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Tips to help save on high fuel prices

Tips to help save on high fuel prices

  • Under inflated tires increase rolling resistance and waste gas – like driving with the parking brake not fully released.
  • Keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance can improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent.
  • Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
  • Slipping automatic transmission can reduce fuel economy by one mile per gallon.
  • Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
  • A dirty spark plug causes misfiring and that wastes fuel, up to two miles per gallon.
  • Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city
  • Cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold can reduce fuel economy by two miles per gallon.
  • Unused roof rack and accessories add weight and drag-decreasing fuel efficiency.
  • Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 miles per hour.
  • Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.
  • Idling gets 0 miles per gallon.
  • An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1-2 percent.
  • Dirty or substandard oil can reduce fuel economy by one mile per gallon.
  • Improve gas mileage 3.3 percent by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure.
  • Worn O2 sensor can reduce fuel economy by three miles per gallon.

2013 Summer Newsletter

Ed Meza, Owner of Swedish EngineeringLetter from the President

The long awaited redesign of our website is mostly finished and I’m very proud to say it looks fantastic. There are cool interactive surprises to play with (hint: move your mouse over the tachometer or up and down the steering wheel) along with plenty of useful information about how cars work. I want to give a great big Thank You to Della Perry and her company Ramble Bramble Design for the long hours and hard work in designing and developing this website. She has a sharp and creative mind, but her best quality may be her enduring patience. Thanks for checking out the new site, please let us know what you think.

The garden has gotten off to a great start with the early warm weather. We’ve been picking blueberries since mid June (the earliest ever). As much as I’ve been enjoying the early warmth, I’m concerned that the lack of water will catch up to us later in the growing season. I recently got a long-reach tree pruner, which I’ve never owned before and have decided is a wondrous tool.

My wife Diana has been helping with the “Bark In The Park” event for several years now. It has grown a lot and it’s impressive to see all the dogs and owners together at this wonderful event. It’s one of the major fund raisers for Greenhill Animal Shelter. Diana’s team of volunteers gets bigger and every year and we are very proud of all the great work that goes into it.
With the addition of the new lines we work on (Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan and Infiniti), we may be looking for another talented technician to join our family. Be assured that we will go to great lengths to find someone who measures up to our high standards.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tech Tips with Scott White

Scott WhiteOh the wonders of pollen. Not sure if I took my allergy meds this morning or not. I drove my Volvo instead of riding my motorcycle to work, and so I have A/C and a pollen/cabin filter to make trip much more pleasant. This brings up the question of when the last cabin filter replacement on your car took place. Under normal conditions it is recommended that it be changed once a year or every 15K miles. Your car’s ventilation will be at it’s optimum level and the blower fan motor won’t be overloaded trying to move air through a restricted filter. Also if you have any doubts as to whether you’re A/C has a full charge, we just happen to have a new Robinair 34788 recovery, recycling, recharging unit.
I hope everyone is having a nice summer.
Sincerely, Scott

Summer Car Care Tips

  1. If you have not visited your service facility (which is Swedish Engineering most certainly) in the last six months, it is time for a visit. Ask for a safety check. A well maintained car also gets better gas mileage.
  2. Have the oil changed. Regular oil changes can double the life of your car.
  3. Check your tires. Summer heat can affect the performance of your tires. Ask your service facility to let you know how much tread life you have left on the tires. An extremely worn tire can make stopping difficult. Check the tire pressures so that you get the best wear for your tires and better gas mileage.
  4. Don’t run your car down to empty. You put yourself in a risky situation that you may run out of gas while driving. Imagine getting stuck on the beltway, because you run out of gas. You could do additional damage to the fuel system which could be very costly.
  5.  Don’t wait to have that noise checked. You drive the car everyday, if you hear a strange noise, get it checked. Small problems can turn into really big expensive problems quickly.
  6. Have your air conditioning system checked. A marginally operating air conditioning system is likely to fail during hot summer months.
  7. A dirty, streaky or smeared windshield can be a hazard. Replace worn wiper blades and replenish windshield washer solvent.
  8. April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring: Pollen! The pollen that is covering your car is also being circulated through your vents. Have the air filter and all other filters check or replaced.
  9. The greatest number of breakdowns occur during summer travel is due to overheating. Check the level and condition of your coolant. Remember to never remove the radiator cap until the engine is thoroughly cooled. Last but not least, give your car a good cleaning. Clean out all the trash on the floor and in the pockets, vacuum the interior and then wash it. It just feels so good driving around in a clean car, doesn’t it? And have a great summer!

Your Child’s Birthday Coming Up? How About a Porsche Go-Kart?

Porsche’s latest vehicle weighs 55 lbs, sports one seat and could build brand loyalty long before its driver understands the difference between a Porsche 911 and a Nissan Versa. Hot-shoe shennanigans can now start with five-year-olds in the Porsche camp thanks to the new toy. As is the case with anything bearing the Stuttgart brand’s badge, high quality parts go toward a product based on “Porsche Intelligence Performance.” Composite wheel rims with “simulated” center locks are shod in low profile inflatable tires with inner tubes. No ordinary seat will do. Instead, Porsche outfits its “Driver’s Selection Go-Kart” with a specific sport seat. Standard equipment also includes both a pedal brake and hand brake to “ensure optimal deceleration.” Potential drivers must weight less than 110 lbs and can’t be any taller than five feet. The toy costs $900 and is available through Porsche’s online store.

