[caption id=”” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]After Hours Key Pick Up Locker[/caption] If you need to drop your car off outside of regular business hours please utilize our Early Bird/Night Owl drop off system located directly to the right of our front door. After filling out the provided envelope, insert your keys and documents in the secure drop box. We will contact you to confirm that we have the correct information and details.
How Long do Shocks and Struts last? The shock absorbers and struts on your vehicle are in place to hold the tire firmly against the pavement, not to support the weight of your vehicle as is commonly misconceived. The weight of the vehicle is supported by the springs in conjunction with the suspension components. because of this demanding job of holding the tire firm against the pavement shocks and struts are constantly moving. This constant movement and dampening slowly wears the shocks and struts. Generally a good quality shock or strut will last 60,000 to 75,000 miles before showing signs of wear or requiring replacement. Sometimes the hydraulic fluid will begin to leak from the shock/strut unit, although most often there are no external signs of shock or strut replacement needs. All of the wear and tear is internal and the symptoms are diminished ride quality, tire wear and poor braking performance. Due to the fact that we drive the same car every day the gradual wear can be difficult to detect. You may seem to notice that your vehicle just doesn’t feel like it “used to”. So to keep your car operating as the finely tuned machine that you purchased have the Shocks and Struts inspected regularly and budget for replacement between 75,000 and 100,000 miles.
Do I need new radiator hoses? Radiator hoses last much longer than they did in the past for many reasons! Consistent vehicle operating temperatures and improved antifreeze compounds as well as improved hose materials have made huge improvements. The best way to make your radiator hoses last is to service the fluid in the cooling system. By servicing the cooling system you will keep the fluid from becoming acidic and deteriorating the hoses. The cooling system should be serviced every four years and the hoses will then last for eight years!
Timing belt replacement is important because letting this one slide can lead to very expensive engine damage.
Your timing belt connects the crankshaft and the camshafts to create the timing of your combustion process. While the pistons are traveling up and down in the cylinder the Intake valves must open at the right time to let in air and fuel, they close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn and then the exhaust valves open at the right time to let out the exhaust.
All this happens thousands of times a minute and it’s your timing belt that makes sure the valves are opening and closing at precisely the right time. If the timing belt is damaged, your engine won’t run.
Even worse than that is that if a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. This will result is bent valves and maybe even more damage.
Timing belts are made of a special rubber and they breakdown over time. You want to replace a worn belt as a preventative item before it slips or breaks. Check your owner’s manual or with your service advisor at Frank’s Servicenter Inc. in Southampton Pennsylvania to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. Timing belt replacement varies and can be as soon as 60,000 miles or as long as 105,000 miles.
Additionally on some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt. On these engines it’s a good idea to replace the water pump when you’re replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected and potentially replaced during service.
While replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive maintenance items on your vehicle not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you’ll encounter.
How much will it cost to fix my brakes? That is a great question that we get everyday. The problem with that question is that we need more information to give you the answer. We can compare it to calling a doctor and asking how much it will cost to fix a leg that hurts! There are questions and data that need to be gathered along with physical inspection and evaluation. After all of these items then we can give you a detailed written cost estimate. The great news is that you can come in and free of charge we will go through all of these processes and give you all of the information that you need to make the right decisions.
The ads at many gas stations are familiar: Retailers proclaim that their gasoline is a special, high-tech blend that offers all kinds of benefits. Many talk about how their product is a “Top Tier™ gasoline,” which they say improves engine performance by reducing the amount of “gunk” left behind. AAA recently tested a number of Top Tier and non-Top Tier gasoline brands and found that, on average, Top Tier brands left 19 times fewer intake valve deposits than non-Top Tier fuels. With Top Tier brands widely available and only costing about 3 cents more per gallon, AAA urges drivers to prioritize quality when deciding where to get gas.
What is Top Tier Gas?
Top Tier gasolines are those that contain special detergent additives to prevent the buildup of carbon deposits (known as gunk) in the engine. Engine deposits increase emissions and lead to other performance issues, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency mandates a minimum level of detergent.
Some automakers don’t think those standards go far enough, and they run a program called Top Tier that has developed more stringent guidelines. Today more than 40 retail fuel brands participate in the program, follow its detergent standards, and call their fuel Top Tier.
Are “premium” Gas and Top Tier Gas the Same Thing?
