Best Auto Repair, Franklin

CONTACT US

AUTONET TV

Archive for April 2019

The Franklin Auto Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Posted April 28, 2019 12:46 PM

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.

Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.

Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.

Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.

Remember that marbles and pencils thing we were talking about? Well, that makes synthetic oil slipperier than conventional oil which means less friction in your engine. Your vehicle engine runs cooler, wears less and lasts longer. You also get a boost in power and maybe even an improvement in fuel economy.

Synthetic oil also lasts longer so you change it less often – which is great for the environment. With longer oil change intervals, you need an oil filter specifically built for the longer service life of synthetic oil. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Franklin Auto Service service adviser about synthetic oil and synthetic blends – they might be just what you need to improve engine performance and extend the life of your vehicle.

Give us a call.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080



Franklin Auto Service Automotive Tips: Diagnostic Service

Posted April 21, 2019 6:15 AM

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options.

This same scenario plays out every day at MI auto repair facilities. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the car will need to undergo a diagnostic examination. The typical car has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined the cause of the trouble, they can work out the plan for how to fix it and tell you how much it will cost.

When you think about it this way, it makes perfect sense that, 1) the Franklin Auto Service service advisor cannot provide an estimate before the diagnosis is done, and 2) there is a charge for auto diagnostic services in Franklin. You expect to pay for an office visit to the doctor and for any necessary tests before you can be presented with your treatment options and costs; same goes for your vehicle.

We know it can be frustrating for Franklin drivers when something is wrong with your car and you aren’t sure what is going to be involved in getting it fixed. We are passionate about helping you through the process, communicating with you at each step along the way. We have highly trained diagnostic technicians and technologically-advanced diagnostic equipment to uncover the cause of your trouble. We use quality replacement parts to help make sure you stay on the road after the repair is done. That’s our prescription for automotive peace of mind.

Give us a call.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Franklin Alignment Service

Posted April 14, 2019 10:50 AM

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around Franklin and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

There are several things involved in an alignment check at Franklin Auto Service. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, a technician at Franklin Auto Service can determine the direction they push and then align the front wheels to match.

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It's better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear - by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tires meet the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Maintenance on My Mind

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

Ask any Franklin man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most Franklin residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

Funny, because most of us in Franklin have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.

When it comes to our vehicles, Franklin drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in Franklin who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

So, if you're not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it's time take your car in, do it. But don't just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Franklin Auto Service. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed or if any of them are low.

Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Franklin Auto Service technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer's service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

It's like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle's maintenance.

If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done.  Then, create a plan with your Franklin Auto Service service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It's a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they're also expensive and complicated machines. Franklin drivers can't expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in MI.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Franklin

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Franklin residents who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the Franklin area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in MI is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your friendly service advisor at Franklin Auto Service can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Franklin area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Franklin residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Franklin Auto Service and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Franklin drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in MI.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Let Franklin Auto Service Help You Extend the Life of Your Car

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

If you haven't shopped in the Franklin area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Franklin, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.

On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Franklin drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like Franklin Auto Service in Franklin is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.

Too often, Franklin vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.

For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at Franklin Auto Service. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.

The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.

If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your Franklin Auto Service pros can advise you.

Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.

Most Franklin drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at Franklin Auto Service would have cost us.

So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Franklin area neighborhood. At Franklin Auto Service, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.

As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At Franklin Auto Service, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



On Board Diagnostics for Franklin Motorists

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

Some Franklin vehicle owners wonder why Franklin Auto Service and other Franklin auto repair shops charge a fee for vehicle diagnostics.

Receiving a diagnostic charge at Franklin Auto Service for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise. In the Franklin area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy MI road, you pull off at the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you're having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, a Franklin Auto Service diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Franklin driver's confusion comes when the problem involves the Check Engine light. The Check Engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There's a common misconception among MI drivers that the trouble code tells the Franklin Auto Service technician exactly what's wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that's out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the Check Engine light.

The vehicle computer's trouble code just tells the Franklin Auto Service technician what engine parameter is out of range, not what's causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that's causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Franklin Auto Service customers. The service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Franklin service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These  databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming and difficult. Of course Franklin Auto Service wants to figure out what's wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Battery Basics for Franklin

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

drive

It's important for Franklin drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold MI weather. Most Franklin area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Franklin trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Franklin drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your vehicle alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you're pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly and knowledgeable Franklin Auto Service service assistant for a battery test to see if it's recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery on a MI road, but you'll save unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle alternator.

Give us a call.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net

 



The Easy Way to Save Cash in Franklin

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM

The hottest MI news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Franklin. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Franklin can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Franklin drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Franklin service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Franklin Auto Service. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Franklin gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn't let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost about the same. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every 1,000 miles/1,600 km driven. Check the vehicle owner's manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that's messed up it can cost Franklin vehicles up to 3 miles per gallon/1.3 km per liter. And of course, there's dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That's another .4 miles per gallon/.17 km per liter right there.

