Archive for the ‘Tires and Wheels’ Category

Tires do a lot of essential work for Grand Rapids motorists. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Grand Rapids. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such critical work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Grand Rapids drivers:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Ervine’s Auto Repair will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your honest and efficient Ervine’s Auto Repair tech puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for Grand Rapids drivers. They’re vital for keeping you safely on the road in Grand Rapids. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

For those of you that would like another person telling you how to drive in Grand Rapids in the winter, read on. For those that choose to ignore my sage advice, proceed at your own peril. My number one bit of advice, have your tires checked. Both for tread depth and wear, but also inflation and age of the tire. Number two, the heating/cooling system needs to be in proper working order. Nothing worse than freezing your keester off and not being able to see out any windows due to frosting of the glass. This is a genuine safety issue. Number three, have the battery/starting/charging systems checked. The electrical system works much harder in the winter due to the increased load and the battery loses some of its effectiveness when the temp drops. Number four, do not wash your vehicle when the temperatures get too low. 25 degrees and below seem to cause all kinds of problems: doors stick, locks stop working, wiper mechanisms get frozen, etc. I know we want to have a shiny vehicle, but the down side is a lot of aggravation. Aside from the car wash complications, many of these issues can be caught early with regular car maintenance from Ervine’s Auto Repair. Well, I think this is enough reading for today class, let’s go to recess.

Keep your tires on the road kids, Eric.

best tire shops in Grand Rapids

There are so many tire choices in the Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Byron Center area, selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for Grand Rapids drivers. And even though it’s kind of fun to have new tires on your sedan, they’re a significant investment for most Grand Rapids folks so you want do it right.

Tip: talk with your honest and efficient Ervine’s Auto Repair tire professional. He’ll help you sort through the choices.

Here are some of the issues you’ll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is key. All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Grand Rapids tire professional can help stay within auto makers’ specifications or program a different tire size into your sedan’s computer.

And you’ll want to discuss how and where you drive in Grand Rapids to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter, all-season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Grand Rapids auto owner’s needs.

Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Ervine’s Auto Repair will last a long time and give Grand Rapids drivers good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Grand Rapids bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your honest and efficient Ervine’s Auto Repair tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle you should always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for sedan brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

Schedule a tire inspection at Ervine’s Auto Repair to see how much life is left in your sedan tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

Give us a call

Ervine’s Auto Repair
(616) 532-6600
4311 Stafford SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548

Some of us just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. We live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive, where you want to go or the look you’re after; there is a tire for you.

The same is true about wheels. The hardest part is choosing from the thousands of wheels available.

We may not be able to help with that, but we can help you get some things in mind before you consult with your Grand Rapids tire professional. Let’s start with function and think about how you drive.

For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don’t drive off-road, so an off-road tread isn’t important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the Michigan backcountry, you don’t need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.

If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won’t make it look like you are driving a tractor.

There really are a lot of options for any given vehicle. You will find it very helpful to have a discussion like this with your Grand Rapids tire pro when you need new tires. You can find the best solutions for your driving needs and to make improvements in ride or handling.

Picking a wheel that is the same size as what you are now running is pretty simple. But, it gets trickier if you want to upsize. Just get some help when you go bigger. All that tire and wheel still needs to fit in the available space. You do not want your tires to rub when you turn or hit a bump. You also need to make sure your brakes and suspension bits will fit with your wheel of choice. It doesn’t matter how great your car looks if it’s not drivable.

Taller, wider wheels and tires probably weigh more than your stock shoes. And it’s “unsprung” weight – that has a big impact on brake performance. The upsized shoes increase rotational inertia – if you go too big you may need to upgrade your brakes to compensate.

Another possible problem is an inaccurate speedometer. This happens because the number of rotations can change with the new wheels. Fortunately, speedometers and odometers are all controlled by the engine computer; so it is simple to get it reprogrammed and compensate for the bigger tires.

No matter what you are after: low cost, long life, high performance, traction or stunning good looks, your wheel and tire professional at Ervine’s Auto Repair in Grand Rapids, Michigan can help you identify your needs and give you a custom fit. With all the options available, you don’t have to compromise. There is a tire out there with your name on it!

Looking at getting some new tires? The choices at Kentwood tire stores can be a little overwhelming. Suppose you have an SUV and are trying to decide between all season tires or some that are also rated for off-highway. Do you get off the payment on the outskirts of Kentwood more than most? If so, some additional off-road traction would be nice.

Tire Replacement: What Kentwood Drivers Need to KnowMaybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there’s nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you’ve got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let’s suppose you zip around Kentwood in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather’s good. When Michigan weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Kentwood drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it’s time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Ervine’s Auto Repair tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He’ll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Kentwood drivers. With so many choices, you’ll be able to get what’s best for you. Take their time. And don’t worry about what’s in stock. If you want something that isn’t here at Ervine’s Auto Repair, manager Eric Carlson can order it. Chances are you’ll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

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Ervine's, a Grand Rapids auto repair shop, provides a wide-range of car repair services from ASE Certified Master Technicians. In addition, we also offer free loaner cars, 24-hour automotive assistance, free Wi-Fi and Starbucks coffee while you wait in our comfortable lobby!

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Customer Reviews

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  • Chelsea Vives:
    Awesome service!! They were extremely helpful and friendly! I loved how they were accommodating to the customers and being very organized with after hours drop-offs and pick-ups. They were also very quick with fixing my car which was great.


    Andy Krafft:
    Ervine's has provided great service for me throughout my college years! They do their best to make time for customers and understand the importance and value in quality service. Would definitely recommend!


    Erin O'Brien-Jenison:
    The staff is very friendly. The technicians take the time to explain repairs in detail. The loaner car service is very convenient for my family. Each of my experiences with Ervine's has been very positive.

  • Jamie Riehle:
    My car needed a lot of work and being relatively new to the area, I had to rely on online reviews. Ervine's got great feedback, so I made an appointment through their website. I was contacted almost immediately and scheduled very quickly. The repairs took a few days, but with the free loaner it was no big deal. They explained everything to me, helped me prioritize which repairs to do first, and Jamie even entertained my 5-year-old while I spent 10 minutes on the phone with my bank to get my payment to go through. I may have been able to find someplace a little cheaper, but you can't pay for the excellent customer service at Ervine's. The lobby is clean, has fresh coffee, and is very professional. As a woman I've been intimidated going into car shops but I never felt that way at Ervine's. I'll definitely be returning.

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  • Kaitlin McDowell:
    I had a great experience at Ervine's. I know very little about my car beyond turning it on, so I was relieved when the staff were willing to spend extra time explaining to me exactly what is going on and helping me to be an informed consumer. I also appreciated that they are not trying to sell something-- I did not actually need the repair that the dealership had told me to IMMEDIATELY deal with, and the folks at Ervine's were willing to tell me that when they could have made a buck doing the repair. The visit was so painless I even got to run errands while I was waiting using one of their fabulous loaner cars. Thank you so much!

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