Diamond Certified Company Report

Empire Auto Repair & Smog

Diamond Certified Company Report

Empire Auto Repair & Smog

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 80 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Crystal Y.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

1 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Dave is very honest, trustworthy, and I value his opinion. I truly think he's worth his weight in gold.

He works with my schedule very easily, he's very affordable, and he's very honest.

Jeff C.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

2 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would definitely go there again and recommend a friend to go there. They always treat me very well, they're fair, and they have a clean facility.

They stayed after hours to get my truck done. They didn't have to do that, but they did it without hesitation.

Elijah T.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

3 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they're a good company to go with if you're in the Santa Rosa area and you're in need of auto repair.

They're competent and diligent. They never do anything without my permission, and they're 100% honest.

Read All 80 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Dave Proffer, Owner

Empire Auto Repair & Smog provides a wide range of repair services for all types of cars at its Santa Rosa facility. In addition to working on regular vehicle components like engines, transmissions and brakes, the company has the training and equipment to perform smog tests and repairs, offer comprehensive diagnostic services, conduct pre-purchase inspections on new vehicles, and more.

Owner David Proffer credits much of Empire Auto Repair & Smog’s success to his steadfast dedication to customer satisfaction. “I’m an expert at repairing cars and I love doing it, but what I enjoy most is making my customers happy with the results of my work,” he says. “I also realize that auto repairs can be extremely expensive, so I’m very mindful about keeping my prices fair.”

Empire Auto Repair & Smog supplements its mechanical services by handling electrical work such as battery replacements and power window repairs. “I also offer 30-, 60- and 90-day factory maintenance appointments that include everything from tire rotations to engine flushes,” adds Mr. Proffer. “This truly is a full-service shop, and my customers really appreciate that.”

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Empire Auto Repair & Smog

COMPANY CONTACT
Locations

Sonoma County
Rohnert Park
Cotati
Cloverdale
Healdsburg
Windsor
Santa Rosa
Petaluma
Guerneville
Sebastopol

Get Directions
SERVICES PERFORMED

Auto Repair
Pre-Purchase Inspections
Brake Work
Smog Inspections & Repairs
 

BRANDS Supported
  • Mercedes-Benz

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Empire Auto Repair & Smog

Company Profile

Empire Auto Repair & Smog provides a wide range of repair services for all types of cars at its Santa Rosa facility. In addition to working on regular vehicle components like engines, transmissions and brakes, the company has the training and equipment to perform smog tests and repairs, offer comprehensive diagnostic services, conduct pre-purchase inspections on new vehicles, and more.

Owner David Proffer credits much of Empire Auto Repair & Smog’s success to his steadfast dedication to customer satisfaction. “I’m an expert at repairing cars and I love doing it, but what I enjoy most is making my customers happy with the results of my work,” he says. “I also realize that auto repairs can be extremely expensive, so I’m very mindful about keeping my prices fair.”

Empire Auto Repair & Smog supplements its mechanical services by handling electrical work such as battery replacements and power window repairs. “I also offer 30-, 60- and 90-day factory maintenance appointments that include everything from tire rotations to engine flushes,” adds Mr. Proffer. “This truly is a full-service shop, and my customers really appreciate that.”

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Company Philosophy

"My customers are very important to me, so I focus on providing quality work at a fair price and fixing their problems correctly the first time. Ultimately, this enables me to keep my customers happy and ensure their vehicles are running as efficiently as possible."

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for auto repair companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Empire Auto Repair & Smog, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: provide consistent accuracy when it comes to diagnosing and repairing all types of vehicle problems. “I take the time to listen closely to both my customers and their cars, which allows me to pinpoint and solve issues correctly the first time,” explains owner David Proffer. “My goal is to keep each customer’s vehicle running as efficiently as possible for a fair price.”

