Road Hazard Tire Protection: Why It Matters

Tire mechanic at work

If you have ever bought a new set of tires, you likely know the timid feeling of driving away from the tire shop. Many drivers start to fear every road crack, dip, and pothole, often afraid of compromising their new tire investment. However, even the most careful drivers are susceptible to hazards on the road. Chapel Hill Tire invented Road Hazard Tire Protection so that drivers can enjoy their new tires without the fear of damage.  So what is Road Hazard Tire Protection? The experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here with insights. 

A Guide to Road Hazard Tire Protection

While many tires offer limited warranties to make sure that you do not get a “lemon” tire, this coverage often expires quickly and does not extend to most tire situations. Our professionals saw drivers carrying the burden of costly tire damage, so we invented Road Hazard Tire Protection. 

Road Hazard Tire Protection is the in-house coverage plan from Chapel Hill Tire. Our coverage is available for all new tires purchased from any of our local tire shops. Road Hazard Tire Protection is unlike any built-in tire warranty. This plan extends comprehensive potential savings by offering both tire replacement and free tire services. Road Hazard Tire Protection features:

  • Up to $399.99 in tire replacement—included for 3 years or 2/32″ tread depth remaining.
  • Free balancing for the life of your tires.
  • Free flat repairs for the life of your tires
  • Tire inflation complimentary for the life of your tires. 

Here is a closer look at each of these benefits and how much they can save you money long-term.

Free Repair or Replacement

Whether your tire is damaged or defective, a Road Hazard Tire Protection Plan will have you covered for 3-years or 2/32″ tread depth remaining—whichever comes first. This protection includes replacements up to $399.99. Instead of fearing for your tires over every pothole, you can enjoy the peace of mind that your tires (and your wallet) are protected.

Complimentary Flat Repairs

Do you have a nail in your tire? Flat tire repair services can often run you $25+. Nails getting stuck inside tires are just as common as they are frustrating. Thankfully, eligible flat repair and tire patches are free under the Road Hazard Tire Protection. Like most benefits, complimentary flat repair extends beyond the first 3-years/2/32″ tread depth. In fact, you can enjoy this service for the lifespan of your tires. 

Free Tire Balancing

Tire imbalance can create an uncomfortable drive as you face wheel shaking at higher speeds. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can also put your tires and your vehicle at risk. When your tires fall out of balance, road-force balancing services are necessary for resolving these troubles. Under Road Hazard Tire Protection, your tire balancing services are covered for the lifespan of your tires. 

Free Tire Inflation Services

Properly inflated tires save you money every time you drive your vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, under-inflated tires can reduce your fuel economy by up to 3%. This is why drivers need to frequently check each tire’s pressure and refill to the correct PSI. 

Unless you have an air compressor of your own, a public tire inflation station will also cost you a few dollars every couple of months. While each refill is not too expensive, this can add up over the course of several years. Thankfully, Road Hazard Tire Protection saves you the time, money, and trouble of tire refills. Our experts will make sure that you are covered with free tire inflation services for the lifespan of your tires.  

How Much Does Tire Protection Cost?

Your Road Hazard Tire Protection Plan pricing is based on the cost of the tires you choose to buy. More expensive tires are more costly to service, making the price of the protection slightly higher. However, Road Hazard Tire Protection is available for as little as $15 per tire. 

You can view your Road Hazard Tire Protection costs by using the online Tire Finder. This no-obligation tool gives you the out-the-door price on your tires (including or excluding the costs of available protection) without requiring you to enter in any of your information. Read our full guide to the Tire Finder tool here

Chapel Hill Tire Protection

You can find your next set of tires—and tire protection—at any of our 9 Chapel Hill Tire locations. We are conveniently located in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, and Carrboro. You can contact our tire professionals with any questions you may have, or make an appointment to see our experts today!

How to Drive in Wintery Weather

A car driving on a snow-covered road in the winter

When it comes to driving in wintry weather, the first and best option for you is to stay home. However, this is not always possible for some individuals. When you have no choice but to travel during the cold, it is essential you take every measure possible to stay safe. Here are some tips from our local mechanics on driving in inclement weather. 

Lower Air Pressure by ⅞ of Pressure

The air in your tires often compresses in the winter, leaving drivers with low tire pressure. Many drivers then go to extra lengths to make sure their tires are filled completely. Properly inflated tires are essential for fuel efficiency and vehicle handling. However, when you are driving in the snow, slightly lowering your tire pressure can help increase your traction. Our mechanics recommend lowering the air pressure to ⅞ of your air capacity. You should ensure that your tires are not left underinflated, and you should reinflate them to your full recommended PSI once the threat of wintery roads has passed. 

Have a Windshield Scraper

Wintery weather often means that you can come outside to find your windshield covered in ice. This can leave you waiting for your defrost to kick in, or using a makeshift ice scraper—such as an old credit card. To ensure that you have quick and effective visibility during hazardous conditions, make sure that you are prepared by keeping an ice scraper in your car. These can be found at most major retailers, and they are usually a very affordable, trouble-saving investment.

Don’t Slam on Your Breaks

When driving in wintery weather, it is best to avoid slamming on your breaks. Aggressive braking can cause your car to skid, leaving you with less control over your vehicle. Instead, gradually let off of your accelerator and leave yourself with as much time as possible to stop. You will also want to ensure that your brake pads have more than 1/4th of an inch of material on them for safe, effective braking. 

