5 Things to Consider When Buying New Tires 

New Tires in Raleigh

5 Things to Think About Before You Buy New Tires 

Buying new tires means a safer ride, improved gas mileage, and an overall enhanced driving experience. This is why it is essential that you find the new tires that are right for your car and for your budget. To make your next tire purchase simple and straightforward, here are five things to consider when buying new tires:

Do I Need New Tires?

Before deciding on the new tires for your vehicle, it is important to first decide whether or not you actually need new tires. You will want a matching set of tires to avoid uneven wear and to keep your ride running smoothly. If one of your tires is flat, a mechanic can quickly and affordably repair this issue without replacing your entire set of tires. 

A new set of tires is needed when the tread on your tires is worn down. Your vehicle’s tread is the ridges on the top of your tires that provide friction, allowing for controlled starting, stopping, and turning. Worn tread means compromised safety, especially in adverse weather conditions. There is a tread penny test often used to determine whether or not your car needs new tires. This test involves sticking a penny into the tread of your tires and marking where on Lincoln’s head the tread stops. Ideally, you will not be able to see the top on Lincoln’s head at all. Once you can see the entirety of Lincoln’s head, you know it is time for new tires. 

Inspect your Car and Current Tires

Why do you need new tires? Is it because they have acquired normal wear and tear from regular driving? Or could there be an issue that caused you to arrive at a needed replacement early? Before buying a set of tires, inspect your current tires for insight into points of wear and tear. You will want to ensure that you do not have any vehicle issues that may be contributing to the decline in tire function. These issues will need to be addressed before investing in the new tire set. Common vehicle causes of extra tire wear are:

  • Needed rotations – not completing your rotations and other tire services regularly will cause you to need new tires sooner.
  • Alignment issues – if your wheels are not properly aligned, they can throw off your driving and wear out your tires.
  • Tire inflation – overinflated or deflated tires can both cause heightened tire wear.
  • Needed tire balancing – a tire thrown out of balance will wear unevenly, leading to early replacements.
  • Wheel and rim straightening – if you have a bent rim or wheel, it can create serious damage to your tires.

Take note of your current brand of tires and whether or not you would be interested in investing in them again. You can often find extensive information about your vehicle’s tires in your owner’s manual or online. If you remain unsure about the composition of your current tires, consulting a professional before buying a new set can provide the insight that you are looking for. 

The Right Tire for Your Vehicle

While tire information on your vehicle can be found within the owner’s manual, this text might suggest that you are limited to a certain tire brand. The brand you choose can affect the price and quality of your vehicle’s tires, so it is important to consider your options. 

If you are wondering which tire is right for your car, truck, SUV, hybrid, or crossover, there are plenty of tire tools to help you out. Simply enter your vehicle’s make, model, year, and other essential car information. This tool will give you options that are available to your vehicle, allowing you to consider price and value. You can use this tire tool’s guidance to find the right tires for your car. Then, you can explore the tire distributors that offer the tires you want at an attractive price. 

Tire Distributor: Tire Price and Affordability

In terms of pricing, you will want to find a tire distributor that is transparent and fair. Check the tire distributor’s website for coupons, deals, and straightforward pricing. You can often find prices that significantly beat out those at the dealerships. 

Still wondering if you are getting the best price on your tires? It is ideal to find a tire distributor with a “price beat guarantee.” These experts will beat any competitors pricing you may find, ensuring that you pay as little as possible for new tires. 

After Buying New Tires

Once your new tires are in place, you will want to guarantee that you are taking care of them. This includes completing regular tire rotations and other necessary services such as tire balancing, wheel alignment, and more. 

Regular check-ups and vehicle maintenance visits will ensure that you are counteracting tire issues and overall vehicle difficulties. Preventative measures against uneven tire wear can keep your investment lasting as long as possible! 

Where to Buy New Tires | Affordable New Tires

If you are looking for new tires in the Triangle, Chapel Hill Tire has what you need! With brands like Michelin, Goodyear, Ironman, BFGoodrich, Hankook, General,  and locations in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham, you can get the tire assistance you need no matter where you live. Visit your local Chapel Hill tire location or give us a call today to get started!

Everything You Need to Know About North Carolina Emissions Inspection

NC Emissions Testing

What is an Emissions Inspection?

As our country works to reduce the daily production of harmful emissions, the automotive industry has taken the initiative to offer fuel-efficient vehicle features. Low-emissions automotive practices are gradually becoming a requirement by states and counties nationwide. In 22 North Carolina counties, your vehicle will need to pass an emissions inspection in order to be legally driven within the state. So what is an emissions inspection?

