2012 Winter Newsletter

2012 Winter Newsletter

It’s a new year with all the promises of better things to come. I hope all the best for our customers, friends and family. This is the time of year that it slows down for everyone and my staff takes advantage of it by taking their well deserved time off. We all should be ready and rested to take on the New Year and all of it’s challenges. Thank you again for making this possible. Taking care of your needs is always a pleasure for all of us at Swedish Engineering.

Getting the word out that we have started working on all the new lines of cars, is always a slow process. So we are going to start a referral program. Anyone coming in and saying that “so and so” referred them here, will receive a free oil change or certificate as well as the person who referred the new customer. This is a thank you for your faith in our workmanship.

All the newer cars are getting more and more sophisticated with more and more computer related components. We take a lot of pride being ahead of the curve in up-to-date training and equipment to make sure we can service your cherished vehicles. The day of the “corner mechanic that can work on just about anything” is going by the wayside. The one thing that has really bothered me since moving here a long time ago, is the fact that anyone can start up a business and start working on cars even though they have no experience or knowledge on the repairs of cars. Where I came from, the technicians had to be certified and licensed; not a requirement here in Oregon. It makes me sick to see the poor workmanship or even dangerous repairs I have witnessed that have come through our doors. Please, if you feel that whoever is working on your car may not be qualified to do so, don’t let them do the work. I know at times we feel that we don’t have a choice because we have made the decision to have them look at it, now we feel that we’re required to have them do the work. It’s times like these that an inexpensive or cheap repair becomes an expense that has gotten worse.
Happy holidays from us to you and hopes for better days to those that have had to make it through these rough times.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or ed@swedishwest.com

Tech Tips from Scott White

Greetings everyone,
It is once again time to gear up for winter. When it comes down to it, there are a number of things and systems on a car that come into play for a safe trip. We always think of tires but what about your spare tire, your jack and lug wrench? I find a lot of semi flat spare tires and jacks that are damaged from improper (and unsafe) use. Pick a nice day to familiarize yourself with the usage & condition of these items. Better than a mountain pass at night time. Wiper and washer systems may save your life on that dark, rainy night. If your ABS or SRS lights are on, the systems have issues and may not be there to save the day. Good and functioning lights not only allow you to see but others to see you.
Keeping your car serviced and maintained are the best things you can do to keep your car dependable and safe on that holiday road trip or just to the store and back.
Best wishes—Scott

So you want to buy a car for $1,000 or less

You need transportation but your money is tight. If this is your situation, try not to feel bad as many Americans are in a similar situation. If you do indeed need inexpensive transportation, let’s focus on ‘what you can do!’
It will be an older model with relatively high mileage. But won’t such a vehicle need expensive repairs? I will not lie to you; such vehicles will likely need some repairs. However, we are going to choose vehicles that have a lower probability of repairs. The key is trying to choose the right cars, the ones that have had regular maintenance, and that have been owned by the same person for at least 5 years or preferably longer.

A basic model is best; less equipment such as power accessories helps to reduce potential repair costs. One of your biggest concerns is rust or corrosion. Thus, a car that has been garaged helps. Another important factor is any type of oil or other fluid leaks. The car should not have been in any accidents or repainted and should have at least 6 months+ remaining on the inspection and emissions stickers. The owner should be able to show you receipts of the car’s maintenance from the same garage.

Keep in mind that some sellers are hard up for money too! So what cars might you buy for $1,000 or less? Some cars to consider include late 80’s or early 90’s Honda Civics or Accords, and Toyota Corollas or Camrys of the same years. Mazda Protégés or Nissan Altamas are others to be considered. The Subaru Legacy sedan or wagon, the Acura Integra, and Infiniti G20 are also outside picks.

Also check that the timing belt has been replaced within the last 30,000 miles or less (the owner should show you a receipt documenting that the work was done and the car’s mileage). If the timing belt has not been replaced, figure on a $400+ bill. Thus, a lower purchase price would be suggested.
Last, but not least, be sure to take the used car to a good mechanic to be inspected, put on the lift and test driven. This is money well spent! If the owner objects to the inspection, simply move on!

Safe Winter Driving Tips

1. Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving
2. Leave plenty of room for stopping.
3. Pay attention! Don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
4. Know the current road conditions. Call 511 from your cell phone or any of the following from either your cell phone or landline phone.
5. Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
6. Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
7. Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.
8. Don’t use the “cruise control” option driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
9. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Remember that, if you are driving a four wheel drive vehicle, the vehicle may help you get going quicker but it won’t help you stop any quicker. Many 4×4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actu¬ally may take longer to stop. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle’s traction.
10. Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
11. Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
12. Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows–stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
Most importantly please remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times!

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