Yearly Archives: 2012

Safety improvements widespread in today’s automobiles

Safety improvements widespread in today’s automobiles

Many automotive safety devices and technologies were first established in higher-end vehicles and then as they get cheaper to design and implement, they gradually become widespread in lower priced vehicles. Anti lock brakes, airbags, traction controls, turbo charging, stability controls, are all examples that have worked their way down to moderate or even low priced vehicles. With the advent of digital controls (computer) in automobiles, many devices have been added to your car to make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Anti lock brakes:read more

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The true cost of auto ownership

One of the things that always concerns me is when people talk about their car as an investment. To figure the true cost of owning a vehicle, a few figures have to be entered into the formula. The initial cost of the vehicle Maintenance costs Repair costs Insurance cost Fuel expense Less the resale value of the vehicle. It is not hard to figure the initial cost of the vehicle or the insurance cost, if you check with your insurance agent before you buy the vehicle. Insurance costs do vary from vehicle to vehicle so check first. Look in Consumer Report for the amount of depreciation and dependability of a vehicle. Also check with your favorite independent repair facility to get their opinion on the different vehicles you are thinking of buying. Posted on a new vehicle is the EPA rating of fuel mileage so you can compare that figure with others that you are looking at. Remember that you will not get the posted mileage but it is a good comparison. A little homework before you buy will mak ... read more

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Cold wet weather, the effects on your automobile.

Cold wet weather, the effects on your automobile.

The upcoming weather will be miserable for driving if it’s like past years. These tips will help make the journey more safe and comfortable. Make sure all windows are clear before driving. Sight is about 95% of your input to drive. Scrape all windows of ice before driving. Wipe the fog off all inside windows too. Make sure that the “fresh” air mode is selected on vehicles that have the choice, mostly Japanese vehicles. Putting on the Air conditioning will help “dry” the air during moist winter month so the defroster will work faster. Most newer cars put on the A/C automatically when “defrost” is picked. The only time I ever will recommend warming up your car before driving when you needs to get the ice thawed on the outside and inside to clear the fog off. Note, don’t leave your car unattended, thieves can drive away. It is a waste of fuel though. Coat all your door weather stripping with a thin coat of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to prevent ice from sticking your door closed. Do NO ... read more

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Snow tire time, studded vs non studded tires.

Snow tire time, studded vs non studded tires.

Studded tires are allowed on vehicles for November 1st to April 1st. The date of April 1st has been moved to later dates in the past. The question is which tire should you use when you plan get ready for the winter in Oregon. One thing for sure, be sure to use your choice on all four wheels for consistent handling and safety. Both tires have good news, bad news. The good news about non studded tires as compared to studded tires is they handle better in most situations, like dry and wet payment. Non studded tires also are more quit and turn in better fuel mileage that studded. Studded tires do have an advantage in some ice conditions, most when the ice is close or just raising about the freezing point. The bad news about studded tires is that they do about forty to fifty million dollars damage to the roads according to Oregon Department of Transportation. Whatever your choice is, do it before it is needed so you will be safe. Make sure you tires are in good shape, they are the most ... read more

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Tips for Winter Driving

Tips by George In winter, driving in the dark is much more common. Vision is over 90% of the input to where to go. 1.Make sure you headlights work and are adjust properly. If you headlights are clouded, get them repaired of replaced. That “fog” can reduce over 70% of your light available. 2.Replace your wipers every fall. 3.Clean your windshield, inside and out. 4.Make sure your heater and defrost is working well. 5.Scrap all the ice off your windows before driving

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Internet Diagnosis

Internet Diagnosis

As vehicles get more complicated, the diagnosis of problems is as always, very challenging. It has always been challenging but new twists and more advanced multiplexing and technology adds to the complexity. Somewhere, in the world of diagnosis, some customers don’t think that the perceived valve of diagnosis is worth the money. Throw in the fear of unknown and trust into this equation, it get some customers looking elsewhere for answers. Our shops, as some in the automotive business, spend weekends and evening in classes to learn about the new technology. In these specialty classes, just learning how to use new scanner and all the capabilities is time consuming. In the past two weeks, four of techs spent Saturday and Sunday in classes. Newer vehicles are the most complex object that most people own. We had a customer bring in his European import with a check engine light on and running poorly. We scanned it (hooking up a specialty scan tool) and found a P0301 code, misfire #1 cylin ... read more

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Stadium Automotive – T-shirt Drive

Stadium Automotive – T-shirt Drive

Time to prep vehicles for cold weather

Fall is here; time to get prepared for the rains and winter. Rain, snow, and ice all come with fall and winter. Your tires are your first line of defense between you and the road. Poor tires are just plain dangerous for you and the other people on the road. Make sure your tires are in good condition. Check your tire pressure, the pressure is determined by the automobile manufacturer, not the tire company. You will find your recommended tire pressure on the driver’s door jamb, glove box lid or in your owner’s manual. Coolant check, 50-50 mixture of antifreeze/water. That will bring it down to -34 the recommended level for winter and so the cooling system doesn’t corrode and rust. Battery check. A battery receives its electric energy from chemical reactions. The colder it is, the less power a battery has. And on top of this, a cold engine requires more power to crank it over. Cold weather is a test for a battery. Get your battery checked before it deserts you. A good battery has a lif ... read more

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The Benefits of a good Scan Tool

The Benefits of a good Scan Tool

Check engine lights and code readers I write a lot about check engine lights. It is a huge subject. Every week, it is the most sought after repair that our shops do. A code reader, called a scan tool, can very an incredible amount. I have seen a universal scan tool for $29.95. The enhanced scan tool the Mercedes uses is about $18,000. The BMW scan tool is about $10,000 with a $1,200 a year up-date fee. Between the two shops, I have over $60,000 worth of scan tools. To put it simply, the amount of information you can extract from the vehicle. Tony from Transmission told me the last week, “I work for scanners” The government has legislation that dictates that emission related trouble codes must be available for a generic scanner. For us in the business, it is like putting together a jig saw puzzle upside down only getting the generic trouble codes. The better scanners (enhanced) give us such a better look into what it really having a problem. With most new vehicles, a generic scanner d ... read more

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Small Steps toward Sustainability

Your vehicle and sustainability. As the earth warms, global warming and sustainability has become a big news maker. People often ask me what they can do to help fight global warming and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some have gone so far to get a hybrid vehicle, others have taken to walking more, riding the bus while others are puzzled what they can do with little money that would make a difference. What I am going to suggest is how to get the biggest amount of good for the least amount of money. Not everyone can afford to buy a new car. The easiest way is to do very small steps. When a tire is not inflated properly, it requires more energy to make the car move and maintain speeds. An informal study found the majority of the vehicles in the US are only inflated to 80% of capacity. Property inflated tires can increase fuel mileage by 3.3%, an under inflated tires can lower fuel mileage by .4% per pound. Putting that an average driver who drives 12,000 miles per year, that would be ... read more

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