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809 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

Norm the Tire Man AutoNet TV

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheel Bearings

Posted June 27, 2017 8:44 AM



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. 

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



The Norm The Tire Man Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted June 19, 2017 5:07 AM

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.

 Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



Automotive Tips from Norm The Tire Man: Alignment Inspection

Posted June 12, 2017 5:19 AM

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
4792730141



Beware of Cheap Tires in Bentonville

Posted June 6, 2017 4:55 AM

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.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141

 



Relax When the Wind Blows in Arkansas: Winter Car Prep for Bentonville Drivers

Posted June 1, 2017 4:40 AM

When autumn comes around in Bentonville, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for Bentonville drivers to winterize their vehicles.

Here is some expert auto advice for Bentonville drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the Arkansas winter months.

1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of Arkansas winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Norm The Tire Man in Bentonville, get that done as well.

2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Your first concern, of course, is to make sure you adapt your driving habits to winter weather: slow down, and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Get your brakes checked at Norm The Tire Man and replace any worn pads or other parts. Check your brake fluid. It can accumulate moisture and decrease your stopping power.

3. Test your battery. A battery's cranking power drops in the cold, so if your battery is already weak, the onset of winter will do it in. The last thing you want is to be on a snowy Arkansas road in the dark and cold with a dead battery.

4. Pack emergency supplies. Toss a blanket into the trunk. If you do find yourself stranded, your first concern will be to stay warm. If you're traveling away from Arkansas population centers, then pack some emergency food and water as well. Also, it's a good idea to top off your tank in winter. That way, if you get stuck, you'll have some fuel to burn to stay warm, and it'll keep your gas lines from freezing up.

5. Check your wiper blades. They may be able to handle a light Bentonville summer rain shower, but they might not be up to the ice and snow that collect on a windshield in winter. If you experience particularly harsh winters or really wet ones, you can purchase special blades that resist freezing. And don't forget to top off your wiper fluid.

6. Check your tires. Tires lose pressure over time, but they lose pressure fast when it's cold outside in Bentonville. Tires lose about one pound of pressure every six to eight weeks; they also lose one pound of pressure for every 10°F/5.6°C drop in temperature. If the last time you checked your tires it was 80°F/26.7°C outside and it's 40°F/4.4°C now, your tires could be down five pounds in pressure — and that's serious. It's a safety issue and cuts down on your fuel economy.

7. Driving conditions in the Bentonville area may warrant special winter tires. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Norm The Tire Man tire professional to get the right tires for your area and for your driving habits. If you are getting winter tires, it's always best to get them for all four wheels. But if you're only going to get two, put them on the rear wheels, even if you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. Traction is more important on the rear of a vehicle if you want to prevent sliding or fish-tailing on slick surfaces.

So there you have it: a quick checklist to winterize your car in Arkansas. When it comes to car care, preventive maintenance is always the best practice for Bentonville drivers, especially when it comes to winter weather. None of us want to be caught out in the winter cold.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



What's up with Diesels in Bentonville?

Posted May 23, 2017 1:44 AM

Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

Diesel-fueled vehicles haven't been as popular in the North American markets like Arkansas. But that won't be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we're not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV's.

There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn't tolerate it.

But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Bentonville. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we're going to see more of these vehicles in Bentonville is that they're more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% better fuel economy.

People in Bentonville may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That's also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth, quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Bentonville roads.

Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Bentonville restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in Arkansas. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. 

Bentonville drivers who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle should know that  preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you'll have to learn some new rules of vehicle care. But you won't be alone. Most Bentonville service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Norm The Tire Man, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel-powered vehicles.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141

 



Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Norm The Tire Man

Posted May 15, 2017 6:25 AM

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Bentonville drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that Bentonville vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Norm The Tire Man can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our Arkansas environment will be better for it.

Bentonville drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Norm The Tire Man if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and Norm The Tire Man service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Norm The Tire Man in Bentonville can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

Bentonville drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



AAA - Cautions in Extreme Heat

Posted May 8, 2017 2:49 AM
{?video;480;360;http://www.youtube.com/embed/0t63k66IjSk;http://www.protech-automotive.com/Car-Care-Tips/content/images/AAA_ExtremeHeat.jpg;/video?} With temperatures soaring to record highs around the country, AAA cautions motorists not to underestimate the ways in which extreme heat can wreak havoc on vehicles. With an estimated eight million automobiles in need of AAA’s roadside assistance this summer, heat will take its toll on vehicles and their occupants. “Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well,” said John Nielsen, AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can help keep your vehicle running smoothly during the hot summer months.” To keep your vehicle running smoothly this summer, AAA recommends motorists address the following common heat-related vehicle problems: Over-Heating Engine Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long-term engine damage and a summertime boil over definitely increase. Over time, engine coolant becomes contaminated and its protective additives are depleted. That’s why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Older coolants required changing every two years or 24,000 miles/40,000 km, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles/80,000 km, and many do not require replacement until approximately 100,000 miles/160,000 km. See the owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the service interval appropriate for a vehicle. Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper levels by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and the coolant type specified by the vehicle manufacturer. CAUTION! Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot; boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns. Other fluids help keep vehicles running cool as well. Most vehicle fluids don’t just lubricate, they also serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced, and the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual. Battery Failure Due to Heat and Vibration Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies, leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration. If a car’s battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last. This test can be performed while you wait at {?coname?}. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it immediately. Blown Tire Driving on underinflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be checked when the vehicle has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a tire information sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb. Drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem. Air Conditioning Failure During extreme summer heat, a properly operating air conditioning system can be more than just a pleasant convenience. If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it did in the past, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem. Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician. Many automotive climate control systems today are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering. If present, this filter should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months. If you think your vehicle is experiencing problems due to the extreme summer heat, have it checked out by a trained automotive technician. The AAA Approved Auto Repair program is a free public service that helps motorists identify high-quality auto repair facilities they can trust to work on their vehicle. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops must meet stringent professional standards and maintain an ongoing customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent or better. To locate a nearby AAA-approved repair shop, visit AAA.com/Repair. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Automotive Tips from Norm The Tire Man: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

Posted May 3, 2017 7:32 AM

When Bentonville drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Norm The Tire Man tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



All About Your TPMS in Bentonville

Posted April 25, 2017 2:35 AM



Bentonville drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for Arkansas auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.

It's hard for many Bentonville drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Bentonville car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

Arkansas service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Norm The Tire Man service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Bentonville service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Norm The Tire Man
809 sw 8th
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
4792730141



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