Tips for Winter Fuel Economy

cold weather vehicle maintenance

Most drivers are not fans of driving in the winter months since it presents with a number of challenges, one of which is that of fuel efficiency.  During the winter months, when the temperatures drop below freezing levels, it causes winter fuel economy to drop as well.  Vehicles can experience a gas mileage drop of nearly 10-12% when temperatures fall below the 20-degree marker. With that said, the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin wants to share with our valued clients some important information and tips for reducing fuel inefficiency this winter.


There are a number of contributing factors including:

  • It takes longer for a vehicle’s engine to reach its optimal fuel-efficient temperature in the colder months resulting in increased levels of fuel inefficiency;
  • Gasoline supplied to the pumps in the winter months provides less energy to the vehicle per gallon than it does in the warmer seasons;
  • Typically, cold air causes drag as does other forms of wind resistance which ultimately results in fuel inefficiency;
  • The use of defrosters and heated seats in the winter months draws a good deal of power from the engine which contributes to increased fuel consumption over time; and
  • Tire traction is reduced in the cold weather months because of a decrease in tire pressure, which can easily contribute to an increase in fuel usage and minimize your fuel efficiency.


  • Wintertime Dead Car BatteryMinimize short driving trips – In the winter months, your vehicle’s engine takes a whole lot longer to warm up. With that said, when you drive short distances you contribute to fuel inefficiency because most of the running time is dedicated to warming up the engine.  Try to minimize the number of short trips you make during the cold weather months.
  • Reduce Vehicle Idling time – Idling your vehicle for long periods of time minimizes your fuel economy and really does no good for the vehicle.   Allowing your vehicle to run for a mere 30 seconds is all you need since driving the vehicle is what actually warms up the engine faster.
  • Beware of Your Tire Pressure – Ensuring that your tire pressure is accurate during the cold weather months will help to increase your winter fuel economy.  Be sure to check your tire pressure routinely with a tire gauge to ensure you are taking advantage of maximum traction and have proper tire pressure at all times which will certainly help to increase your fuel efficiency.
  • Give your vehicle some TLC – Another simple tip for reducing fuel inefficiency is to park your vehicle, during the cold weather months, in a warm parking garage or other accommodation. A little bit of this TLC will certainly go a long way during the winter season.
  • Pay attention to oil levels – Motor oil plays a significant role in your vehicle’s performance year-round, and especially in the winter months. Be sure you are using appropriate oil in your vehicle for the cold weather seasons so as to increase your engine’s overall fuel efficiency.  If you are uncertain as to which type of oil you should be using in your vehicle, reach out to our highly experienced technicians for assistance.

We hope you have found this information and these simple, but important tips useful.  For more information about winter fuel economy or if you are in need of any type of automotive products or services, we have got you covered.  Reach out to the professionals here at Auto Clinic of Franklin today.  We look forward to serving you and to providing you with the best all round automotive products, services and repairs this side of Franklin!

Simple Tire Maintenance to Keep Them in Tip Top Shape

When you set out to purchase new tires for your vehicle there are a few important factors to take into consideration.  Be sure to check out the tire specifications, as well as the performance ratings, and product warranties offered.  Once you have invested in your new tires, you want to take necessary steps to protect your investment and get the absolute most wear and performance out of your tires.  The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to share some simple tire maintenance tips to keep those tires in tip top shape.


  • Tire RotationsAdequate inflation – Be sure to check your tire inflation regularly. Proper inflation benefits the performance of your tires.  If tires are not properly inflated they can cause additional wear and strain on the individual tire thereby minimizing the lifespan and having an impact on the overall performance.
  • Proper tire rotation – The distribution of weight in your vehicle can vary from time to time and would, therefore, require regular tire rotations to prevent uneven wear on the tires and to promote better performance and a better ride. Typically, as a rule of thumb, you should have your tires rotated at your routine oil change service.
  • Tire balance – It is important to keep your tires balanced properly to ensure a smoother ride and minimize any additional wear on the tires. It is good practice to have your tires balanced when you have them rotated at your routine oil change service.
  • Practice good driving habits – How and where you drive your vehicle is a very important component that contributes to the performance of your tires. Excessive braking of your vehicle, acceleration, and constant stop and go traffic affect the way your new tires will wear.  Be sure to avoid potholes and debris in the road and travel over curbs or speed bumps with caution since each can cause damage to not only the tire but the side walls as well.
  • Proper care and maintenance – Be sure to keep your new tires clean and free of debris and keep dry, clean air in the tires at all times. Proper tire maintenance coupled with adequate maintenance of your tire rims, valves and hubcaps contribute to a long lifespan of your investment.
  • Give attention to parking – When your vehicle is parked on hot asphalt during the scorching hot summer months heat damage can occur to your tires. When parked on dirt roads or gravel surfaces in extreme cold, tire damage and warping can occur.  If your vehicle is parked for weeks or months at a time, your tires can be damaged and can actually break down.
  • Weight bearing – If you have to tow a trailer with your vehicle, be sure that the load being hauled is within the weight limits of your new tires and your vehicle. Adhering to the appropriate weight limits will prevent flat tires, damage or blow outs from occurring.


