Oceanside Auto Repair

Frequently Asked Questions

Every noise should be checked by a qualified technician. Use your best judgment, if it sounds bad, get it checked right away. Quick action on a problem can often times save big dollars.

The coloring of the liquid identifies the type of liquid. Coolant is orange or green, Engine oil is brown or black, Transmission Fluid is red or pink, Power Steering Fluid is light brown, Differential Fluid-brown. Depending on the leak it could mean trouble, don't wait until it's too late!

Rotating your tires should be done every 5,000 miles (based on average driver). This will ensure proper wear and extend the life of your tires while keeping you safe.

When you first start your car, all the dashboard lights will come on as a safety test. These lights will go off when the test is complete. If the engine light comes on after a test or sometime later, you need to have your checked. The check engine light is a warning from the on-board computer system. It could be a simple problem to fix, left alone it may become major. Don't ignore this light!

Every dashboard light is responsible for notifying the owner of issues that need to be addressed. If any of the following lights are lit you need to have your vehicle looked at: Engine light, Oil light, ABS light, Traction light, Tire Pressure light.


Maintenance is done to prevent any future problems from occurring to the vehicle. Safety is to prevent any incident that would cause damage to the vehicle, to you or to the driver who is driving next to you.

Synthetic oils are premium, high concentrated lubricants. They are for all vehicles and provide higher mileage. Regular oil works just as well as synthetic oils when it is changed on a regular basis (we recommend every 5,000 miles for most of our customers).

It is a good idea to have your coolant checked to determine its freezing and boiling points to verify whether it needs to be changed. Have your air conditioner tested before the summer heats up, it is cheaper to fix before the season gets started.

Yes, anytime the technician feels that the vehicle is not in good enough condition to safely complete a smog inspection, the technician should refuse to test the vehicle.

Do not obtain a smog inspection in another state; it will not be valid here. You need not bring it back to California in order to complete your registration. Simply fill out and sign DMV's " Statement of Facts " form (you need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to download and print this form). The registration tags will be mailed to wherever the car is currently located.


Section 44015 (e) of the California Health and Safety Code states that a Smog Check certificate of compliance or non-compliance is valid for 90 days.

Section 24007 (b)(2) of the Vehicle Code states it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a valid smog certificate at the time of delivery of the vehicle.

Go back to the seller, inform them about Vehicle Code section 24007 (b)(2), and try to work things out amicably. If that fails, you have the option to pay for the repairs and the Smog Check yourself, and then take the seller to court to recover your costs. Although the law clearly supports the buyer, collecting on a court judgment can be difficult. The amicable solution is usually best. If the seller is a state-licensed auto dealer, buyers have the additional option of filing a complaint with the DMV, which regulates new- and used-car dealers.

The California Vehicle Code Section 4000.1 (d)(1), specifies that a Smog Check certificate does not apply if "the initial application for transfer is submitted within the 90-day validity period of a smog certificate...". Therefore, if your vehicle received a Smog Check certificate within the last 90 days, another Smog Check inspection/certificate is NOT required for the transfer of ownership.

Your car was most likely selected by the High Emitter Profile. This means that even though it may never have failed before, it has been identified through a computer-based selection process as a vehicle which is more likely than others to be emitting unhealthy levels of harmful pollutants. Another possibility is that it was selected via a 2% random selection for program evaluation purposes. In either case, your vehicle has been designated as a Directed Vehicle.

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