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 ed@swedishwest.com

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.


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