To further ensure the health, safety and lifespan of your new tires, be sure to practice routine, tire maintenance, typically every 3000-5000 miles.  Be aware of any indicators of uneven wear on your tires, tread changes or other types of damage.  When you perform proper tire maintenance, they will generally last near to 5 years.

For more information about tire maintenance, contact the highly skilled and experienced automotive technicians here at Auto Clinic of Franklin today.  We look forward to serving you with only the highest quality automotive products, repairs and services this side of Franklin.  From our team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin to all our valued clients, we send along wishes for a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year!!

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Windshield Wipers: Replacement – When, How, & Why

Windshield Wipers

One of the more common, puzzling questions for many vehicle owners is the simple concern about when to change their windshield wipers on their car or truck.  Many windshield wiper manufacturers highly recommend that wiper blades are changed at least twice per year on all vehicles.  Though quite simple and practical advice, the truth is that there is no specific timeline for the lifespan of your wipers but rather upgrading or changing them is dependent upon the various conditions your vehicle encounters during the year and on the amount of wear and tear they experience.

When to Change Your Windshield Wipers

Depending upon the amount of wear and tear your wipers have seen and the various weather conditions they have faced, timelines for changing your windshield wipers will vary.  If you live in locations where there is little to no rain, then your wipers are apt to last at least 6 months, if not longer.  Without the presence of harsh weather conditions and especially in cooler climates, your wipers may very well not need to be changed but once per year or even once every two years.

If you live in an area that experiences a whole lot of rain or snow or in an area where it is extremely hot year-round or if you house your vehicle outdoors during extremely hot temperatures, there is a good chance you will need to replace your wipers every 6 months.  It is important that you also change your rear wipers at the same time you change the front wipers in your efforts to maintain a consistent and accurate maintenance schedule for your vehicle wipers.

Signs That It’s Time to Change Your Wipers

At Auto Clinic of Franklin our highly skilled and experienced automotive technicians are on hand to provide you with all your vehicle maintenance and care needs.  If you are not certain whether or not your blades need replacing, don’t fret.  Simply bring the vehicle on down to our trusted facility and let our techs take a look.

The Professionals You Can Trust

Windshield Wipers ReplacementWhen you rely upon the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin, you are putting your trust into the hands of some of the absolute best in the industry.  Whether you are in need of wiper blades, repairs or routine automotive services, we are the team for you.  Our team of dedicated professionals takes a great deal of pride in our top-rated customer service and customer satisfaction rating, which is why we are steadfast in meeting all the needs of our clients in timelines that are accommodating to their individual needs.  Here at Auto Clinic of Franklin our clients and their safety are our number one priority.  There is nothing as important to us than the overall safety and well-being of all our valued clients which is why our team of automotive experts give focus to all your vehicle needs.

If you are in need of emergency automotive repairs, typical repair services, common automotive services or even a change of your vehicle windshield wipers, then surely you have come to the right place.  The professionals here at Auto Clinic of Franklin look forward to serving you and to providing you with the highest quality and affordable automotive services this side of Franklin whether winter, spring, summer or fall. Don’t delay in contacting our team today.  With the holiday season now upon us, the professionals here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to send along wishes for a very safe and happy holiday season to all our valued clients and their families from our house to yours!

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When your car dashboard lights all of a sudden come on, surely you are like nearly every other person, you panic wondering what has gone wrong.  Here at Auto Clinic of Franklin we thought we would provide you with three of the most common automotive problems that occur and the ideal solution for each. Read More

Important Facts on Replacing Spark Plugs

changing spark plugs

Historically car owners would have a tune-up performed at about 35,000 miles.  The tune-up would consist primarily of replacing mechanical breaker points in the ignition, setting the ignition timing, cleaning the carburetor and replacing spark plugs and plug wires.

In today’s world the tasks performed by the carburetor are now done by way of fuel injection and both the spark and ignition timing are controlled now by the engine computer of your vehicle.  In addition, there are minimal vehicles today that still have plug wires since the distributor has long been replaced by the vehicle’s computer and a new coil on plug design that transfers a spark at each of the spark plugs.


