Posts from ‘Money Matters’

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.

Aug
15
VW TDI Ad

Did referring to its diesel engines as “clean” exacerbate Volkswagen’s headaches?

By now you’ve heard the story. In a nutshell, Volkswagen has been found guilty of selling diesel-powered vehicles in the United States—and many other markets—which are not fully emissions-standard compliant.

Jul
28
Collectible Automobile Magazine

Having a hard time shopping for a car guy? We’ve got five good suggestions for you.

Shopping for friends and relatives can be something of a challenge—especially if that person is old enough to have acquired a certain amount of fun/frivolous/indulgent stuff for himself or herself.

Jul
12
Heavy Traffic

For a number of reasons, warm-weather states are considered more driver-friendly places to operate a vehicle.

As a Chicagoan, I take a certain amount of pride in my ability to complain about the local traffic situation. To that end, though I loathe to report that my 17-mile trip from Consumer Guide’s Chicago-adjacent office to the sleepy Northwest Suburbs can take me more than an hour on the wrong day, I feel a least at little satisfaction knowing that I am a statistical outlier.

Jun
29

BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S

The average American driver doesn’t spend much time thinking about their vehicle’s tires. At best, conscientious owners make sure their tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer-recommended air pressure, check that they’ve got sufficient tread depth with a “penny test,” and replace their tires before they’re completely worn out.

May
23
Hydraulic Hybrid Peapod Delivery Truck

Online grocer Peapod recently took possession of its first two delivery trucks augmented with a hydraulic hybrid system.

In simplest terms, an automotive hybrid drivetrain is one that employs two or more power sources to propel a given vehicle.

May
20
Quick-lube oil-change sticker

Do you know your vehicle’s oil-change interval? It many be longer than you think.

For years, American car owners have had the 3000-mile oil-change interval rule drilled into their psyches. Two powerful forces are at work keeping the 3000-mile edict so prominent in the public’s mind: inertia and marketing.

May
11
Mini Copper Convertible

2016 Mini Cooper Convertible

For most American motorists, convertibles are vehicles that other people own. Maybe that lawyer down the street has a convertible as a third car, or your mom’s crazy unmarried brother drives one. But for most of us, convertible ownership has never been a reality.

Dec
01
Cloudy Headlamp

Are cloudy headlamp lenses hurting your social status? Here’s what you can do about your problem.

It may not be your fault, but it’s embarrassing just the same. Like a random pimple on your forehead, or finding spinach stuck to your teeth after a staff meeting, cloudy headlamps are many car owners’ secret shame.

Nov
12

Winter Driving Tips

Forty or so years ago, ensuring vehicle safety and reliability in cold-weather driving usually meant performing a series of annual maintenance rituals.  

Common preparations including swapping out the thermostat, flushing the cooling system, switching to lighter-weight motor oil, and having the battery tested. Additionally, slapping on snow tires  was not uncommon in locales known for heavy doses of the white stuff.

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