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Our Services

Air Conditioning

Batteries

Belts

Brakes

Computerized Alignment

Computerized Engine Analysis

Cooling System Maintenance

CV & Drive Axle

Engine Service

Exhaust

Front End

Oil Change

Radiator

Shocks and Struts

Tire Repair

Tire Rotation

Transmission Maintenance

Wheel Balance

Free Towing

Auto Value


Quality parts and service for certified service centers.


Tharp's Pledge
If nothing is wrong with the customer's car, nothing will be recommended.
The work will be done right the first time, on time.
The customer's bill will never be more than written estimate.
We guarantee our work and parts.

We always keep our word!

Mrs. Tharp


ASE C ertified

 

 

 


Services

Find information on our services by clicking on it to the left or find it by clicking on the letter it begins with below.

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A

Air Conditioning

It's the first hot day of the summer. Uncomfortably shifting in your seat, you turn on that long-neglected AC knob, only to discover an unwelcome blast of warm air streaming out from the vents. A bad situation made worse: that's when you turn to us—your air conditioning service and repair headquarters. Did you know that without regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency per year? This means that without proper maintenance, your air conditioning unit may be performing as poorly as other models that are years older! But there is good news: you can still recover most of that lost efficiency. Schedule an appointment with one of our factory-trained professionals—we understand all aspects of AC repair, from modern computerized components to environmental disposal concerns. Today's AC systems are fairly complex and new improvements are always being initiated. That's why you need to turn to us, the qualified source for everything related to your air conditioning system. The following is a brief schematic of some of the basic components that comprise this system:

Compressor: The compressor is a belt-driven device that derives its name from compressing refrigerant gas and transferring it into the condenser. While basically acting as a simple pump, the compressor is the core of your vehicle's air conditioning system.

Condenser: The condenser's primary function is to cool the refrigerant. It is a heat dissipating apparatus that radiates heat released by compressed gases and condenses them into high pressure liquids. The location of your condenser depends on how new your car is, but typically it's found at the front of the vehicle, directly in front of the engine cooling radiator.

Receiver (Drier): The receiver is a metal container that serves as a storage receptacle for the refrigerant. It's also referred to as a drier because it absorbs moisture from the refrigerant and filters out particles of debris and harmful acids that would otherwise harm your AC system. Commonly located on the liquid line of the AC system, you should change your drier every 3-4 years to ensure quality filtration and prevent any damage caused by these detrimental chemicals.

Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve: The orifice tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a controlling mechanism that regulates the flow of refrigerant throughout the system. In addition to this, it also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the condenser) into a low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the evaporator. Generally located at the evaporator inlet, the orifice tube could also be found between the condenser and the evaporator, or in the outlet of the condenser.

Evaporator: The evaporator is designed to remove heat from the inside of your vehicle; therefore it's a heat exchanger that's vital to your vehicle's AC system (not to mention your comfort). The evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor is removed from the evaporator by the compressor, cooling your car and reducing humidity. Because the evaporator houses the most refrigerant in this heat transfer process, it is the most susceptible to corrosion by harmful acids. Usually this damages the evaporator beyond repair, which is why it's imperative you see us to prevent this from happening.

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B

Batteries

Let's face it, you can have the most meticulously maintained vehicle on the road, but it won't start without the right battery, properly installed and appropriately fitted for your driving needs. From ignition to door locks, your car battery is the catalyzing force that allows you to get from point A to point B. The following is a brief overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible.

1. Battery
Composed of a series of lead plates submerged in a 35% sulfuric acid/65% water solution, your 12-volt battery houses a chemical reaction that releases electrons through conductors, producing electricity which is then channeled into your vehicle's electrical system. When your car's engine is off, the battery supplies electricity to all of the electrical system components, including the essential power required to start your vehicle. In periods of high demand, the battery also supplements power from the charging system.

2. Charging System
The charging system is life force of your vehicle's electrical system, consisting of three main mechanisms: the alternator, various circuits, and the voltage regulator. The alternator has two roles. It: a) provides power to the electrical system, and b) recharges the battery after the car has started. The various circuits act as conduits for electrical power, and the voltage regulator controls the voltage passed through these circuits. Remember, all of these components require consistent attention and maintenance. It's not just your battery that needs to be replaced every so often; if one of these components should fail, that pulsating power source is now reduced to a lifeless, twenty pound paper weight.