2013 Spring Newsletter

Ed MezaWe’d like to welcome Louise Roberts to our Swedish Engineering family. Her name may be familiar to some of you as she worked at Sheppard Motors back in the day, as well as another local Garage. We are lucky and blessed to have her join our staff. If you want to get her started, just ask her about her grandson.

I’m glad our economy is getting back on its feet. We are committed to keeping our pricing low to help those who have not yet been included in its recovery. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon has 8% unemployment, so we’re not completely out of the woods yet.

I love spring and the fleeting glances of the sun and the warmth that accompany it. Seeing the rebirth of plants and animals and uplifted spirits is a welcome sight. It also means we’re closer to football season and a taste of what is sure to be another exciting year.

I am so thankful to our dedicated staff and their diligence in making sure work gets done properly before it leaves our shop. I mention this because we are seeing a growing number of cars come in that other shops have misdiagnosed. The unfortunate owners paid those shops in good faith and then had to take their cars elsewhere only to pay again. In some cases cars needed extra work to repair damage done by those shops. These days cars are computerized and need to be professionally diagnosed by ASE technicians. It really is money in the bank.

Diana and I so much appreciate getting to know many of you personally outside the care of your cars. We do have a question that we hope someone may have an answer to. Our pound puppy, Cleopatra who has been with us for a couple of years now, still has accidents in the house. Not #2 but piddling. She will tell us that she wants to go out and barks again to come in but on occasion will spot on our bedroom carpet or her shared bedding with our other dog (Oscar). Thank you again for your patronage
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tips from Scott White

Scott WhiteWow, one week until the first day of spring already. Took my snow tires off my car yesterday so will see how that turns out compared to the late snow storm last year.

In reflecting back on the past few months, one thing really stands out–pre-purchase inspections. Not all the cars were from local car lots. One was from a Portland area used car lot but for the most part there have been some ugly cars. They have been detailed and shined up but we have had a couple All Wheel Drive cars that were missing the drive shafts and had severe damage to the floor. A drive shaft and hardware to mount it plus the labor change would run $1200.00 to $1400.00, so all I can say is be sure to get those cars inspected before you buy them!

Hope springtime finds you well and able to get outside to enjoy the warmer weather.

Sincerely, Scott

Spring car shopping? Take care of financing first

Auto shows dotting the country paired with rising temperatures leave many people longing for a new car or truck. But purchasing a new vehicle is a complex process—one that doesn’t start with finding the right car, but with making sure your finances are in order. It’s important to plan ahead so there are no surprises during the loan application process that leave you stranded without options.

Long before you hit the dealership, it’s best to sit down and go over some important variables. First, determine your budget and what you can realistically afford. Remember, your car payment may be the largest consideration, but it’s only one part of the total monthly cost of owning a new vehicle. You must factor in gas, insurance premiums and regular maintenance to get an accurate amount. Once you know your magic number, stick to it so you don’t get in over your head.

After you have a general idea of what you can afford, you should check your credit to see if you are a good candidate for a loan before you start shopping. A good first step is to check your credit reports. Is everything accurate? What is your debt-to-credit ratio? Are there items you want to work on before applying for a car loan?

While proactively reviewing what’s on your credit report is one of the fundamental ways to get a loan with preferable terms, it doesn’t tell you what your credit score is. To obtain your credit score and stay on top of your financial health, become a member of TransUnion Plus. TransUnion Plus gives you access to your credit report, your credit score, and the ability to track all your finances, such as your checking, savings and 401(k) accounts, so you can manage your money seamlessly, plus you get credit and identity theft protection.

Once your credit score and credit reports are in order, you can feel confident about your ability to get a loan. There is another thing that financially savvy drivers should do: research financing options. Shop around to see who has the best interest rates, then determine how much you want to put down and then decide what length of loan works best for you. Be sure to ask about pre-payment penalties. You shouldn’t be punished for paying your loan off early. Loans are usually negotiable, so don’t be afraid to haggle.

After you get yourself in shape financially, it’s finally time to hit the auto shows and car dealerships to negotiate a deal. The only thing better than driving your new dream car is having the ability to pay for it without extra financial stress.

Getting Your Car Ready for Spring

Spring is coming, really! If you have snow tires, here is why it’s a good idea to switch them out as soon as the snow is gone for good and temperatures begin to warm. Snow tires are made from softer compounds to help with traction, but that means they will wear out faster, especially in warm weather.

After a rough winter, everyone is eager to hit the road this spring. But spring brings its own set of driving conditions. Pounding through potholes all winter long and early in spring can alter the alignment of your vehicle. Properly aligned wheels are more economic, prevent wear and tear and improve the stability of your vehicle.

Make sure your tire is inflated correctly. The maximum inflation listed on the tire is not the correct tire pressure. Check your owner’s manual or sticker on the driver’s side door for the recommended tire pressure.
The benefit of having properly inflated tires is having better tire wear and potentially better fuel efficiency—get the most out of your tires and each tank of gas!

Going on a road trip? Remember not to just check the tires on your wheels-check the spare tire to make sure it’s inflated properly. You don’t want to wait until you need it to find out if there’s a problem.

The under-body of your car also needs attention in the Spring. Wintertime driving will coat the bottom of your car with salt, sand and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion can lead to rust problems, which can make your car much harder to resell or even dangerous to drive.

