Helpful Car Repair Tips

Brake Repair Information Serving Marion VA area

Posted by Brian Brown on June 12, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Are you having Brake Problems? Are you in need of Brake Repair? At Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove we serve the surrounding Marion, VA area with top quality Brake Repair service. We provide brake repair on rotors, drums, calipers, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, ABS systems, brake lines, and more for all cars and trucks. Nothing is more important when it’s time to stop than your car or truck’s braking system. Whether you've got all-wheel disc brakes or an older drum brake system, brakes equal stopping power. If your brakes don’t stop you can easily get into an accident. Whatever your braking needs, Bob's Garage has the right brake parts at the right price. We offer several major brake brands on the market today.

In case your car or truck is having braking system issues please visit Bob's Garage for a brake system check up. We'll check it out and evaluate your breaks then give you a reputable opinion on the braking systems condition. For those who have issues delaying the repairs to your braking system will only cost you more money. It isn't always real easily known if your car or truck requires a braking system repair. In case your brakes squeak just a little, that is normal. Brakes will squeak from time to time because the lubrication that comes with every braking system may not have been administered once the brakes had been installed or sometimes squeaking is caused by rust or debris. However if you regularly hear your breaks squealing more than a couple days I recommend you get it checked out. However, it's not the squeaking you will need to worry about. It’s when your brakes wear down and you hear a grinding sound when using the braking pedal. You also might hear a crunch noise if you have to hit the brakes fast and hard. Squeaking, grinding or crunching sounds are 3 very good symptoms it is time to have your braking system evaluated. Brakes that are excessively worn or damaged may not stop your vehicle in time. Badly worn, warped or overheated brake rotors can damage wheel bearings and the complete wheel hub assembly. These parts often cost as much or more than the brakes themselves. Let alone, worn brakes are just simply very unsafe.

There are essentially 4 major types of brake pads:

1. Semi Metallic,

2. Non-Asbestos Organic

3. Low-Metallic NAO

4. Ceramic

Bob’s Garage will evaluate and recommend the best brakes for your needs and your budget.

At Bob's garage we know how important it is to have good working brakes on your car or truck. The most important thing to remember when it comes to brake problems, as soon as any brake problem is noticed get your brakes checked and/or repaired immediately. Happy driving and please think of Bob’s Garage the next time you hear any of the sounds we discussed.

 

Summertime Car and Truck Maintenance

Posted by Brian Brown on July 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (10)

Summertime heat can be real tough on cars and trucks as high temperatures can destroy batteries, harm tires and stress cooling systems. Periodically these components should be checked during the summer to help avoid breakdowns.

Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. This excessive heat can shorten the life of a battery. To get the most life out of a battery have the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. Most batteries are now maintenance free but if not, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water when needed. Keep the top of the battery clean as dirt can become a conductor which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, have them cleaned as it becomes an insulator and affect the current flow.

Your tires during the summer weather have added stress on them. For safety and tire life, have your tires inspected. Check for proper air pressure and rotate about every 6,000 miles. Remember the heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise. So it's important to check the pressure when tires are cold, like in the morning before driving any distance. Your owner's manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle's tires. However some used cars may have different tires, so you can also find the tire pressure listed on the side of the tire. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the vehicle. As a rule of thumb, you want to inflate to about 80% of the tire pressure listed on the tire. Remember, your air pressure will vary about 3 to 6psi depending on the heat. Less when tire is cold and more when hot. Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important for getting good gas mileage, proper handling and getting the most life out of your tires.

As I’m sure your well aware, your cooling system works extremely hard during the summer heat. To prevent overheating of the engine, keep the cooling system radiator working effectively by making sure its full with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water. I'm sure everyone is well aware never try to open a hot radiator, not only will you run the risk of serious burns but it makes it very difficult to fill. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles to keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside. Make sure the radiator is not just emptied and replaced with fluid but have it flushed. This not only helps your car to run cooler but it also prevents corrosion. A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator itself should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris however be very careful not to damage any of the cooling fins.

These few items take very little time and effort to keep your car running efficiently and safely during the hot summer months. I hope these tips were helpful and have a safe and happy summer! If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to call Bob Fonda at Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove, VA - (276) 677-4066.