3. Starting System
It may seem obvious that the starting system turns your vehicle's engine on, but did you know that this process consumes much more electrical power than anything else your car does? That's because the starting system consists of three components working one after another. Here's how it works: there's the ignition switch, the starter relay (or solenoid), and the starter motor. Turning the key causes a small amount of current to pass through the starter relay, allowing a stronger current to flow through the battery cables and into the starter motor. The starter motor cranks the engine, forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a fuel and air mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a spark that ignites the mixture, and combustion is born.

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Belts

Among all the equipment in your vehicle, belts and hoses have the shortest life span. Due to constant exposure to heat, vibration, and harmful chemicals, these components invariably crack, leak, fray, and peel. If not promptly replaced and maintained, this could spell disaster for the performance of your vehicle. And evaluating the condition of your belts and hoses only on their appearance is not enough! Diligent inspection is required, and we are here to do it. Here is a sample of how we ensure belt and hose quality.

Visual Inspection of Belts
Search for clear indications of damage (cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
Test for correct tension
Test for correct alignment
Record belt condition for future reference

Visual Inspection of Hoses
Search for clear indications of damage (leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
Test cooling system for leaks using state-of-the-art pressure technology
Record hose condition for future reference

It is vital to inspect your vehicle's belts and hoses on a regular basis because often times a damaged piece has serious effects on the condition of your vehicle. Research shows that while most people are attentive when it comes to regular oil changes, they hardly devote any concern at all to the condition of their belts and hoses. A leaking hose or a cracked belt will cause you more trouble than an overdue oil change ever will! The following is a brief description of some of the different belts and hoses we inspect:

Drive Belts:
The engine itself is used as a power source to drive some of your vehicle's accessories. Instead of being supplied by electric power, these accessories rely on a series of pulleys and belts to operate. Some of these accessories include:
Power steering pump
Alternator
Air conditioning compressor
Radiator cooling fan
Water pump

Most older vehicles require a single serpentine belt to power these accessories (as opposed to several individual belts).

Hoses:
If you think of hoses as your vehicle's circulatory system, then you'll have an appropriate representation of how important they are. Channeling car fluids to their correct destination, hoses are composed of two rubber layers with fabric in between. Types of hoses vary on make and model, but typically they include:
Fuel hose (sends gasoline from the gas tank to the engine)
Radiator hose (delivers coolant to engine)
Power steering hose (connects power steering pump to steering equipment)
Heater hose (provides coolant to heater core)

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Brakes

Our ASE-certified technicians take professionalism to the next level by offering courteous and knowledgeable service to all of our customers. Continually striving to master every aspect of automotive care, ASE technicians follow Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines for your vehicle's braking system to assure safe, smooth driving.

When your mechanic is wearing the ASE patch, don't expect to get to know him—you won't be back in a long time! That's because our ASE technicians do the job right the first time. They inspect the following braking components:

Disc Brakes:
Disc brake rotors and pads
Calipers and hardware

Drum Brakes:
Brake drums and shoes
Wheel cylinders
Return springs

Parking Brake:

Cables

Hydraulic System:
Master cylinder
Brake fluid and hoses
Power booster

The brake system equipped in your vehicle is a culmination of over 100 years of technological innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms into dependable and efficient pieces of speed variation equipment. While brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in the rear. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes are linked to each wheel and the master cylinder by said network, which supply them with vital brake fluid (hydraulic fluid).

We'll take a closer look on how this works, but first we'll provide a brief overview of the critical components that make braking possible. We can summarize all of your braking equipment into two categories:
Hydraulics and Master Cylinder.

Master Cylinder: When it comes to your vehicle, think of the master cylinder as a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure. This pressure is used to propel brake fluid to the wheel brakes.

Brake Lines and Hoses: Steel braided brake lines and high pressure, shock, and road resistant brake hoses are the channels which deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.

Wheel Cylinders and Calipers: Wheel cylinders consist of cylinders surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons that connect the piston with the brake shoe. When brake pressure is applied, pistons are forced out, pushing the shoes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.

Friction Materials

Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes: A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.

How It Comes Together:When you first step on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. This is because you actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder, causing the fluid to be released. Now because brake fluid can't be compressed, it journeys through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact same motion and pressure it initially began with. And when it comes to stopping a 2,000 pound steel assembly at high speed, this consistency is a good thing. But the performance of your brakes can be affected when air is introduced into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts this consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. The good news is that "bleeder screws" (located at each wheel cylinder) can be removed so that the brake system is "bled" to remove any unwanted air found in your system.

