The Welch Automotive Guide To Custom Wheels

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If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your truck, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Franklin drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the truck when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Welch Automotive tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your truck. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Franklin professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Franklin custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your truck are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason drivers should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Franklin. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your truck, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in pricey damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Welch Automotive to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Welch Automotive in Franklin.

After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.

Stay Headed In The Right Direction, Franklin

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Franklin, North Carolina these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Welch Automotive in Franklin for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists car owners as they steer their truck around Franklin, North Carolina. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to have your Franklin service professional inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Welch Automotive because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it’s important to use the correct type –just ask your tech at Welch Automotive.

In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Franklin car owners need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many manufacturers outline power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this critical service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Franklin drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Welch Automotive, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign for Franklin auto owners is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center or Welch Automotive in Franklin to keep you headed in the right direction.

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
828.524.3117

Franklin Tire Repair

Most Franklin drivers have experienced a flat tire. You know it’s inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn’t just a big safety issue for North Carolina drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high Franklin gas prices, we’ve all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to get the best possible fuel economy. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer. 

There’s another danger to under-inflated tires for Franklin car owners. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don’t just keep airing them up every few days. You want to avoid costly tire damage.

Tires can also be damaged by road hazards in and around Franklin. Punctures, cuts and unfortunate encounters with curbs or potholes can also cause damage that could lead to tire failure. Sometimes, it’s something that a diagnostic examination would reveal. Try to remember to check your tires when you’re pumping fuel. Look for slashes, missing chunks, nails or screws in the tread or just uneven wear. Of course check the air pressure too.

Now tire damage can be on the inside where Franklin drivers can’t see it until it’s removed from the wheel. Such damage could come from a severe impact, driving on a flat around Franklin or even just low pressure. Some punctures can cause internal damage that is too extreme to be repaired. You may see our Welch Automotive tire professionals take the time to remove your flat from the rim and inspect the inside before repairing it, which means we’re just following best practices.

Of course, some tires just can’t be repaired at your Franklin service center or Welch Automotive. A puncture may be too large to plug. Also, the puncture could be in a location that’s not safe to repair like in the sidewall or outer portion of the tread. So called run-flat tires should not be repaired because their design is such that internal damage can’t be detected by a visual inspection by your honest Welch Automotive service professional.

Franklin drivers should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs – we have a whole team of them at Welch Automotive. Franklin folks can buy self repair kits, but we advise you to save those for emergencies, like when you’re off-roading and need a quick fix so you can hobble back to Franklin civilization and get professional help. If you need to use a repair-in-a-can product, remember it’s a temporary measure only and your tire needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible.

Here are some other considerations: A DIY flat repair may void your tire manufacturer’s warranty – just something to keep in mind. Also, if you repair a speed rated tire, you should not use it in any motorsports or operate it above legal speed limits. Your honest Welch Automotive tire specialist will repair your tire whenever it’s safe to do so and he’ll advise you when it’s better to replace it. So watch those curbs and keep the air – on the inside.

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
828.524.3117

At Welch Automotive we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

Defensive Driving In Franklin North Carolina

There was a man in Franklin who learned that most car accidents occur within a mile of home – so he moved. (Just Kidding!)

When we think of defensive driving, we often focus on our local North Carolina highway situations. The fact of the matter is we need to be just as careful close to home in Franklin, because that’s where we do most of our driving. We can’t let our familiar surroundings keep us from driving defensively.

Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won’t let anyone take your safety away from you. You’ll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.

Don’t leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.

Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.

Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.

Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you’re not paying enough attention.

Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.

Keep your car in good shape so that it handles properly: Maintain tires, lights, brakes, suspension, wheel alignment and steering.

Always use your turn signals while driving around Franklin North Carolina. Avoid other vehicles’ blind spots.

Don’t drive faster than your headlights – if you can’t stop within the distance you can see, you’re going too fast.

Avoid driving over debris in the road. Even harmless looking items can cause damage or an accident.

Keep your wheels straight when waiting to turn at an Franklin North Carolina intersection. That way if you’re hit from behind, your car won’t be pushed into on-coming traffic.

My daddy always said that when you drive, you’re actually driving five cars: yours, the one in front, the one behind and the ones on either side. You can’t trust that other drivers will do the right thing, so you’ve got to be aware of what they’re doing at all times.

If you see another car driving erratically, weaving, crossing lanes, etc., stay back. Take the next right turn if you’re downtown Franklin, or take the next exit on the North Carolina highway. Notify the police if you see someone driving dangerously in our Franklin community.

Never follow too close. The minimum distance is the two second rule. Pick a landmark ahead, like a tree or road marker. When the car in front of you passes it, start counting: ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand’. If you pass the landmark before reaching two-one-thousand, you’re following too close.

Remember that the two second rule is the minimum – it assumes you’re alert and aware. Three seconds is safer. Move out to five seconds or more if it’s foggy or rainy.

