For years we have heard customers state that they don’t want summer tires because of all the rain we get on the west coast. This couldn’t be more misunderstood. The modern Summer Performance tire offers enhanced wet and dry traction during spring, summer and early fall. The compounds and tread design are optimized to provide the greatest grip and abuse from the car and driver with temperatures starting above seven degrees Celsius.
The bad reputation of a Summer tire often starts in late fall when the tire starts to drop off in wet performance. The Summer tire takes longer in late fall and winter to warm up to operating temperature often generating complaints of early morning vibration and lack of grip off the line in wet conditions. This is the time to move to a Performance Winter tire.
Having two sets of tires is the ultimate in performance and safety. Optimizing the conditions for each with no compromise. This will add a little more initial investment but will allow both sets of tires to be worn out in the proper conditions. You would not want to go into winter with a fifty percent all-season but a snow tire at the same level would still offer some traction and safety.
I would recommend the new Falken 452, Bridgestone 760 and Hankook V12 from customer feedback over the past year as a good starting point. Once a customer has had a taste of a pure Performance Summer tire rarely do they move back to an all-season or as I like to call them a three-season tire.
After watching countless brands of wheels come through our showrooms over the years no new lineup has created as much buzz as Vertini. They offer a decent range of styles normally found in wheels twice their price. The fit and finish of the wheels are excellent with most offering a polished face with a premium grade of lacquer.
The multi piece look is achieved by using a chrome stainless steel lip. Normally, I would shy away from chrome but chrome on stainless has shown remarkable durability and ease of maintenance. Lip depth varies by model and Vertini offers many different staggered fitments to enhance the depth of the rear wheel.
Pricing starts at just over $231.99 Canadian per wheel making Vertini an affordable upgrade for many owners of fine automobiles.
Check out our Vertini lineup here or visit Vertini's site (Vertiniwheels.com) for more information.
So you’re cruising down the road and you realize that one of your tires is going flat. You (hopefully) pull over soon as it’s safe and get your spare tire installed. Next step is off to the tire shop to have your tire repaired. When they ask you what kind of repair would you like done, we really hope your response will not be “whatever is cheapest” or “whatever is fastest”. A tire repair is a very important decision in regards to the safety of the tire so it’s important to be informed.
There are three main types of tire repair: Plug, Patch, and Plug-Patch.
A plug simply fills the puncture with some material to make the tire air tight again from the outside. It is the fastest and likely the cheapest. Although a plug repair seals the puncture from the outside, it does not guarantee that the inner liner will be sealed leaving the potential for air to seep into the tire casing and even seep out completely. Also, when a plug repair is done, the inside of the tire is not inspected meaning there could be a hidden danger that you are not even aware of.
A patch repair is the next step up in repairs where the tire is removed from the rim which allows the technician to inspect the tire’s interior. This is important because there could be additional damage inside the tire that cannot be seen from the outside. The problem with a patch repair is that although it makes the tire air tight from the inside, it does not fill the puncture from the outside. This means there is the potential for small debris and moisture to get into this puncture and put stress on the patch repair and also to cause any steel belts to begin to rust and deteriorate.
The highest step in tire repairs is the plug-patch and it is the only repair that we recommend. This repair combines the best of both worlds. The tire is removed from the rim and inspected. The puncture is repaired from the inside making the tire air tight, but there is also a plug that is pulled through the puncture to completely fill the hole making sure no small debris can enter and no moisture gets into the tire’s casing.
Now that you know what the differences are, you can make an informed decision to choose a repair that is safe and should maintain your tire’s useable life without allowing any subsequent damage or deterioration.
Should I be using Nitrogen to inflate my tires?
A correctly inflated tire will have exactly the same ride quality, same fuel usage, and same tread life whether it uses nitrogen or just plain air. The main cause of reduced tread life and poor fuel efficiency is incorrectly inflated tires. Once the air pressure in a tire is low, the tire creates more rolling resistance which increases fuel consumption. Also, an underinflated tire becomes slightly deformed where it contacts the road which reduces traction and contributes to uneven, premature tire wear.
Regular air is naturally made up of approximately 80% nitrogen, so by using pure nitrogen you are only really gaining a 20% increase. Air can leak through a tire at a rate of about 1 psi per month. Nitrogen leaks about half that rate, so if you forget to check your air pressure, the Nitrogen inflated tire will leak less, and therefore will not run into under-inflation problems as soon as a tire inflated with plain air.
An advantage that Nitrogen does have is that is that is has less water in it compared to regular air. This moisture can start to corrode the tires’ internal materials which can potentially reduce the life of the tire. Using Nitrogen will reduce the amount of moisture that gets into the steel belts and beads of the tire.
Another thing to keep in mind is this: if you have nitrogen inflated tires you have to find a service center that offers nitrogen inflation to adjust the pressure. If you have Nitrogen inflated tires and then you top up with plain air, you are cancelling out the advantage of using Nitrogen.
In our opinion, if you are offered Nitrogen inflation for no charge, then there is no real harm in going that route. If someone tries to charge you for it, you are probably better off just using air, since its free and available everywhere. Nitrogen is relatively new for public use therefore it is not as commonly used. If you go with air inflated tires be sure to maintain your air pressure monthly (as you should be anyways).
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