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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
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Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'00 Saturn, Tire Wear Problems

Q: We have a 2000 Saturn L series 4 door with the V6 engine. We bought the car used from the Saturn dealer, it had 800+ miles on the odometer. The dealer put new Firestone tires on the car at the time of purchase. We now have 18k miles on the car and the tires need replacing. Shortly after the purchase we had the wheels (all 4) aligned. My wife and I are relatively safe and sane drivers. We do not accelerate rapidly or speed around corners. City driving is the norm for us although we occasionally drive mountain roads. Why are we getting such poor mileage on these tires and is there a tire problem with this particular car?.........Derrill Quaschnick

A: What are the causes for such low tire mileage? The driver of the vehicle, worn suspension components (yes, even on new cars), alignment issues or it could just be the tires (but you’ll never get a tire rep to admit to that). The most common cause for tire wear is due to improper alignment of the wheels. Whenever an alignment is performed, the alignment of all 4 wheels should be checked and adjusted to preferred specifications. Nearly all of today’s alignment machines have computer operating systems. Computers are not always right and the operators can make mistakes that result in an alignment that is less than desirable and no one knows any better. That is, until the vehicle returns with worn tires. Who has been servicing your vehicle? When the oil is changed it is standard to inspect the tires for wear, correct air pressure, possible alignment issues, most shops even inspect for nails and screws in the tires that could cause a flat. If this is not happening you must be getting a low dollar spill & fill. When the new tires are installed have the alignment checked and a before and after adjustment report printed for your records. This will also aid in determining if the alignment was the cause for your tire wear problems. From then on, be sure that the tires are inspected each oil service and rotated as recommended by the manufacturer. Regular inspections can save $.

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