Archive for auto repair

Wheel Cylinder

What is a Wheel Cylinder? The wheel cylinder is the hydraulic component that actuates the brake shoes in a drum brake assembly. Hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder pushes the pistons outward moving the semi-circular brake shoe in contact with the brake drum. This contact creates the friction that slows your vehicle. Wheel cylinders are only used in drum brake equipped vehicles and therefore are becoming less commonplace.

 

 

 

The most common failure of a wheel cylinder is leakage. Over time the wheel cylinder piston seals will deteriorate and begin to allow fluid to pass. To check for wheel cylinder leakage the dust boot is opened to inspect. As seen in the figure the red arrow points to fluid that has bypassed the seal and filled in behind the dust boot. This wheel cylinder will require replacement. After the new cylinder is installed the braking system will be refilled and the air removed through the bleeding procedure. A wheel cylinder replacement is the perfect time to service the remainder of the brake fluid to save some money and take advantage of the overlapping labor. Brake fluid needs to be serviced every three years or less.

Posted in: auto repair, brake fluid, brakes, car repair, wheel cylinder

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10 Best car accessories that can fit under the Christmas tree

Searching for that perfect gift for the car nut, new driver, or just that guy who already has everything on your list? Check out our list of the 10 best car accessories that fit under the tree this year:

  • A car cleaning kit for the DIY type: Bucket, Soap, Microfiber towels, upholstery cleaner
  • Gift certificates for car wash and detail for the DIFM (Do It For Me) type!
  • Portable car vacuum (remember the “DustBuster”!!)
  • Amazon Echo Auto, bring Alexa on your road trips!
  • Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker, never lose your keys again!
  • Car driving experience, there are options to drive Nascar style stock cars, open wheel cars and production cars
  • Dashboard mounted camera, you can never be too careful
  • All Weather floor mats
  • Emergency prep kit: Jumper cables, gloves, first aid kit
  • Phone Holder to keep your hands on the wheel

Posted in: auto repair, car maintenance

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When are your car repairs covered by car insurance?

Let’s face it, unfortunately car repairs can be expensive. So when can you utilize car insurance to lessen in the burden? We recently had a Cadillac SRX sport utility vehicle in for a headlight concern. This particular model of Cadillac is equipped with a High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp system. Diagnosis of the lighting system revealed that the HID ballast had failed and would be quite an expensive repair. After further interviewing the client it turns out that while driving an object struck the headlamp and caused the failure. Since it turns out that the HID failure was a result of  accidental road damage we were able advise the client to contact his insurance carrier. Happily the insurance company was able to provide the needed coverage and the client was able to utilize the coverage for repairs and not pay out of pocket. Our advisors are here to serve you and assist however we can. Whether you have an extended warranty or an insurance claim our seasoned advisors can guide you to make the most cost effective decision.

Posted in: auto repair, car maintenance, exterior, headlight, insurance

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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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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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What do our clients really want to know?

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!!

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, auto repair, car maintenance, car repair

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What is a Power Steering Rack?

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.

Posted in: auto repair

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Cooling System Service

How often should you change your antifreeze? Thankfully advancements in cooling system and chemical technology has extended the interval for cooling system maintenance to be every four years or 60,000 miles. At this time we will install a specialized cooling system flush machine inline to reverse flush the system until fresh fluid is filled throughout the system. This service will maintain proper system operation and maximize the life span of cooling system components.

Corvette Cooling System Maintenance

Posted in: Auto Maintenance, auto repair, car maintenance, car repair

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