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727-329-8728 | 4655 118th Ave N Unit B

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

GENERAL MAINTENANCE, Clearwater, FL

It's Time for the 21st Century Tune-up

Times are changing...cars are changing. One of the biggest changes in today's automotive industry is the perception of a "tune-up." Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there'll be 10 different answers. The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs; today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels.

The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and ignition points, along with some basic adjustments to help "tune" the engine. Mounting pressure for increased fuel economy and lower emissions drove the car manufacturers to adopt electronics and to do away with ignition points in the '70s, along with the carburetor in the middle '80s. This eliminated the need for the replacement and adjustment of a growing number of ignition and fuel system parts.

As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions. Things that were once handled mechanically are now controlled electronically through the widespread use of onboard computer technology.

Because vehicles have changed so much over the years, the Car Care Council has introduced the 21st Century Tune-up. This program is designed to help re-define and educate motorists as to what a tune-up should consist of on today's modern vehicles.

"There is a misconception that today's modern vehicles don't need tune-ups because they never break down, but that simply is not true," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "If you're at work and your computer goes down, you can't get any more work done. It's the same with your vehicle. If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go."

As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected:

  • Battery, charging and starting
  • Engine mechanical
  • Powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks)
  • Fuel
  • Ignition
  • Emissions

Vehicle owners ask for tune-ups for a variety of reasons, including improving performance, maintaining reliability, planning a vacation, preparing for winter/summer or because they're giving the car to a friend or family member.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle from every aspect. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure—an inconvenience anytime it occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

  • Engine Performance - Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters-air, fuel, etc.
  • Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
  • Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual—more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
  • Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent-you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
  • Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
  • Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
  • Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
  • Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
  • Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
  • Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. . . Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

  • Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.
  • Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual-more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
  • Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended-more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
  • Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
  • Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
  • Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
  • Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
  • Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
  • Emergencies - Carry some basic tools-ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.

Keeping Your Vehicle in Tune with the Environment

Car care is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer-up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians. The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Under inflation wastes fuel-your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle. Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Keep your air conditioner in top condition and have it serviced only by a technician certified competent to handle/recycle refrigerants. Air conditioners contain CFCs-gases that have been implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost one third of the CFCs released into the atmosphere come from mobile air conditioners; some simply leaks out, but the majority escapes during service and repair-so it's important to choose a qualified technician.
  • Do-it-yourselfers: dispose of used motor oil, anti-freeze/coolant, tires, and old batteries properly. Many repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local municipal or county government for recycling sites. Never dump used oil or anti-freeze on the ground or in open streams.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 55 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise-control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family. Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions. Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.


What Our Customers Are Saying

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Top Notch Mechanics at this shop. The Best in town. Courteous, friendly, & affordable! Come here if you want the repairs done right and fast, with great prices! ??????

, 07/07/2020

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I echo all the great reviews. I am new to area and live in New Port Richey. I had no idea where to go until I read the reviews for Affordable Auto. And it is hands down worth the short drive. Sunny, Kevin and techs are the best!l.

, 03/09/2020

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I feel very grateful for the work done by Affordable Auto in Clearwater. My car had to be towed to my hotel from an art fair I was in on a Sunday night. Affordable Auto then towed my car from the hotel to repair early Monday morning. The work was done that day & I was able to drive safely back to the Chicago area the next day. They were very kind and very helpful with the cost. They even followed up with me to make sure all was well ??

, 03/06/2020

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Good job on my brakes!

, 03/05/2020

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Place dosen't except checks but are very nice.

, 02/12/2020

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I had a great experience! I was a first time customer who found this place from their amazing yelp reviews, upon receiving a free quote, I was proven right. Sunny and the guys went above and beyond to effectively explain to me the issues and gave me a fantastic price. I will definitely be back for any car related issue.

, 02/08/2020

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Fast service, excellent customer service and the price was great!!! I use my vehicle as a work tool, having it out of service is detrimental to our companies bottom line! Affordable Auto turnaround time salvaged my day. Thank you for the great service!!!

, 01/31/2020

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Brought my F250 in for a tune up. They did a great job and had it done fairly quick. Drop off pick up same day. I got a message from one of the guys there making sure everything was okay. Good to see that this place checks up on customers! I will for sure be back soon. Thanks guys!

, 09/23/2019

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They are always friendly, and get my truck in and out in a short amount of time. Also, the prices are very good. I recommend it to anyone.

, 09/23/2019

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The place is honest and nice to deal with. I love the dogs on site too! Very friendly.

, 10/06/2019

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I looked up this shop online. I was looking to replace my alternator on my MDX. The shop was close to work and the reviews were predominantly positive so i hit the get a quote button in google. Sunny responded to me within minutes. The price was very good and my service was completed the next day. I have to attest that this was a great experience. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I was kept informed throughout the process. I will be back

, 10/18/2019

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Great service and very reasonable.