Someone will inevitably move into your forward safety zone – just drop back and keep a safe distance.

If someone follows you too closely, just move over.

Don’t play chicken by contesting your right of way or race to beat someone to a merge. Whoever loses that contest has the potential to lose big and you don’t want any part of that. So stay alert, constantly scan around your car and arrive safely.

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
828.524.3117

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Welch Automotive

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the North Carolina news. Franklin people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Franklin motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Franklin grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their trucks for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Franklin drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own trucks on the road in North Carolina.

The astute Franklin drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Welch AutomotiveThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your truck’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is dangerous for your engine.

There’s another vital reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Franklin car owners. It’s simple – a Welch Automotive professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Welch Automotive technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your honest Welch Automotive service advisor will also visually inspect your truck for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Welch Automotive advisor will be able to remind you of other key services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Franklin dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your truck gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some bucks, but they are less expensive than new truck payments in Franklin. With proper service at Welch Automotive in Franklin and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more cash in your wallet.

Franklin North Carolina Winter Prep Service For Your Auto

When winter approaches in North Carolina, Franklin motorists break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Franklin area winter conditions. Your truck needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Franklin drivers want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your truck to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in cold North Carolina winters.

There are some specific things Franklin drivers we need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Welch Automotive in Franklin. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Franklin we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your honest Welch Automotive service advisor to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is also a really good idea for Franklin car owners to have their battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a North Carolina motorists. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote North Carolina road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is essential if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

Welch Automotive
1108 Depot St.
Franklin, North Carolina 28734
828.524.3117

Winter in Franklin, North Carolina always makes drivers think of their windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the North Carolina winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing for Franklin drivers to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it hurts fuel efficiency too. You may need special winter tires in Franklin as well. Your honest Welch Automotive tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

This is a an essential safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow on North Carolina s is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.

How to Know When to Change Your Oil At Welch Automotive

Today in the Welch Automotive auto care blog, we’re going to talk to Franklin car owners about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer for Welch Automotive customers. High quality oil in a well-engineered truck engine has lead to extended intervals. But it’s also lead to some confusion among Franklin motorists.

The old mantra “change your oil every three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first” once applied to every vehicle on Franklin freeways. Time and miles take their toll on motor oil. But now, you could have a different oil change recommendation for every car or truck you own.

Franklin drivers are like everybody else, they have a tendency to follow the oil change schedule of the vehicle with the longest interval. Of course, that can lead to problems. How to Know When to Change Your Oil At Welch AutomotiveFor example, recently four of the world’s largest manufacturers shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles.

In real world Franklin 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 truck 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 Welch Automotive in Franklin.

The auto makers 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 Franklin motorists: with longer oil change intervals, it’s essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, 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 and you go over another thousand, 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 North Carolina, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Franklin conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Your Welch Automotive advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your truck owner’s manual or talk with your Welch Automotive service advisor about where and how you drive in Franklin. 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 trucks 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 to almost 7,000 miles. It’s typically just over 4,000 miles. Clearer sometimes, we’re driving easy miles that are easy on the truck – like a long road trip. Sometimes, we’re driving hard North Carolina miles – 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 Welch Automotive to protect your truck engine. Another place where North Carolina car owners can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Franklin 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 Franklin people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it’s always best to use the oil recommended by your auto manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your truck 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.

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance For Franklin Drivers

Hello, Franklin drivers. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Franklin drivers don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your truck ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your truck owner’s manual or Welch Automotive to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Welch Automotive service specialist can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at North Carolina highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Franklin, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Franklin auto owners.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to costly repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your honest Welch Automotive service advisor will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care for Franklin drivers means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Welch Automotive and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved fuel economy, safety and peace of mind.

Keeping Your Franklin Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Franklin house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it’s C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your truck. It filters out common Franklin air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Franklin car owners have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in North Carolina. Last check, about forty percent of new vehicles sold in Franklin come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for Franklin drivers. Your truck can be a haven during our Franklin allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner’s manual for replacement guidelines. If your truck owner’s manual doesn’t mention your cabin air filter, ask your honest technician at Welch Automotive for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Franklin area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Welch Automotive urges Franklin drivers to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Franklin more enjoyable.

Come by Welch Automotive in Franklin and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

PCV Valve Service At Welch Automotive In Franklin

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a critical job for Franklin car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the truck engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At Welch Automotive In FranklinThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause truck engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Welch Automotive. At high speeds on Franklin freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, vehicle manufacturers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the truck’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves fuel economy also. (Budget-conscious Franklin motorists take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets harmful gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased fuel economy.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Welch Automotive in Franklin and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Franklin motorists don’t know about it. Check your truck owner’s manual or ask your Welch Automotive service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Welch Automotive when it gets dirty.

Please ask your honest Franklin service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Franklin, you can avoid some very expensive engine repairs.