Winter Driving Tips From Bob's Garage

Posted by Brian Brown on October 7, 2011 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (4)

1. If your car needs service now, call Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove, Virginia

Nothing is a big deal in the summer. But when freezing cold outside that's another story. As bad hoses, belts, water pumps can go bad in the winter, it is better to bite the bullet and fix them now. It's better than spending the same amount of money after having been sitting in his car for three hours waiting for AAA. Here's a service element that is often overlooked: the pressure of the tires. Ask Bob to check, or do so as soon as winter comes. Why? Because the tire pressure is reduced by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So if it's -10 now, and the last time I checked the tire pressure was in the sweltering heat wave in July, the tires are dangerously low and threat the handling of your car. Many new cars have tire pressure monitor, which alerts you to the dangers of low tire pressure. In fact, since 2008, monitors the tire pressure is required in all new vehicles.

2. Make sure the battery and charging system are in good working order.

Bob Garage should check the system battery and belts. The battery can go simply because it is old. Or you could break down because your charging system is not working properly and the battery will not be charged properly. So have Bob check your battery and charging system. If you find that you need a new battery, get the best battery that will serve your car. Two things to remember about batteries: First, the battery that started your car easily in the summer may not have enough strength to do it in winter. In winter, the engine is harder to start because the oil is not as "fluid" as it was in July. And secondly, batteries lose power due to low temperature. So not only do you need more power to start the engine in winter, you have less battery to start it.

3. have Bob's Garage check the cooling system.

Be sure to check the anti-freeze that protects your car in the winter. For most areas, you should use a 50-50 mixture of coolant to water. You might think: "I want to be very good for my car and give it 100% coolant." Guess what? You are wrong. The 50-50 mixture does freeze faster 100% coolant is less able to transfer heat away from your engine, and has been known to cause nasty things like melted spark plugs and engine failure. So Mix It Up! You can check the freezing rating of the coolant in your car yourself with a small device you can buy at an auto parts store for a few dollars. With it, you suck a little bit of antifreeze from the radiator and see how many balls float. If this exceeds the level then get the antifreeze to the 50-50 recommended mixture.

4. Check your windshield wipers.

Make sure your windshield wipers running clean well, and you can clearly see. Even when there is no active precipitation...water, melting snow and mud can often be thrown up on the windshield. And if you do not see, you can not perform well. Winter wipers - such as ice blades have become very popular. They are excellent in winter, but be sure to remove them in spring. Winter wipers are heavy, and if you use them all summer, you wear the wiper motor prematurely. And when using the wipers in the winter, remember to turn them off before the engine stops. Why? Water freezes at night quite often during the winter. And if the blades freeze to the windshield, when you go to start the car, the wiper motor may burn out trying to get them back in a reclining position.

 

5. In winter, you want to keep the tank nearly full.

If you are trapped in the winter, the engine will be your only source of heat. And you do not want to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet at the moment ...you want to keep warm. You can run the engine a long time at idle to keep warm and it will not hurt the engine. Also, if you have an old car, we suggest that you crack open the window a bit, if you will be idling. Vintage cars are more prone to exhaust leaks and corrosion holes. This is not be a problem when driving, because the wind removes the exhaust gases on the fly. Finally, if you are stopped or stranded in the middle of a snowstorm humungous, be sure to go out regularly and remove the snow after the exhaust pipe to keep it clear.

6. Make sure the windshield washer reservoir is full.

On a snowy day it's easy to use a half a gallon or more of washer fluid trying to keep your windshield clean. For this reason it is also a good idea to keep some extra fluid in the trunk in case you run out. And make sure you get the good stuff - stay away from the cheap stuff that is half frozen outside a service station! somne of these liquids freeze well around zero degrees! Even if you buy the right things you may also need to complete your windshield washer fluid with some concentrate. The concentrate is available in pint bottles and works very well at extremely low temperatures.

