Archives for 2013

Handling Winter Driving the Best You Can

handling winter driving mn

Here are 7 tips to give you the edge on winter driving

  1. Maintain your tires; proper care is best.
  2. Check tire pressure, especially in the frigid cold temps.
  3. Check the tread on your tires; here’s how.
  4. Check manufacture date; Look for DOT, then a series of numbers with a four digit number at the end signalling a week and year the tire was manufactured. (1413 would be the 14th week of the 2013 year)
  5. Decide if replacing your all season tires with winter tires is best for your vehicle and situation.
  6. Put a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Here is a list of some items that should be in it.
  7. Check out the current winter driving conditions and apps available from the MN DOT.

 

What to Do with Expired Infant Car Seats in MN

recycleAn infant or child car seat is one of the best ways to keep children safe on the road. However, car seats past their prime (past their very specific expiration date unique to each car seat) are not safe and need to be replaced. This safety requirement leaves thousands of car seats each year sitting in the basement or garage, with people wondering what to do with them. Throwing them into our landfills isn’t a good option, but recycling is!

Expired Infant Car Seats – Solution

In 2011, the Recycling Association on Minnesota began collecting their first car seats to be recycled. They’ve since added more year round drop off locations around the Twin Cities metro area, with plans to take the program statewide! There is a $10 fee that helps insure 95% of the materials are able to be recycled, and that is fantastic!

So how do you tell if an infant car seat is expired? This blog post goes over how to find the expiration date on a car seat, and shows pictures of what it is that you’re looking for when you turn the car seat upside down.

If you have other items, both typical and a bit out of the ordinary, check out “Recycle More Minnesota” website for helpful tips and resources to properly dispose and recycle a wide variety of items.

In case you’re wondering, yes, we recycle tires. Tires also have an expiration date. When they have too little tread or have become too old to be safe on the road, tires are collected and recycled. We ship the ‘spent’ tires to a reputable recycler. The tires are shredded or made into crumbs and are used to produce new products.

 

 

TireZoo 2013 Christmas Holiday Hours

TireZoo holiday hours 2013

Both locations of the Tire Zoo in Bloomington, MN and Anoka, MN will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The TireZoo will be open regular business hours on Monday,  December 23, 2013 and again on Thursday, December 26, 2013. Happy Holidays from all of us!

Double Check Tire Pressure in Extreme Cold

minneapolis mn cold weather tire pressure

If you’ve turned on the television only to find a weatherman or woman a little too excited to be pointing to Minneapolis, MN and sharing sub-zero temperature predictions, there maybe something not running through your mind…Tires!

If it’s been a while since you last checked your tire pressure, it would be a good idea to check again. With temperatures dipping into the negative teens and even negative twenties, everything, including your tires, responds to the extremely cold temperatures. You may need to add air to keep them at the recommended tire pressure for your car/tire. You can check your vehicle manual for this information. Cold weather, like the kind we’ve been having, will cause the air inside your tires to contract. When this happens your tires are actually underinflated. You don’t want to drive on underinflated tires. When roads get snow and ice covered, you want as much safety and control as possible.

If you are questioning whether your tires are safe or in proper condition, stop by and see us. We’ll help make sure you have safe tires on your vehicle. We can help you work around your budget, finding new or quality used tires.

Checking Tire Pressure

Are you looking for some more creative ideas for your elf to having fun around your home this holiday season? Elf on a Shelf is reminding us that checking tire pressure and tire tread is important before you head out on the road.

elf checking tire pressure

Kids’ toy boxes are a treasure trove of ideas for fun things for your Elf to do, and kids will enjoy seeing the Elf interact with familiar toys in new and creative ways. Take Mechanic Elf who uses dice to jack up a bus to do regularly scheduled maintenance. or Fearless Elf who had a triumphant expedition to the Everglades. Have you created any fun travel, auto, or tire related scenarios for your Elf? We’d love to see them!

Mechanic Elf    elf

For more of our ideas, visit our Elf board on Pinterest!

Aim Your Tires Toward Minnesota for a Winter Getaway

mn winter getawayIf you have limited time off or would rather stay close to home during some winter time off, there’s plenty to do in Minnesota for a winter getaway! It may be hard from Minnesota born residents to believe, many many people from warmer states actually make Minnesota a vacation destination so they can enjoy the snow and all it has to offer.

From our numerous ski and tubing hills, to our limitless sledding and ice fishing opportunities, Minnesota has plenty to offer vacationers during the coldest months of the year.