North Carolina Emissions Inspections

Emissions Inspection is a diagnostic test that ensures your vehicle is suited for the state’s environmental standards. This allows for only low-level production of the six harmful types of automotive emissions: hydrocarbons, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, NOx, particle matter, and volatile organic compounds.

This inspection involves ensuring that the vehicle complies with guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Enforcing EPA requirements is an important effort by the state government to reduce North Carolina’s carbon footprint and keeping the local air quality high.

You might find yourself wondering, “Does my NC county require an emissions inspection?” As of now, the following North Carolina counties currently require an emissions inspection:

  • Alamance
  • Buncombe
  • Cabarrus
  • Cumberland
  • Davidson
  • Durham
  • Forsyth
  • Franklin
  • Gaston
  • Guilford
  • Iredell
  • Johnston
  • Lee
  • Lincoln
  • Mecklenburg
  • New Hanover
  • Onslow
  • Randolph
  • Rockingham
  • Rowan
  • Wake
  • Union

Common Reasons for Failing an NC Emissions Inspection

There are several important considerations involved in emission standards, and knowledge of these can help you pass. Here are some common issues that often cause NC drivers to fail emissions inspection:

Safety issues—your vehicle must first past the safety inspection, as there are no waivers available for this element of your vehicle’s clearance.

Check engine light—whether there is an issue with your engine or the light itself, an active check engine light suggests that your vehicle is not operating up to standard. Get your engine or your check engine light serviced to avoid this issue during your emissions inspection.

Worn tires—if your vehicle’s tires are worn out of tread, both your safety and fuel efficiency are in jeopardy. Proper tire care can prevent this from affecting your inspection results.

Air-fuel mixture issues—an ideal air-fuel mixture is stoichiometric, which is the level at which all of the fuel input is burned during operation. If your air-fuel mixture is richer than this level, your vehicle will consume fuel that it does not need or use to operate, making your vehicle less efficient and unable to pass an emissions inspection.

Catalytic converter—this device converts harmful emissions into less severe variants as they pass through your vehicle’s exhaust pipe. Issues with this system can significantly impact your vehicle’s efficiency.

EVAP issues—your evaporative emissions control, or EVAP, system serves as a ventilation barrier between your vehicle and the environment. Issues with this system can leak harmful vapors into the atmosphere, and evidence of this will cause emissions inspection failure.

Air filter issues—a dirty or blocked air filter can make your vehicle less efficient. Cleaning or replacing your air filter can help you pass your emissions test, and has the added benefit of promoting your vehicle’s health and providing a clean airflow.

If you bring your vehicle to an expert for care, they can advise you on the services that you will need to pass your emissions inspection and enact these repairs. If you are unsure if your vehicle is ready for emissions testing, it is best to consult a professional for insight and help.

How to Pass an NC Emissions Test

When completing your emissions inspection, you might find that passing is easier than anticipated. Here is a quick guide to passing the NC emissions inspection:

Most obviously, if your vehicle has issues that will prevent you from passing your emissions inspection, bring it in to have them repaired. This includes keeping your vehicle up to both safety and emissions standards.

If you are still concerned about passing your emissions test, consider whether or not you might be eligible for an exemption. Exemptions can be derived from your vehicle’s age, as vehicles manufactured before 1995 are exempt from NC emissions inspections, as well as vehicles that are less than three years old with fewer than 70,000 miles on them. If you are wondering if your vehicle is new enough for an exemption, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has a calculator here. Diesel-operated vehicles and those registered as farm vehicles are also exempt from NC emissions inspections.

What Happens if I Fail an Emissions Inspection in North Carolina?

If you do not anticipate a pass in your NC emissions inspection, there are still options available for you! For $200, you can get an emissions waiver that will allow you to keep your vehicle on the road. This will be a recurring charge, so if your vehicle does not receive emissions clearance and you do not want to pay waiver fees, you might consider upgrading to a vehicle with a lower level of emissions.

How to Make Your Car Eco-Friendly

Perhaps you were brought to this page not by a looming inspection but rather looking for easy ways to reduce your vehicle’s carbon footprint. The Chapel Hill Tire experts know a thing or two about going green; we even have a rooftop garden at our Durham mechanic location. Whether you are hoping to pass an emissions inspection, save money on gas, or reduce your carbon footprint, our experts can help you make your car a little greener. We offer nitrogen tire inflation, environmentally-friendly oil changes, and are partners with NC Green Power in an attempt to offset driving carbon emissions. Speak with one of our experts today for insight into services that can make your vehicle a little more eco-friendly.