Empire Auto Repair & Smog works on everything from brakes to engines and transmissions at its Santa Rosa shop. In addition to its general repair capabilities, the company has the training and equipment to perform smog tests and repairs, conduct pre-purchase inspections on new vehicles, handle electrical work such as power window repairs and battery replacements, and more.

Unlike auto repair shops that specialize in one aspect of the industry and limit their services as a result, Empire Auto Repair & Smog’s professional versatility enables it to provide solutions for a variety of automotive needs. “One of my goals is to make this a one-stop shop where people can get just about anything done in terms of auto repair and maintenance,” says Mr. Proffer. “With services that extend from manufacturer-scheduled maintenance to smog diagnostics, as well as complete brake and exhaust capabilities, I’m well on my way to achieving that goal.”

Another distinguishing attribute of Empire Auto Repair & Smog is its commitment to keeping up-to-date with the industry’s latest technological and procedural advancements. “The auto repair field changes drastically from year to year, so as long as I’m in this business, I’ll continue going to school to stay on top of everything,” says Mr. Proffer. “In addition, I make sure my shop has the latest equipment to ensure the best quality for my customers.”

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Industry Info

Don’t ignore the warning lights on your car’s dashboard. Warning lights can be easy to disregard, especially if you don’t notice any immediate problems that affect your car’s drivability, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t an important part of your vehicle’s overall safety system. In fact, paying attention to your dashboard lights can save you a lot of money in the long run. If there’s a potential problem with your car, getting it fixed quickly is much less expensive than waiting until there’s a serious failure.

When your “check engine” light comes on, it’s important to determine if it’s solid or flashing. If the light comes on and stays on, it means there’s a potentially serious problem and you should get your car to a repair shop as soon as possible…but it’s not an emergency. If the light is flashing, however, that indicates a serious problem that requires immediate attention. The check engine light won’t tell you the nature of the problem, so you need to have an auto repair shop perform a diagnostic check to determine exactly what’s wrong.

It’s also important to pay attention to your car’s battery gauge (a voltmeter that tells you if the alternator is properly charging the battery). If the gauge reads between 12.5 and 15 volts, everything is fine, but if it falls below that range, it means the battery isn’t charging properly and will soon run out of power. In that case, you should get your alternator and battery checked as soon as possible.

Many people also ignore their gas gauges, but they too are important performance indicators. Most cars have small gasoline reserves (usually one or two gallons), but the amount varies from car to car, and how far your reserve will take you depends on driving conditions and the mileage your car gets. To avoid getting stranded, it’s best to put gas in your car when it’s nearly empty.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long it will take to fix my car?

A: Each job varies depending on the vehicle’s needs, so it’s difficult to give an accurate timeframe before work begins. However, once I do a thorough diagnosis, I should be able to give you a general idea of when the work will be finished.

Q: Do you provide estimates over the phone?

A: I try not to give estimates over the phone because I don’t think it’s very fair to my customers. There are too many times when the price ends up being more than what was quoted, and people don’t appreciate that. When someone calls for an estimate over the phone, I always try to get them to bring in their car.

Q: Will you do a ride-along test drive of my car?

A: Yes. If you think your vehicle is making strange noises, I recommend taking a test drive with me. I may notice different noises than you, so I want to be sure I’m fixing the right problem. Once we drive down the road together, we can listen for any noises and confirm we’re talking about the same thing.

Q: Are you a “no pass, no pay” station?

A: No, we charge for the initial inspection regardless of the outcome. However, if your car fails inspection the first time and you decide to hire me to do the repairs, I’ll retest the car for free.

Q: What types of exhaust services do you offer?

A: I do custom exhaust work, especially on older cars that are being restored. Basically, I can handle everything from replacing a single exhaust with a dual exhaust to bending or welding pipe. It takes special tools to do this kind of work, and I have all those tools at my shop.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Empire Auto Repair & Smog

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Dave Proffer

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE

Dave Proffer: Going Ashore

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — Dreaming of a life at sea, a young Dave Proffer enrolled at the California Maritime Academy to pursue a career in nautical industrial transportation. However, it didn’t take long for him to discover he preferred the comforts of dry land. “You don’t really appreciate land until you don’t see it for five days at a time,” he laughs. “In the end, I decided being out at sea just wasn’t for me.” Fortunately, Dave’s prior experience in auto repair gave him something to fall back on when he returned to shore. “I took auto shop in high school and spent a lot of time fixing cars, so I decided to get back into it on a professional level, and I’ve being enjoying it ever since.”