As a result of innovative plug designs and materials today, most manufacturers suggest 80K mile service intervals on a vehicle’s spark plugs.  The electrodes on the spark plugs will typically begin to wear down at 80,000 miles and a worn-down electrode results in a wider spark plug gap and ultimately in a loss of both power and fuel economy as well.  In addition, spark plugs in place for thousands of miles tend to present with seized threads which, as many of us know, can be very difficult to remove from the engine cylinder head and can result in quite an increased repair bill at that time.

With that said, the folks here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to advise all our valued customers on the importance of replacing spark plugs and proper maintenance as well.  If you have a vehicle equipped already with a specific type or brand of spark plug, it is important that you adhere to that same plug design when it comes time to replace them.  In addition, it is a good idea, when replacing spark plugs to also give attention to a few other items under your vehicle’s hood.  Some of those items (but not limited to) include the air filter, cabin air filter, belts, hoses, the starter, the charging system, 02 sensor, and all vacuum lines and junctions.

Though today’s cars tend to be much less high maintenance, that does not mean that they are entirely maintenance free and require no attention at all.  Recognizing that a routinely and well-maintained vehicle is, in fact, a very reliable and high powered running vehicle, it is important that you do not put off or entirely neglect vehicle maintenance such as replacing spark plugs simply because it is a maintenance task that needs not to be performed very often.  It may not be necessary to change out spark plugs often, but it is imperative that at that 80K marker, or perhaps a bit before or after 80K, that you invest in necessary maintenance and have your spark plugs replaced.


Here at Auto Clinic of Franklin our team of highly skilled and experienced automotive technicians is on hand to meet your every need.  Our team of professionals is committed and dedicated to providing all our valued clients with the highest quality parts and services this side of Franklin.  Recognized as one of the best all round automotive service stations this side of the state, our team is steadfast in meeting the needs of all our valued clients in timelines that are accommodating to their individual needs.  We take pride in our affordable prices, our quality products and services and our top-rated team of certified auto techs.

From oil changes, tire rotations and AC system checks to diagnostic testing and replacing spark plugs the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin handles it all.  Give a shout out to our staff today and schedule your service appointment!

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Choosing the Proper Motor Oil for Your Vehicle

Using the Correct Motor Oil is Important

We all value our vehicles and most of us schedule routine maintenance needed to maintain the peak performance of our vehicles and add to their lifespan.  With that said, motor oil is typically known to be the mainstream blood of a vehicle and has a number of important functions it performs.  The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to share with our valued clients some of those very important functions.


Motor oils serve your vehicle well and does so in a number of important ways, including:

  • Serving as a lubricant for all the important engine parts
  • Helps to protect your vehicle’s emission system
  • Contributes to enhance fuel economy

Motor Oil TypesThere are so many motor oil products on the market today that choosing the right one can be somewhat of a challenge and an overwhelming task.  Auto supply stores, hardware stores and the average Walmarts, Lowes and Home Depots of the world all stock motor oils.  However, if you choose the wrong one, there are definitely consequences to be had.  The wrong product can actually do harm and damage to your engine over a period of time.  For this reason, it is important that before you proceed with changing your vehicle’s oil, you make sure you are purchasing the correct oil for your vehicle year, make and model.

There are three various types of motor oil to choose from:

  • Conventional oil, which is between 75and 80% refined crude oil;
  • Full Synthetic oil, which is your standard base plus some additives; and
  • Synthetic blend which is a combination of conventional and synthetic

There are also a variety of additives and antioxidants that are necessary to maintain the overall health of your vehicle and specifically detergents that are used to keep the high temperature surfaces consistently clean and the antioxidants that help to prevent oxidation which can result in thickened engine oil.  There are also some specialized oils on the market that are specially designed for high mileage vehicles.  These specialized oils have a component good for conditioning and protecting the seals to avoid a variety of leaks.


It is important to use the correct motor oil for your vehicle so as to get the most benefits for your vehicle’s engine type.  Oils come with various weights and different viscosity levels, which are important to take into consideration depending upon whether you drive your vehicle in colder climates or warmer.   For all these reasons, it is not hard to understand why the motor oil you use in your vehicle is, in essence, the bloodline of your vehicle which is why it is critical that you use the correct oil in order to keep your vehicle’s engine healthy and running well for years on end.

If you are in need of an oil change for your vehicle, or any other type of automotive repairs or services, then surely you have come to the right place.  The highly skilled and dedicated team of automotive technicians here at Auto Clinic of Franklin is on hand to assist with all your automotive needs and, rest assured, when you venture on down to our clinic for a vehicle oil change our team will always use the correct oil.  To learn more about the proper motor oil to use for your vehicle, or to schedule an appointment reach out to our staff today.  We look forward to serving you and to providing you with the best all round automotive services this side of Tennessee.

