Blog

  • Why are Pre-purchase Inspections Necessary?

    Posted on 08, March, 2017

    I know in the busy world we live in today many people don't even think twice about getting a pre-purchase inspection before purchasing a vehicle. We are going to show you why it is not only helpful but VITAL to have a pre-purchase inspection(PPI) before even thinking of purchasing a vehicle from a dealership or independent seller. Here are the answers to some questions you may have:

    Why Should I Get One?

    A pre-purchase inspection is a vital step when buying a used car in the used car buying process that many people unfortunately skip. It helps you determine if the car is right for you and also may give you some negotiating power if the mechanic finds some issues that need to be addressed. A good inspection may cost, but is well worth the cost – it gives you added peace of mind and may save you money on unexpected repairs! Nearly all auto service facilities, from chain repair stores to dealerships to independent garages, offer some type of pre-purchase inspection. We found that the going price is about $120, roughly the cost of an hour's labor for a mechanic.

     

     

    What Is A Pre-purchase Inspection(PPI)?

    A pre-purchase inspection is a detailed assessment by a qualified individual to determine the cosmetic, mechanical, and safety condition of a vehicle before completing the purchase.

    What to look for?

    Buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, and buying a used car requires extra vigilance and preparation. Focusing on five important physical categories before purchasing your next used car will help ensure you cover all of the most vital areas - and getting the best price. These five categories are:

    • Exterior
      • Inspect the underbody
      • Inspect the outer body
      • Inspect the exterior lights                                                                                                    
      • Inspect the mirrors
      • Inspect the doors
      • Inspect the interior
      • Check for frame damage

    • TiresIt is important to check the condition of the tires. This will allow you to understand not only how much life is left, but it also tells you if the car has suspension or alignment problems. 

    • Engine and Transmission
      • ​Make sure that the hood opens and shuts properly
      • Visually inspect engine
      • Check the engine fluids
      • Check the engine belts
      • Start vehicle

    • Interior
      • ​A/C
      • Radio
      • Sunroof
      • Seat adjustments/ Seatbelts
      • Windows
      • Carpet
      • Dashboard and center console

    • Steering and Suspension​- Now it is time to test drive the car. You will want to drive the car not only on city streets, but also on a freeway to get a good feeling of how the car handles at lower and higher speeds. 

    As a general rule, research the price of the car you're interested in so you know how much it should cost. Look at the range in cost for cars that are in very good condition and for those that are in poor condition. This way, you'll begin your search well prepared and with a good understanding of how much the price can fluctuate depending on the condition of the car.

    Contact our experts for your pre-purchase inspection today at 770-495-7881.

  • Fathers Day - Under the Hood

    Posted on 16, June, 2015

    Let Dad Know He Holds a Special Place in Your Heart!

    Dads can get a bum rap. I mean, we all have (or know, or are married to) a super-mom who juggles a gagillion different kid activities, being a gourmet chef, a job, a home, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But lets face it: Dads get the short end of the stick sometimes when it comes to credit and appreciation (c'mon, a tie, tool kit and a box of golf balls once a year only go so far). Even if your dad (or the dad rold model in your life) is the 'strong silent type,' you probably picked up a few great traits by watching him work hard, keep the house from falling down, or protect your family (you may never have known how he started down that bully behind your back). Even the most stoic of 'pops' can have a killer comical side that he keeps hidden... and Father's Day is the perfect chance to help him unleash his inner Funny Guy (and keeps things from getting... you know, mushy).

    Show dad how much he is appreciated by doing one or all of the suggestions below!

    1. Give him a BIG Hug

    2. Wash his car

    3. Grill some Chicken

    4. Give him Summer Special Offers for DMA Automotive

     

     

    Special #1

    Great for those every day repairs or services that your vehicle needs to keep your vehicle and family safe!

     

     

     

     

     

    Special #2

    Hitting the road anytime soon? Let us take the worry out of the road trip and take care of your vehicle! If you are hitting the road in this heat, the last thing you need is vehicle trouble. Our Road Trip Special will take the stress of of traveling... well, most of the stress anyways.

  • Is Flex Fuel Worth It?

    Posted on 04, May, 2015

    We've had a few customers ask about E85 fuel and flex-fuel vehicles, so we know there's a lot of confusion about this "gas saving" trend. So this month, we're answering common questions to clear up some of the confusion and misperception about flex fuel systems.

     

    What is E85? 

    Much of the gasoline sold in the US (about 1/3) contains some ethanol. A typical ratio is 90% gasoline with 10% ethanol. Ethanol flex fuel reverses that ratio, with more ethanol than gasoline - E85 gets its name because it is made with 85% ethanol to 15% gasoline.

     

    Can I use E85 in my vehicle? 

    Not all vehicles are "flexible fuel vehicles," meaning they can run on both standard gasoline and E85 fuel. The only difference between standard and flex fuel vehicles are a few engine and fuel system modifications. These changes allow the engine to burn ethanol based fuel without loss in performance.

     

    To find out if your vehicle can operate on E85, call our experts at 770-495-7881. Or you can check your vehicle for a yellow gas cap, a label on the fuel door, a badge on the vehicle, or refer to the owner's manual.

    Is it worth getting a Flex Fuel System?