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C


Computerized Alignment

What would happen if you gave an Olympic long-distance runner two different types of athletic shoes to run his next race? Chances are his performance would suffer. The same can be said about your car's driving potential if its alignment isn't correctly positioned. When vehicle alignment is not proportioned correctly, two issues may occur:

1. Driving becomes more expensive
2. Driving becomes more dangerous

Driving in a vehicle without proper alignment is an expensive enterprise. Not only does flawed alignment decrease gas mileage and tire life, it also adds stress to other vehicle components, including steering equipment and overall structural damage. Ideally, your vehicle's wheels should be perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they meet these criteria is how our service professionals ensure your vehicle is properly aligned.
Driving in a vehicle without proper alignment is a dangerous idea. A car that is out of alignment can pull or drift away from a straight road, resulting in a possibly fatal situation. Excessive tire wear—another result of bad car alignment—can lead to tire blow-outs and poor traction, which also has potentially disastrous consequences. That is why it is imperative you let our alignment experts make sure you're driving smoothly and safely.

So, how does it happen? Your vehicle's alignment can be impacted by a variety of factors. An obvious indication that you require our computerized alignment service is a major or minor collision that results in physical damage to your vehicle's frame. Steering problems or the presence of uneven wear patterns on your tires are clear signs that demand immediate attention. But alignment problems don't only occur by collisions and accidents; problems can arise by something as small as driving over a pothole, or grazing over a curb. The following descriptions are symptomatic alignment variations you should look for in order to determine if you require our computerized alignment services.

Caster: Caster is used to describe the angle of a steering pivot, as seen from the side of the vehicle and measured in degrees. Caster alignment plays a large role in evaluating the "feel" of steering and the stability of high-speed transportation. Three to five degrees of positive caster is typical for most vehicles, and lower angles for heavier vehicles are used to keep steering comfortable. A faulty caster angle will cause loose or difficult steering.

Camber: Camber is the angle of the wheel in relation to a vertical direction (seen from the front or rear of the car). A negative camber measurement occurs when a wheel leans toward the chassis; a positive measurement points the wheel away from the car. An ideal camber angle assures optimal tire efficiency, proper steering control, and a precautionary "anti-roll" directive that engineers have adapted into vehicle designs to negate the effects of a body roll. A faulty camber angle will create pulling and tire wear.

Toe: Like camber and caster, toe is measured by degrees and is another basic aspect of suspension tuning. When a pair of wheels are placed with their front edges pointed toward each other, the pair is defined as "toe-ins." If the front edges point away from each other, the pair is defined as "toe-outs." Essentially, a toe changes the distance between the front and back of the rear tires, and a faulty toe angle will wear down your tires.

I visited your shop and my alignment is now correct. What can I expect now?
When your wheels are properly aligned, you'll get:

Tires that last longer
Easier steering
Improved gas mileage
Smoother ride
Safer, more secure driving

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Computerized Engine Analysis

Your modern vehicle's engine is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment. The days of your father's gas-guzzler are long gone-instead, Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations demand that today's vehicles be equipped with electronic engine control systems to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. With technically advanced control systems taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services such as tune-ups are also a thing of the past. Regular services (such as spark plug and filter replacements) are still required, as well as a computerized analysis of your vehicle's control computer. Our factory-trained technicians are here to provide these basic services.

Here's How Your Modern Vehicle's Control Computer Operates:
A network of sensors and switches convert and monitor engine operating conditions into electrical signals. The computer receives this information, and, based on information and instructions coded within this savvy computer program, commands are sent to three different systems: ignition, fuel, and emission control. Whenever a problem arises (as seen by that nagging "check engine" light), our service pros check whatever command is prompted, in addition to the status of your engine control computer and sensors. That way you'll know if your vehicle's performance is caused by a real problem, or just a sensor/computer issue.

Here's a Brief Overview of Your Vehicle's Sensory Components:
Mass airflow sensor
Throttle position sensor
Manifold absolute pressure sensor
Coolant temperature sensor
Exhaust oxygen sensor
Crankshaft position sensor
Camshaft position sensor

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Cooling System Maintenance

The most common cause of inadequate cooling is the refrigerant leaking through worn seals and o-rings, loose fittings and connections. To make sure all the parts and components of your A/C system are working properly, we recommend having your A/C system checked at the beginning when warm weather begins. We offer a free air conditioning check with any service or repair. Having the cooling system in your auto is an important part of vehicle maintenance that can prevent costly repairs if checked on schedule.


