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Category Archives: Articles

Easy, affordable security

Easy, affordable security

I mentioned this a couple of months ago but thought it was worth mentioning again with an update. So far, 110 vehicles already have been stolen this year in Eugene. 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 8:00 am til ... read more

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Enlightening Tips About Warning Lights

Enlightening Tips About Warning Lights

Just about every day, we get asked if the “check-engine” light and ABS (anti-lock brake system) lights in a vehicle are really important. We have many customers who come in and are not overly concerned about those lights. The “check engine” light tells so much, it just amazes me. Where else can you have something as complex as a vehicle warn you that something is malfunctioning or about to break down? Recently we had a customer who came in for other repairs and said not to worry about the check-engine light, that he knew he needed an oxygen sensor but didn't think 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 break down. It could be one of some 200 different problems, which will not be specifically located until a scanner is hooked up to the vehicle. If more than one problem is present, the light doesn’t light brighter or bl ... read more

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Alternative Powered Vehicles

Alternative Powered Vehicles

Battery power electric cars have been around since the turn of the century but never been the mainstream. The biggest reason is that gasoline has so much energy in a gallon it makes it very difficult to compete against. Think about it, gasoline is convenient, relatively safe, easy to transport and store and huge, huge volumes are available. You can pack a lot of energy in that 20 gallon tank to be able to drive 400 miles. Gasoline is relatively clean also. Gasoline is also the source of energy as opposed to just a storage medium. Crude oil is pumped out of the ground and just has to be refined; battery or hydrogen powered cars have to get their energy from another source such as a power plant driven by water or coal. To say electric or hydrogen cars don’t pollute at all is false, they get their power from the power stations that have their problems with pollution. Lead acid batteries have been used for over 100 years. They have lots of advantages but is r ... 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 per year, that would be an ex ... read more

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Newest Safety Equipment

Drivers are the weakest link when it comes to driving safely, according to Jason Forcier, Bosch regional president of electronics. What do vehicles have to avoid have a crash? In avoidance, the first equipment was ABS brakes. That stands for Anti-locking brakes. No matter hard you push the brake pedal, the wheels will not lock up. When the wheels do lock up, it increasing stopping distance and take away the ability to steer you vehicle. ABS was introduced in high end vehicles and now is on all vehicles sold in this country. The next wonderful avoidance devise installed was stability control. This devise has the ability to sense through electronics that you vehicles is in a slide. Using the brake system, it will apply the brake on one wheel to help bring your vehicle out of the slide. I have driven a vehicle with stability control disabled and then working, it really works well. Some vehicles have a “heads up” display superimposed on th ... read more

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Fuel - Regular vs. Premium

Fuel - Regular vs. Premium

One of the questions I’m asked a lot is can you use regular in a vehicle that was designed for premium. The short answer is no. The engineers that design the engines and all the controls for it are very careful with the timing of what is called the power stroke. Years ago, when you could tune engines, one of the critical adjustments was ignition timing. Ignition timing as most other “tuning” adjustments are no longer adjustable. Yes, don’t ask for your car to be tuned anymore, it’s a word of the past with newer cars. To understand ignition timing, picture swinging a kid on a swing. The timing of pushing the kid is important, if you push too late, you are just pushing air (late timing or retarded timing) If you push the kid to early, you will slap his back or maybe push the kid out of the swing, not good. The perfect timing for the kid on the swing is to push him gentle in the beginning or the forward stroke and continue it until the kid is at th ... read more

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