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Archive for the ‘General Chat’ Category

How to Find Your Perfect Car

May 20th, 2015

2002 Saturn SL2

“What’s the best car I can buy?”

The question pops up quite often at family gatherings, social events, in random Facebook messages, and anywhere people find out I write for a car blog.

The answer is always the same.

“The one that makes you happy.”

Of course, people want more information than that. They want to be told which car offers the best value, best performance, best fuel economy, best reliability, and so on. Needless to say, there is no “best car money can buy.” There is a “best car for you.”

Today we’ll look at the best car to buy if you want an inexpensive used car with great gas mileage.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Hybrid Cars , , , ,

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.

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

Surprise! A Corvette Split Window and a ’67 Shelby GT500

May 18th, 2015

1967 Shelby GT500

There are some things you don’t expect to see when you seclude yourself deep in the woods for the weekend. Those things are:

  1. A cell-phone signal
  2. Air conditioning
  3. A perfect 1967 Ford Mustang GT500

This last weekend, deep in the forest of North Idaho and near the pristine shores of the expansive Lake Pend Oreille, my family and I saw all three. Plus, as an added bonus, a 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window.

You’ve surprised me, Idaho.

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

10 Cars to Buy When You Get Promoted

May 15th, 2015

2007 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Hard work pays off. Hopefully, you’ll get out of a job what you put into it. If you’re a hardworking person, you’ll likely receive an opportunity to move up in the world. So maybe you’re moving on to something new, or you’re replacing someone who has left a position above you. Either way, moving up can be pretty awesome. So with your newly accepted promotion, you’ll want to spend your more generous new wages appropriately. So why not buy a new car, something that will really show the world your hard work has paid off (literally). People often say “you should dress for the job you want.” So why not drive a car for the job you want?

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Toyota’s Partnerships: Good for Toyota, Good for the Industry

May 15th, 2015

2018 Toyota Supra

Toyota is one of the world’s largest automakers, but at least one of its coolest cars is the result of a partnership with another automaker.

Automotive partnerships don’t always work. One failure that comes to mind immediately is the Chrysler TC by Maserati.

I guess “failure” might be a little harsh, because the car does have its own club and plenty of fans. Those people see the car as misunderstood and elegant, while the rest of the world sees a Chrysler K-car with a spit-shine.

The TC lasted only three model years and cost close to $40,000 when new. That high price bought a Maserati body with a Chrysler engine, pretty much the worst from each partner at the time.

Toyota seems to have the partnership thing figured out, though, with at least three marriages to other major automakers. Will they fare better than the Chrysler-Maserati tie-up?

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

While 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Debuts, Save Big on Current Sports Cars

May 14th, 2015

New Camaro Logo

This weekend the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will debut in Detroit. Chevy has slowly teased photos in an attempt to whip up a media frenzy. Why the special focus? A couple of reasons: The Camaro is an automotive icon, and sports cars are suddenly hot again with lower gas prices and an improving economy.

It’s a great time to crave a sports car. There are traditional coupes like the Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang. Throw into the mix sedans like the Dodge Charger, the Nissan Maxima, and the Subaru WRX, and there is no shortage when it comes to selection or deals.

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

Tesla: From Underdog to Insane Mode

May 14th, 2015

tesla-model-s-p85d

A few years ago the idea of buying an $80,000+ electric car that had limited range, few places to refuel, and no dealer network was a laughable proposition. To top it all off, the company that wanted to sell the car had very little automotive design or manufacturing experience.

Around the same time, one of the world’s top automakers had plans for a new electric car that promised to be affordable, good looking, and easy to take on a road trip anywhere roads exist without worrying about running out of range.

The winner?

Like we even have to say it.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat, Hybrid Cars , , , ,

Today’s Mistake Equals Tomorrow’s Collectible

May 13th, 2015

2015 Lexus RC 350

Today we’re going to cover a spread of two and a half decades on a single page. Specifically we are going to discuss two cars that are 25 years apart and have absolutely nothing in common except a certain attribute that can make even the most forgettable car something special.

One of these cars remains in production, though even the automaker admits it probably shouldn’t. The other car hasn’t been on a production line since the Bush administration. The first one.

What is it that links this 2015 Lexus to a 1990 Volkswagen?

Rarity.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

The Great Controversy: Oil-Change Intervals

May 12th, 2015

oil change intervals

I’m writing this from a waiting room inside the service department of an auto dealership. I can’t say I like it here.

All the chairs are placed in a semi-circle and face a wall-mounted television, which is currently tuned to a show starring three angry judges who like to yell at people. The volume is too high. I don’t even have a television at home, so this is a bit of a shock to me.

The gentleman in the chair directly next to me has a giant sack of dealership butter popcorn, which he’s slurping and spilling all over his chest with every dive into the bag.

I don’t like it here.

I’m getting a simple oil change on a 2013 Subaru Legacy, and I really would love to come less often.

I use full synthetic oil and have it changed every 5,000 miles. Should I cut back to every 7,500 miles or more and save myself from the despair of the waiting room?

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

Selling a Car? Watch Out for Scams

May 11th, 2015

cars for sale

It used to be that selling a car meant posting an ad in the newspaper classifieds, fielding phone calls, arranging test drives, and accepting a hand-written check as payment before the buyer drove happily into the sunset.

Those days have long since been replaced by online ads resulting in text-message replies and fake checks as payment.

The vast majority of private-party used-car deals go down without a hitch, but occasionally scam artists get away with conning sellers out of thousands of dollars. How can you avoid such a fate?

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