Brandon Auto Repair

Yearly Archives: 2014

The Proper Care Of Your Timing Belt

Unless you're a weekend mechanic or serious gearhead, you most likely have no idea what a timing belt is, what it does, or why it matters. At the end of the day, you probably just want your car to run when it's supposed to. But remember that a little bit of knowledge can be powerful. In your engine, the name of the game is precision. It's designed very specifically so that certain parts work in harmony with other parts. The timing belt is responsible for coordinating the movements of the camshaft and crankshaft in the engine, which causes the valves and pistons to move in sync. Usually, a timing belt will last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. It's always best to check the owner's manual for specifics. If you're coming up on the recommended time to swap out the belt, it's best to replace it before it breaks. Why? If a timing belt breaks, your car will simply not run. On top of that, if the belt does break, there can be a collision between a valve and a piston. If t ... read more

Why Is Your Car Vibrating?

When you turn your car on, the engine should have a low and steady rumble. But if car is shaking like it's in the middle of an earthquake, why is it happening, and what can you do make sure it doesn't happen again? First, if the shaking is coming from the engine, it's possible the engine isn't getting the fuel, air or spark that it really needs. Check the spark plugs-time for a new set? If the plugs are relatively new, perhaps the wires for them need to be checked, and maybe the wires aren't connected in the proper order. Another possibility might be that the fuel filter or air filter is badly clogged. If you replace these filters when the manufacturer suggests, you shouldn't have a problem. It's also possible that the wheels might be out of balance. This is a fairly common problem that can make things shake, rattle and roll. If your wheels become too far out of balance, it can become difficult to steer, so get this problem checked out right away. There's ... read more

The Battery Is Your Car's MVP

A good day is when you turn the key in your car's ignition and the engine comes to life. A bad day is when you turn that same key and...nothing happens If you've ever been in a situation where the battery in your car goes dead, you know how frustrating it can be. But how can you make sure this doesn't happen? Usually, a good battery will last around 4-5 years under average conditions. Remember that "average" means the battery isn't subjected to extremes in temperatures and it's attached to a reliable charging system. But there's a few things that can be a fast drain on battery power. When your car first starts up, it usually takes a good amount of power to get the engine going. At this point, the charging system needs to start to replenish power. But if you're driving short distances constantly, the battery never gets an opportunity to fully recharge. Also, heavy vibrations can shake loose the battery, so try to watch those potholes. So how can you keep t ... read more

Serpentine Belt Is The Key To Your Car's Happiness

Remember the last time you were at the auto repair shop getting your car serviced? Your mechanic may have said, "By the way, we checked the serpentine belt and it's in good shape." Maybe you nodded and replied confidently, "Excellent, we all know how important that is!" But maybe you didn't really know what it is and why it matters? Here's a little bit of information to broaden your knowledge base. The serpentine belt is, well, a long belt that drives multiple accessories in the engine of your car. It drives the power steering pump, the alternator, water pump, super charger, and most importantly here in Florida, the air conditioning compressor. If it's working the way it's supposed to, all those components will work properly at the same time. However, if it stops working, best case scenario you'll have a dead battery. Worst case, you could have serious engine damage. So how do you know if it needs to be replaced? First, pop the hood of your car and ... read more

Preventative Maintenance Will Keep Your Car Going Strong

Preventative maintenance for your car is a lot like getting a regular checkup with your doctor. It's a chance to make sure things are running smoothly and catch any issues before they become serious. Here's a few tips we recommend to keep your car running longer and to reduce repair bills. First, read the owner's manual. Most people don't do this, but if you take the time to crack it open you'll find lots of good info tat's relevant to your exact vehicle. You'll learn how often you should really get the oil changed, the right kind of oil to use and the correct kind of gas to put in the tank. Next, get your car washed on a regular basis. Not only will a sparkling car make you look better, but salt and sand used to keep roads clear can cause damage to the undercarriage. Make sure you also frequently inspect the car. Check to make sure front and back lights are functional. Every month or so, make sure the air pressure in the tires is where it needs to be. By doing th ... read more