, 10/18/2019

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Always helpful and good service tech's.

, 10/19/2019

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I absolutely love this shop! Everyone there is friendly and thoroughly explains the issues that are wrong with your vehicle. They are extremely knowledgeable and efficient. Prices are very reasonable! I've had my vehicle taken to three different mechanics and no one seemed to know what was wrong with my car. After an hour of my car being here at this location, Sunny called me and explained exactly what was wrong! Their mechanics are top notch and work in a timely manner. I will continue to come to this shop if I need any work done to my car. Kudos to you guys for being so awesome!

, 10/25/2019

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Great service good price sunny is the best

, 10/29/2019

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Best experience in a car shop EVER! Sunny and JoJo are remarkable, organizd and go way above and beyond. I have already begun to recommended them.

, 11/21/2019

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Great service and repairs!! Couldn't ask for better

, 12/12/2019

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OMG what a great shop. I've never had such good service in all my days

, 12/12/2019

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They always take excellent care of our service vehicles.

, 01/06/2020

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They were very friendly and helpful, will be returning soon for additional service to my vehicle.

, 01/15/2020

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I'm new to the Tampa Bay area and I need an automotive shop I can trust. Plus, as a pretty darned good "shade tree mechanic" myself, I know when I'm being bamboozled. But I couldn't be happier with my experience with Affordable Auto and Truck Repair (a.k.a.: "Peterson Auto & Truck")! I recently purchased a used car and I wanted a bumper-to-bumper assessment of what-all it might need in the near term. They did me right. They provided me with a list, in priority order, of what the car needed "now" and what it may need in the future. Each job was clearly explained and an estimated cost for each job was included. Most of the things on the list were things I'd already made note of; a couple were new news to me, but when I checked for myself I confirmed the need. And, best of all, there weren't any bogus things on the list. Everything was accurate and nothing unnecessary was added to pump up the bill. After talking with them I've made an appointment to have the first couple of things taken care of so I'll have many miles of trouble-free driving ahead. (Oh, and they are "dog people." I'm a "dog person." We need to stick together! :-) )

, 01/16/2020

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They are fantastic! Very professional and thorough. From Sunny in the office to the mechanics and all the way to the top to the owner, Kevin. They are like family and want to make sure your vehicle is safe and won't give you any trouble. I've moved away and would give my left arm (since I'm not right-handed) to find a comparable shop somewhere near my new location.

, 01/27/2020

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I've never had such a positive experience with an auto shop. The customer service was top notch. The staff are all incredibly friendly and they made me feel very welcome. The quality and speed of the work was 2nd to none. I highly recommend this shop to anyone.

, 12/28/2016

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I needed some help checking out my truck. The team at Petersons auto and truck were able to get my truck in without delay. Pricing was fair, service was excellent. I'll be coming back for all my auto repair needs. Highly recommend Petersons auto repair services. Great local business team, Thanks guys.

, 01/12/2017

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I'm new to the Tampa Bay area and I need an automotive shop I can trust. Plus, as a pretty darned good "share tree mechanic" myself, I know when I'm being bamboozled. But I couldn't be happier with my experience with Peterson Auto & Truck! I recently purchased a used car and I wanted a bumper-to-bumper assessment of what-all it might need in the near term. Peterson did me right. They provided me with a list, in priority order, of what the car needed "now" and what it may need in the future. Each job was clearly explained and an estimated cost for each job was included. Most of the things on the list were things I'd already made note of; a couple were new news to me, but when I checked for myself I confirmed the need. And, best of all, there weren't any bogus things on the list. Everything was accurate and nothing unnecessary was added to pump up the bill. After talking with them I've made an appointment to have the first couple of things taken care of so I'll have many miles of trouble-free driving ahead. (Oh, and they are "dog people." I'm a "dog person." We need to stick together! :-) )

, 03/11/2017

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We found out about this place from a community event held on Halloween last year, they've given us great service for a fair price. Would definitely recommend them!

, 03/14/2017

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Excellent service and exceptional staff. They are by far the best automotive service I ever have experienced.

, 03/18/2017

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Great service and knowledgeable mechanics. Identified the problem with my truck and had it fixed and back to me within a few hours. I plan on taking my vehicle back for any future service.

, 03/24/2017

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These guys are the most honest mechanics I've been to in a long time! My check engine light (and my IMA light) was on. They could have sold me a new $900 hybrid battery and I wouldn't have been the wiser. Instead, they explained that I could take it back to the dealer for a free system refresh. Peterson Auto has been my mechanic ever since I moved here and I won't take my vehicle anywhere else!!!

