Gift Baskets for all occassions at Bernard’s Garage.


Did you know that Bernard’s Garage builds their own gift baskets for all different types of functions and organizations. We custom build them to you dollar specifications whether it is for a personal gift, school fund raiser, church auction or car show we have them available.

We also have gift certificates available. Contact Siri, John or Mark at Bernard’s Garage for more information.

By |June 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Winner announcement of the $100.00 facebook contest gift certificate in February.

We would like to congratulate Tamra and James Mathes, the winner of our Facebook contest we held in February. Your name has been randomly drawn from the many hundreds of entries during the month of February. You can pick up your gift certificate during business hours  or you can redeem your gift certificate electronically. Contact John or Mark at Bernard’s Garage, we know who you are.

We would like to thank all the contestants who participated in the Facebook contest, keep checking our Facebook page  and don’t forget to like us for special deals.

By |March 12th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Driving on empty: How far your car can go with the gas light on?

Whether slogging through commuter traffic or cruising on a picturesque highway, nobody enjoys stopping for gas. Hence it’s easy to play a Kramer-quality game of chicken with the gas gauge — and seeing how deep you can get the needle into the E before the car sputters out. Automakers discourage that procrastination with a low-fuel light, which warns you when there’s a few gallons left to spare; but those couple dozen extra miles aren’t lost on motorists who want to hold off for a few precious freeway exits.

What’s left people guessing, however, is exactly how far you can go when the gas light comes on, and since there’s no established standard for reserve fuel capacity, it varies with each automaker and model. But thanks to the website Tank on Empty, which has a searchable, user-submitted database, you can have a better idea of your on-empty range. 

According to the site, there are some surprising low-fuel winners: the mammoth Ford Excursion may guzzle gas like a cargo ship, but it also boasts one of the longest ranges, averaging 85.12 miles. That beats the eco-conscious Prius, which can run for 55.12 miles, or a Porsche 911 Carrera, which could quickly leave you stranded on the shoulder with its average of 23.82 miles.

But don’t get emboldened by the data to run your car on fumes, because continuously doing so can wear out the fuel pump. Most modern vehicles use an electric fuel pump, which is inside the fuel tank and relies on the gasoline to keep it cool; hence you’ll want to keep the tank at least a quarter full to prevent premature wear.

Plus, there are some imitations to the tool. The data doesn’t distinguish between different model […]

By |January 29th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Matching Tires By Shaving Them to Maintain Equivalent Tire Tread Depths

What does a driver do if one tire has to be removed from service when it and the other three tires have already worn to two-thirds to one-half of their original tread depth? Simply installing one new tire runs the risk of drivability problems or expensive driveline damage. Replacing the other three partially worn tires along with the damaged tire significantly increases the cost.

Bernard’s Garage can provide a solution by matching the tread depth of the replacement tire to the tread depth of the partially worn tires that will remain on the vehicle by removing tread rubber from a new tire on a specialized machine that operates as a tire lathe. While this may seem counterintuitive, the value of the mileage sacrificed by the one replacement tire is considerably less than the cost of rebuilding worn driveline components.

Bernard’s Garage has offered a tire shaving service that has been primarily used for preparing competition tires for racetrack use. This same service can also be used to remove tread rubber from new pairs or individual street tires used on four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles to allow them to match the remaining tread depth of the other partially worn tires that will remain on the vehicle. In addition to providing equivalent tread depth to eliminate driveline stress, shaved tires will also better match the traction and handling qualities of the remaining worn tires.

While the cost of our street tire shaving service will range from $75 to $90 for each tire, it is significantly less than the cost of unnecessarily replacing the remaining two or three good tires with lots of mileage still available from them.

By |January 18th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

The ability of four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles to divide the engine’s horsepower between its four tires is especially useful on loose or slippery surfaces such as sand and dirt, as well as on wet, icy or snow-covered roads. However it’s important to remember that in order to transfer this extra power, the four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicle’s driveline mechanically connects the tires so they work in unison.

Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles are equipped with additional differentials and/or viscous couplings that are designed to allow momentary differences in wheel speeds when the vehicle turns a corner or temporarily spins a tire. However, if the differentials or viscous couplings are forced to operate 100% of the time because of mismatched tires, they will experience excessive heat and unwarranted wear until they fail.

This necessitates that four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles use tires that are very closely matched. This is because different diameter tires roll a different number of times each mile as a result of the variations in their circumferences. Tire diameter variations can be caused by accidentally using different sized tires, tires with different tread designs, tires made by different manufacturers, different inflation pressures or even tires worn to different tread depths.

As an example of different tire diameters resulting from tires worn to different tread depths, we’ll compare two 225/45R17-sized tires, a new tire with its original tread depth of 10/32-inch and a second tire worn to 8/32-inch of remaining tread depth. The new 225/45R17-sized tire has a calculated diameter of 24.97″, a circumference of 78.44″ and will roll 835 times each mile. The same tire worn to 8/32-inch of remaining tread depth is calculated to be 1/8″ shorter with a […]

By |January 18th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visited Fred Meyers O.C.

