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What is Hydroplaning?

hydroplaningHydroplaning is when your vehicle tires are no longer directly in contact with the road. Speed, water, air, and condition of your tires can all effect how your vehicle handles on the road and if hydroplaning occurs. Hydroplaning happens when a layer of water builds between your tires and the road, which can result in loss of steering, loss of braking, skidding and sliding.

Your tires are designed with treads that help take the rain water on the road and get it out and away from the tire. So what can you do to try to avoid hydroplaning and hopefully stay safer on the road?

  • Check your tires; make sure they are at proper air pressure (inflated)
  • Check the tread on your tires and replace when necessary
  • Rotate, balance and align; this is important for optimum performance, as well as getting more out of your tires for longer
  • Avoid driving through standing water
  • Slow down, especially when it first starts to rain and the water mixes with any oil on the road (making it even more slippery)
  • Don’t use cruise control, cell phone, or anything else that will distract you and take away from very attentive driving.
  • Always wear your seat belt and proper car seats for children

Call us if you are concerned about the condition of your tires. With rain and snow in the months to come, we want to make sure you and your family are safe!

Used Tire Service Place Here in Minnesota

All brands of used tires for sale

If you’re looking for a place to buy quality used tires in Minnesota, look no further. With locations serving both the northern and southern metro area, the TireZoo is your trusted source for exceptional customer service and savings. Stop by and see us Monday through Saturday in Bloomington or Anoka, MN, or feel free to give us a call to see if we have what you’re looking for. We can find one, two, or three tires to match existing tires, or fine a whole set of four used tires. 

Tread Depth: When Do I Need to Replace My Tires?

replace tire tread depthIs your tread depth deep, meaning your tires don’t need to be replaced? Or should you replace your tires soon?

Figuring Out Tread Depth and Whether to Replace Your Tires

You should regularly check the tread on your tires. Check the tread once a month, each time you change your oil, or before heading out on a long road trip. The easiest way to decide if your tire tread is ok or needs replacing is to use a penny. Place it with Lincoln’s head facing down in to the tread. If you can’t see the top of his head, then your tread is likely good. Watch this video to see this tip demonstrated, and stop into either of our metro locations to have a tire technician take a look if you’re not sure. We’ll be happy to help.

If your tire tread is fine, but you’ve had a flat you need to know when to repair your tire. Sometimes tires can be repaired and other times it’s advisable to replace the damaged tire. Read: When to Repair a Tire

For more tips on inspecting your tires, visit Goodyear Tires and Tips.

What are the Best Used Tires?

What are the Best Used TiresIf considering used tires is something new to you, but you’ve heard about the impressive savings that can be had, you may be wondering what are the best ones to buy? Maybe someone has warned you to be careful about buying tires that are used. The truth is,  when purchased from a reputable place like the TireZoo that specialized in selling new and used tires, they can be an wonderful option for many people.

There are reasons to buy used tires, as well as good reasons to buy new tires that we explain in further detail here. 

So back to your original question

The best used tires are not limited to brand, make or model. It has more to do with the condition of the tire and the tread life remaining. When looking for used tires at the TireZoo, we’ll tell you what percentage of tread life remains and about how many miles you can expect to get. We give upfront pricing and let you decide. We also offer a warranty on used tires that is explained here. 

You can stop in either of our locations anytime to ask questions, give us a call, or connect with us on Facebook. 

What is a Tire Alignment?

Tire AlignmentWhat is Tire Alignment?

Tire alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the  tires and wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. You want to get the maximum life out of your tires, right? Then it is important to understand why tire alignment is important. Not only will your tires last longer, but proper alignment helps insure your vehicle tracks straight when driving straight and on a level surface.

When Is It Time to Align Your Tires?

Wondering if it’s time to align your tires? The best thing you can do is periodically check your tire alignment on a regular schedule or each time you have your oil changed or other vehicle maintenance. Otherwise, you can check each tire and look for uneven wear patterns. The problem with this method, however, it may be too late to save that tire if you do find uneven wear.

A wheel alignment cannot be done on a car with loose or worn front end parts. If you take it in, your technician will first check for worn parts and inform you of any problems before re-aligning your tires.

The best type of wheel alignment is a four wheel alignment. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Your car has four tires, so you should treat them equally. Many cars today have adjustable rear alignment settings, but even for cars without adjustments in the rear, a four wheel alignment will allow the technician to identify any rear tracking problems and compensate for them with adjustments to the front.

You should definitely take your vehicle for a drive following alignment work to make sure your vehicle goes straight and the steering wheel is in proper position with the spokes level. This test should be done while driving straight on a level road. If you notice a problem or something doesn’t seem quite right, take the car back and have the technician drive it and fine-tune the alignment settings.

What Are the Symptoms Your Tires Are Having One of Those Days?

  • Unintentionally wandering on a straight, level road
  • Uneven or rapid tire wear
  • Pulling or slowly moving away from a straight line
  • Spokes of the steering wheel off to one side while driving on a straight and level road. (Steering wheel is in an odd position in order to drive straight)

Do you have unanswered questions about your tires? The TireZoo would love to hear from you. Stop in or give us a call at our Bloomington (800.761.2013) or Anoka (800.421.2037) locations.

Summer Survival Kit

summer survival kit

If you’re from the upper Midwest, you’ve heard plenty of advice and tips for assembling a winter survival kit for your vehicle during the snowy months. However, a summer survival kit is a good idea as well. Car trouble can happen at any time, in any season. It’s a good idea to have some key items in your car at all times, plus a few additional things based on the weather. 

