Should You get Summer or All-Season Tires?

Summer is here, and in Kansas that means we’re in for some heat. Summer also means it’s time to take off your winter tires. What should you replace your winter tires with though? summer tires or all-season tires? Today we’ll break this down and see which are right for you. 

Summer tires are optimized for excellent road grip in the heat, as well as damp roads or rainy conditions. The tread has a compound containing stick additives that help the tire better grip the road when wet. This tread is also designed to stay stiff under extreme heat, keeping rolling resistance to a minimum on the hot pavement. The tread pattern on summer tires are typically more shallow and have straighter grooves than all-season tires. This results in more stability during cornering, braking, and acceleration. The biggest downfall of summer tires is that they perform very poorly when temperatures dip below 45 degrees, and that they often have asymmetrical tread patterns, meaning tire rotation options may be limited. 

All-season tires are meant to be a viable option year-round, as the name implies. They’re made with a compound that stays flexible at cold temperatures, which helps the tires maintain grip. The tread patterns of all-season tires have deeper grooves and have more voids and variations that help their traction in light snow conditions. Probably unsurprisingly, all-seasons are like a blend between winter and summer tires, and they can handle a variety of road conditions well. They do not substitute for winter tires though; even though they can get by when the weather gets wintery, if your area’s roads don’t get cleaned well and being able to drive is important, you may want to consider a pair of winter tires. 

So now we come to the decision: summer tires or all-seasons? This really comes down to what you want and need out of them. Summer tires are more performance oriented, meaning they are for more spirited drivers. If you love to drive and if you usually push your car to the limit, then summer tires may be a good option for you. If you just want a good pair of tires that are reliable and that can be used in moderate winter conditions, then all-seasons are probably for you.

Buy Your Next Used Car 100% Online at Briggs

Do you want to purchase a new-to-you car, but don’t want to leave your home to do so? Well, luckily for you, you can do that through our website with the “Precise Price Program“. You can now shop from our selection of 2,000 high quality vehicles all online from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is select the “Advance Your Deal” button next to the vehicle of your choice and the process will be underway.

You can get online credit approval and calculate the trade in value of your car all online. Once you fill out all the necessary paperwork and choose which car you want to purchase, we’ll have a member of our team personally deliver you your new vehicle. We’ll make sure to wipe down and fully disinfect the interior, then package up your keys and leave them on your doorstep. 

Shop our large selection of high quality vehicles today, and find the car of your dreams for the right price.

How to Prep Your Car for a Road Trip

You may not have been able to go on vacation last summer because of the pandemic, but as restrictions let up and vaccinations become more widespread you’ll hopefully have the chance to leave home and go relax somewhere with the family this year. If you’re going to take a road trip anywhere there are some things you should do before you leave to make sure your vehicle is up to the task; let’s take a look at what to check out before you begin your adventure.

Check Your Tires

The first thing you need to do is make sure your tires are suitable for the drive. As we go from winter to summer you should make sure to switch your winter tires to your summer tires. Those summer tires have probably been sitting in your garage collecting dust, so make sure to fill them up with air. You may want to also check the tread of your tires. You can do this easily at home using the penny method. You insert a penny upside down between the treads on each tire — if you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head on the penny, it’s time for a replacement. Your tires are your connection to the road, don’t discount their importance, especially when the weather gets nasty.

Make Sure Lights and Equipment Are Working

Verify that all of your exterior and interior lights are working, and replace the bulbs if any are burnt out. Check the quality of your windshield wipers, if they aren’t moving efficiently, or if they’re leaving streaks on your windshield then it’s likely time for a replacement. Lastly, make sure your air conditioner is working. You definitely don’t want to go on a road trip during the summer with no AC. Your air conditioner is also vital to clearing foggy windows

Check Your Fluids 

Check the levels of your car’s fluids, including engine oil, power steering, transmission fluids, and windshield washer fluid. If your car is close to needing its next oil change, you may want to get it changed before your trip. You should also check your vehicle’s engine coolant tank to confirm it’s filled to the recommended level. While you’re checking all these fluids you should check your engine air filter as well. This filter collects dust and debris and prevents said dust and debris from getting to the engine. If it’s dirty it can adversely affect your engine’s performance.

