Service Center Standard and Procedures

All North Carolina pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget vital steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Highlands / Cashiers and Sylva automotive service centers including Welch Automotive have procedural standards for each service they perform. Welch Automotive service advisors are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, North Carolina centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Franklin auto owners leave happy with how their truck performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The North Carolina automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual North Carolina service center operators including John Welch (manager at Welch Automotive) to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how Welch Automotive service professionals grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If your service professional tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing

The technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the auto manufacturer
Based on the service specialist’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is critical because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the service specialist may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the Franklin client.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The service advisor may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the Franklin car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Franklin service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The North Carolina automotive service industry and Welch Automotive want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.

Automotive Guide for Franklin: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Franklin drivers ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely fixed. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

Run flat tires should not be corrected. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your honest Welch Automotive technician can review your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely fixed or if it should be replaced – and then help you get back on the road.

Give us a call

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Franklin

The hottest North Carolina news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Franklin. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Franklin auto owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Franklin environment. You can really improve your gas mileage by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Franklin motorists is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Franklin service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Welch Automotiveservice specialist. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Franklin gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the truck owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with essential information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Franklin auto owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s harmful dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Franklin residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced gas mileage! And with current gas prices in the Franklin area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Franklin car owners money at the pump. 

Now most Franklin auto owners aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other vital services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Welch Automotive knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Welch Automotive – which may also be updated with recall notices and important maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Suspension Service At Welch Automotive In Franklin

Suspension systems function effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually, however, truck suspension components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive around Franklin and Sylva.

As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth North Carolina highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Franklin roads or haul heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, truck suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, truck vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic inspections.

Suspension Service At Welch AutomotiveDuring an inspection at Welch Automotive in Franklin, your honest automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.

Here’s a quick rundown of suspension system components:

First there are the springs which hold the weight of your truck. There are several varieties of springs. Springs are obviously vital heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. Good shocks are essential for handling performance and ride comfort.

You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. If your tires develop a cupped wear pattern, your shocks or struts may be wearing out. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your truck dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you’ve stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them at Welch Automotive.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit Welch Automotive for a a vital suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your truck suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so don’t put it off.

When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your honest Welch Automotive tech because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.

There are different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your truck was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Sylva people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.

For example, if you want increased handling performance, your honest Welch Automotive advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut specially designed for improved handling. If you haul heavy loads or trailers in Franklin, we can recommend some heavy duty shock absorbers.

The Welch Automotive Guide to Saving Fuel: Car Weight

The team at Welch Automotive in Franklin and North Carolina car owners are all talking fuel efficiency right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Franklin auto owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.

And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize fuel efficiency. But is there something more Franklin car owners can do? After all, some of us Franklin folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Franklin to Highlands / Cashiers. And that means buying more gas in Franklin and producing more emissions.

Of course, your truck’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your truck. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around North Carolina? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Franklin home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.

Clean out your Franklin. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around Franklin in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your Franklin when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money in Franklin

Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Franklin Drivers

Knowing how their engine works can help Franklin car owners make informed decisions about car care and prevent expensive repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.

An engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.

All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of the instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.

Not all vehicles in the Franklin area have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many automobile manufacturers use them to save money.

Timing belts wear out and break, so a vital part of preventive maintenance for Franklin motorists is to replace the timing belt on schedule.

The results of failure of a timing belt depend on the type of engine in your vehicle, but they are always inconvenient and can be very costly for Franklin auto owners. If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the engine simply stops running. Now that can be an incredibly dangerous situation depending on where you are driving around Franklin when it breaks, but it won’t cause any engine damage. On the other hand, if your vehicle has an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves on your cylinders will actually fall into the path of the pistons. Then things start getting chewed up by the motion of the engine and it will cost thousands of dollars to get everything sorted out again. Compounding the problem is that there aren’t any warning signs before a timing belt breaks. A visual inspection of the belt is difficult also. In some vehicles, parts of the belt may be visible, but most vehicles hide the belt under a cover.

The timing belt doesn’t even have to break to cause major engine damage. If it slips, even one notch, the result could be engine damage with repair costs in the thousands of dollars.

Our only car care option is to simply replace the timing belt periodically. You can check your owner’s manual to find out how often your timing belt should be replaced. Many vehicles need a replacement at 60,000 miles, but the recommended replacement mileage could be as high as 90,000 or 100,000 miles. If your owner’s manual recommends replacement at 60,000 miles, however, don’t wait until 65,000 miles to get it done. Remember what you’re risking.

Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance for Franklin auto owners. The belt is usually difficult to get to and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.

For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with your honest Welch Automotive service advisor. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way.

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine In Franklin, North Carolina


If the fuel system in your truck is dirty, you will be hurting your fuel economy and losing performance as you drive around Franklin, North Carolina.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Franklin car owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your truck owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your honest service advisor at Welch Automotive in Franklin has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Welch Automotive uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Welch Automotive, you’ll notice more power, improved MPG and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your auto manufacturers fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your truck running strong.

Franklin auto owners don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your honest Welch Automotive technician and see when your car is scheduled for an essential fuel system cleaning.

10 Services Franklin car owners Often Overlook

We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Franklin. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps – we have to keep track of it all.

So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the critical scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.

Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Franklin motorists. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.

1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your essential power steering parts are protected from harmful corrosion. Next time you’re in for an oil change, ask your Franklin service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.

2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your truck pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is an unneccessary expense! Most manufacturers owners manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.

3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do – one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from your truck engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t completely forget them. Check with your honest Welch Automotive service advisor.

4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more Franklin cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.

5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Franklin area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of pricey engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your Franklin service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; definitely look into it right away.

6. Transmission Service
Transmission serviceis very basic, but it’s often forgotten by Franklin auto owners. Your truck transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs. And it can also improve your MPG.

7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us Franklin drivers don’t think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Franklin. If you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Welch Automotive in Franklin adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.

8. Brake Service
No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Welch Automotive technician for recommendations.

9. Coolant System
Another thing that’s so easy for Franklin car owners to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded – bummer.

10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is important. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Welch Automotive in Franklin will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Welch Automotive will really help your fuel economy.

There you have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Considering our busy lives, we’re not surprised.

Franklin car owners know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain a vehicle; but it not only saves money in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.

Welch Automotive can help with any of these services. Give us a call at 828.524.3117.

Odometer Rollback On Your Franklin North Carolina Auto

How do Franklin car owners know if an odometer is telling the truth?

Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect North Carolina consumers against mileage fraud. It says a North Carolina seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.

To have your odometer checked in Franklin North Carolina, stop by Welch Automotive:

Welch Automotive
Franklin, North Carolina 28734 828.524.3117

If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.

If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can Franklin drivers do?

First, you can go to, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your truck, showing local Franklin, North Carolina ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.

Franklin drivers can get a mileage history by checking with the local North Carolina DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.

If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.

Automotive Guide for Franklin: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your honest Welch Automotive technician can review your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

Give us a call

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734