• What Is the Importance of Hubcaps?

    Technician repairing car tire

    Like all parts of a car, hubcaps serve a very important purpose, even though some drivers debate whether or not they’re needed. Wondering if your new alloy wheels need hubcaps? Unsure as to what hubcaps really do? Are you considering buying new summer tires? Here’s what you need to know.

    What Are Hubcaps For?

    The use of hubcaps dates back to the times when carriages were used! In today’s world, hubcaps are generally made of plastic, but they have the visual appeal of alloy wheels. Hubcaps are designed to snuggly fit the hub area of your car’s wheels. They’re easily snapped into place for a secure fit.

    When driving, your tires encounter all sorts of dirt and debris. By having hubcaps, you have peace of mind that dirt, rocks, and other debris don’t damage your wheels.

    Benefits of Hubcaps

    No matter if you have cheap tires or expensive ones, you want them to last as long as possible. By having hubcaps on each wheel, you can minimize and even alleviate damage, which means your wheels’ lifespan will be greatly increased.

    Hubcaps are also beneficial in that they protect wheel bolts and nuts from rust and corrosion. This makes it much easier if you ever have to change a flat tire or when it’s time for wheel replacement.

    Your Choice for Tires in Calgary

    If you’re wondering about hubcaps, chances are you’re also in the market for tires for sale. For all of your tire needs, including repair and alignment, look no further than Tire Pirates.

    We’re here to keep you on the road! Visit our website to learn more about our tire specials in Calgary and other auto services. You can also call us at (403) 279-5559 to schedule an appointment.

  • Five Inexpensive Earth-Friendly Vehicles

    While green cars have a smaller environmental footprint than traditional autos and can save you gas money, they have a reputation for being more expensive. The technology needed to reduce or eliminate gasoline consumption can be costly, and early hybrid and electric vehicles had significantly higher prices than traditional autos.

    Inexpensive Earth-Friendly Vehicles

    That’s changed as automakers have gotten better at producing earth-friendly vehicles and as green tech has become more affordable. For consumers who are as equally cost-conscious as they are earth-conscious, here are a few inexpensive green vehicles:

    • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – If you need SUV space but still want a reduced environmental footprint, the RAV4 Hybrid is a good choice. It gets 32 mpg combined city/highway and starts at around $29,000.
    • Toyota Prius – The Prius was the first truly commercially viable hybrid and remains a great value to consumers. It starts around $27,500.
    • Ford Fusion Hybrid – The hybrid version of the Fusion gets around 42 mpg combined city/highway and starts at around $26,000.
    • Ford C-Max – This plug-in hybrid gets great mileage and is very affordable. The vehicle can travel for 19 miles on electric power alone before the gas/electric motor kicks in. It starts at around $28,000.
    • Hyundai Ioniq Electric – South Korean automaker Hyundai’s Ioniq electric vehicle can go 124 miles on a single charge. It starts at around $29,000, but federal tax incentives can make it even more affordable.

    Tire Pirates will help keep your earth-friendly new automobile rolling, with top-notch tire service. If you’re looking for new tires or if you need tire repair in Calgary, Tire Pirates can help . Visit today to save on tire sales and service.

  • Three Reasons Why My New Tires Are Leaking Air

    Three Reasons Why My New Tires Are Leaking Air

    The last thing someone who’s just bought a new tire wants is to find it flat the next day. New tires can and do leak air, but it’s a problem that’s easily fixed.

    Tire Air Pressure Checker

    • Mounting problems are a key cause of new tires losing air. If there is corrosion at your vehicle’s rim where it meets the tire, it’s likely the cause of your tire’s air loss.

    Even brand new tires can have faulty valves. A damaged valve is often the cause of air leaks in tires. Fortunately, valves are easily and inexpensively replaced.

    • If there has been a dramatic change in temperature, it may cause even brand new tires to leak air. Cold weather can cause air molecules to become more dense, resulting in your tires air pressure dropping. Your tires will lose 1 psi for every 10°F drop in temperature. Garaging your car in the winter can help, as can keeping a compressor around the house.
    • If your new tire is consistently losing air, tire professionals can help diagnose the problem. Brand new tires are typically covered under warranty, so, if your tire continues to lose air after being filled several times, just bring the vehicle in for a repair or replacement.

    For folks in the Calgary area seeking top-notch tire service, Tire Pirates can help. Established in 2006, Tire Pirates operates locations in Chinook and Foothills to serve customers. Tire Pirates prides itself on quick, professional service. If you need tire repair in Calgary or want to upgrade to better tires, visit Tire Pirates today.