Where Can I Get an Emissions Inspection | Emissions Inspection Near Me

If you are looking for a North Carolina vehicle emissions inspection, the professionals at Chapel Hill Tire are here to help. Here you can receive the care you need to pass your inspection. You can also get quick and affordable emissions inspections in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro today at one of our eight Chapel Hill Tire locations in the Triangle area.

What You Need to Know About Hybrid Battery Replacement

hybrid car on shop lift

5 Things you need to know about Hybrid Battery Replacement

Because hybrid vehicles are more dependant on the battery for function, these batteries might experience frequent stress than that of other vehicles. However, these batteries are also much larger and designed to last longer, putting them on a different scale than the average battery entirely. Here is a quick guide to hybrid battery replacement.

How Long Does a Hybrid Battery Last?

A hybrid battery is equipped to last much longer than the average car battery, but the exact nature of your battery can vary. On average, hybrid car batteries last between eight and twelve years; however, the lifespan of your hybrid battery depends on your vehicle make/model, your patterns of care, and your frequency of use. Consistent recharging of your battery and proper maintenance will extend its lifespan, while exposure to extreme temperatures and inconsistent charges will shorten its lifespan.

For more specific information, consult your owner’s manual to get to know your specific battery better. Consult a professional for maintenance regularly to get the longest lifespan possible from your hybrid battery.

Hybrid Battery Replacement Processes

The process of replacing your hybrid battery is careful and measured. Hybrid batteries are much higher in power and energy than standard car batteries. A mistaken move in replacing a hybrid battery can be dangerous and costly.

The process of replacing your hybrid battery first involves a careful inspection from automotive professionals. These experts will then determine if a hybrid battery replacement is right for you. With in-house tools and years of expert experience, a professional can then safely disconnect your old hybrid battery and install your replacement.

Hybrid Battery Replacement Costs | How Expensive is a New Hybrid Battery?

It is no secret that hybrid battery replacements can be costly, but you might find that some places offer more affordable hybrid battery replacements than others. Finding the right business to get your hybrid battery replaced can make or break your budget for this repair.

One important point to note is that your battery replacement should come with a sustainable warranty. Mechanics who specialize in hybrid battery replacements can often beat out the dealership’s warranty offerings to ensure you get the most reliable care. Finding a credible hybrid mechanic center that is willing to beat out dealership warranty and prices on hybrid batteries can help your dollar go further.

Battery Maintenance | Hybrid Battery Care

While battery replacements can be costly, hybrid automotive experts offer services that can help you prevent or postpone hybrid battery replacements. It is important that you bring your hybrid vehicle to a trained service technician who specializes in hybrid battery care. These are very different from other car batteries and parts, and, again, the high levels of electric current can be dangerous if improperly dealt with.

When bringing your vehicle in for hybrid battery maintenance, you can get a number of specialized services, such as for your vehicle’s electric drive motor, regenerative braking systems, battery system, and auto start and shut off. Ultimately, if you take proper care of your vehicle, you can effectively extend the lifetime of your battery and extend the time between hybrid battery replacements.

The Weather and Hybrid Batteries 

Extreme hot and cold temperatures can impact your driving range and battery health. Needed hybrid battery replacements are most likely to occur during these seasons. Improper battery care during severe temperatures can make your hybrid battery replacement come sooner than necessary. In addition to hybrid battery maintenance, keeping your hybrid car in the garage during seasons of extreme weather can help keep your hybrid battery protected and delay your replacement.

Where to Find Hybrid Battery Replacement | Hybrid Battery Replacement Near Me

Chapel Hill Tire is the Triangle’s ONLY independent certified hybrid vehicle repair center. If you are in need of a hybrid battery replacement, Chapel Hill Tire has 8 Triangle-area locations, including service experts in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro. Come by for your professional hybrid battery maintenance, inspection, repair, or replacement today.

Where Should I Get My Car Serviced?

Chapel Hill Tire Cole Park Plaza

Dealership vs. Mechanic: Where Should I get my Car Serviced?

It can be difficult to navigate the world of vehicle service and repair. Particularly, you might find yourself wondering “Should I get my car serviced at a dealership or a mechanic?” Here are some important considerations for deciding if the dealership or the mechanic is right for you.

Dealership Prices vs. Mechanic Prices

While they might seem like a natural option for service visits, dealerships often upcharge for the same services offered more affordably by a mechanic. Just as dealerships make money by charging you as much as they can for your vehicle purchase, they make money by charging you as much as they can for your vehicle services.

However, the mechanics’ system works differently from the dealership system. Mechanics with great service and affordable prices will earn repeat customers, which is what keeps their businesses going. So unlike dealerships, mechanics operate by offering affordable prices. This means that if you are looking for bottom-line affordable prices, the mechanic is likely the best option for you.

