Fluid Folly

Make note of this auto care fact. If you have to keep adding any of the fluids in your vehicle or there are spots on your driveway, there is a problem. Where is the fluid going? Chances are there is a leak somewhere. Some leaks only leak while the vehicle is moving, so don’t assume you don’t have a leak because you don’t have spots on your driveway.

Guess what? Leaks don’t repair themselves — they only get worse! The monster just wants you to keep feeding it. He doesn’t care if you end up broken down or spending money you didn’t have to spend. Keep feeding him transmission fluid, power steering fluid, engine oil or antifreeze and he’s happy, but the problem is growing and waiting for a bad time to rear its ugly head. Slay the monster before he causes undue trouble for your vehicle through proper auto care.

Fix the leaks!

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Avoiding the Tow Truck Blues

You’re only as safe as your car’s last inspection. Most cars break down for one of the following five reasons:

  1. Out of gas
  2. Engine has stalled
  3. Won’t start
  4. Dead battery
  5. Overheated engine

Periodic tune-up and car care can help prevent the majority of these causes. A Motor Vac Engine Cleaning keeps the fuel system clean eliminating several variables and it makes the car run better too. Keeping the cooling system clean and serviced helps you avoid overheating problems.

Funny thing is preventative auto maintenance money spent at your convenience sure beats a tow bill which has no added benefit to your car. Yet many consumers risk the tow and neglect the car. At DFM Auto Repair, we perform an inspection with each oil change.

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Lemon Check Saves the Day

Our customers are once again requesting the Lemon Check. This inspection is for used car buyers to ward off the “lemon.” No surprise to DFM used vehicle buyers are shopping more carefully.  Hence, we will help you avoid many of the pitfalls involved in buying an “experienced” vehicle.

Kicking the tires does not tell you if the car is a good one. Pretty paint does not make it sound. Let our experienced auto mechanic technicians check out that used vehicle before you buy a lemon.

Rarely is a used vehicle perfect, but if you know what condition it is in when you buy it, the hidden surprises will be gone. Many times the seller will knock off some of the price for things that need to be fixed.

Lastly, do not buy a vehicle without it having been smog checked.  By California law it is the sellers responsibility to present a smog check to you when money changes hand.  The pitfall of a sale without the smog check can be a headache.

Bought a Vehicle without an Owners Manual?

Want the manufacturers recommended auto maintenance schedule? DFM Auto Repair has them on our computerized repair manuals. Stop by and we would be happy to give you the information.

Point to Ponder:

If all automobile technicians world wide stopped repairing cars, how long would it be before the world came to a stop? Be nice to the guys and gals that keep the world moving.

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Automotive Diagnostics

Automotive Diagnostics: determine what is operating correctly, continue checking until you find what is not working correctly.

Diagnostics is a Process of Elimination

Every gasoline engine needs spark, fuel and compression to run. Diagnostics, when the vehicle does not run well or not at all, is how we determine what is causing the problem. Someday, in the distant future, there may be a magic wand to tell us what is acting up. Until then, diagnostics is how we learn what is not working. DFM technicians have the equipment and talent to figure it out.

We fix it right the first time.

You know your vehicle better than anyone else. Since you drive it every day, you know how it feels and sounds, so don’t ignore the warning signals. DFM’s Oil Change includes a Vehicle Inspection to ward off preventable breakdowns.

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Warning Lights

Warning Lights — Doing Just That…Warning

Vehicle manufacturers have added numerous warning lights on the dash — such as an oil light, charging system light, check engine light, temperature light or gauge, ABS or air bag light, sensor lights, and engine light.

These lights are the vehicles “voice.” Their purpose is to warn you of a problem that exists. If a warning light is on — paying attention and getting the cause taken care of can ultimately save you money. For instance, a light that was set for an emissions related problem can effect your fuel economy. A charging system light — not addressed — can leave you needing a tow. A check engine light will cause you to fail a smog test.

AN IMPORTANT THOUGHT: If a warning light being on doesn’t mean anything, why did the manufacturer put it there?

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Avoiding the Smog Check Headache


We see this all the time. The worst part of this headache is the car may not pass smog and cost you money for repairs to get it to pass. Rarely is this added expense used to determine if the car is a good deal. It’s pretty hard, after the fact, to go back to the seller to get money back to cover the smog. In most cases, the seller has spent the money. Remember this: if you haven’t handed over the money, ask for a smog certificate before you do…the seller will get the smog done. They want your money! This way it is a done deal, period! You register it and you know exactly what the car will cost you. This is the smart way to do business.


The worst part of this situation is: with a price agreed to between the two parties, it is pretty hard to go to the buyer and ask for more money. When you sell your car, you know how much money you want. Get it smog checked before you determine a price. This way, if it costs you more money for repairs to get the vehicle to pass a smog check, you have this information to figure into your selling price equation. Plus, if you have a smog certificate to show a potential buyer, it can be a great sales tool. Again, a smart way to do business.

Note: It is the legal responsibility of the SELLER to have the vehicle smog checked. You can not sell a vehicle “as is” concerning the smog. You may end up spending money months after you sold your vehicle for smog-related repairs. If the buyer takes you to court to collect money they spend to get the smog certificate, the buyer will win the judgment.

Protect Yourself — Smog Check BEFORE the Vehicle Changes Hands

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Top 10 Items to Keep In Your Vehicle

  1. Cellular Phone
  2. Flashlight
  3. SpareTire
  4. Vehicle Jack
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Owner’s Manual
  7. Vehicle License
  8. Insurance Card
  9. Fire Extinguisher

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Most Neglected Items

Prevention is Always Cheaper!

  • Oil Filter
  • Cooling System, Belts and Hoses
  • Transmission
  • Periodic Auto Maintenance (50K, 60K, etc.)
  • Tune-Up and Adjustments
  • Tires
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Brakes
  • Timing Belt
  • Body and Paint Work

You will spend a little money to keep these things up, but the cost of neglect is more expensive and time consuming.

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