Using Ethanol in Your Fuel Tank and How it Affects Maintenance

ethanol

There are two different types of ethanol gasoline fuel that you can buy today, one is appropriate for nearly every vehicle and the other is only appropriate for flex-fuel vehicles that are designed to accept it. It’s important to understand what types of fuel you can use in your vehicle and how adding ethanol to your fuel tank can affect maintenance requirements.

What is Ethanol?

It is a refined alcohol that’s around 200 proof. It’s created from corn, wheat, and sugar and burns in fuel tanks just like gasoline, just at lower temperatures. It’s used to fuel many vehicles today and is even used in high-performance race cars to help keep them cooler during extended high-performance operation.

The Two Types of Ethanol Fuel

A common type of gasoline that’s sold today is E10 or gasoline that is made up of 10% ethanol. This mixture works fine in nearly all automobiles today, though many people avoid putting it into their boats when going out onto the water. Ethanol is an efficient fuel and runs just fine when combined with gas at the proper proportions.

The other type of fuel is E85 and this contains approximately 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline fuel. This runs in special vehicles that are designed to accept the fuel and it’s vital that you make sure your car can take it before you fill up with it. Put E85 into the wrong type of vehicle and you could cause serious engine problems.

Change your Fuel Filter More Frequently

Ethanol is generally good for your fuel system, but it does serve as a solvent that will clear up the gunk in your lines. While this is a positive thing, it means that you’ll have to change your fuel filter soon after making the switch to a blend of fuel that utilized ethanol if you haven’t been using ethanol-infused gasoline up until now. You’ll have cleaner fuel lines and can go back to the regular maintenance cycles for your fuel filter after the initial change, but it’s important to keep this in mind if you’re making the switch after a few years of standard gasoline.

This is a powerful fuel source and a good way to get away from fossil fuels at least partially, but it’s only a positive thing when used properly. Take care to use this fuel according to your manufacturer directions and never put the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle or you’ll risk serious problems.

Speak with the Auto Clinic of Franklin to get more useful tips for the life of your vehicle.

Common Signs that Your Vehicle Needs a Franklin Tune Up

Franklin tune up

Vehicles are impressive pieces of machinery that achieve transportation remarkably reliably. If you think about it it’s pretty amazing that you can travel across thousands of miles of roadway without ever having to make a repair on your vehicle. Even though cars, trucks and SUVs are all pretty impressive with how well they hold up over time, eventually they’re going to need a little TLC and Franklin tune up to continue running properly.

Even if you don’t suffer from any serious problems that need repair, you’ll still want to get a tune up every once and awhile to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. There are recommended intervals for when each vehicle out on the road should receive a tune up, but if you haven’t been following those guidelines it’s helpful to know the warning signs to look out for that indicate your vehicle needs a tune up. Below are the most common symptoms of a vehicle that needs tuning.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

Today many vehicles come with computers that monitor fuel efficiency levels. That makes it easy to see when your miles per gallon reading starts dipping down to lower levels. If this happens to you it’s time to start thinking about a Franklin tune up. Generally, fuel levels dip down because tires aren’t inflated properly, you need to rotate your tires, the fluids in your vehicle need changing, you need a filter change in your vehicle or one of several other possibilities. Most of these potential problems can all be remedied through a standard tune up, and you’ll be amazed at how much your fuel efficiency levels can be improved by receiving work from an auto professional. 

Check Engine Light Woes

The check engine light comes on for serious issues and more routine problems. If that orange light pops on, on your dash, you know it’s time to bring your vehicle in for a Franklin tune up. Often the issue can be resolved through some routine maintenance, but there could be a more serious repair that needs to be performed as well.

Rough Performance

Over time that smooth car that you once had will begin running rough. The engine might stutter, skip or have a choppy noise that it ever had before. The car might take bumps more roughly and your acceleration and braking may not be as nice and smooth as they were originally. These are all signs that you need to tune up your vehicle. If you notice your car isn’t running the way it once was, bring it in for a tune up and get the problem resolved.

