Cargo-carrying excellence


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited is a full-size SUV featuring three rows of seats. The second and third rows fold down, providing ample cargo space for hauling large items.

With some regret and much anticipation, we have decided to join the tide of Californians moving to Oregon to enjoy their elder years.

We’re moving to a place that is more interested in the latest production of a Will Shakespeare play than the latest piece of new technology from Silicon Valley. We’re moving to Ashland this month.

Andersons handing off auto reviews to Hagerty


With Gary and Genie Anderson leaving Los Altos for Oregon, they will no longer be writing reviews for the Town Crier – something they’ve done for approximately 20 years.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our experience as Los Altos’ own car reviewers but are looking forward to our new life in Ashland,” the Andersons wrote.

Power pose on 4 wheels


courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz G550 has been completely restyled for 2019.

Call it the Wonder Woman or Superman pose – feet apart, fists on hips, shoulders back, chin thrust forward; popular psychology tells us this body-mind nudge boosts self-confidence and prepares us to engage other people in a manner that will make a positive change in the way they act toward us.

That exactly describes the way we felt when we drove the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 – the model the company has always called the “Geländewagen” (cross-country vehicle), or “G-wagen” for short – the most capable “cross-country vehicle” on the civilian market.

Searching for a vacuum leak in a 2011 Audi A4 2.0 turbo

We had a customer come to the shop recently with a check-engine light on in his 2011 Audi A4 2.0 turbo. The customer said the car was running a little rough when the warning light went on.

After checking in the car and scanning it, we pulled a P2187 fault code (bank 1 system to lean at idle) from the engine control module. Lean codes are common on Audis, so it was time for us to look for a vacuum leak.

Practical crossovers


courtesy of Ford
Ford’s top-of-the-line Titanium Edge, with front-wheel drive, sells for just under $45,000.

We’re convinced that for all-around family use, the mid-size crossover SUV may be the best size and type of automobile on the market today – and sales figures certainly support this view. Two 2019 examples we drove recently, the Ford Edge and Mercedes-Benz GLC, are typical of the quality that’s available today.

Beware of those do-it-yourself jobs

Customers often ask me if there are jobs they can do relatively easily by themselves. I then ask them how much experience they have doing automotive work. If they tell me they have already been performing basic jobs, I can then advise them if it is possible for them to perform certain procedures.


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