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Archive for August 2022

The Cable Guy (Battery Cables and Maintenance)

Posted August 28, 2022 12:58 PM

If you've ever noticed your vehicle's lights are dim or not working at all, the problem could be many things.  But one possibility is your battery cables aren't doing their job.  A power outage in your vehicle is similar to one in your house and needs to be repaired to get things back to normal.

Battery cables connect your vehicle's battery to the vehicle itself.  There is a positive cable when provides the power and a negative cable that connects to the vehicle chassis and provides a ground for electrical components. 

A failing battery cable may cause your vehicle not to start.  Your starter may turn over very slowly.  Or you may just hear a series of clicks.  One other clue is on your dash—the battery warning light. 

There are many things that can cause power issues in a vehicle, but it's important to keep battery cables clean and maintained.  Salt and corrosion are enemies to any power system.  A technician can keep things in top shape, disconnecting the cables, inspecting them and cleaning their ends and the battery terminals.  Cables, by the way, are often made up of smaller strands of wire.  If they are frayed, some of those smaller wires can touch metal parts of the vehicles that they shouldn't.  The result? Electrical system malfunctions.

So if you see any of these signs that something is not quite right with the power in your vehicle, consult your service advisor and get it checked out.  Feel the power!


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



Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Franklin Auto Service

Posted August 21, 2022 9:17 AM

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the MI news. Franklin people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Franklin motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.

There are plenty of Franklin drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in MI.

The Franklin drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.

There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important for Franklin car owners. It's simple – a Franklin Auto Service professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your Franklin Auto Service technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Franklin Auto Service service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Franklin. With proper service at Franklin Auto Service and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

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



Steer Me Right! (Failing Power Steering Hose)

Posted August 14, 2022 3:02 AM

Most drivers love how easy it is to turn their vehicles, and they have power steering to thank.  Engineers have figured out a way to take some of your engine's power to help you turn. Without it, steering can be quite a chore.  New power systems are electric, but there are still plenty of the older hydraulic power steering systems out there, and it's wise to keep them working the way they should so you don't find yourself stranded without power steering.

Those hydraulic power systems use a fluid under pressure that is pumped to a device that helps you turn your wheels more easily.  It's that pressure that presents the challenge.  After your vehicle's seen a few years on the road, you may find your steering isn't quite as easy as it was.  You may hear a groaning or humming sound when you turn. 

One component that can fail is the pressure hose that carries that fluid from the power steering pump to that turning assist mechanism.  The hose is made of rubber and can leak, crack, get damaged by heat and debris or just get too old.  If yours is ten years old or older, it's likely getting close to the end of its life.

If you think you can just wait until it fails completely, think of these possible consequences.  If the hose or a coupling fails, power steering fluid can blow all over the hot engine.  That fluid is flammable and can start a fire.  Or if you've been driving for a few weeks with low power steering fluid, that could ruin your power steering pump. Replacing the pump is an extra expense you can probably  live without.

A technician will replace the necessary parts and make sure air and contaminants are bled or flushed from the system.  Then, he or she will check for leaks.  Just think how important a properly working power steering system is for safe operation of your vehicle.  Make sure you keep yours in top shape for your safety's sake and the safety of others on the road around you.

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



DOG FOOD IN YOUR ENGINE (Keeping Rodents out of your Engine)

Posted August 7, 2022 1:50 AM

A technician was telling us the other day that he was servicing an engine and spotted something he'd never seen before: A collection of dry dog food siting on a horizontal metal ledge near the base of the engine.  It was neatly stashed and was in a spot where the food pellets couldn't have simply fallen down in there.

Even though it's the first time he'd seen dog food in an engine, he immediately knew what was going on.  Critters like mice or chipmunks had found the dog food somewhere nearby and had used the engine as a nice storage unit. 

Mice, squirrels, chipmunks—you name it—like the heat of the engine.  And they'll use that to store up supplies of food for use in cold weather when outside food supplies are scarce.  The problem is they'll also chew on engine components while they're there. And they can do a lot of damage if they start gnawing on the wires.  Depending on how much of your electrical system needs to be replaced, repairs can mount up to the thousands of dollars. 

Those electrical problems can be tricky to track down, too, because the rodents can get to spots technicians don't have easy access to.  Oh, the signs are there; they'll find mouse droppings, acorns… even full mouse nests in your engine.  Yikes.

OK, but even if you get your vehicle fixed, how do you keep the critters from simply setting up their personal pantry again? Here are some things to try:

  • Don't leave any food in your vehicle
  • Get rid of that sweet-smelling air freshener. The rodents can mistake the scent for food and head right for your vehicle.
  • If you have a garage, block all access points for rodents. This can be very hard since they can squeeze through the tiniest spaces you can imagine.
  • Some people keep mothballs under the hood; rodents don't love 'em.
  • Pop the hood every couple of weeks and look for signs of mice: nests, droppings or stored nuts, acorn shells and pet food.

The next time you bring your vehicle into Franklin Auto Service for maintenance or service, your technician will be on the lookout, too. Hey, the dog food belongs in the dog's dish, not supplying fast food for little critters with razor-sharp teeth that can create electrical system mayhem.

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



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