Get Your Franklin Tune up

Automobiles run remarkably well for years without much maintenance, but eventually, they are going to need some maintenance work. Do your best to bring your vehicle in for all the manufacturer recommended tune up cycles, but if you can’t meet those recommendations, definitely make sure you have your car checked out with a Franklin tune up when it begins displaying one of these common problems.

Make an appointment for your Franklin tune up with the Auto Clinic of Franklin today!

Franklin Auto Care: Why it is Important to Work with a Professional

Transmission Repair Franklin

When you have an issue with your vehicle, it is important to consider every available aspect of having the issue taken care of. This means hiring someone you know, doing it yourself or calling on a Franklin auto care professional. Generally, you will want to save money but what happens when the problem cannot be solved or it is done incorrectly?

This can cause further problems later on down the road. This is why it is always important to consider the benefits that come from hiring a Franklin auto care specialist.

Reasons to Hire a Franklin Auto Care Professional

There are many reasons to hire a Franklin auto care professional. These are just a few of the reasons. More than likely, if you didn’t choose the professional, you probably have a few reasons for choosing one on your own.

  1. They know what to do when something happens. They’re professionals and knowledgeable in all things car. This is why they’re doing what they do. In order to figure out a problem, someone has to know about the problem.
  2. They have the necessary tools and equipment needed to fix the issue that the vehicle is having. Oftentimes, certain tools and equipment cannot be found in someone’s garage, which means you need a professional that has them.
  3. They can check for other issues while they’re working on the main one. This allows you to know everything that is going wrong with the vehicle that they’re working on.
  4. You never have to worry about the issue being too big to handle or something that they do not understand. They’re mechanics and more than likely, they’ve seen a lot of problems like the one on your vehicle.
  5. Things will get done right away. You won’t have to wait weeks to get your vehicle fixed. They’re professionals and they want you to be happy with the level of service you receive from them.
  6. Don’t worry about having to purchase a vehicle part that you’re unsure of. They know what parts are needed and can order them for you. This takes your guessing out of the equation.
  7. You will always know who to call when something happens with your vehicle. If you liked their work the first time, then you know which mechanic you can trust in the Franklin area to always provide you with auto care.

When the time comes to have your vehicle looked at, make sure to speak with Franklin auto care professionals. Franklin Auto Clinic is there when you need them. They’ve worked on numerous vehicles in the past and can make sure you’re happy with the outcome when it comes to your vehicle. Trust in them and always have a working car, without any bumps along the way. Book your appointment with them today! 

Franklin Tire Care: What Does the Wear on Your Tires Mean?

Franklin Tire Care

Being mindful of the tires on your vehicle is essential. You have to ensure that not only are they at their best, but they have enough traction and tread. This is where you’re going to be able to stay on the road and not have an accident that pulls you off of it. With Franklin tire care, you can ensure that you know how to spot this wear and know what to do about it.

Common Tire Wear Patterns with Franklin Tire Care

Excessive Inner/Outer Wear

This indicates an alignment problem with the vehicle. In order to have a smooth driving vehicle, the wear on the tires should be even. If it is not, speaking with a mechanic about an alignment will fix the problem but those tires will have to be replaced. Alignments are also simple to do, so you shouldn’t expect the process to take hours to get done.

Center Wear

If the center of the tire is worn down more than the rest of the tire, then this is Franklin tire care 101, you have too much air in the tires. Over-inflating the tires can be dangerous, but it also can mean the middle section of the tires are getting more worn down then the rest. Replacing the tires and checking tire pressure often can reduce the chances of having this happen again.

Outer Wear

Wear on the outside edges of the tires can indicate that the tires are not inflated enough. In order to have a smooth ride, while also being able to carry the weight of the vehicle, the tires have to be at a specific inflation spot. When there is outer wear on the edges, the tires might not have enough air in them.

Diagonal Wear/Cupping

This wear is a very serious and dangerous issue to have. It indicates that something is wrong with the suspension of the vehicle. In order to address the problem, speaking with a qualified mechanic that knows Franklin tire care can not only provide the necessary fixes, but also the replacement wheels.