7. Carrying some sand in the back.

If you have a rear-wheel driving car you can put a sand bag or two in the trunk above the rear axle. This extra weight increases the traction of the rear wheels. What exactly is the rear axle? Draw an imaginary line between the rear wheels. However, you can make things worse by putting too much weight too far back. In essence, by adding too much to the back it can "lift" the front and lose some steering and braking capabilities. We suggest you start with a bag of 20 pounds then drive and see how your car handles and steers. Whatever you do, do not put the sand into the cabin. In an accident, the bags can become projectiles. For front-wheel drive cars do not bother with sandbags. A the engine is already a huge weight over the wheels.

8. Make sure the rear window defroster works.

In many countries, the law requires that all windows are clear before hitting the road.

9. Know the driving performance of your car.

Each car has different driving characteristics. You should know what your car can and can not do in the snow. You should know if your car has part or full-time four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and stability control. You should know what kind of tires on the car, and how these things work and how they can help or not help. In fact, not a bad idea to do some riding in an empty parking lot in a snow day so you know what to expect from your car when driving on snowy roads.

10. Carry some items in your trunk in case you get stuck.

Invest in a decent snow brush and scraper. It's good to have a shovel and a bag of sand to aid traction, and extra washer fluid. If you have any winter clothes you no longer use, especially an old pair of boots, throw them in the trunk too.

11. Winter Driving Emergencies are among the few legitimate uses for a mobile phone.

A cell phone is definitely a plus if you get stuck.

12. If you are in an area that allows or requires chains.

And be sure you've practiced putting them on before you need it. Trust us - to use snow chains is much harder when you're knee-deep in slush in the dark and other cars whistling by you.

13. Clean your car, completely!

When snow or ice is out, take the extra time to ensure that your car is clean and your visibility is good. Clean the entire car, not just a little peephole in the windshield. You need just as much if not more visibility in poor conditions because you must keep your eyes open for pedestrians, and every other people on the road. Make sure every glass surface is clear and transparent using a snow brush and / or a scraper. Your side mirrors and all lights to be brushed and cleared as well.

 

Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, four-wheel drive and the other items we discussed....When driving in the snow, please do everything slowly and carefully.

Bob's Garage - Testimonials - Reviews - Sugar Grove | Marion | Smythe County VA

Posted by Brian Brown on May 12, 2011 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

From Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove and to all our customers in Marion VA and surrounding Smyth County we want to thank you for your support.  We have recently received some great testimonials that we'd like to share with you. If you care to offer a review or testimonial please visit our website at http://www.bob-garage.com/apps/testimonials/ or simply visit our Google Places Page.

At Bob's Garage we diagnose and Repair Engines, Brake Service, Oil Changes, Replace Batteries, Air Conditioning Repair, Transmission, Clutch, New & Used Tires and much more!!  We Do It All For All Your Automotive Needs!!

Testimonial  1:

I was very satisfied with Bob's work and there were no suprises when the bill came,as he had told us ahead of time what it would be. We were back on the Rd. to home in Del. in good time.Thank you Bob, and I've asked around and everyone tells me he was very reasonable.

Jay Reese - Satisfied Customer

Testimonial 2:

No kidding. Bob groans when he sees my vehicles come in, especially when they're chained down on the roll back. But he always smiles after the groan, and fixes them the best. I love Bob and his Garage!

Annie Malone - Bob fixes all my junk!

Testimonial 3:

We have used Bob's Garage for many years. They always explained the work to be done very clearly so whenit came time to pay the bill there were no surprises...and WOW what great prices!!

Brian Broan - Happy Customer

TIPS ON TRANSMISION REPAIR

Posted by Brian Brown on April 8, 2011 at 1:59 PM Comments comments (1)

 

 Due to the complexity of today's transmissions a vehicle must first be properly and thoroughly diagnosed. Most shops offer an initial free transmission check which should include a road test, external diagnostic check, and a complete computer scan, in order to determine if the vehicle has an electrical malfunction or mechanical problem. Beware of any transmission repair facility that quotes you a price over the phone without first doing a thorough diagnosis of your vehicle's transmission problem. Today's cars, trucks, and SUVs have computer controlled transmissions and many times a computer malfunction will give the impression that there is a transmission problem. Due to the increasing technology in late model vehicles, the transmission repair facility may need to conduct an electrical diagnosis first to eliminate the possiblity of a computer malfunction versus actual transmission damage.