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to check or fix any of the items mentioned above you can take your vehicle into any Briggs location. It doesn’t matter what make or model, we’ve got you covered. 

Emergency Equipment to Keep in Your Vehicle

Though the weather has warmed recently, we’re still very much in our midwestern winter, which means anything goes (shorts and winter coat? sure!). In the mindset of the scout motto, “Always be prepared,” let’s take a look at some essentials to keep in our vehicles:

  1. Jumper cables: Oftentimes you don’t know your battery is going bad until it stops cranking your starter. When this happens jumper cables at least give you the ability to get home or to the auto parts store.
  2. Spare tire, wheel wrench, and jack: Most vehicles have at least rudimentary versions of these built in, but at the very least make sure your spare has good air pressure. Also, familiarize yourself with where all this equipment is in your car before having to do so on the side of a highway.
  3. First aid kit: Keep this around in case of injury. A proper first aid kit should have gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers and instant cold compress.
  4. Drinking water: Not only for thirst, should you get stranded for a bit, but this can also be valuable when paired with the first aid kit for cleaning.
  5. Non-perishable foods: Trail mix, dried fruit, and hard candy can keep you going and are easy to store.
  6. Warm and dry clothing: Keep a coat and a poncho, as well as a stocking cap, blankets, and a pair of gloves. You never know if you’re going to have to walk somewhere to get help, or if you’re going to be stuck outside for a long time.
  7. Tool kit: Consider keeping items such as a tire gauge, screwdrivers, pliers, oil, brake fluid, duct tape, antifreeze, and a pocket knife in your tool kit.

We understand this list sounds like it may require a trailer to tow everything, but what doesn’t fit in your glove box can be stowed away inside a small cardboard box or plastic tote. Hopefully, you’ll never need any of this, but if and when you do, you’ll be glad to have been prepared.

Should I get a Light or Heavy Duty Truck?

When shopping for a truck there’s a lot of information to sift through, especially regarding what type of truck you should get. Should you get a small truck? A big truck? Should you get a truck that has a comfortable interior, or should you focus on the truck’s capabilities? Let’s break down the differences between a heavy duty and light duty truck and see which one is the right option for you.

Light Duty 

Light duty trucks are appealing because of their lower price tag and their size. Something that you may not think about when shopping for a truck is the bed length. A longer bed can make parking in your garage or parking on the street a challenge. Light duty trucks don’t skimp out on working abilities either, having strong towing capabilities and payload. The average light duty truck has a max payload of around 1,500 to 3,000 pounds and can tow up to 12,000. 

Heavy Duty

If you are getting a truck with the intention to use it for work, a heavy duty truck is probably more suited for you. Unsurprisingly, you’ll get even better towing capacity and payload than light duty trucks, typically being in the range of 20,000 plus for towing capacity and 5,000 plus for payload. These large trucks may not be as manuevarable as their smaller siblings, but they’re not designed for that purpose. They’re designed to get down and dirty on the toughest of work sites. 

In conclusion, if you just want a truck for daily driving, or maybe you need it to haul your camper or fishing boats you should consider a light duty truck. If you’re getting a truck to bring to the work site, a heavy duty truck is right up your alley. Luckily for you we have both heavy and light duty trucks at Briggs Supercenter.

DIY Tricks to Repair Hazy Headlights

Over time, the polycarbonate material that makes up most headlights can become damaged and scratched by flying debris and the UV rays of the sun, deteriorating the outer layers. Whether they’re yellow or fogged, dirty headlights don’t just affect the way your car looks, it can be a severe detriment to your sight, which affects your safety. There are a wide variety of cleaning kits for ridding your vehicle’s headlights of this yellowing and haze, and some are great, but if you’re looking for a potential quick fix for minor cases, then check out these two DIY solutions.

