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San Luis Obispo Auto Repair

Yearly Archives: 2013

Really, Really, Green Cars

In my last article I promised to reveal my choice of “really, really, green cars, and when we will get them”. The good news is that they are here now. The bad news is that they are called ‘bicycles’ and use a form of “biofuel” that includes sweat in the equation. There are several runners up, however, that require more money but less sweat. Some, like the hybrid and diesel cars, are here now, others, like the hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen fueled cars are still in the making. Each of these options comes with environmental trade offs. All the major car manufacturers are making gasoline/electric hybrid cars. Some are small and among the most fuel-efficient cars made. Others are larger and even more powerful than their non-hybrid brethren. Their biggest drawback is complexity and the unknown (so far) life expectancy of the batteries. They all still use gasoline and contribute to global warming and pollution, just less so than non-hybrid cars. Diesel powered cars and trucks also emi ... read more

Driver Safety

Safety Before Turning the Key A new study shows that Americans need to be re-educated about proper car safety standards. A public opinion survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the National Safety Council (NSC) and Castrol GTX Start Up, reveals that 93 percent of Americans are hitting the roads ill prepared - therefore increasing their chances of a road accident. Through this first ever conducted survey on motorists' pre-start inspections and behaviors, it was found that 9 out of 10 respondents admitted to not following the recommended safety guidelines. The following is the NSC pre-start checklist: Buckle seat belts and make sure they're properly fastened. In the last 20 years, an estimated 157,500 lives have been saved by safety belts. Adjust the mirrors. Three out of 10 survey respondents do not adjust their mirrors before short trips (two hours or less), when it is more likely you will get in a crash. Position the seat and head restraints. Correctly position ... read more

Engine Oil – A Necessary Evil

The oil that lives inside the engine of your car or truck is indeed a petroleum product and comes out of one of those sixty-six dollar barrels just like gasoline. It’s origin, use, and disposal has contributed to world wide environmental degradation just like it cousin, gasoline, and, like its’ cousin, it is a necessary part of daily driving. Inside your engine it lubricates in all temperatures, from Alaska to Death Valley, it prevents corrosion and oxidation, and carries away harmful by products of combustion including water, soot, particulates, and raw gas, all the while allowing itself to be ignored by everyone but the most conscientious driver. Recommended replacement intervals for this hard-working substance are all over the map. Car manufacturers are typically recommending intervals of 7500 to 10,000 miles. Click and Clack of “Car Talk” fame recommend 5000 miles. We at Morin Brothers and most “quick lube” franchises recommend 3000 miles. So who is right? The best ... read more


Driving green

Priorities in choosing a new car

I’m a car guy, so automotive related stuff always catches me eye. New Times "man in the street" question last week was "If you could purchase a new car today, what would your number one priority be?" Two out of five said "Power, definitely power". One said style, one economy, and one (if I recall correctly) was happy if it just started every time. This gives us a pretty good idea why many of the car ads feature bigger engines and more horsepower and only a few promote their economy. We also get a quick lesson as to why fuel efficiency has been such a hard sell and why many of the new hybrids are actually more powerful than the cars they are meant to replace. Despite the huge jump in fuel prices and the environmental penalty, drivers are still opting for style and power over economy. Short of a huge shift in the American psyche, what can we do as individuals to "drive green"? First off, if we have a car we depend on, we should keep it in the best running order possible ... read more


Driving green

Competency and Trust

Auto Repair - Competency and Trust Establishing a good relationship with a repair shop you can trust provides peace of mind throughout the life of your car. It's a proven fact that motorists who build such a relationship, along with learning more about proper maintenance, typically enjoy a more satisfactory vehicle repair experience. Finding a competent auto technician need not be a matter of chance. Much of the guesswork has been eliminated, thanks to national program conducted by the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE tests and certifies automotive professionals in all major technical areas of repair and service. With nearly 400,000 currently certified professionals, the ASE program is national in scope and has industry-wide acceptance and recognition. ASE-certified professionals can be found at every type of repair facility, from dealerships, service stations, and franchises to parts stores, independent garages ... read more


In the News