The Nuts and Bolts of Vehicle Survival Kits

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Fall is upon us and winter isn’t far behind. As many of us begin making travel plans for the holidays we need to consider an emergency kit for our vehicle. How large or small the kit is will be up to you as an individual. The only real downsides to a large kit is the amount of space in your vehicle you sacrifice and the cost to set up and maintain. Look at your lifestyle and decide if a small kit in the trunk is enough or if you have the room and budget to plan for the zombie apocalypse. Let’s take a look at some starting points for your vehicle survival kit.

CR-Cars-Hero-Winter-Emergency-Kit-12-17Any kit needs to be versatile enough to be beneficial in different environments. Think about what would help on a 4 lane interstate versus a deserted dirt road. Our environment will also determine the amount of time that we must sustain on our own. In the modern era with cellular phones, this time has dramatically decreased in most locations. Keeping a battery charger with you survival kit can extend the life of your phone. The only consideration for this is you must keep it charged as it will lose its charge over time in your survival kit.

One of the greatest dangers to a stranded motorist is other vehicles that are still moving on the roadway. Marking your vehicle as disabled is a key step to ensuring your safety. Beyond your hazard markers, consider road flares and orange reflective triangles. These will help ensure other motorists see your vehicle and you.

hypothermia-symptoms2-5ad4bb0fc6733500379fc89bHypothermia can set on quickly once a vehicle loses power and can no longer supply heat. Even if you are not planning to be out in the elements bring a coat with you in winter just in case you find yourself exposed to the elements longer than you planned. Keep a set of smaller items such as a warm hat and gloves in your vehicle kit. A foil thermal blanket is a compact option that can help if there are more than one of you when you get stranded. Carrying a lighter and a small bag of dryer lint is a great way to get a fire going quickly. Don’t forget that road flare we mentioned earlier, it can get a fire going to keep you warm in a hurry.

Having a basic first aid kit is a must. Ensure that any pre-packaged kit has items that will be useful in a situation with severe injuries. This is not the kit we are turning to for a band-aid. Large bandages that will be useful for stopping major bleeding are a great item to have on hand. Taking a first aid class before you find yourself in a dangerous situation can pay off huge when things go wrong.mental-health-first-aid-usa-announces-partnership-with-afsp

Other areas you may consider that go a bit farther are water purification and a shelf-stable food source. These would only be necessary for more extreme and longer-duration situations. For most of us, a candy bar and a bottle of water would go a long way. Keep in mind the water will freeze if it’s below 32 where you park your car. Lastly, it’s hard to go wrong with a knife or a multi-tool. They can be used for just about anything.

Whatever items you carry make sure you practice with them. The first time you strike a road flare should not be on the side of the interstate with cars flying by at 80 mph. It’s also tough to build your first fire when the temperature is dropping and you are starting to shake. Stay safe and plan ahead.

We’re here for you.

We have tow trucks in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Call us anytime and we will be on our way to help.

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(910) 483-2958

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Richie (910) 818-4646
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Come visit us at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC or call us at (910) 483-2958

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Tire Selection

Today’s blog is the third and final installment on tires and proper set up for your vehicle.  We all know that tires are our connection to the road. There are so many options out there that staring at a tire rack can get very confusing. The first piece of advice is to consult a professional that you trust to discuss the pros and cons of each type of tire.  The employees at Crumpler’s Automotive have decades of experience picking the right tire for your vehicle and budget. A quick way to tell if you need to start looking is to use a quarter to check the tread. If you insert a quarter with George Washington’s head pointing down and the tread is shallow enough that it is even with his head then it’s time to start shopping.

Quarter

One of the best places to start looking for a tire is on your vehicle.  When choosing a new tire it is hard to go wrong with Original Equipment (OE).  You know they will fit the intended use of your vehicle. If you plan to use your vehicle outside the lines of what it was designed for or you prefer a different ride from what you had off the factory line then making a change is in order.

First look on the side of your current tire to determine the size you need.  It will look something like this: P215/65 R15. The first letter designates the type of vehicle. “P” as in our example designates a passenger vehicle.  Some of the other designations are “LT” Light Truck and “C” Commercial. The next three numbers are the width of the tire in millimeters. The number following the slash is the height of the tire.  This is done as a ratio to the width. The example tire is a 65 so that means that the tire is 65% as tall as it is wide, or 139.75mm tall. The lower the number the lower profile the tire is. The last number is the rim size in inches.

