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5 Main Types of Tires and Their Purposes

Tires are one of the most important parts of any vehicle. While it’s crucial to make sure you are regularly maintaining and updating your tires, it is also important to check to make sure you are using the best tires for your particular needs. Keep reading to discover five main types of tires and their purposes.

all terrain tires installed on jeep

1. All-Season Tires

All-season tires are best known for their soft but flexible material. Cars, SUVs, and light-duty trucks are compatible with all season tires. As many can probably guess from the title, these tires are intended to work in just about any climate, but they also have a reputation for being the most popular summertime tire. However, drivers in some regions of the world will want to be mindful of this. Individuals who live in environments with extreme temperatures might want to look into secondary options.

2. All-Terrain Tires

All-terrain tires can be used on and off the road, but these types of tires are typically intended for rough riding, so to speak. These tires perform best in the sand or rock-based terrain. If you’re someone who enjoys traveling and off-roading, investing in all-terrain tires is an excellent choice. One downside is that drivers have noted that the noise level of the car can be affected when driving at high speeds on a street road, but overall they are a great asset for the many people.

3. Mud-Terrain Tires

Mud can create very interesting and sometimes challenging environments for cars to maneuver through. Luckily, with mud-terrain tires, just about anything is possible. People who enjoy off-roading specifically in muddy conditions will definitely want to consider purchasing these tires. However, drivers will also want to be aware that these tires will not function properly or safely when on the streets or in icy conditions. For that reason, these tires are typically only used for off-roading.

4. High-Performance Tires

High-performance tires are created and intended for sports cars. Ultra High-Performance Tires, UHP, are typically associated with luxurious sports cars. Individuals who own sports cars enjoy these tires since they provide added road handling, grip, and overall performance.

5. Winter Tires

It goes without saying that these tires are intended to use during the winter season. Winter tires are made out of pliable rubber and they also have an increase in the shape and size of the sipes that are embedded within the tires. All of this enables these tires to have just the right amount of traction to grip the snow without it becoming impacted and hardened.

Each different type of tire plays an essential role in allowing drivers to efficiently and safely navigate the road. Fortunately, our certified technicians at Custom Complete Automotive are experienced with working with all tires. To learn more about our services, contact us today!

Tire Blowout: Causes and Prevention

A tire blowout can be an extremely scary and dangerous situation and can occur from many reasons, including impact damage, overloading, big cuts leading to quick air loss, and improper air pressure. Keep reading to learn more about tire blowouts and how to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

vehicle with blown out tire

What Happens When a Tire Blows Out?

When a tire blows out, panic can ensue and the vehicle starts to slow down. When front tires blow out, your car is likely to pull you to either the left or right side as the steering wheel vibrates. When the rear tires blow out, there is a difference in how the car behaves. In this regard, when your rear tires blow out, you are most likely to feel the speed of your car fluctuating unsteadily while producing a wobbling sound.

What Should You Do When Your Tire Blows Out?

It is interesting that tire blowouts require you to act in a counter-intuitive manner. As much as your instincts may tell you to brake and veer off the road, it is important to stay calm and do the opposite.

You need to keep control of your vehicle by continuing to accelerate in the same direction that you were heading. There might be need for you to accelerate more to conciliate for the drag that is pulling your car as a result of a blowout. Also, adjust your steering so that your car continues to be in position. After keeping control of your car, you can begin to slowly press on the brake.

After slowing down your car, pull over to the roadside. It is preferable that you pull over with the blown tire facing away from the highway for safety purposes. In a situation where this is not possible, pull over where it is safe to do so. After pulling over off the road, turn on your hazards to notify other road users that you are experiencing a sudden unforeseen crisis.

You can change the tire yourself if you know how to do it safely. Otherwise you can invite us on your next blowout for assistance by the roadside.

Dangers of a Tire Blowout

Blowouts are dangerous because they affect the handling of your car. Inability to handle your car can lead to collisions, rollovers and auto accidents. When a blowout occurs, you will not have perfect control of your car and this makes it dangerous when driving at a low speed and even more serious when driving at a high speed.

Prevention

Tire blowouts are preventable and knowing the common causes can help you avoid them. Some of the ways of preventing a blowout from happening include not surpassing the weight limit of your tires, driving safely, regular maintenance of your vehicle, and checking treads and the pressure of your tires.

To learn more about the causes of tire blowouts and how to prevent them, or for more information about our tire services, contact us today!

