Maintaining your vehicle at home is a satisfying way to keep your motoring costs down. With the right knowledge and products even someone who isn't very mechanically inclined can take care of many of the smaller issues in everyday driving. Sometimes, however, car issues can be too specialized or complex for the average motorist to take care of by themselves and it becomes time to take your car to the pros. Below you'll find three major warning signs that you need to get to a mechanic ASAP, as well as some of the potential causes behind them.
Engine and Drivetrain ProblemsLet's start at the beginning. If your car won't even turn over and start up, then the rest of the problems on this list won't come into play. The simplest cause of this issue is a dead battery, which you can remedy with jumper cables, and the instructions that come printed on their packaging. If jumping the car doesn't work, you may have a larger problem with your ignition system. It's advisable to take your car into the shop at this point because finding the root of the problem will likely involve removing a few parts from your engine. Whether it's dead spark plugs or electrical problems, it's better to have it dealt with by a professional. Likewise, engine surging where the revs rise and fall can mean a problem with your fuel injectors, which are fairly deep within your motor. It's unwise to drive around with a surging engine, as this burns more gas and can cause unintended acceleration. Drivetrain issues are another major issue requiring professional attention. Everybody fears the dreaded transmission repairs, so if certain gears won't engage or they shift at the wrong times you should definitely take your car to the qualified mechanics here at Hitchcock Automotive Repair.
Vibration While DrivingThis issue can be caused by damaged drivetrain components, but can also stem from misaligned wheels or unbalanced or flat tires. If you feel any vibration or shuddering as you drive along, you should get to a mechanic as soon as you can. At its worst, this issue can lessen your control over the car, potentially causing accidents. This will also wear out your tires more quickly than if everything was straight and true. Unwanted vibrations put stress on important (and costly) components like suspension and brakes while decreasing gas mileage, so it's smart to take your car in as soon as these issues develop.
Poor Braking PerformanceYour brakes are vital to keeping you safe on the road and should definitely be cared for by a professional, unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. Common signs of issues with your car's braking system include squeaking or squealing when the brakes are applied, or the brakes feeling spongy and failing to slow your vehicle properly. Squealing brakes are caused by the brake pads wearing through the pad surface to the metal underneath. At this point the metal behind your brake pad is coming into contact with the brake rotor. This can be disastrous and produce unwanted heat, reduced stopping power, and cause you to have to buy new rotors as well as the relatively cheap pads. Spongey and weak brakes can mean there's a problem with your master cylinder, which converts the mechanical pressure of you pressing the pedal into hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes. In either case, it's best to have your brakes seen to by the professional mechanics here at Hitchcock Automotive Repair.
There are instances where car maintenance is simple and easy, but if you notice any of these issues developing, it's best to take your car in for a qualified mechanic's checkup so the problems can be remedied before they turn into much more serious issues. Hitchcock Automotive Repair has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.
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.
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.
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.