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What is ABS & How Does it Work?

There has been a lot of snow and ice on the roads in Massachusetts lately and when applying the brakes, you may have noticed some instances in which your car has had a mind of it’s own. Under certain circumstances and road conditions, your car’s internal computer activated the ABS -- also known as the Anti-lock Braking System

What is an Anti-lock Braking System?

The ABS was introduced in the mid-1980’s as a way to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle’s steering and has since become a standard safety feature for cars. The system works to prevent the driver from over-applying the brakes, which may result in skidding, fishtailing, and accidents. ABS helps the driver steer while it automatically applies the brakes in a rapid pumping motion to slow down the car.

How ABS Works

The system has four main components that all work in unison to keep your car’s wheels from skidding while you slow down.
-Speed Sensors. Each of your car’s wheels have a speed sensor that relays information back to the ABS.
-Valves. The ABS controls a small valve located within the brake line. This valve works to open, block, and release pressure on the brake line.
-Pump. The pump works alongside the valve. If the valve releases pressure on the brakes, then the pump serves to re-apply pressure to the brake line.
-Controller. This is the computer that monitors the rest of the components and ensures that each system fires at the precise moment it is needed in order to stop the vehicle. It also works to control the valves and speed sensors.

In the event that you need to stop the car in a hurry on slippery roads, your ABS will activate and a pulsing sensation from the brake pedal will occur. This is the valves and pump at work trying to slow the car down. Keep in mind that in slippery road conditions, you should not pump the brakes if your car has ABS, as this defeats the purpose of having the system in the first place. Instead, apply constant and firm pressure to the brake pedal in order for the ABS to activate. Keep your foot on the brake pedal until you come to a complete stop. Don’t forget that you still have steering capabilities, as this is the intention of having the anti-lock brake system -- your wheels should never lock.

If you’re ever unclear about whether or not your ABS is working properly, Hogan Tire & Auto can run critical systems diagnostic tests to make sure that all electrical and computerized components of your vehicle are in working condition. Schedule service online today or contact one of our seven area locations.

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Written on Thursday, February 8, 2018 by
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How To Be A Safe Winter Driver

Driving during the winter can be challenging. From navigating blinding blizzards on the highway to plowing through inches of snow, an accident could occur if you aren’t careful enough on the roads this year. At Hogan Tire & Auto, we want to make sure you and other drivers on the road are safe out there!

According to OSHA’s Safe Winter Driving pamphlet, it’s important to follow the “three P’s of Safe Winter Driving” – Prepare, Protect and Prevent.


Our tire shop and auto service centers recommend preparing your car for winter weather driving. The first thing is to make sure you have winter or all-season tires on your car with good tread depth remaining. We recommend a minimum of 6/32nds of an inch. Winter tires offer a better grip on the road’s surface which helps to prevent fishtailing and skidding. Hogan Tire & Auto provides greater Boston area residents with plenty of winter and all-season tire options at all our locations.

Don’t forget to ensure that your vehicle is well maintained; have your battery replaced if you’ve noticed issues with it in the past, replenish your windshield washer fluid, and have your neighborhood Hogan Tire & Auto replace your oil and fluids. Having a well-maintained car will not only prolong its lifespan, but also prevent any winter-weather related issues.

Other means of being prepared include planning your route ahead of time and ensuring that you give yourself extra time to get to your intended destination. Check for any route closures or traffic backups that may prevent you from getting places.


Always make sure to buckle up (don’t forget – it’s Massachusetts state law!) and tell passengers to buckle up as well. For those with young children or babies that require car seats, make sure they are never facing the rear of the car if the car seat is in front of an air bag. We also recommend that children always sit in the back seat and are buckled up.


Preventing crashes should be your top priority once you’re in the car. Whether you’re on a highway or a backroad, always give the car ahead of you plenty of room. The rule of thumb is three seconds between their back bumper and your front bumper, but we recommend increasing that to five to six seconds during winter weather conditions. You never know what the car in front of you might do!

It’s not just cars you need to worry about when driving during the winter. In Massachusetts, sometimes pedestrian walkways won’t be cleared properly (if at all) and can oftentimes force pedestrians to walk on the shoulder of the roads. Keep an eye out for anyone walking, running or biking on the road, especially at night.

For tire service or auto tune-ups, contact one of our seven Hogan Tire & Auto locations or schedule an appointment online today!

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Written on Thursday, January 25, 2018 by
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Why Is My Car Steering To One Side?