A few ideas that may be a bit “out of the box” for a Minnesota Winter Getaway this winter:

A frozen dip in a lake: You won’t get the opportunity in Dallas or Orlando to saw a hole in lake ice and jump in! Not for the faint of heart, there are plenty of opportunities to check a mid-winter swim off your bucket list and boast to friends that you found something truly unique to do on your vacation! MN Polar Plunge, Deep Freeze Dunk

Iceman: If fitness and/or extreme races are your thing, why not check out Minnesota’s own kind of crazy at this January extreme 5K run through ice, snow and obstacles. Heck, you’ll bring home a medal to prove you completed the challenge!

Sled Dogs: Snow dogs aren’t just in movies! You don’t have to travel to Alaska to experience dog sledding. You can enjoy this unique experience right here in Minnesota!

Fat Tire Bikes: Yes, you can actually bike on snow and ice in Minnesota! In fact, fat tire bikes are growing in popularity and offer a very fun winter vacation experience. With our never-ending metro and out-state trail system, the bike ride possibilities are endless. There’s even a Fat Bike Frozen 40 Race Event!

World’s Largest Charitable Ice Fishing Contest: Head to Brainerd, MN and get in on the ice fishing excitement. You could win a new GMC or Ford Truck, and that definitely set your winter getaway apart from all others!

What unique Minnesota adventures, events, places, or activities would you add to this list?

Winter Driving Tips Minnesota: Make Sure You See the Road

winter driving tips minnesotaOne thing we don’t need to establish is the fact that Minnesota winter driving can be challenging. We have some “Winter Driving Tips Minnesota” we want to share with you!

Once you’ve established your tires are ready for the snow, and you’ve gone through your winter driving checklist, there’s one more thing to remember. You need to be able to see the road.

When the snow is falling and the wind is blowing, you’ll want all the help you can get in the visibility department.

1. Check and/or replace your windshield wipers now. Snow and slush will make a mess of your windshield, and you want your wipers in good working condition.

2. Check and/or replace missing headlights. Check all your lights and repair as needed. You want to see, and you want people to see you!

3. Refill windshield wiper fluid.

4. Repair cracks in your windshield that can pose a visibility hazard, as well as worsen in frigid temperatures.

5. Put a quality ice scraper in your car and use it. Never drive if you don’t have proper visibility. Take the extra few minutes to scrape your windshield and allow your defrost to do its job.

Here are some additional winter driving tips from Minnesota Department of Transportation.

If you have any questions about how your tires will handle on winter roads, please stop in and let us take a look. Proper tires, proper tread, and proper inflation are all key to safe winter driving!

New TireZoo Commercial on TV

tire zoo review our new commercial“One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war.” Thumb wrestling isn’t near as exciting as pro wrestling, and if you’re a fan, you likely tune in at 10:00 am (Minneapolis/St. Paul time- Channel CW23) on Sundays to watch AWF. If you tuned in yesterday, you may have seen our newest commercial run sometime during the programming.

We hope you had a wonderful Sunday, and please don’t hesitate to give us a call if there’s anything we can help you with regarding tires for your vehicle.

Please feel free to read a Tire Zoo Review or two by our other customers and what they are saying about us online.

TireZoo Commercial Encore!

Cold Weather Driving Reminder

cold weather driving reflectors for snowWith the inevitable cold weather driving here and more snow on its way,  here are a few reminders that may make winter driving a bit easier and safer.

Driveway Reflectors: On the next warmer day we get (and before the ground freezes solid) make sure you put driveway reflectors in the ground to mark the edge of your driveway. Not only are these helpful when shovel or blowing snow, they help protect your grass or landscaping. They are also very helpful guides to keep you or less familiar guests from driving off your driveway when the snow piles up or visibility diminishes.

Snow Tires: Find out if snow tires are right for your vehicle and driving needs. Talk to our tire technicians at either of our locations, and they will help you figure out your best tire options.

Winter Survival Kit: Assemble a winter survival kit and include plenty of warm clothing and blankets in your car.

Snow Scraper: Find the snow scrapers and put one or two in each vehicle so you aren’t relinquished to credit card scraping, two inches at a time.

What would you add to this list?

Anoka Location Closed October 26, 2013

TireZoo in Anoka, MNAnoka is, in fact, the Halloween Capital of the World! Each year the Anoka community and guests celebrate with week-long events, and wrap up the festivities with a grand parade. The parade draws thousands and thousands of people to participate or watch the creative costumes people create specific to this event.

In observance of this widely attended event, the TireZoo will close its Anoka, MN location on Saturday, October 26, 2013. We will be open all day prior (Friday, October 25), and again on Monday, October 28, 2013.