Check Your Tire Tread

Tire tread is important for vehicle safety and handling year-round, but it is perhaps most essential during wintery weather conditions. The tread on your tires collects snow, helping your tires reach the road. It also gives you the most control possible when you hit a spot of bad weather. If your tires have less than 2/32 of an inch of tread left, you are due for a replacement. Here is how you can check your tire tread depth using your wear indicator bars and other tests. 

Make Sure Your Battery is Ready

Why does it seem like dead batteries always hit at the worst possible times, such as in wintery weather conditions? There is actually a clear correlation between cold temperatures and dead batteries. Extreme winter weather conditions can deplete the charge of your battery. Additionally, cold weather requires more power for your vehicle to start. This is why wintery weather is the catalyst for many battery replacements, as batteries near the end of their lifespan cannot manage this stress. You can take a few key steps to prepare for winter battery troubles:

  • When possible, park your vehicle in your garage.
  • Keep a set of jumper cables in your car, or—better yet—a jump-starting battery pack.
  • If you have a jump-starting battery pack, make sure that it is fully charged at all times. The cold weather can deplete this power level as well. During extreme temperatures, you may consider bringing your portable battery starter inside at night to keep it charged. Just don’t forget to bring it back out with you again in the morning. 
  • If you find that your vehicle is struggling to start, have your battery and starting system checked by a mechanic. This can help you avoid battery troubles before they leave you stranded. 
  • Make sure your battery terminal ends are clean and free of corrosion. 

These steps can help you avoid the stress and trouble of a dead car battery. If you find that you need help on the road, here is our guide to jump-starting your battery

Chapel Hill Tire: Professional Winter Car Care

When you find that your car is not ready for wintery weather, it is best to get it serviced before snowfall becomes a threat. The professionals at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you and all of your winter car needs. You can find the lowest prices on new tires and coupons for battery replacements & other vehicle services. Make your appointment here online, or visit one of our 9 Triangle-area locations to get started today!

Where Can You Find The Most Affordable Tires?

Hunter Tire Machine at Chapel Hill Tire

Many drivers mistakenly associate smaller tire businesses with higher pricing. Little do they know, community tire shops are often home to the most affordable tires, as small businesses care about their customers more than their bottom line. Here is a closer look at how you can get the lowest prices on your new tires by shopping at Chapel Hill Tire.

A Wide Selection of Tire Brands

Dealerships, as well as many larger tire distributors, are often affiliated with one or more tire manufacturing brands. These companies will leave you to choose between a limited range of options, which may cause you to miss out on more affordable tires. By remaining unbiased in our approach, small tire businesses can give you the full details you need to make the right decision for you. 

Transparent Everyday Low Prices

The easiest way to get low prices on new tires is by comparing all of the tires available for your vehicle, their features, and their prices; however, this requires transparent tire pricing, out-the-door pricing, and no-obligation tire information:

Transparent Tire Pricing

Keep a close eye on pricing transparency when shopping for new tires. If a company is secretive about its tire prices, you have to take a moment to wonder what they are hiding. If their prices are affordable, they would want to share this information with customers, right? 

Transparent Out-The-Door Pricing

It is also essential to focus on the out-the-door price rather than just the price of the tire. The price you see online likely does not include the cost of professional tire installation. New tires require careful mounting and balancing, without which they will face uneven wear and deterioration on the road. Some dealerships or tire distributors offset “low” tire prices with high overhead costs. If they give you the tire price but hide their installation fees, taxes, and out-the-door price, you could still be left feeling duped when you receive the bill. 

No-Obligation Pricing

Another way that tire shops and dealerships hide their prices is by requiring an email address or phone number to view pricing information. They exhaust customers by requiring them to answer extensive questions about their vehicle, location, tire size, and tire preferences. After their selection of tire prices are available, they require customers to provide their phone number or email address before viewing the results. Customers often give in to these higher prices to avoid having to continue this complicated tire search. But your tire search does not have to be exhausting or complicated. Businesses like Chapel Hill Tire will provide you with tire pricing without requiring any information from you. 

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, our online Tire Finder tool gives you information about every tire available to your vehicle. This includes various brands, tire costs, features, and out-the-door prices. Unlike other businesses, we do not hide our tire costs or require your information to shop around.

Long-Term Tire Savings

When using the Tire Finder tool, you can view the warranties included with each tire. Many (but not all) manufacturers offer free warranties that will help ensure that you do not get a “lemon” tire. By shopping with this in mind, you can help find tires that offer long-term savings. 

The Tire Finder also gives you the pricing and coverage information about optional protection available for your new tires. This can provide long-term savings if you run into any tire issues, including free flat repair, tire balancing, and tire pressure refills

Price Beat Guarantee: The Secret to Affordable Tires

In addition to our transparent everyday low prices, Chapel Hill Tire has taken affordability to the next level with our Price Beat Guarantee. Under this deal, we will beat any lower competitor quote by 10%. This will leave you feeling confident that you got the lowest possible price on your new tires.

Chapel Hill Tire | New Tires Near Me

When you are looking for affordable new tires, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. You can conveniently shop for your new tires right here online. When you are ready, have your new tires installed at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location in Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Carrboro, or Chapel Hill. Make your appointment today or give us a call to get started!

