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June 2011
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2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia Coupe $214,988
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The Auto Gallery Driver's Corner: Performance Tips & Tricks
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The Auto Gallery Driver's Corner: Performance Tips & Tricks
In an effort to keep your car in top performance condition, The Auto Gallery now offers nitrogen tire inflation for your Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati or Porsche. We have also adopted a program to corner balance your high performance vehicle with the latest technology.
Many people ask why use Nitrogen for your tires? What’s wrong with regular air, the stuff we breathe every day? Your technicians at the Auto Gallery would like to explain. Many people are surprised to learn that we breathe in nitrogen with every breath we take. The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% water vapor/other gases. Using nitrogen instead of “just air” to inflate your tires offers you many benefits. Nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules; therefore they are not able to escape from your tires as easily. By reducing the percentage of oxygen, water vapor and other gases in your tires, your tires will maintain proper air pressure longer. For example, with 95% nitrogen in your tires, they retain optimal pressure three to four times longer. So what does that mean? You will have optimal tire pressure in your tires at all times resulting in enhanced handling, improved fuel efficiency, increased safety, and extended tire life.

Proper tire pressure is the key to getting the most out of your tires. When you use nitrogen inflation you maintain proper tire pressure far better than if you use plain air. By using nitrogen tire inflation you can improve fuel efficiency and enhance handling resulting in more miles per gallon. Why? By maintaining proper pressure you keep the recommended “contact patch” on the road longer and reduce rolling resistance, meaning you use less gas. It has been proven that properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3 percent. You can also increase the life of your tires by using nitrogen. Due to decreased oxidation, which occurs when oxygen reacts at high temperatures and pressures, tires do not wear as fast. A high oxidation rate can damage inner liners, belt packages, and rims; therefore, by drastically decreasing the oxidation rate you can protect your tires. Some even claim nitrogen use extends tire life as much as 25 percent meaning you will be spending much less on tires than you have in the past. Most importantly, nitrogen inflation can result in improved safety. The majority of tires blow out because the air pressure is low. When you use nitrogen inflation you no longer have to worry about low tire pressure, and therefore your chances of having a tire blowout are greatly decreased keeping you and your family safe.
Now that you know, please contact your Auto Gallery service representative to come in for an evaluation and FREE* Nitrogen replacement for better fuel economy, safety and improved handling on all your vehicles.
What Is Corner Balancing?

We will explain what corner balancing is and what it does to the car using a common comparison, knowledge in setting up karts, as well as basic race principles.

Imagine a car as a four legged chair. In order for the chair to stand steadily, all four legs should be of equal length and as a consequence applying equal pressure on the floor. If one leg is longer, or shorter than the others, we have a chair that rocks, and is unstable.

By the same analogy, the suspension of a car can be adjusted so that each corner “applies” the same amount of force on the ground, relative to the diagonally-opposite corner, so that the car does not “rock.” Scales are placed underneath each wheel/tire to measure the “weight” of each corner, and a “perfect” corner balance would have the sum of the weights of the right-front and left-rear corners equal the sum of the weights of the left-front and right-rear corners.

For example, we have a 200 lb. car, with the center of gravity positioned exactly at the middle of the car. An ideal situation would be that each corner (tire) would apply 50 lbs. of force.
        50--| |--50       
            | |
           |200|    (Looking at the car from above)
            | |
        50--| |--50                          

Corner balance is perfect at LF + RR = RF + LR = 100 lbs.

By the same token, if the center of gravity is positioned a little towards the rear, as in the case of the Ferrari 430 or Laborghini Gallardo, we would have:

        40--| |--40
            | |
            | |
        60--| |--60                     

Corner balance would still be ideal. The same applies if there was a driver (for the best race car alignment a ballast equal to the driver’s weight would be added in the driver’s seat when corner balancing and aligning the suspension). In this example, say the driver weighs 10 pounds

        44--| |--41
            | |
           |10 |
        64--| |--61                     

Corner balance is still ideal.

Say, for example, one corner is jacked up so it applies 10 lbs more...(refering back to our “perfect” example)

        40--| |--60
            | |
            | |
        60--| |--40                     

Corner balance is off, with LF(40) + RR(40) = 80 and RF(60) + LR(60) = 120

It would have the same effect as having a leg on that chair a little too long, so the diagonally opposite corner would also apply more force on the ground, with lesser forces on the other two corners. The car, in effect, will “rock.”

A car in this situation will have a very poor handling characteristic, and will handle differently when turned left and right. In contrast, a perfectly corner balanced car will handle the same when turning left and right, and will be maximizing tire contact area on all four corners, thus will have more grip all around.

Obviously, to be able to adjust the corner “weights” requires a suspension that has ride-height adjustability. Coil-over springs are mounted on adjustable (screw-type) perches that go up and down on the shock absorber. This allows you to adjust the ride height, as well as make fine tune adjustments to the “weight” of each corner on the road.
The Auto Gallery can help you get the best performance from your cherished ride with these techniques. Please contact your Auto Gallery service representative and come in for an evaluation to improve the handling on all your performance vehicles. *Free offer pertains to Nitrogen for your tires only. Free offer does not include corner balance. Corner balance service price estimates depend on the vehicle you drive and its suspension equipment and configuration.  Ask your service advisor for complete details


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