Informational Videos

Beware of Cheap Tires in Sacramento

2018-01-28 10:49:03

Do you like to shop for shoes in Sacramento?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?

Sacramento drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on California freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on California highways, the tires need a high load rating.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Sacramento tire professional at Made In America Made In Japan. I think it's important that Sacramento residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”

The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Sacramento are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.

Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large California tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Made In America Made In Japan tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market in Sacramento are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.


What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.

Give us a call.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

 

Sacramento Safety Systems: Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2017-11-07 02:03:03

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of driving around Sacramento on underinflated tires. Admittedly, it's hard to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your vehicle tires are considered significantly underinflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

New laws require all vehicles to include a tire pressure monitor system, or TPMS. driveThis technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It's up to your vehicle's manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they'll use to comply with the law.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Sacramento drivers. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases.

Your safety has always been a priority at Made In America Made In Japan. We want you on the road and accident free. We've traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We've been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service and pass the low cost on to you as an expression of our good will.

Like all other Sacramento service centers, here at Made In America Made In Japan we've had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and to update expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems. Our friendly and knowledgeable service technicians at Made In America Made In Japan  have been thoroughly trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to perform what was once a very inexpensive service for you.

So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up at Made In America Made In Japan, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. We want to keep you safely on the road – and we're committed to doing it at a fair price. This safety equipment will help you avoid the most common types of vehicle failure in Sacramento, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

 

Picking the Right Tires in Sacramento

2017-08-22 03:08:03

Shopping for tires in Sacramento can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Sacramento are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on California roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

Next comes winter tires. Sacramento people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on California roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Sacramento showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Sacramento roads.

Choosing the right tire is important for Sacramento car owners. Talk with your Made In America Made In Japan tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

Give us a call.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Tire Rotation and Balancing at Made In America Made In Japan in Sacramento

2017-08-16 03:14:03

Tires do a lot of work for Sacramento drivers. 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 Sacramento. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such important 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 Sacramento driving:

  • 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/8,000 km or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Made In America Made In Japan 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 friendly and knowledgeable Made In America Made In Japan service advisor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.


Tires are a big investment for Sacramento drivers. They're designed for keeping you safely on the road in Sacramento. 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?

 Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires

2017-08-01 09:26:03



Sacramento drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Made In America Made In Japan puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help Sacramento folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated tires wear too fast in the middle.

Four-wheel-drive trucks and SUV's tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give Made In America Made In Japan a call to get our recommendation for your vehicle.

See your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Made In America Made In Japan for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It's usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 km.

Tires are among the most important safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they'll take care of you.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Made In America Made In Japan in Sacramento

2017-05-16 10:53:03

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Sacramento drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Sacramento tire store.

Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Sacramento drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.

The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Sacramento area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.

The R simply means this is a radial tire.

The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Sacramento, you will want a tire with a high load rating.

The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Made In America Made In Japan tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Sacramento drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on California roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Helping Sacramento Drivers Get the Right Tires

2017-03-13 01:57:03

Every Sacramento vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it's a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy California roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Sacramento weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in California, and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in California, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at California tire stores. Sacramento drivers will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Made In America Made In Japan tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Sacramento vehicle owners who drive off-road around California may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Sacramento streets and roads. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Sacramento as a statement of style or to add personality to your vehicle. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your vehicle, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Made In America Made In Japan for more information about tires.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Winter Tires

2016-06-06 12:49:03

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of Sacramento driver's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.

Twenty years ago in California, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. California drivers called them snow tires back then, and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet California roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. People couldn't wait to get them off in the spring.

Then all-season tires started to appear in Sacramento tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life and can get California drivers through mild winter road conditions OK. But there are some really good reasons to consider winter tires.

Modern winter tires do a terrific job for California driving in a wide range of winter conditions. First of all, below 45°F/7°C, regular tires become hard and inflexible. That means they don't provide the road grip California vehicles need. Even if you don't live somewhere in California with a lot of snow, but it still gets below 45°F/7°C in the winter, you will be safer with winter tires.

In addition, they are specifically designed to more effectively move snow and water. That's the key to traction on ice-packed snow and wet Sacramento area roads. They use a micropore compound that allows the tire to bite into ice and snow. They also use wider grooves that run around the circumference of the tread to expel snow from the tire better. The lugs and grooves on winter tires have a special shape that throws the packed snow out of the tread as the tire turns. The tread is then open when it comes back in contact with the road and can provide good traction for California drivers.