How to Prepare Your Car for a Holiday Road Trip

two cars on a snow-covered road

The holiday season may look a little different this year as we all follow the CDC Holiday Safety Guidelines. However, some drivers have substituted their traditional plans for a holiday joy ride to enjoy socially-distant travels from the safety of their car. Every road trip you take can put extra strain on your vehicle. Here is a closer look at how to prep your vehicle for a long drive. 

Tire Pressure Check and Refill

The cold winter weather can compress the air inside of your tires, which creates low tire pressure. At its best, low tire pressure will mean lower fuel efficiency and spending more money at the pump. At its worst, low tire pressure can prematurely wear/damage your tires, lead to bent rims, affect your vehicle handling, or cause a flat tire. Read our full guide on checking and refilling your tire pressure here. For expert help, you can get FREE tire pressure checks and refills when you get your oil changed at Chapel Hill Tire. 

Battery Check: Jumper Cables, or Portable Jump Starter

Have you ever wondered why drivers tend to have more frequent battery troubles during this time of year? Freezing temperatures can drain the life out of your battery. On top of that stress, the cold weather requires your engine to work twice as hard to start up. 

Consider having your battery inspected or serviced before your trip to ensure that it is not corroding or nearing the end of its lifespan. Even if your battery is good to go, it is best to have backup tools ready in case of an emergency. Before your trip, grab a pair of jumper cables—or, better yet, invest in a portable jump starter that will start your vehicle without needing help from another car. You can find these at most major hardware stores, some big-box stores, or through an online retailer.

If you need help jumping your battery, here is a quick guide with 8 steps to jump-starting your car.

Spare Tire and Tire Changing Tools

If something happens to your tire on the road, you will want to make sure that you have a viable spare tire on hand. Before your trip:

  • First, check to make sure that your spare is in your vehicle—it will likely be located in a spare tire well within your trunk. You may need to peel back the flooring of your trunk to find it. Other vehicles may have a spare mounted to the back of their SUV, underneath the rear of the car, or somewhere else—some older Subaru vehicles even have it stashed in the engine. A quick internet search or glance at your owner’s manual should help you find your spare. 
  • Next, you will want to make sure that your tire is in good condition. It should be less than 6 years old and show no visible signs of damage.
  • Also, check to ensure that all of the tools you need are included—primarily a jack and a tire iron. These tools are included with almost every vehicle, but it is helpful to check and make sure they are in place. This is especially important if you have changed your tire before and may have lost pieces or loaned your tire changing gear to a friend.
  • Finally, check to make sure that your tools are in good shape. Factory jacks and tire irons are not always high-quality. If you think you have any ineffective tools, you can pick up a replacement before your trip. High-quality car jacks and tire irons will last you a lifetime of spare replacements, and they are available at most major hardware stores. 

In addition to safeguarding your trip, this check also gives you the chance to familiarize yourself with your spare tire location and components. This overview will be helpful in the case that you need to change a tire during your trip. If you need help, here is a quick guide to changing your car tire

Pre-Road Trip Tire Check

Relatedly, a good road trip must be safeguarded by a sturdy set of tires. Are your tires ready for a long drive? Here are some tire check questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is the tread on my tires above 2/32 of an inch? Or above my tire wear indicator bars? Keep in mind that these are the bare minimum in tread standards. If you think you might be facing winter weather along your travels, make sure your tires have a little extra tread depth. 
  • How old are my tires? – Research suggests that aged 5+ years are vulnerable to rubber thermo-oxidative degradation, which may lead to hazards on the road.
  • Do I have any visible signs of damage, such as rubber cracking or sidewall bubbling? Unfortunately, these are signs that you are due for new tires. However, contactless tire changing can make this process safe, quick, and easy. You can also save money with coupons and buy your new tires online to make this process as simple and affordable as possible.
  • Can I see any nails protruding from my tires? Nails can be easily removed and patched. It is best to have this service done before you hit the road.

If you are unsure about any of these, stop by a tire expert before hitting the road for insight. It just might save your trip. 

Brake and Rotor Check

Your brake pads are thick blocks of friction material, which press against your metal rotors each time you need to slow and stop your vehicle. Over time, this friction material wears away, which lessens the effectiveness of your brakes. Naturally, poor and ineffective braking can lead to some serious safety hazards on the road. 

Additionally, the heat of braking friction can make the metal of your rotors malleable, which can leave them warped by the pressure of your brake pad over time. Before your road trip, check to make sure that your brake pads have more than 1/4th of an inch of friction material, and ensure your rotors are not warped or rusted. 

Light Check: Headlights, Brake Lights, Turn Signal Lights

The winter season brings shorter days, which means more reliance on your lights. Before heading on your road trip, take a moment to park in a safe space, and complete these 3 vehicle light checks:

Headlights Check

Turn on your headlights and then exit your vehicle. Check to make sure that both headlights are illuminated when turned on. You should also check for lens oxidation. This is when your headlights become foggy, yellowed, or otherwise distorted by the sun’s UV rays. Headlight restoration services can clear up your lenses, while a bulb replacement can often fix a broken headlight. 

Brake Light Check 

These are the hardest lights to check, so it is best to have a friend’s help. Sit in your parked, yet running, vehicle and press down on your brakes. Have your friend stand behind your vehicle and make sure that all of your rear brake lights are turned on and bright. Brake light issues are also often easily solved by a bulb replacement. 

