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Best Auto Repair, Sarasota

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Auto Repair Tips & Guidance


Hitchcock Automotive Repair - The right answer for auto repair since 2021.

Hitchcock Automotive Repair's blog provides reliable answers you can act on today. At Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota we understand you want a quality resource, delivered monthly with high caliber auto maintenance tips, superior gas saving options and best in class repair guidance. For additional advice, come by our service center at 5201 Macintosh Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233 today or call 941-306-1000 to ask one of our auto repair experts.

Should I Replace My Car's Spark Plugs?

2022-10-01

The Two Instances When You Should Always Replace Your Spark Plugs

Let's talk spark plugs. A common question we hear at Hitchcock Automotive Repair is, "Should I replace my spark plugs?"

A spark plug performs a critical task for your vehicle's engine. Without a spark plug your car or truck's engine cannot work. Properly working spark plugs also deliver added fuel efficiency. Most owners manuals say to replace the spark plugs every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. In many cases spark plugs last longer than the driver's ownership of the car.

So, when should you replace your spark plugs?

  1. If you just purchased a used vehicle
  2. At least every 80,000 miles

Spark plugs are one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. If you just purchased a used car, it is best to go ahead and replace the spark plugs. You have no idea if the previous owners were "severe" drivers. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder or 1,600 times a minute on a four-cylinder engine. Severe driving can place even higher demands on the spark plugs and engine.

Many used car dealers boast an extensive multi-point inspection plan prior to the sale of any car but many of these plans don't cover spark plug integrity. Because a failed spark plug can mean disaster for your new purchase it is best to get them replaced by the qualified technicians at Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota.

At Hitchcock Automotive Repair we recommend replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark. Many car owners delay spark plug replacement until the engine starts "missing." An engine that is "missing" will typically result in a jerking feeling when accelerating. Spark plugs that are severely worn out will create a pinging or knocking sound. These fouled, worn-out spark plugs can lead to extensive engine damage that is expensive to fix. Therefore, replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark is very important.
Three Indicators Your Spark Plugs Need To Be Replaced

  1. Rattling, pinging or knocking noises when accelerating
  2. Missing, hesitating or jerky feeling when driving
  3. Slow acceleration or chugging

Sluggish and reduced performance also causes poor fuel economy. Save money at the pump by taking care of your vehicle's spark plugs.

Come by Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota if you just bought a used car or your vehicle is approaching the 80,000-mile mark to have your spark plugs replaced by one of our qualified pro mechanics. Call today at 941-306-1000 or stop by our service center at 5201 Macintosh Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34233.



Don't Forget to Replace Your Car or Truck's Belts

2022-10-01

Remember to Change Your Belts

Drivers in Sarasota are busy and it is easy to forget that belts are tirelessly working to keep your engine running. A worn-out belt is a break down waiting to happen. Avoid being stranded on the side of the road and get your belts inspected each time you get an oil change at Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota.

Your car or truck's belts are essential for many of the vehicle's critical components such as water cooling, air conditioning and the alternator. Serpentine belts are used to turn the alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Often when serpentine belts brake your vehicle will stop working completely.

Come to Hitchcock Automotive Repair to get worn or frayed serpentine belts replaced. Replacing belts when cracked, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear is very inexpensive when compared to having your car or truck towed to our repair shop.

Listen for signs of belt problems. Noise like rattling or slipping in the belt system is a sign of wear. Use your nose to tell you if a belt problem is imminent. The smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt.

At Hitchcock Automotive Repair when we replace a worn serpentine belt, we check all the components in the serpentine system such as tensioners and pulleys. A typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance? Get Hitchcock Automotive Repair to replace your car or truck's serpentine belts as directed by your owner's manual and avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.

Call Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota today at 941-306-1000 to schedule regular maintenance such as belt inspection.



Owning A Car Is A Hidden Cost For College Students

2022-10-01

Car Ownership - A Hidden Cost for College Students in Sarasota

Public transportation, Uber or Lyft may be an option for students attending college in large cities but for students attending colleges in small towns the only option may be owning a car. This is particularly true for students attending community colleges where commuting to campus is the only option.

