Overworked alternator gives BMW something to whine about

Let me start by thanking all my customers and readers. Because we are an essential business, we are fortunate enough to remain open during these trying times, and I’ve enjoyed engaging with customers who have come into the shop these past few weeks. 

A love for the Outback

Subaru Outback
Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The 2020 Subaru Outback has several improvements over last year’s model, including a new engine and more cargo space.

Love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, it appears.

The love owners have for the pioneering crossover earned it the IHS Markit (formerley Polk Automotive) Loyalty Award in its vehicle class – mid-size crossover utility – for four years in a row (2015-2018).

Poring over Jetta's pressure problem

Last month a customer brought in her 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SE with a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. The customer said her check-engine light was on and she felt a rough idle on cold starts.

We connected the car to the Volkswagen factory tool (ODIS) and pulled two codes: P3078 (throttle control air flow at idle too low) and P0106 (manifold/barometric pressure sensor implausible signal). The codes led us to test the engine’s air intake system.

Volvo's S60 is a nice mix of safety & style

Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The Volvo S60 is a hybrid with a robust 400-horsepower engine that gets the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.


Those of us of a certain age remember when Volvos were boxy sedans and station wagons sold largely on their safety. In the 1980s, Volvo’s TV commercials were largely videos of its cars in crash tests – including plummeting off cliffs into a concrete pit 45 feet below.

It's good to pull over to make a call, just don't do so in the bike lane

I’m sure most of us know drivers are not supposed to use their hands for calling or texting while behind the wheel – it’s the law.

But one of my pet peeves is people who know that and do the right thing by pulling over to use the phone but do so on the shoulder or bike lane of a busy road at rush hour. Bike lanes were not put there to serve as cellphone parking lots.

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