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Archive for June 2020

E-85 Fuel Safety Advice from Darrell's Firestone

Posted June 28, 2020 1:00 AM


 

Today at Darrell's Firestone we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Farmington area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.

Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Darrell's Firestone at 23534 Farmington Rd in Farmington, MI 48336, to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 248-477-9090.

E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower exhaust emissions to our local Farmington community.

All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol, and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Farmington, MI, area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well-meaning residents without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

You Farmington auto owners can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. MI fire fighting experts caution drivers to only use E-85 if they know their vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.

Darrell's Firestone
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
248-477-9090
http://www.darrellsfirestone.net

 



Darrell's Firestone Alternator Replacement Service in Farmington

Posted June 21, 2020 10:06 AM

 

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator. 

Driving around Farmington is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at Darrell's Firestone to learn more.

Darrell's Firestone
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
248-477-9090
http://www.darrellsfirestone.net



I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Farmington

Posted June 14, 2020 7:47 AM



About 90% of our driving decisions in the Farmington area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Most Farmington drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Farmington area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

Farmington drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.

Farmington vehicle owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of MI, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Farmington conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard for Farmington drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that's the consequence for neglecting such a small part.

Darrell's Firestone recommends Farmington drivers replace worn blades right away. We can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Darrell's Firestone, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Darrell's Firestone will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Take it with you if you're heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn't cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road.

Find us at:

Darrell's Firestone
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
248-477-9090
http://www.darrellsfirestone.net



Smart Farmington Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Posted June 7, 2020 8:35 AM

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Farmington drivers to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner's manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of coolant/antifreeze may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Farmington drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don't realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Darrell's Firestone in Farmington.

If your vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs serviced. This service is critical and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, your owner's manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to Darrell's Firestone in Farmington where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in first place and ensure it doesn't happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle's cooling system is just good auto advice for Farmington drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn't take long at Darrell's Firestone. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to our service advisor at Darrell's Firestone for more information. 

Darrell's Firestone
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
248-477-9090
http://www.darrellsfirestone.net



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