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Are you ready for hot summer driving?

The summer months are the perfect time to travel and see our wonderful country. National parks, state parks and theme parks are great family vacation destinations that don’t have to involve the hassle of airports, airport security and cramped airplane seating. Some sites are reachable in a drive of just a day or two drive. In this peak summer travel season, keep a few things in mind before traveling long distances. An unplanned breakdown can halt your travel, disrupt your vacation and cause a great deal of stress.  Being at home and getting your vehicle ready for a trip during hot weather is so much easier than waiting in a motel somewhere on the road while repairs are made. The first stop should be your favorite repair shop for a pre-trip check.  This is most important for vehicles with more than over 80,000 miles or those who have not had good, consistent preventive maintenance. The most important focus should be your vehicle’s cooling system, because 85% of ... read more

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Diagnosing car problems can be complicated

Diagnosing car problems can be complicated

Diagnosing car problems can be complicated Your automobile is likely the most complex piece of machinery that you own. Having been an automotive technician for over 45 years now, I feel as if I know less than ever about cars, but I am much wiser. I used to think I knew it all but now, not so much; I guess that’s called maturity. Cars are more complex than ever, what with high-end vehicles operating with more computer code then the Boing 787 Dreamliner. The most difficult concept for customers to understand is that it’s very difficult for auto technicians to diagnose and repair today’s vehicles. I had a chat with an employee of the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) about On Board Diagnostics 2 (OBD2) about reading the code. It’s a common misconception that this code reader diagnoses what’s wrong with a car.  Not True. Most times the given code is just a starting point for diagnosis. We spend more time learning about codes than any other su ... read more

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Oil leaks, when maintenance and repairs are needed.

       One question always going through my mind is, “What is the right amount of vehicle maintenance:”   Too much, and you’re wasting money; not enough, and the vehicle’s dependable life flies out the window.    The owner’s manual has great information on what to do and when.   But – and this is a big but – are the maintenance recommendations enough to ensure the vehicle last a long time?    On one end of the spectrum is the “up sell” of fluid changes; oil or fluid wiped on a white rag showing how dirty it is; shocks that are seeping slightly; or the air filter that is somewhat dirty.    (Remember, a slightly dirty air filter will NOT affect your fuel mileage.   Advanced electronic engine controls compensate for this on vehicles made since 1995.   A truly plugged air filter should be replaced, however, because it will cut engine power.) ... read more

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My steering tilt isn't working!

My steering tilt isn't working!

Last week we had a customer bring in their 2006 BMW 750i because the tilt steering completely stopped working however the telescoping portion was working.  This is a very low mileage vehicle with only 25,000 miles on it.  We don’t really think a vehicle with such low mileage would have a steering column go bad.  After some diagnosing our technician decided he needed to diagnose further which meant looking at the actual steering column. On the 2006 BMW 750i to look at the steering column you need to remove all the vents and trim on the dashboard.  We found that on the 750i particularly;  you have to start from the right side of vehicle removing panels and vents to be able to get to the left side. Once Mike got the dash taken out he was able to investigate the problem.   At first, we thought the best course of action would be replacing the steering column. Upon further diagnosis, Mike discovered that the t ... read more

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Everyday driver habits to save on fuel costs

Fuel costs are rising.   Following are ways to save money at the pump.   Check tire pressure at least monthly.   Tire pressures are found on the driver’s doorjamb 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 percent 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 cost less than $5.    Drive smoothly, anticipate traffic lights, and refrain from 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.   Plan your route, and get to know the traffic lights.   Every time you use your brakes, you waste en ... read more

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Smelling Something Sweet in your Car!

Smelling Something Sweet in your Car!

Today, we had a customer bring in her 2004 Porsche Boxster because she was smelling a new smell in the Porsche and thought it was a oil smell.  We had replaced her oil separator back in September and she was worried that something had gone wrong with the repair.  When our customers care deeply for their vehicle whether it's a Porsche or a Volkswagen, we want you to feel completely safe and secure especially after a repair.  The sweet smell made her more sensitive to how her Porsche was preforming, she was thinking there was more smoke coming out of the tail pipe than normal.   After diagnosing her concerns of the sweet smell and smoking; we found that the heater core on the Boxster was leaking.  A heater core is a radiator-like device used in heating the cabin of a vehicle. Hot coolant from the vehicle's engine is passed through a winding tube of the core, a heat exchanger b ... read more

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Amazing future in store for auto technology

     The future of the automobile over the next few years is going to be very exciting, or even unbelievable.   Who would think we will have driverless taxi cabs in the next two years? (Or so says the news; let’s hope this is not fake news.)    As electronics, computers and great designs get more refined and smarter, running at incredible speeds at lower cost, they will dominate the automotive world.   Electronics and motors are so very dependable now, cars are chock-full of them. I still remember the cars of the ‘60s: “Don’t get the option of power windows because it is just one more thing to break.   That is not the case anymore; just about all cars in the U.S. have power windows.    Advanced electronics give cars autopilot capabilities.   Electric motors have landed in electric vehicles, including the Tesla, BMWi3, Fiat 500e, Ford Focus electric, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes B250e, VW e-Gu ... read more

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Trust in quality automotive parts

       The Internet has made a lot of great information available around the world. All of my businesses use the Internet for their websites, for seeking information, and for accessing paid information websites. We used to buy thousands of dollars of books on automotive repair annually; now we use automotive repair websites such as mitchell1.com or alldata.com. We pay more than $1,000 per month to use these sites and others for our shops.    When repairing or servicing a vehicle, it is important to use high quality, reputable parts. We identify these high quality components thanks to years of installing brand name parts and monitoring their successful results.    All parts, whether rebuilt or new, are not created equal. For example, I formerly used a particular rebuilder of starters and alternators, but the customer comeback rate – this refers to a vehicle not repaired properly the first time – regarding those parts was more than ... read more

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Winner of Mayor's Award for Bold Steps

Winner of Mayor's Award for Bold Steps

Read More here: https://www.eugene-or.gov/2824/2018-Bold-Steps-Winner-George-Rode-Repai

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How to lower car-ownership cost.

           To minimize the cost of car ownership, here are some tips from cradle to grave.    When car-shopping, be sure to check with Consumers Reports. It is the most unbiased source of vehicle information, and affordable. The April edition is devoted to new and used vehicles. Not only does it offer tips on what to buy, but how to buy and what “extras” you can avoid.    I have followed Consumer Reports advice on the last nine vehicles I have bought and have not been disappointed. Not all vehicles are created the same. The small investment of buying the magazine, or searching its website, and spending two or three hours on research can save you thousands of dollars down the road.    Next, establish a routine for getting your vehicle serviced. The owner’s manual has schedules for when services are due in addition to all of the other vehicle information.  Keep in mind that oil servi ... read more

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