Turn Signal Light Check

This is another check you can complete on your own. Turn on your right turn signal, and then exit your vehicle to make sure that both the front and rear turn lights are working on your vehicle’s right side. Complete this check again with the left turn signal. A broken turn signal can often be repaired with a turn signal bulb replacement

Tire Rotations and Other Services

Your tires face uneven wear on the road, with your front tires enduring more friction than your back tires when turning. Frequent rotations can help keep your tires protected. Tire rotations should be completed every 5,000-8,000 miles. If you are past this window, it is best to get a rotation before going on a long trip—especially if you are driving through the mountains or any other rough, winding terrain. You may also consider getting a tire alignment or balancing service—though these are as-needed services rather than routine tune-ups. 

Oil Change, Filter Change, and Fluid Level Checks

Your vehicle relies on a careful balance of various liquid solutions—each serving a distinct purpose within your engine system. Over time, your engine depletes or contaminates these fluids, which can impact your vehicle’s protection and performance. 

Oil changes are the most commonly-needed engine fluid service. As your oil passes through your engine to offer vital lubrication and cooling, it picks up dirt, metal fragments, soot, and other harmful materials. Your engine filter works to keep these contaminants away from your engine, but it eventually becomes clogged, and your oil becomes depleted. What happens when you don’t get your necessary oil changes? You run the risk of engine damage and poor vehicle performance. 

These same principles apply to your other engine fluids, though they require less frequent maintenance flushes than your oil. When was the last time that you had a transmission fluid flush? Or a coolant flush? Have an expert check your fluid levels before heading out on your trip. It may help keep your engine protected during the long drive.

Trip Check | Chapel Hill Tire

For everything you need to have inspected before your next road trip, visit the experts at Chapel Hill Tire for a trip check. We will help you make sure that your vehicle is ready to go. Make an appointment with any of our 9 Triangle-area locations—including those in Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Carrboro, to get started today!

8 Easy Ways to Become a More Eco-Friendly Driver

A sustainable road harvesting wind energy

As 2020 comes to a close, we are also reaching the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity. Sustainability within the automotive industry is essential to protecting our planet, and we can all do our part to advance global environmental efforts. Sustainable driving practices can also help save you money on gas and stay safe on the road. Here is a closer look at eight easy ways to become a more sustainable driver.

Avoid Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving patterns can significantly drop your fuel economy. This includes rapid acceleration, excessive speeding, and abrupt braking. While many drivers think that speeding improves fuel economy, most cars will begin to experience a decline in efficiency when driving above 50-60 miles per hour. According to the US Department of Energy, aggressive driving can decrease your fuel economy by up to 40%. Adopting more steady driving habits can help you stay safer on the road while benefiting your wallet and the environment.  

Watch Out For Low Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is essential to monitor year-round, but this task becomes especially important during the colder months. Cold weather compresses the air within your tires, which can quickly lead to low tire pressure. Have you ever ridden a bike with deflated tires? It consumes much more energy than when you are working with properly inflated tires. This same logic applies to your tires—your vehicle will use more fuel without sufficient tire pressure. Deflated tires also impact your tire protection and vehicle handling. Tire pressure is easy to check and maintain on your own. You can also score free tire pressure checks and refills when you get your oil changed at Chapel Hill Tire.

Maintenance Services

Your vehicle requires a variety of care routines to stay efficient and protected. Keeping up with these services will help you avoid poor fuel economy. Popular efficiency-boosting vehicle services include regular oil changes, maintenance fluid flushes, and air filter changes

Strategic Driving

Stop-and-go traffic is not only frustrating, but it also takes a hit on your fuel economy. Strategically planning your commute can save you time, money, and trouble while helping you become a more eco-friendly driver. Here are some examples of strategic commuting:

  • Use responsive GPS apps that will route you around any accidents or traffic jams.
  • If possible, ask your work if you can arrive and leave early to beat the rush hour.
  • When available, run your errands during low-traffic windows.

Fuel Efficient Tire Tread

Your tire tread is responsible for gripping the road, giving you the traction you need to accelerate, steer, and stop your vehicle. More traction also means more road resistance, which can significantly increase your fuel consumption. Fuel-efficient tires are made with tread patterns designed for low rolling resistance. The next time you need new tires, you can explore the efficiency features on all of the tires available for your vehicle to find the ones that best meet your needs.

Lighten the Load

If you tend to leave heavy cargo in your car, it can be easy to forget about the impact that the extra weight can have on your fuel economy. The weight of your cargo can increase inertia (road resistance), which will force your vehicle to work harder during your commute. Data by AutoSmart suggests that removing just 22 pounds of cargo from your car can save you an estimated $104 in gas costs each year. Anything you can do to lighten the load on your vehicle will help you reduce your emissions. Consider unloading any sporting gear, work equipment, or other cargo when it is not in use. You can also lighten this load by removing your bike or utility rack from your trailer hitch during the colder months. 

Carpooling During Commutes

While it may be the oldest solution in the book, it is also one of the most effective: carpooling. If you have the opportunity to carpool to school or work, you can cut down on the road traffic and lessen your overall emissions. To promote this sustainable transportation, many states are beginning to introduce carpool lanes that are restricted from solo drivers. As such, you may get a quicker commute when you engage in this eco-friendly practice. 

