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Archive for March 2021

The Flat Fix that Fits (Tire Repairs)

Posted March 28, 2021 11:52 AM

Can you think of anyone who likes getting a flat tire?  Of course not.  But when one of your tires winds up with a flat or leak, whether it be from things like hitting a curb, running over a nail or picking up a sharp stone, it's time to have someone who knows what they're doing take care of it.

If you're thinking you'd like to avoid having to buy a new tire, you wonder if a patch or plug will suffice.  It depends where the puncture is and how big the hole is.  Most tire experts will say if the hole in the tire is less than ¼ of an inch or 6 mm, a patch can work.  But a patch likely won't work if the compromised part of the tire is on its shoulder or sidewall.

Here's why.  The shoulder of a tire is the part between the sidewall and tread and it's usually rounded.  It's under a lot of pressure, more than even the sidewalls. And because of that curved shape, it's hard to get a patch or plug to hold.

The sidewall is the side of the tire.  Sidewalls flex a lot when you drive, and the strain can cause a patch or plug to loosen up.  A weak spot in a sidewall is much more likely to fail and cause a blowout.  So if you have damage in the sidewall or shoulder, that tire is a good candidate for replacement, not repair.

If you have a cut or gash in your tire, it's possible the cords that strengthen your tire have also been cut.  That weak spot can spell trouble, and this type of damage usually means you should get a new one.

Your service advisor can tell you what the appropriate action is to take when you have tire damage.  You may be able to get good results with a patch, or you may have to replace one or more tires.  Your safety is riding on them.

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



Clean Air for Your Engine: A New Engine Air Filter at Franklin Auto Service

Posted March 21, 2021 9:36 AM

All of us in Franklin know we have to get the oil changed in our vehicles periodically. That's just part of good vehicle care. But when Franklin Auto Service technicians change your oil, they also usually inspect your air filter. That's why they sometimes let you know that your air filter needs to be changed before releasing your vehicle.

Don't just chock this up to trying to sell you something else. Franklin area drivers really do need to change their air filter when it gets dirty. You can check your owner's manual to see how often your air filter should need to be changed, but remember, if you live in an area in MI with poor air quality, or if you drive a lot or drive under harsh conditions in the Franklin area, you may need to change that filter more often than is recommended.

Changing an air filter isn't guesswork. If a filter's dirty, it needs to be replaced. Air filters aren't very expensive at Franklin Auto Service. But the problems they cause if Franklin auto owners don't change them can get to be.

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



Weather Station on Wheels (Vehicle Sensor Maintenance)

Posted March 14, 2021 8:25 AM

You probably never thought about it, but your vehicle is like a rolling weather station.  It can check the outside temperature, let you know when the roads are slippery and help you deal with rain. And how it does all those things is pretty cool.

First, just like any weather station, a vehicle has sensors that measure the driving and weather conditions you find yourself in.  Some of those sensors can control computerized systems in your vehicle to react to the weather.  It depends on whether you have a 2-wheel, 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle how those sensors will respond.

Let's start with temperature.  Most vehicles now have a thermometer that measures the temperature outside.  It's usually in the front, and likely will tell you on the instrument panel what the outside temperature measures.  But a temperature sensor will also tell your vehicle's computers to turn on or off certain systems like the heating or air conditioning.  If your ambient temperature sensor isn't working right, some symptoms are a malfunctioning automatic A/C or a temperature display that is way different than the app on your phone says it should be.

Your vehicle will also have sensors that measure your speed at each wheel.  They work with an onboard computer to measure slippage in any of the wheels so traction control and antilock brakes work correctly in case of slick roads.

Your vehicle can measure something called longitudinal and latitudinal acceleration, and it uses a yaw sensor to do it.  That helps it determine if you might be in an oversteering or understeering situation.  It's important because it works with your vehicle's brakes to apply stopping power to keep you in control.

A steering wheel sensor tells the vehicle's computers what the driver is doing with the wheel.  It also can work with those wheel sensors to measure how slippery the roads are, whether it be due to a wet (rain) or granular (gravel or sand) surface.  By sending different torque or braking to each wheel, it helps the driver maintain control.

More and more vehicles now have a rain sensor that can turn on the wipers automatically when they measure precipitation on the windshield.

So, you're driving your own weather station, and making sure all this data is coming in properly depends on how each component is working.  Regular service and maintenance on these systems is important to make sure they can do their job. Your rolling weather station can't predict the weather, but it can sure help you deal with it, so help it do its job right.


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



Franklin Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Posted March 7, 2021 9:48 AM

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Franklin drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Franklin drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Franklin?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero MI temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in MI?
Do you drive often in dusty Franklin areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Franklin?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold MI weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Franklin on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Franklin surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Franklin weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should Franklin residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Franklin or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why MI residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in MI summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Franklin Auto Service service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

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



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