Trustworthy Repair Advice

You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to a mechanic to do a routine repair on your car or truck. That’s understandable. Everyone has heard the horror stories of getting ripped off by an unethical car repair shop. You plan to do it yourself, like so many others in this increasingly DIY economy. That’s great.

But where are you going to get the information you need to make the repair? How do you know what sources are trustworthy? There are hundreds of forums online filled with free advice — free because it’s from the forum members who are rarely trained mechanics. There are even blogs and websites with step-by-step instructions, but how trustworthy are they? Were those posts written by freelance writers in foreign countries who got paid a few dollars or by an experienced mechanic who has worked … Read the rest

Keep Your Digital Device Clean

As more and more people use digital media to help them maintain and repair their cars, grime becomes an issue.  If you’re under the hood — or under the car — your fingers will be greasy and dirty.  Now try to swipe the tablet that has the digital repair manual you’re using as a reference.  It’s an equation that leads to ruined electronics and interrupted repairs.

There’s a hack for that. Check it out:

It figures that the folks over at Haynes would be the ones to figure it out.  They are the top publisher of digital manuals for cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, etc.  On their blog they talk about how this hack works for cooking, arts & crafts, and anytime you want to protect your electronic device from water, oil, grease, dirt, etc.

Try it and then let us … Read the rest

Why December is a Good Time to Buy a Car

Holiday shopping is usually about toys, electronics, and other gifts, but December is actually a good time to buy a car. Sure, recent data suggests that you can buy a cheaper car in August, but that’s because historically people buy lower-priced models as dealers close out the previous year. If the sticker prices are lower in August, then the price paid will be lower. But the better deals are available in December

Close Outs

By the time December 2014 arrives, a good portion of the 2015 models will have been on the lot for several months. Dealers will be looking toward the New Year and clearing their inventory. Sure the 2016 models won’t be available until mid-year, but those luxury sedans and SUVs that aren’t selling as well need to be moved off the lot to make room for inventory … Read the rest

Car Care Resolutions

So, how are your resolutions going? It’s been a few months, and those New Year’s resolutions may have fallen to the wayside. While that unused gym membership wasn’t cheap, neglecting your vehicle’s maintenance can be really costly. April is National Car Care Month, and a great way to get back into a schedule that works.

Here are a few tips from the Car Care Council.

  1. Regular oil changes. Remember, we do not have sloppily built engines running junk oil anymore. Today’s precision machining, tighter build tolerances, and high-tech oil allow longer intervals between oil changes. Still, it does need to be changed on time. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations, and go with a name brand oil filter.
  2. Get the brakes checked. The only thing stopping your vehicle is friction. Eventually, the brakes will wear out, and obviously, that
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The Physics of Driving

car approaching stop signGetting behind the wheel of a car involves a variety of thoughts. Drivers consider their destination, the route they will take, how weather, traffic, and construction projects may impact their arrival time, whether their seat, steering wheel and mirrors are properly adjusted and whether they have everything they need to bring with them. They may also worry about their seat belts, passengers, and what music is playing.

Very few people realize that by sitting in the driver’s seat, they are engaging in an exercise in physics.

Within a few weeks of beginning to drive, the act becomes almost rote.  We don’t have to think about how much pressure to apply to the accelerator to get a smooth ride or how soon we need to begin braking as we approach a stop sign.  The more years we spend on the road … Read the rest

Toyota & GM Recall Thousands of Cars

Rocking consumer headlines of late is the news that Toyota & GM have recalled thousands of cars. Consumers are used to hearing about recalls. It has even come to be expected. But when there are thousands of cars being recalled, that is when blood starts to boil and worries start to mount. Read on for a look at why the cars are being recalled and what this could mean for the two automotive giants.

GM Identified an Ignition Switch Defect

On February 25, 2014, General Motors made the announcement that they were aware of an ignition switch flaw that moves into the off position and turns engines off during operation. General Motors discovered that there were a total of 31 crashes and 13 deaths as a result of this faulty operation. As a result, GM has said that there are … Read the rest

Best New Cars for 2014

The New Year means more than alcoholic benders and resolutions you won’t keep. It’s all about horsepower, more mileage, better designs, and more luxury. Here are the best new cars of 2014.


The slick-looking seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette debuts for 2014. The Stingray name returns, as does the LT-1 v8, although this time without the dreaded Opti-Spark. With 450 horsepower and an optional Z51 performance suspension, the Corvette continues to dominate the performance bargain market. And yes, the haters will finally shut up, as this ‘vette has a refined interior within that new stealth fighter body.

2014 mazda 6Sedan

The Mazda 6 is new in 2014, and is the can of Redbull this segment needs. While most midsize family sedans have the driving charisma of a hovercraft, the 6 is from the company that makes the MX-5 Miata, and it shows. … Read the rest

Lemon Laws for cars

Buyer’s remorse is common enough in a consumer society, but what happens when someone invests their hard-earned money in a car, truck, or motorcycle that fails to perform properly? This is the reason states have “lemon laws.”

Back in 1975 the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act provided protection for Americans who purchased cars or other vehicles that fail to meet performance and quality standards. Every state now has its own set of laws and acts that protect car buyers and, while each has its own name, they are collectively referred to as lemon laws.

A lemon law usually addresses failures on the part of the manufacturer of the vehicle.  The Federal law covers mechanical failure or breakdown and holds the manufacturer liable not only for the cost of repairing or replacing the car, SUV, or other vehicle, but for the legal costs … Read the rest

Who Will Win ALMS

It is the final season for the American Le Mans Series. Founded in 1999, the series has had a storied and exciting past, but in 2014 it will merge with the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series to form the United Sports Car Racing Series.  The champions crowned by ALMS at the end of the 2013 series will be the last.  Everyone wonders, who those winners will be.   Below is a look at the championship races in all categories.

muscle milk driver klaus grafP1

The team championship for the P1 class has already been locked up.  Muscle Milk Pickett Racing has earned enough points to secure a repeat championship. Muscle Milk teammates Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr have also repeated as champions in the drivers competition. The remaining two races of the season will likely only increase their point leads.


Over in the P2 … Read the rest

Southwest Law, Highways and Byways

phoenix azBoth Arizona and Nevada share some striking similarities, as well as some vast differences. The similarities are perhaps greater, however, as they also characterize the states, and make them part of a unique configuration that’s known as the southwest. Native peoples have occupied the lands for thousands of years, making up a large part of the rich history here. In Phoenix, where the canal system is based on something the Hohokam constructed hundreds of years ago, there are signs everywhere of human presence that predated the origins of the city proper. In Nevada, the history is very similar, where there are multiple cultures making up the cities, themselves based on older civilizations.

The characterization of the southwest as a young place in terms of the history of the country, then, is perhaps rather unfair. Or perhaps it simply points out … Read the rest