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Tire Damage

Happy Wednesday folks. I hope you are all having a great week so far. Today is my first day back at work this week. That usually means a few hours to get back in the swing of things. Don’t worry, I still have some great pictures this week. For those of you that are new to the community, Shop Shots started pretty early in the blogs history. I posted a few pictures, and they got a great response. It because a great way to have some fun and share some of the behind the scenes type stuff that most folks never see. A great member of the community suggested the name, and Shop Shots was born. Thanks Brett 😉

Before we get into this weeks pictures, I have a few things to catch you all up on.

  1. My trip to for the Chicago Auto Show is all booked. I will be pretty busy but I want to set some time a side for a meet up. I will post more about that as the event gets closer. It will probably be something low key near the show.
  2. There is a giveaway coming next week. I am ironing out the details now, but it will be awesome. All I can tell you is, if you have a messy tool box, get some pictures ready.
  3. I still have the Snap-on Tool box I am looking to sell or trade. I am looking for a Caddy in good shape. If you have one or know someone, let me know

Tire DamageFirst up is a picture sent to me by my buddy. This car came in for an alignment. That is where we basically reset the suspension angles back to factory specs. When I first got this picture, I thought the tire had blown up. I was really confused. On closer inspection, the tire has debris jammed between the rim and the bead pack of the tire. The customer had been in an accident not too long ago. This must have been debris left over. I gotta say, it is not everyday you see something jammed in it like this.

VW battery failureI had lots of help from friends this week. This picture came from a fellow VW tech. This car was towed into his dealer with the following concern “Customer states vehicle still will not start after battery replacement”. If you are not familiar with VW batteries, you might not see the issue right away.

VW batteries come with a black cap on the negative terminal of the battery. This black plastic cap needs to be removed before the cable is installed on the battery. If you look just below the cable, you will see the cap is still installed. This is exactly like not hooking the battery cable up. This is one of those times where it would have been cheaper and easier to have someone do the work for you.

VW water leak Last week much of the country seen record low temperatures. The news jokers were calling it the Polar Vortex or something like that. For us mechanics, it means cars acting crazier than normal. This is ice build up on the floor board of a VW. If you look at the top of the picture, you can see the water line. That is not really a water line, but more of an ice line. I thought I left this type of weather when I moved from Illinois. I also seen my first TDI with ice build up in the charge cooler. We actually seen 5 or 6 TDIs with frozen charge coolers.

That about does it for this weeks Shop Shots. Thanks to my buddies for helping me out with the pictures this week. Like I said at the top of the post, stay tuned for the announcement on the giveaway. We have done a lot of giveaways, but this one will be huge! Don’t forget, you can sign up for all the updates here on the blog. Just sign up at the top right with your email. Don’t worry I wont sell your email or spam you. As Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat”!

Oh, I almost forgot, I made this MEME a few weeks ago. I am a fan of the show Futurama, and I am also a beard fan. I happened to lean down on my beard and this is what I thought.

Auto Mechanic Beard

Parts of a Tire

For some reason, I have tires on  the brain today. So we are talking all about the tires on your car. I don’t think that anyone would argue that having good tires on a vehicle is a vital to it’s performance and safety. But most of us give very little though to tires beyond that.

Lets decode tires a little.

Parts of a tire

Understanding what each part of a tire is will be very important though out this post. There are some parts that we don’t really need to worry about. You will never need to know or care about a “gum strip” on the inside of a tire. Let’s focus on the basics

TreadParts of a Tire
The tread is the part of a tire that contacts the road surface. The tread consist of a layer of rubber, compounded to suit the application purpose of the tire, and the thickness serves to protect the belt and carcass. The tread pattern serves the purpose of improving water drainage, providing traction, braking and cornering characteristics and long tread life.

Sidewall
The sidewall on each side of the tire, between the shoulder and the bead is the section that deflects most during running. The rubber coating serves to protect the carcass.

On the sidewall of every passenger-car and light-truck tire is an alphanumeric code that describes the dimensions of the tire. For most tires, this code will start with a “P”. Some may start with an “LT” to signify light truck. Some tires may have a “Max. Load” indication . When selecting new tires, it is important to make sure a tire’s load rating is at least a high as the tire you are replacing.

Shoulder
Provides continuous contact with the road while maneuvering. Shoulders wrap slightly over the inner and outer sidewall of a tire.

Bead
This is the section of the tire that makes seals the tire to the rim.

