Archives for 2012

Tips to Buying a Used Vehicle from a Private Party

tips to buying a used car or vehiclePurchasing a used car from a private party can be financially beneficial. Frequently, the price is 15% to 20% cheaper than with car dealerships. There are definitely pro’s and con’s with the options you have for who and where you buy a used vehicle. Nonetheless, what precautions should you take when buying from a private party to make sure you are not driving away with something you don’t want? Here are a few tips to get you off to a good start.

 What You Should Ask the Seller

This is contingent on the age and the number of miles on the vehicle. If the car is reasonably new, with little mileage, you can ask if the car has been in an accident, are there any issues, and ask for all oil-change receipts. If the vehicle is more than a several years old, ask if the one selling the car is the only owner, if not, inquire about who is. In addition, an individual who gathers paperwork scrupulously may take care of their car in the same manner. Lastly, ask why they are selling the car, if they get nervous or give you a nonsensical answer, beware before buying.

 What to Look for on the Initial Viewing

Try to check for proof of repairs, lack of upkeep, and needed repairs. Look for bent wheels, worn tires, oil leaks, and dirty fluids. Be suspicious. If the car is parked on the lawn, why is that? Maybe so you cannot see oil leaking on the pavement! In addition, in the body and paint area check for lackluster paint, uneven body gaps, and swirl marks.

Consider an Inspection

Ask the seller if it’s possible to take the car to someone you trust or to a dealer for a total vehicle inspection. If the seller seems annoyed, there may be a hidden reason. Things you can inspect yourself are body gaps, pulling in the steering, tires, mechanical noises, paint condition, and any things you can easily see or hear.

There are many great tips out there from people experienced in buying and selling used vehicles. What tips would you add to this list?

Purchasing a used car can save you money. It is a clever move, as long as you take the necessary precautions. The TireZoo tire technicians can help you determine the quality and safety of tires on a vehicle you are considering purchasing or have recently purchased. Stop in and see us today!

 

Happy Holidays from The Tirezoo!

TireZoo in Bloomington, MN and Anoka, MN

Over or Under Inflating Your Tires

proper tire pressure is importantIt’s important to periodically check your tire pressure. This is something that changes over time, and isn’t something that you can “check and forget it”. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure at every oil change and each time you head out for a long road trip.

Driving with your tires under-inflated is dangerous because it wears on the outside of your tires faster. Under-inflated tires aren’t good for your gas mileage either.

Over-inflated tires will also wear on your tires more quickly, causing unnecessary wear, hazards, and expense.

With winter here, be aware that cold weather can affect your tire pressure too. Recheck to make sure they are properly inflated, no more or less than 5 PSI of what is recommended for your tires. Check your vehicle manual for specific information or stop by the TireZoo to have a technician make sure your tires are safe for all the winter driving ahead. Remember, if you have one tire that is bad, we can help you replace just that tire to match the existing tread and life of the remaining tires on your vehicle.

Driving Here and There for the Holidays

driving during holidays, roads and snowMany people each year take to their cars and head off for a Holiday destination. It’s a rite of passage in America. Who doesn’t recall at least one long holiday family road trip as a kid, or college return-home trip? Below are a few holiday traveling suggestions for a safe and easy road trip.

Vehicle Maintenance

Prior to your road trip, schedule a car maintenance appointment to ensure the car is in good working condition. Having a certified mechanic check car vitals helps avoid unforeseen issues that may potentially cause a break down. Have the brakes, fluids, lights, battery, and tires checked. Tires must have adequate tire tread and safe pressure. The TireZoo can help you determine if your tires are safe for winter road travel!

Winter Weather Possibilities

It’s best to be prepared for any winter weather driving conditions, so toss the snow shovel, tire chains, and emergency gear in the car. A car safety kit is indispensable in a time of need. Your car safety kit should include, a tow rope, jumper cables, ice scraper, flashlight, blankets, water, and traction supplements like sand or kitty litter.

Before You Leave Home

Getting out of town early gives you jump start on holiday traffic. Gas up the car and go over the house shut down list the night before. Set and convey the travel schedule “to the travelers,” and print a hard copy of the directions and a map. If your children are young and use a safety seat, check the safety seat for proper fitting.

Entertaining the Kids

Today’s vehicles are loaded with built in digital or electronic systems that help pass the time. Keeping the family entertained on long road trips is effortless with built in DVD’s for movies, iPods for hosting music, an other amenities. If not, there are many affordable portable options you may consider investing in, if not already own. Ipads are great for wireless streaming of films and gaming. Cell phones keep you in touch and pass time- remember the cell phone charger!

