Bellingham Auto Repair

Mon - Fri: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Articles:

Where did Flo Go?

After checking the VSV for proper operation and confirming the Air Pump actually pumps air, it’s time to dig into the engine to test the valves and clear the Air passages if possible. Removing a few choice components on the Porsche 911 makes access to the divert-er or “Dump” valve and check valve possible. Porsche uses a vacuum reservoir to help vacuum operated function during low engine vacuum conditions. It is mounted on a fixture which bolts over the air passages we are looking for. Ahhhh! there it is. The very dangerous and highly elusive Dump valve. I think I’ll make it mad. The larger threaded hole is where the check valve attaches to the fixture and the more silver colored smaller threaded hole is for the air line that feeds the right cylinder head. The check valve will be replaced even though it still passes air. More importantly shop air will be forced through the air passages in an attempt to open them so the Air can reach the exhaust side of the cylinder hea ... read more

Mechanics, take note where BMW is headed

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. Part1Marty Padgett It’s a diesel, a hybrid, a plug-in, a three-cylinder–and a tour de force, perhaps? BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept has been the subject of rumor and innuendo for weeks, but now the German car company is setting the stage for its full set of official photos. As the name implies, this concept car grafts fashionable green technology on the body of a 2+2 sports car. The promise ... read more

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News

Changing Vehicle Battery in Todays High Tech BMWs

You might think replacing a battery in a late model BMW is a simple matter. Just swing by the local tire store and swap it out, right? In reality you may get some life from even the best battery this way but still not get your money’s worth. When replacing a battery with anything but the exact same size and rated battery the vehicle must be reprogrammed. For instance if the vehicle is only driven on short trips or not driven often, the white wet, acid and led plate batteries can tend to fail. Because of the high electrical demands placed on these vehicles upgrading to the Black Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries may be desirable. While some after market systems allow programming individual modules the BMW GT-1 and SSS system does not. After programming, the new battery must then be electronically “registered.” By the way the technician can look in your network and determine how often and how far your vehicle has been driven as well as if the battery in the car has bee ... read more

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Tech Tips

Mercedes Benz Smarties in Ski to Sea Parade

Refreshments before the parade provided compliments Master Auto Tech. Bellingham locals get together and join the Ski to Sea fun. Everybody loves a parade

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Fun Stuff

Smart Car Fun

Smart Car Fun

I joined about 26 other Smart car owners for some Smart car fun on a trip from Monroe WA to Levenworth. There are all sorts of car owners from the A type and the obsessive compulsive to those who just run their car into the ground and go buy another. I like Smart car owners because for the most part they are just plain fun. To a person they seem to love their cars as if the vehicles were some kind of mechanical little pet. Not a lot of bragging about performance. All the cars are about the same, 67 horse power, about the same as a Harley 1449 and though heaver than a Harley not by much. But the Smart is the favorite whipping you for the elitist car snob types. I guess I got over that when I saw a Smart parked in the employee parking lot at McLaren. Some folks worry about the safety of such a small car and there is more security in a truck SUV or well designed sedan like a Mercedes E class but for a small car they test quite well in crash testing. Since my other car is a BMW RT ... read more

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Smart Car

GM had no advance notice of Saab filing

Jamie LaReau Automotive News Europe February 23, 2009 06:01 CET General Motors executives were surprised by the speed at which Saab filed for court protection from its creditors last week, leaving them with few answers for anxious U.S. Saab dealers. GM tried to provide that information during a dealer broadcast Friday, but dealers said details were sketchy. “The GM leadership was surprised by the filing and didn’t know it was coming, so they are going through scenarios right now that they don’t have the answers to, such as buying back inventory and so on,” said a Saab dealer who listened to the broadcast. A GM spokeswoman said the company had no advance word about the timing of the filing. Although GM owns Saab, it had moved to set Saab up as a separate entity with its own board. “We knew a filing was a potential, but it could have happened this week or later,” Joanne Krell, spokeswoman for the Saab brand in Detroit, said Friday. “It just wasn ... read more

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News

More from our BBJ Infomercial on Tires

My next topic came to me some time ago in dramatic form. The shelf life of tires was featured on an ABC News info drama. I choose to leave the fearful drama aside but think it’s a topic worth noting. The video can be found on ABC’s website. I broach the topic for the Bellingham Business Journal with the help of our ever present inquisitive customer. Q: My father in law asked me how old my new tires are? I just bought them they are new, right? A: Not necessarily. Like milk, eggs or corn chips, tires have a “best if used by” date printed on them. Only outdated tires could be a lot more hazardous than tainted treats. On the side wall of every tire is a sequence of letters and numbers beginning with the letters DOT. For example: DOT B97R FW6X 2202. The numbers at the end of our example are the week of the year the tires were manufactured. In our example the tires were manufactured in the twenty second week of two thousand two. Tires older than six years may be unsa ... read more

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Tech Tips

Uber Muscle Car

Bellingham resident, Fredric Hood owns what might be called an Uber-Muscle car. Cool Cats and Hot Gals don’t think of German luxury when considering 1970s muscle car era, but Fredric’s Mercedes Benz 300 SEL certainly merits mention. In 1988, while Fredric was living in Anchorage Alaska, his mechanic suggested he look at a very special Mercedes Benz. So Fredric took the 6.3 liter Benz for a test drive. You might say it was love at first linear G force. The huge mechanically fuel injected, V-8 pushed him back in the sear at wide open throttle. 300 horse power was still a lot back in 1988, especially for a luxury sedan built in 1970. The Air suspension maintained a firm grip while the rear of the car gave a little wiggle as the automatic transmission shifted in to third gear. Even by today’s standards it will get your heart pumping. “This luxury sedan from Germany turned in quarter mile times comparable to the iconic Pontiac GTO muscle car of the same vintage,” coments Bob T ... read more

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News

Toyota halts U.S. Prius project

Lindsay Chappell NASHVILLE — Toyota Motor Corp., with its sales plunging in the United States, is freezing its plan to build the Toyota Prius in a new plant near Tupelo, Miss. For how long? The automaker doesn’t know. Toyota’s board in Japan reached the decision late today to halt the project “due to the steep decline” in U.S. sales. Sales of the hybrid car have softened in recent weeks as gasoline prices dropped from a summer spike of more than $4 a gallon. The Prius sold 8,660 units in November, down from 16,737 in November 2007. Total Toyota sales in the United States fell 32 percent in November. This is the second time Toyota has changed plans on the $1.3 billion Mississippi project, which already has begun to draw component suppliers to the area. In February 2007, Toyota announced it would spend $1.3 billion there to produce a new generation of Highlander crossovers. But after Toyota broke ground, SUV sales began to soften. In July of this year, Toyota said ... read more

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News

Volvo’s Future

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said today it will consider the sale of Volvo Car Corp. as it explores “strategic options” for the Swedish brand. Ford said it would review its options for Volvo because of the significant decline in the global auto market and severe worldwide economic instability. The company expects the review to take several months to complete. A possible sale of Volvo would help Ford strengthen its balance sheet, officials said. It is part of Ford’s efforts to make sure it has enough resources to introduce an array of new products intended to turn around the automaker’s financial fortunes. “Given the unprecedented external challenges facing Ford and the entire industry, it is prudent for Ford to evaluate options for Volvo,” said Ford CEO Alan Mulally DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said today it will consider the sale of its Volvo Car Corp. unit as it explores “strategic options” for the money-losing Swedish brand. Ford said it was reviewing options ... read more

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News
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