  • Five Signs You Need Brake Repair Service

    The brake pads on your vehicle do wear out over time and need to be replaced. Most modern models use disc-type brakes on all four wheels that include wear sensors. On other models, including older vehicles, you could have drum-type brakes on the rear wheels, which do not have wear sensors.

    Fortunately, there are several signs you can watch for that will let you know when you need brake repair service .

      1. The car pulls to the left or right when you press on the brakes. This indicates the pads should be inspected because something is wrong.
      2. You have to push the brake pedal down farther than normal to get the car to stop. When pads are near the end of their usefulness, they are thin, so they will affect how far you have to push on the brake pedal.

    car breaks

    1. The brake pedal vibrates or shakes when you step on it. This means something is wrong with the pads, and they need to be checked.
    2. You notice you have squeaky, squealing brakes when you drive or first step on the brake pedal. This is the wear sensor we mentioned earlier, alerting you it is time to replace the brakes.
    3. You hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when you step on the brakes. This means the pads are completely gone and the rotors and/or drums are being damaged.
    4. If you notice any of the above brake problems, please feel free to stop by your nearest Tire Pirates location in Calgary today or call us at (403) 907-0394 or 1-403-640-0500!

  • Drops in Temperature Cause Drops in Tire Pressure

    When most people think about tires and outdoor temperatures, they think of extreme summer heat causing blowouts on the highway, but cold weather also poses a problem for tires. When the thermometer begins to dip, the air pressure in your tires may also drop, affecting your fuel economy and making your tires more vulnerable to punctures.

    tires in snow

    Just about everyone in Canada has, at some point, awakened to find their tires low or flat on a cold morning. Drops in pressure aren’t always indicative of a leak; cold temperatures can cause pressure to decrease. Cold temperatures make air contract, thus lowering air pressure in tires. For every 10-degree drop in temperature, there’s a 1-psi drop in tire pressure, on average.

    Low pressure makes tires more vulnerable to puncture and also causes them to wear down faster, so it’s important to check your tire pressure at least once a month in the winter if possible. Winter tires can also help with performance issues caused by ice and snow, providing added traction and less likelihood of excessive wear, thanks to their hardier design and construction.

    Tire Pirates has served the Calgary area for more than 25 years, providing tire repair, brake service, and auto repair service. The company specializes in tire repair and replacement, and it carries a wide range of name-brand tire products from top manufacturers. For dependable all-weather tires and winter tires that won’t let you down, visit Tire Pirates today.

  • 3 Reasons Why Tire Alignment & Rotation Are Important

    Rotating Tire

    Does your car vibrate when you drive it? Can’t remember the last time you had a mechanic look at your tires? While vehicle tune-ups are important, don’t neglect the health of your tires! Otherwise, you risk needing a set of four new tires , which can be quite expensive.

    Here are 3 reasons why tire alignment and rotation are important:

    1. Smooth Ride

    Rear-wheel-drive cars are more likely to experience more tread wear compared to front-wheel-drive cars. Front-wheel-drive cars are the opposite. By rotating your tires, you can maintain an even amount of tread wear. Even tread on each tire ensures a smooth and comfortable ride.

    2. Safety First

    Misalignment or an imbalance with your tires can cause all sorts of risks. Misaligned tires are more likely to cause steering wheel vibration. With properly aligned wheels, there’s less concern of unsafe driving.

    Tire alignment also helps to ensure even wear on all of your tires.

    3. Longer Lifespan

    Not only does rotating and aligning your tires prolong their life, it also protects your car’s suspension. Uneven or imbalanced tires lead to vibration. This can cause unnecessary wear on your suspension.

    Are you asking yourself “How do I tell if I need wheel alignment?” There are telltale signs that your tires need to be aligned, including:

    • Squealing or noises from the tires
    • Car pulling to the left or right
    • Uneven tire wear

    Other questions, such as “What should my tire pressure be?” are best left to the experts.

    If you need tire repair in Calgary, look no further than Tire Pirates. We offer a variety of services, including tire repair, wheel alignments, and tire sales.

    Contact us at (403) 279-5559 to keep you and your car safely on the road.

  • Is There a Difference Between a Spare Tire and a Donut?

    Depending on the make, model, and type of vehicle you drive, you could either have a spare tire or a donut. There is a difference between these two “back-up” tires you can use when you get a flat tire.

    New Car Tires

    Spare tires are full-size tires that are the same size as your existing tires. They allow you to drive normally without any noticeable changes in handling or performance. If you have a full-size spare tire, it is highly recommended you include this tire in your regular tire rotations to make sure they are properly filled with air and wear evenly along with the other tires on your vehicle.

    On the other hand, donuts are a temporary spare tire . They are much smaller than your regular tires and are only meant for short distances until you can get a new full-sized tire. You should not drive at high speeds on the donut or drive on it for an extended period of time. In addition, the performance and handling of the vehicle will be noticeably different.

