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Sarasota Auto Repair

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fuel Injectors

The last new car sold with a carburetor in North America rolled out of the dealership in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injection is a much more precise way of delivering fuel than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and power. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure. A few auto makers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – hundreds of times the pressure of port injection syst ... read more

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Auto Repair

Improve Gas Mileage in Sarasota

Do you find yourself filling up more often than you used to in Sarasota? Do you have a clue what your average highway/city MPG is on I-94 or driving through downtown, or what it should be? Bad gas mileage is caused by one of three factors: driving conditions, environmental conditions and/or vehicle conditions. Factors: Road conditions in Sarasota Frequent braking followed by brief spurts of acceleration at low-speeds can have an adverse affect on your gas mileage. Consider alternate routes, but think twice before skipping the major highways–like I-94, I-84 and I-43 altogether–as city stoplights and stop signs might be just as bad on your mileage as stop-and-go traffic on the freeway. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t leave your car idling. Sure, shutting off and restarting your car does require some additional reserves, but if you’re going to idle for more than two to three minutes, consider saving the heat or the AC for a moment and kill the eng ... read more

Saving Lives In Sarasota With Tire Pressure

All new passenger vehicles on our Sarasota, FL roads now have tire pressure monitoring systems – TPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are under inflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about TPMS. First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is twenty percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is thirty five pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won’t come on until the pressure is at twenty eight pounds. That’s significantly under-inflated. Enough to raise safety concerns. The worst is tire failure. A severely under inflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also under-inflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it’s costly to not stay on top of proper inflation. What’s the pr ... read more

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Driving Tips

Trip Inspection

North Americans love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than the road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt. Now you can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding byways or super-highways? Mountains or plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Lugging a trailer or roof top carrier? Will it be dusty? Armed with the answers to these questions, you can start a trip inspection to help you prepare your Sarasota vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Sarasota customers prefer to go through this exercise with an automotive service advisor at Dave’s Auto Repair ... read more

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Auto Repair

Hunting for a Good Mechanic? Just Look Behind the Counter

Any shop will tell you that they’re honest and value their customers above all else. At the same time, most vehicle owners know little about either their vehicle to know otherwise. The general rule seems to be that if it runs, that’s good enough. A wise consumer should look for a mechanic that goes beyond the bare minimum and is an advocate to customer, one who tries to educate them about their vehicle and the choices they make to maintain it. In more concrete terms, and beyond customer advocacy and customer service, the easiest way to identify the skill and integrity of a business is by looking behind the counter. Today, we’ll discuss how conspicuous awards and certifications speak volumes to a business’ reputation at a time when most consumers feel overwhelmed and ignorant. If you don’t see these proudly displayed, you should feel comfortable inquiring with the service writer or business owner as to whether they hold any of the following certifications ... read more

Using Proper Fluids In Your Automobile Or Other Vehicle

Today Dave’s Auto Repair is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It’s become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It’s not that people in FL are confused as much as they don’t realize how much things have changed in recent years. If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to stop by Dave’s Auto Repair. You can find us on 4547 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, FL 34233. Just give us a call at Let’s take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness. It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it’s cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn’t thin out too much in th ... read more

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Is Your Sarasota Driving Severe?

People near Sarasota, FL often ask Dave’s Auto Repair how often they should have a particular service done. It’s a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner’s manual, or have your Sarasota, FL service advisor at Dave’s Auto Repair look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules. One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Sarasota, FL will say that their driving is normal and that the ‘regular’ schedule probably applies to them. ‘Severe service’ sounds pretty extreme – ‘I don’t drive like that’. Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions. Most of your trips are less than four miles. Most of your trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing. The engine is at low speed most of the time ... read more

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

We’re living in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and we want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service. Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule. The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditio ... read more

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

Today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”. Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Sarasota Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever. Here are some examples for our friends in Sarasota. Some cars in Sarasota no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints. -Chalk one up for the myth. On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago ... read more

On Board Diagnostics For Sarasota Motorists

Some Sarasota auto owners wonder why Dave’s Auto Repair and other Sarasota auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services. Think about it: When you hire a local Sarasota HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Fruitville doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it. On Board Diagnostics For Sarasota Motorists So receiving a diagnostic charge at Dave’s Auto Repair for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Sarasota area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your Automobile brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy FL expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your Automobile engine, however, Dave’s Auto Repair diagnosi ... read more

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