CV & Drive Axle

The axle on your vehicle is the structural component that connects two wheels together on opposite sites. It's a load-bearing assembly that acts like a central shaft, maintaining the position of the wheels relative to each other and to the vehicle body. The construction of your axle is designed according to what your vehicle is built for; trucks and off-road vehicles are equipped with axles that keep the wheel positions steady under heavy stress (ideal for supporting heavy loads), while conventional axles are constructed for the needs of the general consumer. But no matter what you drive, remember that your vehicle's axle must bear the weight of your vehicle (plus any cargo) and the acceleration forces between you and the ground. So when it comes to axle inspection, we are your source for professional, knowledgeable service—essential for the equipment that carries you and your family to wherever you need to go.

Here is a brief description of the most common axle design:
Drive/CV Axle:

Simply put, a drive axle is one that is driven by the engine. Typically found in modern front wheel drive vehicles, a drive axle is split between two half axles, with differential and universal joints between them. Each half axle is connected to the wheel by a third joint—the constant velocity (CV) joint—that allows the wheels to move freely. This joint allows the shaft to rotate, transmitting power at a constant speed without a significant increase in friction and heat. CV joints are usually dependable, but, as is the case for all of your vehicle's moving equipment, they do require regular inspection. An easy way for you to tell if you need to see us for axle repair is to go out to a large space (such as a parking lot), and slowly drive in tight circles. If you hear a clicking or cracking noise, you have a worn joint, and it must be repaired immediately.

We will have you back on the road, "click-free" in no time!

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E


Engine Service

Technicians at Tharp's Complete Auto Care are trained to work on today's high tech engines. We help maintain and service your vehicle's engine to extend its life. Engine components wear out over time which results in a loss of performance and fuel economy. Engine "tune-ups" have changed along with the advanced automobile technology. If you notice one or any of the following conditions while driving your vehicle it could mean it is time for your car's engine to be serviced.

A decrease in gas mileage
A noticeable loss in power
Your engine running "rough" or stalling when at a stop
Engine "knocking" when accelerating or running-on after the ignition is turned off
Your "Check Engine" or "Service Engine" light remaining on after initial start


Exhaust

Your exhaust system is more than a muffler, it is a series of pipes that run under your car, connected with your muffler and your catalytic converter. The main function of your exhaust system is to control noise and to funnel exhaust fumes away from passengers.

In some ways, a car's exhaust system works like a chimney on your house, directing the byproducts from burning fuel away from the people inside. A car's exhaust system routes waste gases from the engine to the rear of the car, where they are discharged into the atmosphere. Exhaust gases contain dangerous substances such as carbon monoxide, which can be hazardous if allowed to flow into the passenger housing of the car.

The exhaust system also converts pollutants into less harmful byproducts, reduces the noise of the engine, and directs exhaust gases so they can be used to heat air and fuel before they go into the engine's cylinders to be burned. Finally, the exhaust system provides just the right amount of back pressure into the engine to improve its fuel-burning efficiency and increase performance. Key components of your exhaust system include:

Exhaust Pipes:Designed specifically for each car model to properly route exhaust to the back of the car

Exhaust Manifold:(Some engines have two). Acts like a funnel, collecting exhaust gases from all cylinders and releasing it through a single opening

Catalytic Converter:Designed to reduce the amount of harmful emissions products by transforming pollutants into water vapor and less harmful gases

Muffler:Metal container with holes, baffles and chambers that muffles exhaust noise

Resonator:Works with the muffler to reduce noise

Tail Pipe:(Found at the back of the car) Designed to carry exhaust gases away from the vehicle

All components of the exhaust system are connected with a series of clamps, hangers, flanges, and gaskets.

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F


Front End

Have you recently been in a colossal crash, or just a fender-bender? Believe us, we've seen it all, and that's why we are your front-end collision experts. Using the latest in collision repair technology, our service pros will correct any amount of damage your car has endured. From major structural problems to cosmetic flaws, we will erase any dent, ding, scratch, or chip. With years of front-end service under our belts, we will get you back on the road and restore your vehicle to its regular condition.

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O


Oil Change

The single most important maintenance that you can perform to keep your vehicle running is changing the oil according to your vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. Changing your oil and oil filter regularly will keep your engine working at peak performance and avoid costly repairs in the future. We offer several oil change services to match your vehicle type, age and usage. Our experienced technicians can help you set up a recommended schedule for oil and filter changes for your vehicle.