The Pros and Cons of Summer Tires

With summer upon us, you might be wondering how to keep your car running in optimal shape. Tires are one of the most overlooked keys to keep your vehicle running at peak performance. Summer tires, also referred to as performance tires, are often used in warmer months or climates to help drivers achieve capabilities they crave. Below we discuss three pros and cons to help you decide if summer tires are right for you.

car with new summer tires

Pros

  1. Stability: Due to lower grooves in the tread, summer tires offer better handling during acceleration, braking, and turning corners.
  2. Better in Wet Weather: The rubber compound used to make the tread on summer tires offer a better grip on wet roads reducing the risk of hydroplaning.
  3. Fuel Economy: Due to less friction on the road and better energy economy, summer tires used in the right conditions will improve fuel economy.

Cons

  1. Unsafe in Cold Temperatures: Tests have shown summer tires are hazardous and should not be driven on in temperatures under 45 degrees.
  2. Tire Rotation Limitations: Due to the unique tread patterns, most summer tires are limited in the rotation options. For example, the front tires might be able to be rotated, but the rear and forward tires cannot. This results in quicker wearing of the tread.
  3. Expense: Since summer tires do not hold traction in colder weather, you will need to have two sets of tires if you live in an area where temperatures drop below 45 degrees. Having to buy two sets of tires is more expensive than buying one set of all-season tires.

If you are looking for speed, performance, agility, and handling, summer tires are the best choice for you. At Custom Complete Automotive, our auto experts are here to help you make the best decisions for your lifestyle and vehicle. For any questions, concerns, or to set up an appointment, contact us today!

All You Need to Know About Wheel Alignment

Proper alignment of your vehicle’s wheels helps keep your tires in good shape and your vehicle driving smoothly. Properly aligned wheels save on fuel costs and tire replacements and make your car safer and easier to handle. There are no dashboard warning lights for misaligned wheels, but these signs indicate your wheels may not be properly aligned:

  • Vehicle pulls to the side
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Squealing tires
  • A crooked steering wheel when driving straight

properly aligned wheels on vehicle

Your vehicle’s wheel alignment should be checked by a professional auto mechanic at least once a year, or as often as the manufacturer suggests for your specific model. If you notice signs of misalignment, have your car checked as soon as possible. Poor road conditions such as potholes, hitting a curb, driving over a speed bump too quickly, or any other type of impact accident can knock your vehicle out of proper alignment.

What an Auto Mechanic Will Check

Professional mechanics check and adjust three points of alignment so your driving will be safe and efficient:

  1. Camber alignment. The inward or outward angle of the tire seen when facing the vehicle. A tilt indicates alignment is needed. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension parts may contribute to camber misalignment.
  2. Toe alignment. The extent to which your tires turn in or out when viewed from above. To visualize this, stand up, look at your toes, and point them straight. That is correct toe alignment. Turn your feet toward each other than away from each other. That is incorrect toe alignment.
  3. Castor alignment. The angle of your steering axis when you look at it from the side of your vehicle. If your steering axis tilts to the front or toward the driver, it is out of alignment. Proper castor alignment gives you optimal, balanced steering, cornering, and stability. In other words, an easier, safer drive.

At Custom Complete Automotive, we offer more than four decades of experience and convenient locations in St. Louis, Columbia, and Jefferson City. To learn more about our wheel alignment services, or if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We look forward to serving you!

5 Great Tire Brands for When You’re in Need of New Tires

Your choice of tires can have a profound effect on your experience behind the wheel. The wrong set for your car or terrain can cost you in the fuel tank, or worse, lead to an accident. There are many major brands to choose that it can be easy to get confused by the number of choices. Luckily, we at Custom Complete Automotive are here to give you the quick lowdown on some of the biggest tire brands in the industry.

new bf goodrich tire installed on vehicle

1. Goodyear

Goodyear has earned their reputation as one of the signature tire manufacturers by putting the work in for over a century. They have led the way in creating and supporting new ways of making tires that lead to products that are high quality and last for a long time, regardless of the roads you’re driving. Goodyear tires can run on the more expensive side of the market, but considering all of the benefits they provide, it’s a reasonable price to pay.

2. BF Goodrich

Another longstanding member of the community, BF Goodrich has been in the tire-making business since the 1800s. That institutional knowledge has helped them create unique tires that keep your daily drives as smooth and safe as possible. BF Goodrich creates tires with the modernity and style that the 21st century driver demands.

3. Hankook

Hankook tires act as a necessary medium between premium tires and more affordable budget tires. The brand first came to prominence for their work in the motorsport world but have since expanded to service passenger cars. Their tires have only gotten better and longer lasting over the past few years. High-quality tires without the high prices.

4. Bridgestone

Statistically speaking, there is no tire manufacturer bigger than Bridgestone. The Japanese company owns brands such as Firestone, Fuzion, Dayton, as well as 181 production facilities in 24 different countries. They have an overwhelming amount of resources, and they use them to create affordable tires that are suited for all driving styles while retaining their excellent quality. No matter which version you buy, top of the line traction, fuel efficiency and tread life are all fundamental to their offerings.

