Features

For-Profit Policing

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You’ve heard of greasing the skids? A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would do just that – giving cops credit card readers, as an adjunct to their radar detectors. Instead of just, license, registration and proof of insurance, please – it’ll be: License, registration, proof of insurance… and Visa or Mastercard, please. And no,…

How Uncle Killed Pontiac

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The French philosopher-economist Frederic Bastiat wrote about the unseen repercussions of government interfering with the market’s natural progressions. In other words, what might have been. Perhaps the saddest four words in the language. One such might-have-been is the 1982 Turbo Trans-Am. You have probably never heard of it. Because, of course, it was never produced.…

When Should I Change My Car’s Oil?

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It’s a very common question – but it’s hard to get a straight answer. I’ll try to give you one. It depends. On your particular car. And how you drive it. First, let’s consider the car you’ve got. The older it is, the more often you’ll need to change the oil. Especially if it’s older than circa late…

The “Peak Oil” Con

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I’ve been reading about “peak oil” being imminent since the ’70s. Oil may indeed be a finite resource but the relevant question is: How much is left? It appears there’s more than previously reckoned. Perhaps a great deal more. Keep in mind (and assuming for the sake of discussion, benign motives) that the “peak oil”…

Is Alloy Your Ally?

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You may have read about 2015 Ford F-150, which will have an aluminum rather than steel body. It will be significantly lighter than the same truck made of steel, aluminum weighing a lot less than steel. Even better, while aluminum isn’t forever, it usually lasts really long time. Rusted out floorpans (and beds) are about to…

Event Horizon

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Here’s perhaps the single most important thing to know about any modern car (computer-controlled and fuel-injected; so mid ’80s and newer) no matter the make or the model: It will probably last a long time (15-20 years) before it needs major repairs. Far longer than pre-modern cars lasted before they needed work. But when major repairs do become…

Vidcast: The Disappearing Manual Transmission

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Here are a few thoughts about the slow-motion extinction of the manual transmission: If you missed the previous Vidcasts, they’re here and here. Site news: The new EPautos stickers will be arriving next week… hopefully. Once again, they’re free to those who sign up for a $5 monthly recurring donation to support EPautos, or for…

Radio Gig 1

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Here’s a link to yesterday’s talk radio gig: http://mickelson.libsyn.com/tuesday-october-7-2014 Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/mickelson/mickelson-2014-10-07.mp3 I’ll be on the Tom Woods show again today – 10:30 east coast time. PS: I am still stuck on the stickers thing. I am not a graphic designer; have no experience “photoshopping” stuff.  Is there anyone out there who has the skill…

Vidcast: The Disappearing Passing Lane

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Have you noticed? That formerly legal passing zones are systematically being painted over double-yellow? But it’s not just that. Safe, efficient passing as such has been targeted for termination – whether deliberately or inadvertently – via conflicting laws that allow legal passing only by doing so unsafely. Here’s what I mean by that:  If you’ve…

Questions

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Following my recent interview on the Tom Woods show (here, for those who missed it) I received several car-related questions… via e-mail.  I’d like to reply to these questions. But not via e-mail. For several reasons: Many of these questions are of general interest; but when I reply via e-mail, the only people who see…