, 03/24/2017

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How rare is it to find an honest mechanic! He could have taken an extra hundred towards repairs and we never would have known. Saved us money and I cannot think of a mechanic shop before that when I left I left knowing the job was done right and I did not get taken. Highly recommend

, 04/11/2017

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I needed to get a new timing belt for my car because it was 60,000 over the recommended mileage. Let's be honest...it was only a matter of time before it broke. After doing some research in the area (I just moved from out of state), I had called 13 different auto repair places to get estimates on how much it will cost to fix. Peterson's was the lowest, best reviewed, and had a 2 year warranty with their service!! Deal! The estimates were anywhere from $550-$1000+ . When I called for the estimate and to make the appointment they were so nice and polite on the phone and could get me in the next day! I was shocked. Dropped my car off in the morning and they had it ready by the end of the day! Super quick, friendly, and they have adorable pups in the waiting area that are so sweet! I felt comfortable chatting while waiting for my uber and knew my car was gonna be in good hands! All in all, I got a new timing belt and water pump for $550, same day service, and they followed up the following days to see how my car was doing! I would highly recommend Peterson Auto & Truck to anyone! They will be my go to auto repair shop!

, 04/20/2017

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These people were lifesavers. My truck wouldn't start and they came to the rescue. They ordered a tow truck to pick my truck up and take it to their garage. When I found out I needed a new starter and it had to be ordered, they actually took me back to my house and then picked me up the next day when my truck was fixed. Thanks to Sunny and the crew for helping me out and doing a great job.

, 05/26/2017

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Great service! Kevin is great and explains all your options thoroughly. I've been a customer for close to 10 years.

, 06/10/2017

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AAA towed our Lexus 400h to Peterson?s when our car overheated on a Saturday afternoon on I-275 heading home to Gainesville. They ordered a new radiator and installed it on Sunday morning. Kevin was very professional, knowledgeable, and skilled. He worked on his precious Sunday to get us on our way home. We are so grateful for his assistance.

, 11/07/2017

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I've been taking my vehicles to Peterson Auto for over 10 years. Through different management changes and owners their service has remained top notch and friendly. They are always honest and never try to sell me services that aren't really needed and will advise me on when certain failing parts should be replaced. It's terrific to have a locally owned, neighborhood auto shop to build a relationship with.

, 11/30/2017

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Honest, reliable, fair & accommodating...they're always willing to work with you & go out of the way to treat their customers well. Tell them what you need and Kevin will make it happen. So highly recommended, I'll never go anywhere else.

, 04/26/2018

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Had to have my wifes car towed to Petersons Affordable Auto to replace the battery ( honestly, who puts a battery in the wheelwell?) Ordered the battery and had it in under an hour. Fast and reliable, no hidden charges and Kevin went over everything they did. My apologies to the Service Tech that had to wrestle with the battery. All in all great service, Thanks.

, 05/29/2018

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Awesome service! So thankful for the owner who helped me this morning. Thank you!!

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My husband and I took our f150 truck to Affordable auto and had the engine replaced. We went solely on reputation and reviews and were very glad we found them. We were so pleased with the quality and the price of the work. The staff is great, very friendly and most importantly very knowledgeable. We will continue to take our cars and trucks to affordable auto as well as recommend them to our family and friends.

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Absolutely satisfied (after so many disappointing experiences ) finally it feels just the right place I need for my car needs thanks Sunny !

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They did our repair quickly. The cost was just fine! Great workmanship!

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Quality work at a great price!! Had a leveling kit installed on my 2019 Ram. Couldn't be happier with the work done and the owner is very nice and professional. Would definitely return as a customer.

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Excellent customer service. Very friendly and honest.

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Honest and reliable. Every time I bring my car there I never feel like I'm being sold something I don't need. They tell me exactly what's going on. I would not bring my car anywhere else!

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Great guys. Gave us a free diagnostic/inspection, and catered to our needs when we were picking up the vehicle after-hours. Really nice too. Come check out their doberman!

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Kevin, Owner and Jeff, Technician offer first rate customer service and repair expertise at very reasonable rates. They have repaired my vehicles several times throughout the years and always go the extra mile to accommodate my schedule and repair needs. Absolutely The Best!

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Man this guy was GREAT!!!! I mean that in every sense of the word. He gave great advice and does awesome work. I had a starting problem with a 96 Honda Accord and he took care of it with no problems. He definitely reminds me of the ole' school auto shops who weren't all about the money. They were all about the customer. And this guy shows that. I'm new to Florida and I've looked into a few other auto repair shops. Well this shop takes the cake. Even hooked me up with a towing company. All work on ALL of my cars not done by me will definitely be done by him. Strong Work!!!

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • IDENTIFIX
  • Jasper
  • AAA Approved Auto Repair
  • ASE Master Technician
  • ALL-DATA
  • Car Care Aware
  • Call Us For Service: 727-329-8728