N

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Nitro Fill


Nitrogen Tire Inflation by NitroFill!

Nitrogen in tires is becoming a very popular replacement for air, and for good reason. With proper inflation procedures and adequate purity nitrogen can provide amazing benefits. Converting to nitrogen in tires can improve your fuel economy by up to 10% and increase your tire life by 30% or more while dramatically increasing the safety of your vehicle.

High purity nitrogen has been used for decades in Nascar, Formula One, the Tour de France, the US Military and many other applications where safety and economy are paramount concerns. Only the high cost and complexities of generating and properly administering nitrogen have kept it out of reach of the general public. Recent advances in nitrogen production technology have now made nitrogen inflation economically viable for the automotive service industry - and NitroFill™ has lead the way by providing a refined nitrogen product of incomparable purity. Our nitrogen generators have set the standard worldwide and are used by Fortune 500 companies, governmental organizations and military installations around the globe. In fact, NitroFill™ was selected, and remains, the sole nitrogen tire inflation product used in our nation's fleet of B2 bombers.

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R


Radiator Service

The number one cause of vehicle breakdowns is cooling system failure. Radiator and cooling system maintenance service is often overlooked by vehicle owners Because often there are no warning signs of deterioration. A Radiator Flush will remove the old coolant and contaminants in your radiator and replaces it with new or recycled coolant. This will keep your cooling system working and protect your vehicle for many miles.


S


Shocks

The primary function of your car's suspension and steering systems is to allow the wheels to move independently of the car, while keeping it "suspended" and stable. Any play or uncontrolled motion in these systems results in a deterioration of handling and accelerated tire wear. Vehicle alignment is closely tied to the condition of the suspension and steering systems.
Suspension System

Worn or loose components affect the suspension system's ability to control motion and alignment angles, resulting in a deterioration of vehicle handling and stability, and accelerated tire wear. The main components of the suspension system are:
Control Arms
Ball Joints
Springs (Coil or Leaf)
Shock Absorbers
Strut


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T


Tire Repair

It is dangerous driving on an improperly repaired tire . Repaired improperly can make the tire unreliable or damage the tire beyond repair. Tires that fail may cause serious personal injury or death. Inspection and repair of your tire in accordance with Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) procedures should be conducted by a qualified tire service professional.Some tires that have been punctured or damaged must be replaced if they can not be repaired to the standards needed.


Tire Rotation

Rotating your tires helps to prevent unsafe driving conditons caused by uneven tire wear and to maximize the life of your tires. In front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires carry over 60 percent of the carís weight, transfer engine power to the road and account for about 80 percent of the braking force. Front and rear tires wear unevenly, and rotating will help your tires wear more evenly and last longer. It is recommended that tires be rotated every 6,000 miles for uniform wear and maximum traction. This maintenance helps to avoid tire failure and poor traction.


Transmission Maintenance

For those of you who aren't mechanically savvy, you probably still understand that transmission problems are among the most expensive repairs required for your vehicle. That's because your transmission is a complex system of gears that transmit mechanical power to your engine, ultimately determining the rate of speed you travel. Transmissions convert this power from the engine so that it can supply high torque at low speeds, in addition to selecting which gears are appropriate based on the driving conditions. This is especially true with automatic transmissions-by far the most popular transmissions found in the US. Rather than using a clutch to engage the transmission, automatic transmissions use a torque converter (between the engine and transmission) to control the number of gears when driving. Supplying the power to regulate gear action is a demanding task, which is why it's important for you to contact us, your transmission service specialists. Here are some of the essential maintenance tasks we complete:

Drain transmission and torque converter
Refill Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF) with new fluid

Transmission problems typically arise when regular service is neglected. When fluids aren't properly changed, heat caused from mileage friction results in rough shifting, accelerated wear, and even complete failure. That's why it's essential that you turn to us to make sure that your transmission is lubricated and cooled by the finest quality transmission fluids, installed by our service professionals.

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W

Wheel Balance

Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the "heavy spot"—the noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.
How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?

Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it's endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Come in for prompt, professional service—most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes. Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:

Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.

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Our warranty for every service and all parts (unless otherwise noted) is 12 months, 12,000 miles. For transmissions, we have a 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty available as well.


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Tharp's Complete Auto Repair
1633 Georgia St NE, Palm Bay, FL 32907
Phone: (321) 725-3395 • Fax: (321) 953-2782

Email: tharpsfirestonei@cfl.rr.com
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