Jax Auto Repair

Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

Jax Auto Repair - Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

The Jax Auto Repair Guide To Tire Specs

You know you need new tires, but you’re not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Brea service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Brea drivers. There’s so much on the side of the tire, and it’s hard to keep straight.

Even though there’s a lot on a tire – if you know what it all means, it’s actually more helpful than confusing for Brea tire shoppers. Let’s start with the size number.

For example, let’s say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters – the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio – the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it’s a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index – it’s the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty sedan can be safe with a lower number, but you’ll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Brea. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Brea are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating – with the exception of H – it comes between U and V (don’t ask why).

There’s a lot of fine print that most La Habra motorists probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there’re the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line – a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the car maker’s product line – Brea car owners can’t compare with other auto makers. And it’s critical to note that a lower rating might be just what you want – a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won’t wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting California roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A – the best, B – intermediate, C – acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire’s resistance to heat build up in government tests. A, B and C – from best to acceptable.

It’s safe for Brea auto owners to go with the automobile manufacturer’s original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you’ll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly Jax Auto Repair tire professional.

Keeping Your Engine Cool In Brea, California

The cooling system keeps California auto owners’s engines from overheating while they are driving around Brea, Buena Park and Yorba Linda. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let’s talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

The radiator is the part most Brea car owners associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there’s enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the sedan is idling.

In some sedans, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your sedan off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

Brea California Radiator A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the sedan engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the “water jacket”.

While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the sedan engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat’s job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your Brea house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

When you first start the engine, it’s very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

The final component the team at Jax Auto Repair wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It’ll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car’s hot. The cooling system is pressurized and opening them while it’s hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Brea, California. At Jax Auto Repair, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for harmful leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

Jax Auto Repair
331 South Brea Boulevard
Brea, California 92821
(714) 529-2886

Your auto manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Jax Auto Repair in Brea, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

Smart Brea Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Brea auto owners to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Brea drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Jax Auto Repair in Brea.

If your sedan sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an automotive analysis. This service is important and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your sedan so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Brea service center or Jax Auto Repair where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Brea motorists. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Jax Auto Repair. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your Jax Auto Repair service professional for more information.