 

Be wary of ads that claim “will repair any transmission for …...” or offers to rebuild a tranmission for an unbelievably low price. The tranmission must be properly diagnosed and in some cases a thorough internal diagnosis which includes removing and dissassembling the transmission to find the extent of the damage. Your cost of repair can then be accurately determined. Most shops offer free external inspection and some shops offer to conduct an internal inspection for a reasonable charge.

 You should also become familiar with the term of “rebuilt” as it applies to transmission repair. Even though there are more than 300 parts in the average transmission, a transmission may only have a few internal parts replaced to be called “rebuilt”. In many states if two or three parts are replaced it can be called “rebuilt” or “overhauled”. Ask exactly what is being repaired and what parts are being replaced and if the parts are new, used, or reconditioned. Florida law states that on a rebuilt transmission all parts and labor must be individually itemized or listed on your final estimate. It is also not a bad idea to ask the shop to show you or keep for your examination the worn or damaged parts that were replaced and itemized on your final bill.

Call Bob's Garage at (276) 677-4066 or visit us online at www.bob-garage.com

Serving Sugar Grove VA | Marion VA and Smyth County


 

 

Transmission Repair - Secrets to choosing the right transmission shop

Posted by Brian Brown on January 26, 2011 at 2:39 PM Comments comments (3)

These days it is really getting hard to figure out how to choose the right transmission repair shop that will be in your best interest if you have a transmission failure or problem. Most folks are fairly naive about what to look for orlisten to when choosing a place to replace a worn out transmission, this post should be helpful.


If calling some shops is your first move, I would recommend having a list of questions handy and doing a lot of analytical listening to what the person on the phone is saying. A qualified shop owner will listen too and use your information as a guide and use this info to convince you in terms you understand why his shop is the best one to do business with, without even quoting you a price.


It is unethical to quote prices over the phone on transmission problems before it is examined. I think in most cases a shop can sell itself over the phone by being professional, sincere and honest to you. A referral from a friend that had a good experience is the best recommendation of all. In any case, you may narrow your choices down to a few shops. With that in mind it would be a good time to visit the shops and see what they look like and talk more with the person in charge...such as Bob at Bob's Garage.


At Bob's we have no secrets to building customer confidence. We always treat customers just like I want to be treated when I enter a repair facility for any professional service.


We start with a phone call by making a convincing argument why the vehicle needs to come to our shop and be diagnosed first, for free. We have a lead sheet so we could write the customers name down and problem.


#1. We greet our customers by name when possible to show we were listening to them on the phone.


#2. Our shop is clean and organized which simply gives a good impression. It makes it easier to do good work also.


#3. Naturally if the shop is clean and safe it is great to give your customers a tour of the shop equipment, facility and technician/s who will work on your vehicle.


#4. We will give as much time as you the customer needs to understand the suggested transmission repair and why it is the repair that suits their interests the best.


#5. No pressure or obligation if you need to think about it overnight or needto check out another business.


For reasons I can explain another time, an overly busy shop is not always a good sign for choosing a facility.

I recommend checking with the Better Business Bureau and the Division of Automotive Affairs. Most states have a consumer division for reporting fraud, poor repairs, etc. Other good indicators are how long they have been in business. The longer the better in most cases. Don’t discount a newer or young shop just because it is new, if you get the right vibes, than you may have a diamond in the ruff.


I don’t think lots of superficial diplomas all over the walls are imperative, but they are impressive. The important thing is ongoing trainingand education to keep up with the newest technology. The owner should not only be a mechanic, but more importantly a good business man. A technician is not a business man and may not even understandthe paradigm of doing business. The most competent replacement shops will always seek the best suppliers they can find and build good relationships with them.  For instance, www.bob-garage.com is a time proven transmission shop who builds confidence in you from the second they answer the phone.

Don’t forget that if the shop owner listens well, then they can really fit you with exactly what you need. Without seeing the car and talking with you there is no way to determine if you even need a replacement transmission. I have seen cases that were mistaken for being a transmission problem and actually were engine problems.


 Best of luck I hope this was helpful.