Today, as owner of Empire Auto Repair & Smog, Dave says one of his favorite parts of the job is surprising customers by radically transforming their vehicles. “I enjoy watching a customer’s reaction when they see their vehicle go from the ‘before’ stage to the ‘after’ stage. Every so often, a car comes in that the owner is ready to give up on, which gives me an opportunity to ‘wow’ them when they return to pick it up.”

Dave currently resides in Santa Rosa, the same town in which he was born and raised. “Having grown up here, I know a lot of people in the area, which is probably my favorite thing about living and working here,” he says. “Not only do I have a lot of longtime friends and customers, my local longevity also helps me get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals.”

Outside of work, Dave spends much of his time in the company of his two teenage sons, Justin and Cody. “We enjoy outdoor activities like camping, riding dirt bikes in the Indian Valley and water skiing at Lake Sonoma. The boys are also involved in martial arts and kickboxing, but I’m getting a little too old for that,” he laughs. At home, Dave can often be found absorbed in his labor of love: restoring a 1968 Pontiac Firebird convertible.

In his life and career, Dave espouses the importance of living life to the fullest. “You’re only here for a short time, so you might as well make the most of it,” he says. “Whatever you’re doing, whether in your professional or personal life, do it to the best of your ability, and don’t do anything halfway.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Dave says he’d get to work on completing his Firebird restoration. “It’s been a slow process because I don’t find a lot of time to work on it, so if I retired tomorrow, I’d commit myself to finishing that car.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first car?
A: A ’68 Chevy Camaro.

Q: If you could drive any car, what would you drive?
A: A Nissan GT-R.

Q: Who’s your favorite actor?
A: Jack Nicholson.

Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
A: There are actually a few, including Craigslist, Facebook and auto repair forums like Identifix.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music.

Q: What’s your favorite fruit?
A: Watermelon.

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Expert articles
  • Check Engine Light Tips

    SANTA ROSA — Most drivers know to be concerned when their vehicle’s “check engine” light comes on, but few are aware of the potential complexity of the situation. Here are a few tips to help you better understand your “check engine” light:

    1) While the purpose of a “check engine” light is to alert the driver of a problem sensed by the vehicle’s onboard computer system, there are several things that can cause it to come on, from an issue with the emissions system to something as simple as a loose gas cap. Though it’s a good idea to get an illuminated “check engine” light diagnosed, you may save yourself a trip to the mechanic by checking to see if your gas cap is screwed on tightly.

    2) There’s a significant difference between when a “check engine” light is illuminated and when it’s flashing. When flashing, the light is warning of an imminent crisis that usually involves the catalytic converter, which is why it’s crucial to pull over and turn off the vehicle as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may end up with severe catalytic converter damage that requires expensive repairs.

    3) Most people know an illuminated “check engine” light will cause a vehicle to fail a smog inspection, but many don’t realize that with modern vehicles, even past incidents can be an issue. Even if it’s off during the inspection, if your “check engine” light has been on recently, your vehicle’s computer memory will have stored the code, which will show up during the test. So, if you’re aware that your light was previously on, let the technician know about it upfront to avoid an unnecessary inspection fee.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Importance of Proper Fluid Levels

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: In caring for your vehicle, its vital to maintain fluid levels to avoid damage. Today, we’re in Santa Rosa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dave Proffer of Empire Auto Repair & Smog to see why.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Dave Proffer: Okay, so what we have here is a differential that went low on fluid and caused damage to the actual gears. If the fluid was kept up to par, we would be changing the fluid and servicing it and putting new fluid in. But as a result of it being low on fluid, we are having to go through and completely overhaul this differential because the premature bearing wear, it caused damage to the gears where the gears have slipped and now we are replacing this gear and this gear due to the damage with all new bearings, new seals and new crush sleeves.