5. Toyo

Toyo Tires have become synonymous with high-end traction, regardless of the environment that they’re placed in. Versatility is a key tenet for Toyo. Their tough-looking tires can be had in several sizes and designs, each one best suited for a specific form of vehicle. These sustainably-made tires have actually been known to surpass projected mileage specifications, so expect these tires to last for a long time.

At Custom Complete Automotive, we strive to give you the best of the best. We offer name brand tires and extensive tire repair at unbeatable prices. If your car is in need of new tires, or for more information about any of our auto services, contact us today for friendly, reliable service.

Winter Tires: Are They Worth It?

If you live in the Midwest, you already know how intense these winters can be. Is your car equipped to deal with the icy roads and heavy snowfall? One way you can feel secure about driving in the colder months is by switching out your regular wheels for winter tires.

newly installed winter tires on vehicle

What Are Winter Tires?

Winter tires are made with special tread designs and stronger rubber material to keep the car from sliding around too much on the road. All-season tires can’t maintain their grip on the road as well as winter tires. If you live in an area where colder temperatures are the norm, it may be worth it to invest in winter tires. These tires are also more suited for those who participate in winter sports and need to travel to snowy locations.

Pros and Cons of Winter Tires

Pros of winter tires include:

  • Better traction. During the winter, it’s even more important to be safe while driving because of the hazardous conditions. With winter tires, you’ll still have to remain vigilant, but you’ll be able to avoid more trouble thanks to the tire’s improved grip.
  • Less tire wear. Winter tires won’t last as long in the summer, so you should switch them out for your regular tires when the temperature starts to rise. The good news is that since you have two sets of tires, both will last longer as you won’t be driving on them year round.
  • More resistance to damage. Since winter tires are built with heavy-duty components, they can take more abuse than a regular tire.

However, there are a few downsides to winter tires, such as:

  • Changing the tires every season. Unless you have to tools do it at home, you’ll have to make a seasonal appointment to change your tires.
  • Higher initial costs. On average, winter tires cost around $50 more than a regular set of tires. However, given the added peace of mind and improved performance while driving, it’s well worth it if you live in an area where winters can be brutal.

At Custom Complete Automotive, we can help you make the switch to winter tires with no hassle. To prepare your car for winter, or to learn more about our services, contact us today!

Keep Your Tires in Good Shape with Proper Wheel Alignment

While it’s easy to dismiss wheel alignment during a general service, proper alignment is critical in keeping your car’s tires in good condition.

Vehicle alignment concerns the adjustment of the suspension system, or what connects your vehicle to its wheels. Proper alignment means that the angles your tires connect with the road are properly adjusted for maximum and safe performance. Improper wheel or tire alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and can wear them out faster than normal. Your car could even become unstable, which could hamper your ability to take emergency or evasive action to avoid another car or an unexpected road hazard.

properly aligned wheels on vehicle

Causes of Misalignment

The three main causes of vehicle misalignment include wear and tear on suspension and other car parts, heavy impact caused by bumping a curb, hitting a pothole, or an accident, and modifying the vehicle’s height without adjusting the suspension. After any of these incidents, it is important to test the alignment as soon as possible. A qualified technician can fix the problem and save you costly repairs down the road.

Signs Your Tires May be Misaligned

A few common signs your vehicle’s wheels may be improperly aligned include:

  • Uneven wear on your tire treads
  • Your vehicle pulls to the right or left
  • You notice that while driving straight, your steering wheel is off-center
  • The steering wheel is crooked or vibrates
  • The steering wheel does not return easily after a turn
  • Your tires make a squealing noise, particularly on turns
  • Your fuel economy is decreasing

An easy way to check your vehicle’s alignment is to drive on a straight stretch of an uncrowded road and let go of the steering wheel briefly. A correctly aligned car will keep moving straight. If you have an alignment problem, the car will veer to the right or left. You can also check your tire treads to make sure they are wearing evenly.

For more information or to ensure your car’s wheels are properly aligned, contact us at Custom Complete Automotive today for friendly, reliable service you can trust!

When Is It Time to Retire Your Tires?

We understand everyone is busier than ever these days but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your tires. Driving on old or worn tires can be extremely dangerous for both you and other people on the road.

The truth is that old tires, even with low mileage, are unsafe. Rubber degrades over time causing old tires to become more and more dangerous, even if they’re unused. Old tires were in part what attributed to the death of Paul Walker. The tires of his Porsche were more than twice the suggested age for such a car.

new tires on vehicle

Signs Your Tires Need to be Changed

Tires require good traction to work properly. Simply, the transference of your engine’s energy into your tires is what propels your car forward. Without your tires, your car couldn’t work and without traction, tires are no good.