Tire size

When choosing new tires there is generally a tradeoff between comfort, handling, and style.  Comfort and handling often work inversely when it comes to tires. There are tires that will make your ride super soft and comfortable, but if you try pushing your car through the corners you will have decreased handling.  Conversely, if you want your car to handle on a road course you will feel every bump on the road. The independent variable is style. It’s all up to what you think looks good on your vehicle. Remember the white walls on cars from the 1950’s? They offered no comfort or handling but looked so cool.  In case you are wondering, you can still find whitewalls today.

White Wall

Tires come with all different treads for all different applications.  Each of these choices has pros and cons. Mud tires, for example, will help you if you get your truck bogged down in the muck, however, the tradeoff is loud road noise and short tire life on the road.  One thing to keep in mind with performance road tire is that some of them are unidirectional, which means they only roll in one direction. This will shorten tire life as they can not be rotated around the car.

The bottom line is that you need to do some thinking about how your car has performed to this point and what applications you are planning to do in the future.  Stop in and see one of our car experts and we can get you back on the road in no time.

FALL means HUSQVARNA! What are you waiting for? If you’re like us, you want tools that make your life 10 times easier, not harder. Husqvarna tools are well-made, easy to use, and easily accessible at our shop. Come check out all that we have!

If you don’t see what you need, we can get it. Call us at (910) 483-2958 or stop by our shop at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC. We’re open from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. Stay up-to-date on all things Crumpler’s Automotive by following our Facebook page and checking out our website as well. We’re always happy to receive feedback from you, so please let us know how we’re doing!

Understanding Tire Alignment

We have all heard that you need to have your tires aligned at one point or another.  Every time we get new tires put on or even when we get an oil change the mechanics are asking when your last alignment was. Why are they so emphatic about tire alignment?  Let’s take a look at what proper alignment means to your car.

Alignment is the relationship of the wheels with the car body as well as the steering wheel with the car.  When your car rolled off the assembly line it was set up so that it would have an optimal ride with as little tire wear as possible.  Over time we can knock wheels out of alignment by hitting potholes, curbs, or objects in the road.  Mis-alignment can shorten the life of tires by thousands of miles and ultimately cost you a lot of money over the years.

Lets take a look at the ways your tires can be out of alignment:  

*Camber is the angle of the tops and bottoms of the tires as viewed from the front.  In a negative camber the top of the tires are closer than the bottom.  Positive camber is the opposite.  These will use wear on the inside or outside respectavely.

*Toe is when the front or rear of the tires are closer together when you look down from the top. This will cuse a feathered wear pattern and mis-shape the tire.

*Caster is the relationship between the steering access as the car as viewed from the side.  A wheel’s postive caster makes the vehicle more stable but requires more effort to steer.Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 1.57.31 PM

In addition to tire alignment, having proper inflation will make a drastic difference in the life expectancy of your tires.  Over inflation will dome the center of the tire causing it to wear excessively, while under inflation will wear both the inside and the outside down at the same time leaving the tire more rounded.

By bringing your car in for an alignment every 6,000 miles you can prevent damage from being done and get the full life out of your tires. Always know that you can call us to help you out: (910) 483-2958

We’re Husqvarna Dealers simply because we love this brand. And with all the rain we’ve had lately, we know you’ll love having tools that get the outdoor work done efficiently and with no hassle. So check out all that we have at our shop. If you don’t see what you want, we can always order it as well!

 

Come visit us at 7611 Clinton Road in Stedman or call us at (910) 483-2958. We’re always here to help! Visit our Facebook as well and our website!

Tire Anatomy

 

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), over 78,000 car accidents are caused each year from tire failure, including blowouts and flat tires. We need to do our part to keep from becoming a statistic. We will look over the next couple blogs at the makeup of a tire, the importance of alignment, proper maintenance, and tire selection.

Anatomy of a Tire
Everyone knows that tires are constructed from rubber but there are many more layers to the modern tire.

tire anatomy

1- Inner liner:

An airtight layer of synthetic rubber.  This is a smooth layer that when pressed against the rim and sealed creates a chamber to hold air like the older sealed inner tubes.  Rims that don’t use inner tubes perform much better than their predecessor. The inside layer is what will be patched in the event of a puncture by your local mechanic.

2- Carcass Ply:

The layer above the inner liner, consisting of thin textile fiber cords (or cables) bonded into the rubber. These cables largely determine the strength of the tire and help it resist pressure. The denser the cords the more pressure the tire can hold. Fiber is used in this level because it won’t snap or bend as easily as the rigid metal of the belts would.

3- Beads:

They clamp firmly against the tire’s rim to ensure an airtight fit and keep the tire properly seated on the rim. The seal between the bead and the rim is crucial to forming the air tight seal.

