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Death Song For the Manual Transmission

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There are things in life you desperately want but know you can’t have anymore. Maybe it’s a 20-year-old girlfriend  . . . if you’re 45 and not rich/not Brad Pitt. A two-pound bag of M&Ms . . . if you’re Oprah. The manual transmission is another. It’s not very practical; and the truth is it…

If You’ve Never Bought a Truck Before . . .

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Trucks, like high-performance sports cars – like minivans for that matter – are specialty vehicles. Which means they’re compromised vehicles. Some things, they’re very good at – usually, much better at them than a jack-of-all-trades family car. A high-performance sports car, for instance, can be driven faster around a race track (or your favorite winding…

Ethanol Assault

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Remember those ’80s-era PSAs that warned, “this is your brain on drugs” – cue video of an egg frying in a pan? Well, here’s your old car’s engine on ethanol. I don’t have a video – just these pictures – which show what ethanol-blend fuel did to a plastic component inside the carburetor that feeds…

Never Get in Trouble Trying to Fix Your Car

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Probably the main reason many people don’t dare do it themselves is they’re afraid of not doing it right. More to the point, they’re afraid of doing it wrong – breaking something, or making a problem worse. But unlike surgery on people, cars are harder to permanently hurt. If you approach the “operation” from the…

When New Cars Get Old

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All cars become old cars, eventually. But the aging process is different for modern cars – by which is meant cars built since (roughly) the latter-half of the ’80s, when computer controlled engine management and fuel injection came online. Like a genetically gifted athlete who works hard to maintain his body, they remain “youthful” much…

Toyota Announces $1 billion Settlement

The Justice Department is set to announce as soon as Wednesday a billion-dollar agreement with Toyota to settle a federal probe of the automaker’s handling of customer complaints related to unintended acceleration, people familiar with the deal said. The investigation led by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has examined allegations that the…

Porsche Problems

Porsche to Replace Engines of Current 911 GT3 Models Sports car manufacturer Porsche will be replacing the engines of all 2014 model year 911 GT3 vehicles. This is the corrective action derived from intensive internal analyses that were initiated in response to two engine fires. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that engine damage resulted from…

It’s Easy to Buy a New Car

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Assuming you have the money, buying a new car has never been easier – or less stressful. If, that is, you aren’t still buying cars the way people did back in the ’90s . . .  before the Internet. The ‘Net has made it simple to do almost everything you need to do except sign…

New Things to Know About New Cars

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You’ve heard of Moore’s Law? Applied to computers, it states that processing power doubles – roughly – every two years. A similar law – not yet named – arguably applies to new cars. Well, to the technology being fitted to new cars. Pressure – from consumers and Washington – to change things up is pretty…