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Winter Tires? Or All-Season Tires?

November 12th, 2015
Winter tires versus all-season tires…which is the right choice for you?
The two designs are quite different and deliver different levels of performance and winter-weather traction, so let’s discuss. 
All-season tires are designed as an all-around compromise. They feature a tread pattern that evacuates water from the tire’s contact patch to prevent hydroplaning, with plenty of small, textured slits (sipes) to add extra biting edges for traction in wet or slushy conditions. 
All-season tires are designed with a harder tread compound th ...[more]
  Posted in: Tires 101

Traveling: Schedule Oil Change Before or After?

November 5th, 2015
Oil Change in Bloomington, ILAt Don Owen Tire in Bloomington, IL, we do a lot of oil changes…and we mean, a LOT of oil changes. 
Sometimes we see customers who are about to head out on a long road trip of several thousand miles, and they wonder if it’s best to have an oil change performed before or after the trip. 
The answer to that is…that there’s no firm answer. It depends on a few different factors. 
  • How many miles does the current motor oil have on it? How does it look on the dipstick? Highway miles are much, much easier on a vehicle. All the engine has to do is maintain a steady speed and steady RPM range, even if it’s a higher speed. That’s much less stress on the engine, transmission and driv ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Don’t Forget Your Spare

October 29th, 2015
Oh, the lowly spare tire. It doesn’t get much respect. 
Today, a lot of vehicles don’t even come with a spare tire anymore, not even the little “donut” space-saver spare. Instead, to cut weight and free up space, they come with a compressor and a can of a Fix-a-Flat-style product in hopes that you can get back on your way again. Great idea, unless your tire has a sidewall puncture or is shredded…
Anyway, if your car is equipped with a spare, you shouldn’t just ignore it. Tires have a shelf life, and time will take its toll on any tire, including ones that are never on the ground. Even brand-new tires have a sell-by date; the industry agrees that tires that are older than six to eight years old are pr ...[more]
  Posted in: Tires 101

Winter is Coming

October 15th, 2015
The days are getting shorter, there’s a snap in the air, and before you know it, the winter months are going to be upon us. Is your vehicle ready? 
Wipers: Even the best windshield wipers are only good for about a year; normal wear, the sun’s UV rays and the elements take their toll on them. Get a good look and check them for chunks, strips or chips missing, and replace if necessary for a streak-free field of vision in wet weather. Hint: a fresh application of 
Rain-X on your windshield and window glass can help visibility greatly. 
Brakes: Are you hearing any squeaks, squeals or ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Why is My Brake Light On?

October 5th, 2015
Brake Repair in Bloomington, ILThat red brake system warning light is not something you want to see. While it’s normal for it to come on briefly when you start your car as part of the bulb check that lights up other dashboard warning lights, a brake warning light that stays lit, blinks or lights up intermittently is a sign of a real problem. But what problem does it indicate?
In most cases, an illuminated brake warning light means that there’s a problem with the brake hydraulic system. In cases where the light is intermittent or flickers when the vehicle is turning, chances are it means that the level of brake fluid in the system is low. It can also be an indicator of brake pads that are starting to become extremely worn. In those cases, though, you will probably notice other signs such as a sque ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Signs of Engine Failure

September 14th, 2015
Engine Repair in Bloomington, ILFirst, the good news. Today’s engines can easily run well over 200,000 miles with no major engine repair or overhauls. Of course, you’ll need to stay up to date on maintenance like regular oil changes and coolant flushes, and not ignore any problems should they arise. Still, it’s a long way from the 1970s or 80s, when a 130,000 mile service life was about the end of the line for most vehicles. 
Things can happen, though, and these are all signs that you may have major engine repair in your near future:
  • Smoke: There are a few different reasons that a vehicle might smoke through the tailpipe, and three different colors of smoke that can all indicate different things. White smoke means that coolant is entering ...[more]
  Posted in: Company News

Hot Tips to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer

August 1st, 2015

Auto Repair in Bloomington, IL

The days are getting longer and the temperatures are starting to rise…meaning it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your car cool! At Don Owen Tire, we do a lot of AC work as part of auto repair in Bloomington, IL, and we know that nobody likes riding around in a car that’s hot and stuffy with AC that isn’t performing well. We’d like to suggest a few ideas to help your car’s AC do its job better and help you avoid costly auto repair:

  • In some respects, your car’s AC system is a heat exchanger that replaces the hot air in the vehicle with cold air from the system. An easy way to improve the efficiency of that process is to reduce the buildup of heat during the day by parking in the shade with the windows cracked an inch or two. As you drive the first f ...[more]
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  Posted in: Company News

7 Fun Independence Day Celebrations

July 1st, 2015

Tires & Auto Repair in Bloomington, IL

 Everyone looks forward to Independence Day…for many folks, it’s the real kickoff of summer, and of course the whole family loves the barbeque, fireworks and fun of July 4. At Don Owen Tire in Bloomington, IL, we wanted to do a quick roundup of July 4 traditions in a few towns around Central Illinois:

  • Bloomington, IN – The “other Bloomington” will be host to its annual Fourth of July Parade, with entries that include floats, equestrian groups, classic cars, marching bands, and other entries to show their patriotism and love of the Bloomington community. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and is preceded by a concert by the Bloomington Community Band, beginning at 9 on the courthouse square.
  • Streat ...[more]
  Posted in: Company News

Father's Day Destinations for the Entire Family

June 15th, 2015
Father's Day Bloomington, ILFather’s Day is coming up, and Dad might want to get out of Bloomington, IL for a day or two. Here are a couple of suggestions for fun destinations within a few hours’ drive: 
French Lick, Indiana – There’s so much to do in French Lick/West Baden, it’s been a vacation destination for over 100 years now. There’s the circa-1901 French Lick Resort, with Vegas-style gaming, horseback riding, spas, golf and activities for the kids…the French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel both harken back to the opulence and hospitality of old-school American hotels. 
  Posted in: Company News

Summer Vacation Maintenance

June 1st, 2015

Tires & Auto Repair in Bloomington, IL

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time for weekend road trips and longer vacation drives. Is your car ready? Don Owen Tire is offering some discounts this summer to help you get on the road and save a few bucks at the same time:

  • Oil Change – Every car likes to run on a crankcase full of clean, fresh motor oil. Prevent buildup of gunk and sediment in your engine this summer with an oil change…and Don Owen Tire will sweeten the deal a little with a $5-off coupon (offer good through 8/31).
  • Brake Service – Don’t take chances on your brakes and your safety. If you’re noticing changes in braking performance or hearing noises from your brakes that weren’t there a month or two ago, it m ...[more]
  Posted in: Company News
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