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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

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.

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #5

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 3:04PM | By: Peter C Sessler

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #5 test 1-1

Q.  I've seen several "miracle" oil additives at the auto parts store and I wonder if they work or not. They all make the same sort of claims that they protect the engine from heat and friction and make the engine last longer. What do you think?
A. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) sent out a bulletin saying that the claims made by one of the largest additive makers were false, or at least misleading, back in 1990s, and another additive maker was fined for misleading claims. My feeling is they aren't worth the money. When I did research on synthetic oils, I found that many of these additives consist of the same basic ingredients found in synthetics. When it's time to change the oil, down the drain they go. Engines last a long time these days even if you use conventional oil and change it every 3000 miles. I know of cars with over 200,000 miles on them with their owners changing oil every 4,000-5,000 miles. Synthetics are much better, but more expensive. So don't waste your money on the additives.

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:26AM | By: Chris Salamone

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012 test 2

Occasionally, an event so exciting, so dramatic, and bizarrely authentic graces the average auto enthusiast’s agenda. As a result, months of planning and preparation go into a single quasi-religious-type migration. For some, that trip might be to the Concours, and for others it could be Indy. But not all gearheads are sated by mere spectator events alone.

Queue: Aaron Copland’s Rodeo.

The Overland Expo, or OX as it’s affectionately called, is an adventurers' carnival: a three-day feast of workshops, exhibitions, and camping, topped off with a travel film festival. Fortunately for us, OX 2012 has been slotted for May 18 -20, leaving ample time to refine our adventuremobiles and work a nice crease into our safari hats.

Naming Agreement Means The New Orleans Saints'll Come Benz-in' In ('Til 2022, Anyway)

On: Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 11:26AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

The folks that bring you custom helicopters, branded credit cards, the ridiculous smart transport module, a line of "manly" perfumed products, and the occasional car, now bring you the Superdome.

I am not kidding.

When you think “Louisiana”, “NFL”, and “New Orleans Saints”, naturally your mind turns to fine German automobiles, right? Well, for the next decade it will, as Mercedes-Benz has paid an “undisclosed amount” for “official naming rights among other sponsorship benefits” for the aforementioned NFL team’s home stadium.

I'm still not kidding.


Cars & TV

On: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 2:47PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Cars & TV test 2

If you're into cars and actually even like them, then you already have an idea how TV and the movies usually portray cars—incorrectly and stupidly.  Generally, you'll find that the typical TV writer has little or no knowledge of cars but has probably heard of some automotive terms. So they think if they throw them around, they'll sound credible enough. That might be enough for someone who thinks of cars as merely appliances, but for anyone who knows a little more than that, the overall effect is to lose respect for the writer and the show's credibility ends up suffering.

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #4

On: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 1:54PM | By: Peter C Sessler

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #4 test 2

Q: I have a '95 GMC that has what looks like water coming from the exhaust pipe when it is idling. I also took a look at the muffler and noticed two small holes - which I plugged. Is this water a problem?

A: The end result of the combustion process is water and carbon dioxide—plus a few other noxious chemicals. So when you see ‘water” coming from your tailpipe, it’s nothing to worry about. On the other hand, plugging up the holes in your muffler is a pretty bad idea. Those holes are there for the water to drain otherwise the muffler will end up rusting fairly quickly - especially if your truck is driven only on short trips.

Dealer Holdback

On: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 10:29AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Dealer Holdback test 2

One has to wonder when shopping for a car, how a dealer can afford to sell a car for $100 over cost, or even at cost. Sometimes they'll sell you a car at "below cost", whatever that is. They'll tell you stories such as "the boss says it’s got to go" or something like that. The reality is, of course, even if the car is sold at "cost" (that is, what the dealer invoice price is) it really isn't. There is dealer holdback to consider.

Fred Flintstone Would Be Proud: Pedal-Powered Hyundai Azera

On: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 11:16AM | By: Chris Weiss

Pedal-Powered Hyundai Azera test 2

Now that Hyundai has pulled a successful 180 on its image, it can barely build its cars fast enough. When you experience great success, you have a little extra time and money to invest in the finer things in life (though Hyundai might want to think about beefing up its production capacity instead). And sometimes the finer things in life are quirky, fun projects.

Hyundai's China team recently hit the street with a life-sized Hyundai Azera that traded an engine for a pedal-powered drivetrain. Talk all you want about the 40 mpg, this baby is as clean as it gets.

Cuba [Finally] Embraces The Automotive Age

On: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 9:16AM | By: Chris Salamone

Cuba [Finally] Embraces The Automotive Age test 2

When President Raul Castro assumed control of his brother’s communist-inspired island government, the world took a collective gasp—wondering just what would happen next. As it turns out, Raul seems to be opening Cuba’s restricted economy in an effort toward greater marketplace freedom. Back in April, more than 300 different reforms were put forth by the newly minted President at a congress of Cuba’s Communist Party. Among those reforms was a proposal to allow the buying and selling of cars made after the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

Previously, only cars that were in Cuba prior to 1959 could be legally bought or sold, which is why there exists such a plethora of pre-1959 cars in Cuba.

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #3

On: Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 4:54PM | By: Peter C Sessler

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #3 test 2

Q: Why do my brakes pulsate when I step on the brakes?
A: This is pretty common these days. The reason is that the brake rotors are warped. The real cause for this occurrence, in my opinion, is that the car manufacturers are making rotors that are too thin. Thin rotors don't hold up. That doesn't mean that the brakes aren't safe; it simply means that you'll have to replace them. The usual remedy is to cut the rotors so that the braking surfaces are once again straight; however, that won't last. A few panic stops and they'll warp once again.

Nissan Mates Man And Machine

On: Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:20PM | By: Chris Salamone

ROLLE (Sept. 28, 2011) test 2

Year after year, car manufacturers improve vehicle ‘safety’ with new technologies developed after incredible investment into research and development. But at what cost? Do drivers really want a seven-speed automatic transmission for smooth shifting or scores of multi-directional airbags adding precious weight to an already bloated ride? Who knows, but most people can agree that any automotive technology improvements are usually exciting—regardless of how practical they might be. Unfortunately, Nissan’s new plan to develop hands-free R&D driving technology rides the same fine line of an exciting development mixed with questionable practicality.  

After determining your driving patters, Nissan’s ‘car of tomorrow’ will be able to predict your next move. In theory, as the driver thinks about turning right the vehicle will prepare itself to turn, choosing the proper speed and road position for you.