Posts from ‘Money Matters’
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.
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.
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.
In simplest terms, an automotive hybrid drivetrain is one that employs two or more power sources to propel a given vehicle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before fuel injection, variable-valve timing, computer-enhanced aerodynamics, and continuously variable transmissions, there was only one path to fuel efficiency: small engines in small cars.
With a 15-year-old daughter having just completed driver’s education, I find myself in the unenviable position of shopping for a second car. That car, by the way, will spend most of its time in the service of the aforementioned daughter.