Norm the Tire Man AutoNet TV
A big part of the service we provide at Norm The Tire Man for our Bentonville customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions.
And we're always open to questions from our valued Bentonville area customers. Even though we try to be proactive in our Norm The Tire Man automotive education, we sometimes get busy fixing vehicles and need a reminder. Please, just ask.
We've found our Bentonville customers like the service reminders. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the vehicle manufactures’ published maintenance schedules and that Norm The Tire Man is not just pulling them out of the air.
We know that people in Bentonville live a busy life with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace the PCV valve on their vehicle. Part of our Norm The Tire Man service process is checking the vehicle manufacture's schedule to make sure we don't overlook service.
We hope Arkansas drivers appreciate their courtesy inspection when they come into our Bentonville facility for service. If we find something unexpected, it's good to know, and if we don't find anything wrong, you get a little peace of mind.
You know, customer satisfaction is very important to us at Norm The Tire Man. We want to run a professional and friendly Bentonville automotive service operation. If we do, you'll keep coming back and recommend us to your friends.
Give us a call at 4792730141.
Many Bentonville car owners have probably wondered: "What's the harm in putting off replacing an engine air filter? The answer is that not replacing it could cause your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to fail. This expensive sensor is situated between your engine air filter and your engine. Dirty air filters are a leading cause of mass air flow sensor failure – and these babies can cost several hundred dollars to replace in Bentonville.
Change your vehicle air filter at Norm The Tire Man when it's dirty. Your vehicle engine will thank you.
Give us a call.
Everyone in Bentonville, Arkansas, knows we are advised to go to our Bentonville dentist twice a year. Oral-conscious Bentonville residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can't be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – "Everything's fine, see you in six months." Or "You've got a small cavity starting, let's schedule an appointment to take care of it." By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.
This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.
If Bentonville folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our vehicle maintenance?
Following the vehicle manufacturer's recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing ...you get the point.
Every item has a recommended interval and it's hard for Bentonville drivers to keep it all straight – even if you're part of the 1% of Arkansas drivers that read their owners' manual.
And if you have more than one vehicle, the complexity is multiplied. You'd need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that's how your service center does it. For example, Norm The Tire Man subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle's recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it's all in the database.
Well, it's not all in the computer. There are other variables that can't be accounted for in the schedule: Things like Bentonville weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in Arkansas. Talk about these things with your service advisor at Norm The Tire Man and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner's manual is more appropriate.
Since anything that's not driving in moderate weather is considered severe and most of us do at least some of that around Bentonville, Arkansas, it should be taken into account.
Let's take your basic oil change as an example. What issues are involved? The oil you put in your vehicle is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your vehicle engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.
Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That's why most vehicle manufacturer's maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles/5,000 km, whichever comes first.
It's easy for Bentonville drivers to think, "Gee, I've only driven 2,000 miles/3,200 km in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change." But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that start degrading its effectiveness even when it's just sitting there.
A lot of people in Bentonville don't realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it's clogged up because you haven't changed it, it can't trap any more.
Oil sludge is another problem for Bentonville vehicles. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think 'Vaseline.' Obviously, sludge doesn't lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don't get properly protected by the oil. That'll lead to premature wear.
If you've missed some oil changes, don't despair. Just talk with the pros at Norm The Tire Man. Fess up – you'll feel better. And they can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your vehicle on the road and avoiding repairs.
At Norm The Tire Man, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a Norm The Tire Man alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.
If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your Bentonville auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you should get your alignment checked.
It's not surprising that a forceful impact can seriously knock tires out, but remember that a series of smaller ones can add up. That's why your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't advise a specific interval, once a year might be appropriate. Check with your Norm The Tire Man service advisor. As with most other preventive maintenance services, the cost of the alignment is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to purchase new tires earlier than expected.
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The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.
The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).
Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.
Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.
If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Norm The Tire Man to know if the water pump has failed. If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles (100,000 to 150,000 kilometers). The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time. Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it's powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for Bentonville residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.
Replacing a water pump at Norm The Tire Man is a vehicle care issue that almost all of us Bentonville residents face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Norm The Tire Man service advisor.