4- Sidewall:

It protects the side of the tire from impact with curbs and the road. Important details about the tire are written on the sidewall, such as tire size and speed rating. Since this area of the tire doesn’t have any belts it is much easier to puncture. It is also one of the spots on the tire that you can not repair should you puncture the sidewall.  These can be made with different colors of rubber, most notably white giving us “white walls” that were popular in the 50’s.

5- Crown plies (or belts):

It largely determines the strength of the tire. It’s made up of very fine, resistant steel cords bonded into the rubber. This means the tire can resist the strains of turning, and doesn’t expand due to the rotation of the tire. It’s also flexible enough to absorb deformations caused by bumps, potholes and other obstacles in the road.  Most tires use 3 layers of belts for increased strength. Some off road tires us as many as 6 layers. Tire companies have been experimenting with using Kevlar as an outer layer to provide a higher level of puncture protection.

6-Tread:

It provides traction and turning grip for the tire and is designed to resist wear, abrasion and heat.  Some tires are able to rotate either direction and some are unidirectional based on the tread pattern. Different depths of tread and tread patterns perform differently in varying weather and surface conditions.

We will spend the next blog looking at different wear patterns in the tread that can be caused by our car being out of alignment.  We will also take a look at how much tread is legal to pass NC State inspection.

If you need assistance with repairing a tire or buying a new set, we are happy to help! Just call us at (910) 483-2958 or stop by our shop at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC.

Summer means peak season for lawn mowing! If you’re in the market for a new mower or you’re unsure of what to buy next but you know you need a new mower, come see all the Husqvarna we have in stock! From zero-turn, to riding, to even push mowers, we can find the right fit for what you need. And if you need more tools for the outdoors, make sure you see all the trimmers, edgers, blowers and chainsaws that we have as well.

Please follow our Facebook page for updates as well as our website. We’re always here to answer your question or to be off service. Never hesitate to reach out if you need us.

The Lowdown on Oil

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We all know that we need to get our oil changed about every 3,000 miles based on your manufactures recommendations. What we don’t know is how to reply when the mechanic asks “What kind of oil do you want?”. To most of us what follows is a meaningless string of numbers and letters that may or may not launch the space shuttle. This month we will take a look at what it all means.

Oil

Synthetic vs. Conventional
The first question the service tech usually asks is “Would you like conventional or synthetic motor oil?”. Let’s take a quick peek at the differences between the two. Conventional oil is crude oil that has been refined and cleaned to become the usable oil we all know. We put it in everything from our cars and motorcycles to our lawn mowers. In recent decades synthetic oil was introduced to the market. It begins its life as crude oil then has additives that change the way it performs. It lasts longer, reduces deposits, flows better at cold temperatures, and maintains lubrication better at high temperatures. So why wouldn’t we all use synthetic? It is more expensive and not all cars really need it. In fact, it’s really only high-performance cars that require more performance than conventional oil requires. It’s kind of like giving an amateur golfer use Tiger Woods’ golf clubs. They may be better, but we can still shank the ball into the water if we don’t have the skills to match.

By the Numbers
The numbers on the bottle all have to do with viscosity. Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow (how well it coats). This is listed as a two-number letter combination such as 10W-40. The viscosity is rated at two different temperatures. First at 0° F which is the winter rating and the first number. It’s the 10W part of our number code. A 5W is rated for colder weather than a 10W. The second number is found by measuring the viscosity at 212°F. The higher the second number the better it coats at this temperature, which keeps parts lubricated minimizing friction.

Oil shelf

Hopefully, this will help you next time you are getting your oil changed so you can make an informed decision on what oil is right for you and your car. If in doubt, call us. We’re always here to help you. (910) 483-2958

Summer is a Time for Your Yard!

Choose the best in yard work help with Husqvarna. We only carry it because we love it and recommend it. Come check out all the Husqvarna we have the shop. If we don’t have what you want, we can order it!

 

Keep following us here as well as at our website and our Facebook page. We’re always available to help you out!

Crumplers Automotive

7611 Clinton Road

Stedman, NC 28391

Trailer Brakes 101

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As North Carolinians, we are blessed with an amazing state from the coast to the mountains and we love to take full advantage of it. Some activities only call for a backpack while some require some pretty large equipment or supplies. When it comes to boating on our coast and lakes, to horseback riding in the Sandhills we have pretty heavy “toys” that we have to get from our homes to our destination. Taking a look at the regulations that govern the trailers that we pull shows that the NCDOT on their website (www.ncdot.org) requires electric trailer brakes on trailers weighing over 4.000 lbs GVW. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the actual weight of the fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment, as measured by a scale. On the Internet, there are many locations where you can weigh your vehicle.
Now that we know we need some trailer brakes, we probably need to take a look at what they are.

