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Get Your MN State Park Passport

MN State Park Passport

If you’re ready to pump up your tires and dust off your camping gear, then here’s a fun idea for this summer. Get your MN State Park Passport and use the season to explore some of the best hiking, fishing, and camping sites around the state. The State of MN offers a Hiking and Passport Club that awards you with a free night of camping after visiting 25 parks. 

So how many state parks are there in Minnesota? If you have a goal of visiting them all in one season, you better make plans that will take you to every corner of the state and back again! There are 67 state parks in Minnesota, which are all listed here.

Before you head out for long (or short) distance driving this summer, make sure you check your tires. If you are worried about anything or question if they need replacing, just stop by. No appointment necessary, and we’ll give you an honest assessment of how many miles are left on your tires or if its time to find better ones. 

Happy Camping!

 

Free Minnesota Destination Word Find Puzzle

Free Minnesota Destination Word Find Puzzle

Print and have fun finding all the Minnesota towns and destinations on this word find puzzle. If you need help with your tires, the TireZoo is the place to go for new and used tires that will save you money and get you to your destination safely.

Print PDF Now: Free Minnesota Destination Word Find Puzzle

Minnesota Word Find Puzzle Preview

 

Spring Car Cleaning Tips

Car Cleaning TipsOver the winter, not only does clutter build up in cars, but so does garbage and grime. In Minnesota, it is too cold to stand around working a sucker out of the carpet, so it gets left. Most of us would rather run into a warm building than pick up spilled cereal or sweep out road salt and sand tracked in by a barrage of boots and shoes.

Come spring, many of us have vehicles that look like a battle of sorts took place on the seats, floors, floor mats, cup holders, etc. As soon as the first warm and sunny day presents itself people come out in droves to clean out their vehicles, wash them and do much needed minor repairs. You can even listen for the hum of shop vacs through out the neighborhood being inundated by flying candy wrappers, pebbles, and dropped french fries.

If your vehicle has you itching to give it a good cleaning, here are some car cleaning tips to make it easier.

  1. Bring a garbage can with you and move it around to each of the doors so you aren’t wasting time carrying it off.
  2. Find an empty container like a box, bucket or laundry basket to throw items in that don’t belong in the vehicle like clothing, winter gear, toys, books, extra pens, etc.
  3. If something needs to soak (sticky dried pop in a cup holder is a classic), start that right away. Check your cup holders, floor mats, and other crevasses that need to soak with a warm soapy rag for a while.
  4. For those with really dirty vehicles, it’s about clearing away the chunks, in order to clean better. A shop vac or vacuum attachment will be handy. Make sure to use an extension cord so you can reach everywhere that is needed and open all the doors for easiest access.
  5. Lemon juice and vinegar are great odor eaters, and often a small bowl or moist rag with either of these liquids placed in a safe area (lemon can remove color) can remove tough odors.
  6. Old toothbrushes or washed mascara brushes work great to dust and reach small areas like vents, button panels, door handles, etc.

If you want to know how professional car detailers clean the interior of vehicles, this video goes through some great techniques and tools used to clean tough areas.

Need some inspiration from the pros? Take a look at how this detailer cleans all the interior pieces of a vehicle.

 

 

Do you hire it done or do it yourself? Happy cleaning!

Caring for Your Tires

caring for your tiresCaring for your tires is one of the easiest vehicle maintenance you can do. Some of the tasks associated with caring for our tires you can take care of yourself, and the rest it a matter of putting it on your calendar and paying attention to cues that something may be amiss. 

  1. It pays to be vigilant. Pay attention to where you drive. Debris on the road, off road, recent construction area, potholes, speed bumps, etc. Rough terrain can take a toll on your tires and alignment. Slow down or take alternative routes. 
  2. Tire pressure matters. Monitor your tire pressure and make sure your tires are properly inflated, otherwise you’ll premature wear and poor gas mileage.
  3. Frigid temps effect pressure. Most newer vehicles will alert you to a change in tire pressure due to TPMS (sensors), however, pay attention. Tire pressure often drops in tires when temps drop. Add air as soon as possible.
  4. Shaking isn’t good. If you notice shaking or vibrating, have your tires/wheel balance checked. Plan to have this regularly checked. If all is good, you’re good to go!
  5. Rotate your tires consistently. Rotate your tires according to your manual or at the advice of your tire technician/mechanic. Most vehicles recommend between 5,000 and 8,000 miles. This will help your tires wear more evenly, perform better, and last longer. 
  6. Check alignment.  Wheel alignment is also called tire alignment and front-end alignment. It doesn’t need to be checked as frequently as your tire/wheel balancing, but if you notice any pulling, vibrating, or mis-match with your steering wheel vs direction of your car, you should have this checked immediately.
  7. Take a quick peek. Get in the habit of looking at your tires. A quick visual check will help you identify tread, uneven wear, low pressure, or debris in the tire that can help you get ahead of problems and better care for your tires.

If you have any concerns or questions about your tires, we’re here to help. Stop by either of our locations in Bloomington or Anoka. We’re open 6 days a week and no appointments are necessary.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and we think we have ALL THE LUCK with so many wonderful customers like you. Thank you for your business, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

TireZoo

Ready, Set, Rotate Your Tires

rotate your tires and tire rotation informationDid you know? Front tires wear faster on front-wheel drive vehicles

On front-wheel drive cars, it is especially important to rotate your tires periodically because the front tires wear faster than the rear tires. Uneven tire tread thickness, front to rear, will give you uneven braking and poor handling, especially in the rain. If you don’t rotate the tires, you’ll end up replacing them two at the time, which means you’ll always have uneven tread thickness. Replacing tires in a matched set of four will keep the handling and braking traction of the car balanced.