Patchy Wear

When there are patches on the tread of the tires, this signals a problem with the balance of the tires. They may not be well-balanced, which puts the vehicle off, causing this tread pattern. You should have your tires spun and rotated every 5,000 miles to reduce the chances of having something like this happen.

If you have excessive, or any of the above signs of wear on your tires, speak with us here at the Auto Clinic of Franklin. We can provide the Franklin tire care you’re in need of to get you back on the road. Don’t let slips happen, let us replace those older tires for you!

Now is the Time for Spring Franklin Car Maintenance!

Franklin car maintenance

With spring comes spring cleaning, but don’t neglect your vehicle during this time. You might have cleaned it inside and out, but it might need a bit more than that. Franklin car maintenance should also be at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. Not having a properly working car for the spring and summer months can be difficult. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to the auto maintenance you should be getting each spring time.

Spring Time Franklin Car Maintenance

Oil and Fluids

The oil and filter should be changed out during this time. This will make the vehicle run smoother, while giving it a boost after the long cold winter months. Other fluids should also be checked during this time, such as the brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid and coolant.

Wiper Blades

Spring time can be a bit rainy. Don’t be caught without working windshield wipers. Make sure that you have new ones installed on your vehicle to keep the rain from hitting the windshield and causing further problems. A good quality pair can provide this type of help.

Tires

A lot of people only think about tires when the winter months roll in, but spring time also means new tires. You want some that are not worn down and provide enough traction. As mentioned before, rain is something that comes with spring so making sure you have enough grip on the road is vital. Many quality tire brands are on the market today providing spring time tires that handle great in all types of wet weather.

Belts and Hoses

Franklin car maintenance in the spring months also means checking the belts and hoses throughout the system. In order to have a smooth driving and running vehicle, the belts and hoses have to work properly and be in great shape. If they’re worn out, they’ll need to be replaced.

Lubrication

This is a task that oftentimes goes overlooked. Lubricating the engine, chassis and other parts of the vehicle can help it run smoother, while also being able to easily start up. If these parts are dry and having a hard time due to sand and salt built up on them, it can cause further problems in the spring time. Skip the hassle and make sure to grab the Franklin car maintenance sooner, rather than later.

Since it is spring, it is time to get that Franklin car maintenance done. Schedule an appointment with us here at the Auto Clinic of Franklin or give us a call to learn more. We can make sure your vehicle is ready for the months ahead. 

When Buying Replacement Parts Don’t Skimp

replacement parts

It’s perfectly fine to make replacements on your own vehicle to save some money over taking it to a local garage. This is a method that many car owners rely on to cut their costs over time. That doesn’t mean that you should skimp on the replacement parts that you put into your vehicle though. No matter if you are changing the brake pads, rotors, parts of your suspension system, or anywhere else in your vehicle, you should go for high quality parts for the very best results.

Cheap Replacement Parts are Cheap for a Reason

While I’m not saying that you should always buy OEM parts for your vehicle, though that’s a good idea, I am saying that you shouldn’t buy the low-cost knockoff third-party parts that are so much cheaper than the other options out there. Sure these items might do the job for awhile, but they’re much more likely to develop problems over time. Often cheap brake pads use inferior compound, they are smaller in size, or they simply don’t function as well. Suspension components are thinner and more likely to break in the future.

Invest in Reliable Replacement Parts

There are certain part suppliers that are known for offering good quality parts, and these are the companies that you should deal with if you won’t buy dealer parts for your vehicles. Look for top quality suppliers with lengthy part warranties and stick with them. By adding these parts to your vehicle you’ll help keep it strong and reliable and will likely get more performance out of it over time. It’s a good step to take and an important investment to make for long-lasting performance.

Pay Attention to Warranties

Usually the best parts come with decent warranties. You want to get a good warranty in case something goes wrong with what you purchase. Paying a bit extra for a good warranty will save you on future repairs if they are needed, and will nearly always pay off in the end.