The first method is using toothpaste. All you’ll need for this is some toothpaste and a rag. First step is to generously apply the toothpaste on the headlight, making sure the whole area is covered. Next you’ll rub the toothpaste in with your rag, going in small circular motions to really get it rubbed in. The toothpaste’s mild abrasive properties will gently remove the damage without causing damage itself. 

If you don’t want to use up your toothpaste, baking soda and vinegar can also do the trick. First step is to make a mix of baking soda and vinegar in a small dish. Next you’ll want to make sure the surface of your headlights are clean, we’d recommend using some dish soap and water. Finally, you’ll apply your baking soda and vinegar mixture to the surface of the headlight, and as explained above, using small circular and side-to-side motions. 

With a little elbow grease you can get those headlamps shining like new again. Now go and make sure those headlights are nice and clean!

What Exactly is Towing Capacity, and how is it Determined?

A common selling point for trucks is “towing capacity”, but did you know there are different kinds? What are they, and what all goes into the equation? Let’s get a deeper understanding of everything that makes up a truck’s towing capacity and help you find exactly what you need before making your purchase.

Different Types of Towing Capacity

There are two different types of towing capacity, “braked” and “unbraked” towing capacity.

  • Braked towing capacity: Refers to the maximum weight a vehicle is able to tow when the trailer being towed is equipped with its own braking system. The trailer’s braking system will connect through a cable to your vehicle in this situation.
  • Unbraked towing capacity: The opposite of braked towing capacity, so the capacity of your vehicle to tow a trailer that does not have its own braking system. Unsurprisingly, this typically is the lower number, as compared to “braked”.

These are obviously important to know as they can drastically affect the way you tow whatever you need to tow. 

How Do You Determine Maximum Towing Capacity?

Determining your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity is fairly easy. You’ll need to know your vehicles manufacturer’s weight rating and compare that to the weight of whatever you’re trying to tow. You can find this number in the owner’s manual, the door jam on the driver’s side, or even the internet. 

We’ll now go over some terms you may have heard relating to towing capacity but might not know exactly what they mean:

  • GVWR: Gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum loaded weight of your vehicle that has been determined to be safe. This encompases the weight of the vehicle itself and the weight that passengers and cargo adds. This is different than towing capacity in that this weight will be how much the vehicle weighs before the trailer is attached.
  • GCWR: Gross combined weight is the total weight that the vehicle can safely handle, including the passengers, cargo, and any attached trailer.
  • GAWR: Gross axle weight rating is the maximum weight that the front and rear axles can handle. This includes the rating for both the front and rear axles.
  • GTW: Gross trailer weight takes into account the total weight of the trailer and the cargo that is being transported in the trailer.
  • TW: Tongue weight, which is the total weight at the coupling point.
  • Curb weight: The weight of your vehicle when there are no passengers, cargo, or trailer loads, and only the necessary fluids to operate it, such as gasoline.
  • Dry weight: The same as curb weight, except your vehicle’s weight is measured without the necessary fluids to operate it.
  • Payload: The total weight of any passengers and cargo in your vehicle.

Hopefully, this helps give you a better understanding of the factors that go into determining towing capacity, important for your own safety, and ensuring you get the right truck for the job. Feel free to speak with our friendly and knowledgeable staff should you have any further questions. 

How to Properly Weight Your Truck for Winter Driving

For best traction in winter you want a greater percentage of the vehicle’s weight centered over the drive wheels. You should also consider winter tires for increased traction, which our sister, Subaru dealership recently wrote an article about: Are Winter Tires Worth It? For now though we’ll focus on properly weighting your truck bed.