Most Bentonville folks occasionally have days when they've got a bunch of errands to run. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to fill the gas tank, pick up some groceries at my Bentonville market, swing by the ATM and get the kids from school. I could have made four trips . . . but that would have been totally inefficient. Instead I got unusually organized and planned my stops. I hit the ATM first and got gas next. Then I went to the supermarket and picked up the kids on the way home. I was proud of my wise use of time and money.
What does this have to do with your car? Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have five or six belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called the serpentine belt. A pulley attached to the vehicle engine's crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. On the engine in the video, the first accessory in line is the power steering pump, which makes it easier to steer your vehicle.
Next comes the alternator which powers the vehicle's electrical system and charges the battery. Then the air conditioning compressor. This helps make cold air to keep you comfortable all summer long in Bentonville. Finally, we come to the belt tensioner. Its job is to apply pressure on the belt to keep it tight. Then, back home to the crank.
This is a pretty typical setup, but it can vary somewhat. In some vehicles the water pump or radiator fan or the power brakes are also run by the serpentine belt. Some even have two serpentine belts. No matter how your engine is laid out, you're not going far without a serpentine belt. Your vehicle manufacturer has a recommended interval for replacing your belt and your Norm The Tire Man service technician can inspect it for damage or wear.
Several years ago, manufacturers started making serpentine belts out of a new material. It's much more durable, but it's harder to tell when the belt needs to be replaced. The old style belts would crack and chunks would fall off so you could easily see when you needed a new one.
On the new style belts, if the ribs wear too deep, it's time to replace. Your Norm The Tire Man technician uses a simple gauge to tell when the belt is worn.
A worn belt stresses your vehicle engine's expensive accessories and causes them to wear prematurely. So, change your serpentine belt and belt tensioner according to your manufacturer's recommendations to extend the life of your accessories and to prevent future breakdowns.
Give us a call.
Why are wheel bearings for Bentonville vehicles important? It's simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today's Norm The Tire Man post, we'll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very job while you drive around Bentonville, Arkansas.
Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They're made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles (160,000) or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two jobs: First, they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds (1600 kilogram), each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds (400 kilograms). That's a lot of heavy lifting over those long distances.
Even though wheel bearings are pretty straightforward, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job for Bentonville vehicles. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It's when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated, causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.
The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your technician at Norm The Tire Man can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.
Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren't sealed can be serviced on schedule at Norm The Tire Man. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they're re-installed – if not, they're replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.
If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty costly – but they usually last about 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometers) as long as the seals hold up.
Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that's exerting pressure on the seal. So if you've driven through hub-deep water, your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they're serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure. If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your manufacturer's owner's manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers).
If you have any sort of trailer, don't forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don't have the opportunity to rust all winter.
So what happens to Bentonville vehicles if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don't need to tell you how that could be. So check with your service advisor at Norm The Tire Man and see if your vehicle's wheel bearings can be serviced and when it's recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you've been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.
Visit the automotive professionals at Norm The Tire Man for a wheel bearing inspection.
The automotive professionals at Norm The Tire Man would like to give Bentonville drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day. Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.
The Bentonville do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many Arkansas ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Norm The Tire Man service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Bentonville area.
Let's start with engine oil. Bentonville drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the Arkansas scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Bentonville service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Norm The Tire Man can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.
Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.
Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Bentonville vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.
Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids Arkansas drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Bentonville drivers. Fortunately, Norm The Tire Man will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.
Uneven tire wear, the car pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Bentonville drivers that their wheels may be out of alignment.
When doing an alignment inspection, the service advisor at Norm The Tire Man will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the vehicle manufacturer’s settings.
Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in a crash, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around Bentonville, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your Norm The Tire Man service advisor perform an important alignment check.
Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
Do you like to shop for shoes in Bentonville?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?
Is the warranty important when buying tires?
Bentonville drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on Arkansas freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on Arkansas highways, the tires need a high load rating.
Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Bentonville tire professional at Norm The Tire Man. I think it's important that Bentonville residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”
The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Bentonville are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.
Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large Arkansas tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Norm The Tire Man tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.
The lowest priced tires on the market in Bentonville are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.
What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.
Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.
Give us a call.