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Don’t get me started on push-button start
July 3, 2017

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Don’t get me started on push-button start</br>July 3, 2017

When I was a kid, our family transportation was a 1951 Austin A40 that required the use of a key as well as a push-button starter.
And when it didn’t start, which was surprisingly often, my father had to resort to cranking the car by hand to get the evil-tempered Austin to fire up. Eventually he traded up to a more modern North American car that only required a twist of a key.

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Staying out of hot water in the summer
April 17, 2017

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Staying out of hot water in the summer</br>April 17, 2017

How much car control would you have while driving on ice? Almost none, right?
Well how much control would you have skimming over unfrozen ice? (Yes, that’s water.) Almost none, too, but we’re generally much more cautious on ice. We slow down, try not to make any sudden moves and we even put special tires on the car for it.
But don’t kid yourself, the unfrozen kind of ice is also dangerous.

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Don’t put your life on parts backorder
April 3, 2017

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Don’t put your life on parts backorder</br>April 3, 2017

I swore I would never go through it again, but it appears that ‘never’ came a little sooner than expected.
Yes, another car project, in particular an engine project, spiraled out of control and took months (about 15 of them) instead of weeks to complete. And since the engine for my 1991 Acura NSX took that long, it also held up other modifications to the car that added even more months.

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FCA will eventually have to face its demons
March 6, 2017

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FCA will eventually have to face its demons</br>March 6, 2017

I love power and speed as much as the next person, but I had to raise an eyebrow when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently unveiled the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
OK, Maybe two or three eyebrows.
1) IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH POWER?

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Technology that saves us from technology
February 13, 2017

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Technology that saves us from technology</br>February 13, 2017

I recently attended the press launch of a four-door sedan that shall remain nameless, so as not to embarrass the manufacturer since my observations at this event could have easily been at another test-drive event by any other automaker on any given day. The presentation included a demonstration of the car’s camera-based crash-mitigation option that’s intended to slow the car and ultimately bring it to a complete halt when the driver doesn’t react. . .

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Online or in person, watch your wallet
January 9, 2017

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Online or in person, watch your wallet</br>January 9, 2017

In a recent column, I confessed my penchant for purchasing the least expensive new car I could find. The one I recently acquired cost me literally thousands less than the next cheapest vehicle in the basic-transport class.
This is Part 2 of the story: Finding the bargain was one thing, but actually getting it for the advertised price was quite an ordeal.

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Surviving the drive means
managing the risk
December 5, 2016

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Surviving the drive means</br>managing the risk</br>December 5, 2016

Car crashes often catch us completely off guard. They come out of nowhere to smack us upside the head, figuratively and physically, when we least expect it.
One moment you’re sailing along minding your own business and in the next instant your world is turned incomprehensibly and surreally upside down.
Fingers crossed and knocking on every available wood surface, I’ve never experienced a really serious car crash.

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The positives and negatives of welding
Aug 15, 2016

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The positives and negatives of welding</br>Aug 15, 2016

Nuts and bolts are simple.
Take off an old part, put on a replacement part. Make sure the nuts are tight enough.
But there are aspects of the automotive world that seem to be a bit more of a black art. Electrical is one. Red, green and blue spaghetti. Blah. Upholstery is another. Paint and body is right up there, too.

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Active-safety tech saves lives, if you can afford it
Aug 8, 2016

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Active-safety tech saves lives, if you can afford it</br>Aug 8, 2016

When I was a young driver back in the 1960s, Ralph Nader’s book ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’ was just being released. In it, Nader took the automobile industry to task for not designing vehicles that could protect passengers in the event of a crash and for not making seat belts standard equipment.
The book caused quite an uproar back then and ultimately led to major changes in vehicle design.

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Should I cut and run over ‘shocking’ experience?
Aug 1, 2016

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Should I cut and run over ‘shocking’ experience?</br>Aug 1, 2016

‘Well, what did you expect . . . that’s what you get when you buy one of these cars.’
Seriously, that was the answer from my Audi service adviser as to why my car, with 23,000 miles on it, needed two (and eventually four) new shock absorbers.
It was possibly meant as a joke, but I wasn’t laughing. What do I expect?

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