Spend a few extra dollars for the undercarriage power wash at the local car wash or spray the car’s bottom with your own hose. If possible, use a car jack to raise the vehicle for a more thorough cleaning. There’s no need to use soap or any other cleaner.


2013 Winter Newsletter

2013 Winter Newsletter

Ed MezaLetter from the President

I would like to start with a heart-felt thank you for all the kind thoughts and words from everyone of the loss of my mother. She will truly be missed. This just reinforces my appreciation of all the great customers as well as staff that surround my life.

Ducks and Beavers both had a great year and us Oregon fans had a lot of lung and voice exercise. Way to go teams!

As a business man in these uncertain times, it’s hard to know how best to service our customer base. Prices for almost everything keep going up from building costs, parts, equipment, taxes, utilities and most of all fuel. We have implemented a new pricing structure that we believe will benefit all. We have been on this new structure for at least 6 month now and I have heard great comments from most of everyone that has seen it on their invoices. We have kept our hourly rate on diagnostic and troubleshooting and lowered our regular repair rate (scheduled maintenance as well as regular brake services). Rest assured we will never skimp on the quality of parts we use and will keep honoring our industry leading warranty. We have brought those expenses down to when we first started here back in the late nineties. We hear of the troubled times a lot of you are having. We feel that this is the least we can do to help get through theses hard times. It’s hard to believe how dependent we all have become to our transportation needs. I love hearing the great comments, good or bad, to help keep us in touch with the needs of our client base. We must look like an undernourished, motley crew from all the cookies, donuts, bagels and even pesto we keep receiving. All kidding aside, thank you very much. My staff and I will just need to keep working out a little harder to keep up.

Volvos and Subarus are the meat of our service clientele. The cars, we as owners drive, the new additional lines are starting to join the flock as well. I am very impressed with the Lexus line as well as Toyota. Please remember we can and do service almost anything you drive and will let you know if it’s something that would be better suited to be repaired by someone else. We have seen some interesting things that some of you had asked for us to repair or take a look at, like welding a bead frame or removing a stubborn bolt of a lawn mower. Thank you for breaking up our sometimes day to day work.

From all of us here at Swedish Engineering we wish you a safe and happy new year.
Thank you again for your patronage
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tech Tips from Scott White

Scott WhiteHello mid–November and how did it get here so quickly? Only sometimes does it pay to put things off and in this case raking up the leaves in my yard as more of them are blowing in from elsewhere. Putting off getting your car serviced or repaired may not come out so well though. That weak battery may not be up to cranking that cold engine and a set of worn spark plugs only makes it that much less likely to start. A more of a “ticking time bomb” is the timing belt that is a cogged belt that keeps the valves and pistons living in harmony. A failure in this system, whether the belt breaking or a bearing failure results in internal engine damage, that may cost more to repair than the value of the car justifies. Service life of the belt varies from 30 thousand miles to 120 thousand miles depending upon year and model but the age of the belt must not exceed 10 years.
Why such a vast span in mileage intervals? There are several things that have evolved over time since 1992 as far as the aluminum (white) engines. Belt widths increased and belt tensions decreased and dampener and Vvt units on one or both camshafts have cut down on the harmonic vibration stresses on the belt. But in any case I have seen more failure by the bearings and tensioners in the system than actual belt breakage so change those with belts!
With that I leave you with a “warm regards.” Sincerely, Scott

Travel Safely this Winter

Here are some tips drivers can take to ensure they travel safely this winter.
Visibility is Key
Ensure all the lights on your vehicle are working properly and that your headlamps are aimed correctly. Use a quality winter wiper blade and washer fluid to help cut through the snow and ice.
Emergency Kit
In addition to a bag of sand or cat litter, pack an emergency kit to store in your trunk. Blankets, candles, snacks, a charged cellular phone, emergency road flares, booster cables, a flashlight and a tow-strap should all be included.
Eat For Alertness
Avoid heavy meals before longer trips as they can cause drowsiness. Drink plenty of water, and avoid the use of sugary or caffeinated drinks to keep you awake. If you’re tired or dozy, pull over and rest.
Handle a Skid
Steer into the skid? Out of the skid? Hit the brakes? There’s precious little time to make a decision when your vehicle is on the verge of losing control. What’s easier to remember is: Keep the steering wheel and your eyes pointed where you want the car to go. Don’t stare at the tree or rock that you don’t want to hit, but rather look towards the open road where you’re hoping to wind up. Don’t go Hollywood-style with the steering or brakes, either. Gentle, smooth inputs are key to success during winter driving slides. Steadily, gently keep the wheel pointed in your intended direction of travel and lightly, progressively squeeze the brakes as needed.
Getting Unstuck
A bag of cat litter or sand is ideal for traction in case you get stuck this winter. Use a shovel to clear the snow away from your wheels and spread the gritty substance of your choice under and ahead of your drive wheels to help free your ride. Don’t spin the tires excessively, since this can “dig” your ride further into trouble. If a little prod on the throttle doesn’t get you moving, stop the car, clear more snow away, add more grit, and repeat.
Don’t Get Frozen Out
Keep a bottle of lock deicer or WD-40 (with the little red straw) in your purse or briefcase to travel safely this winter. Your favorite parts store probably sells a keychain–sized bottle of either, so you can always have it handy when needed. Note that an occasional spray of either solution into your key hole (when it’s not frozen) will serve as preventative maintenance.
Free Wheeling
Periodically clean out the frozen globs of slush around your front wheels, even if it means a trip to the coin-op pressure washer. In severe cases, these frozen clumps can reduce your ability to steer effectively in an emergency maneuver—not to mention weigh the car down to waste fuel unnecessarily.
Maintenance is Key
Is your vehicle leaking or making a strange sound? Either of these conditions can indicate a problem, so be sure to address the concern as soon as possible. Harsh winter driving conditions tend to aggravate poorly maintained vehicle components, meaning you’re more likely to break down when its 30 below.