Visit an Environmentally-Friendly Mechanic

Being sustainable within the automotive industry can be challenging; however, partnering with the right experts can make it easier. Look for a car care professional who specializes in sustainability. For example, you can visit an expert who offers non-lead wheel weights, hybrid loaner cars, and E.F.O. (Environmentally Friendly Oil) changes. These types of mechanics also often specialize in servicing eco-friendly vehicles. 

Eco-Friendly Car Care | Chapel Hill Tire

Chapel Hill Tire was the first-ever mechanic in the Triangle to offer Environmentally Friendly Oil Changes and non-lead wheel weights. We continually adapt to meet the highest standards in automotive sustainability. For all of the services you need to remain an eco-friendly driver, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We proudly serve drivers throughout the greater Triangle area through our nine mechanic locations—including those in Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Make your appointment here online today!

Everything You Need to Know About Tire Age

Tire Identification Number and what each part stands for, including the tire age

In a year full of news, you may have missed a groundbreaking tire announcement from across the pond this summer: driving with aged tires is now a criminal offense in the UK. They introduced this legislation in July, banning all tires aged 10+ years. This change came after years of campaigning led by Frances Molloy, a mother who lost her son in an accident caused by an aged tire.

Efforts to establish US tire age laws and regulations are ongoing, but there is no telling when (or if) these laws will be instituted. Instead, local tire safety regulations are based primarily on tire tread. However, old tires can cause severe safety risks, even when they have thick tread. Here is a closer look at tire age and how you can stay safe on the road.  

How Old Are My Tires? A Guide to Finding your Tire Age

Tires are marked with a Tire Identification Number (TIN), which tracks the manufacturing information—including the exact week of the year it was made. This information is printed directly on the side of each tire. To find it, carefully examine your tire sidewall. You may need to use a flashlight, as these numbers can blend in with the rubber. Once you find your TIN, it may seem like a complicated series of numbers and letters, but it is actually easy to break down:

  • DOT: Every tire code begins with DOT for the Department of Transportation.
  • Tire plant code: Next, you will see a letter and a number. This is an identification code for the plant your tire was manufactured at.
  • Tire Size: Another number and letter will signify your tire size.
  • Manufacturer: The following two or three letters make up your tire manufacturer code.
  • Tire age: At the end of your TIN, you will see a series of four numbers. This is your tire age. The first two numbers represent the week of the year, and the second two numbers represent the manufacturing year. 

For example, if your TIN ends with 4918, this means that your tires were manufactured in December of 2018, and are currently two years old. 

Tire Identification Number and what each part stands for, including the tire age

What is the Problem with Old Tires?

Aged tires can often look and feel brand new, so what makes them unsafe? It is a change in their chemical composition during a process called thermo-oxidative degradation. Over time, oxygen naturally reacts with rubber, causing it to stiffen, dry out, and crack. When the rubber inside of your tires is dry and stiff, it can detach from the steel belts in your tire’s foundation. This can cause tire blowout, tread belt separation, and other significant safety hazards. 

Tire separation is often not easily visible, so many drivers do not know they have aged tire problems until they lose control of their vehicle. Driving on aged tires can also cause sidewall deformation, tread chunking (when large pieces of the tread detach), and tread blistering. 

Beyond just the age of the rubber, thermo-oxidative degradation is accelerated by heat. States that experience higher levels of heat also tend to see higher levels of tire aging. Because fast-paced driving also generates heat, frequent high driving speeds can accelerate the tire aging process as well.

A 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Consumer Advisory reported hundreds of vehicle fatalities and injuries caused by tread separation of tires 5+ years old. Other NHTSA research and data suggest these numbers soar to the thousands each year. 

At What Age Should Tires Be Replaced?

With the exception of extraneous circumstances, tires are proven to be safe from oxidation for the first 5 years after their production. This is why many vehicle manufacturers, such as Ford and Nissan, recommend tires be changed 6 years after their manufacturer date—regardless of your tire tread depth. However, as seen in the NHTSA research above, 5-year-old tires can also cause accidents. Changing your tires every 5 years provides the most comprehensive standards in safety. 

Buying from a Reliable Tire Shop | Chapel Hill Tire

Tire age is another reason why it is essential to buy from a reliable tire shop. Used tire distributors, for example, may buy older tires for cheap prices, allowing them to make a higher profit. Even if the “new” tire has never been driven, the aged rubber presents severe safety risks. 

When you are due for a new set of tires, visit the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. Our trusted experts provide comprehensive tire and mechanical services, offering a customer-focused buying experience. We also offer a Price Beat Guarantee, which helps you get the lowest possible price on your new tires. Make an appointment at one of our 9 Triangle-area locations, or buy your tires online using our Tire Finder tool today!

10 Tips to Help Your Tires Last Longer

Mechanic completing a tire inspection

It often seems the tires are easy to damage and hard to protect. However, simple care routines and driving modifications can help extend the lifespan of your tires. Try these 10 tips to help your tires last longer, brought to you by the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. 

Using the Right Tire Season

Most drivers buy all-season tires, which—as the name suggests—are equipped to handle all seasons. However, if you have specialty tires, such as summer (performance) tires or winter tires, you may run into issues that can shorten your tire lifespan.

  • Summer tires are not designed to drive in cooler temperatures, as the rubber begins to harden below roughly 45 degrees. This decreases traction to an unsafe level.
  • Winter tires are not designed to drive in warmer temperatures, as the rubber composition wears away at increased rates in temperatures above roughly 45 degrees.

