitch Attachments

Trailer hitches are designed for utility, and many manufacturers have gotten creative with their capabilities. Fun and useful trailer hitch attachments are available to help solve common problems faced on the road. Do you frequently lock your keys inside your car? Trailer hitch key vaults are ideal for you—they hold a spare key protected by a coded lock. Do you need an extra seat while camping? Trailer hitch hammock and chair attachments may be the perfect solution. 

Does My Car Need a Trailer Hitch? 

Many compact car drivers mistakenly believe that their vehicles are unable to tow—especially because they do not come with a trailer hitch pre-installed. However, most small cars can tow between 1,000-2,000lbs, which is enough to sustain small attachments like those listed here. You can find exact towing details for your car in your owner’s manual. 

You should not let the lack of a trailer hitch deter you from adventuring with ease. They are easy for experts to add to almost any car, crossover, SUV, or truck. 

Small Car Trailer Hitch Installation 

Are you ready to gear up with a trailer hitch installation? Visit your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location. Our experts are skilled and experienced in attaching trailer hitches to compact cars, large trucks, and everything in between. Make your appointment here online or give us a call today to get started!

Our People: Bucky Ragan

a wrench set and a hat beside a sticker with a smiley face and the words drive happy

Joy Is Always An Option

Meet Bucky Ragan, for over 30 years, he has worked to brighten each customer’s day 

At Chapel Hill Tire, we’ve become convinced that happy employees create happy customers. Over the past 30 or so years, Bucky Ragan has done a lot of that convincing. He has greeted each day with a great attitude, and put forth his best effort to leave people feeling happier than when he found them. 

Service advisor Bucky Ragan

A service advisor at our University Mall location, Bucky followed in his father’s footsteps when he began working with us back in 1989. His dad was part of our University Mall team when we moved to this location in 1972.

“It’s just all around a good experience working right beside my father,” said Bucky. “He’s taught me a lot.”.

Plotting his own course, Bucky has become a customer favorite by creating joyful interactions with the people we serve. “Not everyone is excited to take their car to the shop. They’re already worried about spending money, so I try to put a smile on their face,” he said.

“People love him. He knows everybody,” said Sean McNally, who works closely with Ragan as the University Mall store manager. “One of the main reasons is that, more often than not, he’ll go above and beyond”.

A few years ago, a hurricane rolled through North Carolina, and many people feared it would leave gas shortages in its wake. Knowing that an ederly customer was concerned that they wouldn’t be able to get around, “Bucky came in at 6am and filled her car up with gas and brought it back to her,” said McNally. “He does nice things for a lot of people, but that was over the top.”          

“He’s an honest guy,” coworker John Ogburn said. He’ll review bills over and over, and if he has any question about a charge, he’ll come down on the side of the customer.”   

Without a doubt, Ragan does his best day in and day out to lift the spirits of those around him. All the while, he feels grateful to have spent the past three decades with Chapel Hill Tire. He said, “They’re all great people here. They do what they say they’re going to do and take really good care of you. I love the line of work I’m in.”

Bucky Ragan goes far beyond just fixing cars and selling tires. He spreads positivity every chance he gets, knowing that a simple smile goes a long way. As we mentioned, here at Chapel Hill Tire we’ve become convinced that happy employees create happy customers, and Bucky Ragan has surely done a lot of that convincing.