College is expensive and owning a car while attending school is an added expense. Here are the top six expense categories college students should plan for:

  1. Fuel
  2. Financing
  3. Parking permit, annual taxes and registration
  4. Insurance
  5. Maintenance
  6. Tires

Parking permits, licensing, registration and taxes are unavoidable. However here are some recommendations for managing other costs.

  • Consider using a gas app that helps you track down the best price in town for gas. Many local gas and convenience stores offer a reward card just for gas.
  • Revisit your auto loan. College may be a good time to consider a less expensive car. Call your local credit union and ask them about financing. Some financial institutions offer lower interest rates for car owners who sign up to have their monthly payments deducted directly from their bank account each month.
  • Shopping for car insurance may also create a significant savings. If you switch to a less expensive car you may need less coverage. If you are driving less on average this may also lower your insurance costs. Keeping a clean driving record while you are in college can help keep your insurance rates low.
  • Come by Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota and let us help you create a solid auto maintenance plan. No one wants to miss class because their car wouldn't start. Regular maintenance on your car will help prevent high-cost car repairs in the future. Maintenance items such as oil changes can also increase fuel efficiency saving you additional money at the gas pump.
  • The cost of tires can be a jolt to a college student's budget. Plan to buy tires by setting aside a little money each month. Save on tires by taking advantage of manufacturer rebates.

Call Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota today at 941-306-1000 or stop by our service center for preventive auto maintenance services at 5201 Macintosh Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34233.



Hitchcock Automotive Repair Knows What Older Cars and Trucks Need

2022-10-01

Take Your Older Car or Truck To Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota For Preventative Maintenance

The consumer price index for used cars and trucks jumped up by 40.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. As a result, the average age of vehicles on the road is rising as many owners of older cars decide it is cheaper to hang on to them than to buy one today.

As cars get older, they need more maintenance and repair. Drivers in Sarasota must be more diligent about preventative maintenance. Replacing a bad O2 Sensor costs $250.00 on average. This may increase or decrease based on the make and model of your car or truck. However, performing recommended auto maintenance such as air filter replacement and spark plug replacement can extend the life of your O2 sensor.

Kelly Blue Book reports the average vehicle age in the US is 13.5 years. After five years of ownership the chances of a breakdown or service issue increases dramatically unless drivers are vigilant about preventative maintenance. Come by Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota and let us help you set up a preventative maintenance plan for your car or truck. Sticking to a maintenance plan will minimize the chances of breakdowns, increase fuel efficiency and decrease any future repair costs.

The Top 6 Auto Preventative Maintenance Items to Plan for Today

  1. oil change
  2. oil and fuel filters
  3. belts and hoses
  4. brake system components
  5. brake and transmission fluid flushes
  6. tires and alignment

Hitchcock Automotive Repair in Sarasota is dedicated to helping busy car owners prioritize preventative maintenance. We make it easy with convenient, affordable and friendly service. Call today at 941-306-1000 or stop by our service center at 5201 Macintosh Rd, Sarasota, FL, 34233 and speak to one of our technicians.




what our customers say

Great experience. Scott was upfront about needed repairs and maintenance, and didn't try to do anything without my authorization. Also, there was no high pressure to do anything immediately like some shops will try. There is a nice, clean, comfortable waiting area with free wi-fi, and he also has loaner cars available if you don't want to or are unable wait around. I have to drive 20 miles to get to this shop, but it's worth it for an honest mechanic.
B

I had a great experience at Hitchcock Automotive. They were able to get me in right before the Holidays when everywhere else was busy or was not able to do the service that my car needed. I would highly recommend them to anybody looking for a good place to have work done on their car. Friendly staff and quick service.
K

Traveling to Sarasota for vacation and brakes were making unusual noise and felt that it should be checked out. Read reviews prior to selection and called and spoke with owner , Scott , who directed me to come in anytime. Upon arrival I was greeted by a very courteous and welcoming owner that listened to my issues and had a tech on it and out for a test ride and on a lift and checked out quickly. Results were nothing to worry about and normal for some vehicles from north with little rusting that can cause some noise or rubbing that will go away and does not harm brakes and that mine were in excellent condition. When I offered my credit card for payment Scott informed me there was no charge as they had done no work!! I have already offered his name to some friends that spend winters here for their auto servicing needs.
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