What if something goes wrong? I mean it is 2020…….

In the course of 2020 we have all seen some crazy things that we could have never imagined. So, what if something goes wrong after your vehicle is serviced?

While we take every precaution possible inevitably something could still go wrong. In the unfortunate event that you should have an issue with any work performed we cover all repairs and services with a 2 Year and 24,000 mile Nationwide warranty. Some products and services have even more coverage than that!

I’m sure that you are not surprised that a local family business takes warranty issues extremely seriously, but you may be wondering how this service can be extended across the nation for you next road trip? We have partnered with a Nationwide network to make sure that you have the peace of mind that coverage is always available in the unlikely event that you should have a failure. Should you ever experience an issue reach out to us immediately at 215-355-8877 and we will work to resolve any issue and or concerns straight away. No one likes to think about problems until it is time for a resolution, then you can really see what kind of business you are working with!

Posted in: auto repair, car maintenance, Customer Service, warranty

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Control Arm

What the heck is a Control Arm? You have your car in for a concern that it is pulling to the side when braking. You are informed that you need a new “Control Arm”! But what is that anyway? Control arms are an integral portion of independent suspension. These arms are generally made of iron or aluminum and a wishbone or triangle shape. Depending on the type of suspension system your car may have one or more control arms at each wheel. The metal arm has a combination of bushings and/or ball joints connecting to the adjacent suspension components.

 

 

                                                                              What goes wrong with a Control Arm?

Outside of accident damage and rot the metal portion of the arm can last an extremely long amount of time. The failure on modern control arms is the joints and bushings that are attaching the arms to the suspension. In some cases we can save some expense by replacing just the end components. Your service advisor can direct you based on your particular situation and vehicle. The pulling described in this example was from a badly damaged bushing that allowed the arm to move mimicking steering input and turning one wheel of the car.

 

 

 

How does the Mechanic fix the Control Arm?

Control arms can be rebuilt or replaced. The mechanic will disassemble the suspension and remove the arm from the vehicle. Next he will inspect the condition of each component. In conjunction with your service advisor the most cost effective option will be determined. Then the arm will be rebuilt or replaced and reinstalled. After reassembly of the suspension system the mechanic will torque all of the suspension bolts and road test the vehicle. Following the extensive disassembly the vehicle will be brought in for a wheel alignment before final completion.

Posted in: alignment, auto repair, bushing, control arm, steering and suspension

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What to do if your Tire Light Comes On

There is some kind of funny warning light on my dashboard!?!

The tire warning indicator on your vehicle may look like the clam shell pictured or may even be a message that says “check tire pressure”. Realistically not many people actually have their own tire pressure gauge. Those quarter operated air pressure machines seem to be disappearing and never seem to work when you need them!

So now what?

The first thing is to not panic! Tire pressure warning systems are very sensitive and generally the indicator is on for a tire that is low on pressure and not actually flat. Start off by pulling over and just looking closely at each of your tires to see if they might be visibly sagging from low air pressure. If there are no obvious signs of a visibly low tire carefully proceed to the nearest place to have the tire properly inflated and inspected by a mechanic. If you want to work on the issue yourself here’s how: Start off by inflating the tire to the proper pressure as indicated on the door safety placard. DO NOT inflate to the pressure indicated on the side of the tire! This is the Maximum Allowable Tire Pressure. Next carefully inspect the tire tread and sidewalls for signs of puncture and or foreign materials. If no fault are found at this stage you will need to check for air leaks. The easiest way to do this with household tools is to make a solution of dish soap and water. Cover the tire with the soapy water solution and watch for air bubbles. Simple tire leak Solution The escaping air will create the bubbles indicating the leak! As long as the damage is within the tread section and one inch from the side wall of the tire it can be safely repaired. Any damage to the sidewall of the tire is not repairable and will require replacement of the tire. After your mechanic repairs the tire they will reset the warning system and you can move on with your day!

What if the tire is already flat? 

If the tire warning light is on and you find that you do have a flat tire, do not drive on the flat tire. Driving on a underinflated tire can permanently damage the tire. Many cars still come with a spare tire or a tire sealer/inflator system. You can consult your owners manual to see which one you might have in your car. If you have a spare tire/inflator follow the instructions in the owners manual to safely change/inflate the tire and bring the flat tire in for a mechanic to inspect. If your vehicle is not equipped with a solution or you do not want the hassle contact roadside assistance. We have 24 hour service available at 215-355-8877.

Posted in: auto repair, road service, tire repair, Tires

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Alternator, what does it do? How to tell if yours is bad?

So you are unlucky to find out your car didn’t start. After having the road service come and getting your car to the repair shop you find out that the Alternator is bad. But what does the Alternator have to do with the car starting anyway? The alternator is an imperative component to the operation of your vehicle. Think of the alternator as the automotive equivalent of that little white box that your cell plugs into……

Lets start off with what an alternator does for you. The basic function of an alternator is to take mechanical energy (from your running engine) and turn that into Alternating Current Electrical Energy (to power all of the electronics). The mechanical energy is transferred to the alternator through a drive belt. This drive belt is connected to a rotor through a pulley. The rotation of this rotor within a stator produces Alternating Current Electricity. You may remember from high School science that alternating current (AC) is what is typically used in homes and direct current (DC) is what is stored in a battery. So unfortunately for our standard battery powered cars alternating current is useless! So there is one last step in automotive alternator. The Alternating Current (AC) is converted to Direct Current (DC) through a rectifier. Now that we have the proper DC voltage being produced we can use this to charge and maintain the vehicle battery.