While driving, there are a number of internal car-related issues that can arise. Such issues include running low on gas, a near-dead battery, or a need to check engine oil. However, all of these concerns are indicated by your vehicle – a light will come on, telling you when one of these problems arise, so you know it needs to be dealt with in the near future. The scariest issues are the ones where no light comes on – where you have no clue what could possibly be wrong.

An example of such an issue is when your car pulls to one side, but not by choice. Normally, cars designed to drive on the right side of the road will pull slightly to the right, and cars designed to drive on the left side of the road will pull slightly to the left. This pull is extremely light, and is only to prevent a car from entering oncoming traffic if the driver dozes off. If your car’s pull is not extremely light, you have a problem.

Luckily, the tire experts a Hogan Tire & Auto can assist you with deducing what the issue is.

Reasons for Excessive Pull to One Side

  1. If the vehicular alignment of the axle that the wheels rest on isn’t straight, then the tires will not be parallel, which can make the car pull.

  2. If the brake hose becomes clogged or the brakes are not releasing freely it can cause a pull to one side.

  3. If tires are not rotated over time, one tire may experience more wear than the others, causing the vehicle to pull to that side.

  4. When the tire pressure on any specific tire is lower than the pressure of its counterpart on the opposing side of the car, the car will pull towards the low pressure.

With tire shops and auto service centers throughout eastern Massachusetts, Hogan Tire & Auto is here to help. Specializing in all kinds of tires and auto repair, we can assist you with any problems you may be having. Feel free to stop by or give your local Hogan Tire & Auto location for a free consultation to ensure your tire troubles are handled as soon as possible.

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Written on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by
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How Road Salt Affects Cars

With winter once again in full swing in the Northeast, the plows are out and about prepping the roads with salt. Road salt use is prevalent in the Northeast region in order to prevent road accidents. Once applied to snow or ice, the salt causes a chemical reaction which lowers the water’s freezing point; this turns the snow and ice into water even though outdoor temperatures may be well below freezing. This chemical reaction allows your winter or all-season tires to gain traction with the asphalt.

Road Salt Damage to Vehicles

Although salting roads is necessary to prevent slipping and sliding on roadways, the salt itself can be harmful to your vehicle. For most cars, the undercarriage is completely out in the open and vulnerable to salt. Over time – and if the car isn’t washed frequently – this salt can corrode the metal parts of your vehicle, including the following:

  • Brake system

  • Subframe

  • Muffler

  • Coil springs

  • Exhaust system

Preventing Salt Damage

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to prevent your car from coming in contact with road salt (unless you keep it in your garage all season), but there are luckily a couple tricks to prevent severe road salt damage.

  • Avoid puddles and potholes as these can hold a high concentration of salt

  • Wax your car before winter to add a protective coating against road salt

  • Get your vehicle inspected and replace any parts that show moderate to severe signs of corrosion

  • Wash your car after every snowstorm and don’t forget to opt for the undercarriage treatment

  • Pre-treat your car’s undercarriage using an oil solution that prevents salt and water from adhering to metal.

Don’t forget to always check the weather forecast and try to avoid driving during or immediately after a snowstorm, as these are the times where road salt is most prevalent. Also keep in mind to not tailgate the salting truck/plow. Contact Hogan Tire & Auto today for winter weather-related car service and repairs.

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Written on Thursday, December 14, 2017 by
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Cold Weather’s Effect on Your Vehicle

Burr! Do you feel that? That’s right, Jack Frost is approaching! By now, if you’re able to read this and navigate the Internet, you know how to prepare for the winter. Dress in layers, get waterproof boots, wool socks, and hot coco. If you don’t do these steps, you could catch a co...

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Written on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by
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Why Is My Tire Pressure Light On?

Did you turn your car on this morning only to be greeted by an annoying beep and a tire pressure light coming on? Chances are you weren’t the only one to have this happen to across eastern Mass. As temperatures plummet, so too will your tire PSI. How Temperature Decreases PSI For every 10 ...

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Written on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by
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Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Leaves are turning and some have even begun to fall. As October ends and November begins it means one thing in Massachusetts. Another winter is getting ready to greet us, weather we are ready for it or not. The one thing you can control is making sure your vehicle is ready for the winter. At Hogan T...

