Archive

Archive for the ‘Car Parts’ Category

How Fuel-Efficient Are Your Tires?

July 27th, 2016

Illegal_tires

I just got a screaming deal on a 1999 Land Cruiser. The only problem is that it could have illegal tires.

The truck isn’t a daily driver, but will handle all towing duties and be called upon for those rare instances when my family of six is all together and needs to go to the same location. It’s also in great shape, runs strong, has a comfortable interior, and came wearing mostly new Hankook DynaPro off-road tires. They are chunky, have a beefy tread, and can take the Land Cruiser anywhere I want to drive it.

Of course, that’ll mostly consist of highways and paved back roads, which might make the tires slight overkill for what I need.

Plus, they could become illegal.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Shopping, General Chat , ,

New Cars *Are* Getting Safer – Don’t Believe What You Read

July 6th, 2016

Ford safety technology

The news is full of gloomy stories these days when it comes to automobiles. It might even be enough to make make you think driving an automobile is becoming more dangerous.

There is, for instance, the recent fatal collision between a Tesla Model S and a semi trailer. And the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said last year was the deadliest on the nation’s highways since 2008.

It’s enough to make you want to swathe yourself in plastic bubble wrap and never leave the house.

But new cars are getting safer, thanks to a host of new technologies. The best part is you’ll probably never have to consciously use most of them, but you’ll nevertheless be glad they’re there.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Parts, Car Safety, Car Shopping, New Cars , , , , , , , ,

Do Your Tires Last as Long as You Think They Should?

October 22nd, 2015

worn tires

Who knew tires could be so controversial?

Back in 2009 we posted a blog about the need to replace new tires after just 20,000 miles. At the time I had a new vehicle that required new tires after just 22,000 miles, which turned out to be pretty common as evidenced by the people who left comments on the post.

In the years since, I’ve purchased other cars and other sets of tires. It seems there’s a new practice emerging of paying for a tire warranty. Are the days of 60,000- or 80,000-mile tire warranties gone?

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Safety, General Chat , , , ,

Does Your New Car Burn Too Much Oil?

July 3rd, 2015

oil1

I’m going to describe a problem with my car, and I want you to take some guesses on what year and make of car I own.

I have the oil changed on my car about every 5,000 miles. I’m actually quite good at keeping to the schedule and making sure the maintenance is done on a timely basis. I use full synthetic oil in the car, and most of my family’s driving is on the highway. We live 30 minutes away from civilization, so the car rarely, if ever, does trips where it doesn’t reach operating temperature.

The problem is that the car burns at least a quart of oil between oil changes.

Any guesses on the year and make?

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Parts, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Toyota Prius: Most Stolen Car in America?

June 2nd, 2015

2015 Toyota Prius pic-362296487971647730

Imagine the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” with a Prius in place of the Shelby GT500.

Not very exciting, is it?

Car theft has been romanticized in movies and video games, but the reality is far less exciting. Cars are stolen every day in this country, and it happens in plain site at grocery stores, in home driveways, and in mass-transit parking lots.

Instead of targeting brash sports cars, thieves often go for the kinds of cars that blend in and are easily taken apart so in-demand parts can be sold. The traditional pièce de résistance of thieves is the Honda Accord, which fits those criteria perfectly.

There may, however, be a new king in town.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Hybrid Cars , ,

Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Car

May 28th, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200C My home base is the great Northeast. As such, this past winter I thought summer would never come. But all that snow eventually melted, and with it so have new and used car prices. Summer is a great time to buy a car.

Prices in the used car market begin to drop this time of year for a couple of reasons. Demand declines after tax season and its flood of money from tax refunds. Consumers wait until their returns are filed and IRS checks issued to make down payments.

But the bigger reason is supply grows this time of year. Private sellers get more active, and more people are buying new cars, which increases the used car supply.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Parts, Car Shopping, CarGurus Features and Updates, General Chat

Are Car Dealers the Cheapest for Car Maintenance?

May 21st, 2015

car_dealer_service

I’ve grown up believing that the service department of a car dealership is the most expensive place to get your car repaired or serviced. I attribute that to my Dad, who taught me at a young age to always take my car to an independent repair shop to get the best price.

I carried that belief into adulthood, and only now am I starting to realize that’s not always the best approach.

To be fair to my Dad, maybe that was true 20 years ago. Maybe dealerships have realized they need to be competitive with other shops to keep customers coming back. Whatever the case, it’s time to give car dealerships another look for service.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Parts, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Airbags: Saving Lives (Mostly) Since 1991

May 19th, 2015

airbag recall

Have you ever had an airbag deploy in your car?

I’m lucky, because the only airbags I’ve ever seen in use have been in videos of crash tests. Airbags stay hidden most of the time, silently tucked away and forgotten. The only reminders of their existence are the subtle etchings in the surfaces that hide them.

Airbags are meant to save lives, and they have, with many thousands of people owing their continued existence to an explosive cushion of air. Airbags, though, have also taken lives by ejecting with too much force, ejecting with young children in the seat, or, most recently, exploding and sending shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Safety, General Chat , , , ,

Rusty Undercarriage? Don’t Blame the Carmaker

April 10th, 2015
Don't let this happen to your car

Don’t let this happen to your car

Bad things happen when brake lines leak. Who’s to blame when they do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has wrapped up a 5-year investigation into the cause of rust on the undercarriages of about 5 million GM vehicles.

The problem has been the rusting of brake lines on 2007 and older Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC pickups and SUVs. Usually an investigation of this magnitude results in an expensive recall and the mandatory repair of affected vehicles.

This time the NHTSA let General Motors off the hook and blamed someone we can’t sue for the problem:

Us.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

Local Motors: The Future of Automaking

October 1st, 2014

Local Motors Rally Fighter

Whether you want a $700 remote-control car, a $1,900 skateboard or a $99,900 car, Local Motors has you covered.

The Phoenix company is famous for its open-source design strategy and series of micro factories, which allow for the company’s signature product, the Rally Fighter, to be designed, and built, by the same people who buy it.

The Local Motors website says the Rally Fighter:

Looks like a race car, rides like a luxury vehicle. A rugged tube chassis construction complemented with all the requisite creature comforts. This 50-state street legal off-road desert racer is at home on the open road, the daily commute, and on the most challenging desert terrains.

More on the Rally Fighter in a moment, but first, check this out:

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,