Eugene Auto Repair

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Tag Archives: preventative

Automotive Myths

Automotive Myths

As a long term automotive shop owner since 1975, I work at giving my customers the proper guidance to ensure longevity of their vehicle without over spending their money. It is a balance that I have worked diligently on. One customer wanted tune-up only 15,000 miles after the previous tune-up was completed. I very kindly and patiently explained that newer vehicles just didn't need service that frequently. When I was done with my spiel, I was feeling good about my integrity, and about saving this good customer money. But his response surprised me: He said that his dad told him (back in the 60’s) that a car should be tuned up every year and I had no place saying that his deceased father was incorrect. Then he hung up, I never did hear from this customer again. The truth is times have changed; today’s vehicles are so much more advanced then vehicles of yesteryear, and so automotive care procedures are different. The word tune-up doesn't even apply to newer ... read more

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Are you ready for hot summer driving?

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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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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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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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 50 perce ... read more

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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 services are best ... read more

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Winterize your car for cold, icy conditions.

Winterize your car for cold, icy conditions.

Winter is fast approaching and the Holidays are just around the corner. Many of us will be out traveling and enjoying the winter weather. Now is the time to start thinking about preparing your vehicle for possible emergencies while you are on the road.    I would start with getting a plastic storage container designed to fit in your vehicle and big enough to pack the following list of items: a flashlight with extra batteries, a gallon of drinking water, nonperishable easy opening food, flares, a lighter, a pair of gloves for all occupants, a change of clothes, a first aid kit, a blanket, jumper cables, a tarp, sand or kitty litter and a small shovel. These items are all easy to find at any local hardware store or a big box store. A few additional items to consider may be: a charged disposable cell phone, a charged battery jump box and a solar phone charger. Just think about what you would need if you were stranded overnight in the cold weather in your car. And, that leads us ... read more

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Time to prep your ride for winter

Time to prep your ride for winter

Hard to believe that fall is right around the corner; 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 and are wearing evenly.   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 ... read more

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Save on vehicle ownership costs.

Your vehicle is one of the most expensive objects you own and it loses value every year. Vehicles just about always fall in value as you “use” them for your day to day travels. To call them an investment would be a poor choice of words unless you calculated time saving.  A vehicle gets you to your destination quickly, saving your un-renewable asset called time. Over the past 43 years of maintaining vehicles I have my own theory of how to minimize the expenses of owning a car. This theory includes the top three reasons people buy new cars. The first is the same reason you buy new clothes. Your old clothes are not worn out; you just need a new “fashion” statement. The second reason for buying a new car is your old one is worn out, undependable, needs a lot of repair, has too many dents, lack of shine. The third reason is it doesn’t fit your life style anymore, family expanding or contracting, and you need for larger or smaller vehicle. When I buy ... read more

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