So when the battery has no voltage remaining one of the first things that your mechanic will check is your alternator. Just like when you phone dies you would check to see if the charger is plugged in! The alternaotr is responsible for maintaining battery voltage as well as providing additional electrical supply for your vehicle. Without a properly charged battery your car will not be able to start and drive!

Symptoms of a Bad Alternator

A dead battery is just one of the potential symptoms of a bad alternator. You may also experience some warnings on your dashboard prior to the battery dying. Some vehicles will have a battery shaped light, others will have a message indicating a charging fault or even the illumination of the “Check Engine Lamp”. These issues do not solely mean that the alternator is at fault. Your mechanic can perform a test to determine the function of your cars alternator. If the alternator is determined to be faulty it will be rebuilt and or replaced.

Posted in: Alternator, Auto Maintenance, Battery, Car Battery, car maintenance

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How long will it take to repair my car?

We know, getting your car repaired is right up there with going to see the dentist! Well really it is actually much better than the dentist, but anyway. None of us budget the time or finances to take care of our main mode of transportation. But for today lets concentrate on the time factor. Time is the worlds most limited resource, especially if your responsible for kids, pets, homework, parents, friends, etc. The list of responsibilities goes on forever. Automotive repair is not something that can be rushed. After all when your rushing to the next kid pick-up/drop off do you really want to get a surprise car problem!!??

The best advice that we can give to assist in this battle for more time is to plan ahead. Frank’s Servicenter offers a free shuttle service to get you to work or back home. If you desire even more flexibility we also offer free loaner cars for your use while your car is in for service. To reserve a loaner car or for more details Click Here. The second part of planning ahead is to have a maintenance plan for your vehicle. Our advisors will layout what your car or truck will need so that we can help you to budget both the time and the finances to keep your car moving worry free with as least amount of surprises as possible!

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, auto repair, car maintenance, Customer Service, loaner car, schedule service, schedule service, Shuttle service

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Car Battery

The battery in your car is an integral part for any of the components to operate. Without this one simple item nothing will function on the car! Typically a car battery will last 4-6 years in our area. While automotive batteries are rechargeable there is a limit to the number of times that you can run the battery down and restore its operation.

Battery CCA TestHow do you know if the battery needs replacement? 

Batteries are rated in Cold Cranking Amperage or CCA. Every battery has a CCA rating usually displayed on the top of the battery. A specialized battery tester can determine the available CCA. During your routine service visits we will check the available CCA of your battery and let you know if the battery is falling below the standard.

 

 

What is the best kind of battery to use? 

AcDelco Professional Batteries in Stock

There are a variety of battery options available. Frank’s Servicenter offers multiple options although our preference is AC Delco batteries. AC Delco has proven to be a strong and reliable supplier offering a great value and strong warranty. Our new AC Delco Professional batteries will come with a minimum 30 month free replacement warranty and many options are 42 Months and beyond. Check with your service consultant for details.

 

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, Battery

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What kind of Parts will you use on my vehicle?

When it comes to automotive parts there is a never ending selection of possibilities.

Every new car manufacturer sells parts, thousands of different aftermarket manufacturers and you can even find automotive parts on Amazon or Ebay! Unfortunately not all parts are created equally. If you have ever found yourself searching for a component online you likely understand that there is a wide variety of options available. Just one component of the service that we provide is proper part selection for you vehicle repairs.

Our service associates have years of knowledge and experience in automotive repair and maintenance to choose the best value option for you. All of our work is also covered by an industry leading 2 Year and 24,000 mile warranty. Choosing the best quality parts while providing you the highest value is out mission. There are instances where the Original manufacturer part was poorly designed and there are companies that provide an updated solution. There are conversely also times when the best solution is to use the part that was designed by the original manufacturer. Many facets are involved in the proper parts selection and your advisor is the experienced professional that you can rely on.

 

These are also the reasons that supply all of the parts that our mechanics install. Too many times we have run into the pitfall of someone trying to source their own materials just to find out that the wrong parts were provided, or worse yet the part purchased is of poor quality and will not be able to deliver the desired results. There are hundreds of nuisances in proper part selection on modern vehicles. To avoid these issues for all parties involved our parts professionals will source all components and warranty all of these components for at minimum 2 Years and 24,000 miles!

 

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Should I go to “the dealer” to have my car serviced?

You have been enjoying driving your brand new car and its time to have it serviced, but where should you go? 

There are many great options for automotive service and repair in our area and you should find the solution that fits your personality and needs the best. You may be asking yourself, well, “My car is Under Warranty, Do I Need to got to a new car dealership?” NO! you can choose to have your car serviced where ever you prefer by whomever you prefer! You can even choose to do the maintenance yourself! This is legally made possible by the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1975. One of the many features of this Warranty Act is that it makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work. See a full description from the Federal Trade Commission HERE.

