Posts from ‘Money Matters’

May
22
1986 Chevette

1986 Chevrolet Chevette

By 1986, car shoppers were looking for a little more than basic transportation. And while cheap/affordable cars were still the best-selling models, they were generally equipped with such conveniences as automatic transmission and such niceties as FM radio and air conditioning.

Mar
23
Gas Guzzler Monroney Label

A federal tax of $7700 is applied to vehicles with an EPA-estimated combined fuel-economy rating of less than 12.5 mpg.

The Gas Guzzler Tax is a federal tax on certain vehicles with especially low Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel-economy ratings.

Feb
28
Repair Bill

Does it make sense to purchase an extended warranty to cover expenses like this?

By Tim Healey

You’ve just picked out your new car. You’ve decided on the options and the color, and now you’re sitting in the finance office while the dealership’s porters prep it for delivery. The finance manager is trying to sell you things like rustproofing, VIN-number window etching, and Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance, and now he or she has thrown another one at you: the extended warranty.

Jan
30
Cash for Clunkers Truck

Many dealers used condemned “clunkers” as rolling billboards for the program.

With the benefit of a few years’ time, I can now look back and safely say that the “Cash for Clunkers” (CFC) program was one of the strangest auto-industry events of the past 50 years.

Dec
13

1973 import-car prices

There’s nothing like a bit of historical data to put 2016 new-car prices in context. For a healthy dose of perspective, scroll down to the 1973-model-year Mercedes-Benz prices below and just sort of let them sink in.

Dec
05
Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV with its charging port “open for business.”

Ah, fall. When – here in the Midwest – it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too rainy … for about three weeks.

Short as that utopian span is, it’s the closest we ever come to simulating the year-round climate of coastal California. Which, as it so happens, is where most EVs are sold.

Oct
06
Ford EcoBoost

As you might expect, direct injection involves the introduction of fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

Direct injection is a form of fuel injection that is gaining popularity as auto manufacturers work to improve fuel economy. Direct injection’s primary benefit is improved engine efficiency. A common secondary benefit of direct injection is the ability to use regular-grade gasoline in engines that might otherwise require more-expensive premium fuel.

Oct
05
EV tools
Tools used: Kill A Watt meter (which measures the amount of volts, amps, or watts running through it — one of my favorite toys), electric bill, and calculator.

Yeah, I know. You’ve hated math ever since you figured out that every part of it you learned after basic algebra would never, ever be used again in your lifetime.

Sep
22
2009 Nissan Versa

2009 Nissan Versa

In Wall Street lingo, a dead-cat bounce is a jump in a given stock’s price seen just before it becomes worthless. Traders have gotten rich predicting exactly when foolish optimists will sink money into a hopeless cause.

Aug
17
1976 Malibu vs. 2016 Malibu

Which Malibu represents the better value?

New cars cost a lot. The statement is based on more than anecdotal evidence. Based on the current rate of inflation, the average transaction price of a new vehicle will pass the $35,000 mark some time late this year or in early 2017—and for most folks, that’s a lot of bread.

According to the U.S. Government, the average household income (HHI) in America is about $53,000. It only takes a little calculator time to determine that the average new car costs 73 percent of the average family’s pre-tax income.

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