Tire Size and Rating

When talking about tire size, the measurements can be confusing. Once you read this, you will never wonder what P225/45R17 91V  means. Lets keep the example that I used and break down each part. By the way, this is the size tire my Passat needs. 😉

  • “P” That is for passenger car.
  • 225 – That is the width of the tread in millimeters
  • 45 – This is known as the “aspect ratio”. This is a ratio of sidewall height to section width. The easy way to remember what this number means is, the higher the number the “taller” the tire.
  • “R” Simply stands for “Radial” This has to do with the build of the tire. Almost all tires are “Radial”
  • 17 this is the size of the rim.
  • 91 This is the load rating of a tire, higher the number, the greater the load carrying capacity.
  • V Speed rating, the higher the letter the faster the tire goes? Well, the faster it will be stable anyway. 😉

Based on those numbers, that would be a pretty sporty tire. There are also a few numbers than indicate a tires performance. These numbers are usually a little harder to find.

Treadwear
This will be listed as a number. The higher the number, the longer the tire should last. This number is more a “theory” than anything. Tire manufacturers are not regulated in regard to this number. I would not solely rely on this number when shopping for tires.

Traction
The tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on asphalt and concrete test surfaces. As of 1997, the traction grades from highest to lowest are “AA”,”A”,”B” and “C”. A tire graded “AA” may have relatively better traction performance than a tire graded lower, based on straight-ahead braking tests. The grades do not take into consideration the cornering or turning performance of a tire.

Temperature
Tire’s resistance to heat and its ability to dissipate heat. The grades from highest to lowest are “A”,”B” and “C”. The grade “C” corresponds to the minimum performance required by federal safety standard. Therefore, the “A” tire is the coolest running, and even though the “C” tire runs hotter it does not mean it is unsafe.

Other Tire Information You Should Know

  • The “legal life of a tire” is SIX years from the date of purchase, or the life of the “usable tread”. The “useable tread” is when the original tread is worn to the wear bars which is 2/32 of tread
  • Make sure that you check your tire pressure when the tires are cold. Temperature affects pressure. When the tires are hot(after driving) the pressure will be higher. You might let air out of the tire to set it to the correct pressure. This will result in your tires being under inflated.
  • Some tire manufacturers recommend rotating tires every 6000-8000 miles. I think that is pretty solid advise. Remember, you can’t rotate your tires too much.
  • Michelin brand requires punctures to be repaired with a patch/plug. This fills the hole in the tire, and adds a patch on the inside of the tire. It really is a great way to repair a tire.
  • If you have an all wheel drive (AWD, 4motion) make sure you reffer to your owners manual. Some AWD cars require replacing 4 tires. That means if you damage a tire, you might have to buy a full set!

Well, I hope that I was able to simplify the vehicle tire for you folks. The work and engineering that goes into a vehicles tire is pretty fascinating. It is crazy to think that your car rides on little squares on the road. If you have any tire questions, post them in the comments. I LOVE talking tires..

If you learned that tires are more than round, let your friends know, but clicking one of the share buttons below!

Hey guys, Its Thursday so you know what that means, SHOP SHOTS! I got some good ones for you this week! Also, we started a thread on the Automotive Forum for you to post your own Shots! Swing by, register and you can post your Shots. Remember, to keep spam out, you will need to be approved. I hate that I have to do that, but I need to keep the spam out!

You can probably guess that this is not a normal way for a tire to look. This customer actually drove in on this tire. If you look at the top of the picture, you can see that there is a lot of tread on the tire. This is what happens when a belt inside a tire breaks. A tire is more that just black and round. It is layer with steel belts, fiber layers, rubber, and so on. When a steel belt breaks, it leaves a soft spot in the tire. It makes that spot really soft. I could push my finger about 1/2″ into the tire. I don’t really know how the tire made it that long. The bad part is, the customer did not buy the tires. I think that she replaced some suspension bushings. That was totally the wrong choice. I am not sure if she was just crazy, or maybe the importance of this issue was not stressed. This is blow out territory for sure!

This picture comes from one of my best most favorite customer. Quick side story, I met her because her last Beetle Convertible was always broken. She also does dog rescue. My wife and I adopted our dog “Fugazi”, or “Foo Dog” as we call her. Peyton is an amazing person and does so much good for homeless animals. I will never be able to thank her enough. P, if you read this THANK YOU!~ Ok, back to the picture. This is a tail light out of a 2006 Beetle Conv. I am not really sure how this happened, but it sees that the bulb came in contact with the plastic housing. This caused the housing to melt, and the bulb to fall into the bumper. I have seen it happen a few times before, but it’s that that common.