Tires lose tread and thus traction over time resulting in dangerous driving. Tests showed that well-worn tires increased stopping distances by 87 feet and increased loss of control by 33%. Therefore, it’s very important to keep up with regular tire maintenance and change your tires as appropriate.

Signs you may need a change of tires include:

  • Lack of tread depth
  • A visible tread wear indicator bar
  • Cracked sidewalls
  • Bulges or blisters
  • Vibration while driving

How Long Do Tires Usually Last?

So how long can you expect your tires to last? While estimates do range, most original-equipment tires can be expected to begin degrading around 50,000 miles. Family-car tires can easily last for up to 70,000 miles though ultra-high-performance tires usually only last for 25,000 to 30,000 miles. Tires should be replaced after six years of use or ten years after they’re manufactured, no matter the mileage.

These are still all estimates depending on varying factors. For one, proper tire rotation is imperative. But there are other factors that also increase the degradation of your tires, including: wheel alignment, tire pressure, weather, the way your car is driven, and the make and model of your car.

Either way, proper tire maintenance is critical for maintaining a well-performing car. Contact us today for more information and to help keep your car and tires safe.

Invite Us to Your Next Blowout

A tire blowout doesn’t have to go the way it does in the movies. We’ve all seen it. The bad guy zooms away in his car, and it seems like he’s in the clear until the good guy carefully aims and shoots one of his tires out. The villain’s car dramatically flips and rolls a few times and comes to a fiery stop. We’re not saying tire blowouts aren’t serious, but with the right preparation, they don’t have to end badly.

blown out damaged tire on vehicle

What Causes a Tire Blowout?

A blowout is the opposite of a slow leak. It’s an immediate loss of air due to an explosive failure in the tire wall. A blowout can occur from a puncture to the tire, either from running something over or from a bullet hole (if being a movie character is your thing), but the likelihood is that it will happen from driving on old, worn tires. It’s important to check your tires regularly and replace them when needed, especially if they’re balding or cracked.

If a blowout happens to you, stay calm. The loud popping sound may startle you, and the car will try to pull to one side. Follow these steps to safely handle a tire blowout:

What to Do in Case of a Blowout

  1. Don’t slam on the brakes. Your car is already pulling to one side and possibly starting to swerve. That is from the sudden loss of momentum paired with uneven tires. A very gentle acceleration to keep the momentum will help retain control of your car.
  2. Keep your steering wheel pointed straight ahead. Don’t try switching lanes or turning. Drive straight forward. You can signal the other drivers with your hazard lights.
  3. Once you’ve got your car under control, slowly let your foot off the gas and let your car begin to slow itself down. Keep an eye on traffic for an opening.
  4. Once your car has slowed to a safer speed, 25 mph or so, take the first safe opening and gradually steer to the shoulder and out of the way of traffic. From there you can call for help.

We know life can be busy and car trouble doesn’t make it any easier. Contact us today to help keep your tires in pristine condition and keep your car, and your day, running smoothly.

Tire Rotation Is More Than Spinning Your Wheels

When it comes to your vehicle, some things are complicated, but there is no need to spin your wheels when it comes to tire rotation. This fast but important service visit will pay you back in multiple ways.

tire rotation service at Custom Complete Automotive

What Is Tire Rotation?

It’s important to have your tires rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles. Front and rear tires perform different tasks and wear differently from each position on your vehicle, so it’s important to participate in an ongoing rotation plan to ensure even wear on all the tires. There are about a dozen different rotation patterns depending on the car you drive. Front-wheel drive cars typically have the rear tires brought to the front but on the sides opposite to their last position. So, the back left rear tire would come to the right front, and so on. Custom Complete Automotive will follow the accepted tire pattern rotation recommended for your vehicle.

Why It Matters

There are several solid reasons to rotate your tires. Your tires influence the balance of your car, its responsiveness and maneuverability on the road, its traction, safety, and fuel use. And most tire manufacturers require appropriate tire rotation to maintain the validity of tire purchase warranties. Rotation also helps ensure even tread depth and prolongs the life of your tires, saving you money. In ensuring more even wear, your tires will last longer, and when replacement is needed you’ll be able to replace all the tires at the same time, continuing the improved balance, responsiveness, and safety, of your car.

One of the best times to have your tires rotated is every other time you have your oil changed if you change oil every 3-months. While your car is on the lift, our expert service team inspect the tires for safety issues and tread wear, remove small stones or other road debris, and check inflation too, keeping you and your loved ones safe and on the road.

For the best in customer service and a team you can always trust for your tire rotation or other automotive needs, contact us today!