 

Now that you realize that you are not REQUIRED to go anywhere specific, “Where should you go for “Automotive Service”?

New car dealerships operate their service departments independent of the vehicle manufacturer just as every other independent repair facility. Many of our customers tell us that they enjoy the individual attention that we give in comparison to a dealership that seems to treat each customer as just a number to be dealt with. If you have been to a dealership you can recall the frustration of looking for someone to help you, being passed off to multiple disengaged workers and finally paying at a cashier before searching acres of asphalt for your car. At Frank’s Servicenter time is dedicated to working with each client to make the very best decision possible for your unique needs. No situation is exactly the same and we want you to be happy with the solution that works for you. Our team is dedicated to solving your transportation situation. While we dedicate the time and resources to repair and maintain your car you can move on with your busy life! After bringing your car in for service you do not need to worry about anything. We will keep in constant communication through email, text and/or phone calls. Your advisor will share a link to your vehicle information for your review before discussion. Quality takes time and no one has time to spare waiting around for their car. To keep you moving we offer shuttle service if you are close to home or work. If the shuttle is not your answer we can also schedule you for a Free Loaner vehicle while your car is in for service. But there are some things that you just cant plan on!!! When you suddenly find out that you need emergency service we are happy to take you right away and you can relax in our waiting room enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a moment of peaceful sanity.

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Oil Change

How long will it take to change my oil?

That is a great question! To just merely drain and refill the engine oil on your car is a relatively easy and quick task. Unfortunately vehicle maintenance is much more than just “changing the oil” as the title suggests.

So the real question is what is an “Oil Change“?

An Oil Change is actually just one part of a 3,000/5,000/10,000 mile service. One of the many items that is completed during this service is the simple draining and refilling of the motor oil and replacement of the oil filter. Although to keep your complete vehicle safely operating as designed there are actually many more items that will be inspected, adjusted and serviced at this service visit. First of all the vehicle will have a complete digital maintenance inspection performed. All of the fluids will be checked for level, cleanliness, replacement and topped off as required. The tires will be inspected and the pressures adjusted as needed.  Throughout the maintenance inspection the technician will review the complete vehicle assessing the on board systems, the lighting, windshield wipers, air filer, cabin filter, belts and accessories. The battery is tested and the engine components are assessed. While performing work under the vehicle the technician will review the steering, suspension, drive train, tires and brakes. Throughout this process the technician will utilize an iPad to document photographs of any abnormal conditions. Following the assessment and the refilling of the motor oil the technician will reset the on board maintenance reminder system and apply a reminder to the windshield.

 

How long will this take again?

As we can see an oil change is actually much more than the simple title implies. So if you are in a rush and just do not want the actual motor oil to be neglected that can be changed in roughly 30 minutes. To actually complete the mileage service and ensure long term reliability we ask our customers to allow up to one hour.

What kind of oil do I need?

You many have been posed the question if you would like regular/standard/conventional oil or “Synthetic” oil. Just about every new car requires the use of a Synthetic motor oil. Synthetic oils are far superior offering increased protection along with extended service intervals. Please keep in mind that no matter what kind of oil your vehicle requires you should have your car in for its routine maintenance service and assessment at least every 6 months. If you drive an older car and high mileage is not a concern then a standard oil may be your best option. Ask your service advisor which is best suited for your vehicle and driving habits.

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, car maintenance, car repair, Inspection, Oil Change

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When Can I Get My Vehicle Serviced?

Let’s face it, having your car serviced can feel like a real inconvenience. Nobody really wants to stop their life to get their car serviced! It is not something that we look forward to, although it needs to be completed.  Better to do it on your schedule then to wait for an emergency and suffer a real significant inconvenience. To speak with an advisor and schedule your service we are available at 215-355-8877 to assist you Monday through Friday from 7 AM through 5:30 PM. We can also be reached 24 hours a day through our web site www.FranksServicenter.com as well as via email at Service@FranksServicenter.com. To keep your busy life moving we are happy to offer transportation solutions while your car is in for service.

 

Frank’s Servicenter offers FREE loaner vehicles, these vehicles are in high demand and we recommend scheduling your service with a loaner well in advance. If a loaner car is not the best solution for you we are also happy to provide local shuttle service to your home or workplace. Proper vehicle service takes time to evaluate and complete. We prefer to help you to keep your day moving however possible although if you find yourself needing a quick oil change, tire repair, light bulb repair or other minor service we can also schedule a waiting appointment. The best time for a waiting appointment is at 7 Am, 9 Am or 2 Pm. Our team breaks for lunch together from 1 PM to 1:30 PM, if you have an emergency feel free to stop by at any time during the day and we will help you through it. Maintaining and repairing vehicles is complex task that takes time to properly complete, we are here to take care of your car so you do not need to worry about it. Reach out and let us know how we can best solve your transportation needs!

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, schedule service, schedule service, Uncategorized

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