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Recall notices have been going out to car owners for several years regarding the defective Takata air bags in their cars.  The repairs are done at no charge by auto dealers to replace the defective parts with good ones.  But government records indicate that fully one-third of repairs still have not been done. That means that more than 16 million people are driving around in cars that still have faulty air bags.  These are the silent killers referred to in the title.  And it gets worse. The Takata air bags work by using a volatile chemical to create a small explosion which inflates the air bag in a collision.  The defective air bags explode with too much force, potentially firing shrapnel at drivers and passengers.  As a result 23 people have been killed,15 in the U.S. To make matters worse, the air bags grow more dangerous as they age because the chemical deteriorates in high humidity ... read more


By Allen L Phillips The automatic transmission came into general use in the late 1940’s and in the late 1950’s racing enthusiasts began modifying the 4 speed GM Hydramatic transmission for drag racing.  There have been substantial advances from the early 2 speed transmissions like the Chevrolet Powerglide to the highly efficient six and nine speed transmissions found in newer cars today.  Another recent development is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which, as the name implies, does not shift but provides continuous torque to the wheels.  These transmissions remind me somewhat of the Chevrolet Turboglide transmission which showed up briefly in the 1950’s and, while very smooth because it didn’t shift, was horribly inefficient and had a failure rate that led to their quick disappearance.  Most of today’s CVT transmissions have overcome those problems, are very reliable and, as used in the Toyota Prius that I drive, contribu ... read more


BY ALLEN L PHILLIPS The lead acid battery has been a common component of cars since the introduction of starter motors early in the last century.  Early batteries were 6 volts with most manufacturers switching to 12 volt batteries in the 1950’s as electrical systems became more demanding (think radios). Since that time there has been occasional speculation about changing to 18 or 24 volt systems as manufacturers contemplated the potential electrical demands of future cars.  But today, cars are still being built with 12 volt systems using the tried and true lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries contain a series of lead plates suspended in acid, hence the name “lead acid battery”.  An obvious and common problem with these batteries is leakage, usually around the battery posts, which can corrode the battery terminals leading to a reduction in available electrical power to start the car. Additionally, the power demands of newer cars with GPS, backup ... read more


DEL MAR AUTOMOTIVE     Del Mar Automotive will be closed both Mondays before Christmas and New Years as well as both those holidays and we will close at noon on Friday December 21st.   So we will be closed from noon on Friday, December 21st through December 25th. We will be open Wednesday, December 26th through Friday, December 28th. We will be closed Saturday, December 29th through Tuesday, January 1st. We will reopen on January 2nd, 2019.   Thank you all for our continued success as we move into our 27th year.We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Todd, Al, Steve, Joshua and Chris.



By Allen L Phillips The J.D. Power and Associates' U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for 2014 included a surprise.  For the first time in 15 years the report, which surveys owners of three-year-old vehicles, found that vehicle dependability was suddenly getting worse. J.D. Power tracks overall dependability of vehicles through a measure called “PP100”, or “problems experienced per 100 vehicles.” In the 10 years from 2003 to 2013 that number had dropped from 200 down to 126.  But 2014 numbers went up to 133 PP100. And this year the numbers jumped again up to 152 PP100, up 20% from 2013. That increase comes as more technology is added to vehicles, such as collision avoidance, lane keeping, bluetooth, navigation and other driver aids like park assist and back up cameras. When you look behind the totals at just engine and transmission problems, dependability has continued to improve, going from 26 PP100 to 24 PP100 between 2015 and 2016. That increa ... read more


Click on the following link to read the details: https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Auto-Mechanic-Shortage-Leads-Cuyamaca-College-To-Add-New-Degree--492735481.html

Ford Recalls 2M F-150 Trucks to Fix Seat Belt Defect

Reprinted from RatchetandWrench.com September 6, 2018—Ford Motor is recalling nearly 2 million pickup trucks to fix a seat belt defect that could trigger vehicle fires, reported Detroit Free Press. The recall affects the crown jewel of Ford's lineup: the F-150 pickup. The F-series lineup is the best selling vehicle model in the U.S, according to the report. The move came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the matter in early August after receiving reports of five fires due to the defect, including three that engulfed and destroyed the vehicle. The company said it had identified at least 23 "reports of smoke or fire" but no injuries or accidents connected to the defect. According to the report, the recall covers the 2015-18 model-year Ford F-150&nbs ... read more


Posted by Allen L Phillips Del Mar Automotive belongs to a statewide association, ASCCA, which maintains a chat room for shops to post information.  The following was posted by a shop in Richmond, CA (San Francisco bay area).  Another bay area shop also reported a similar incident.  It may move south.  Beware. I just wanted to report a very interesting phenomenon we have now seen on three occasions.  The first time we were baffled, the second time our antennas were up, and the third time we knew what we were looking at going in.  There is a scam going around that is so odd that I wanted to share it with you all. The first event occurred when a customer brought in a 2004 Camry that we had recently serviced in anticipation of the customer advertising it for sale.  After he listed it, a prospective purchaser came to look at it.  He test drove it, then popped the hood to check things out.  After a few minutes of poking around, he turned to th ... read more


Posted by Allen L Phillips Del Mar Automotive tries to make this type of information available to you, our customers, as we become aware of it.  Recall notices are sent directly to the owners of affected vehicles and repairs must be made by the manufacturer.  Regarding the Lexus recall, despite the USA Today article caption that says “engine fires”, we are not aware of any actual reports of fires.  Obviously, a fuel leak poses a risk of fire and anyone receiving a recall notice should have the repair done promptly. The Hyundai/Kia recall may be more problematic in that this appears to be a repeat of a problem first reported in 2015.  Now there is a second recall for a production problem that was thought to be corrected plus an investigation into fires linked to the resulting engine failures. Not good for anyone involved.   Lexus Recalls 121K Vehicles for Engine Fires  June 27, 2018—Lexus recalls about 121,000 cars w ... read more


  By Allen L Phillips Del Mar Automotive’s shop management system now shows factory recall information for several major auto makers such as Toyota, Honda and Fiat-Chrysler.  We typically print out the recall info sheet and provide it to our customers when they visit our shop.  Many of those relate to the Takata airbag problem mentioned in the article below. According to the article only 65% of the identified problem airbags have been replaced.  That means that 35% are still driving around with these potentially deadly airbags in their cars. It may be that manufacturers are not able to reach all current owners because the trail of ownership is incomplete.  Another possibility is that many people who became aware of the problem in their cars early on when there was a limited supply of replacement parts and the lines at the dealerships were long have now forgotten about the issue. Please don’t put off this repair.  The recal ... read more

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