Warranty Agreements

Frequently, dealerships are restricted by their manufacturer or parent companies in the warranties they can offer. This means limited protection on the areas of service that you are paying so much for. However, mechanics have no such limitations. Mechanics are often far more at liberty to create the warranty agreements that they think will best benefit you and your vehicle.

This means that mechanics can offer generous warranties that protect your investments and display a level of confidence in their automotive services. For example, you can find mechanics that offer up to 3-year/36,000-mile warranties on their vehicle services. This means that you can compound your savings when you consider the initial lower costs and the extended protection of the serviced areas of your vehicle.

Do You Have a Dealership Service Contract?

If the dealership offers free oil changes or tire rotations, it might seem like the most affordable option to continue bringing your vehicle to the dealership for service. However, it is important to read the fine lines on these contracts, as you might not be getting as great of a deal as it might seem.

  • The first thing to look out for is the time period for which you are eligible for vehicle service. If your free or reduced service period has ended, you could be paying substantially more than mechanic’s pricing for services at your dealership.
  • Next, check to see what kind of service is included in your dealership service contract. You might get free dealership oil changes, but get charged exorbitant prices for dealership inspections, tire rotations, repairs, or other vehicle service offering.
  • Finally, check the limitations of your contract. Dealerships sometimes take advantage of customers by arranging loopholes in the contract. For example, there is a chance that if you miss one of your regularly scheduled service visits, you may not be eligible for discounted visits in the future.

Mechanic Parts vs. Dealership Parts

Dealerships are often tied to certain parts brands determined by the manufacturer, which can be higher in price without necessarily being higher in quality. Mechanics, however, are free to partner with whichever brands offer high quality and affordability. If you are simply looking for a high-quality part that will get your vehicle back to prime condition, visiting a mechanic is often an equally effective and more affordable option.

Where To Buy Tires: Dealership vs. Mechanic Pricing

When it comes to tires, drivers tend to think that the dealership is the only place to get the specialty tires their cars need. This is why dealerships often feel at liberty to up-price their tire selections. What the dealerships don’t want you to know is that you can often find the same tires (or better) at a mechanic shop or tire specialist at a much lower rate. You can even find a tire shop with a Price Beat Guarantee. They will take your lowest dealership or competitor tire estimate and beat it by 10% so that you know you are getting the best possible price on your new tires.

Convenience to Dealership

Vehicle maintenance contracts and other benefits that might be offered by dealerships can be great…if your commute is convenient to the dealership location. If the cost and hassle of visiting the dealership each time you are in need of an oil change outweigh the benefits of these deals, a mechanic might be a more reasonable option for you. Look for a mechanic chain that has multiple, reliable locations so that you can get the service you need no matter where your daily schedule takes you.

Mechanic Near Me

The experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here to beat out the dealership service prices, maintenance costs, and overall customer experience. Make an appointment with our Chapel Hill Tire experts for your next vehicle service and take advantage of our coupon for your first visit today!

Do I Need New Tires?

Tire mechanic at work

How Often Should You Buy New Tires?

Keeping your tires in ideal condition can help you protect your rims and keep your car running efficiently. With that being said, new tires can also be costly depending on the type of tires you have, the type of vehicle you drive, and where you decide to buy your new tires. This is why balancing the best time to buy new tires is important to consider. Here is our expert guide on how frequently you need new tires.

Chronological Guide to Tire Lifespan

If you prefer to operate with a general chronological guide to the lifespan of your tires, Edmunds suggests that you should change your tires every six to ten years. However, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the wellbeing of your tires. This might include your driving habits, your driving frequency, the type of tires you have, the road conditions in your area, and more. This means that your tires might need to be replaced more or less frequently than the average. Thankfully, there are more tangible signs that you are due for a tire change, which includes damaged tires, worn tread, and vehicle turbulence.

Replacing Damaged Tires

Most obviously, you need to buy new tires when you incur damage to your current tire(s). Damage to your tires might be physically evident, so it is important that you inspect your tires regularly to check for any abnormalities. Look for punctures, scrapes, abrasions, and anything that might look out of place on your tires.  

Damage to your tires might also become evident in your vehicle’s performance. If you feel like your vehicle is getting worse gas mileage than you are used to, bring your car to a professional for a tire inspection. Damaged tires can release air, which makes your car work harder and use more gasoline. While you might be able to temporarily patch holes or other issues, a damaged tire is the first and most significant indicator that it might be time to consider new tires for your vehicle.

The Dangers of Worn Tread

The tread on your tires helps keep you in control on the road and keeps your vehicle safe. This creates the resistance that your tires need to stop when braking. Over time, the tread begins to wear away, which makes your tires more slippery on the road and less able to give you the traction you need to comfortably start and stop your vehicle. When your tread wears away, you are in need of new tires.

