What Tampa Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things Tampa motorists should know about Tampa car service and repair. First and foremost, Running Great Automotive cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. Running Great Automotive in Tampa wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The honest and friendly. service specialists that work for Running Great Automotive need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other service specialists to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in FL and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average Tampa or Carrollwood drivers may not realize the business and environmental regulations Running Great Automotive must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any FL business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite New Tampa restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.

It’s the same for Running Great Automotive. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Tampa customers are happy to see them succeed as a FL automotive business.

Contact Running Great Automotive to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
14513 N Nebraska Ave
Tampa, FL 33613
Or call us at 813.971.0642

At Running Great Automotive, we love to see our Tampa customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your New Tampa area friends and family to come in for their important scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone in Tampa.

Running Great Automotive appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.

Tampa Exhaust And Emissions Service

Many Tampa car owners don’t realize that there is more to exhaust system maintanance than just tailpipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Running Great Automotive is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in Tampa in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. FL and federal emissions requirements have forced car makers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it’s so sophisticated, manufacturers recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Running Great Automotive, regularly to make sure everything’s working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles.

If your ‘check engine light’ comes on while you are driving around the New Tampa area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to bring your car into Running Great Automotive ASAP. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

So let’s do a quick rundown of the exhaust system for Tampa auto owners. First up, the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.

The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then detrimental gases could escape into the cabin, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.

The exhaust pipes connect the various essential components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes toxic chemicals into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any maintenance itself for Tampa car owners, but eventually it wears out. If yours has stopped working, you probably won’t discover it until your car fails its FL emissions inspection.

Next, the muffler. The important job of this aptly-named part is to muffle engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. Many Tampa auto owners don’t know that you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – which is pretty cool because in addition to changing the look of your ride, you can also customize its sound!

Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can actually leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of how harmful a hot curling iron can be – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around. Talk to your honest and friendly. Running Great Automotive service advisor.

And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the important fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is important for Tampa auto owners’ health and safety. Talk with your honest and friendly. technician at Running Great Automotive in Tampa if you think you might need an inspection of your exhaust system. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

Auto Tips Videos provided for Running Great Automotive by AutoNetTV.

Higher Mileage Service Intervals For Tampa

Tampa motorists have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in New Tampa but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in FL.

Because new cars are more expensive, Tampa residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.

Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Tampa drivers to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don’t already have one, it is more critical than ever to get a good service professional, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Running Great Automotive. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for Tampa car owners that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things Tampa motorists can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older sedan engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better gas mileage and excellent wear protection. Come into Running Great Automotive in Tampa for a checkup.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in Tampa because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold for Tampa auto owners in terms of preventing costly repair costs down the road.

It does cost more for auto owners to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Tampa – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!

Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Tampa, FL

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Tampa environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Tampa auto owners very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the New Tampa area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.  The benefits to Tampa drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.

Tampa motorists should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the New Tampa area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Tampa roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good MPG, but they cost Tampa drivers less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Tampa to New Tampa.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Tampa area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our FL roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver MPG similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology from car makers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global vehicle manufacturers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use in FL.

A quick word from Running Great Automotive about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your New Tampa service technician at  Running Great Automotive is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Battery Replacement At Running Great Automotive In Tampa

Hello, welcome to Running Great Automotive. Today’s focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Tampa runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Running Great Automotive are those in our customer’s vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, car batteries wear out and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Tampa drivers should know when looking for a new battery.

Look for two measurements that come into play: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.

Let’s start with cold cranking amps. Battery Replacement At Running Great Automotive This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold sedan engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in FL, specifically how cold it is. (Many FL motorists have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your sedan’s engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. At Running Great Automotive, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in Tampa. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.

As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.

Percent of Power Available Celsius Fahrenheit Power Required  
100 27 80 100  
65 0 32 155  
40 -22 0 210  
25 -32 20 350  

So if you live where it’s cold in FL, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your sedan was based on averages. At Running Great Automotive, we like to remind Tampa motorists that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their manufacturers recommend, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel sedans require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.

Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important to Tampa drivers these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your sedan. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Tampa. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Running Great Automotive and upgrade if you need more.

Talk with us at Running Great Automotive about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Running Great Automotive in Tampa, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your sedan: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most FL car owners, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Running Great Automotive about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.

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 auto maker to issue recall notices to Tampa residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The car maker then tries to contact all Tampa auto owners who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Tampa service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
Running Great Automotive
14513 N Nebraska Ave Tampa, FL 33613
813.971.0642

These recalls always affect safety, so Tampa drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Tampa motorists and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Tampa drivers still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, car makers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Tampa service centers (including Running Great Automotive)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Tampa tech receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Tampa drivers can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Tampa vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Maintenance Free Myth


Sometimes we hear Tampa car owners say, “What’s up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don’t break down.” While it is true that today’s cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Tampa auto owners don’t realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today’s automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle’s components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don’t think we’re using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance – but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staff members to emphasize and show how critical it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and income. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from a staffer who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in FL and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced – just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundred of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. Our staffer took his SUV in for the FL safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Tampa inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the cash. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind – over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little cash on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Tampa drivers: don’t skip your vital annual inspections. The irony is that many Tampa service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy’s little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn’t get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire – so it was vigorous enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later – and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same auto manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son’s maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done – it cost several hundred dollars. His wife’s car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed and the entire head was shredded and had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the auto manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does – every time he passes a big-screen TV.

The team at Running Great Automotive in Tampa recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better and is more economical to operate in FL. Remember to save those maintenance records. It’ll show potential buyers that you’ve taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren’t any, assume that the maintenance hasn’t been done and take it to your Carrollwood or Temple Terrace service center or Running Great Automotive in Tampa for an inspection. Take care of unperformed vital routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

Running Great Automotive
14513 N Nebraska Ave
Tampa, FL 33613
813.971.0642

Tampa Air Conditioning Service

Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Tampa, but not in your car. When Tampa car owners’ car’s AC System has a problem, they’ll often feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it? You know, the old comfort versus cost dilemma. But a more comfortable drive around Tampa has a lot of benefits, and keeping the AC System well maintained can help prevent expensive repairs.

A common cause for AC failure is water and air in the system. The system does not work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to try to cool the air. That is why periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system for Tampa auto owners so it cools better and lasts longer.

Tampa car owners should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out. The seals can crack and that leads to leaks. Your automobile manufacturer’s owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Some service centers also have this information as part of their computer databases. Your honest and friendly. Running Great Automotive service advisor can give you more information.

Running Great Automotive
14513 N Nebraska Ave
Tampa, FL 33613
813.971.0642

Of course, if your AC currently isn’t working right, then now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers in Tampa such as Running Great Automotive can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for expensive repairs.

Recent environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very expensive in FL. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new EPA-approved R134a refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run.

A Cold Day In Tampa

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Most Tampa auto owners worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy FL interstate but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during New Tampa rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot sedan.

A lot of Tampa drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the sedan running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive in Tampa.

Temple Terrace drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing costly repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your sedan air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more expensive repairs.

At Running Great Automotive, we advise our Tampa customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your sedan owner’s manual or with your Tampa service professional for information about how often your sedan air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your sedan air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Running Great Automotive in Tampa. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a significant repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Tampa motorists in FL. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your sedan.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!

Keep it Flowing With A Fuel Filter Replacement At Running Great Automotive

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Tampa FL use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit Running Great Automotive or come by our shop located at 14513 N Nebraska Ave in Tampa, FL 33613.
Please call 813.971.0642 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Tampa FL auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your sedan is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your sedan ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Tampa service advisor at Running Great Automotive. We’ll be happy to explain.