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.

One size does not fit all when it comes to bike lanes

Chris Hoeber/Special to the Town Crier
The protected bike lane at the entrance to Greene Middle School in Palo Alto aims to shield cyclists from cars.

One day last December, my wife, Mary, came home and asked me, “What is with the bike lanes on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto?” I had no idea, so I had to go see for myself.

She was referring to the area near the intersection of North California Avenue and Middlefield Road, and the entrances to Greene Middle School, which my brother attended more than 50 years ago when it was Jordan Middle School.

Getting your 'Kicks' in new Nissan hatchback

Courtesy of Nissan
The new Nissan Kicks features a four-cylinder, 1.6-liter engine with 125 horsepower.

For the person who needs basic urban transportation to and from work or class on a daily basis, doesn’t have a lot of money to spend and wants something fun to look at and drive, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is the perfect choice.

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