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Spice Up Your Vehicle for Spring!

Whether you choose to get new wheels or just want to make the ones you currently have on your vehicle look great, click here for some simple maintenance tips.

There’s a reason why we call what we own and drive our “wheels.” And nothing sets us apart more dramatically than beautifully-styled, high-quality custom chrome, polished or painted rims from well-know manufacturers such as Pulse, American Racing, Avenue, Cragar Classic, Dub, Enkei, Foose, and many others available at your local Belle Tire. (Click Here For More Details)

The sales professionals at Belle Tire have the knowledge and experience to help you put together an affordable tire and wheel package that fits your needs and will make your vehicle really stand out in a crowd. They also have the experience to advise you about the benefits of plus sizing. Installing lower profile tires on wider and larger diameter rims can really enhance the appearance and performance of your car.

Whether you choose to get new wheels or just want to make the ones you currently have on your vehicle look great, here are some simple maintenance tips: Chrome and Polished Aluminum wheels look great, but require just a little extra effort to protect that factory finish and shine. Painted and clear coated custom wheels are more forgiving, but should still be handled with care to protect your investment. For all wheels, a simple hand washing with a mild dish soap and water will clean them up nicely. Dry thoroughly and finish with a soft nonabrasive cream wax to protect the wheel. Keep in mind that you should never wash a wheel when it is hot. Spraying cold water on your wheels when they are very hot can cause rapid contraction resulting in slight warping as well as stresses between different materials like chrome and underlying steel or aluminum. Over time, these shocks to the wheel can cause the chrome to begin flaking. Also avoid abrasive tools and materials like bristle brushes and steel wool that can permanently scratch your wheels. Lastly, always keep harsh cleaners including tire cleaners from coming into to contact with your wheels and damaging the finish.

Rules of Thumb

Washing your custom wheels once a week will keep road grime and brake dust from being ground in. When brake dust and other road dirt accumulates, wheels will trap salts and moisture in the air that can react with chrome and aluminum finishes and cause oxidation and pitting.

Avoid frequently using commercial car washes. Their equipment could scratch your wheels and commercial detergents are often very harsh. Also carefully check the label before using any wheel brake dust cleaner — many are too acidic to use on chromed wheels.

Winter weather and snow should be avoided at all cost. Corrosive salt and abrasive sand will wreak havoc on any finish. Put your factory wheels on for winter driving and save your custom wheels for prime cruising weather.

When in doubt as to how to clean and protect your custom wheels, the products you use to clean and protect the body of your car can usually be used safely. But as always, take a minute to read the labels for any warnings. Belle Tire also carries a full line of Mothers® polish especially formulated to keep wheels looking great.

Handling Minor Scrapes

Damage from curbs and other potential wheel hazards are unsightly, but usually not a real safety concern. On painted wheels a touch-up may be possible with matching paint ordered from the manufacturer. Scratches on aluminum may be buffed out if not too deep. But there is no real fix for scratched chrome. If you curb your chrome wheels, immediately apply a clear lacquer, like clear nail polish to reseal the chrome. After that has dried, also apply a light coat of non-abrasive cream wax. This should keep any moisture from getting underneath the chrome and causing it bubble up or peel away from the underlying wheel.

Custom wheels are an investment in the look and character of your vehicle. And like all investments, they need to be protected.

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Filed under: Articles, How To, Wheels and Rims, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bald is Not Beautiful When it Comes to Your Tires Tread

According to most state laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32″ of remaining tread depth. Tread wear can be identified by using U.S. coins substituted for a tire tread depth gauge as tires wear. Consult your local tire retailer if you need help with the condition of your tires.

No matter where you live, or what time of the year it happens to be, there is always the potential for inclement weather. Any time it rains or snows and you get behind the wheel of your car, you can be faced with driving risks. Depending on road conditions and your driving speed, stopping on wet roads can take up to four times the normal distance. And if your tires are worn … they can hydroplane, or skim over the surface of the road with little or no traction.

Unfortunately, there are more people than you may realize who are sharing the road while driving on worn tires. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of 11,500 cars, pickup trucks, vans, and sport-utility vehicles and found that nearly 50% had at least one tire with half-worn tread wear. Another 10% had at least one bald tire.

Worn tires … especially bald ones … can be deadly on wet roads, where the grooves aren’t deep enough to channel water out from beneath the tread. The result is hydroplaning, where the tread wear allow the tire to skim the water’s surface and the vehicle no longer responds to the steering wheel. Wet weather braking and snow traction also decrease with tread wear on balder tires.