2012 Fall Newsletter

2012 Fall Newsletter

Tomatoes a plenty! It is a great year for our tomatoes but unfortunately not so good for Diana’s favorite (lemon cucumbers). We sure have had a dry and warm late spring and summer and are enjoying the rewards of watering almost every other day. When the rains do come, be prepared for slick roads. All of our oil changes now include a 57 point safety inspection and we can advise you about possible problems that might be hard to detect from day to day driving.

With the Fall approaching, I can already see the work starting to pile up; leaves that is. We have a lot of big trees on our lot and plenty of fuel for my composter (more work). Leaves and debris on the streets can be a hazard for drivers as well. Not only the slickness but also things that kick up into the under carriages of our cars. Be on the alert and call us if you smell anything unusual or feel something different in the way your car is performing. Fall is a beautiful time of the year and one of my favorite seasons. With the cooler fresher air, no more pollens to contend with and of course our boys of the grid iron are back to entertain us. Cheers to our Ducks and Beavers on both having a great start.

This last year has brought a lot of change for many of us; some sad and some happy. We send out our deepest condolences to those we lost over the last year as well as to their families who will truly miss them. On the brighter side, I know of no less of at least 12 customers and friends who have found a special person in their lives or are adding to their blissful families. I never paid that much attention to the movie “The Lion King” and it’s meaning until it has hit me with all that I’ve seen just this past year.

We will be closed early Friday October 12th at 12:00 pm and not back until October 15th at 12:00 pm. We will be heading south for training. I’m very proud of my staff for their diligence in striving to continue their experience and knowledge and staying ahead of all the new things coming around the corner in technology. I truly believe I have the best trained crew with the latest diagnostic tools in the area, if not the State.

Thank you all for letting me do what I love to do and having you
drop by even just to catch up or talk about what’s been happening
in your lives.
Thank you again for your patronage
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tech Tips from Scott White

Like many of the folks around here I am realizing that the days are getting shorter and the
nights cooler. Time to get ready for those non- summer months. Wiper blades and washers solvent, antifreeze and some tread on the tires so we can meet Jack Frost head-on but not collide with him. I never felt comfortable saying anything about the “Quick-Lube” places until the recent local commercials comparing themselves to “repair” shops. Not much to compare. Quicklube places are really not interested in the condition of your car or if the brakes are needing
work or if the suspension or steering have issues and really don’t know or care about something failing due to age or mileage as a timing belts. Often they don’t get the service light reset due to not having the tool or knowledge of how to reset it. There, now that I have said that I feel better. Every one take care and enjoy the fast-approaching Fall season.
Cheers, Scott

When Brakes Talk, You Should Listen

According to brake experts, your brakes often reveal possible serious situations when they make noise, pull, judder–another term for vibrate–or feel soft. Addressing these symptoms promptly enhances your safety and may save time and money in the long run.

Brake squealing noises soon after a brake job may indicate there is a problem. You should return to the shop where the work was done as soon as possible, to have the brakes checked out by a technician. Installing premium brake pads, calipers and rotors may cost a bit more up front, but often provides noise- and vibration-free operation and longer pad life.

In some instances, however, brake squealing simply indicates the pads are worn down and those squeaking wear indicators are doing their job. The abrasive nature of many traditional brake pads against the rotor may also cause squealing or groaning. Low quality rotors could be the noise culprit, as well. Neither of these situations is ideal, but the resulting noise is more annoying than anything else.

When your brakes are applied and the vehicle pulls to one side, low tire pressure may be at fault. But, it can also mean a brake caliper is sticking, leaking or not sliding properly due to corrosion. This can lead to uneven brake pad and rotor wear, reducing the life of the pads and causing steering wheel judder or vibration. The rotor may be able to be machined smooth, but this is not a long-term fix. A corroded caliper or rotor may need to be replaced. A trained technician can assess the situation and fix it right the first time.

When air or water gets into the brake system, you may experience a soft-pedal feel. Improper bleeding and general corrosion are typically the culprits. Air in the system forces you to push harder on the brake pedal than normal to stop. Water can adversely affect caliper performance by causing brake fluid to boil prematurely. This can result in a significant loss of stopping power. It is best to have the brake fluid changed as recommended.

Getting Winter Ready

The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold weather. Winterizing your vehicle should be a top priority, according to the Car Care Council, saving you from the inconvenience of being out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.

The Car Care Council recommends the following steps for winterizing
your vehicle:
• Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
• Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
• Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
• Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
• Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to a “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
• If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
• Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
• Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
• Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and that headlights are properly aimed.
• Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles and matches, bottled water, dry food and medication.

