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Engine Flushing - Does It Work?

On: Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:48AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Engine Flushing - Does It Work? test 2

This subject has been getting more and more attention these days—it is internal engine cleaning, better known as flushing. This is being promoted by the quick oil-change people, among others, with the advice that if you clean out the engine of accumulated sludge, deposits, and other yucky stuff, it will run better and hopefully longer. Is this effective or not?

As usual, when it comes to things automotive, the answer is both yes and no.


Chevy's Calming New Commericals (Video)

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 5:24PM | By: David Walter


Chevy's Calming New Commericals test 2

A couple weeks ago, we showed you the funny, new Dodge Durango commercials and Nissan’s “we’re back now” ads a week later. Now Chevy has a few new commercials for its Silverado and Tahoe. But unlike Dodge and Nissan’s which rely heavily on narration and comparing themselves to other car makers, Chevrolet’s new commercials are the exact opposite—not a single word spoken or rival company belittled.

According to Autoblog, the new Silverado and Tahoe ads will air mostly on The Outdoor Channel which makes complete sense once you watch them. They feature the soothing sounds of nature, the warm glow of sunrise, camouflaged good-ol’ boys… and, of course, Chevy trucks.

Admittedly, I’m not much of a hunter or fisherman, but even I can appreciate these ads. In 30 seconds, they provide that calming beauty of becoming one with nature experienced by waking up super early and sitting in a tree stand all day without waking up super early and sitting in a tree stand all day (sorry, hunters).

All three companies’ commercials—in my opinion—are marketing money well spent, but it’s nice to take a break from the mudslinging and name-calling and let the product tell its own story.

Read on to watch the videos.


McLaren Bringing Three Levels Of Sports Car

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 4:07PM | By: Chris Weiss


McLaren Bringing Three Levels Of Sports Car test 1-1

It was literally days after the MP4-12C was officially revealed when rumors of additional McLaren vehicles started heating up. At the time, it was speculated that the MP4-12C would be the middle of the road, while a supercar and entry level model would join it in the years to come. A new report confirms that rumor and provides some further insight into the next few years at McLaren.

In the September issue of Motor Trend, the venerable magazine talks to McLaren about the future of product expansion. The first item on the docket is a convertible version of the MP4-12C. The Internet snippet doesn't say when the car will be revealed, but based on other time frames, we're guessing it'll have to be next year.


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 2:05PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2003 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra test 2

For well over three decades, the battle for Ponycar supremacy has raged on between Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, and a host of other pavement pounding miscreants at race tracks, stoplights, and bar stools across the country. Each new edition of one car brought about new brags and taunts about how antiquated the other car was in contrast. 

Over and over it went, and throughout most of the 1990s, the LT1 and later LS1 Camaros and Firebirds wreaked havoc on the psyches of Mustang owners everywhere. Even though the more 'advanced' single and dual overhead cam modular motors of the Mustang GT and Cobra theoretically had a technological edge over the GM's antiquated pushrods, the Blue Oval just got out-muscled by the General's good 'ole fashioned torque and tuning. Mustang owners noticed, as did Mustang builders. 

In a pound-for-pound fight, there was no fight. A bone stock Camaro SS or Firebird WS6 would obliterate any Mustang Cobra (discounting the ultra-limited 2000 Cobra R model, but even then in a straight line it was still a driver's race). At the turn of the millennium, even though the Mustang was the decidedly more popular car (thanks in no small part to enormous V6 sales) it seemed that not all 300-horsepower cars were created equal, and the General's 325 Thoroughbreds were more than the 320 Clydesdales that Ford was offering up at the track. But then in 2002, everything changed and the Mustang struck back with a one-two punch that knocked the Camaro out for the next seven years.


 

Bentley SUV To Look All Bentley

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 11:43AM | By: Chris Weiss


Bentley SUV To Look All Bentley test 1-1

Wolfgang Durheimer sure loves to talk to the media, huh? In his short time at the helm of Bentley/Bugatti, he's basically confirmed a Bugatti sedan, Bentley SUV and, quite possibly, a Veyron successor. And, he's given hints and details at what those cars might look/drive like. The latest from Durheimer is that the Bentley SUV will look and feel like a full-on Bentley.

Despite borrowing heavily from current VW SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne for its underpinnings, Bentley's model will be all Bentley in terms of styling and driving. And that won't mean a sporty Continental GT face on a big, unwieldy Cayenne body; the Bentley SUV will look Bentley from every angle.


A Pulsing Problem

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 10:48AM | By: Peter C Sessler


A Pulsing Problem test 2

There are many reasons for vehicle brakes to pulsate, or move up and down (you can feel the pedal actually moving). This is often most noticeable when you have to slow down quickly from a high speed, and it can be unsettling.

