Wet Roads and Safety

As winter fully sets in here in North Carolina we tend to get a variety of weather conditions that can make roads extremely dangerous. Everyone worries about snow because we see it so rarely, but wet roads can be just as dangerous as snowy roads. And on days of heavy rain one of the most terrifying words you can hear is hydroplaning. Hydroplaning specifically refers to a film of water that forms between the roadway and your tires that lifts the front wheels off the pavement and adversely affecting your ability to steer and brake. Hydroplaning is base on a number of variables,  and speed is the most significant. However, vehicle weight, tire pressure, and water accumulation all play a part.

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There are several things that you can use to help prevent hydroplaning. The most important is to slow down. Any speeds over 35 mph on wet roads increase your likelihood of hydroplaning. Keep your vehicle maintenance up-to-date. This includes checking your tread on your tires and ensuring they have over ¼ inch tread. Cold weather lowers the pressure inside your tires which makes you more susceptible to hydroplaning. Ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures. Do not use cruise control during adverse conditions. Use proper route selection to avoid water on the roadway.

 

Hydroplaning results in understeer, which is where you have your wheels turned but the film of water under the tires causes a loss of traction. The vehicle will continue straight as if you have not even turned the wheel. If you realize you are hydroplaning, let off the accelerator. As your speed decreases your tires will pass through the film and gain contact with the road again. Ensure your wheels are pointed in the direction that you need to go. Avoid sudden and large movements of the wheel, gas pedal, and brakes due to the fact you don’t know when your tires will make contact.

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Drive as slow as you need to when dealing with adverse road conditions. It is much better to arrive a bit late than to have an accident along the way.

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!

Daytime: (910) 483-2958

After hours: Richie (910) 818-4646
Richard (910) 818-2958

Tired of all those leaves? Husqvarna has all the tools to make your outdoor life easier!

 

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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.

Daytime:

(910) 483-2958

After hours:

Richie (910) 818-4646
Richard (910) 818-2958

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

Follow our Facebook page and check out our website as well!

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!

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.

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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.

Safety Tips for Driving with Your Dog

We know that as the weather gets nicer and the days get longer, we all get more active. This means that the whole family hits the road, and this includes the furry kids too! This month we want to cover some points to keep your pets safe while you’re out on the roads so that the experience stays fun instead of dangerous. Here are few tips to keep everyone safe from puppies to full grown canines as well.

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  1. Make sure you have supplies. Regardless of whether you’re going on a short trip to the groomer or perhaps to the park, or on a long trip, you need all the necessary supplies to keep your dog safe. Collars, leashes, tags, water, a towel for clean up, and even some treats are always a good starting point. If you were to get stranded and you didn’t have a leash for your dog when the tow truck got there, you’d be scrambling to keep you both safe. Just plan ahead so that you don’t find yourself wishing you had. And puppies can’t necessarily “hold it”, so if you’re in heavier traffic than you thought or on the road without a potty break built in, be prepared with supplies for clean up. And NEVER leave your dog in a hot vehicle. A good rule of thumb is if you’d be uncomfortable without the AC on while the car is off, your dog absolutely will get too hot. Remember, they overheat easily–they wear a fur coat all the time!
  2. Kennels are the safest bet for travel. Small dog maltese sitting safe in the car on the back seat in aThough you probably don’t envision your fur kid riding in the kennel, it’s usually the safest place for him to travel in, especially on a long trip. He’s less prone to be able to distract you with movement, and also more apt to settle down and get calm since crates function as a den for your dog. Also if the worst happens and you’re in an accident, it’s a safer space for containment than your dog being loose in a vehicle. Also, make sure to secure the kennel. You can tie them down in your vehicle, or some come with attachments to seat belt them in.
  3. If you don’t have room for a kennel, then a dog seat belt is a great option. Tyger_upright_profileIt’ll not only keep them safer if you have to slam on brakes but can also keep them contained during travel so that you fur kid isn’t causing a major distraction for you while driving or harming herself by getting into something she shouldn’t while in your vehicle.
  4. Prepare your dog to be a good citizen in a vehicle. You want your dog to love car rides…not get anxious at the sight of your open car door. Anxious dogs whine, cry, scratch, walk around, and sometimes vomit from the nervous feelings. Teaching your dog to enjoy these rides takes doing short, frequent rides that don’t end up at the vet or someplace scary for your pet. Doing these with two people is the best scenario: one person drives and the other person works on the training portion. This way you all stay safe and your pup learns that the driver isn’t going to be focused on him the whole time. The more emphasis you put on this, the faster your safety protocols will be set, and rides will be uneventful and pleasant.

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These are just a few ideas to get your dog out on the road with you safely. Even more important to your pet’s safety is the car they are riding in! Drop by Crumpler’s Automotive and we’ll make sure your vehicle is running just as safe. We’ll see you soon!

Spring is just around the corner! Go ahead and get the tools you need to make your outdoor space exactly what you want this year. We have SO MUCH great Husqvarna equipment to make life easier for you!

Make sure you keep up with our specials by checking out our website, Crumpler’s Automotive. And follow our very active Facebook page for daily updates. And always feel free to call us with any questions or concerns: (910) 483-2958

Please comment and share! We love your feedback.

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Crumpler’s Automotive is located at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC. Open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 6 pm.