2012 Summer Newsletter

2012 Summer Newsletter

Finally it looks like we may be getting some nicer weather. I was able to get my vegetable garden in and all are looking good and strong. It helps that I use my own mulch from my huge composter my son and I built a few years back. Hopefully by the fall newsletter I will be able report back on how well things went.

Things have been going well here with Volvo, Subaru and the addition of the Lexus, Toyota, Acura, Honda, Infinity and Nissan lines. As what was expected the newer lines are slowly getting their percentage of our business. We started with Subaru about 5 years ago and its share of business is about 25%. Our sister company, Automotive Buying Consultants, is also going well for a fledgling start up. We have been able to match up good used cars with happy customers in need of reliable transportation. There is no better car than an older Volvo or Subaru for a young driver, safe; reliable and attractive.

If you haven’t been by in a few months, there are a couple of changes at the shop. First we have expanded our much needed parking in front of the office. Secondly, we are changing the front office area to make it more user-friendly. We are constantly trying to be better to make your experience with us as pleasant as it can be. We are seeing a lot of maintenance work being caught up. Everyone is starting to understand the importance of regular maintenance to the life and expense of their vehicles. It also helps that the economy is getting on a better foothold to allow people to afford such repairs. These repairs have allowed many of our customers to keep their cars longer with good reliability and not having to worry about the costs related to having to replace them. Please remember to look at the monthly specials on the back cover of this newsletter. They are a great source in saving money for the life of your car.

Please be safe and share a smile with someone. It really goes a long way. Thank you again for your patronage.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tech Tips from Scott White

Dear All,
Well July is here and our windows of opportunity to get ready for the next rainy season are upon us. You know, paint the house and clean the fir needles, leaves, etc. from our roofs and gutters. Ever thought about your car and where all that same stuff that falls from the sky ends up? It varies from one model to another. But if you have an 850 or early body style (1998-2000) 70 series car the drains for the cowl and under the cowl will plug up. This will cause water to pour in around the fuse/relay box and flood your car. If you ever want your car dry before it molds or mildews, you need to remove seats and panels as necessary to remove carpet and pads. Even then it is tough to get the thick foam padding dry. Sound like the voice of experience? Just a heads up that will save a lot of money later and keep your car a much healthier environment for you. Another tip concerning the air quality in you car and your air-conditioning/ventilation is replacing your cabin/pollen filter every year or 15,000 miles. Getting back to the 850 model, there is a kit to install a cabin filter on those cars. Cheers—Scott

4 Ways To Get A Smart Summer Car Deal

In order to get a smart summer deal, you need to do some home work, especially because car prices are bumping up against record levels. Those super-attractive offers on television and online might not be available once you get to a showroom, unless you know what you’re up against. Here are four tips to success in summer car shopping:
1. Buy an outgoing model. There’s a reason why auto companies flood the airwaves with ads for certain models: they’re going away. In order to set the stage for the new versions of cars and trucks, they have to clear out the old ones. That means you’ll get a particularly good price if you don’t mind buying the current version and not waiting for the new one. For instance, Ford is offering a $169 a month lease on the 2012 Escape in some places, even as it is touting the 2013 Escape.
2. Have tip-top credit. Listen carefully to those summer deal ads, and you’ll hear the words, “well qualified buyers.” Usually, that means a top-level credit rating. Having a strong credit report allows you to access the very best offers. Conversely, if you’ve been hurt by a foreclosure or a short sale, and haven’t checked your credit rating lately, you might find yourself shut out of some of those well-advertised deals. Make sure you fix any errors before you go car shopping.
3. Shop for a winter car. It’s like buying an air conditioner in December. Unless you live in an area with heavy rains or strong winds, it isn’t likely you’ll be needing all-wheel drive during the summer. The same is true for big vehicles with four-wheel drive. But if you know you’ll need it down the road, summer can be a good time to shop for what many people think of as winter cars (as opposed to buying a convertible in the summer, when the demand is strongest).
4. Head out when the kids have gone back to school. Many parents want to have their new vehicle in the driveway for the new school year. Dealers can sense this when harried moms and dads arrive. But, hanging on until school resumes may give you more bargaining clout. There ought to be incentive plans running throughout August and September, giving you time to shop for what you really want rather than having to make a decision because school starts on Monday.

Hot Summer Days can be Hard on Your Car

• Run errands in the morning and evening hours and try to carpool whenever possible.
• Don’t run the car’s air conditioning in stop-and-go traffic. Roll down the windows.
• Leave extra space between your car and the vehicle in front of you so the engine is not drawing in hot exhaust.
• If the car’s temperature gauge starts to reach the ‘hot’ mark, turn the air conditioner off, roll down the windows and run the heater at full blast until the gauge returns to the ‘cool’ end.
• Heat kills batteries. Have the battery tested and replaced if necessary.
• Check the oil to make sure it’s at the full mark.
• Check the car’s coolant levels before leaving home. If it needs to be topped off, add a 50-50 mix of water and anti-freeze.
• Make sure your tires are in good condition and are properly inflated.
• Keep a charged cell phone with you, but don’t leave it or other electronics in the car, especially during the hottest part of the day.

2012 Spring Newsletter

2012 Spring Newsletter

Whew, what a rough last couple of years. Most of our clients believe for the most part that we are over the hump now. I foresee things getting back to normal, if there really was a normal. The only thing that I’m concerned with now is the cost of things had been kept some-what down due to the poor economy. But with better times we are going to see all things costing more. Add in the higher price of fuel into the mix, there could be a large increase in everything we will be paying for. We are committed to keeping our pricing and services competitive and keeping a good value.