No. When gas stations separate their fuels into regular, mid-grade, and premium, they are referring to the octane rating. Fuels with a higher octane rating are required by some high-performance engines to prevent knocking or improve fuel economy, but being premium doesn’t have anything to do with the fuel’s detergent additives.
If your vehicle manufacturer doesn’t recommend premium fuel, buying it can be an unnecessary expense. Read more about premium fuel.
Is Top Tier Gas Better for Engines?
To see whether Top Tier detergents work as intended, AAA selected Top Tier and non-Top Tier gasolines from a southern Texas market that represent the gas sold in most of the country. Engines in a lab simulated 4,000 miles of driving with each fuel, and then were inspected for deposits.
The results: Top Tier fuels left engines much cleaner. On average, non-Top Tier fuels left 660 milligrams of deposits on each intake, compared to an average of just 34 milligrams for Top Tier fuels. That’s 19 times fewer deposits, or a reduction of almost 95 percent. Top Tier fuels also left fewer overall deposits throughout the engine.
Other Top Tier Findings
Top Tier brands didn’t just keep clean engines clean. To see if they might also help remove deposits from dirty engines, AAA researchers took a high-mileage engine with substantial residue inside and ran it on Top Tier fuel for 1,000 miles. It was re-inspected, and researchers found that a significant amount of residue had cleared.
AAA also investigated whether Top Tier brands cost significantly more than others. Over a 12-month period, researchers found the average difference between Top Tier and non-Top Tier brands was just three cents per gallon.
Do drivers prefer Top Tier fuel?
Given that there appear to be real benefits to the Top Tier standard, AAA researchers commissioned a telephone survey to see if fuel quality was a top concern for American drivers, as opposed to convenience or price. The results:
63% of drivers believe there is a difference in the quality of gasoline sold by different gas stations
34% of drivers say they usually buy gasoline with an enhanced detergent additive like those in Top Tier gas
Drivers’ top reasons for picking a gas station
Location – 75%
Price – $73%
Rewards Program – $29%
Gas Has Detergent – 12%
AAA’s Advice for Drivers
Use gas that meets Top Tier standards whenever possible.
AAA’s tests demonstrate that Top Tier detergent additives are effective at combating carbon deposit buildup.Not sure which brands have Top Tier gas? Check out a list of participating brands.
Shop around for gas with the Auto Club App
The extra cost of Top Tier fuels (generally a few pennies more per gallon) and occasional inconvenience are outweighed by the long-term fuel savings and performance benefits. Plus, with the new AAA App’s Cheapest Gas feature, finding a Top Tier station nearby is easy. Explore the free Auto Club App.
Don’t assume it’s already too late to benefit from Top Tier gas
The results researchers got from running Top Tier gas through a dirty engine suggest that detergents can help clean out deposits, not just prevent them. Using Top Tier fuel for several fill-ups may yield improved performance.
Use the right fuel — don’t confuse “premium” with Top Tier
If the owner’s manual calls for premium-grade gas, that’s a reference to the octane rating, not fuel quality. Top Tier standards apply to all octane grades of fuel, whether regular, mid-grade, or premium.
Your windshield is literally your window to the world when you are driving your car and therefore you want to make sure you can see out of it no matter the weather conditions outside. That is why we, at Frank’s Servicenter, recommend changing your wiper blades twice a year during the milder months in the spring and fall seasons. We want to help you be prepared no matter what happens. It is too often that Southampton drivers are caught off guard by a surprise storm or rain fall. Or maybe your windshield has gotten dusty or dirty during the spring and summer months but your wipers are so worn out they can’t clean your windshield even with the aid of washer fluid.
Visibility while driving your vehicle is something that should be taken very seriously because if you can’t see out your windshield you shouldn’t be operating your vehicle. With this idea in mind there are ways to help your wipers last longer. Never use them when your windshield is dry, which means be sure to only operate them in the rain or with washer fluid. When changing to new wiper blades, clean your windshield and wiper blades with rubbing alcohol. This will help remove dust and grime from your windshield without leaving hard water deposits. Some wiper blades even come with an alcohol wipe to remove any packing dust from your wiper blades before you install them.
Anytime you have questions about how to best maintain or replace your wiper blades give us a call here at Frank’s Servicenter. We want to make sure that you are driving both a safe and reliable vehicle. This includes making sure that you can see out of your windshield. If you haven’t checked your washer fluid lately let us know and we can easily check it and top it off for you if needed. Also, the Fall season is a great time to start thinking about preparing your vehicle for the coming winter months.