trailer pic

The signal starts when we press on the brake pedal which in tandem applies the brakes on the tow vehicle as well as sends a signal to the brake controller. This signal is either on or off–there is no determination of how hard you are pressing on the brake pedal. The controller takes this signal and provides us with options for how hard we want our trailer brakes to be applied. Too little brake, and the trailer still pushes on the tow vehicle. Too much braking and the trailer will tug on you as it tries to stop the tow vehicle. This is set on the controller and is based on the trailer and the weight of what you have in the trailer. The setting for the brakes should always be tested before driving at normal road speeds. To test the brakes roll forward slowly and apply the trailer brakes using the manual setting on the controller. This will give you only trailer brakes and not the tow vehicle brakes. Read the manual provided with your controller for proper settings. Most trailer brakes use a drum brake assembly where the pads push outwardly against the drum when applied causing friction and slowing the trailer. This is the same style of brakes that was found on the rear of most vehicles until the mid-2000’s. The activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shows that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe

brakesThe activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shoes that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe and a larger rear shoe. This image would be flipped for the right side of your trailer. Some vehicles come with a trailer brake setup built in from the factory and some do not. When a vehicle does not have a factory controller we can install one in your vehicle. Please give us a call and we can help you safely get your toys to wherever you are going. (910) 483-2958

Spring is in the air and summer is coming fast!

Get ready for warm seasons by getting your own Husqvarna equipment. Once you have the right tools for the job, the job becomes a lot less of a job and a lot more fun. Trust us. We only sell this line because we love it!

Check out our webpage for more deals and our Facebook page for daily updates on what’s going on in the shop!

Crumpler’s Automotive

7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, N.C.

Understanding Four-Wheel Drive

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When we are driving a 4×4 vehicle most of the time we drive it like it’s a two-wheel drive vehicle and don’t give that lever or knob a moment’s thought. Then one day we find ourselves on a slick surface and hear that tire start to spin. We press the gas and go nowhere. Yikes. Time to use that option we purchased for peace-of-mind but hardly ever use. The question is do you use the one marked 2H, 4H or 4L? What do those even mean? In this month’s post, we will answer both of these questions.

Below is a schematic we will reference with the basic parts of a four-wheeled drivetrain.

drivetrain

Power from the engine is sent through the transmission to the transfer case. When the vehicle is operated in two-wheel drive the transfer case is virtually invisible to the operation of the vehicle. The power continues down the rear drive shaft to power the rear wheels. This is how our vehicle runs when 2H is selected during our normal day to day driving. The H refers to the high gear in the transfer case. When we find ourselves on a slick surface such as snow or mud, now is the time to switch to 4H. This keeps the transfer case in high gear and also sends power down the front drive shaft to the front differential that powers the front wheels and helps us get moving again. As a general rule of thumb, don’t drive faster than 35-40 mph when in 4H to protect the transfer case. Four-wheel drive low (4L), is the last selection that we have to look at. This is used on steep inclines or deep mud. The gear ratio is very low in this setting which gives you maximum power but very low speeds. In this

Four-wheel drive low (4L), is the last selection that we have to look at. This is used on steep inclines or deep mud. The gear ratio is very low in this setting which gives you maximum power but very low speeds. In this setting, we want to keep our speeds below 15 mph. Another use for the low setting is for steep declines at slow speeds. This causes the engine to slow the vehicle without engaging the brakes the whole way down. So there is a look at the basics of your four-wheel drive settings. As always consult your owner’s manual for specifics about your vehicle and always feel free to ask us about it your particular vehicle. We’re always here to help you operate it as efficiently and as safely as possible!

Spring weather means it’s time to simplify your outdoor work so it doesn’t get out of control. Try HUSQVARNA! Spring has taken a while to show its face, but it’s here. All of our Husqvarna tools are here for one reason: they’re easier to use and more reliable than any other brand in our opinion. Check out all that we have!

Crumplers Automotive Inc. is a full-service preventive maintenance and auto repairs center in the Stedman, NC 28391 area, specializing in General Services, Car & Truck Care, Undercar Services, Brakes, Engine & Transmission, Engine Maintenance, Transmission Services, Heating and Cooling Services, Electrical Services, Electronic Services, Miscellaneous Services, Towing, Counter Services, Hoses, Batteries and Machine Shop since 1970.

Our experts have the knowledge to service and repair even the most challenging auto problems on all makes and models of domestic and import vehicles. We use the latest technology to assess the situation and offer you alternatives. We guarantee all of our work and know you’ll be happy with the outcome.

Stop in or give us a call at (910) 483-2958 to let us know how we can help you!

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Crumpler’s Automotive

7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC

(910) 483-2958

www.crumplersautomotive.com

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