Weight should be centered over the rear axle, or as close as possible to the rear axle for optimal traction. When it comes to figuring out how much weight to use it really depends on what truck you have. There isn’t a cookie cutter number for every truck, so trial and error is going to have to take place to figure out the best for you. A general rule of thumb is 240-300 pounds for a ½-ton pickup and 300-400 pounds for a ¾ to a 1-ton pickup.  A common concern with adding weight to your truck bed is that it may increase your brake distance, but this isn’t true. The added mass isn’t enough to make a noticeable difference in your braking. 

What materials should you use? This really comes down to preference, but you’ll find that sandbags are the most popular option, as they are fairly cheap, especially for the amount of weight they provide. We’ve also seen people use bags of rock salt, cat litter, potting soil, and miscellaneous things they have around the house. Regardless of material, you need to make sure you properly secure the load so the weight doesn’t shift around the truck bed, creating worse issues. Consider the pendulum effect of a load too far to the back for example. 

Stay safe out there, folks, and when the winter weather finally arrives, hopefully these small recommendations come in handy. 

Can a Truck be a Family Vehicle?

When you’re deciding which vehicle to purchase for you and your family, it typically comes down to the choice between an SUV, sedan, or minivan. But, what if I told you that a truck may be an equal or better option? The great versatility of a four-door crew cab truck is something many don’t consider when shopping “family-sized” vehicles – let’s explore:

The four-door crew cab pickup truck is everywhere now, owing their popularity to essentially being a living room on wheels, with a heavy duty bed attached. You can seat up to six passengers with unmatched legroom and seat comfort, as well as a wide array of miscellaneous storage and cupholders, and let’s not forget all the creature comforts found in the other vehicle styles listed above – how does that sound for your family? You may be asking “Well, why not just get an SUV?” And if you’re asking that, then maybe a truck ISN’T for you, because the selling point here is the utility of the bed. 

If you and your family are on the adventurous side, a truck is perfect for you. With a truck you don’t have to worry about the normal boundaries of an SUV or sedan, as you’ll have the ground clearance, the 4×4 capabilities, the locking differentials and a host of off-road equipment that will break down the barriers of where your adventures may take you. You’ll also have the towing capacity to haul whatever you need, whether that’s a trailer, a boat, or a camper. 

If you aren’t quite ready to give up the truck lifestyle, or are looking to add more utility to your family vehicle, then give our wide selection of crew cab trucks a look, or bring the family out for a test drive. We’ll be happy to help you find the right fit.

Advantages of Buying a Used Truck vs New

When you’re shopping for a truck the price tag may look daunting. You keep looking and you see that the trim levels with more premium features have an even higher price tag. What if I told you that you can get that truck and the trim level you want with all the great additional features you desire, but you don’t have to break the bank to get it? With a used truck, this is possible. Let’s take a look at why a used truck over a new truck may be a better option.

Now don’t get me wrong, a brand new truck is awesome, and it feels great getting something that you know has only been driven by you, but, you will definitely save money and get a higher trim level for cheaper than a brand new truck. The cheapest you can get the base trim level of a brand new 2020 truck is $21,300, and that’s the 2020 Chevy Colorado. On the other hand, you could get a 2018 Ford F-150 XL 4WD Supercrew 5.5’ Box used for $29,900. This is an $8,000 difference, but it also has so many more premium features that make it a more complete package. This is only one example, if you look online you can find countless others. If you’re worried that the used truck you get won’t feel new, you can dismiss that fear; at Briggs Supercenter we take great care to make our inventory feel like new. 

Something that happens as soon as you buy a new vehicle is the depreciation of its value. Now, this will happen regardless whether you buy new or used, but a new vehicle’s depreciation is significantly more noticeable. To this end, you can look at purchasing a used car as a smart investment.

If you think a used truck may be for you, then you should check out our website, or come on down to Supercenter and look at our large selection of fantastic trucks. If you have any further questions our staff would love to help you out and answer them.