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How Changing Outdoor Temperatures Impact Tires

We all experience a wide range of climate changes with weather conditions in the summer months being warm and temperatures in the winter months being much colder.  Here in the south our summers are typically very hot and the humidity levels high, whereas in the northwest the summers are warm with very cool and comfortable morning and evening temperatures.  In the northern portion of the country the winters are extremely cold with mountains of snow, ice and below zero temperatures, while here in Tennessee and the south altogether the winters are quite mild.   Regardless of where you live, however, the outdoor temperatures impact tires, whether winter, spring, summer or fall. Read More

Important Fall Driving Tips

With fall almost here, the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin have some very important tips to offer our valued clients about safe fall driving. When the season changes driving conditions change as well.  There are specific dangers that come into play that drivers should be on the lookout for when driving in the fall months.  The tips we have here for you are meant to help our clients know just what to look for this fall when driving. Read More

Don’t ‘Fall’ Behind on Your Vehicle Maintenance

Autumn Driving

Now that summer is coming to a close and the fall and winter months ahead, the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to remind all our valued clients not to fall behind on their vehicle maintenance.  We highly recommend all our clients perform maintenance on their vehicles to properly prepare them for the challenging fall and winter driving seasons ahead.


Get Ready for the Slippery Fall and Winter Driving Conditions – The fall season typically presents with lots of rain and falling leaves that make for very slippery driving conditions, as we all know.  Here at Auto Clinic of Franklin we want to ensure that your tires and vehicles are set to handle the many challenging driving conditions that present themselves during the fall and winter months.

Proper Tire Pressure – Ensure that your tires have sufficient air pressure and treads for the driving months ahead.  Be sure that you measure the tire pressure, including your spare tire, and make certain they are balanced and properly inflated.  When your tires are at optimal pressure levels they not only will last longer, but will also save on gas and enhance the overall handling and driving capabilities of your vehicle.

Windshield Wiper Blades – Install new wiper blades to accommodate the rainy conditions as well as any winter snowfalls.  If your wipers are split, squeaking, streaking or skip at all, then it’s time to invest in a new winter set of blades.

Wheel alignment and Suspension – Before the cold weather sets in, be sure to have one of our certified mechanics inspect both the wheel alignment and suspension of your vehicle to ensure that your vehicle will provide you with a safe and smooth ride in the cold weather months ahead.

Check Your Battery, Wires and Plugs – Temperature and weather changes can challenge your vehicle’s electrical components and minimize the performance of your vehicle.  With that said, the qualified technicians here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want to remind you to test and if necessary replace your vehicle’s battery, plugs and wires.

Check Your Braking System –  The fall season lets loose with a whole lot of rain and the winter months can present with cold, icy conditions.  With that said, be sure to have your braking system fully inspected, including the brake fluid levels, the hoses and lines, as well as your emergency parking brake to ensure they are in operating order.

Routine comprehensive fall/winter vehicle maintenance that is performed not only will improve the safety of your vehicle, yourself and your passengers, but will also help to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle as well.  We all know how tricky driving can be in the slippery fall months, especially with excessive rainfall mixed with lots of beautiful falling leaves.  So, take time out to ensure that your vehicle can meet the cold weather driving challenges ahead.  In addition to defensive, careful driving techniques and habits, be sure you have also invested in the proper amount of car insurance as well.  There could be a variety of hazards when driving during the cold weather seasons, and having proper auto insurance in place will certainly benefit you should an accident or other incident occur.

We hope you have found this blog informative and useful and want to remind all our valued clients that when you find yourself in need of top of the line automotive products, repairs and services, whether preventative or not, then surely you have come to the right place.  The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin stands ready to meet all your automotive needs and that includes performing all your vehicle maintenance whether winter, spring, summer or fall.  Contact our staff today and schedule your fall/winter vehicle maintenance today!

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Common Summertime Car Problems You Don’t Want to Experience

Summertime is nearly everyone’s most favorite time of year and rightfully so.  From planned, exciting vacations, summer break from school and lots of family gatherings to beach trips and outdoor movie adventures the list goes on and on.  When traveling on that long-awaited vacation, no matter your destination, road trips can be a whole lot of fun for everyone.   What a fun-filled adventure when you get behind the wheel of the car and make tracks to your summer destination with family and friends.  Surely, there is no better way to either begin or end the summer months unless of course you fall prey to one of those ‘sure to occur’ summertime car problems.

With the summer season, comes scorching hot temperatures that can wreak a whole lot of havoc for everyone.  Extremely high temperatures in the summer months can take a desperate toll on your vehicle and leave you frustrated and stranded which is why the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin want all our valued clients to know how important it is to be familiar with some of the car problems that can take away from your summer vacation and fun. Read More