Category: Auto Extended Warranty

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The last thing we will do here is enter into politics. In auto circles when NAFTA Is brought up you can bet the subsequent couple hours/couple days can be filled with some virulent banter that frankly is not the purpose of this forum.

However, NAFTA is one thing, and global auto manufacturing trends are another. A report came out last week detailing that the biggest and fastest growing carmakers south of the border are not your tried and true American brands such as GM or Ford. Rather, Nissan, Audi, Kia, BMW and Toyota. So what does this mean exactly? What it means is Mexico has relatively larger free trade than the U.S. does with the rest of the world. So it only makes sense for those automakers to set up shop down there.

An estimated $13 billion and counting has been invested into Mexico since 2010 from non-North American automakers. The Ford announcement on September [...]

What’s a nightmare? There are several, but being chased by cops is definitely up there. The problem with being chased by cops is there’s no escaping! The TV helicopter chases rightly display that. Sure, every now again the guy or gal gets away, but that is typically due to the police not wanting to endanger fellow citizens rather than being “out-chased.”

The police car as we know it today began more as an experiment rather than a thought-out plan. Initially departments had patrol cars, response (pursuit) cars, traffic cars, multi-purpose cars, and later on, SUV/all-terrain cars. In California for example, there have been a number of brands that have installed themselves in departments across the golden state. The Azusa department owned the first Camaro, while Beverly Hills claims a Mercedes ML350 used by resource officers within Beverly Hills public schools. How fitting, right?

Keeping in-line with its innovative reputation, California, L.A. in particular, made news [...]

For those over 40, the Ford Mustang was that power car when we were in our teens and twenties that maintained a virtual monopoly when it came to “coolness.” Guys loved it, and girls loved the guys that drove them. At least that’s what I heard (I was in a Jetta at the time).

So I was especially disheartened to read that sales were down a mind-boggling 32 percent last month compared to the same period in 2015. That’s a heck of a drop which has prompted Ford to put its Flat Rock, Michigan plant on “idle” status for the time-being.

To make matters worse, its fierce rival, the Chevy Camaro, outsold the Mustang for the first time in two years. Now, the Camaro however must be given a nod. Significant improvements have been made which has increased appeal (coupled with attractive incentive discounts). To put it in perspective, average discounts for the Camaro came [...]

The luxury car market is extensive. You can find a variety of options with a range of flavors, bells and whistles. However, the price tags are lofty, and this is what keeps the new models in the hands of very few.

But fret not, just because you won’t be first in line for a 2017 AMG doesn’t mean an earlier version won’t suit you well. Let’s take a look at the 5 top, 2012 certified pre-owned luxury cars that you can buy today for under $30,000.

2012 Infiniti EX – This is a beauty. From the “compact luxury SUV” category, the EX starts under $30,000 at $27,552 and features a 297 horsepower, V6, 3.5 liter engine with nearly 93% of positive consumer ratings from the major rating aggregator websites. 2012 Mercedes GLK-Class – Also “compact SUV” in nature, the GLK features a little less horsepower than the EX, but is reported to handle better and [...]

The past decade has been rather explosive as it pertains to the technological shift in auto research and development. The “development curve” looks more like a 90 degree angle jettisoning straight up with no signs of slowing down. Self-driving is at the core, as are lighter, more fuel-efficient cars. All have collectively propelled the research end and as such it should come to no surprise that we have yet another potential partnership in the works.

Toyota and Suzuki are said to be combining forces. Toyota top brass has gone on the record stating they are particularly concerned that the escalating pace of development is passing them up. Competing brands have already forged partnerships and are speeding ahead at a lightening pace. In regards to Suzuki, no plans have been communicated as of yet on how they plan to compete specifically as it relates to artificial intelligence and self-driving technology. Toyota is aiming to bring self-driving [...]

This is a do-it-yourself post. There are a ton of things you can implement on your own related to your car that will save you dollars over dollars in a given year. Problem is, we tend to think of these things as tedious or in some cases, stuff we’ve literally never even considered. But let’s take a glance, shall we …

Emissions Check – There is a device known as Blade that you can connect to your tailpipe. Hook this bad-boy up and reduce CO2 emissions by literally up to 12%. Doesn’t sound impactful? By doing this you can improve your fuel economy by the same percentage by shortening the time between cold-start periods. This is when particulate emissions and fuel burn are at their collective worst. Scrap the Junk – Keeping in line with fuel economy, every 100 pounds shed of extra weight you’re lugging around will improve fuel economy by 1 – 2%. [...]

When Smart cars first reared their tiny heads, in theory most thought, this is great! A “smartly” designed economical car that is cheap, good for the environment (depending on how your measure that), and easy to whip around town in.

The Chinese Smart Fortwo was a player in the market, and now comes the Aixam, a Fortwo look-alike that is not from China but rather France. But here’s where it gets interesting – the Aixam doesn’t require a driver’s license to operate. We know, our heads did a triple-take at that one. Unbeknownst to this blog, there in fact does exist an entire segment of mini vehicles that do not require the same driving credentials as their larger counterparts. Known in Europe (France really) as voitures sans permis (VSPs), they can be driven by age 14 and older with a limit of 45 kph – the equivalent of 28 mph.

Obviously not made for highway [...]

McDonald’s vs. Burger King. Pepsi vs. Coke. Angelina versus Brad. Sorry, couldn’t resist on that last one. These are the rivalries that define our time. Some are more entrenched than others, and in the auto world, one of the biggies continues to be Goodyear versus Michelin.

Now, when it comes to performance, it’s a majority held opinion that Michelin tires are tough to beat. They have been an industry leader for some time despite the fierce rivalry that continues with not only Goodyear, but Firestone as well. One of their more lauded offerings is the Pilot Super Sport (PSS) tire. During the 2016 Paris auto show, the tire was on hand, but with some accompanying, upgrading news – the PSS has a successor, the Sport 4 S (PS4S).

Most asked, why? The PSS is still relatively young and one of the best summer tires available. Yet Michelin decided to keep tinkering and especially when it [...]

The Mazda Miata has gained a reputation as the affordable sports car. Reliability is also a Mazda trademark but the snappy Miata has long been known as an extremely fun car to drive at a very reasonable price.

Understandably, considerable noise has been brewing surrounding the new MX-5 RF as the starting price out the gate is $32,000. RF stands for “Retractable Fastback” and at $32,000 the RF sits a whopping $6,640 more than the 2016 soft-top. Now, if we feel $32,000 is a lot, consider the RF Grand Touring edition that features heated seats, adaptive headlights with auto high-beams, and lane-departure warning. The Grand Touring edition will set you back $33,455.

Mazda does not appear worried however. Miata fans are a tried and tested crowd and few are expecting a decline in sales as a result. It is an interesting new look for the Miata though as when the roof is up the car [...]

Ok, we’ll mention his name – Donald Trump. This blog steers clear of politics and religion. We’re auto focused and as such could care less who you vote for or who you pray to. But in this instance, and especially for Ford Bronco fanatics, Donald Trump is at the forefront again.

The return of the Ford Bronco has been one of those back-alley, late-night bar stool talks that starts with, “my cousin who knows the shift captain at a plant in Missouri told his step-mom that he heard some rumblings about a potential return of the Bronco.” Five drinks later, the story is cemented as legend. Well, fast-forward to Friday, September 30th, when Bill Johnson, the United Auto Workers plant chairman publicly stated (in response to Trump’s assertion that Ford would be relocating jobs south of the border), “We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming [...]

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