German Auto Repair in Eugene

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Winter Ready?

Winter Ready?

WINTER DRIVING: If you’re heading over the mountains or into snow area, be ready for the worst. Know your route, keep to major highways. They are plowed and sanded. If you do have a problem, help would be close. Be well rested. Let someone know where you are going and when you’re getting back if you’re planning to go off the beaten path in snowy conditions Always have traction tires or chains. Keep your fuel tank close to full, Carry warm clothes and blanket and some food and water, more if you going off the beaten path. Kitty liter is good to have in the trunk if you should get stuck, pour it on front of the slipping tire to get traction. If you get stuck away from cars and people, stay with your car. It is easier to find, water proof, windproof and can be started for heat. Winter preparations for your vehicle.. 1. Coolant check, 50-50 mixture of antifreeze/water. That will bring it down to ... read more

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Procrastinating on auto service can cost you!

Procrastinating on auto service can cost you!

p>We had an older nice German vehicle that was towed in because of an engine fire this month. The repair bill was well over $2000 to replace the composites that were burned. The sad news was this was so preventable. The valve cover gasket (the gasket on the very top of the engine) was leaking oil. The owner was aware that something was amiss because of a strange odor that was being given off from under the engine compartment. A burning smell, even after the vehicle was shut off. As time progressed, this smell got more and more pungent. The intention was to have this checked out but wasn’t checked and repaired until disaster set in. The pools of oil, heated by the exhaust manifold caught fire. The good news, it was a small fire and didn’t do much damage as fires go. The even better news, no one was injured. Your vehicle is a very complicated piece of machinery, incredible amounts of components all working together to provide you with a safe and comfortable ride with impeccable depen ... read more

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Gadgets, I just love them

Gadgets, I just love them

If you have read my column much, you know that I love gadgets. I have acquired a 2014 vehicle that has one of the newest gadgets to enter the car market. I believe this forward looking duel camera system will be standard in most vehicles in the future. This system has a camera 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 your cruise control and put on the brakes firmly. In day to day use, I have really enjoyed this. The chime goes off when I get close or over a painted line without using my turn signal is nice. I do need to be reminded to always use my turn signal and that I’m getting close to the painted line on the side of the road. The feature that I really like is the chime ... read more

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Intermittent Car Troubles

Intermittent Car Troubles

One of the daily challenges that we have at our shops is the diagnosis and repair of intermittent problems – things like noises, poor running, no start conditions, vibrations that don’t happen all the time. In any kind of problem solving in any kind of profession, there are four logical steps to problem solving. The first is to experience the problem. From this you can move to step two which is to theorize what the problem is. Moving to step three, you test, inspect, diagnose to prove or disprove your theory. The forth and most important of the steps is you repair or replace the part in question to make sure your theory is correct. If that fixes the problem; the proof in the pudding, so to speak. If the problem is not there all the time, you can lose two to three of these steps. This is where the challenge exists. We have had vehicles that will crank over but won’t start. One of the first steps is to read the onboard ECU (electronic control unit) t ... read more

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George's Ethics in Business Award

George's Ethics in Business Award

In 2012 George Rode was the recipient of the Oregon Ethics in business award. The Oregon Ethics in Business Awards honors those organizations and individuals who have demonstrated ethical business practices in its broadest interpretation: in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment, and the community. The recipients of these awards will have, by act and example, gone beyond the expected to achieve excellence in ethical business practices. Today, in Portland they are honoring the 2013 recipients, what a great group of individuals and organizations to be to be honor with. Our organization was so proud of George

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How much maintenance is just right?

How much maintenance is just right?

In the 1950’s and 60’s, tune-ups were done every 5000-7000 miles, coolant was flushed every fall and oil changes every 2000, with engines reaching 100,000 miles at most. With today’s more precisely built engines, it’s not unusual for one to reach 300,000 miles with regular maintenance. But what kind of maintenance should modern cars have, and how does one maintain a vehicle for the fewest dollars per mile to drive it? For starters, how often should oil services be preformed? Some manufacturers are recommending up to 18, 000 miles on oil changes, other sources say every 3 months, or every 3000 miles. Some manufactures are recommending that their transmission never needs service. There are documented cases with Japanese and European car engines slugging up and needing major repair after fewer than 50,000 miles, even though oil service were done in the prescribed factory times. With lifetime transmission fluid, an instructor who wo ... read more

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Your vehicle and 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 p ... read more

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What is your risk factor with your vehicle?

What is your risk factor with your vehicle?

Your risk factor has to do with how you repair and maintain your vehicle. I had a husband and wife come into the shop last week with a check engine light on. Our shop scanned the control unit in their SUV and found 2 different items that the code scanner read. We also found a bad battery, it was over due for an oil change by 5,000 miles, and was well over due for a major service. It was the wife’s SUV but the husband was to make all the calls on the needed repair on this vehicle. His first comment was “it didn't need a battery” but I did explain that it is a very scientific approach in checking a battery condition and it flunked the test very badly. It was the only time that the wife said anything about the vehicle, that it was starting very slowly. As conversation about this vehicle proceeded, it became very apparent that the husband was a risk taker. He didn't want to make this a dependable vehicle for his wife to drive. “She has a cell phone and towing insurance” so she is cover ... read more

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Want a new car? Buyer Beware

Want a new car? Buyer Beware

If you're in the market to buy a new or used vehicle, doing research before purchasing is critical. Look in "Consumer Reports®" first; the April edition focuses on new and used vehicles. In my opinion, this has great information on the good, the bad and the ugly. Both vehicles I own were top picks in "Consumer Reports." By studying this publication, you'll learn that one vehicle can cost more than four times as much to own over five years than another. Some vehicles have a very bad rating in dependability while others have great handling. The publication also recommends which extras to buy and which to avoid with your car purchase. What you research in "Consumer Reports" can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your vehicle. When buying a used vehicle, especially one from a private party, it's so important to have the vehicle inspected by your favorite auto mechanic. In the past few months, we've had numerous fo ... read more

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Keeping your vehicle from being stolen.

Keeping your vehicle from being stolen.

One of my passions is working at make this a better community to live in. One of my recent boards a have joined is the Police commission. 35 vehicles have been stolen this year in Eugene already. Hondas and Toyotas of the 1990s vintage are a favorite for the thieves. A “shaved” key easily work with both of these brands. The solution is to use a steering wheel lock. In Eugene, no vehicle have ever been stolen with one installed. Yes, one has been stolen with the lock in the back seat. The steering wheel lock takes about 10 seconds to install or remove. My recommendation is to use these on pre 2004 vehicles. Newer vehicles have much greater security such as chips in the key that are linked with the electronics of the vehicle so even with a key, they will not start. The Eugene police crime prevention unit sells these for $12.50 for The Club. They can be purchased at the main police head quarters at 300 Country Club Road at any hour or at 791 East 13th from 8:00am till 4:00 pm. They a ... read more

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