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Archive for the ‘Car Accessories’ Category

Let’s Get a Little Weird with Cars and Bacon

August 30th, 2013

ford_fiesta_bacon

If you’ve ever heard comedian Jim Gaffigan talk about bacon, you know his bacon bit goes on for an uncomfortably long time.

The man loves bacon, as do most citizens of these great United States.

Some of the bacon-related things we obsess over are the sound of bacon cooking (like applause, according to Mr. Gaffigan), the hunt for bits o’ bacon in lettuce, Kevin Bacon and the ability to wrap almost anything in bacon to make it better. People love bacon.

And, now, buyers of a certain car can opt to have it wrapped in… bacon. Because that can only make it better, right?

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Will New Cars Become More Like Video Games?

August 13th, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

I like ice cream, and I like tuna fish, but I don’t like tuna fish ice cream.

That same theory goes for cars and video games. I love cars, I think video games have their place, but the two just shouldn’t be combined. Well, let me be more specific: Video games that include cars are great. Cars that incorporate pieces of video games are not.

A post on Ford’s social media site got me thinking about this. A young engineer has figured out a way to make a manual gear shift knob vibrate in the same way that a video game controller does.

To which I ask: Why?

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Are Auto Parts Stores a Thing of the Past?

June 19th, 2013
How's the parking lot at your local auto parts store?

How’s the parking lot at your local auto parts store?

How much longer will auto parts stores be around?

In college I worked the parts counter at a national auto parts chain store in Seattle. I loved my job. I worked all day on Saturdays and Sundays and from 5 pm to 10 pm two to three times during the week. I loved helping out and learning about the customers’ project cars, learning about different parts for different cars and occasionally helping stranded motorists by changing a battery, doing an electrical test, even breaking the rules once and changing out an alternator right there in the parking lot. In the dark.

This was in the late 1990s, and the auto parts store was a busy environment of shared enthusiasm for cars and ambitious DIYers taking on repair projects for their beloved vehicles.

I have a feeling that culture is gone… or quickly vanishing.

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Costco Fulfills F1 Racing Dreams… For a Price

May 20th, 2013

Costco F1 racing simulator

Costco: the land where dreams come true.

Assuming, of course, your dreams include 50-pound bags of sugar, gallons of mayonnaise and full access to all the toilet paper you’ll ever need.

Bulk discounts on household staples are enough to keep some people coming back every Saturday. Every once in a while, though, Costco surprises by offering something so over-the-top extravagant or absurd that it blows our little minds. That includes million-dollar diamonds, caskets stacked near the TVs, and now, F1 cars.

Kind of.

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Auto Racing, Car Accessories, Car Audio, Car Minded, General Chat , , , , ,

Future Car Technology: Decreasing the Need for Human Thought

April 26th, 2013

Will future Audi vehicles predict the future?

With great interest, I opened an article that claimed cars of the future will probably be able to predict the future. How cool would that be? My mind raced with possibilities.

Could my car analyze information online and tell me if an upcoming date would be a success? Would it be able to predict gas prices 6 months into the future? Maybe my car could predict future Super Bowl winners and clue me in.

Well, it turns out the predictions are nowhere near as exciting.

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Lost Car Keys: An Expensive Lesson in Organization

April 5th, 2013

Car keys

If everything in life happens for a reason, I can only assume there’s a lesson on organization in losing one’s car keys.

There was a time when losing keys wasn’t that big a deal. A copy of a copied spare could be made for about $1.50, and life would get back to normal. Even if no spares were around, a locksmith could whip up a replacement in no time flat, or a new lock and/or ignition could be picked up at the local auto parts store and installed in an afternoon.

Losing keys to a vehicle made in the last decade, though, spells real trouble. Real expensive trouble!

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With New Odyssey, Honda’s Idea of Innovation Sucks

March 27th, 2013

2014 Honda Odyssey

Okay, maybe that’s a terribly cliche headline to use when a vacuum is the main subject matter of a story. While it’s certainly not a derogatory comment on Honda’s overall ability to innovate, I do have to wonder what’s going on at Honda when the biggest new feature of the 2014 Odyssey is an in-vehicle vacuum.

Now that Honda has mastered the equation of understated comfort, exceptional reliability and dependable resale values, the only place left to go is… well… vacuums. Okay, in truth, Honda could probably stand to update its powertrains, build even more efficient engines, explore turbocharging or diesel options, upgrade its transmissions or, heck, even invest in some shiny new wheels. Instead of all that, though, Honda went with the vacuum.

The industry’s first built-in vacuum, mind you, but still a vacuum.

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The Next Wi-Fi Hot Spot: Your Car

March 4th, 2013

GM's Wi-Fi hotspot

I’ve recently been introduced to Sons of Anarchy, and since that day, my Netflix subscription and I have happily spent a lot of time together. I admit, I’m addicted to the show and kind of wish I could take it wherever I go.

To do that economically, I’d need a Wi-Fi connection to follow me in my day-to-day travels. Unless I hop between Starbucks locations all day, my SOA dreams are doomed.

But wait! The good people at General Motors have a solution for those of us who have a hard time tearing ourselves way from constant connectivity. Not only is it possible to access the Internet from our cars, our cars will soon become the Internet.

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Additives for Your Car: Quick Fix or Waste of Money?

January 7th, 2013

Fuel system

As modern civilized humans, we expect quick results with nominal effort. We want magic weight-loss pills, we want to get rich with the simplicity of buying a lotto ticket, and we want to find love by posting a picture on a dating site.

Of course, there’s no quick way to guarantee any of those things. You just have to work hard and keep your mind intent on what you want. The mentality of instant gratification and quick fixes has fueled many marketing campaigns. Companies have learned how to tap into the minds of consumers and get them to part with their cash in exchange for products that promise to make life easier and better while solving a multitude of problems.

The cars we drive are certainly not immune to such marketing. Products that promise to increase fuel mileage, clean your engine, keep your gas from freezing, and more line store shelves. But are these products worth the money?

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Car Keys are So 2012… But What Could Replace Them?

December 31st, 2012

Remember when some cars, GM vehicles specifically, required two different keys? The little round one unlocked the doors and the little square one started the engine.

Then technology grew to combine those two keys into one, so drivers no longer had to fumble with separate keys to gain access to their vehicles. Soon key fobs were invented and the door unlock key became altogether unnecessary as a simple push of a button handled all locking and unlocking functions.

Of course, for modern civilized humans, the act of inserting the key into the ignition and twisting it required far too much effort so the push-to-start button was invented. That gave drivers the convenience of never needing to remove their keys from their pockets.

What’s next in the evolution of car keys? Probably their complete disappearance.

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