Winter Tire Maintenance and PA Potholes

It’s a difficult time to be a tire. Our neighborhoods are all becoming 1 giant pothole, and it’s difficult to avoid them. All of this is quite annoying, and if that weren’t enough, it also affects your car.

Changing winter temperatures aren’t just a pain for you. As the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure, so be sure to keep your eye on the PSI. Luckily, warmer weather will soon be here (knock on wood). So go ahead and take the time to give your tires some extra TLC.

Rotate Your Tires

Not sure if it’s time to rotate your tires? Many people like to have their tires rotated when getting an oil change. Generally, they should be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. At around 40,000 miles it’s time to think about tire replacement, which is where our fancy machinery can help.

Potholes, Potholes Everywhere

potholesWe’ve all been seeing it. Those gosh darn potholes are literally everywhere, and there’s nothing we can do about it. To avoid any tire damage, be sure to slow down on roads that aren’t well paved.  Sure fixing a tire problem is one thing, but running over a deep pothole can actually bring up a host of other problems, including:

  • Premature wear on shocks
  • Suspension damage
  • Steering misalignment
  • Exhaust system damage
  • Engine damage

Within the first two weeks of the new year, Philadelphia alone had over 500 reported potholes. And it’s only getting worse.

While some people have received money towards repairs from filing insurance claims, it can often cause more of a problem, further increasing insurance rates. Learn more in this Philly.com article.

If you think your tires need a little extra winter TLC, stop by Tommy’s and we can make sure your car hasn’t been damaged by excess pothole driving.

Winter Instagram Roundup

We’re revving up for the new year here at Tommy’s, and we thought we’d bid the year adieu with an Instagram roundup of our autumn and winter thus far, picking up where our summer roundup left off.

Check out the photos below to get a feel for what we’ve been up to:

Summer Instagram Roundup

Now that summer is coming to a close, we’re taking this chance to get you up to speed on what’s been going on around here.

A lot went on this summer. We finished installing our custom service counter, celebrated the 4th, and got the chance to work on some cool cars. The sun was bright, but thankfully, Marge always set a good example by shielding her vision with protective eye-wear.

To see what else we’ve been up to this season, browse the gallery.

Winter Instagram Roundup

Here’s a roundup of what’s been going on at Tommy’s this winter. We had a great season!

Ring in the New Year With a Bang, Not a Crash

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, more Americans are on the road and are likely to drink beyond their limits. This is a recipe for dangerous driving. In order to reduce the risk of accidents this New Year’s, follow our tips for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Start the New Year With Safe Driving

Monitor Your Alcohol Intake: New Year’s Eve parties tend to be associated with heavy drinking. Know your limit, and keep track of how much you drink. Make sure you hydrate your system by drinking lots of water.

Have a Designated Driver: Ask a sober friend or family member for a ride. With services like Lyft and Uber, there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

Take the Keys: If your friend has had too much to drink, take their keys so they won’t be tempted to drive.

Stay off the Roads: Avoid driving, especially between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., when drunk driving is most common. If you must drive, do so defensively. Make sure you maintain awareness, avoid distractions, and buckle up.

New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights for driving. Follow our tips to stay safe. On behalf of all of us at Tommy’s Automotive, have a great new year!

Are You Following Us on Instagram?

If not, you should be! You can find us on Instagram @tommysautomotive. Give us a follow for some “behind-the-scenes” photos of our everyday work, or just to see what kind of trouble Peyton and the guys get into! To fill you in on what you’ve missed, we put together this photo gallery of some of our more recent posts.

For more photos, don’t forget to check out our profile. Peyton has big dreams of becoming an Instagram celebrity and needs your help. If only she could master the art of the selfie…

Happy 2016 from the Team at Tommy’s

dog repairs carsNow that it’s the beginning of a new year, it’s a great time to reflect on all of the changes that happened at Tommy’s in 2015. We had a great year of growth, which included our first full year in our bigger (now 8500 square feet) and better location in the Matlack Industrial Center in West Chester. Thanks to all of our new space, we were able to service 1,000 more cars in 2015 than in 2014. It was also our first full year with Peyton as our resident guard dog. Although there were times when her bark was certainly worse than her bite, we found that a quick treat and belly rub sweetened her right up.

Perhaps the biggest change to happen in 2015 is Tom Sr’s decision to retire. This decision comes after 40 years of dedicated service in the auto repair industry. In addition to being a career mechanic, he taught his son everything he knows and made Tommy’s Automotive possible. Although we’re sad to see Tom go, this is certainly a well-deserved accomplishment. Still, his son admits he’s looking forward to finally being the big Tom on campus. We wish him all the best in his post-mechanic life.

Although we lost one member of the team, we did gain two more. See below for more information about Blair and Alex.


alex

Alex

Alex is a skilled mechanic with experience working at independent shops and dealers like Mitsubishi and Dodge. His specialty lies in diesels, like his very own VW TDI SportWagen. Alex lives in Downingtown with his wife and their two dogs. He enjoys extreme hobbies such as mountain biking. Learn more.


Blair

Blair

Blair is a VW certified master technician and a great asset to the Tommy’s Automotive team. In addition to being a skilled tech, Blair is passionate about boxer adoption. Specifically, he supports Adopt a Boxer Rescue and proudly sports his adoption magnets on his tool box. Learn more.

Did we provide great service to you in 2015? If so, let us know on our reviews page! Happy New Year!