These issues will not only shorten the lifespan of your tires, but they will also often present safety risks. Driving your tires in the right season can help them last longer—here is our full guide to tire seasons to help you along. 

Safe and Steady Driving

We’ve all seen NASCAR races where a driver’s tire tread is constantly depleted or even torn to pieces. The drivers often require multiple sets of tires during the race, even though these are race-worthy performance tires designed for this kind of action. This rapid tire decline is caused by the harsh turbulence that their tires face during the intense driving conditions. 

While you may not be engaging in a NASCAR-worthy commute, the same kind of logic applies to regular tires. The harsher your turns, accelerations, and stops are, the quicker they will deteriorate your tires. You can help keep your tires protected by practicing safe and steady driving practices. If you are prone to more exciting adventures on the road, you can help keep your tires protected by making sure you have performance tires that are created to withstand the action. 

Regular Tire Rotation Services

Your front tires tend to face enhanced friction on the road while steering. Regular tire rotations are designed to help keep your tires protected. By regularly rotating your tires, you can evenly distribute this additional wear, which keeps your tires preserved as a set. 

Avoid Road Hazards

You will probably not be surprised to learn that frequently driving over road hazards can shorten the lifespan of your drive. While it may not always be within your control, safely avoiding road hazards—such as potholes and manhole covers—can help you keep your tires protected. 

Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure is one of the most crucial factors to tire protection—as well as one of the easiest to disrupt. Tire pressure can change with temperature, driving conditions, and more. 

  • Over-inflated tires: Overinflation can change the way your tire meets the road—often pushing the center of your tires out further than usual. This will cause heightened and uneven tire wear. High tire pressure can also put your tire at risk for a blowout. 
  • Under-inflated tires: Low tire pressure causes more of your tire surface area to meet the road, which can create sidewall damage and increased tread declination.

It is essential that you regularly check and refill your tires, and make sure that you do not over inflate or under inflate them during each refill. If you run into problems, you can leave this task to the professionals. You may even be able to score free tire recalls. For example, experts at Chapel Hill Tire give you a free tire pressure check and refill during each oil change visit.

Quick Alignment Service

Wheel alignment troubles will cause your tires to meet the road in uneven patterns. Naturally, this will cause the portion of your tire facing higher pressure to endure more severe friction and tread wear. The key here is a quick tire alignment service. If you wait to get your tires aligned when necessary, you will begin to notice uneven tire traction, which shortens the lifespan of your tires.

Tire Balancing Services

When one or more of your tires is out of balance, it will rotate faster than the rest of your tires. While your other tires will remain protected, the out of balance tire(s) will face enhanced wear. Thankfully, tire balancing services can quickly and easily restore your tire protection; however, much like tire alignment, you must get this service completed before the damage is done. 

Avoid the Road Shoulders

Many drivers who experienced a nail in their tire wonder, “How did this happen?” While sometimes tires catch nails that are kicked up by another vehicle, most road discard is brushed onto the shoulders. The road shoulders do not have the same flat, even surfaces as the road itself, which may leave nails and other hazards sticking upwards. When a driver veers off course, nails, glass, and metal shards can more easily create punctured or flat tires. While it may be unavoidable, it is best to try and stay far away from the road’s shoulders. 

Parking in your Garage

The Sun’s UV rays can break down the rubber compounds of your tires. By engaging in mindful parking, such as parking in your garage and shaded public spots, you can help keep your tires protected. If you have no choice but to park outdoors, make sure that you drive your car regularly. You may also consider using a vehicle cover to help keep your tires protected.

Tire Warranty | Road Hazard Tire Protection Plan

When you invest in a new set of tires, you want to ensure that you keep them protected. Thankfully, this is easy at first if you purchase a tire warranty. Chapel Hill Tire’s warranty, for example, includes free replacements within the first 3 years. It also features lifetime tire refills and puncture repairs. While the cost of a tire warranty will depend on the tire you purchase, this protection is also surprisingly affordable. You can view the costs of our optional warranty agreements in the “See out the door price” button of our free Tire Finder search.

Tire Maintenance and Replacement | Chapel Hill Tire 

For trusted tire service, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. We can help you keep your tires protected for as long as possible. When they have reached the end of their lifespan, you can also find the lowest prices—guaranteed—on a new set of tires. Make an appointment with the experts at Chapel Hill Tire to get started today!

Introducing Chapel Hill Tire of Apex

Photo of Green Rain Roof at Chapel Hill Tire Location

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, our experts work hard to extend our industry-leading, customer-centered services to drivers in and around the Triangle. In alignment with this mission, we are proud to announce plans for our newest location: Chapel Hill Tire of Apex. We will share more insight soon about the grand opening of our Apex location. Until then, here is a look at the services and specialties you can expect from Chapel Hill Tire of Apex.

Mechanic Services in Apex

Our first-ever Apex location is geared up to provide the same full-service mechanic offerings as our other Chapel Hill Tire locations. Here you can experience our world-class car services, including:

Local Vehicle Inspections

Brake Services in Apex

  • Whether you need brake pad replacements, a brake fluid flush, or a warped rotor service, Chapel Hill Tire of Apex has experts who can help.

Local Wheel and Rim Straightening

Apex Oil Changes

  • If you need an oil change in Apex, our new location will be there for you. We offer quick, expert oil changes at affordable and transparent prices.

