Due to the COVID pandemic we are all driving less on a daily basis then then the “before”. With this limited amount of driving many of us have been simply forgetting about our car! Out of sight = out of mind! Unfortunately our cars were designed to be driven, not to sit around collecting pandemic dust!
The primary issue with allowing your car to sit is that it won’t be ready when you are! We have been fielding calls for dead batteries and flat tires from many clients who allowed their cars to sit unattended. The best practice is to take your car out for “Exercise” at the very least once per week for a full 15-20 minute drive. This will keep the battery charged, the internal components lubricated and fluids moving.
You may be thinking, “well I’m not really driving so I might as well just skip servicing the car.” Skipping out on preventative maintenance is fast track to premature aging! In our area of seasonal weather and temperature changes it is important to have your car serviced at least twice per year. Ideally you will have the car serviced once along with your state inspection and a second time within six months later. Sticking with this routine will allow your service team to stay on top of the vehicle condition and monitor the vehicle systems throughout the seasonal changes. In the late summer and fall we will pay special attention to the heating system to keep the chill out, the antifreeze to protect your engine, the tires for wet weather driving, the wiper blades for snow and ice, the battery for the upcoming cold and the lights for longer nights ahead. In a modern synthetic fluid protected vehicle if you drive more than 5,000 miles in six months you will require additional services.
During your service visit your service advisor will send you a digital report detailing the current condition of your vehicle and the various systems. Your service advisor will help you to keep the vehicle safely on the road while minimizing unneeded expenses and budgeting for future needs. With routine visits it will be easier to manage the expenses of properly maintaining your ride, we will provide advance notice for standard wear and tear items such as breaks and tires as well as scheduled maintenance events.
At Frank’s Servicenter our phone is constantly ringing with new clients asking questions of how much will something cost and do we fix a certain issue or do we work on their model of vehicle. Let’s face it nobody really wants to get their car serviced and it can be daunting to find a new automotive service provider. At the end of the day what do you as an Automotive Repair consumer really want to know? In fact its the same as any other consumer. What the automotive consumer REALLY wants to know is the answer to all of the questions that they are NOT ASKING of the business that they want to deal with! Here are some of those questions!!!
- Are you a good person?
- Is your service team made of of good people?
- Are you reputable and honest?
- Can I trust the information that you are presenting to me?
- Are you going to take good care of myself and my belongings?
- If I have a problem will you help me?
Now that we can see some of these questions the next obvious question is how can we find out the answers? Very few of us will call up an unknown business and blurt out “Are you a good person?, Are you reputable and honest?” As much as we would all like to that is just not a reality! So the next best alternative is to research the business. Check out reviews online, Google, Facebook, other industry sites. Look at the company web site, is the site filled with graphics and words only? Is the team and facility present? What is the history of the company? Do they offer a warranty or guaranty? Do they have state or industry accreditation? Find out what the public has to say, what you friends and neighbors know. How does the facility look? Is it well kept and presentable or run down?
While we have the understanding that these are the unanswered questions of our clients we take great pride in the results you will find with Frank’s Servicenter. Frank’s Servicenter is family owned and operated. While we are in our third generation pictures of the fourth generation grace the walls! Our team is comprised of hardworking, reputable and honest men and women of our community. These industry professionals are trained and certified. All of our work carries a 2 Year and 24,000 mile warranty. Our current clients generously post reviews of our efforts online. We are AAA Certified, BBB rated A+, Repair Pal Certified, Napa Autocare and ASE Certified just to name a few. We practice transparency through electronic digital inspections so that we can share everything that we see with you. We are meticulous while maintaining both your vehicle as well as our own vehicles and our facility. So next time you have an automotive question? Feel free to ask!!
There are millions of parts on your vehicle and this one literally points you in the right direction. If your looking to find out what is a power steering rack? What does the steering rack do? What are the symptoms of a bad steering rack? and why do you need to repair your power steering rack? Read on to find out!
The steering rack is an aluminum housing enclosing a rack and a steering pinion. The steering pinion is connected to the steering wheel through the set of jointed shafts. As the steering wheel is turned, the pinion moves and pushes the steering rack either to the left or right. The ends of the steering rack are connected to the front wheels through the tie rods. This linkage transmits the movement to the wheels to move them left and right as well.
All modern racks have a form of power assist. Power Assisted steering has been around for many years. For most drivers today, power steering is a given standard. Power steering is designed to make our driving experience not only more comfortable but safer too.
Most power steering racks are assisted by a hydraulic fluid that is supplied by an engine driven pump. The high pressure fluid enables an easier turning of the steering rack. This also means that there is a system of hoses, seals, and o-rings to contain the hydraulic fluid. The best method of maintenance for your steering rack is to regularly flush the fluid, fluid service is performed every 3 Years or 30,000 miles.
How do you know if you need a new steering rack? One of the symptoms of a worn steering rack is fluid leakage on the ground, another symptom of a bad steering rack is difficulty turning the steering wheel. The last most common failure area in the steering rack is excess movement due to component wear. In any of these cases the repair will become replacement of the steering rack assembly. Your service consultant will also recommend flushing and replacing the power steering fluid when installing a new power steering rack as well as adjusting the wheel alignment.
