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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

Latest Russian Military Hovercraft [Insert Dolph Lundgren Quip Here]

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 2:09PM | By: Chris Salamone

Russian Military Spec Christy 6143 test 2

A country famous for implementing the world’s largest military hovercraft, the SR-N4, has created a new hovering killing machine. Caught during the filming of an upcoming Russian movie, made by an appropriately-named studio ‘Lenfilm’, this newest Russian military-grade hovercraft makes short work of sand, mud, and even choppy surf. Fans of the soon-to-be Red Dawn remake won’t be disappointed to hear that Russia still values the heady stench of glory with their Christy 6143 hovercraft, designed specifically for Special Forces operations “of any complexity.”

NASCAR Racing Live

On: Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 12:49PM | By: Peter C Sessler

NASCAR Racing Live test 2

This past month I had to privilege to attend a series of NASCAR races. It's actually research for a book I'm working on. So I called a friend whose company is a sponsor of one of the teams. Anyone can go to a race; not everyone can go inside the garage and pit area, but with his help, I was able to get "Credentials"—a fancy word for a pass that lets you go anywhere you want.

I'd never attended a NASCAR race and it was truly an experience. We drove in his motorhome and you get a somewhat different perspective of our economy when you see a vast sea of motorhomes parked together. These things are not cheap to run and maintain. I was impressed with our motorhome, but he told me I should see the one the driver for his team has. It cost over $750,000!

Checking Your Bulbs May Be A "Bright Idea" But I'm Too Awesome A Writer To Stoop To Such Punnery

On: Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 2:47PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Checking Your Bulbs  test 2

There have been quite a few how-to-ish articles posted around here but none has covered my particular automobile-upkeep-related pet peeve (OK, one of my many): burned-out bulbs.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “borrrrrriiiinnnnng.”  Well, you are not far from Truthsville on that one. But seeing as how the burned-out taillight is practically the state symbol of Michigan these days—I’m still waiting to hear back from the governor on my idea, though, so it’s still “unofficial”—MANY of you need to need to be bored with this.

Bored into ACTION, that is!

Disturbing Trends: Drivability

On: Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 2:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

2010 Lincoln MKT test 2

Ahh, the Lincoln MKT. Equipped with a 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost, this poster child of US-inspired drivability achieves a combined 18 mpg and, in the words of Edmunds.com, "the MKT's size and weight make it anything but sporting." So, what's wrong with this picture?

As time goes on, the auto industry has made great leaps and bounds in technology, performance, and design. Even so, there remains a group of trends in the United States which neither improves driving nor contributes to the advancement of automobiles in general. We tend to call these trends ‘American preferences’, which is basically a polite name for corporations pretending to adapt to local customs while not shouldering the burden of influencing the market as a whole.

Although general mechanics have vastly improved over the last century, certain mechanical trends continue to negatively impact the drivability of cars sold in the US. Picture the BMW 3.0 liter twin-turbo diesel engine. When equipped with a manual transmission, it’s capable of jumping from 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and impressive fuel economy. Which would you rather have, that BMW Inline-6 or a slower, less efficient Ford V-6 EcoBoost? The lesson: drivability is more important than fancy brand labeling which conjures images of somehow quickly saving the environment.


Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 9:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand test 2

All out dune buggy action is pretty fun to watch no matter what, but when the buggy has an absolutely monstrous V-8 engine strapped to the back, it's even more fun. This video takes you to some coastal dunes to watch one of the most suped-up bugs you're likely to ever see take on the sand.

Typically I'm too ADD to watch a Web video for more than four minutes, but this 14-minute clip that has been making its way around the blogosphere is worth sitting tight for. The video is basically all about a fun-lovin' joy ride on the Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach, California. That would be worth about two or three minutes of my time, tops, if it wasn't for the fact that the vehicle of choice is a completely overpowered 1,800-hp beast of a dune buggy.