HAHA, Stoners paradise. This was the first car I pulled in the other day. The second that I opened the car door, I could smell pot. I mean, it was like a smack in the face. I looked down and found that Febreze sitting on the passenger seat(right). I pulled the car in and did the oil change. To be totally honest, my curiosity got the better of me. I opened the glove box and found the perfect pothead glove box. You have, a blunt, some rolling papers, a baggie, and some Visine.You need Visine so people will not know your baked.(yeah right) I had to call everyone over to check it out. I am pretty sure that I got a contact high from his car. When the guy picked it up, I just smiled at him. I am pretty sure that he was stoned out of his mind. Oh, he had to still be in high school!

That does it for this week! What do you guys think? Post your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, be sure to sign up for email updates, with the new logo, I am working on some site redesign. If you are on the email list, you will be the first to find out cool stuff, plus I will be doing a give away when the new site launches. PLUS, don’t forget about the First Fifty on the forum. You really want to be part of the first 50 😉

One last thing, tomorrows Behind The Wrench is AWESOME! don’t miss it!

Due to the launch of the Forum yesterday, and some other things going on, I feel like I left you guys with out a really good post yesterday! So to make it up, I am doubling up on the “Shop Shots” today!

This is a picture of a V6 Passat axle. The axle is what connects the transmission to the wheels. Without axles, the car will not go. The picture is an inner joint. Somehow, it came apart. It’s acutally not something that happens all that much. I think that I have seen just a couple over the years.

While we are on the drivetrain, this is a close up picture of a tire that I took. I was standing under the car, which makes this the left rear tire.?. Tires are much more than just round and black. The technology is pretty amazing. Before I start going on and on about speed ratings, temp ratings, performance(sorry, I started) 😉 well lets just say they are rubber compounds, with steal imbedded in it. When the tire wear down far enough, you can actually see the metal cords. The line in the picture is where the tread(parts that makes contact with the road) meets the sidewall (where the words are written) I know that I left out so much info on tires, or tyres if its a VW, but I will save that for another post!


This little guys was sitting on the dash of a 2012 Golf. When I got in the car, I totally didn’t see him. I pulled the car around to the back door of the shop. When I seen him, I screamed. I mean, like I screamed out loud. Then I started cracking up because I just screamed at a tiny little snake on the dash of a car. So I took a picture of him. In the back round, you can see my tool box. 🙂

Here is a side by side shot of a VERY common issue on our 2.0T FSI, engine. These are called cam followers. The one on the right is the new and updated part. The one on the left, well, it shouldn’t have a hole in it. The follower is an internal engine part. It rides on the cam shaft and operates the mechanical fuel pump. I guess the issue is too soft of metal. It wears the cam shaft, and the follower. I have also seen these metal chunks clog up oil passages and ruin engines. BTW, replacing engines is not fun!

HAHA,(yes I just laughed when the picture came up), This Jetta came in the other day. The service advisor came back and asked my how much it would cost to replace a customers fuse. He said it “Cracked in half”. What had actually happened is the fuse blew. A fuse blows when too much current goes through it. This is the fuse panel on top of the battery. It is the main power junction of the car. The wire that looks weird is the one to the alternator. The fuse blew, and someone just taped a wire to it, instead of ACTUALLY fixing the car. I am not sure who did the job, but holy crap, its kind of a hazard. The customer declined the repair, they said they would “wait and see”?

Ok, I have been saving this one for a while. I think it happened a few years ago. I was off work the day this happened. I got a text from one of the boys at work saying a car fell off a lift. I of course asked for a picture! I guess what happened was the guy doing the alignment was moving the wheel back and forth. That is called doing a “sweep”. When we do a sweep, the machine measures the suspension angles. When he did the sweep, the wheel cought the edge and rolled off the rack. He was ok, mad at himself, but ok. To make things even better, the customer was standing right at the window to the shop. That is about 20 feet from the rack. Everyone was ok, the dealer paid to have the customers car fixed, and gave him a car to drive while his was getting repaired. 😀

Well, that pretty much sums it up. I am sorry I missed a good post yesterday! The forum is LIVE and doing awesome. Please come by, sign up and post in the First 50. When we hit 50, I will lock the post and do a drawing for something. Not quite sure what it will be yet, kinda depends on how fast we hit 50 😉

 

Happy Friday guys!

Today I give you some tips on changing a tire. I also show you how the heck to use that jack for your Volkswagen. The usage of the jack is VW specific, but the tips and tricks will apply any time you have to change a tire.


I am still working out the kinks of shooting videos, but I think this came out pretty good.  No editing at all..  That is my goal, shoot and post!

Here are some close up pics of the jack, the tool kit and the proper place to put the jack!


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