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Sarasota Auto Repair

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Severe Service Requirements

A lot of our viewers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners’ manual. It can be confusing. Let’s clear the air on this subject. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She’s been in the automotive business for 20 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer. Cricket says there’s so much confusion on this topic because, “Most owners’ manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called ‘regular service’ and ‘severe service’. Sometimes they’re simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time. Manufacturers create these specific schedules for each vehicle they make. So there isn’t one generic schedule that applies to all cars. In addition to your owners’ manual, S ... read more

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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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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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The Dave’s Auto Repair Guide To Vehicle Diagnosis

Modern Sarasota vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle. Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It’s no wonder that when something goes wrong with their Automobile it can be pretty complicated for Sarasota car owners to track down the source of the problem. To help your Dave’s Auto Repair tech figure out what’s wrong, your Automobile is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine Light comes on to tell you there’s a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your honest, fair, dependable Dave’s Auto Repair tech connects a scan tool to your vehicle’s diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other imp ... read more

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Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the vehicle manufacturer to issue recall notices to Sarasota residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The vehicle manufacturer then tries to contact all Sarasota drivers who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Sarasota service center. To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call: Dave’s Auto Repair 4547 Bee Ridge Road Sarasota, FL 34233 () These recalls always affect safety, so Sarasota drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches. Recalls are pretty serious and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Sarasota drivers s ... read more

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Hey Sarasota Drivers; What Is The Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Sarasota? Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink or Gummy Bears Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Sarasota and around the country. Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year! You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your ... read more

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Battery Basics For Sarasota

It’s important for Sarasota motorists to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold FL weather. Most Sarasota motorists think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold Automobile engine. However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Sarasota trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Sarasota motorists can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter. As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your Automobile alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This ... read more

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Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days people were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most people couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us FL penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Sarasota car owners making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between an oil change, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get properly lubricated and t ... read more

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Fuel Filter Service in Sarasota FL

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 Dave’s Auto Repair can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of. Some of us in Sarasota, FL 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 Sarasota, FL roads is over nine years. When cars 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 t ... read more

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Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system: the radiator the radiator cap the hoses the thermostat and the water pump The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear. The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners’ manual or service technician to see what’s recommended. Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine. So how can y ... read more

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