Are you hearing a hum?

On some vehicles, you may experience additional problems if you do not rotate the tires as needed. You might hear tire noise when driving on smooth roads or what some people describe as a humming sound. If you detect a humming noise, check the rear tires right away. You are looking for a “saw-tooth” type wear pattern on the outside and inside of the tire. If you run your hand back and forth along the edges of the tire tread, you’ll be able to tell. It is important to be careful when running your hands over your tires so that you don’t cut yourself on debris or exposed steel belt wire. If your tire feels smooth in only one direction,  you may have found some of your noise. This condition can happen on some front wheel drive vehicles that have tires with tread blocks on the shoulder of the tire.  You will want to rotate this tire to the other side of the car  right away, which should even out this type of wear and tone down the humming for a quieter ride.

Most front-wheel drive vehicles follow this tire rotation pattern

You can rotate tires on your own, although most people find it time consuming and labor intensive. Check your owner’s manual for the proper rotation method for your vehicle. Most front wheel drive cars require the above rotation method. 

If your tires are directional, you will need to rotate only front to rear. If you have a sports car or a European vehicle it is not recommended that you rotate your own tires, unless you are familiar with that vehicle’s rotation patterns. Many of these vehicles have tires that are staggered fitment (tires on the front are different size than rear).

If you have questions about tires, stop by and see us! We’re your tire experts and we are here to help.

What to Do When You Get a Flat Tire

a flat tire in the winterA flat tire is something that everyone will likely encounter at some point. Even those who take great care of their tires and inspect them frequently can run into debris on the road that can cause a fast or slow flat tire.

While Parked

If a flat tire happens in your garage, driveway, or while parked somewhere, you will likely have plenty of time to think and plan out your next step. It’s more critical that you know what you’ll do if you get a flat tire with traveling.

on the Road

The most important thing to remember when you have a flat tire while driving is to be safe. Don’t keep driving on a flat tire, but make sure you pull off into the safest area possible. If you are on a busy roadway, be mindful of traffic and assume they won’t see you or slow down. It’s better to take the initiative to keep yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle as safe as possible. While it’s not advised to drive very far on a flat tire, you can drive slowly on it for a small distance; enough to get out of harm’s way.

Turn on your hazard lights immediately. If it is safe for you to get out of the vehicle, place reflective triangles behind your vehicle before taking a look at your tire. You have some in your trunk, right? Next, decide if your situation warrants a 911 call, or a call to a tow service, or if you can safely change tires and put a spare on your vehicle.

Worry about your flat tire and if it can be fixed later. Once you are safe, you can print our coupon for a free flat tire fix (up to $15) and come to either TireZoo location so we can help you out.

Slippery Roads Safety

slippery road safety with good tires from TireZooIf you feel you’re slipping and sliding all over the road, and there’s barely any snow on the ground, it could be your tires. Winter driving is certainly a challenge, but it doesn’t need to be harder and more risky with poor tires.

People often make the mistake of not checking the tread, pressure, and condition of their tires. They “look” nice, or in their head they do a mental tally of when they bought the tires, instead of calculated how many miles are actually on the tires or how old the tires are.

Slippery Roads Safety

The Minnesota Department of Transportation does a great job of plowing and removing snow, as well as sanding and salting roads. Here is more information about Minnesota roads, safety, and snowplowing.

Drivers can get up-to-date road conditions from Minnesota Traveler Map 24/7.

You need to check your tires and help keep yourself and others safe on the winter roads. Proper tread and condition of your tires will effect how your vehicle handles on slippery roads. Tires can’t always stop you from sliding, but they can significantly improve vehicle response.

So if you’re sliding through intersections, get your tires checked. You can stop by either of the TireZoo locations in Anoka or Bloomington, MN and we’ll help you check your tires and replace any that need replacing.

Replacing Tires on a Leased Car

Replacing Tires on a Leased CarThere are quite a few things you should check or replace prior to the end of your lease. Replacing tires on a leased car is something you may need to do, and it’s something we can help you do without spending a small fortune.

Be sure to check:

  • Tread depth
  • Condition of the tire; check for cuts, bulges, or anything that would indicate compromised safety and longevity
  • Double check that the tires on your vehicle match the manufacturer’s guidelines for your vehicle

If you need different tires, the TireZoo can help. We can replace one, two, three, or four tires with quality used tires that will pass inspection!

The tires on your lease return will pass inspection with our help.

Need more help prior to returning your leased car? Here is a good article to reference things you should consider. 

How to Donate a Car

How to Donate a CarMore people are considering donating a car, as the process becomes more clear and simple. There are advantages to donating a car such as not going through the sales process, helping others, and making a significant donation that is tax deductible. Many participating donation programs accept non-functioning vehicles as well, which can be a good option for those who don’t wish to spend more than the vehicle is worth to repair. Each person needs to decide if donating a car (or other vehicle) is the right choice for you. Once you’ve made the decision to donate a car, you can select an organization that can assist you with the process and keep it very simple and easy for you.

How to Donate a Car:

Maybe you’ve heard the radio ads for Kars for Kids? This organization is sponsored by Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and a variety of other well-known entities. KarsforKids.org has a simple online form process, will accept cars, boats, or Rv’s in any condition; working or not.

Vehicles for Veterans accepts donated vehicles and is a Minnesota program through the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.

Make-a-Wish of Minnesota has a special car donation program called Wheels for Wishes, and they too accept all donated vehicles regardless of how well they run.

You can also donate your car to Minnesota Public Radio.