Archive for car maintenance

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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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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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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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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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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Brake Repair

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.Brake Repair

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

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“Top Tier” Gas Offers Clear Advantages

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.

Posted in: auto repair, car maintenance, fuel system

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