Industry advocates like the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) remind drivers to check their vehicle’s tires as part of regular seasonal maintenance. According to RMA research, two out of three drivers don’t know how to tell if their tires are bald.

The accepted standard for tires to be considered bald is when one or more of their grooves reach 2/32 of an inch deep, compared with about 10/32 of an inch for new tires. FYI – tire tread wear is usually measured in 1/32-inch increments. To make bald tires easier for owners to spot, manufacturers have placed a series of molded horizontal bars at the base of the grooves. As the tire treads wears away the bars become flush with surrounding tread when the groove’s depth reaches 2/32 of an inch.

Traditional tread condition has been easily checked with a Lincoln penny. Placing the penny upside down within the tread, if you saw the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire needed to be replaced. However, testing shows that you should consider changing tires sooner. There is quite a dramatic difference between the stopping distance of a tire with 2/32- inch of tread compared to 4/32. Using a quarter will help you quickly find out if you have 4/32- inch of tread left. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s wig, then it is time to get new tires.

Since tire tread provides the gripping action and traction to prevent a vehicle from slipping and sliding, a tire is not safe and should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch. Not only is it extremely important for your driving safety to ensure that your tires have ample tread, but it’s also very important to make sure your tires are properly inflated. It can’t be stressed enough … if you drive on tires that are bald or substantially under-inflated you risk injury, or worse, to you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.

It’s important to understand the risks you face as a driver when driving in challenging weather conditions and the affect worn tires can have.

Winter Grip Slips On Worn Tires
Deep grooves and an array of small slits, known as “sipes,” help new tires bite into snow. Shallower tread and worn-away sipes reduce snow grip, affecting traction on acceleration and overall braking performance.

Summer Rain and Hydroplaning Starts Sooner As Your Tread Wears Away
Common sense should tell you that the faster you drive on wet pavement, the greater the risk of hydroplaning. Simply put, higher speeds allow less time for water to escape through the tread grooves. Shallower tread worsens that situation by allowing more water to stay beneath the tire.

Less Tread = Longer Wet-Weather Stops
Reduced wet-weather braking can be even more dangerous than hydroplaning. Compared with new tires, well-worn tires take much longer to stop, even on vehicles equipped with antilock braking systems.

To better protect motorists, the NHTSA has launched a tire safety campaign called: “Tire Safety: Everything Rides on It.” Through ads, brochures and radio ads, the campaign advises car owners to check their tires monthly, as well as prior to a long trip, to be sure they have safe tread wear, and will stress the importance of proper tire inflation and vehicle load limits.

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit http://www.belletire.com and also join our online communities: BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Filed under: Articles, belle tire, How To, , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Properly Clean Your Custom Wheels


To view more great presentations brought to you by: Belle Tire visit SlideShare

Are you worried about the upkeep of your custom wheels?
Concerned about damaging your chrome rims?

It takes a little effort to maintain that factory finish on custom wheels and it’s important to have the facts before you begin the cleaning process.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Clean, Soft Towels
  • Soft, Nonabrasive Cream Wax

KEEP IT SIMPLE
For all wheels – chrome, polished aluminum, painted or clear coated – a simple hand washing with a mild dish soap and water will clean them up nicely.
Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
Finish with a soft nonabrasive cream wax to protect the wheel.

NEVER WASH A WHEEL WHEN IT’S HOT
Spraying cold water on your wheels when they’re hot can cause them to rapidly contract, resulting in slight warping as well as stresses between different materials like chrome and underlying steel or aluminum. Over time these shocks to the wheel can cause the chrome to start flaking.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CLEANING AGENTS
Avoid abrasive cleaning materials! Bristle brushes and steel wool can permanently scratch your wheels.
Always keep harsh cleaners, including tire cleaners, from coming into to contact with your wheels and damaging the finish.

PERFORM TIMELY CLEANINGS
Washing your custom wheels once a week will keep road grime and brake dust from being ground on. When these accumulate they trap salts and moisture from the air that can react with chrome and aluminum finishes, causing oxidation and pitting.
Wash Wheels!! 

Make sure to carefully check the label before using any wheel brake dust cleaner — many are too acidic to use on chromed wheels.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK A PRO
Don’t be shy! They can steer you toward the right products for your particular type of wheel. oftentimes they can even recommend a local car wash that you can trust not to scratch your wheels or use harsh detergents.

ABOUT BELLE TIRE
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. For the lowest tire prices, period, and great low prices on custom wheels, alignments, brakes, batteries, oil and lube, shocks and struts, windshield repair and replacement, and more, visit our website.

Filed under: belle tire, How To, Wheels and Rims, , , , , ,

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