While John stopped in for some groceries he was able to take a good look at the famous wienermobile, it is a fantastic vehicle powered by a 6.0 liter Corvette engine while mounted on a motorhome chassis. The body is all fiberglass and the interior is a functioning motor home that is all folded up when it is being showed.

















By |January 14th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Auto Repair, Commision vs Salary.

Ever wonder how and what you are being charged for when you take your car to the dealership or your local auto repair shop? Sure, we all know there is basic profit margin, cost of sales and overhead that have to be factored into the equation, but “how” are you being charged for that repair. What this question means is are you being sold a vehicle repair that is truly needed that is fairly priced, or are you being upsold on work you really don’t need to help some service writer’s weekly commision check. 

Alot of the local dealerships and local auto repair shops have this normal pricing  where the service writer AND the service technician are both on commission, and you the consumer really don’t know what you are ”really” are being charged for, the “repair” or the “add on or upsale”. To many times people are being sold services they don’t really need to do just so the service writers can meet their quotas more so towards the end of the month, they get away with this practice by  ”recommending”  the service or using some kind of  “fear”  marketing like ” well your motor will blow up if you don’t do this service” or ” your brakes may not work if you don’t do the work”.

Here at Bernard’s Garage in downtown Milwaukie, our service writers are all on a fixed salary compensation plan, they get paid the same if they sell or dont sell any work. Their salaried position’s allow them to focus on the customers needs, the shop’s performance and not their paychecks, meaning when your vehicle is brought in for service or repair, it is evaluated by the service technician, the repair order gets turned into the service writer who then decides […]

By |January 11th, 2013|News|Comments Off|


Seems like cars have always had radios, but they didn’t. Here’s the true story:
One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the mississippi River town of Quincy , Illinois , to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car.  Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios (Lear had served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during World War I) and it wasn’t long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to work in a car.
But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference,  making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio when the engine was running. One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago . There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a “battery eliminator” a device that allowed battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios. Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced, affordable car radios had the potential to become a huge business.
Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin’s factory, and when […]

By |January 9th, 2013|News|Comments Off|

Water, your worst nightmare!

Water, the single most important resource everything needs for living, including mold. With all this rain we have been getting in the Northwest,  water  is your vehicles worst nightmare if you have a plugged up body drain. Most all vehicles have a unique plumbing system hidden inside and through out the headliner and interior trim panels running from the roof rails, sunroof, moonroof, trunk and windshield wiper cowling,  then emptying out at the bottom of the vehicle allowing the water to drain to the ground. The problem starts when the car is parked in the same spot under a tree or shrubbery that drops leaves, dirt, pine needles, flower pedals and other natural debris. During the summer and spring months when there is not as much rain, this debris tends to get washed into these drains a little at a time over a long period of time resulting in the plugging up of the body drain. When these drains get plugged up, water then backs up and has no where to go but inside the car, usually under the dash by the heater box, one of the ceiling mounted grab handles or into the trunk. You never know when it is going to happen until one day you find the carpet soaked with standing water. Once this happens, no amount of wet vacuuming will dry it out, the only option is to remove the complete interior of the vehicle and dry the carpeting and the mat out. If this is not done very soon after the leak has been remedied, the mold will start to grow and eventually take over the vehicle’s interior. An easy way to avoid this is when you are having your vehicle serviced […]

By |December 5th, 2012|Vehicle Care Tips|Comments Off|

Snow Tires

What is the best option for snow tires and why are they used in Portland metro when it does not snow? That is the question we at Bernard’s Garage get asked alot when snow tire season comes around. The technical reason with why a snow tire is used is to “increase traction in a compromised weather situation” such as ice and snow. Although the term “snow tire” is used, that does not limit the use of the tire to snow, they are greatly used more for ice on all of the Portland metro roads when it rains and freezes, decreasing the chance of sliding or hydroplaning to some extent.

Now don’t think just because you have snow tires on your vehicle you can go 95 mph down 205 with ice or snow on the road and expect to come to a dead stop without incident. In fact it is recommended that you slow down and take it easy to take advantage of the most traction control the tire will allow at the best speed. There are alot of factors involved with proper control,  speed,  road surface and condition,  inclines,  traffic conditions,  four wheel drive,  2 wheel drive,  all wheel drive etc. etc. etc.

There are 2 types of “snow tires” studded and studless. Both tires have pros and cons. Studded tires have in my opinion the best traction and stopping option, however they are very bad for the road surface acting like a cheese grater chewing up the asphalt. Studded tires can only be run from November 1 to April 1. there is a steep fine if you are caught driving with studded tires during off winter times. With that schedule in mind, you can with proper care, get 5 to 6 […]

By |November 2nd, 2012|News|Comments Off|