There is a penny test helpful for checking whether or not you have enough tread on your tires. To do this, insert a penny with Lincoln’s head facing downwards into the tread of your tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, this means that the tread on your tire is significantly worn. As a general rule, when you begin to see the top of Lincoln’s head, it is time to replace your tires.

Vehicle Turbulence Caused By Tire Problems

If your vehicle is shaking or vibrating while you are on the go, this is often indicative of an issue with your tires. You might need to have your tires balanced to restore the ideal function to your vehicle, but more significant issues might call for a tire replacement. Consult a tire professional to see if the shaking in your vehicle can be resolved with tire balancing, or if it calls for a tire replacement. This issue might also be isolated to just one of your tires, which an expert can also help you determine and repair.

Where to Buy Tires | New Tires in NC | Affordable Tires Near Mer

Chapel Hill Tire is your one-stop NC tire shop. With all of the vehicle service knowledge, tools, and services you might require, Chapel Hill Tire is here to meet all of your tire needs. We offer popular tire brands like: 

When you buy your new tires, you want to ensure that you are getting a good price. Our everyday low prices make Chapel Hill Tire stand out from the dealerships and our competitors. Thanks to the Chapel Hill Tire Price Beat Guarantee, you know that you are getting the most affordable tires in North Carolina when you shop at our mechanic network. Schedule your appointment with our Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, or Chapel Hill tire professionals today!

 

Keep your Car Healthy with these 4 Maintenance Flushes

Coolant Flush in Chapel Hill

4 Automotive Maintenance Flushes You Actually Need

Your vehicle relies on a number of different oils and fluids to keep your systems in a healthy condition. Though these fluids all collect debris over time, which is removed by a to your system. Here are 4 automotive flushes that you need to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.

Coolant Flush | Car AC Help

As the temperatures begin to rise, you will want to ensure that your vehicle’s AC is in top condition. Your vehicle’s coolant is what keeps your air conditioning cold in the spring and summer seasons. If your air conditioning is not working, this might be a sign that you are in need of a coolant flush.

A coolant flush gets rid of the debris has built up in your coolant system, which might also prevent it from carrying heat away from your engine. Beyond just the inconvenience of an ineffective air conditioner, this stress on your engine can cause more costly issues down the road. In this sense, a coolant flush works as an engine flush as well. A coolant flush will clean out the system that feeds your air conditioner, helping it run efficiently and keep your engine protected.

Power Steering Flush | Why isn’t my Steering Wheel Working?

Your vehicle’s power steering system is what keeps you in control while on the road. However, this hydraulic fluid wears away over time and can create issues for your system. If there are steering difficulties with your vehicle, you might need a power steering flush. It is important that you do not wait long before attending to your power steering system, as this can be a severe safety liability while on the road. Resistance in steering and squeaking noises when turning your wheel are signs that you might be in need of a coolant flush.

Brake Fluid Flush | Brake Service Near Me

In addition to your brake pads, your brake fluid also may need regular maintenance to keep your brake system in working condition. If your brakes are delaying your quick and complete stop, a brake fluid flush may be the answer.

A brake fluid flush involves removing buildup in your fluid as well as completely replacing the old, ineffective fluid. Responsive brakes are important for preventing accidents and keeping you safe while on the go, so it is essential that you get your brake fluid attended to as quickly as possible when a delay or issue arises.

Transmission Fluid Flush

High-quality transmission fluid is essential to your vehicle’s health and protection. When your transmission does not have what it needs to function properly, it can begin to drain your battery and cause vehicle starting issues. If you are experiencing battery problems, your battery might not be to blame at all. This could be your transmission grappling with insufficient, low-quality fluid.

If there is build up in your transmission fluid, your transmission system might also begin to deteriorate in health, which can be extremely costly to repair. It is estimated that the average transmission costs between $4,000 and $8,000 to replace. A transmission fluid flush can keep your transmission system in ideal working order and prevent future, more costly issues from arising.

Automotive Repair in the NC Triangle

If you are in need of a flush for your vehicle, contact the experts at Chapel Hill Tire. You can even find a coupon to help you out with your first vehicle service. Bring your vehicle by the professionals at Chapel Hill Tire today!

5 Main Reasons Your Car Will Fail NC State Inspection

Annual NC vehicle Inspection

5 Things to Check Before Your Next North Carolina State Inspection

The North Carolina state inspection process can be difficult, but having a better idea of what might be preventing your pass can be helpful. While the specifics of an inspection vary based on the county you are in (view our full inspection guide here), these are the 5 main reasons that vehicles fail NC State inspections and how to resolve these issues.