    Donuts should be inspected anytime you get your other tires rotated to verify it has the correct amount of air. They also need to be replaced periodically, as the rubber will harden over time and could easily blow out if the tire is too old.

    For all of your spare tire replacement needs, tire repairs, new full-sized tires, winter tires, and wheels, please feel free to stop by your nearest Tire Pirates location or call us at (403) 907-0394 or (403) 907-0431 today!

  • Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires: Which Is Better?

    With the cooler fall months quickly approaching, which can bring sleet, snow, ice, and slushy driving conditions, two questions we are asked frequently are “ When should I buy new winter tires ?” and “What is the difference between all season tires?”

    Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires

    All season tires are misnamed and designed to only provide decent transaction and control for part of the year in the warmer spring and summer months. This means they do not have the added traction required for Calgary winter road conditions. However, they will work in light snow and muddy conditions, but not in colder temperatures and slushy, heavy snow, or icy conditions.

    Winter tires, on the other hand, are made exclusively for wintertime driving conditions. The rubber used to make winter tires are designed to remain flexible and provide superior traction and grip even in severe driving conditions. With all season tires, the rubber on the traction can freeze and get hard, so you have less traction and control.

    Winter tires are better for the colder fall and winter months and should be used in any location where temperatures get below 7 Celsius, while all season tires are better for spring and summertime driving.

    Now is a great time to start shopping for and to buy a set of winter tires. For assistance in selecting winter tires for your vehicle, or to check out our latest tires deals, please feel free to stop by Tire Pirates or call us at (403) 907-0394 or (403) 907-0431 today!

  • Why Tire Alignment and Balancing Are Important

    Some people mistakenly assume that tire alignment and balancing are the same thing, yet they are not. Tire alignment has to do with the direction the vehicle moves when in motion. If the vehicle pulls to the left or right or you have to hold the steering wheel off center to drive straight, the vehicle needs to be aligned.

    Wheel and tire balancing has to do with the circular motion of the tire and the amount of vibrations created. If you have ever driven a car where the steering column shakes or you can feel vibrations in the seats, this indicates the tires need balancing.

    Calgary Mechanics

    Both alignment and balancing affect several aspects of the tires and vehicle including:

    • Tire Wear – Tires will wear unevenly if they are not balanced or need an alignment.
    • Suspension/Steering System – The suspension and steering components are affected by both bad alignments and vibrating tires, and they can place added strain and wear and tear on the parts that make up this system.
    • Braking System – Brake pads will wear unevenly in vehicles that need to be aligned or have tires that need to be balanced.

    Improper tire alignment and balance can create safety hazards for all motorists on the road, which can become an even greater hazard in wet, rainy, snowy, and icy driving conditions.

    Ideally, you should have your tires rotated and balanced every 5,000 miles and have the alignment checked and realigned if needed.

    For more information about tire rotation, balancing, and alignment services, please feel free to stop by your nearest Tire Pirates location or call us at (403) 907-0394 or (403) 907-0431 today!

  • Time to Have Your Struts and Shocks Checked

    Feel Like Your Ride Is Bumpy? Time to Have Your Struts and Shocks Checked

    Your vehicle’s tires are one of the most important parts of your car, and nearly everything they encounter on a daily basis can cause wear and tear. One of the biggest contributing factors is having bad shocks or struts. Unfortunately, it’s tremendously easy to forget about your shocks and struts, as they take around 50,000 miles to wear down completely.

    Not sure about your own shocks and struts? Not sure what to do about uneven tire wear ? Here’s how to tell when struts and shocks may be the problem (and what to do about it).


    Shocks and Struts

    Your vehicle has either shocks or struts, but not both. Either way, they’re similar in function. A shock is a single piece of equipment mounted near each tire, while struts are a combination of two individual parts. Shocks give your car better handling and are easier to replace, but they are naturally more expensive. Struts are comprised of a shaft and coil that are built into the chassis. Strut coils are cheaper but are also difficult and dangerous to replace in comparison with shocks.

    When to Replace?

    Excessive bouncing while going over speed bumps or uneven roads is the number-one sign that your shocks or struts need attention. Pay attention to how much your car sways during turns, how fast you can brake, and how easily you’re able to accelerate. Having bad shocks or struts will make your driving experience unpleasant, increase the wear on your tires, reduce your control over the vehicle, and reduce your safety if you’re in a collision.

    Bad shocks or struts already causing you tire problems? If you need tire repair in Calgary, come to us. Tire Pirates can replace your shocks, struts, and tires and rebalance your vehicle for improved performance.