 


Heater Problems?

Posted by Brian Brown on December 15, 2010 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (2)

Automobile Repair: Car Heater Problems-Antifreeze or Blower Motor

Posted by Spencer

Here are some Winter time automobile repair tips for your car heater problems you may be encountering. You can either take it to a auto repair shop that specializes in heating repairs or you can learn how to fix your heater problems by yourself and save money. Your automobile heater problems are caused by either a bad blower motor or you have a coolant and antifreeze problem in your radiator Here are some tips for you to check when your heater is not blowing heat.

The first items to check when your having car problems such as no heat are your antifreeze levels in both your radiator and your over flow tank. If the antifreeze is low then fill both your radiator and your overflow tank to the full line. A low cooling system will affect your cars heater when it is being used. If the levels of antifreeze are extremely low then make sure that you have a auto mechanic perform a coolant pressure test to look for the antifreeze leaks. Most local automobile repair shops will be able to fix your car heater problems such as a low radiator or bad blower motor resistor.

Check the operation of your blower motor inside your vehicle. Most automobile repair shops are equipped with the electrical tools needed to find your car heater problems. Your car may be fine when it comes to giving you heat but your blower motor may not be functioning properly. Make sure that your blower motor works on all three steps such as low, medium, and high. If it does not then you have an electrical problem such as a bad blower motor resistor or possibly even a bad blower motor.(dc motor) Or it can be the heater switch needs to be replaced.

Your car vents are operated by a heater control cable and sometimes vacuum from your cars engine. Check that your vents are switching from the floor position to the defrost mode and in between. If your car vents are not working then you will have to disassemble your dash board and find out why they are not switching over. Some times the automobile repair shop will find a cable has become hung up or has just fallen off of its connector. Once again if this task is to much for you then have your automobile repair shop fix this heater problem for you.

The car heater problem could possibly be a plugged up heater core and needs to be replaced to fix. The heater core is a small assembly located in your dash and it typically looks like a small radiator. You can normally find it by following two heater hoses which attach to it from your motor. Automobile repair shops will charge you an arm and a leg to fix this type of car heater problem. The blower motor would be working fine but your antifreeze would not be able to circulate through out your automobile.

You could possibly have a broken or defective thermostat inside of your cooling system. In this type of automobile repair in order to fix your car heater problem the mechanic will have to install a new thermostat so your antifreeze can heat up. To avoid this problem be sure to replace your thermostat and radiator cap once a year or after servicing your cars cooling system. I hope these automobile repair tips will help you understand how to fix your car heater problems whether it be your antifreeze or your blower motor.

How Tires Work

Posted by Brian Brown on March 19, 2010 at 3:46 PM Comments comments (0)

How Tires Work

by Karim Nice

 What All the Numbers Mean

Each section of small print on a tire's sidewall means something:

Tire Type

The P designates that the tire is a passenger vehicle tire. Some other designations are LT for light truck, and T for temporary, or spare tires.

Tire Width

The 235 is the width of the tire in millimeters (mm), measured from sidewall to sidewall. Since this measure is affected by the width of the rim, the measurement is for the tire when it is on its intended rim size.

Aspect Ratio

This number tells you the height of the tire, from the bead to the top of the tread. This is described as a percentage of the tire width. In our example, the aspect ratio is 75, so the tire's height is 75 percent of its width, or 176.25 mm ( .75 x 235 = 176.25 mm, or 6.94 in). The smaller the aspect ratio, the wider the tire in relation to its height.

Two tires with different aspect ratios but the same overall diameter

High performance tires usually have a lower aspect ratio than other tires. This is because tires with a lower aspect ratio provide better lateral stability. When a car goes around a turn lateral forces are generated and the tire must resist these forces. Tires with a lower profile have shorter, stiffer sidewalls so they resist cornering forces better.

Tire Construction

The R designates that the tire was made using radial construction. This is the most common type of tire construction. Older tires were made using diagonal bias (D) or bias belted (B) construction. A separate note indicates how many plies make up the sidewall of the tire and the tread.

Rim Diameter

This number specifies, in inches, the wheel rim diameter the tire is designed for.

