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Archive for August 2019

Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

Posted August 25, 2019 11:08 AM

At Franklin Auto Service we get a lot of Franklin drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around MI, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task and won't leave you stranded.

Smart Franklin drivers plan ahead for a major road trip – and there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Franklin to see if you can feel any vibrations: Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Franklin Auto Service for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

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

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles/120,000 km, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. 

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There's nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Franklin.

Check your owner's manual for any other recommended services, and have Franklin Auto Service in Franklin do the multi-point inspection before you head out on your trip.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Franklin Auto Service – you want to stay within the vehicle manufacture’s recommendations. If you're towing a trailer around MI you'll want to be keep in mind that you'll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of Franklin drivers overlook severe conditions like towing, MI summer heat or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Franklin Auto Service wants you to get there and back.



Get Where You're Going with Power Steering Service in Franklin

Posted August 18, 2019 5:24 AM



Today we're going to talk about power steering service in Franklin. If you took an informal poll around Franklin you'd probably find that most vehicle owners have never heard of power steering service. That's not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Franklin aren't aware that it needs periodic service.

If you're younger than a certain age, you've probably never driven a vehicle without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you've ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it's a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that's hard, especially around downtown Franklin. That's why old cars had such big steering wheels: to get enough leverage to steer.

Most vehicles in Franklin have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Franklin use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We're also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We'll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your Franklin service advisor at Franklin Auto Service or check your owner's manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It'll extend the life of your power steering components.

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



When Metal Meets Metal (Wheel Bearings)

Posted August 11, 2019 1:04 AM

What part of your vehicle has little metal balls inside that are lubricated and allow you to cruise on down the road?  They are wheel bearings, and automotive designers might argue they are human beings' second greatest invention of all time (the first is, of course, the wheel!).

You have a wheel bearing at each wheel.  They allow your wheels to turn freely, minimizing friction that would ordinarily slow you down when metal meets metal.  When one of your wheel bearings starts to go bad, it lets you know. A wheel bearing does its work quietly when it's in good health but starts getting noisy when it isn't.  People describe the noise differently.  Sometimes it sounds like road noise, a pulsating, rhythmic, sound.  That pulse speeds up when your vehicle speeds up. 

Here's what's happening when you hear that sound.  As mentioned, the bearing has these little metal balls inside a ring.  They have a lubricant inside to reduce friction between the balls; modern wheel bearings are sealed and they're intended to do their job without any maintenance. 

Wheel bearings take a beating; you hit some rough potholes or go over some uneven railroad tracks. Sometimes water can get into a bearing and reduce the ability of the lubricant to do its job.  Time starts to take its toll, too. When the lubricant isn't reducing friction like it should, the bearing can heat up. One of those little balls can start shedding pieces of metal and soon those shards start grinding up the other balls.  Friction takes over and soon your wheel isn't turning smoothly. That's what's causing the sound.  If a wheel bearing is not fixed, it could eventually seize up completely, and you can be stranded.

It's a lot easier if you heed the early warning signals, that pulsating noise.  Now, sometimes a similar noise can be caused by a bad tire, but in either case, it's important to have it checked out. Our Franklin Auto Service technicians will be able to tell you fairly quickly what the problem is and offer a solution.

Wheel bearings generally don't fail often and usually last from 85,000-100,000 miles/140,000km to 160,000km. But consider them a long-term maintenance item that, once fixed, will keep you heading smoothly to the next destination.

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



Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

Posted August 4, 2019 9:01 AM


If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Franklin, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Franklin area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles around Franklin come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in MI for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at Franklin Auto Service have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.

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



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