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Written on Thursday, October 19, 2017 by
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Determining the Right Tread Design for Your Vehicle

Not sure what tire treads you should get, or even what the different tread types are? Each tread type has its own specific functionality for conditions and driving styles, so it is important to understand what type of tire you are looking for because it can affect the performance of your vehicle. There are four main types of tire treads, Symmetric, Asymmetric, Directional, and Directional and Asymmetric.

Common Types of Tire Treads

Symmetric are the most common types of tire tread, this tread can be found on most standard vehicles. Like its name, the treads are symmetrical, or the same throughout the whole tire. The patterns of ribs and grooves on the tire are uniform. This allows similar wear on each tire because the treads themselves are the same. The reason this tire is the most common is that of its practical functionality. Since the tire patterns are the same, this allows for any sort of rotation pattern which prolongs the life of the tire.

Asymmetric Treads combine a very different look than the symmetrical tires, again the name gives us guidance as to what the tire includes. Asymmetrical tires are actually almost split in the middle and are marked for outside only and inside only mounting. This is because the outside and inside treads of the tire are different and serve different functions. These treads can be found on higher-end sports cars or high-performance vehicles. The different patterns on each side of the tire allow them to combine dry and wet condition grips. There are a number of different rotation procedures for these.

Directional Treads are designed to only go in one direction. Similar to the outside and inside only labels on asymmetrical tires, directional tires have an arrow pointing which way the tire should be turning. These tires have V-shaped grooves in them, which also should be pointing the way they are rolling. These grooves push water and slush through the tread. If mounted wrongly the tires may not perform as intended. These tires can only be rotated from front to rear, limiting rotation options.

Asymmetric and Directional Treads obviously include both types of treads in their design. This gives them the function of both of these types of treads. They have the similar V shape groove from the directional tires for pushing water out and dry traction from the asymmetrical treads. These tires are least common, typically found high-performance exotic sports vehicles. The same rotational rules of directional treads apply with these as well.

Based on what type of car you are driving, as well as how you are driving it, you will need to know which tread is best for you. Feel free to contact the Hogan Tire & Auto nearest you with any questions or help in choosing the best tire for you and your vehicle!

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Written on Thursday, October 5, 2017 by
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What is road force balance and why is it a better solution?

Have you ever been driving along the highway or speeding down a country backroad and notice a vibration in your steering wheel? This is a sign to get your car in a tire and auto repair shop because you may have a wheel imbalance or a road force variation causing the vibration.

What causes wheel vibration?

There are multiple issues that can cause excessive wheel vibration.  The first is wheel balance. Many people are familiar with wheel balance.  A wheel balance measures the left to right and top to bottom imbalance of the tire and is offset with weights added to the wheel.  This is how almost all tire stores balance tires.

A second cause of vibration is road force variation.  It is most frequently due to a wheel not being perfectly round (runout), uneven tread or uneven sidewall stiffness in the tire. Only a road force machine can measure and often correct these issues.  Hogan’s Hunter Engineering GSP9700 Road Force machine allows us to measure and move the tire on the wheel to match the high point or stiff spot in the tire with the lowest spot in the rim. The adjustment makes the tire/wheel combination "round when rolling." A road force machine can predict the result of the match mounting process and tell us whether you will feel a vibration before the car leaves the shop.

Opting for the GSP9700 Road Force Balancer

At our tire and auto service centers, Hogan Tire & Auto uses Hunter’s GSP9700 Road Force Balancer to determine the radial and lateral tire forces on your tires. For customers who are still experiencing issues with vibration and handling at high speeds (even after an alignment and balancer can’t fix), this technology will solve any lingering ride and handling issues.

Benefits of the Road Force Balancer include:

  • Solving wheel vibration due to tire and rim runout and wheel-mounting error
  • Quick troubleshooting and solutions so you don’t have to wait in the shop for long periods of time
  • Identifying vehicle pull or drift problems (you may notice your vehicle veering if you momentarily take your hands of the wheel while driving in a straight line)
  • Noticeable improvement in driving quality and handling

Are you noticing any handling issues with your car? Stop in one of Hogan Tire & Auto’s seven locations throughout the greater Boston area, or schedule an appointment online today.

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Written on Thursday, September 21, 2017 by
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Giving The Old Car To Your Teen? Here’s What You Need To Know

The time has finally come. Your precious child has earned their driver’s license and they are itching to hit the road. You take advantage of the situation and decide it’s time for a vehicle upgrade for yourself. It’s a win-win situation. But before you toss the keys to your son or daughter make sure you follow the car safety check list!