Give us a call, or drive on into our garage anytime you have questions about how to best maintain or repair your vehicle. We want to give our drivers the peace of mind they deserve while on Southampton, PA roads.
Here at Frank’s Servicenter we want to make sure that our customers are driving both safe and reliable vehicles. This is not only important for your own safety and that of your passengers but for the drivers that share the road with you. If you have ever been behind a vehicle that has a tire blowout, you know how frightening it can be to see a vehicle malfunction. This is why it is important to get your vehicle inspected on a regular basis. Scheduled oil changes are not only great for the overall health of your car, truck or SUV they also allow our professional technicians the chance to perform a comprehensive inspection one your vehicle.
Catching issues while they are small is crucial. The alternative is to allow them to become bigger problems later down the road. These issues could lead to a hazardous roadside breakdown or leave you stranded with a vehicle that won’t start. Most inspections can be completed in a quick manner and will give you the peace of mind you are looking for when having your vehicle serviced by a certified automotive technician. Give us a call anytime you notice a drivability issue while operating your vehicle.
If we find that your vehicle needs to be repaired, we will help you prioritize the work that needs to be completed
We think it is important for Southampton, PA drivers to know what drives their vehicles and a big part of that is your fuel system. The fuel system contains several components but here are a couple of the main ones: Fuel Filter, Fuel Intake and Fuel Injectors. Below are their functions of these parts and why they are important to your overall Fuel System.
Fuel Filter: Much like the name suggests, your fuel filter cleans your fuel of dirt and other contaminants before it makes its way to your engine.
Fuel Intake System: The purpose of your Fuel Intake System is to store and provide a steady supply of fuel to your engine. This relies heavily on your Fuel Pump and Fuel Injectors.
Fuel Injectors: This component delivers the precise amount of fuel at a precise time to keep your engine operating at its peak level of performance. Allowing your Fuel Injectors to get clogged will most likely cause them to be replaced before factory recommendations.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual, in there will be maintenance suggestions as to when you should have your Fuel System cleaned or have various components checked and/or replaced. If your filter becomes saturated it can no longer separate contaminants from your fuel. This will cause your engine to become gummed up with harmful deposits that will negatively impact your engine performance.
If your Fuel System does happen to become clogged or compromised for whatever reason, we can help you with a professional fuel system cleaning. This will help remove harmful gummy deposits from your combustion chamber and off your intake valves. Once the cleaning is completed your engine will be operating far more efficiently.
Therefore anytime you have questions about how to improve your Fuel System or if it has been a while since you have had your filter, injectors or fuel pump inspected. Let us know here atFrank’s Servicenter and we will be happy to help!
Most drivers in Southampton, PA are unhappy to hear that they need to replace their car batteries but according to NAPA 70% of Car Batteries don’t make it past four years. Here are few things that drivers in Southampton, PA can do to help increase the life of their battery.
Keep it clean: Cleaning dirt and grease from your battery especially from the connectors helps with battery efficiency. Dirty batteries run hotter which will significantly shorten their life. If you notice that your battery is dirty, be sure to mention it to one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians. We can quickly clean your battery and its connectors anytime you bring your vehicle into our garage.
Don’t run your battery down: Running your A/C, radio or headlights while your vehicle is not running will deplete your battery. Most batteries can do no more than 10 deep cycle depletions before dying. Let us know if it has been awhile since you’ve last had your battery life checked.We can quickly test it and give you a better idea of when you will need to replace your battery.
Charge your battery: Short trips can leave your battery only partly recharged. We recommend charging your battery using a good quality battery charger once a month during the summer and every three months during colder seasons. Allowing your battery to remain only partly recharged it will significantly shorten your battery life.
Eventually you will have to have your battery replaced. When this time comes, give us a call or drive on into our garage. We can help you find the right battery for your vehicle, we will always match or exceed your manufacturer’s recommendation. There may be some special circumstances for some Pennsylvania drivers especially if they live in the colder parts ofPennsylvania or if you run a lot of accessories while driving, let us know. We can source several batteries that will give you the extra power you want.
Give us a call or schedule an appointment online for a day and time that works best for you anytime you have questions about how to best replace or maintain your battery.