Whether you take your vehicle to a garage, or you do the work on it yourself at home, make sure that you are investing in good quality parts that are going to last. Skimping on parts is never a good idea, and it almost always ends up costing you something in the end. Make an appointment with the Auto Clinic of Franklin today to have new, high quality replacement parts put on your vehicle. 

Save Money and Avoid Premium Fuel It’s Not Worth it

Premium Fuel

A common misconception with high quality vehicles is that you have to pay for premium fuel to drive around in them, and that premium fuel will somehow help them perform better. While it is necessary to use premium fuel in some vehicles, experts at Consumer Reports have proven that premium fuel isn’t a good investment unless it’s absolutely necessary. That means that you can save yourself money by going with the regular fuel and invest in your vehicle in more effective ways.

Fuel Economy and Power Remain the Same

Premium fuel is believed to improve the fuel economy of vehicles or to make them perform more effectively. These assumptions aren’t true though. Cars running with premium fuel perform about the same as cars running on regular fuel. That means you won’t see many benefits at all from paying the extra money.

Reliability Doesn’t Change

Even though premium fuel doesn’t make a car more efficient or more powerful, many people believe that it will make the vehicle more reliable or that the engine is going to stay in better shape because of the fuel. Unfortunately long-term testing doesn’t prove that. Vehicles show about the same level of reliability, no matter what type of fuel is used in them.

Some Cars Require Premium Fuel

There are some cars out on the road that need premium fuel to run properly. There are the only vehicles that you need to buy premium fuel for. If premium is recommended for your vehicle, just skip it and go with regular, otherwise you are wasting your money that could be spent on something else instead for more benefits.

Making More Effective Investments

Instead of buying that expensive fuel, change the oil in your vehicle more often. Go with high quality synthetic oil. Pay to have the vehicle serviced more often. Pay to have it washed clean after driving around on salty roads. All these simple investments will make a bigger difference than driving around with high cost fuel, and they are all things that you can do without spending too much money.

Keep this in mind, invest in other ways to improve your vehicle instead, and you should be able cut your costs and make the most of your vehicle at the same time. To keep your vehicle in the best shape, speak with us here at the Auto Clinic of Franklin. 

The Importance of Servicing Your Franklin Vehicle on Time

Franklin Vehicle

Everyone loves getting a new vehicle, even if it is a new-used vehicle. However, not many people know that servicing the Franklin vehicle is important. You might not think about the many things that come with owning a vehicle or taking care of a vehicle when the time comes, but just keep in mind that maintenance and service on it are very important. Consider some of these aspects when you get your Franklin vehicle and need to keep it in the best shape possible, since these tips can help.

Servicing Your Franklin Vehicle

It is important to keep up on maintenance and service tasks for your Franklin vehicle, but what are these?

Changing Your Oil

The oil should be changed throughout the years that you own a vehicle. This not only keeps the vehicle in good working order, but the engine. You want to keep driving down the road without any issues, but if the oil has been in the car the past five years, it is not going to run as it should. Having an oil change each year can keep it in the best performance.

Checking Your Brakes

The brakes on the vehicle should always be checked each year. You want to make sure that they’re in the best shape. Often times, it is important to have them switched out. You don’t want to try to stop at a light only to find out that the brakes are not working as good as they should and you slip through it. Make sure to have these serviced when the time comes.

Up to Date Inspections

Having a thorough inspection done of the entire Franklin vehicle is important. Not only is this going to let you know of any issues, but they can also be addressed. With this service visit, you can then find out if you need a lot of work done that might not have been noticeable while driving or if you are still in good shape to go. Only a licensed mechanic is able to provide this check when it comes to it.

New Tires

Tires are good to change out every one to two years. When the tires on a vehicle are bald, this can lead to a lot of accidents. You will not have the grip you need to stop, which can cause a lot of problems. You might also screech a lot when turning corners. By replacing your tires, you’re keeping the vehicle up to date with service checks.