One item Franklin residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon/4.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Franklin area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Franklin drivers at the pump. 

Now most vehicles aren't missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don't forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other services spelled out in your owner's  manual.

Franklin Auto Service knows all this stuff and can tell you when you're scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Franklin Auto Service – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Fuel Injection Basics for Franklin

Posted April 9, 2019 3:55 AM



All modern Franklin vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it's a topic Franklin drivers need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount at the right timeto be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your vehicle have? There's one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Franklin, MI. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

Franklin Auto Service can help Franklin drivers with a fuel injector cleaning service. What's the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It's important that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn't get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel economy.

What about dirty fuel? How does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It's tempting to shop for bargains in Franklin with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Franklin, MI, area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it's clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It's important to replace the fuel filter when your manufacturer recommends it. That's part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines Franklin drivers are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There's no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in Franklin, MI, that can clean fuel injectors. They're best used to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can't clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you've had Franklin Auto Service take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your vehicle may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

 

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net

 



When You Hear the Crash in Franklin: What to Do After an Accident

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

Motorists in North America drive about 3 trillion miles/4.8 trillion kilometers every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we're going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities.

Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in MI. You can even lose your driver's license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid.

Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if there are injuries or any circumstances that require fire services, such as leaking gas, broken utility lines or, of course, flames. Put out flares, turn on your flashers or lift your hood to warn other Franklin motorists that there's been an accident.

File a police report. This can seem like a hassle when there are no injuries and only minor damage to vehicles. But you'd be surprised at the lawsuits and false claims that can arise from fender benders. You want a police report to protect yourself.

Don't talk about the accident with anyone except the police. After an accident, adrenaline is pumping and emotions are running high, and our first reaction is often to relive and recount our experience. Don't. Again, people can and will use your words against you, and in a highly emotional state, you may not say exactly what you mean. Entire court cases have hinged on the meaning of one misplaced word. Talk to the police. Don't admit guilt or fault, not to the police or to anyone else. People often feel guilt after an accident, but later, when details are analyzed, it turns out not to be their fault. Don't say, “I'm sorry,” but rather, “Can I help? What can I do?” Sympathy has often been misconstrued as an admission of fault. On paper, your words will sound more sterile than at the accident, and they can be used against you.

Collect contact information from everyone involved in the accident. Get the officer's name and badge number. Get the other driver's name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver's license number and expiration and insurance information. Get a description of the other vehicle as well as its license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN). Most insurance companies don't keep records of license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best identifier you have of another vehicle.

This is going to be too much to remember once you're in an accident. So write down or make a note on your phone with the information you need.

Ask witnesses to wait for the police to arrive. If they can't, then get their contact information. Ask them to jot down what they saw. If witnesses refuse to give you their names, write down their license plate numbers. That way the police can find them if necessary.

After the accident, call your insurance company. Also, if you have or think you might have an injury that did not require immediate care at the accident, contact your physician right away.

There's a lot Franklin drivers can do to prevent accidents. Defensive driving. Good car care and preventive maintenance. But if an accident does happen in the Franklin area, we should be prepared to handle it well. It will ease the stress of the situation and protect us from potential legal and financial harm. Be prepared. It's good auto advice in every situation. Ask our pros at Franklin Auto Service for more safe driving tips the next time you visit.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Franklin Auto Service

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin is a lot like buying shoes, except that Franklin vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy MI road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Franklin drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around MI need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough MI mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don't vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Franklin often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Franklin area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don't hesitate to ask your Franklin Auto Service tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the MI tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don't have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, you get what you pay for.

At Franklin Auto Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a "60,000 mile/100,000 km tire." This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you're really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It's always better to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you're driving on Tier 3 tires, it's a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That's the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Franklin area drivers.

So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you'll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there's some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't have to purchase tires as often.

Good vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net

 



Check Engine Light Diagnosis at Franklin Auto Service

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

Hello Franklin . Have you ever had your Check Engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Franklin drivers?

First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That's why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious vehicle engine trouble. That's why Franklin residents often don't know how to respond to it.

The Check Engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to Franklin Auto Service in Franklin ASAP. No, you don't need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can't wait to get your car serviced. If your Check Engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at MI freeway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result in repair bills for Franklin drivers who ignore it.

steady Check Engine light is less serious, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Franklin automotive service center at the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.

Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the vehicle engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the Check Engine light to come on.

This process stores a trouble code inside the vehicle engine's computer. Your service advisor at Franklin Auto Service scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the technician exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.

Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky Check Engine light from coming on in the first place. Good vehicle care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your vehicle out of your Franklin auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net

 



Under Pressure in Franklin: TPMS

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in Franklin, or have your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on MI roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Franklin drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires, has made it harder for Franklin drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn't look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their vehicles are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it's being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV's, minivans and pick-ups. Besides warning drivers in the Franklin area when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won't come without increased costs. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Franklin service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. The pros at Franklin Auto Service have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Franklin drivers.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, Franklin Auto Service will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to be removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Franklin drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle's battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you've noticed an increase in the cost for vehicle care at your Franklin tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you're paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Franklin if drivers don't pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn't come on until the tire is severely under inflated; you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. You can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Safe driving!

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Timing Belt Replacement in Franklin

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

Today we want to talk to Franklin drivers about timing belts. They're something that many drivers don't know much about and yet your vehicle won't run if it's broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner's manual, it's not the kind of thing that most Franklin area auto owners remember because it's not well understood.

Let's review what a timing belt does. As most know, the engine's power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel, pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It's called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.

Now, not all vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. The leading vehicle manufactures started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now Franklin drivers and their advisors at Franklin Auto Service are left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous for drivers depending on where they are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.

Interference vehicle engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it'll cost a chunk of change to repair the vehicle engine.

So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren't any. There aren't tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from Franklin Auto Service may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that's in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the damage it'll cause. There's no middle ground.

So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner's manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles/97,000 km; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles/145,000 or 160,000 km. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles (97,000 or more km), ask your Franklin Auto Service service advisor right away if your vehicle requires a timing belt replacement.

Contact Franklin Auto Service to learn more about your car's timing belt
You can find us at:

32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net

Sometimes Franklin drivers can go quite a while without a failure, but we've seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It's not worth the risk.

What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Franklin? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it's usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn't a cheap procedure, but it's a fraction of what it could cost to repair the damage caused by a failure.

At Franklin Auto Service in Franklin, we're all about trying to prevent repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. 



Custom Wheels and Tires for Your Franklin Ride

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM


 

It seems like everywhere you go in the Franklin area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some MI auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Franklin Auto Service, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.

Your tire and wheel professional at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

So, what about Franklin drivers who want to upsize? Well, if you want bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that's pretty easy for the team at Franklin Auto Service. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don't want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Franklin Auto Service in Franklin will help you avoid this.

Heading the other direction, some vehicle owners in the Franklin area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don't think that vehicle suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your vehicle to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Franklin showrooms  look good but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around the Franklin area. There just isn't enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren't rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around MI. Again, talk with your Franklin Auto Service wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Franklin, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you're going to be rollin' out of Franklin Auto Service with one sweet ride.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Busting Automotive Myths in Franklin, MI

Posted April 9, 2019 3:54 AM

Myths passed around our Franklin, MI community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Franklin area, come over to Franklin Auto Service.


Let's examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

The truth on which this myth is based is that many new vehicles come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Franklin. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Franklin still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

Another common rant you'll hear around Franklin is that modern vehicles don't need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a 'tune-up', which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Service technicians at Franklin Auto Service would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

This definition just doesn't apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Franklin Auto Service generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) or so.

Of course you can't lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can't adjust a carburetor if your car doesn't have one. You probably don't need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers). What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

The danger with these modern-day myths is they prevent people in our local Franklin community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Franklin Auto Service have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Franklin service advisor at Franklin Auto Service, or do some research of your own.

Franklin Auto Service
32725 Franklin Rd
Franklin, MI 48025
248-626-2080
http://www.franklinautoservice.net



Search



Archive

April 2019 (17)
May 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
August 2019 (4)
September 2019 (5)
October 2019 (4)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (4)
May 2020 (5)
June 2020 (4)
July 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
June 2021 (4)
July 2021 (4)
August 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
December 2021 (4)
January 2022 (6)
February 2022 (4)
March 2022 (4)
April 2022 (4)
May 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
August 2022 (4)
September 2022 (4)

Categories

Air Conditioning (3)Alignment (11)Alternator (3)Auto Safety (4)Automotive News (3)Battery (4)Brakes (8)Cabin Air Filter (6)Check Engine Light (3)Cooling System (5)Diagnostics (1)Differential Service (1)Drive Train (5)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (1)Exhaust (3)Fluids (5)Fuel Economy (3)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (1)Fuel System (20)Headlamps (3)Inspection (2)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (2)Maintenance (26)Monitoring System (2)Oil Change (1)Older Vehicles (2)Parts (2)Safe Driving (1)Safety (1)Serpentine Belt (1)Service Intervals (3)Service Standards (3)Shocks & Struts (2)Steering (7)Suspension (1)Timing Belt (3)Tires (2)Tires and Wheels (19)Transmission (1)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (19)Wheel Bearings (1)Windshield Wipers (2)

What People Say About Us