    In short - probably not. From our experience with vehicle performance, flex fuel systems are not notably better than traditional gasoline powered vehicles. The E85 debate is full of pros and cons, but here are two common arguments: 

    1. Ethanol is better for the environment, but E85 burns cleaner than gasoline, meaning it might reduce air pollution. However, studies suggest these vehicles only achieve up to 3% reduction of emissions.
      Ethanol is generally produced from renewable corn crops grown on American farms. Some believe this makes E85 an eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to traditional gasoline and oil reserves. However, there are also environmental concerns about the production of ethanol.
    2. Do Flex Fuel vehicles perform better? A common misconception about E85 vehicles is that they get better gas mileage - this is not true. Flex fuel vehicles typically get about 15-30% fewer miles per gallon when running on E85 as compared to traditional gasoline. Performance of flex fuel vehicles vs. traditional gasoline powered vehicles is virtually the same - in road tests, experts could not detect any notable difference in engine performance, smoothness, or sound.

    There are better ways to go green with your vehicle! Check your gas cap, air filter, and tire pressure. Proper inflation can improve your gas mileage by 3.3% or more. Learn more tips in this video from the Monday Morning Mechanic: Go GREEN with your car this Earth Day!

     

    If you're thinking about a flex fuel vehicle, consider the factors above and read more about How E85 Ethanol Flex Fuel Works to determine if a flex fuel vehicle is right for your family. For more information about E85 and Flex Fuel vehicles, or going green with your vehicle, contact our experts at 770-495-7881.

     

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    On April 22, 1970, 20 million people across America "took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment" with the goal of raising awareness and bringing environmental issues to the forefront of national politics. 

     

    This year marks the 45th anniversary. Here are a few milestones from Earth Day's 45-year history:

    • 1970 - Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day
    • 2000 - more than 180 countries participated in Earth Day
    • 2007 - Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo held special activities, setting a single-day attendance record of over 40,000 people
    • 2009 - Disney released the documentary film "Earth" that followed four animal families
    • 2009 - The United Nations renamed the holiday "International Mother Earth Day"
    • 2011- In Panama, 100 endangered species of orchids were planted and maintained to prevent extinction
    • 2011- 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan
    • 2012- 100,000 people in China rode bikes to reduce CO2 and save fuel
    • 2014 - Earth Day Network members hosted 10,000 Earth Day events worldwide, with the theme "Green Cities"

    This year, the Earth Day Network set a goal to reach 2 Billion "Acts of Green." Whether you renew your commitment to green practices, join a festival, change a habit, or spend some time outside, you can participate in the festivities this Earth Day! Let us know how you're going green this season.

     

  • Are you ready for Spring Break?

    Posted on 26, March, 2015

     

    Spring Break is a great time for a road trip! While they are a great way to see the country and explore, road trips can mean unexpected surprises, varying road conditions, and lots of miles on your car in a short amount of time. Whether you are planning a quick weekend trip or a cross-country drive, it is important to make sure your car is up to the task BEFORE you hit the road. Here are a few things you should check before you embark:

    Start with a test drive. Feel for any vibrations or tracking issues as you drive - this could be a sign that you need your wheels balanced, tires rotated, or an alignment. Check that your tires have enough tread. Low tread makes tires more prone to flats - an untimely flat could mean driving many miles on a spare until you get to the next town. 

    Make sure to check your fluids before the journey and replace as needed. Check for any that are low - low levels are usually a sign of a leak. Ignoring a leak could result in contaminants getting into the system, setting you up for costly repairs down the road. If your car is due for an oil change or will be while you are on the road, have it done before you leave. You may also need to replace dirty air filters - though this might seem less important, clean filters will mean better fuel economy, which makes an even bigger difference on long trips! 

    Be sure that your brakes and transmission have been inspected in the last 6 months. A mid-drive issue with these vital components could mean being stranded by the side of the road and searching for an auto repair shop in an unfamiliar area. To avoid this headache, make sure the brakes and transmission are checked before the trip. A quick inspection can insure there are no problems or concerns. 

    Another easy thing to check before you leave is the wiper blades and washer fluid. Especially when your trip involves many hours on the interstate, you'll want to be able to wash away the dead bugs your windshield collects on the road. 

    Review your maintenance schedule before you leave to make sure your car is up-to-date with its preventative care. If you will be due for a routine service while you are away, have it done before you leave. 

    Road trips are a fun option for spring break - make sure your car is equipped to handle all the conditions on the roads. Stop by our shop or call 770-495-7881 to schedule your pre-trip inspection!

    Turn Spring Cleaning into an 

    Act of Charity - Donate!

    As the weather is getting warmer and spring is around the corner, Cabin Fever gives way to Spring Cleaning! If your family is like mine, piles of clothing, toys, and household goods clutter the home by the end of winter. As you're sorting through the clutter, turn your ritual spring cleaning into an act of good by donating your extra belongings!


    In the pantry, look for nonperishable food items that you could do without. If the canned corn is starting to collect dust in your cupboard, consider if a family in need might benefit from it more than yours. Look for canned fruit and vegetables, baby food, rice, powdered milk, coffee, peanut butter - as long as the food has not expired and is nonperishable, start a collection to take to a local food drive, or check out Feeding America to find one.

    In your closet, identify those garments that you rarely wear - the hand-knit sweater that doesn't quite fit, the jeans that are a little too snug, or the hooded sweatshirt that's been shoved to the back of the drawer. Take these seldom worn items and donate to those in need. Offer your garments to your favorite thrift store or charity. 

    Around the house, look for items long forgotten and collecting dust, and consider whether you really need to keep them. Books you've read can be donated to libraries and organizations. Childhood toys, extra kitchen ware, bikes, small electronics, and personal care items - give these items a second life by donating to those who need it more. Use Donation Town to find the right charity near you and schedule a pick-up.

    Get a head start with your spring cleaning, free some space in your home, and help a family in need by donating this year!