Vehicle Light Services

Tire Services in Apex

  • Tire rotations, balancing, alignment, and flat repair services are all necessary to keep your tires protected. Who better to provide your tire services than our tire specialists?

Vehicle Maintenance Flushes

Air Filter Changes

  • Chapel Hill Tire of Apex offers both expert cabin and engine air filter changes to keep your engine and your vehicle free of harmful particles, debris, and unwanted contaminants.

Apex Car Battery Services

  • If you need a new car battery or battery terminal services, Chapel Hill Tire is here for you. Our experts also specialize in hybrid car batteries. 

Windshield Wiper Replacement

  • If you need new windshield wipers in Apex, our mechanics can quickly and affordably get your wipers replaced

Chapel Hill Tire offers transparent pricing for our customers—and you can browse our coupons page to lower our everyday low prices. Our pricing and the full list of our offerings are available on our services page. For all of your vehicle’s needs, the trusted mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire’s newest Apex location are sure to be your new go-to. 

New Tires in Apex | Chapel Hill Tire 

As our name suggests, Chapel Hill Tire offers next-level expertise in all things tires. We are a customer-centered local tire shop with the selection of tire seasons, brands, sizes you would expect to find at a nationwide tire distributor. Unlike other tire specialty shops, we are not partnered with any single brand, which keeps our inventory from being biased or restricted.  

Our tire experts also offer the lowest prices on new tires—guaranteed. If you find a competitor’s price lower than our own, we will beat it by 10% under the famous Chapel Hill Tire Price Beat Guarantee. You can shop tires online with our Tire Finder tool or visit our soon-to-open Apex location for an exceptional tire buying experience. 

Visit Chapel Hill Tire

Our experts will continue to keep you updated on our new Apex location. Until then, you can still find exceptional service at our 8 other Triangle-area locations. The professionals here at Chapel Hill Tire are looking forward to serving communities in and around Apex!

Tire Alignment Issues vs. Warped Brake Rotors

Mechanic balancing a tire

Finding and Repairing Vehicle Shaking

“Why is my car shaking?” —This common vehicle issue is often assumed to be the telltale sign of a tire alignment problem. It is true that alignment troubles cause road unsteadiness, shaking, vibrations, and uneven tire wear; however, warped brake rotors and tire imbalance can have similar symptoms. Here is a look at these common sources of car shaking and how they can be repaired. 

Problem 1: Warped Brake Rotors

The process of slowing and stopping your vehicle relies on brake pads pressing against the flat metal of your brake rotors. This braking causes friction, which generates heat and makes the metal of your brake rotors more malleable. Then, the contact of your brake pads can warp the structure of your rotors. 

When your brake pads are pressing against a warped rotor, this will cause shaking or vibrations to run through your vehicle. Beyond just the inconvenience of shaking, this can raise safety concerns and create trouble for your brakes. 

How Can You Tell If You Have Warped Rotors?

Unlike other vehicle problems, warped rotors will only cause your vehicle to shake when you are braking. If you are experiencing shaking during acceleration, you likely have a different vehicle issue, such as an alignment or balancing concern (more on these below).

Can You Fix Warped Brake Rotors?

Depending on how warped your rotors are, a mechanic may be able to straighten them. The process of “fixing” brake rotors is called turning or resurfacing. Brake rotor resurfacing involves scraping down the warped metal to achieve a smooth surface. However, it is becoming increasingly common for rotors to be replaced rather than fixed for three main reasons:

  • Cost efficiency: Competitive manufacturing has led rotors to become much less expensive than they used to be, often making the rotor repair roughly the same price as rotor replacement. With similarly-priced services, the new rotors are often the better choice for drivers. 
  • Rotor thickness: Many manufacturers require that the rotors maintain a certain thickness level, which can restrict mechanics from performing rotor repair services.
  • Brand considerations: A wide variety of different factors come into account when considering rotor straightening vs. replacement. This includes your vehicle brand, your brake pad material, and your rotors’ metal composition, among others. Your vehicle simply may not allow for rotor turning. 

Thankfully, rotor replacement services are also accessible solutions that will eliminate the vehicle shaking and restore your braking safety. 

Problem 2: Wheel Alignment Issues

Your tires are designed to coordinate their direction with the movement of your steering wheel. However, over time, the turbulence of the road can cause one or more of your wheels to rest at a deviated angle. Naturally, this creates issues for your vehicle, your tires, and your control on the road. Alignment issues are closely related to car shaking symptoms. 

What Are The Signs of Tire Alignment Issues?

While a shaking steering wheel is a common sign of alignment troubles, these vehicle issues carry other revealing signs:

  • Consistent Shaking: Alignment issues will cause constant vehicle vibration, no matter whether you are braking, accelerating, or maintaining a consistent speed.
  • Steering Wheel Pulling: You may also notice that your vehicle is “pulling” towards one side of the road or another rather than seamlessly steering straight. 
  • Noisy Tires: Whirling sounds and other tire noises may emerge as a sign of alignment issues 
  • Uneven Tire Wear: You might begin to notice uneven tire tread, as the alignment issues can cause disproportionate road friction.

Can You Fix Tire Alignment Issues?

