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The modern automobile — recognized by many as being invented by Karl Benz, one of the founders of Mercedes-Benz, was first conceived in 1886. Known as the Benz-Patent Motorwagen, the world’s first modern car featured a three-wheeled design, throttle lever for a gas pedal and had a top speed of nearly 10 mph.

Since its conception the automobile has seen many technological and safety advancements; cruise control, airbags, self-parking and lane-departure warnings.

Automobiles have changed and evolved since its invention, but many things remain the same. This gift guide is intended for your car-loving father, automotive-enthusiast brother or your mother, even if she has no idea what kind of engine is under her car’s hood.


Oil, the life blood of the automobile lubricates engine components, aids engine cooling and prevents engine seize.

This gift is thoughtful, universal for any car owner and necessary for automotive maintenance.

For the do-it-yourselfers on your list they’ll need oil, of course, as well as an oil filter, funnel, catch pan and towels (funnel, catch pan and towels optional). Because every car is different, make, model and engine type are required to determine oil type, amount and filter. This is all the information your local Napa, Oriley’s or local auto parts sales associate needs to determine the auto’s requirements.

For those who are not handy or may not have the time to do their own oil change, there are many local places that perform oil changes. Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Hood River Quick Lube and Gills Point S Tire & Auto all perform oil changes in Hood River. In The Dalles Qwik-Change Lube Center, Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Columbia Gorge Quick Lube all do oil changes.

Valvoline in Hood River charges $42.99 for an oil change of five quarts with conventional oil, $64.99 with semi-synthetic oil and $89.99 with full-synthetic.


You can tell a lot about a person by the type of car they drive.

The cleanliness of their car can boost or decrease this perception.

Why not increase their positive perception and have their car washed? Cascade Car Wash in Hood River has three options: Basic for $6, deluxe at $7 and premium for $8. Gift cards for this location are not available, but you can always gift money and specify it’s for Cascade Car Wash use only.

The Dalles has Metro Car Wash, Sparkle Car Wash and several self-service carwash locations.

Jump starter

Anybody can experience a dead battery, and not everybody has someone to help. Prevent that situation with a jump starter.

No longer will you need jumper cables, and a willing driver, if you have this handheld device or a larger jumper kit. has the NOCO Boost Plus Portable Car Battery Jump Pack. The 1000 Amp version is the best seller at the website at $99.93.

If your gift-receiver won’t mind a larger bulkier jump starter, the Stanley 1000/500 Amp Starter would be great. At $64.91 this unit features a small LED flashlight and a 120 PSI compressor as well. This can be found at and can be shipped to your nearest store.

Grease monkeys

For your grease monkeys, shop towels, vacuums and soap are great gifts. Regular paper towels aren’t designed to clean up garage dirt and grime. One could say those are wimpy wimpy wimpy. Scott Shop Towels are hefty hefty hefty. A three-roll pack is $5.48 at Home Depot. If your grease monkey is environmentally conscious, try shop rags. Only $37.99 for a set of 75, they should last a lot longer than paper towels.

Regular home vacuums are not intended for shop use. They may pick up dirt and grime for a while, but won’t do it well for long. The Shop-Vac Professional 12 gallon, with its 6.5 horsepower vacuum, should do the trick.


Finally, soap. When dealing and working on cars, one is bound to get dirty. Hand soap cleans well, but not as well as Fast Orange. Fast Orange soap contains fine pumice that massages and deep cleans dirty, greasy hands.

Of course, this guide is one-size-fits-all: To personalize your gift to your car enthusiast, get to know their interests, their automobile and what they may have an eye on.

Happy holidays!

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