Posts from ‘Money Matters’

Jul
25
Teen Performance Driving School

The author’s daughter queued up for an emergency-lane-change exercise at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL.

Like most parents, my wife and I are always looking for ways to give our daughter a leg up in life. We closely monitor and support her scholastic, athletic, and volunteer endeavors, we’re openly concerned about her general health and welfare, and we make a point of finding time to chat with the kid about life in general. My daughter would tell you that we’re pests, but she knows our hearts are in the right place.

Jul
07
Rolls-Royce Dawn Wood Trim

2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn with Full Canadel Paneling option package

The 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn we recently had through the Consumer Guide head office had a lengthy list of optional equipment that pushed its $341,125 base price all the way up to a bottom line of $413,030. We’ll do the math for you…that’s $71,905 in options alone—enough to buy a very nicely equipped 2017 BMW 5-Series sedan.

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 Volvo

1973 Volvo

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.

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