How to Jump A Car

jumping a carThe holidays are full of cheer, bright lights, and wintry weather.  But did you know winter weather could also mean a dead car battery?

Snow isn’t the only piece of winter that can take a beating on your car. When the temperatures drops, so does your battery power. In fact, when the temperature dips below freezing, your car’s battery loses 33% of its power. When the temperature falls below zero, you car battery can lose over 50% of its power.

It’s not too late to winterize your battery. Follow these tips:

  • Test the Battery. We recommend testing your car’s starting and charging systems every 6 months.
  • Charge It. Use a battery charger to maintain the proper charge levels. A fully charged battery is less likely to freeze in the cold.
  • Check Up. Make sure you inspect your battery cables, posts and fasteners.

Feel free to give Tommy’s a call if you need help winterizing your car.

Watch Out for Leaves!

With fall weather starting to officially make it’s appearance, you might be noticing that the leaves are starting to change color and clog the roadways.

While you may not realize it, leaves can create quite a problem when you need to come to a complete stop. In fact, it creates a similar sliding effect to snow and delays the time it takes you to bring your vehicle to a complete stop.

It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure in the fall (with temperatures dropping) and get a tire rotation if you have not recently had one. This will ensure that your tires have adequate tread, are aligned and properly balanced, and contain the correct tire pressure.

Fall is also a time when you want to keep an eye out for school buses, pedestrians, and fog! Just because there’s not snow on the road yet, doesn’t give you a good reason to go over the speed limit.

Traveling to the Shore? We’ve Got Tips

Jersey Shore

If you are planning on heading to the beach (or the shore) this summer, you’ll likely be crawling in crippling traffic. It’s the last thing you want when beachful bliss is just miles away.

We want to help you out and give you the latest traffic reports. We have a few tips and local resources for you to check out. Still, we can’t guarantee you won’t be moving slowly for at least a bit. You can thank us after you get your killer summer tan.

1. Plan Your Timing. Leaving at 10 am on a Saturday pretty much guarantees you’ll be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Leaving very early in the morning ensures you’ll beat out the rest of the slackers. If you have summer hours on Fridays at work, take advantage of the extra time and get on the road as soon as you can.

2. Get An App. If you have a smartphone, take advantage of the helpful apps you have. For example, the iPhone Maps app and the Google Maps app now account for real-time traffic. You might know you’re way around, but having a heads up about traffic allows you to consider other routes. Another popular traffic app is Waze. Just don’t get distracted by your phone, and if you have a helpful passenger, designate them the navigator. They’ll feel really special when they get an official title and job.

3. Fill Up & Eat Before You Leave. Don’t waste your time with extra detours to stop for gas and food. Be sure to have a full tank and stomach when you leave or you could end up adding a ton of extra time onto your travel.

4. Be Prepared. Take a look at some of the routes below, as they may be helpful in avoiding traffic. Be sure to listen to local radio stations and check on traffic reports before you get on the road.

5. Ensure Your Car is in Top Shape. The absolute last thing you need is a car problem that has you waiting for hours on the side of the road. Here’s some travel tips for coming from the Philly area. Schedule a checkup or auto repair services with Tommy’s before you find yourself stuck in a nightmare.

Need an Alternate Route?

To the Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore is home to many popular beaches, each with their own traffic problems. A recent NBC10 article asked John Butterworth, who does the WHYY traffic reports, his best advice for getting to the shore.

“It would depend on which Shore you are going to,” Butterworth said. “If you are going to the Wildwoods, go down 55, take the Delsea Drive. If you’re heading to Ocean City, I’d stick with the Atlantic City Expressway and the Parkway.

He suggests those looking for a more scenic route take the Black Horse Pike or the White Horse Pike.

Still, many people believe that staying off the major highways is a big No No because of red lights and low speeds. You be the judge.

Check out the latest Jersey Shore traffic updates.

To the Delaware Beaches

The 495 closure is causing major headaches for area drivers. With the closure, many drivers are taking I95, which of course becomes extremely backed up. For driver’s coming from the Philly area, here’s some travel ideas from the Delaware Tourism Office.

— U.S. 202/Concord Pike from West Chester area takes travelers into Wilmington without having to travel on I-95 or I-495. Once in Wilmington, travelers can head further south toward the beaches (by taking U.S. 13, then connecting with Del. 1); swing to the west toward the DuPont mansions (on Del. 52); or head toward the Newark area (on Del. 2).

— U.S. 13 has long been an alternate route south through Delaware for travelers starting in the far southeastern Pennsylvania area. You can pick up U.S. 13 south just east of I-495, soon after crossing the Delaware border (take the Naamans Road exit off I-95). From that point, travelers can use U.S. 13 (also known as DuPont Highway) to reach Wilmington, or to head further south (to Old New Castle, or to Del. 1, which takes you the rest of the way to the beach).

— Consider taking a bridge over to the New Jersey side and approaching Delaware from the east – I-295, U.S. 40 and the New Jersey Turnpike all cross into Delaware via the Delaware Memorial Bridge. From that point, travelers can jump onto U.S. 13 (to reach Wilmington to the north, or Del. 1/beach destinations to the south).

— If you’re visiting from New York or northern New Jersey, consider traveling to the Delaware beaches on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

Check DelDot for the latest traffic advisories.

Coming from the DC area? Here’s some great travel tips for heading up from the South.

Share your beach travel tips & tricks!