Car Safety Check List

Check your tires! All tires are made to a different grade. Some need to be replaced after 30,000 miles, some after 50,000 miles. Getting a tire rotation can help prolong the life of your tires. If your treads are too low, it’s probably time to replace your tires.

A critical but often overlooked part of your vehicle are the brakes! Just like tires, brakes have different mile markers when they need to be replaced! If it’s been over year since your brakes have been checked it’s time to have your brake pads, rotors and other components inspected. Our expert technicians will let you know exactly what state your brakes are in.

At the very least before handing your car to your teen you should bring it in for preventative maintenance.  At Hogan Tire & Auto we cover it all. From Oil and Filter Change to maintenance for vehicles that have reached 105,000 miles.

Why Hogan Tire for Vehicle Maintenance

Since 1915 Hogan Tire & Auto has been a stable in the Woburn community for auto service and maintenance.  All of our technicians are certified with the most recent industry standards. We have the lowest prices and stand by our work. But don’t take our word for it. See what our customers are saying.

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Written on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by
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The Importance of Installing a Pair of Tires on the Rear Axle

It’s generally understood that the front set of tires on a vehicle with four identical tires will wear out first. This is due to the fact that the front pair takes the brunt of the acceleration, steering and braking forces, leaving the rear tires relatively unscathed. Our tire and auto service center recommends that drivers get their tires rotated on an annual basis in order to avoid wear and tear on one specific pair of tires.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget to get the tires rotated on a regular basis, which then leads to the front pair wearing out before the rear pair. When this is the case, our professionals will recommend purchasing a new pair of the same tires which are then placed on the rear axle.

Why Place New Tires on the Rear Axle

Ideally tires should be replaced in complete sets and rotated throughout their life to equalize front-to-rear and side-to-side wear quantity while enhancing each tire’s wear quality. However, when tires are replaced in pairs it is recommended that the new pair of tires be installed on the rear axle and the existing worn tires moved to the front. The reason is because new tires on the rear axle help the driver more easily maintain control on wet roads since deeper treaded tires are better at resisting hydroplaning.

Our tire shop and auto service centers all recommend that drivers get all of their tires replaced at the same time. Tire wear depends on the following: the weight of the vehicle, the road conditions throughout the year, the tire brand, the tread pattern and the air pressure. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s time to either get your tires rotated or replace them altogether, contact our tire shop and auto repair center today to schedule an appointment!

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Written on Thursday, August 10, 2017 by
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Waltham Store Updated

We've updated our Waltham showroom with a whole new look and a bit more space. We've also installed the latest Wheel Alignment system by Hunter Engineering.  The industry leader in wheel alignment technology.  Stop in anytime.  We're here to help.

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Written on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 by
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No Interest Financing If Paid In Full Within 6 Months.*


No Interest Financing If Paid In Full Withing 6 Months.  Apply Now.

Plus, save an EXTRA 10% when you open and use your Hogan/cfna credit card. 

Offer details.

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Written on Monday, December 7, 2015 by
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Woburn Store Gets a New Showroom

The Woburn showroom has been updated with our new look.  It features over 50 tire models on display and two distinct customer areas.  The lounge has a kid’s play area, cable TV and gourmet coffee. The new business center offers a quieter space with a computer and wifi bar to catch up on some work or relax with a good book.  Stop by anytime.  We’re here to help.


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Written on Friday, June 20, 2014 by
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Beverly Store Gets a New Showroom

We've updated our Beverly store with a completely new showroom to serve our customers better. The new look includes a WiFi bar in the new customer waiting area, new restrooms, and a larger customer service area.  Stop in to say hi and take a look.

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Written on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by
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FREE 21 Point Vehicle Condition Report


Get a FREE 21 point complete vehicle condition report with any service or tire purchase.  We'll check your brakes, tires, fluids, battery, belts, bulbs, steering, suspension, belts & hoses and more.  There is no cost or obligation.  It's how Hogan Keeps You Rolling...

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Written on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by Net
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Hogan Tire - Since 1915

Hogan Tire was founded in 1915, just as the automobile was born. With thousands of tires in each location, state of the art equipment, and certified tire technicians, we are committed to continue our tradition of providing truly superior products, service, and value. Carrying the latest in name brands like MICHELIN® tires, we're sure to have the perfect set of tires for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any assistance you may need. We’re here to help!

Ed, Tom, and Bill Hogan

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