Archive

Archive for the ‘Car Safety’ Category

Can You Get Your Car to 200,000 Miles?

May 8th, 2015
On the road to 200,000!

On the road to 200,000!

I want to drive to the moon.

Not literally, of course. The moon is about 240,000 miles away from Earth, and last I heard, the highway there hasn’t been completed yet. I do want my car to last at least that long, though.

We’ve shared stories over the last few weeks of readers who have managed to coax their cars past 200,000 miles and even a few who have approached a quarter-million and beyond.

I want to be one of those people.

My car is a 2008 Audi Q7 that I purchased with an 80,000-mile head start. I’ll hit 110,000 in the next week or two. Earlier this week I brought the SUV to the local Audi dealer for an oil change and discovered that I need new brakes and new tires, but the rest of the rig is in tip-top shape.

That’s encouraging, because I plan on going at least another 90,000 miles. Here’s how I’ll do it, and what I’ll avoid.

Continue reading >>>

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

Will Chevy Follow Ford and Introduce Aluminum Trucks?

May 6th, 2015

2015-ford-f-150-04

Ford’s gamble with the aluminum 2015 F-150 could have ended two ways:

  • As an embarrassing failure
  • As a trendsetting new way to build trucks

Ram, with its little comment about aluminum’s best use being for beer cans, pretty much secured its future of steel bodies.

Chevrolet stayed pretty quiet on the issue, presumably to take a wait-and-see approach. Watching the new Ford keep its status as the number one truck in America, while scoring a 5-star safety rating, might have had a hand in convincing Chevy to join the aluminum body movement.

Continue reading >>>

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

Should Modifying Your Car Be Illegal?

April 22nd, 2015

working on own car

Driveway tinkerers and shop-bound weekend racers could be a dying breed.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. People who work on their own cars are stymied by the sheer amount of technology and custom tools needed to do the job.
  2. A new law could make it illegal to work on your own car.

The first reason is a natural consequence of technology. Open the hood of a modern car, and instead of seeing headers and valve covers, we’re greeted with a plastic cover emblematized with the vehicle’s logo and engine size.

Aside from having easy access to refill the windshield-wiper fluid, modern cars are basically untouchable for the average weekend do-it-yourselfer.

That in itself isn’t so bad, but a law that would outlaw us from even trying is very scary. And very real.

Continue reading >>>

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

Can You Spare the Spare?

April 16th, 2015

2015_volvo_s60

My daughter’s birthday nearly ended in the bitter cold, stranded on the side of the road in a questionable area of downtown.

After a nice birthday dinner, my wife and two of our girls clambered into the Legacy to thaw from the unusually frozen April night. With the car started and the heat on, I was ready to pull out of my prime parking space and embark on the journey home.

But I noticed a woman on the sidewalk taking a funny glance at the car as she walked past. Her brief but concerned look caused me to pause enough to wonder what she saw. I got out of the car and found my passenger-side front tire nearly out of air.

“Oh no,” I said to myself, “not here. Not now.”

Continue reading >>>

Car Accessories, Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, General Chat , , , , ,

What’s Right: Right or Left Braking?

April 13th, 2015

Left foot braking

When does braking feel like hitting a brick wall?

When you try to apply the brakes using the wrong foot.

For those of us with decades of experience using our right feet to slow down, our left feet might as well be attached to our hips with wet noodles. There’s just no control when it comes to using them to stop a motor vehicle.

The debate about driving with two feet is almost as controversial as the one about which way the toilet paper is supposed to hang on the roll. Proponents of braking with the left are either race car drivers or older folks who cruise down roads with their left foot resting on the pedal and brake lights constantly aglow.

Some new information, though, might begin to make two-foot driving the norm.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , ,

Digging Out? Get Your Car Ready for Spring!

March 13th, 2015

Car buried in snow, Boston

I love snow. I’m honestly a little jealous that a good majority of the country got buried this winter while I sat and watched my local ski hill warm up and close for the season by February.

If you live anywhere other than the West Coast, odds are good that you, and your car, experienced record snowfall. If you’re one of the many car owners who simply gave up and let your vehicle slumber under the weight of the white stuff, you might have some special maintenance to do once spring does the dig-out work for you.

The first thing to know is that a few weeks buried in snow and cold probably isn’t going to do any major damage to your car. There are a few areas to take special care of, though.

Continue reading >>>

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

Have You Ever Had a Car Stolen?

March 3rd, 2015

1972_corvette_stingray
If you’re one of the unfortunate people to have experienced an auto theft, you’re familiar with how invasive and unsettling it is to know someone has your car.

At first you think you just can’t remember where you parked. You spin in circles, visually scouring the parking lot for any sign of your car. Then you replay the events in your mind of where you parked and try to convince yourself that your memory isn’t playing tricks on you.

Soon the realization sets in that you haven’t merely misplaced your car, it’s been stolen.

Varying degrees of panic ensue, along with calls to the police and family members asking for help. In some cases the car is found and returned unharmed. Sometimes it’s found but completely destroyed. Sometimes it’s never found at all.

Keep reading for an example of a car returned 42 years after it was stolen, and an attempted theft that resulted in some hefty “car-ma” for a would-be thief.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Would You Buy This Damaged Land Rover?

February 4th, 2015

Hoegh Osaka Land Rover

What a short attention span we have in this world today.

Less than a month ago, we wrote about the Hoegh Osaka. Remember that? If you’re anything like me, you’ll read that name and it’ll sound vaguely familiar, but you won’t remember why. Let me remind you:

The ship was carrying around 1,200 Jaguars and Land Rovers before tilting dangerously and running aground near England.

It was speculated that the load of expensive cars would be scrapped, depending on the damage done.

Well, 20-some days later, the cars are being driven off the boat under their own power. Watch the video then ask yourself: Would you buy one?

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

New BMW Headlights Solve Old Problem

January 15th, 2015

BMW headlights at CES

Imagine a world where you never have to worry about turning down your brights as you drive. We’ve all been there, happily zooming down a country lane or lonely highway with the road in front of us bathed in ample light, our cars cutting through the darkness with high beams in full force.

Then a car approaches.

We think nothing of it until the approaching vehicle flashes its high beams, causing us to remember that we are blinding this fellow traveler. In our haste to quickly turn off the high beams, we spill our drink and accidentally flip on our right turn signal.

By the time we recover, the approaching car is long gone and we flip the high beams back on, only to repeat the process a few miles down the road.

There has to be a better way.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shows, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Does Snow Change Your Travel Plans?

January 5th, 2015
How much snow is too much?

How much snow is too much?

There was a debate at my house last night involving safety and weather-related travel, and I declared myself the winner, but now I’m not so sure.

My wife, of course, had a good case.

Here’s the situation: On Saturday we had made plans to go out Sunday evening and buy a day bed from a woman who listed it for sale on Craigslist. It was a great bed and priced at just $75. A steal! The problem didn’t arise until later, when Sunday brought about 10 inches of snow and many miles of unplowed roads. I argued that, even with our all-wheel-drive vehicle, making the trip wasn’t worth the safety risk. My lovely wife, on the other hand, said she’d never changed travel plans because of weather and wanted to go get the bed.

Why did I begin to question myself? Because I saw an F1 driver racing his car in the snow. If he could do that, I surely could lumber slowly through a mild snowstorm.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,