Archive for July 2023

An Oil for All Seasons (Engine Oil Selection)

Posted July 30, 2023 10:26 AM

You swap your winter boots for flip-flops in the summer.  Why not change your winter engine oil for summer, hot-weather oil?  While it may seem like it makes sense, there's some good news.  Most drivers don't have to, and here's why.

Engine oil can be made in different thicknesses.  That thickness is called viscosity, how easily it flows.  Now, it makes sense that the hotter it gets, oil gets a little thinner and doesn't lubricate as well.  So if you used a thicker oil in the summer, it's logical that it would protect better in the hotter weather. 

While there was a time when oils could be only made in one viscosity, times have changed.  Using an ingenious formula, oil can now be created that changes its viscosity (called "multi-viscosity") as the temperature rises and falls.  It self-adjusts to match the conditions.  Now that's what I call a great invention.

In most temperate climates, you don't have to swap out the type of oil you use in your vehicle each season. There are exceptions in extreme climates, but your service advisor can advise you on that.  Your vehicle's owner's manual recommends the proper viscosity oil to use.

Remember that even though you may not have to switch to a different type of oil, you DO have to CHANGE the oil at certain intervals.  That's because oil eventually breaks down and picks up contaminants, and if you have old, dirty oil in your engine, it can cause damaging friction and heat. Regular maintenance at your vehicle service facility will ensure that your vehicle is running like a well-oiled machine. 

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



When Your Air Bag Light Comes On (Illuminated Air Bag Light)

Posted July 23, 2023 9:51 AM

There are some dashboard lights you should pay more attention to than others.  One is the air bag light.  If it's on and your vehicle is in an accident, your air bags probably won't do their job.

Automakers began installing air bags in the late 1990's since they were mandatory in the United States, and manufacturers have included them in Canadian vehicles as well.  Safety experts say using a seat belt in combination with an air bag gives passengers the best chance of surviving a crash and minimizing serious injury.

The air bag warning light takes a few different forms.  Some look like a picture of a belted passenger with an inflated air bag from a side view.  Or there may be a warning light that says something like "Air Bag," "SRS" (for supplemental restraint system), "Airbag Deactivated" or "Air Bag Off."

Different things cause the air bag light to come on.  Your vehicle may have been in an accident during which, while the air bags didn't inflate, crash sensors were activated.  Some of them may be connected with your vehicle's seat belts.  A technician can reset the air bag if this has happened.

Fuses can also blow which will cause the air bag light to come on.  Another possible cause? A sensor that tells the vehicle's computer whether or not there is someone riding in the passenger front seat may be malfunctioning. 

Air bags are not for the do-it-yourselfer.  They are sophisticated systems that require specialized training and equipment to diagnose and repair.  If an air bag light is on, take it to a qualified service repair facility.  One more thing: remember that safety experts have designed air bags to work in conjunction with seat belts for maximum protection in accidents.  So always wear your seat belt.  

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



Rotation Explanation (Tire Rotation Patterns)

Posted July 16, 2023 11:14 AM

You may notice that when you get your vehicle's oil changed, your service adviser may recommend that you have your tires rotated at the same time.  The reasons are simple.  That will allow your tires to wear more evenly and reduce the noise your tires make as you drive down the road.

There are different ways of rotating tires. If your vehicle has non-directional tires and the same size wheels at each corner, here are the different rotation patterns.

For all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, one is called the rearward cross pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front and stay on the same side of the vehicle, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the side opposite of where they were on the front. 

For all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, use the X pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front on the opposite side of the vehicle, and the fronts are moved to the rear on the opposite side of where they were on the front.

For front-wheel drive, there's the forward cross.  The front tires are moved to the rear wheels on the same side of the vehicle as they were on the front and the rear tires are moved to the opposite side of the vehicle than they were on the rear. 

If you have directional tires (they only can be mounted in one direction) and the same size directional wheels, the rear tires are moved to the front on the same side of the vehicle where they were, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the same side they were on the front.   And if you have tires with different sizes of non-directional tires and wheels on the front and rear, rotation will be from one side of the vehicle to the other. 

If you have a spare, it's put into the rotation using a forward cross or rearward cross. 

Yep, that's a lot to keep straight.  So, we suggest letting your service advisor recommend the right rotation pattern for you at the interval your vehicle's manufacturer specifies.

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



The Franklin Auto Service Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

Posted July 9, 2023 9:58 AM

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Franklin drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Franklin. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on MI roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Franklin hills, pass or start up again.

Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Franklin Auto Service, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Franklin Auto Service see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Franklin service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It's really important for Franklin area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.

At Franklin Auto Service in Franklin, we hope you never become shiftless in Franklin because you didn't take care of your transmission.

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

 



Automotive Tips from Franklin Auto Service: Air Conditioning ? Common Problem

Posted July 2, 2023 8:20 AM

Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving around Franklin. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.

A common A/C problem for Franklin drivers that visit Franklin Auto Service is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber clog passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.

Leaks can develop at seals and gaskets and may reduce the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.

Ask your Franklin Auto Service service advisor for an air conditioning system inspection to make sure everything is up to spec.

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

 



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It's a real pleasure having a full-service gas station in the area. They are friendly and helpful at reasonable prices. We buy our gas here, but we also have our oil changes, snow tire purchases and rotations, and other service needs handled here. Highly recommend! quotes-image
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