Uniform Tire Quality Grading

Passenger car tires also have a grade on them as part of the uniform tire quality grading (UTQG) system. You can check the UTQG rating for your tires on this page maintained by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Your tire's UTQG rating tells you three things:

• Tread Wear: This number comes from testing the tire in controlled conditions on a government test track. The higher the number, the longer you can expect the tread to last. Since no one will drive his or her car on exactly the same surfaces and at the same speeds as the government test track, the number is not an accurate indicator of how long your tread will actually last. It's a good relative measure, however: You can expect a tire with a larger number to last longer than one with a smaller number.

• Traction: Tire traction is rated AA, A, B or C, with AA at the top of the scale. This rating is based on the tire's ability to stop a car on wet concrete and asphalt. It does not indicate the tire's cornering ability. According to this NHTSA page, the Firestone Wilderness AT and Radial ATX II tires that have been in the news have a traction rating of B.

• Temperature: The tire temperature ratings are A, B or C. The rating is a measure of how well the tire dissipates heat and how well it handles the buildup of heat. The temperature grade applies to a properly inflated tire that is not overloaded. Underinflation, overloading or excessive speed can lead to more heat buildup. Excessive heat buildup can cause tires to wear out faster, or could even lead to tire failure. According to this NHTSA page, the Firestone Wilderness AT and Radial ATX II tires have a temperature rating of C.

Service Description

The service description consists of two things:

• Load Ratings: The load rating is a number that correlates to the maximum rated load for that tire. A higher number indicates that the tire has a higher load capacity. The rating "105," for example, corresponds to a load capacity of 2039 pounds (924.87 kg). A separate note on the tire indicates the load rating at a given inflation pressure.

• Speed Rating: The letter that follows the load rating indicates the maximum speed allowable for this tire (as long as the weight is at or below the rated load). For instance, S indicates that the tire can handle speeds up to 112 mph (180.246 kph). See the chart on this page for all the ratings.

 

Tire Traction

Did you know?

Safety grooving, the technique of cutting grooves into a paved road to increase tire traction, originated at a NASA research center. Learn about other NASA innovations in this interactive animation from Discovery Channel.

There are a lot of different terms used today in the tire industry. Some of them actually mean something and some do not. In this section, we'll try to explain what some of the terms mean.

All-Season Tires with Mud and Snow Designation

If a tire has MS, M+S, M/S or M&S on it, then it meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) guidelines for a mud and snow tire. For a tire to receive the Mud and Snow designation, it must meet these geometric requirements (taken from the bulletin "RMA Snow Tire Definitions for Passenger and Light Truck (LT) Tires"):

1. New tire treads shall have multiple pockets or slots in at least one tread edge that meet the following dimensional requirements based on mold dimensions:

a. Extend toward the tread center at least 1/2 inch from the footprint edge, measured perpendicularly to the tread centerline.

b. A minimum cross-sectional width of 1/16 inch.

c. Edges of pockets or slots at angles between 35 and 90 degrees from the direction of travel.

2. The new tire tread contact surface void area will be a minimum of 25 percent based on mold dimensions.

The rough translation of this specification is that the tire must have a row of fairly big grooves that start at the edge of the tread and extend toward the center of the tire. Also, at least 25 percent of the surface area must be grooves.

The idea is to give the tread pattern enough void space so that it can bite through the snow and get traction. However, as you can see from the specification, there is no testing involved.

To address this shortcoming, the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the tire industry have agreed on a standard that does involve testing. The designation is called Severe Snow Use and has a specific icon (see image at right), which goes next to the M/S designation.

In order to meet this standard, tires must be tested using an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) testing procedure described in "RMA Definition for Passenger and Light Truck Tires for use in Severe Snow Conditions":

Tires designed for use in severe snow conditions are recognized by manufacturers to attain a traction index equal to or greater than 110 compared to the ASTM E-1136 Standard Reference Test Tire when using the ASTM F-1805 snow traction test with equivalent percentage loads.

These tires, in addition to meeting the geometrical requirements for an M/S designation, are tested on snow using a standardized test procedure.They have to do better than the standard reference tire in order to meet the requirements for Severe Snow Use.