Category Archives: Articles

Get your vehicle prepared for summer driving

In the upcoming summer months, fuel prices are predicted to be at the lowest level in 6 years, it’s a great time to travel and see our wonderful country. National parks, state parks and theme parks are a great family vacation without the hassle of airports, airport security and cramped airplane seating. Some sites are reachable even in a day or two drive. As the summer season nears, keep a few things in mind before traveling long distances. Nothing is worse to disrupt a vacation or any travel than an unplanned breakdown. On a day to day base, getting into a hot vehicle is uncomfortable. The inside can reach over 140 degrees. To cool the vehicle inside quickly, roll down the window for the first minute or two of driving to get some of the very hot air out. The complete interior can be as high as 140 degrees and to get it to the comfortable temperature of  70 degrees will often take 20 minutes so be patient. On this note, never leave children or animals inside a vehicle wit ... read more

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Smart, smoother traffic systems

Smart, smoother traffic systems

As I’m driving, I have explored routes in Eugene that the traffic lights are synchronized. I even know that if I miss a certain traffic light, I can turn and follow another route to get to my destination quicker, safer and with less wear and tear on the vehicle. Every time you stop, you use more brake material and waste fuel and time. The good news about Eugene is the city has spent much time and money in traffic light controls. They are “smart” controls, knowing the time of day and “counting” vehicles on the road. How? There are two ways of counting vehicles I know of, the most common is in ground loop detectors. These are put into the payment and detect metal. There may be one to four loops in a lane at a stop light, counting vehicles. The more vehicles detected, the longer the light will stay green. If there’s a low traffic count, the lights change quickly. The other type is an infrared motion detector. The most visible one locally is the camera ... read more

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Keep Cool In Hot Summer Cars

Keep Cool In Hot Summer Cars

When it’s hot outside, one of the last places you want to be is sitting in traffic without a properly functioning A/C system. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, having your A/C system checked annually to make sure it is functioning at its peak performance level when those temperatures are rising.           “Making sure your A/C system is working properly will give you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Not only are high temperatures harmful to the body with prolonged exposure, but they can provide unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle.”                                                     A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditionin ... read more

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New Car Safety Features

New Car Safety Features

This is the time of the year when the April car buying guide of Consumer Report comes out. I highly advise reading this if you are going to buy a car, either new or used. It is the packed with valuable information. Newer vehicles are packed with great safety equipment. The “must haves” are antilock brakes (ABS), Electronic stability control (ESC) and air bags including curtain air bags. ABS brakes reduce stopping distance and helps keep the vehicle in control by not allowing the wheels to lock up, ESC helps keep the vehicle from skidding or sliding. Air bags and curtains help save lives in case of an accident. One of the newest safety equipment is cameras on each side of the rear view mirror that scans the road ahead for hazards, vehicles and reads the painted lines on the road. The camera’s information is feed into a computer and the outputs include many. This system has the ability to chime a chime, control the throttle, put messages on the display panel, control ... read more

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Warning Lights

Warning Lights

Just about every day, we get asked if the “check engine” light or the ABS (anti-lock brake light) is really important. We have customers that come in and are not concerned about those lights. The “check engine” light tells so much, it just amazes me. Where else can you have something so complex as a vehicle tell you that something is malfunctioning or about to breakdown. We had a customer who came in this week for other repairs and said not to worry about the check engine light, he knew that he needed an oxygen sensor but didn’t feel it was important. I spent the time to point out many concerns that I had about this. First, the “check engine” light comes on when something is malfunctioning or about to breakdown. I could be one of about 100-200 different problems, not to be known until a scanner is hooked up. If more than one problem is present, the light doesn’t light brighter or ... read more

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Save on fuel

Save on pricy fuel with theses few tips Check tire pressure at least monthly. Tire pressures are found on the driver’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Pressures written on the tires are a maximum pressure, not the recommended pressure.  .  Low tire pressure can reduce fuel mileage by 5% and create a safety hazard. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold or cool, not after freeway driving. It is best to have your own tire pressure gauge. They are under $5.00 Drive smoothly, anticipate traffic lights, and no quick starts. Act as if there is an egg under your gas pedal, and accelerate slowly. Watch the traffic lights ahead so you don’t have to use your brakes. Every time you use your brakes, you waste energy.  With a manual transmission, shift to a higher gear soon. With an automatic transmission, keep it in overdrive, even in town. Maintain your vehicle. Do the services that your vehicle needs. A restricted air filter ca ... read more

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Audi 2.0 Camshaft Issue

Audi 2.0 Camshaft Issue

The Audi/VW 2.0 Turbo engines found in 2006-07 model years suffer early from a failure of the high pressure fuel system as well as the intake camshaft.  The mechanical high pressure pump is driven by the intake camshaft and can get damaged as a result of the cam lobe wearing onto the cam follower.   Symptoms to look out for are a check engine light on, a rough idle, low power, as well as a fuel cut at higher rpms just to name a few.  This is a design flaw that is around 60-80k; keep your eyes on your dash for a check engine light.   If your car is running rough and poor acceleration under a heavy load, please give us a call.                         

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Modern Marvels

I have been repairing cars since 1973, starting my auto repair business in 1975. Following the evolution of the advances in the automobile has been very exciting. When I first started, I would chat with some old timers who had been working on cars for years. I remember then talking about those new disc brakes and how they don’t like working on them. Wow, they are easier to work on the old fashion drum brakes. I remember going to lots of classes on new technology, electronic ignition, Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection and other high tech coming down the pipe line. One of the classes talked about the future that the transmission would “talk” to the engine to tell it, I’m going to shift. The engine would then reduce power by retarding the timing so the shift would be smoother. Vehicles have come leaps and bounds since that time; the communication between all the different components is increasable. All major composites now know what the others are doing. The control units of the vehicle ... read more

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Fall is here! Time to get ready for the Rains and Winter.

Fall is here! Time to get ready 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. Replace your windshield wipers ... read more

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Getting your vehicle ready for summer driving.

Getting your vehicle ready for summer driving.

As summer comes upon us, here are a few good tips to keep in mind before traveling long distances. Nothing is worse to disrupt a vacation or any travel than an unplanned breakdown. On a day to day base, getting into a hot vehicle is uncomfortable. The inside can reach over 140 degrees. To cool the vehicle inside quickly, roll down the window for the first minute or two of driving to get some of the very hot air out. The complete interior can be as high as 140 degrees and to get it to the comfortable temperature of 70 degrees will often take 20 minutes so be patient. On this note, never leave children or animals inside a vehicle with the windows up. It’s a greenhouse in there and can kill quickly. Getting your vehicle ready for a trip during the hot weather can make a vacation much more stress free. The first stop should be your favorite repair shop, having them do a pre-trip check. This is most important for vehicles over 80,000 miles or those who have not taken good preventive ca ... read more

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