    What we have here is the damaged bearing with the cage that has come apart due to improper fluid level or running it low on fluid when this is what it looks like now when it should look like a new bearing if the fluid had been kept up. So it’s very important to keep the fluid level and keep the condition good on your vehicle and components such as the rear differential for proper gear lubrication and bearing wear so they don’t end up worn and coming apart like this with improper levels.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top-rated companies visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Empire Auto Repair & Smog WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Empire Auto Repair & Smog SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Empire Auto Repair & Smog
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 80 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Empire Auto Repair & Smog : Average 9.4 out of 10 based on 80 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Crystal Y.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

1 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Dave is very honest, trustworthy, and I value his opinion. I truly think he's worth his weight in gold.

He works with my schedule very easily, he's very affordable, and he's very honest.

Jeff C.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

2 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would definitely go there again and recommend a friend to go there. They always treat me very well, they're fair, and they have a clean facility.

They stayed after hours to get my truck done. They didn't have to do that, but they did it without hesitation.

Elijah T.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

3 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they're a good company to go with if you're in the Santa Rosa area and you're in need of auto repair.

They're competent and diligent. They never do anything without my permission, and they're 100% honest.

Chris S.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

4 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they have good customer service. They're pretty friendly, timely, and they get the work done quickly.

I think probably how easy it is to schedule an appointment; they're also competitive in terms of their pricing.

Dan P.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

5 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is very reasonable, and he is honest.

He gets my car in there and he gets it out when he says he is going to.

Davey L.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

6 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is a good mechanic, and he does good work.

He gets the job done fast, and he does it right.

Jeff S.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

7 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I don't know what I'd say. I guess I'd say I think Dave is a good mechanic. I've had issues with previous mechanics, but so far, Dave hasn't steered me wrong.

My car always gets fixed to my standards.

Justin P.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

8 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They always give us a fair price, they get the work done quickly, and they're reliable.

They're reliable, friendly, and they get the work done quickly.

Kayla S.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

9 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very efficient.

I've been going there for quite some time now, and I've never been dissatisfied, so I guess that is a good thing.

Ken A.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

10 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're thorough.

They're accommodating, responsive, knowledgeable, and competent. I've been going there for quite a few years, and they've always done a good job from what I can see. Dave is a perfectionist.

Marcus H.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

11 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are friendly, knowledgeable, and professional.

They can get me an appointment at the last minute, and they're thorough.

Max C.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

12 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very knowledgeable, efficient, and quick to complete the job.

Dave, the owner, is a real genuine guy. He's personable, and he goes out of his way to accommodate his customers.

Michael S.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

13 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I guess I'd say they're honest, upfront, and reliable.

They follow through on what they say will be done, and they do good, quality work.

Michelle H.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

14 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very reliable, and I always know my car will get fixed right the first time.

They have good customer service. Every step of the way, I was told what was being done to my car.

Robert K.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

15 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

This was my first time using them. I went in for a smog check and had no issues. For me, it was very convenient, being so close to my home. I plan on going back in the future.

They have a good location, since they're close to my home.

D.I.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

16 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're great. They're honest, and you don't feel ripped off.

Their customer service and their honesty

R.R.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

17 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I keep going back there. He's reliable.

I know the work will be done, and he's honest.

W.R.T.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

18 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You can trust them.

He's a very good mechanic.

Madison R.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

19 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It is a good place to go. They have good service.

Customer satisfaction, I guess

Bill S.

VERIFIED Empire Auto Repair & Smog CUSTOMER

20 of 80

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I can't come up with that right off the bat.

They were very good, and they met all of my needs.

Read All 80 Survey Responses at Ratings View