Wheel alignment is a quick service that will fix these vehicle troubles. If the disproportionate wear of tires becomes severe, you may find yourself needing new tires in addition to a tire alignment. Annual tire alignments can help prevent these issues and help your tires last longer. If you are unsure of whether or not you need an alignment, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire will provide a free consultation. 

Problem 3: Tire Balancing Issues

A third issue that often creates vehicle shaking is unbalanced tires. When tires are out of balance, they will revolve at different rotation rates. The rotational intervals are heightened at certain speeds, which will cause your vehicle to shake.

What are the Signs of Unbalanced Tires?

Similar to alignment issues, unbalanced tires cause shaking along with uneven tire wear—however, this car problem is set apart by its correlation with certain speeds. If you experience severe vibrations at one speed and none at a different speed, these may be signs of tire imbalance.

With unbalanced tires, the shaking is often heightened around one area of your vehicle. For example, if the front left tire is unbalanced, the shaking may be centered around your driver’s seat and steering wheel, while unbalanced back tires will cause shaking to be most concentrated in the rear seats.

Can Unbalanced Tires Be Fixed?

Tire balancing is a common vehicle service that can fix or prevent tire imbalance. Ideally, tires should be balanced every 10,000-12,000 miles for proper vehicle care. Much like tire alignment services, if the issue has spread to create other problems, such as worn tires, you will need to have those addressed as well before you can safely hit the road again. 

Chapel Hill Tire Local Vehicle Service

If your vehicle is shaking, visit the experts at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location. We can help you identify your vehicle issue and get it fixed in no time. Chapel Hill Tire is distinguished by our customer-centered values, industry-leading experience, and care you can only find at a local tire shop.  We will have you in, out, and on your way in no time. Make your appointment today to get started!

How to Use the Online Tire Finder Tool

A horizontal line of new tires

A Guide to the Tire Finder Tool

Too often, the process of buying tires turns into an expensive guessing game, as many mechanics and tire distributors lack transparency. Chapel Hill Tire works to provide our customers with an improved experience through our online Tire Finder. This tool matches tires to your vehicle and shares their costs, features, and other details—helping you make the right choice for your needs. When it comes to finding the right tires for you, online shopping offers convenience, selection, and clarity. Here is a quick guide on how to use our Tire Finder tool. 

Step 1: Visit The Tire Finder Page

First, you need to visit the Tire Finder tool page. Here at Chapel Hill Tire, we offer this tool in addition to a vast selection of tires. Unlike other businesses, we are not affiliated with any single tire brand, meaning that our tool will help you find the right tires for you without any bias or ulterior motives. 

Step 2: Enter In Your Vehicle Information

Next, you will need to enter basic information about your vehicle and your tires, including the make, model, year, tire size, and the tire season you are shopping for.

Some of these answers are common knowledge, while others you can find in your owner’s manual. It is also helpful to check your tire information sticker, which is often located on the driver’s side door frame, right next to the driver’s seat. This sticker contains information about your tire size, in addition to other insights, such as tire pressure recommendations.

If you do not feel like entering this information manually, you can search by entering your license plate number or the tire size you are looking for.

Finally, the Tire Finder will ask you which tire season you prefer. Click here for our quick breakdown of tire seasons.

Step 3: View Your Tire Selection

The Tire Finder Tool will ask you for your preferred location, and then pull all of the available tires that match your search. You can explore the options, add filters, and compare similar tires, or adjust your search for new results. You will not just view names and appearances—this result page also provides you with a wealth of information. You can easily find the answers to your tire questions, including:

  • How Much Do New Tires Cost? The free Tire Finder tool will tell you the cost per tire. This information is written transparently, making selecting tires based on your budget easy. For further pricing details, you can also view the “out the door price.” This includes information about standard and available add-ons, giving you the full tire price without any surprises or hidden fees.  
  • Are my tires protected? You can review the manufacturer’s mileage warranty, as well as available Chapel Hill Tire warranties. 
  • What are my tire features? The Tire Finder lists the features, specs, and any available reviews with each tire.

FAQ About The Tire Finder Tool

Do I need to give my contact information to use the Tire Finder? The short answer is no. We will not ask you for your email address or any contact information during any point of your tire exploration process. You will only be asked for information if you find the tires you are looking for and are ready to check out. 

Have you ever been asked to answer laborious questions about your product needs, only for a business to withhold your results until you enter in your contact information? These types of information “gimmicks” are an easy way to lose customer trust and create unnecessary frustration. The Tire Finder Tool is different. It is created to help our customers, provide transparent information, and make tire buying easy. It is not a ploy to gain contact information—that is simply not in our Chapel Hill Tire Values

Is the Tire Finder tool free to use? YES! We offer this tool and information about our tires for free. You will not be asked for any payment or information unless you decide to buy tires. 

What if I do not know the answer to a Tire Finder question? If you need help, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. Give us a call or visit your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location for support. We will answer all of your questions and guide you to the right tires for you. 

What about the Price Beat Guarantee? Chapel Hill Tire’s famous Price Beat Guarantee gives you 10% off of a lower competitor tire quote. If you are using the Price Beat Guarantee, you can still find your tires using the Tire Finder. Once you have your tires picked out, give our experts a call for price adjustments. 

Chapel Hill Tire Online Tire Buying

Are you ready to start shopping for your next set of tires? You can get started right away with the Tire Finder. This resource connects you to the inventory at all eight of our Triangle-area locations, including those in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Our local mechanics look forward to helping you get the new tires you need today!