As with any other repair, the first thing to do is eliminate the most obvious and easy reasons why this is happening. If your car has ABS brakes, are you sure that it isn’t that system causing the problem? If you know what the wheel speed sensors look like and see a bad connector or some other ABS-related component, it could be the source of your troubles. This is a long shot, but you never know.


Ford Previews Evos Concept

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss


Ford Previews Evos Concept  test 2

Ford teased its Frankfurt appearance last week with a short presser about four new designs that it will reveal at the show. One of those was described as a "major new design concept." This week, the Blue Oval revealed what that new design concept is: the radical Evos Concept.

Let's just not set ourselves up for disappointment. Despite looking better than pretty much every Ford in the current line, the Evos won't be making it to production. Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development made that quite clear in the press release: "... you will never see this car on the road..."

That's a damn shame, because we would love to see a sporty Ford sedan with quad gullwing doors on the road. That's right, the Evos features gullwings in front and back, providing a wide, inviting entry. Those gullwings are one of the first signs that this isn't your ordinary four-seater. From there, the Evos doesn't disappoint.


What Are You Doing In Your Car?

On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 4:12PM | By: Peter C Sessler


What Are You Doing In Your Car? test 2

A recent survey conducted by Farmers Insurance Group has revealed some interesting tidbits of information concerning the American driver. Both men and women drivers are getting clean, close shaves and applying make-up on the way to and from work, among other things.

According the survey, 5.5 percent of men and 2.1 percent of women admit to shaving on their way to work. 18.7 percent of women and 1.3 percent of men are applying make-up, and 8 percent of men and women style their hair on the way to and from work. There’s no doubt that everyone wants to put travel time to the best possible use, but the problem is that these distractions make drivers inattentive and increase the chance of accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), inattentive driving ranks as the fourth highest factor leading to fatal accidents.


Car Sales May Droop As Stock Market/Economy Suffer

On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:19PM | By: Chris Weiss


Car Sales May Droop As Stock Market/Economy Suffer test 2

In January, Edmunds' Auto Observer predicted that 2011 automobile sales would rise to 12.9 million in 2011, an increase over 2010's 11.6 million sales and 2009's record-low 10.4 million. The report expected improving credit conditions to help fuel auto sales, and didn't foresee any supply-side problems. After months of headlines about economic woes, credit crunches, and Japanese auto-industry supply problems, many analysts are adjusting sales forecasts.

According to the Associated Press (AP), buyers are becoming increasingly wary of new auto purchases as the stock market swings wildly. Salt Lake City auto dealer Jerry Seiner tells the AP that his showrooms tend to be empty when the stock market is down and active when it's up.

While anticipated Congressional cuts and stock market swings aren't boding well for the industry for the rest of the year, sales predictions haven't gotten too dire of yet. J.D. Power and Associates adjusted its 2012 prediction by 2 percent, bringing it down to 12.6 million (from 12.9 percent, to save you a little math). That's still well above last year's sales.


Next Bio-Fuel: Old Newspapers

On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:09PM | By: Chris Weiss


Next Bio-Fuel: Old Newspapers test 2

A group of scientists from Tulane University has made an interesting discovery. Their research has identified a way of making fuel from one of the most readily available types of waste around—old newspapers.

Newspapers come out every day in towns across the world. They never stop. Newspaper, newspaper, newspaper. Back when I used to read a hard copy of the paper on a regular basis, I used to quickly pile up newspapers until I was drowning in them. Dirty, inky, tattered piles of old newspaper just cluttering my living room, kitchen, bedroom...

Sure, there's recycling. But at one point, the local recycling authority required that you tie newspapers up with string to a certain thickness—who the hell wants to do that?!! Instead, they went in the garbage or just piled up in the corner.

So, though I no longer buy newspapers regularly, I find this news to be pretty exciting. Not only is it a great new way of recycling old newspapers, it provides a cleaner form of fuel to boot. That's like green squared.


Radar And Laser Detectors

On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 12:42PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Radar And Laser Detectors test 2

For the past 40 years or so there has been an escalating electronics war between the police on one side and motorists on the other who prefer to travel at speeds that are higher than those posted. The reason police use radar and other methods to detect speeding vehicles is primarily a safety issue—the faster you go, the more likelihood there is of having an accident. That may or may not be true, but like everything else, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Besides the safety issue, issuing speeding tickets has become a lucrative source of income for certain localities across the country. You’ll find that small community police forces will prey on unsuspecting out-of-town traffic (mostly) by posting speed limits that are unrealistically low.

Anyway, my personal feeling is that speed limits, especially on the interstates, are routinely ignored by the vast majority of drivers. All you have to do is drive on some of the local Interstates. People drive at whatever speed they feel comfortable—legal or not.