Monday, February 5, 2018

FIXD - Does This New DIY Diagnostic Device Really Fix Car Problems?
There is a new product on the market called FIXD.   I have seen it numerous times advertised on social media.   What is FIXD you ask?   They claim it is “a device you can carry with you in your car to tell you exactly what is wrong with it!”   WHAT????  Sign us up!

The ad for FIXD talks about how “mechanics” knowingly and easily take advantage of people because of their lack of knowledge about car maintenance needs and that they also lie to you and charge you whatever they want because they are only in it for the $$$$.  This product, they claim, is so simple to use that you just plug it into your OBD-II port (on cars that are 1996 and newer).  You download an app on your smart phone and the system is able to identify 6,800 maladies affecting your car that may turn the check engine light on.  It also gives you the ability to clear dashboard lights, including TPMS, ABS, Airbag or Maintenance.

Here’s the thing.   This “tool” may tell you what area is causing your check engine light to be on but it does not tell you how to fix it.  Say a code comes up because the engine is not receiving enough fuel.   Ok, so how does FIXD tell you how to fix that?  Most folks wouldn’t know where to begin because they do not have automotive training to know how to properly repair this.  Our certified technicians have had schooling and continued education so they can read the codes and know exactly where to begin to fix this problem.  And if you just clear the dashboard light, that does not make the problem go away!

We have professional tools that plug into your engine’s computer that scans for codes.  It does not tell us how to fix the problem specifically, but points us to the area of which component is failing.  We then use our years of experience and equipment to determine what the best fix for your vehicle is.   We will scan your vehicle if you have acheck engine light for FREE!   Yep – we’ll do it for free and tell you what area of failure you have.  At that point, you have the option of repairing the vehicle yourself or having us do the work.

As far as the claim that auto repair shops are trying to rip people off, that is bunk!   We have consistently worked very hard to change this perception of automotive shops.  We believe it is our duty to educate you on your vehicle.   Knowledge is powerful and if you understand what we are doing, then you will have a better understanding of how your car works.
Maybe I am feeling a little cynical about this product.  I don’t know but I do know the old adage, “when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

Keep checking our blog for the latest news and tips from Holzhauser’s Auto!

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Most vehicles are required to undergo a safety inspection prior to obtaining vehicle plates in the State of Maryland.   Usually, the seller or the person transferring the vehicle is required to obtain the inspection certificate.  In some cases, a vehicle is sold privately and is not inspected.  In this case, it is the buyer’s responsibility to get the car inspected in order to tag the vehicle.

Holzhauser’s Auto Service is an authorized Maryland safety inspection station.   Our fee for Maryland State Inspection is $79.95.  We have been licensed by the Maryland State police and are authorized to inspect:

-          Passenger cars
-          Light trucks and SUVs with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or less, and
-          Trailers that are 20 feet in length or less, without air brakes.

The safety inspection takes about 1-1/2 hours to go through all the components, so it is best to schedule an appointment to drop your vehicle off.  The inspector will inspect your vehicle and prepare an inspection report showing the vehicle parts or systems examined and whether or not they have met Maryland’s standards.

If the vehicle meets the safety standards, the inspector will electronically transmit the e-inspection to the Motor Vehicle Administration.  You will receive the inspection number showing that the vehicle has passed that you can take with you to the MVA.

If your vehicle does not pass the safety standards, an inspection certificate cannot be issued.  It is your responsibility to have the problems that failed fixed and re-inspected at the same inspection station and by the same inspector.   

You have three options for fixing the repairs:  
(1) Get a quote from the inspection station to fix the repairs, 
(2) Take the vehicle to another facility for repairs or 
(3) Fix the problem yourself.

The vehicle must be re-inspected within 30 days of the original inspection date and you have driven it less than 1,000 miles.   The inspector will re-inspect the failed items from the initial inspection, however, if a new defect is visually observed during the re-inspection, the newly discovered defect must be repaired and re-inspected.  There is no charge for each re-inspection if the repair can be visually verified, such as a burned out light bulb.   However, if jacking, lifting, measuring or testing the vehicle is required, a re-inspection fee may be charged.

If you have any questions about the inspection process you can contact us directly at (410) 272-1170 or contact the Maryland State Police, Automotive Safety Enforcement Division at 1-800-950-1682.

Happy New Year!

Keep checking our blog for the latest news and tips from Holzhauser’s Auto!