Winter tires also have a lot of sipes. Sipes are thin slits in the tread. The edge of the sipes grab ice and packed snow to provide tons of traction and to expel water and slush out of the tread. Winter tires have a rounder casing to cut into the snow's surface. The treads on regular summer tires can actually get packed with snow instead and become very slick. Winter tires offer 25% to 50% more traction for California drivers than all-season tires. And when it comes to stopping power, all-season tires take 42% longer to stop than winter tires. Sometimes that's the difference between getting home safely and spending the night in a snow bank.

Now back when the 8-track was king, California drivers just put snow tires on the drive wheels. That worked out OK because the rubber compound was essentially the same. Now, winter tires provide so much more traction than all-season or summer tires, that there's a huge difference between the traction at the front and rear ends of the car if you only put winter tires on the drive wheels.

For example: if you take a corner on an icy road and the rear end starts to slide out, essentially the rear is trying to pass the front because it's going faster. If you have high traction winter tires only on the front, they are going to be much more effective at transferring cornering grip and stopping power to the front wheels. This will actually cause the rear end to whip out even more.

That's why tire manufactures instruct their dealers that they must install winter tires on the rear wheels as well whenever they put winter tires on the front end of any vehicle. It's a major safety concern. It's strongly recommended that winter tires be installed on all four wheels on rear wheel drive vehicles as well. The front tires do most of the steering and braking work - it only makes sense that you provide the front end with the best traction you can.

Sacramento drivers often assume that if they have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive they don't need winter tires on all four wheels. Would you intentionally disconnect the four-wheel drive in poor road conditions? Of course you wouldn't, but that's essentially what you do if you only put winter tires on one end. It only makes sense to have the same level of traction and control at all four corners.

The province of Quebec in Canada has issued a law requiring all passenger vehicles, taxis and rental cars with Quebec license plates to install a full set of four winter tires between November 15th and April 1. It's that important.

Many modern cars have traction control and anti-lock brakes so California drivers may think that they don't need winter tires. But you need traction to accelerate, steer and stop. The tires provide the traction so that the traction control and anti-lock brakes have something to work with.

Look for tires with the symbol of a mountain with a snowflake in it. This means the tire complies with the severe snow standard. All-season tires will have an M&S, for mud and snow, on the sidewall.

So when the Sacramento temperatures drop below 45°F/7°C, be sure you have a set of four winter tires for maximum performance on snow, packed snow, ice, plus wet and dry roads. Your friendly and knowledgeable Made In America Made In Japan tire professional can help you find the right winter tire for your vehicle and driving needs.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Automotive Tips from Made In America Made In Japan: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

2016-05-23 09:36:02

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Sacramento drivers ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch (6.4 mm) are considered too large to be safely repaired. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

Run flat tires should not be repaired. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your friendly and professional Made In America Made In Japan service advisor can inspect your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely repaired or if it should be replaced - and then help you get back on the roads around Sacramento.

Give us a call.

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheel Bearings

2016-04-03 12:24:03



Why are wheel bearings for Sacramento vehicles important? It's simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today's Made In America Made In Japan post, we'll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very job while you drive around Sacramento, California.

Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They're made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles (160,000)  or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two jobs: First, they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds (1600 kilogram), each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds (400 kilograms). That's a lot of heavy lifting over those long distances.

Even though wheel bearings are pretty straightforward, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job for Sacramento vehicles. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It's when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated, causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.

The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your technician at Made In America Made In Japan can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.

Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren't sealed can be serviced on schedule at Made In America Made In Japan. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they're re-installed – if not, they're replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.

If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty costly – but they usually last about 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometers) as long as the seals hold up.

Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that's exerting pressure on the seal. So if you've driven through hub-deep water, your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they're serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure. If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your manufacturer's owner's manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers).

If you have any sort of trailer, don't forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don't have the opportunity to rust all winter.

So what happens to Sacramento vehicles if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don't need to tell you how that could be. So check with your service advisor at Made In America Made In Japan and see if your vehicle's wheel bearings can be serviced and when it's recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you've been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.

Visit the automotive professionals at Made In America Made In Japan for a wheel bearing inspection. 

Made In America Made In Japan
1200 I St
Sacramento, California 95814
916-442-3287

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