Problem 1: Tire Tread

It is no surprise that your vehicle needs to be in a safe working order to pass an inspection. One key component of this safety is your tires. When your tire tread is worn, you will not have the traction against the road to safely handle, slow, and stop your vehicle. Your tread must be at least 2/32” thick. Before your inspection, you can check your tread using the tire wear indicator bars, which mark this minimum tread length for you.  

Solution: Tire Replacement

The only way to address unsafe tire tread is with tire replacements. While new tires are an investment, they will be well worth it for the safety they bring. You may be able to find deals and coupons to help you save money on this service. Buying tires online can help you view all of your options and find the right tires for your vehicle and your budget. Our guide to the online Tire Finder Tool can help break down this process for you. 

Problem 2: Faulty Turn Signals

It is required by traffic laws that you use a turn signal to indicate lane changes, turns, and other directional movements while on the road. However, your signaling will be rendered ineffective if there is a defect with this feature of your vehicle. This is why state inspections require that service experts make sure your turn signals are in perfect working condition.

Solution: Light Bulb Change

A faulty turn signal is often the result of a burnt-out light bulb, which makes for an easy and affordable repair. Remember, you have turn signaling lights in both the front and the back of your vehicle. During your inspection, the vehicle service expert will let you know which of your signal lights are not working. Then, you can have your turn signal bulb replaced on the spot with this expert help on hand. Otherwise, you can use your user’s manual to read about this repair and complete the exchange on your own. This will both restore these safety features in your vehicle and help you ensure you pass your inspection.

Problem 3: Headlights

Making sure your headlights are in working order is another essential element to passing an NC State vehicle inspection. Headlights are a key safety feature that is essential for driving at night and during various weather conditions. Not only is it unsafe to drive with headlight issues, but it is also against the law. This is why headlights are a key checkpoint in any NC vehicle inspection.

Solution: Headlight Service

It is likely that you know if your headlights will prevent you from passing your NC State inspection before even visiting a shop. Unlike your turn signal lights, which you might not be able to see are defective, your headlights are a constant, visible installment in your vehicle. Their effectiveness is directly correlated with your ability to drive with ease. With this in mind, it is essential that you repair any issues with your headlights as soon as they arise (not just when you need to pass your next inspection). Proper headlight service will help keep you and others safe while on the road with the added benefit of helping you pass your next North Carolina vehicle inspection.

Problem 4: Brakes

Brakes are an important part of any vehicle inspection. While you might forget to keep an eye on your braking system, your yearly inspection ensures that it is well maintained. This includes your parking brake, foot brake, and pretty much anything else that might prevent you from successfully bringing your vehicle to a safe and timely stop. Damaged brake lights can also be a traffic safety hazard, which is why these can prevent you from passing your inspection.

Solution: Brake Maintenance

Brake maintenance can involve a number of services that will get your brakes in prime working order. You might need new brake pads, parking brake service, or other repairs. Consult an expert to determine what is needed to get your brakes in prime condition and how to most affordably achieve these results.

Problem 5: Other Inspection Issues

There are plenty of other holdups that can prevent you from passing your inspection based on the county you live in. For example, certain NC counties have emissions restrictions that can cause vehicles to fail if they is not meeting environmentally-friendly requirements. Issues with your windshield wipers might also raise concerns for inspection. Additionally, there are tinted window inspection criteria in certain counties that your vehicle will have to accommodate. Because of this lack in consistency, it can be difficult to determine exactly what you need to do to pass inspection. Thankfully, there are plenty of knowledgeable experts ready to help you along your way.

Solution: Expert Insight

For the insight you are looking for on whether or not your vehicle will pass NC Inspection standards, consult a professional. This specialist will be able to diagnose any issues that stand between you and a successful inspection and repair these issues before you head to the DMV.

If you are seeking help or advice for your next inspection in NC, call Chapel Hill Tire. We have locations in Apex, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro to help get you on your way. Bring your vehicle in for your next North Carolina car inspection today!

Introducing Hunter’s Auto34S Tire Changer Machine at Chapel Hill Tires

Hunter Tire Machine at Chapel Hill Tire

Touchless Tire Changing at Chapel Hill Tire

Step into the future of automotive service with Hunter’s new Auto34S tire changing machine at Chapel Hill Tires. This advanced machine makes quick and precise tire service easier than ever. Learn more here about the Hunter tire machine and how it will elevate your service experience when you visit Chapel Hill Tire.