When the time comes to get the maintenance and service for your Franklin vehicle, speak with us here at the Auto Clinic of Franklin. You can schedule your appointment right online for convenience and allow us to go through and fix any issues, while also taking care of the regular maintenance tasks. Your vehicle can continue to run like a champ when the time comes.

Extended Franklin Car Storage Tips

Franklin Car

Vehicles by design are meant to be driven regularly. If you are planning on storing away your vehicle for months at a time, you’ll have to take some additional steps to ensure that they remain in good condition over time. Here are some quick tips to help keep your stored Franklin car in excellent shape.

Change the Oil

You don’t want to store your vehicle with worn oil because it has acids and other harmful compounds that can do damage if they are left sitting in place for too long. Do yourself a favor and change both the oil and the filter before you store the vehicle. It’s a simple procedure that will help keep your engine in better shape. Make sure to drive at least a few miles with the new oil in your Franklin car to get it running through your engine.

Oil the Plug Cylinders

Remove each of the spark plugs in your vehicle one by one. While they are out, add a teaspoon of engine oil to the threads of the cylinders. Secure the spark plugs in place once again. This procedure will help prevent rust from developing on the cylinders.

Support Your Franklin Car on Jack Stands

If you’ll be keeping your vehicle stored for a year or more, you need to take weight off your wheel bearings and other key suspension components. The best way to do this is to life the vehicle up off the ground using a set of jack stands underneath its frame.

Pull off the Wiper Blades

Take the wiper blades off the Franklin car to keep them from getting stuck to the windshield. If the wipers are allowed to get stuck in place they can cause damage to the windshield when removed.

Flush the Brake Lines

Look at the brake fluid in the system and if it’s a brownish color flush the fluid out, replacing it with brand-new fluid. Old brake fluid has water in it and can lead to rust if it isn’t moving around.

Cover the Franklin Car Up

Finally, make sure that you cover your Franklin car entirely. Get a large cover, or put it in a windowless storage area to protect it from the elements. A good cover will keep off the weather which can be particularly harmful to vehicles. Sunlight fades paint and damages the interior materials, rain, sleet and snow can cause corrosion and other issues.

Speak with us here at the Auto Clinic of Franklin, where we are able to help with the diagnostics, maintenance and repairs that are needed prior to putting your Franklin car in storage.

Why You Should Use OEM Replacement Parts

OEM replacement parts

Many vehicle owners today are looking for cheapest possible way to repair their vehicles. They want to spend as little as possible when fixing issues, which means that they’ll invest in low-quality aftermarket parts. These OEM replacement parts often lower the strength and reliability of the vehicle, and in many instances they cost the owner more than an OEM part would.

Low Quality Materials

Aftermarket parts seem like a good deal because they are often much more affordable than OEM replacement parts are. Unfortunately, they are lower priced because they are made of inferior materials. Weaker metals, thinner construction, and softer hardware is employed when building the parts. Sure you’ll spend less money up front making these repairs, but you’ll likely regret it later if you’ll have that vehicle for a while.

Fails Faster

Since most aftermarket parts are made with inferior materials or they feature a thinner or weaker structure, they tend to fail faster than an OEM part would have. That means that you’ll be paying to replace the part sooner than you would when buying an OEM replacement part. If you plan on having your vehicle for many years, you’ll likely spend more on low quality parts than you ever would on the high quality stuff that is going to last far longer.

Imperfect Fit of Non OEM Replacement Parts

Another downside to aftermarket replacement parts is that they do not always fit the vehicle they are made for perfectly. There are often manufacturer defects that make the parts hard to mount and more difficult to install overall. If you are taking on the task on your own, you could end up struggling and spending much more time trying to get the part installed when you rely on a low-quality aftermarket item. If you go with an original part it will fit perfectly and will generally be simpler to install.

While aftermarket parts seem like a good way to save money on vehicle repairs, they are rarely a good investment. You’ll be throwing money out the window for parts that won’t fit as well, and will likely fail sooner too. This is why OEM replacement parts come highly recommended. Make your appointment with the Auto Clinic of Franklin today!