In case electronic gizmo’s and gadgets fail, you’ll be prepped with a special backpack created the night before. Include backpack basics, favorite books, cards, non-electronic games, paper and pens, and snacks. Snacks save time and money on the road, so have pantry treats and water available. When entertainment ideas or creature comforts conclude, try the old fashion art of communication. Take this time to connect and communicate with your family, or fellow travelers. Telling a story, or striking up a conversation easily passes the miles.

If you need help checking your tires before you head out, stop at either our Bloomington or Anoka, MN locations.

When the First Snow Falls, People Think Tires

It doesn’t take much snow to fall before people get excited and their attention turns to driving conditions. Some people slow to a crawl without a flake on the road, and other drives like they’re nuts when it’s far too slippery to do so. Either way, snow can make driving conditions change and the quality of your tires makes a world of difference. Stop in and see us.

 

When and Why to Put Snow Tires on Your Vehicle

snow tires mnWould snow tires help you this winter?

Snow tires are a thing of the past and present, and are still used faithfully by those whose vehicles benefit from using snow tires. The confusion seems to have more to do with people whose vehicles already have tires that usually suffice in the snowy road conditions. This means that some vehicles that have 60 series tires or less should have four snow tires put on for better driving in winter conditions. This is a good way to prepare for the winter ahead.

What kind of snow tires do we recommend? While you have plenty of options, we recommend Nitto snow tires because of their tread design and affordable pricing. When snow tires makes sense for you and your vehicle, you have two options. You can use your regular wheels and swap tires at the beginning and end of the season, or you can have a separate set of wheels and tires that you swap out. Either way, you want to make sure you properly store your tires when they are not on your vehicle. You want them protected from corrosion, and our tire technicians can give you tips to get the most out of your tires.

Still confused whether or not you would benefit from a set of snow tires? Just stop by either of our locations in Anoka or Bloomington, and we’ll take a look. Don’t forget to check out our current tire coupons online too!

Planning a trip to Minnesota this winter? Check out our previous blog post if you’re wondering about MN roads in the winter and driving conditions.

Safe Travels to You and Your Family!

Happy Thanksgiving from the TireZoo, Tire Dealers in Bloomington and Anoka, MN

Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week

Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness WeekDid you know that this is Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week? With inevitable winter weather, snow, ice and storms anytime now, Minnesotans always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Dedicating this week to planning for hazardous weather will help us prepare ourselves, homes, and vehicles so we can hopefully be as safe as possible. Here is a checklist of items to increase awareness and safety.

  1. Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide: With all of us sealing ourselves inside and turning up the heat, it’s important to make sure you have proper detectors in working condition. Test!
  2. Watch for Deer: With harvest complete and hunting season upon us, you need to watch for deer while driving and this includes the Twin Cities-Metro area. Minnesota is in the top 10 states for deer related car accidents.
  3. Surge Protectors: Power outages (even brief ones) can accompany bad winter weather, so surge protectors/battery back-up’s are important for your computers. It’s a good, small investment that will increase the lifespan of your computer.
  4. Check Your Tires: Check the pressure and the tread. Make sure your tires are as ready for slippery roads as possible. Remember to take it slow.
  5. Survival Kit: Put a winter weather survival kit in the car, along with extra warm clothing and blankets. Double check it’s there; don’t assume it is still there from last year if you haven’t looked.
  6. Subscribe to Weather/School Alerts: Most local news stations offer email and text alerts, and this service can help you prepare as early as possible and start making weather related decisions.
  7. Change Furnace Filter: Not only does changing your furnace filter increase safety, but it increases heat efficiency too.
  8. Clean Out Chimneys and Vents: Fireplace chimneys, pellet stove vents, dryer vents, and heat/air ducts in the home can all fill up with debris and create a safety hazard. Make sure you regularly clean out these items and check with a specialist on how and when to do this.

Do you have another tip or reminder you’d like to add? Please leave your comment below. If you are concerned about the quality of your tires, please stop by either of our locations (Anoka or Bloomington, MN) and have one of our technicians take a look. We want you and your family safe on the road this winter!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween 2012Have a safe and happy Halloween from all of us at the TireZoo in Anoka and Bloomington, MN. Please watch for all the extra kids and parents out walking, crossing streets, and having fun tonight.

Inspiration: What to do with Old Tires

This blog is to provide helpful information on keeping you safe and sane while traveling, tips on checking and buying tires, and providing family-friendly ideas within a car/tire/travel theme. We also love passing along ideas on new ways to use old tires such as creating art, new items, and recycling. What better place to organize and share some of the fantastic ideas we come across than Pinterest? Creativity abounds on Pinterest, so we’ve created a TireZoo presence on Pinterest. We have created the following boards: “Daily Dose of Humor”, “Road Trip Entertainment”, “Travel Themed Celebrations”, “Cool Wheels”, “Tire Re-purposing”, and “Travel Snacks”. We hope Pinterest users will check us out there, and help spread really cool ideas!