A Trustworthy Mechanic Is As Important As A Good Doctor

Try to imagine this scenario. You're in your car, driving down your street. You're headed to work. Time is of the essence. Suddenly, something goes wrong with the car. Maybe the engine starts racing. Perhaps the timing belt breaks. Could be something simple, like a headlight goes out. Whatever the situation, you're now stressed out. Late for work! Now add to that stress the worry about where you'll take your car. We all know the old cliche of the crooked auto mechanic. The guy who "finds" extra things wrong with your car, and you end up spending hundreds of dollars more than you anticipated. In this day and age, it's more important than ever to have an auto mechanic with integrity. You need someone who quotes you a fair price for the work they do, fix what they say they're going to fix, and make sure preventative measures are taken to head off trouble. So how do you make sure your mechanic is on the level? First, use your social network. When friends and family re ... read more

Time To Change Your Timing Belt? | Auto Repair Brandon FL

Here at Clarke Automotive Systems, we get questions every so often about timing belts. Most people don't even know there's something wrong with their timing belt or that it's time to replace it until their car breaks down on them or starts acting very differently. We're offer car repair Brandon, FL residents rely on time and time again and we're here to offer some help. Here are some signs that it may be time to replace your timing belt. If you've noticed that when you're driving your car and you get up between 2000 and 4000 RPMs, your engine starts acting weirdly, you should have your timing belt changed. If your timing belt is loose, it will start to slip at higher RPMs and during acceleration. Old timing belts wear down over time and lose teeth. It's normally recommended to change your timing belt every 60,000 miles. Experiencing starting and running issues with your car? Most people don't realize that the timing belt is actu ... read more

The Importance Of An Oil Change From The Brandon Auto Repair Experts

Here at Clarke Automotive Systems, we know that you idea of fun is definitely not getting an oil change. We can't think of many things that people put off more than getting an oil change. Unfortunately, if there's one thing that procrastinating makes worse, it's this. We could continue to make you feel bad about ignoring that windshield sticker that stares you in the face every time you get in the car, but we'd rather focus on the good and positive things that come out of changing your oil and oil filter on a regular basis! Call the auto repair experts in Brandon FL here at Clarke Automotive to schedule your oil change. Never underestimate the value of having a trained technician under the hood of your car a few times a year. In addition to changing your oil and oil filter, we're going to be on the look out for a number of trouble situations that can cause a breakdown if left untreated. We look for fluid leaks, bulging hoses, cracked or frayed belt ... read more

Brandon Car Repair Experts Explain Important Car Maintenance Items

As most of us know, cars that are more modern don't require as much maintenance as cars did back in, say, the 50's. That shouldn't give you a false sense of security, though, says the car repair experts in Brandon, FL. Here at Clarke Automotive, we try to educate our customers so that they can be proactive when it comes to their car. If you look in your car's manual, there are enough service reminders and maintenance points to make anyone's head spin, but fortunately you have us to help you. There are a few main areas of your car that need to be kept up with. Oil: It's been said that oil is much like blood for your car - without it, it dies. Oil keeps your car's engine parts rotating smoothly and working properly, but over time, the oil gets contaminated from exhaust gasses and small bits of metal. This contamination reduces the effectiveness of the oil, making it too thin. If it's too thin, it won't lubricate the engine. Air fi ... read more

Tips to Avoid Rust on Vehicles Part 2

If you have been looking forward to our follow up blog on how to avoid rust from eating away the metal fabrications of your car, you’re in the right place. Be sure, if you haven’t already, to catch up with the first two tips on keeping your car rust free. Here are the following three tips you should follow if you want to have a long lasting, rust-free vehicle. Any car that is used a lot on roadways will always experience a little bit of road rash, it’s normal! The trick to eliminating road rash is by touching up your scratches, paint chips and other large chunks of peeling paint to best avoid rust. Along with keeping your car clean, getting it waxed or waxing your car yourself is another great way you can protect your vehicle against the orange rust you don’t want! Wax can protect your vehicle against the harsh UV rays it endures daily, and if you don’t shelter your car during the day ... read more

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