We sure are experiencing some strange weather patterns. Just this last week, it snowed here. The most ever this time of year. Diana (my wife) posted a picture of me shoveling our driveway so we could get to work, on Facebook. My niece from Michigan responded that we should come see her due to the fact that it was 80 degrees there. Diana and I will be visiting my mom, who lives in Florida, within the next couple of weeks. We will be meeting up with my two sisters there as well. I don’t know how I will be able to handle this but I will be sharing a house with four women. It’s been interesting enough living with one let alone four.
Our two dogs are finally getting used to each other and their individual habits. What a contrast of personalities! One is real mellow, calm and under control (Oscar), where as our new one, Cleopatra, is super hyper, excited and for the most part, totally out of control. But they both have great hearts and are very loving to all.

The winner of the getaway package is Don Curry. He and his family have won a 1 week stay at the “Edgewater Cottages” in Waldport, Or. Diana and I have spent many wonderful times there. Congratulations again to Don and his family. We were also able to raise some good support for Food for Lane County and Beyond Toxins. Thank you all for your support to these very important community service organizations.

Our car sales have taken off very well. I have had very positive feedback from current clients and people off the street that have taken advantage of our unique way of matching people with good reliable transportation. Thank you again for your patronage.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Tech Tips from Scott White

Dear All,
Kind of difficult to think about it being time to prepare for summer driving when it is snowing but our seasons do change and sometimes quickly. With hotter weather another torture test we put our car tires through and with higher speeds and longer freeway trips we want some confidence that we won’t have a tire fail. If upon inspection tires appear to be due for replacement or even if your tires are ok, it is important that the suspension and steering component condition is checked closely and repaired as needed and a wheel alignment done if needed. Your tires will appreciate it and you will have a better, safer handling car and may even realize an increase in miles per gallon and with gasoline prices, that is always welcome. I also recommend checking the spare tire that is lost and forgotten, buried in your car trunk. We check them when we do your scheduled maintenance service but for some reason I don’t even think the tire shops check them. Here is to warm summer breezes!
Best wishes, Scott

Plan an Oregon Natural History Road Trip this summer!

On this tour, be prepared to camp or stay in more rustic lodgings. Apart from the price of gas, this is a pretty low-cost tour. If you are serious about watching wildlife, recognize that sitting and waiting is the key element to successful viewing, and plan to spend more than a day at each location.

Day 1 From Bend, it’s roughly 130 miles along Route 20 to Burns. Head to the big lakes and irrigation canals south of Burns at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Here you’ll find a wide variety of migratory birds, especially waterfowl. If you have time, spend a day driving up Steens Mountain, where wild mustangs live in the Kiger Gorge. Even if the horses elude you, you’re sure to see raptors. Camp at Page Springs or stay in a trailer at the Malheur Field Station.
Day 2 From the town of Frenchglen near the refuge’s southern border, head west across the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, known for its pronghorn. Camp at the refuge campground (and soak in the adjacent hot springs) or spend the night in Lakeview at Hunter’s Hot Springs motel.
Day 3 From Lakeview, head west across Route 140 to Klamath Falls, with birding on Klamath Lake. From Klamath Falls, take U.S. 97 north to Diamond Lake and stay at a campground or in a cabin at Diamond
Lake Resort. If by now your credit card is burning a hole in your pocket, air it out by staying at the Steamboat Inn, west of Diamond Lake along the North Umpqua River.
Day 4 From Diamond Lake, go west on Route 138 along the North Umpqua River for an immersion in west-side forests and fish. From the I-5 town of Roseburg, continue west to Reedsport to see the Oregon Dunes. Camp at the dunes and explore the unique ecosystem.
Day 5 Finally, head north to Sea Lion Caves and the tide pools of Cape Perpetua. There’s a campground at Cape Perpetua and the reasonably priced beachfront Yachats Inn in Yachats. Cape Perpetua’s streams are surrounded by protected coastal old-growth forest.

Gas-saving Spring Maintenance Tips

Drivers can save money at the pump and get the most out of their gasoline by performing a few simple maintenance checks on their vehicles, In fact, maintaining the quality of a few important vehicle components can help drivers improve their auto’s gas mileage as much as 40 percent, according to, an automotive information Web site from the U.S. Department of Energy. That means an average savings of about $794 per year.
Replace and Repair
• Replacing a dirty air filter—a five-minute job most consumers can do themselves­—can improve gas mileage by 10 percent, according to the National Car Care Council. This can add up to $198 annually. Change the air filter at least once a year, or every 12,000 miles. If you live in a high pollution or dusty region, you may need to change the filter more often. Just one teaspoon of dirt in the engine can cause more wear than 75,000 miles of normal driving.
• Oxygen sensors help your vehicle properly detect and adjust the mixture of air and fuel going into the engine. If a sensor is faulty, it can shave up to three miles per gallon off your car’s fuel efficiency and cost you about $239 a year.
• Bad spark plugs can leave you sitting with a car that won’t start. But worse yet are worn spark plugs and spark plug wires that could cost consumers up to $100 per year in wasted fuel.
• Refine Fuel Flow. About 147 million gallons of gas vaporize each year from the more than 40 million vehicles on the road with damaged, loose or missing gas caps, according to the Car Care Council. Make sure your vehicle’s gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing. Consider a locking gas cap to ensure a proper seal and to protect your fuel from theft by siphoning.
Debris and deposits in a vehicle’s fuel lines can clog them and hinder fuel efficiency. Periodically adding a fuel system cleaner to your gas tank can help ensure a cleaner engine.

