Archive for October 2023
Fears and Gears (Signs of Automatic Transmission Problems)Posted October 29, 2023 10:26 AM
Automatic transmissions rule. The old days of shifting your own gears are a thing of the past for most drivers. But automatic transmission trouble can be a big inconvenience for any driver if it comes at the wrong time in the wrong place. Here are some signs to look out for that may mean you are having transmission issues.
When you are driving, your vehicle seems to slip in an out of gear without you touching anything. That's what some call, not surprisingly, a "slipping transmission."
When your vehicle shifts from one gear to the next, you hear a loud "clunk." Transmissions are supposed to be nearly silent when they shift, so that noise is telling you something is wrong.
If you notice there's a puddle of some fluid under your vehicle, your transmission could be leaking fluid. Try to figure out what color it is (try putting a piece of cardboard underneath to capture some of the fluid). If it is red or brown, that's a sign it could be transmission fluid. Sometimes you may smell the transmission fluid, too; it has what some consider a "sweet" odor.
You may have a warning light that goes on when your transmission fluid is low (it could be a special transmission symbol or simply the Check Engine light). That light could also mean the fluid is too hot or has low pressure.
If you shift your vehicle into D (for Drive) and it doesn't move or slowly engages after some delay, you may be seeing the start of a serious problem.
Of course, you don't want a malfunctioning transmission to strand you at some inopportune time. So if your vehicle is showing any of these signs, arrange a time for a technician to check it out. Not only are broken transmissions an inconvenience, they can be a safety hazard, too.
Franklin Auto Service
To Fix or Not To Fix (Tire Repair)Posted October 22, 2023 12:37 PM
You know that sinking feeling when you realize one of your tires has a problem. It may be making an odd noise or behaving oddly when you're driving. You may hit a pothole or curb and one suddenly goes flat. Or you may head back to your vehicle and discover it has one tire deflated without a clue of what must have happened to it.
With a lot of different tires hitting the streets these days, the issue of whether to have a tire repaired or replaced can be tricky, and we strongly recommend you have a trained technician help you make that decision.
One of the most common causes of flat tires is picking up a screw or nail in the tread area. Many of those can be patched and plugged if the puncture isn't more than ¼ inch/6 mm in diameter. Most tires can handle two of this type of repair, but any more and you should buy a new tire.
If there's a puncture or bulge in the sidewall or shoulder, the rule of thumb is it's not repairable. The sidewall doesn't have the reinforcements that the tread area does. In fact, any puncture that's more than a ½ inch/12 mm away from the edge of the tread should not be fixed.
Many newer vehicles have no spare tires (to save weight and fuel) and instead have a type of tire called "run-flat." Sometimes, the only way you know they're deflated is when the tire pressure monitor alerts the driver. Driving on them more than 50 miles/80km can render them un-repairable. They may be fixable if you pulled off to the side of the road before driving on them too long. Our technicians can evaluate whether they can be driven further or should be replaced.
Other vehicles with no spare include a can of tire sealant and a compressor. If you use it, tire experts say to have the tire professionally repaired as soon as possible.
If you have had a flat tire, try not to drive on it unless it's necessary to get your vehicle away from a dangerous situation. Our technicians can evaluate any tire you may be having problems with and recommend whether repair or replacement is the best option. Your safety is riding on your tires.
Franklin Auto Service
Chilly Warning (Diagnosing a Noise in Cold Vehicle)Posted October 15, 2023 12:23 PM
When the weather gets colder, sometimes the noises your vehicle makes will change. For example, you may notice a whining sound when you get going in the morning. It may go away when the vehicle warms up, but it's best not to ignore that sound because it could be a warning of worse things to come.
Colder temperatures cause different components to behave differently. Let's take a look at a few of them. First, the fluids in your vehicle. Cold temperatures can make them behave a little differently, such as engine oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid. Those characteristics could change if the fluids are older and full of contaminants.
Belts also can create a whining noise when cold. Since they turn pulleys that move other things, several factors can create issues. Increased friction can change proper tensions on belts. Plus, belts change as they age and may crack, get loose or develop a glazed surface. Belts and pulleys also must be aligned properly to work the way they're designed to.
As you can imagine, it's easier for a technician to diagnose a noise if the vehicle is making it. And if a vehicle only makes a noise when it's cold, that sound may be gone by the time the vehicle makes it to the repair facility. That means a driver may have to consider dropping off the vehicle the night before so the technician can be the first to start it the following morning. Most service facilities can accommodate that with either a drop-off box or other arrangement. Heed your vehicle's warning when you start to hear unusual noises. That's a cool idea you should be able to easily warm up to.
Franklin Auto Service
Thoughtful Gifts for the Winter DriverPosted October 8, 2023 8:40 AM
You may be one of those romantics who don't like giving (or getting) practical gifts for special occasions. Just wait until one of those gifts helps you out of a big predicament in cold weather, and you realize that practical gifts can be life savers.
Here are a few things you may give the cold-weather driver in your life—or suggest to someone else to give you!
How Much is Enough for Franklin Auto Owners? Tire Tread DepthPosted October 1, 2023 8:09 AM
Most Franklin drivers know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they're need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it's for Franklin vehicle owners to know the answers to these questions.
Franklin Auto Service
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