Safe and Careful Tire Removal

Expert attention during a tire change is important for protecting your rims, protecting your vehicle, and ensuring an overall excellent service experience. The Hunter Tire Machine removes tires with quick and careful precision. Unlike other tire changing machines or self-service care, you do not face the risk of damaging your wheels or rims during a tire change. This is made possible by the machine’s advanced TPMS location sensors, leverless nature, and polymer tools.

  • Hunter’s TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System, will calculate and distribute the ideal tire pressure for your tires. This eliminates the risk of harmfully overfilling your tires.
  • The Auto34 leverless nature of Hunter’s Auto34S tire changer machine means that you do not run the risk of denting or scratching your rims during a tire change.
  • Polymer tools are scratch-resistant, making the Hunter tire machine ideal for protecting your rims.

This higher standard in excellence is why Hunter’s Auto34S tire changer machine has been recognized by Motor Magazine’s Top 20 Tools Awards, the PTEN Innovation Award, and the PTEN Innovation People’s Choice Award.

Touchless Tire Changing

Quickly and carefully changing your tires has never been easier! The Hunter tire machine features a fully automated tire changing process, which is what helps this service stand out from the rest. Touchless tire changing means a reduced risk for technicians and for your rims. While Hunter’s Auto34S tire changer machine takes care of the automated work, your technician can prepare different elements of your tire change process, which further reduces your waiting time.

Quick Vehicle Service in NC | Fast Tire Changing

The Hunter Tire Machine means less waiting for new tires when you visit Chapel Hill Tire. It is no question that the process of changing tires can easily become a lengthy one. To quickly get you in and out, the Hunter tire machine takes a faster and more accurate approach; this highly advanced machine works quickly to assess your tire system and carefully change out your tires. The automated nature of the machine means less time waiting during your service appointment and more time for doing what is most important to you.

With Hunter’s Auto34S tire changer machine, the time it takes to change a tire is reduced by an average of 15% from that of even the most skilled professionals. Unlike non-automated alternatives, the machine does not take a longer amount of time to change different types of tires, which makes Hunter’s tire machine experience a heightened time saver for drivers with non-traditional tires. We want nothing but the best for our clients, which is why we partner with only the most advanced automotive brands.

The Process | Hunter Touchless Tire Changing Process

Getting new tires is easy with the Hunter Tire Machine. When using Hunter’s Auto34S Tire Changer Machine, technicians select the clamp size, set TPMS sensor and rim diameter, use press arms (as needed), and set the tire’s inflation pressure. The experts simply place your tire onto the machine, unload your old tire, and reload your new tire. The Hunter tire machine does the rest! This is a simple four-step process compared to the 9-step traditional alternative. This means less room for error and results in a quick and accurate tire changing process.

Tire Service Raleigh | Tire Service Near Me

Get your next vehicle service at Chapel Hill Tire to experience all of the benefits of Hunter’s new Auto34S tire changer machine today! You will find Chapel Hill Tire services in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Carrboro, and Durham today! Check out our coupons to score a deal on your next tire service today!

When Should I Get an Oil Change?

oil change durham

How Often do I Need to Get an Oil Change?

Oil changes are of the most regular maintenance requirements for most vehicles. While these maintenance visits might seem insignificant in size, the consequences of ignoring a needed oil change can be devastating to your vehicle’s health and your wallet.  Here are some tips on determining how often you need an oil change.

The Clockwork of Oil Changes

On average, vehicles are estimated to need an oil change every 3,000 miles or every six months. This can vary based on your driving habits, your driving frequency, the age of your vehicle, and the quality of the oil you use. If you drive a newer vehicle, you might be able to safely wait a little longer between changes. It is best to consult with your car care experts if you are unsure if the 3,000 miles/six-month system works with you and your vehicle. While it is not an exact science, this system can help you keep a rough estimate of when you are due for another oil change.

Vehicle Notification System

The most obvious indicator that it is time to get your oil changed is the warning light on your dashboard that may signal when you are running low. Look at your owner’s manual to see the different ways that your oil light may notify you of the needed vehicle service. In certain vehicles, a flashing oil light means that you only need an oil change while a steady light means that you are due for an oil and filter change. Keep in mind that it can be risky to depend on these systems because they are not error-proof. Assuming that your oil change light is accurate, waiting for it to come on will also take away some of the flexibility that comes with scheduling your oil change ahead of time. However,  if you are forgetful when it comes to your oil changes, the notification system installed in your vehicle can be a great backup indicator of when you are due for oil maintenance.

