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AUTO REPAIR & MAINTENANCE BLOG

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 Problems

Let'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 Dakota K Auto Repair & Tire Center.



Vibration While Driving

This 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 Performance

Your 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 Dakota K Auto Repair & Tire Center.



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. Dakota K Auto Repair & Tire Center has the tools and expertise to have you safely back on the road in no time at all.




What Our Customers Are Saying

Professionals who take the time to educate me while saving me money" is the best definition for the Dakota K team. They quickly address my concerns, explaining WHY things are done, WHAT the alternative approaches would be and the benefits/drawbacks of each decision. When I say "fix it!" they often say, "we can wait X miles before doing that because . . ." saving me money in the long run. They find problems I was unaware of, show me the parts, and explain the choices I have when deciding when and how to solve the problem. They have cared for my Subaru for 9 years, other cars before that, and recently saved me from an expensive repair I thought I would need to make on my Saturn ion, When I have a small problem or question and phone the shop or drop in, they address it, often without charge. I trust them because they have EARNED my trust. I will continue to be a loyal customer. If you have a great mechanic, dentist, and plumber, you are lucky. I am lucky!!


-Barb O.

Brought my car in for a check engine light. The problem was diagnosed and situation resolved. They gave me a loaner car while the service was being performed making my day much easier.


-Rich L.

I've been coming here for almost 10 years. I always feel great about the service my car gets from Dakota. The staff is nice & helpful in explaining the estimates & repairs.


-Alan B.

Very honest, And great service!!!!


-Ricardo S.

Excellent service, I had no brakes. Pedal to the floor on my 05 Tahoe. Turns out the lines were rusted/rotted. Replaced with better materials all lines, hoses and fittings. Brakes are rock solid now. And all for a reasonable (yet still painful lol) price. Sometimes having an older vehicle just means this stuff needs to be done. Very pleased.


-Vince S.

Life Savers!! They towed, repaired, had reasonable pricing for repairs, and gave me a loner so I could get to work. They made my commuted break down stress free. Thanks guys and gal!!


-Daniel Z.

Great and very reasonable pricing and very knowledgeable service writers would most definitely send friends here they did great work on my diesel truck for a fraction of the cost of Ford.


-Kyle R.

I stopped by for a minor repair and they got me in right away. I was impressed with their professionalism and service. I will definitely be back.


-Dan T.

They do a great job on repairs, maintenance, etc. We've used their services for years!


-David C.

I must give these guys credit for simply standing by their warranty on a timing chain replacement that ended up having an issue. They towed in my car, diagnosed, took responsibility for and fixed the issue, without question or hassle, under their warranty. It is valuable to know they are an ethical shop.


-Blake C.

Helpful, considerate, friendly and very reasonable rates! The perfect combination when you need help with your automobile.


-Patricia C.

Amazing service. I came to the shop 2 hours before closing on Saturday. Muffler on my Nissan got loose and apparently detached from the exhaust. They've inspected the car and showed me where the problem was, recommended optimal and inexpensive fix, spent a great deal of time calling local suppliers to locate the proper part and got the job done before closing. Staff was very nice and professional. Job was done fast and inexpensive. Great local shop. Highly recommended.


-Dmitriy F.

I had the most pleasant experience with Dakota's. They charged me a reasonable rate, were honest with me, and lent me a loaner car while mine was in the shop for a few days. I definitely recommend them and definitely would come back!


-Ashley R.
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