Teenagers And Cars

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:32PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Teenagers And Cars test 2

About two Sundays ago, we lost power at around 12:30 AM and it didn't go back on until three or so hours later. I wondered why this happened—there weren't any storms that night and by morning I had forgotten about it.

A week or so later, I read in the local paper that a 17-year-old girl had run into a pole with such force that it caused the power outage; it also cost her life. Such a waste.

Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence these days. Does it seem to you that more and more kids are having accidents today or is it me? There is a local garage where they bring the wrecked cars and it amazes me that there are always so many. A good 30-40% are cars that were driven by young people. What are the reasons for this?

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #6

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 5:23PM | By: Peter C Sessler

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #6 test 2

Q: I own a 1999 Toyota Camry which had a hard time starting and got poor gas mileage. I took it in for a tune-up and it now runs a lot better. However, the idle was still poor, and at higher speeds, the engine now misfires. I opened the hood one night when the engine was running and I saw lots of blue sparks on the plug wires.

I got a set of spark plugs and put them in myself. Now the car runs a lot better but it will still misfire at any speed - not all the time - but occasionally. I took it to the mechanic who told me I'll have to have the fuel injection system cleaned.

A: The blue sparks you saw on the wires are the giveaway. The wires are bad causing a misfire between adjacent wires. Get a new set of wires, preferably ones that are specifically made for your car. If you've already changed plugs, then this sounds like something well within your capabilities.

As for the fuel injection cleaning, get a can of injector cleaner (or carb cleaner), spray inside the throttle body and wipe the inside of the body clean. That should take care of that.

Rear Wheel Drive Is Coming Back!

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 12:21PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Rear Wheel Drive Is Coming Back! test 2

The big three American car makers (Chrysler, GM, and Ford) are slowly bringing back rear-wheel drive cars, especially Chrysler. Does this mean that they are giving up front-wheel drive? Not at all, but they are finally acknowledging that rear-wheel is in many respects superior to front-wheel drive. Actually, rear-wheel drive never really went away as pick-up trucks and most SUVs are rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles.

Car Movie Review: Drive

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 12:26PM | By: David Walter

Car Movie Review: Drive test 2

The protagonist in Drive (played by Ryan Gosling), whose name is never actually mentioned, rarely speaks or shows his emotions—that is, if he actually has any. Most of his days are spent either on a Hollywood movie set as a stunt driver or in a garage as a mechanic. But at night, he's an expert getaway driver. The Driver's lack of emotion and detachment from any sort of social life are what makes him so great at what he does. He never stays in one place very long and doesn't associate with anyone other than the owner of the garage (Bryan Cranston). Drama ensues when, after moving into a new temporary apartment, he can't help failing for his new neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan)—mother of six-year-old Benicio.

Sound a little cheesy to you? I thought so too. So when I went to go see it last night, I didn't have very high expectations for it.

Turns out I was wrong.

"Motor Cars By Public Tender": Australian For "Auto Auction"

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Though seemingly tame at first blush compared to the live “under-the-lights” pressure-cooker-style of auction most of us are used to, in many ways a sale "by public tender”—like Sotheby’s Australia’s “Important Collectors’ Motor Cars” event in Sydney—can be even more nerve-racking for buyer and seller alike.

Normally—if that’s even the right word to use—it’s pretty straight-forward. If you just keep on bidding until everyone else quits, the car—or whatever—is yours.

But where’s the mystery—and gentility—in that?...

The Hidden Emissions Warranty

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:51PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The Hidden Emissions Warranty test 2

Every car sold in U.S.A. comes with a well-known "bumper -to-bumper" warranty that covers practically every component of the car. The typical warranty these days for most American cars is 36 months/36,000 miles. Some offer even longer warranties, notably the high-line manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc.

Not so well known is the emissions warranty, which covers certain components for 8 years/80,000 miles. This warranty, mandated by the government, is there to make sure that the pollution-related equipment lasts for at least the eight years so that the cars remain clean. Otherwise, the manufacturer is obliged to repair the parts or system for free. In other words, it's the manufacturer's responsibility to make sure the emission system works.