Self-Checking Oil Composition

You can also check the status of your oil on your own by opening under your hood and pulling out the oil dipstick in your engine. If you are unfamiliar with your engine system, consult your owner’s manual for the basics here. Before reading the dipstick, you need to wipe it off to get rid of residual oil before reinserting it and pulling it back out; make sure that you fully reinsert the clean dipstick to accurately gauge your oil levels. This will give you a clear line of where your oil is reaching in your engine’s system. If the dipstick indicates that your levels are low, this means it is time for an oil change.

Vehicle Function

Oil works in your vehicle by keeping the various parts of your engine’s system working together without resistance or friction. If your engine is not performing well or if it is making strange noises, this could be a sign that essential parts of your vehicle’s system are not properly oiled. If your vehicle function is off, it is important to check your vehicle’s oil levels and composition, as this might be your vehicle letting you know that it is time for an oil change. Bring your vehicle in for diagnostics at the first sign of an issue for help detecting the source of your car troubles.

Where to Get an Oil Change | Oil Change in the Triangle

To keep your vehicle in good health, you should be completing regular oil changes or having them completed for you by a professional. If you see a professional for your vehicle care, a seasoned expert will provide you with a sticker indicating when you should next get your oil changed based on the date or the mileage your vehicle reaches. Expert care can save you the time and trouble of changing your oil, taking the pain out of these needed services.

Chapel Hill Tire has eight locations in the Triangle for drivers in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro. Find a location near you for an affordable oil change today!

How to Keep Your Car Battery In Prime Condition

car battery charging

How to Take Care of Your Car Battery

There are plenty of factors that affect how long the battery lasts in your vehicle, including your driving frequency, your driving practices, the age of your vehicle, and more. Frequent battery issues and replacements can cost you both time and money; luckily, there are ways to save money on your car battery replacements. Here are some tips on keeping your vehicle’s battery in its best possible condition, brought to you by a Chapel Hill mechanic expert.

Watch your Battery Cable Terminal Ends

There are several systems connected directly to your battery that can contribute to your overall battery health. If one of these systems is distressed or dysfunctioning, they can drain your battery, prevent a charged battery from working, and lead to a shortened overall battery life. This can include faulty battery cable terminal ends, a glitch in your starting system, and more. Considering battery health in a more comprehensive light can help you keep your battery in prime condition. In this case, service to your battery cable’s terminal ends is an affordable alternative to a full battery replacement.

Corrosion Services

Over time, your battery terminals can build up corrosion, which can drain the life out of its charge, prevent it from accepting jump starts, and limit the energy it retains. If your battery is corroded, an experienced service technician can address and resolve your corrosion issues. This also offers a more affordable and economical vehicle service than an unneeded full battery replacement. If you notice your vehicle’s battery declining in health, consult a professional to see if corrosion services can resolve your battery issues.

Provide Levels of Driving Consistency

The average car battery lasts between 5-7 years, though yours could last more or less time depending on your driving frequency. When you leave your car sitting for extended periods of time, the battery often loses its charge. This is because your battery naturally recharges as you drive. If you alternate between two different vehicles, make sure that they are both being driven periodically. Additionally, if you leave town for an extended period of town, see if you can get someone you trust to take your vehicle for a spin while you are gone. If you notice a change in your vehicle’s starting process over time or if you notice that your vehicle is having difficulty starting, these might be signs that your battery is declining in health. If this is the case, this might be an indicator that you are not driving your vehicle enough for it to fully recharge during its use.

Watch the Season

Extreme weather conditions can take a toll on your vehicle, including the health of your battery. Colder temperatures can cause your battery to become less effective in retaining its charge, and freezing temperatures and below can cause your battery to lose roughly half of its charge. Extreme heat also can cause your battery to overheat, which strains your battery and shortens its lifespan.

When the weather is reaching an extreme heating or cooling season, it is best to keep an eye on your battery. You might even consider protecting it when the weather is at its most threatening conditions to keep it in top condition. This might involve covering your battery or, for the at-home experts, disconnecting it and bringing it inside for short periods of extreme weather, such as during blizzards or heat waves. If these are outside of your personal comfort zone, ask your automotive professionals for advice and leave yourself enough time to address starting concerns if your battery develops issues.

Listen to the Experts | Affordable Battery Replacements

When you visit an automotive expert, they should check your battery and let you know if it is almost due for a change and let you know how you could be better taking care of your vehicle’s battery. Experts will also let you know if there is another element of your vehicle’s system affecting your battery life, such as a faulty alternator.

The professionals at Chapel Hill Tire are well attuned to the needs of every battery. If you are in need of a replacement, our experts can save you hundreds of dollars compared to the dealership pricing. With 7 Triangle-area car service locations, our experts can help you no matter where you find your battery troubles occurring. If you need a new battery in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, or Raleigh make an appointment with the experts at Chapel Hill Tire today!