Don’t Ignore the Engine Light

Of the 236 million vehicles on the road, an estimated 25 million to 35 million are operating with their check-engine light on. As a free service, many automotive retailers will help drivers identify the possible reason the light came on. AutoZone provides free code retrieval reports that can help identify the possible cause of the alert, and aid in referring customers to trusted repair shops in their area.

To learn more about fuel-saving vehicle maintenance, visit: or

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

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!

2011 Fall Newsletter

2011 Fall Newsletter

Wow, what a busy summer! This was one of the busiest summers we have ever had, I think, due to the economy and the specials we ran. I want to thank everyone for their business and my staff for their diligence and hard work.
We are expanding our services to most of the Japanese lines, Toyota, Honda and Nissan and their sister companies; Lexus, Acura and Infinity. With the professionals we have on staff, expanding to these quality lines are going to be smooth and effortless. We already have the diagnostic tools, due to working on Subaru for the last 4 years and have the parts connections in place.

Our sister company, ABC Auto Sales, is filling a great need for many of our customers that are looking for a good, reliable used car. We find cars that could use a little repair, but are in good sound condition, and recondition them to our rigid specifications.
The next “extra” special for our upcoming pre-anniversary is a discount and a contest together! We are attaching a coupon (on back) redeemable for an oil change and inspection for $24.95*. That will be a ten dollar savings off our regular price and also put you into a drawing for a weeks stay at the Edge Water Cottages in Waldport Or. The coupon will also be put into a $5.00 donation to either Food for Lane County or Beyond Toxics, formally know as Oregon Toxic Alliance. Our regular oil change is one that most oil change companies and other repair facilities consider their premium service and I see them advertised for twice the amount we charge. We also use Mobile Drive Clean oil which tested as one of the industries best and OEM filters to make sure your car is protected, not what you will see at most repair facilities. After all these trying times, you deserve to get an economic break, help your neighbor and possibly win a week off at the coast.

I sadly went to Dallas to watch our poor Ducks take “one on the chin” but since have bounced back into the team they were forecasted to be. I feel very sad for our friends up the road but knew this was going to be a tough road for them. My garden has done very well this year I think, due to the late planting and warm weather in the late spring.
Thank you again for your business and we will continue to make Swedish Engineering the place you’re proud to call your repair facility.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Subaru Facebook Fans Vote to Share Their Love with the Make-A-Wish Foundation ®

For the first time, Subaru invited Facebook fans to vote on a charitable organization for the automaker’s fourth annual Share The Love event. After three weeks of voting, Facebook fans added the Make-A-Wish Foundation to a roster of charities anticipated to receive a collective $5 million in donations from Subaru. The Share The Love event, which donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from Nov. 19 through Jan. 3, has donated nearly $15 million to charitable causes since the program’s inception three years ago. The other recipient organizations that will benefit from this year’s program include American Forests, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Meals On Wheels Association of America, and Special Olympics.

“At Subaru, we support causes that our owners are also passionate about. This year we took the Share The Love event a step further and asked our Facebook fans to decide which organization they’d like to add to the designated charities for this year’s event. We’re absolutely delighted to welcome the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the People’s Choice to join our existing charities,” said Brian Johnson, national advertising manager, Subaru of America, Inc.

Facebook community members were given the exclusive opportunity to vote for their favorite charity through the Subaru of America Facebook page from Aug. 25 through Sept. 15. During the three-week period, the Make-A-Wish Foundation received the most votes, making the organization the People’s Choice for the added charity.

“A Make-A-Wish® experience has the power to make a child with a life-threatening medical condition stronger and more optimistic, and the ‘Share The Love’ event offers a meaningful way to support our efforts to grant every eligible child a wish,” said David Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. “The Make- A-Wish Foundation thanks Subaru for this chance to make life better for more children and communities. We also are grateful for the incredible support that led to our selection.”

“We’re proud to host the Share The Love event and we’re happy to donate to our customers’ favorite causes. With their help, and when this year’s event comes to a close, we anticipate that Subaru will have donated nearly $20 million to deserving charities over the last four years. It just shows how much the power of love can do,” Johnson added.

Some Things to Have Checked Before the Cold Weather Arrives 1. Check Battery–It gets harder and harder for a weak battery to start your car as the weather gets colder. Batteries typically last about 3-5 years.
2. Check Fluids–When coolant breaks down it becomes acidic and can cause part failure and overheating. Have the coolant checked every year. You should also have the rest of the fluids checked if you’re not sure when they were last flushed or serviced.
3. Check Belts & Hoses–As these parts wear they become frail and get closer to failing. A broken belt or hose will leave you on the side of the road.
4. Check Tires–A flat tire is a safety hazard, not to mention inconvenient. Have them checked for wear. Also check the tire pressure, including the spare.
5. Check Wiper Blades–A lot of dry weather can cause them to dry rot and split or become streaky. Don’t wait until it’s raining to find this out.
6. Check Lights–make sure the technician checks all of your lights. Having all of your lights working properly is required to pass VA State Inspection and makes driving safer for everyone on the road.
Stay Ahead of Your Car, Before It LEAVES YOU BEHIND!