75 million US drivers do not have a trusted Auto Repair Shop! Now more than ever it is imperative to have a local trusted automotive confidant. The AAA Auto Club has created the Approved Auto Repair Program to assist drivers in finding reputable high quality automotive service. Once a shop meets AAA’s high standards, including certifications, technical training, cleanliness, insurance requirements, it becomes part of the AAR program where it’s re-inspected annually and monitored for customer satisfaction. Only after this rigorous testing is the AAA Approved Seal displayed to assist motorists.
Tune ups in the original sense of the word are somewhat a thing of the past. As breaker point ignition, distributors and carburetors were replaced, the term that serviced them stuck with us. In the past these mechanical items required frequent cleanings and adjustments. While much of the adjustment work is now computer controlled, still carbon cleaning and routine service remains a necessity.
Major advancements in technology have us spoiled driving cars that don’t need to be “tuned’ like they did in the days of the origin of the “tune up” term. A multitude of sensors communicate data to a high powered computed that can make micro adjustments as components wear and even as we drive. That being said there are still a few items that require routine periodic service.
The carburetor has been replaced by a group of sensors, a computer, fuel injectors and a throttle body. While the computer has a map to adjust the throttle and injectors there is some required maintenance. The throttle body as well as the intake chamber system will develop deposits of excess unburned oil and gas. At the minimum these deposits must be cleaned every 30,000 miles, GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engines will require service every 15,000 miles to prevent major internal repairs.
Gone are the days of adjusting breaker points and cleaning fouled spark plugs! Spark plugs on your engine will still wear out, while the fuel mixture calculation is adjusted so precisely the wear will be barely noticed and the replacement will not be until 60,000 miles! Don’t wait until you have a running problem to perform this maintenance. Not replacing a worn spark plug will cause added strain on the remainder of the secondary ignition system and eventually cause ignition coil failure, a more expensive repair in comparison with the routine maintenance.
Following completion of these maintenance items the service technician will reset the vehicle onboard computer so that the optimal performance is adjusted.
To assist our community we are offering FREE pick up, disinfecting and delivery with your vehicle service. As a small business we are doing everything possible to keep our staff and our customers safe, happy and healthy. You can schedule this service online at
www.FranksServicenter.com or reach us at 215-355-8877
Pick up and Delivery Service Now Available
Disinfectant wipes work best in your vehicles interior. This is the cleaner used by manufacturers of most automotive interiors today. It takes a brief wipe to clean most germs.
Make sure to use disinfecting wipes to clean all the surfaces on the steering wheel. These include the redundant controls for radio, voice control, cruise control, navigation, and paddle shift levers. We also want to clean the gear selector lever and the turn indicator stalks. Also clean the door and center console armrests, display screens, cup
holders, storage areas, and air conditioner vents.
Clean your vehicle to reduce the presence of COVID-19/coronavirus
Be careful with the cleaners that you choose. We have tested Lysol and Clorox wipes with great success. Do not use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the vehicle’s interior. These chemicals will damage to the vinyl, leather and plastics in your vehicle. Also using a ammonia based cleaner like Windex is ill advised as it will also damage the interior surfaces and plastics.
Finally, if you find yourself without any disinfectant wipes or other cleaners, a good scrubbing with soap and water can actually rid surfaces of coronavirus and other germs. It just may take a little bit longer to effectively clean it properly. Don’t scrub too hard, though, as you might find you are removing some of the surface coatings or dyes.
The Corona virus pandemic is affecting the world as well as our community at a rapid rate. In order to assist in the efforts we will be utilizing latex gloves as well as sanitizing vehicles before and after service. We will disinfect the door handles, steering wheel and driver controls. Additionally we are offering pick up and delivery of your vehicle at no charge. Please call our office at 215-355-8877 or schedule online.
COVID-19 Sanitizing Supplies
Need New Tires? Make sure to ask us about Road Hazard Warranty for your new tires. Road Hazard Warranty Coverage is insurance for your tire purchase. Tires can be expensive and you do not want to pay for new tires twice! With Road Hazard coverage a road damaged tire will be replaced or repaired free of charge.
Save money with Road Hazard Coverage
I remember my dad having the shop “pack the bearings” on the family car. Is this something I need to have done?
That is a great question. In the past all wheel bearings were routinely serviceable. This old style of wheel bearing requires periodic service of cleaning, reapplying grease, resealing and adjusting tension. Modern vehicles come with “maintenance free” wheel bearings. The benefit of these bearings is that there is no routine maintenance required during the useful bearing life. When the bearing wears out it must be replaced as an assembly. This improved technology is costly and bearing replacement is more expensive with a sealed bearing than it was previously with serviceable bearings.
But what is the bearing for? The wheel bearings in your vehicle make sure your wheels rotate smoothly. This friction and constant rotation generates a lot of heat. The wheel bearing is packed in grease for lubrication. The term “packing the bearings” refers to putting fresh grease around the bearings.
So unless you are driving an older vehicle or a trailer you very likely have sealed wheel bearings and no need to have them serviced until they are worn out. This wear will present itself as a noise while driving or excessive wheel movement identified by your service technician.
Wheel bearings on trailers are almost always serviceable. This means anything from a monster sized fifth-wheel camper to a little utility trailer. Boat trailers are especially susceptible because the hot wheel bearings are plunged into cold water when launching a boat into the lake. This temperature difference can draw water into the bearings. Have the bearings repacked at the end of the season to prevent corrosion.
It is a good practice for trailer owners to have maintenance service on their trailer wheels annually. On trailers that are used in frequently we recommend servicing the bearings every two years.