Summer Survival Kit Necessities:
  • Water; gallon jug and refillable water bottles and/or cups
  • Electrolytes; you can buy in powder form to add to water
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Caps or visors
  • Wet wipes
  • Sunglasses
  • Cooling towels
  • Snacks; some should have some salt content
  • Reflective blanket to use as shade
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight or glow sticks
  • Bug spray

Always check your tires over before heading out and make sure they are in good condition. If you have questions about your tires, stop in and see us in Anoka or Bloomington. 

Independence Day Store Hours

We will be closed at both our locations on July 4th for the holiday.

We will reopen regular business hours on Friday, July 5th.

On Saturday July 6th we will be open from 9-3 (note* Saturday hours means we are closing early).

Happy 4th of July!

Minnesota Landmarks with Musical Ties

The summer is the perfect time for a Minnesota road trip!  If you enjoy music or are a fan of Prince, Bob Dylan, or Weird Al, here are some fun musical Minnesota landmarks you can visit.

Minnesota Landmarks for Music Lovers

Bob Dylan – Hibbing, Minnesota

Bob Dylan was born in Duluthmusical Minnesota Landmarks and also lived in Minneapolis and Hibbing, Minnesota.  Before he was famous, he was known for hanging out in coffee houses in Dinkytown playing music with friends while he attended the University of Minnesota. Here are some Bob Dylan sites in Minnesota that would be fun to visit in Hibbing, Duluth, and Dinkytown.

Prince – Chanhassen, Minnesota

Many people may not realize that Paisley Park was a song, back in 1985, long before it was a recording studio. The song also eventually led to the name of Prince’s record label, Paisley Park Records. Today, you can take a road trip to the 65,000-square-foot, $10 million recording complex and visit the Paisley Park Museum. Both the Current and Explore Minnesota have also put together a list of self-guided tour stops for Prince fans that include First Avenue, public murals of Prince, the house from Purple Rain, and more. 

Weird Al Yankovic – Darwin, Minnesota

Unlike Prince and Bob Dylan who both grew up in Minnesota, Weird Al just wrote a song about one of its quirky tourist spots. In his song, “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” Weird Al sings about Darwin’s landmark in a classic Minnesota accent.  Besides the world’s largest ball of twine, there are many other highway highlights in Minnesota worth stopping at.

Ready for your Minnesota road trip? Make sure your car is ready to put some miles on and you have supplies and snacks, then hit the open road! Here is a road trip playlist of Minnesota songs to get you started. 

Clean Your Vehicle Cup Holder

clean your vehicle cup holderHave you spilled one too many times in your vehicle’s cup holder? Maybe a fast food beverage was left only to seep sticky syrup into the crevices of your cup holder, making it a mess. Clean your vehicle cup holder with these tips to make the clean up process a little easier.

Removable Cup Holders

Many trucks and cars have cup holders or cup holder liners made of plastic or rubber that is removable. If you can remove your cup holder, it is much easier to clean. Try running your cup holders through a rinse cycle of your dishwasher (be careful with full cycles that could warp or melt). After the rinse cycle, allow the cup holder to sit for 20 minutes and then attempt to wipe out leftover slime. If necessary, repeat the process.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or are leery of that method, try a bucket of warm, soapy water and drop your cup holders in. They may need some serious soaking time.

Non-Removable Cup Holders

This is much more challenging, but can be done. Have two clean rags ready. Use the first one to squeeze a small amount of warm, soapy water into the cup holder and allow to sit. Use the second, DRY rag to wedge into the cup holder to soak up the water and released residue. You may have to repeat the process until all the sugar dissolves.

For light colored plastic cup holders stained with coffee or other beverages, try a small amount of lemon juice and rub with a clean cloth.

Getting Started with Teen Drivers Education in Minnesota

If you have a Junior High School student in your house, it’s not too early to start thinking about Teen Drivers Education. Most drivers education teachers will recommend classroom training anytime after the age of 14. Behind-the-wheel drivers training can begin at the age of 15. The overall goal is to turn new teen drivers into safe drivers, and this does not come overnight, but with hours of classroom and behind-the-wheel training. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety uses a Graduated Driver licensee system (GDL). There are 3 stages that a new driver needs to complete to become fully licensed to drive.

Minnesota Driver Education – GDL Standard Requirements

  1. Supervised Learning – Instructional Drivers Permit teen drivers education
  2. Intermediate – Provisional License to Drive that limited unsupervised driving in high-risk situations (there are several requirements for this including being 16 years old, having an instructional permit for 6 months, pass a road test, and more)
  3. Full License to Drive (either has had a provisional license for 12 months or be 18 years old)

Start Here – How to Choose a Quality Driving School

  1. Ask other parents and your local high school administrators which driving school they would recommend and why
  2. Make visits to some of the driving schools to see their materials, vehicles, and meet the instructors. If you can’t visit in person call them to ask questions about their process and their references.
  3. Focus on quality over price.  The cheapest or quickest driving schools may not get the best results.

 How to Get your Minnesota Drivers Permit

  1. Driver must pay the Minnesota Drivers Permit Fee
  2. Driver complete an Instruction Permit Application (Proof of identity and parent or guardian signature is required)
  3. Driver must pass a vision test and a written test at their local Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office

Requirements to Begin Drivers Behind-the-Wheel Training

  1. Driver must be at least 15 years old
  2. Driver must complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and pass a drivers knowledge test

Teen Drivers Education Resources

Minnesota Public & Private School Driver Education Programs in Minnesota (PDF)
FAQ – Answers to Common Teen Driving Questions
Best Driver’s Ed Courses in Minnesota
Top 10 Things Teen Drivers Should Be Taught to Do

Your teen’s driver’s education class will focus on being an attentive driver and following the rules of the road. One thing that teen driving lessons don’t cover as well is car maintenance, such as how to change a flat tire or change the car’s oil.  

Drive Safe!