A "Mounting" Problem (Motor Mounts)Posted March 28, 2021 10:11 AM
You know how heavy your engine and transmission are, so you can imagine how tough the parts that hold them onto your vehicle's sub-frame must be. Not only must they support the weight, they also have to isolate vibrations and noise from the passenger cabin. Pretty tall order, wouldn't you say?
The parts that face that task daily are called the motor mounts, or engine mounts. They are usually made of rubber with steel brackets. Others contain a liquid for vibration and sound isolation.
Most vehicles have three or four motor mounts, and while rubber or hydraulic liquids do a good job of damping the vibrations from the engine, they also have their limitations. The problem with rubber is that it gets old and brittle. Plus, if there's an oil leak anywhere in your engine and oil gets on the rubber motor mounts, rubber will deteriorate even more quickly. As for the liquid motor mounts, they can develop leaks and stop working.
Here are signs a motor mount is going bad. You may hear a loud clunking or banging sound under the hood. That means the weight of the engine is shifting around enough to bang against other metal parts. You may feel bad vibrations, and the engine may feel like it's moving around in a strange way.
When things get to that point, your vehicle can be damaged from that heavy engine knocking against things, and its time to replace one or more motor mounts. Schedule a visit to your vehicle service facility. There, a technician will assess your motor mounts; if one bad one is found, it's not unusual that others are likely to fail soon and should be replaced before they do.
Because all vehicles are configured differently, some motor mounts are easily replaced. But others can be much trickier, take a lot longer and therefore are more expensive to replace.
It's important for your engine's health to make sure motor mounts are sound and solid. You will maintain that quiet, vibration-free ride and could save your engine and transmission from major wear and tear.
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
Darrell's Firestone Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive ServicesPosted March 21, 2021 10:30 AM
Organization is the key to managing a busy life in MI. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep Farmington residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. Farmington residents can't afford to overlook any of them.
The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the Farmington area. They are not presented in any particular order.
1. Darrell's Firestone Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.
2. Darrell's Firestone Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a vehicle to pull to one side. This is dangerous for Farmington residents and can lead to accidents. Also, it causes uneven and rapid tire wear, which means tires must be replaced more often.
3. Darrell's Firestone Differential Service. They are part of the drive train system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Damage or wear in this system can make a vehicle undriveable.
4. Darrell's Firestone Cabin Air Filter. Your vehicle may or may not be equipped with a cabin air filter. Its job is to remove dust and pollen from the air that enters the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If this filter clogs, it can stink. So check your owner's manual to find out if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If so, come visit us at Darrell's Firestone and get it changed according to the recommended schedule.
5. Darrell's Firestone Timing Belt Replacement. Most passenger cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. Farmington residents can check their owner's manual to find out if their vehicle has one. If so, you can't drive without it. And if it breaks while on the road, you may be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs. So it is important to inspect it occasionally. If your vehicle has close to 60,000 miles/100,000 kilometers or more on it and you haven't had your timing belt replaced, then you need to find out the recommended replacement interval NOW.
6. Darrell's Firestone Transmission Service. Transmission fluid gets dirty and has to be replaced. If not, you risk repairs.
7. Darrell's Firestone Air Conditioning Service. The refrigerant in your air conditioner needs to be replaced periodically. This fluid doesn't just refrigerate air; it provides lubrication to the air conditioning system and conditions seals. Lack of fluid can damage components.
8. Darrell's Firestone Brake Service. Even if your brakes are quiet and working well, the brake fluid still might need to be changed. Over time, moisture builds up in brake fluid. Water has a different viscosity than brake fluid, so the brakes can't compress properly when there's too much moisture in the fluid — and you shouldn't need to be told how it is to drive with brakes that are compromised. Moisture in your brake fluid can also corrode parts in your brake system, causing it to fail altogether.
9. Darrell's Firestone Coolant System Service. Antifreeze is another fluid that needs to be changed regularly. If not, it actually becomes corrosive and begins to damage your cooling system. Eventually it can eat holes in your radiator.
10. Darrell's Firestone Fuel System Cleaning. Over time, your fuel system just gets gummed up, which can interfere with the flow of fuel in a number of ways.
Of course, your next question should be: How often do I need to get all of this done? Well, the answer varies depending on which service we're talking about, the make and model of your vehicle, the climate where you live in MI, your usual driving conditions and your driving habits.
But don't lose heart. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended service schedule for most of the service items listed. And you can get quality auto advice from your friendly and knowledgeable Darrell's Firestone service advisors to help you meet the service intervals that suit your vehicle.
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Darrell's FirestonePosted March 14, 2021 9:16 AM
Today in the Darrell's Firestone auto care blog, we're going to talk to Farmington drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Darrell's Firestone customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).
In real world Farmington driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Darrell's Firestone in Farmington.
The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.
So here's the bottom line for Farmington vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in MI, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Farmington conditions, hot or cold weather or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Darrell's Firestone service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.
So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Darrell's Firestone service advisor about where and how you drive in Farmington. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.
Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.
Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.
Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Darrell's Firestone to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where MI drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Farmington owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.
But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.
But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
Fuel Filter Service in Farmington, MIPosted March 7, 2021 7:30 AM
There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn't seem right.
Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember because it is a long list, but your service center at Darrell's Firestone can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us in Farmington, MI, really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.
But automotive maintenance is all about prevention and addressing small problems before they get big. Let's take the fuel filter for example.
You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Farmington, MI, roads is over nine years. When vehicles get older, five years or so, they've accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn't cost too much to replace. And your vehicle will just run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can't let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your vehicle is running fine around town but struggles or sputters on the Farmington, MI, freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can't get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough, your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.
Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We've already talked about how expensive that can be.
The fuel filter is even very important for newer vehicles. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn't rust in the tank. It's just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.
How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner's manual. Your Farmington, MI, service advisor at Darrell's Firestone can tell you as well. It's usually around 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) or so. Ask if it's time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.
It's good to know that your Farmington, MI, service center has your back. When you're motivated to maintain your vehicle's performance and to reduce operating costs, you'll think of Darrell's Firestone as your ally - and maybe even your memory.
23534 Farmington Rd
Farmington, MI 48336