Summer 2011 Newsletter

Summer 2011 Newsletter

We start another summer late and my tomatoes are trying to catch up for loss of sun and lots of rain. But there is nothing better than going to your garden and eating fresh off the vine.

The shop is starting off the summer busy and if my predictions are correct, we are looking to be very busy most of the summer. So, please try planning repairs early enough so that it does not add to your stress level to what could be a “hurried” season. The experts are forecasting that people will be taking more trips by car and be closer to home than last year.

We adopted a new puppy from the local shelter and she has been a true blessing and holy terror at the same time! As my wife Diana says, she is a true girl with long eye lashes and loving personality. If any of you are looking for a new pet for your family. I strongly suggest the animal shelter/humane society in your area. There are some great personalities just waiting to enrich your lives.

A lot of our clients are keeping their cars longer with many exceeding the 200,000 mile mark and still going strong. We do have several clients that have just purchased new Volvos and Subarus and are excited to be in a new car. Remember that the auto dealers cannot make you get the service for your new car done there. It is against the law to restrict where your car gets maintained. We have several customers that will not take their cars back to the dealer even if repairs are covered under warranty. They would prefer to have the repairs done by us. When we do our regular oil change, we check your car very thoroughly and advise you if things maybe under warranty. Some items may be covered by extended warranties and we keep a very good track of that.

Have a great summer and hopefully, our football teams can keep out of trouble enough to be able to have the minimal people required to field a team.
Ed Meza 541.685.0830 or

Summer Car Tips

1. Park in the Shade
Too obvious? Walk a few extra steps if you see a tree nearby. Be aware, however, that trees mean birds, and you may have debris or bird droppings on your car when you return. If you can’t park in the shade, pick the best direction. Which is the best way to park? The sun sets in the west, so you don’t want to be facing west. Try to park in the direction where the sun will be shining on your rear window or passenger side for most of the time it will be parked.
2. Window Tinting/Sunshades
Mitigate some of the effects of the sun by having your windows tinted. If window tinting isn’t in your budget right now, then you can eliminate some of the heat by purchasing a windshield sunshade that you place on the inside of your windshield when you leave your car. This prevents the sun from beating on your dashboard and steering wheel. Dashboards don’t like the sun or heat. If you don’t cover them, they will fade and crack. Steering wheels, of course, get extremely hot, cause burns to the touch, and result in unsafe driving when you can’t really grip the wheel. There are also removable side window screens, if you have passengers in the rear who want a little relief from the sun on long road trips.
3. Service Your Vehicle
In hot dry climates, cars need special care. Frequent oil changes and belt checks are a must. Batteries die faster than everyone thinks they will. Make sure fluids are full.
4. Items You Should Have in Your Car
Common sense says that you should always have a spare tire and a first aid kit. Here are some additional items that you might not think of if you aren’t used to living in a hot climate.
Extra water, for drinking and/or for the car.
Steering wheel cover. A cloth cover (not leather) may allow you to comfortably handle the steering wheel after the vehicle has been standing in the sun.
Snacks, such as granola bars or small bags of crackers.
Cooler or insulated shopping bag. If you are shopping and you have a bit of time before you can get home, a cooler with an ice pack or insulated shopping bag will keep those frozen items from melting, or that fresh fish safe, before you get there.
Cell phone, so you can call if you get lost or get into trouble.
First aid kit. Items you should consider include ice packs, ace bandages, wrist brace, sunscreen, tweezers, x-acto blade, batteries, (girl stuff), and various meds like Benadryl or Motrin.
Emergency kit. Items you should consider include a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, blanket, extra clothes and gloves, paper towels, and some basic tools like wrenches, a ratchet and sockets, screwdrivers and pliers.

Subaru Releases Dramatic Video of Isle of Man TT Circuit Record Lap Driving a US specification 2011 Subaru WRX STI, Higgins achieved speeds of 162 MPH and a lapped time of 19 minutes 37 seconds over the 37-mile track, navigating more than 200 corners.
“This is one of the most daunting tracks I have ever driven, and the most terrifying,” said Higgins, a Manx native. “We were only able to get two practice runs and on our second practice I had the biggest ‘moment’ of my career. We had a passenger on the second run and so coming into Bray Hill at more than 150 MPH, the extra weight compressed the suspension more than on previous runs and shifted the Subaru to the left and then right as I corrected–it was a real tank slapper. The whole thing went by so quickly that we never slowed below 110 MPH, and then we were back on the power. It was amazing and the helicopter shots really show just how hairy it really was.”
The WRX STI was a production US spec car running a standard 305 HP turbocharged boxer engine. Some safety modifications were made. The Subaru was equipped with a Lifeline fire suppression system, Hockley Motorsports roll cage, motor drive competi¬tion
seats, Mintex brake pads (but stock calipers and rotors), and a louder open exhaust to warn spectators of the on-coming car. The speed limiter was turned off to allow a higher maximum speed; off-the shelf Tien springs and dampers were added to accommodate the numerous high-speed jumps on the circuit, send¬ing the WRX STI al¬most four feet off the ground. The car ran on street legal Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires.
You can watch the video at: