Spark Plugs – How Often Should They Be Replaced?

April 27th, 2017

In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.

But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?

Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Reasons Why Tire Inflation Is So Important

April 13th, 2017

Even just a pound or two of underinflation in your tires can be a problem. Why, though? There are several reasons. 

Tire Inflation

Fuel economy: If you ever rode a bicycle with a low tire, you know that it feels like you’re riding through wet cement due to the added rolling resistance. The same thing is happening with your car, and compromising your fuel economy. Over the course of 10,000 miles per year, that can add up to 150 gallons of gas or $500 out of your pocket!

Handling: Low tire pressure means poorer control and longer stopping distances. At high speeds, in particular, this can be downright hazardous.

Premature tire wear: Underinflated tires are under a lot of stress, especially their steel ...[more]

  Tags: tires, tire pressure
  Posted in: Tires 101

Why Don Owen Tire?

April 3rd, 2017

At Don Owen Tire, we’ve seen a lot of change in the automotive world in the last 30 years. Yes, that’s how long we’ve been in business.

We opened our doors way back in 1986, with Don himself and his wife Carole establishing Don Owen Tire Service, Inc. at 620 West Olive St in Bloomington. Don was 45 at the time but already had 23 years in the tire industry under his belt, at both the commercial and retail sales/service levels. We had a modest little business at first, with just one service bay on a side street close to the railroad tracks. Between ’86 and ’95, our operation grew to over 30,000 square feet, expanding from a one-bay shop to 17 bays! Our little 10,000 square foot space where we started is now the Truck Tire Service Center, and Robert Owen, Suzanne and Jamie Schwoerer are serving as managers of the Olive Street location.

In the mid-90s, Don Owen leased a ten-bay Firestone service facility at 1502 E Empire i ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101