Cars

Cars – Gary Numan …I used to own the 45-inch vinyl single. This was one of the first music videos played on MTV when it really was Music TeleVision:

Look him up, he has new album coming this fall and going on a world tour, starting this month with NIN in Florida. web: http://www.numan.co.uk FB: https://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial?rf=104133799622576

Advertisements

A/C DIY/Advice

I have two things to say about car A/C.

1) If it seems like the air is not blowing as fast as it used to, you need to check your in-cabin air filter. There is a filter in most cars made since around 2000, sometimes called in-cabin filter, cabin air filter, or HEPA filter. (This is not the same as your engine air filter.) If you don’t change this on a regular basis (most cars every 10-30K miles, depending on conditions you drive in), it can clog and slow your airflow. This can cause problems with your A/C or your blower motor, if you let it go too long. (I put off changing it in my last Honda and ended up burning out the blower motor and the A/C compressor…it wasn’t until I was changing the blower motor that I saw the pile of dirt/bugs/small leaves piled on top of the cabin filters which sit above the blower motor.) If you don’t want to pay $30-$60 to have a shop change it, simply go to the local auto parts store and get the filter(s) that fit your vehicle and change it yourself, it will likely cost you less than half this amount . (I get mine online for even less $.)

With that said, even if you think the air is blowing fine, I recommend checking the filter anyway. Here is a video for changing the filter in an Acura RSX (Honda Civic is the same, except, inside, the tab is on the left instead of bottom, other Hondas/Acuras are similar, some other cars may be similarly behind the glove box, check your owner’s manual for location and how to change.)

(FYI: if you are thinking of just taking the filters out…not recommended, I’ve seen where people find mice and other nests on top of their cabin filters, without the filters there, the rodent would get right into your blower motor. http://forums.clubrsx.com/showthread.php?t=596926&page=2)

 

2) Thinking of getting one of those A/C recharge cans at the auto parts store?

You might want to check this out first:

Reposted from MotorWeek: http://www.motorweek.org/features/goss_garage/a_c_advice

(Transcribed text from video.) “Folks, when it comes to getting your air conditioner in your car repaired, you’re often your own worst enemy. Quick is not the way to do it. Cheap is not the way to do it, because cheap can cost you a lot of money later on. Alright, one of the things, if the system has been down for more than a few hours, chances are, when it’s repaired you’re going to need a new receiver dryer. This has a desiccant bag in it, that absorbs moisture, and moisture from the air will contaminate it in a very short period of time.

Alright, some cars use this part right here. This is an orifice tube. Not only does the refrigerant flow through this, but all of the oil that lubricates the parts of the system flow through it. This screen in here gets clogged up over time, and it restricts the amount of oil to lubricate the air conditioning system. If your car has it and it needs a repair, put a new orifice tube in it. Make sure that the shop that does your air conditioning work uses the proper type of lubricant. There are multiple types, each car has one that is recommended for it. Gotta be the right one, otherwise you’ll be buying a new compressor.

And speaking of compressors, they do fail. And when they do, they fill the system with little-bitty pieces of metal. So, before the new compressor goes on, you have to use an air conditioning flushing kit to flush everything out. And in most cases there will be a filter, an inline filter, that has to go in to protect the new compressor.

Also, here’s something that a lot of shops overlook, and that is vacuuming the system. You see, when you’re working on the system, air gets into it. We have to get that air out, but more importantly, the air has moisture in it. So, we do two things with this vacuum pump. Number one, we pull all the air out of it. But, number two, we drop the pressure. And as we drop the pressure inside the system, any water that’s in there, boils at room temperature, and turns into a vapor. And the vacuum pump pulls it out. This will protect the new parts in the system. Often, on a humid day, you’ll have to pull a vacuum on the system for three or four hours. So make sure that the shop that you select does all of these things, and you’ll have a good, cold air conditioning system that’ll last a long time. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek. ”

Reposted from MotorWeek: http://www.motorweek.org/features/goss_garage/a_c_advice

A Few of My Favorite Automotive/On-The-Road Apps

I will be posting soon on the topic of electric cars, in the meantime here are a few of my favorite automotive/on-the-road apps (all apps are free unless otherwise stated). (Links open in a new page/tab in your browser.):

Automotive News

Automotive news apps I like on my iPad:

Automobile Mag. News:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/automobile-magazine-news-for/id395579285

“CarBuzz”:
http://www.carbuzz.com/carbuzz-apps.aspx

Motor Trend Mag. News:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-trend-news-for-ipad/id395055760

(more Motor Trend apps iOS & Android: http://www.motortrend.com/mobile/app_page/)

—If you have Flipboard you can also get Car & Driver magazine news (maybe others as well).

There’s an app for that!

MPG? “Road Trip Lite”
If you want to know what kind of MPG you’re getting “Road Trip Lite” is a free app, input your mileage, gallons, price per gallon, filled/not-filled and upon your 2nd filling it will begin to give you your current MPG and average MPG. It graphs your price per gallon, miles driven, costs/averages and your MPG for one car. (If you forget to use the app while at the gas station, you can input the info. later, if you have your gas receipt.) You can input/output data in CSV or MS Office format as well. This free app is limited to one vehicle.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-lite-mpg-mileage/id299392794
 “Road Trip”
You can upgrade to the full version (not free) of “Road Trip” which lets you input unlimited vehicles, adds a service and repair log, expense tracking and more.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-mpg-mileage-fuel/id298398207

“Rest Area Finder”
If you are on an Interstate highway and need to go soon, but want a rest area and would rather not take an exit for a (possibly dirty) gas station rest room, or simply for trip planning “Rest Area Finder” is great for finding rest areas closest to your current location (you can zoom out as far as you need to as well):
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rest-area-finder/id330740828

“Parking Time”
Where’s my car? How much time left on the meter? This nifty little app answers those questions with a parked car GPS tracker and parking timer with push notifications, (just remember to open the app after you plug the meter 😉 ).
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/parking-time/id551244666

“KBB.com”
Kelley Blue Book Official Guide:
http://www.kbb.com/company/mobile/

“Foursquare”
A great app for finding eateries and other local businesses when you are out of town (pull over or let a passenger use this, please). https://foursquare.com/download/ 

“Car Talk”
Lastly, have you heard Click & Clack the Tappit brothers? Don’t have the radio on at the right time? You can listen anytime…there’s an app for that too! Although you can no longer call in live as they have retired as of last fall (after 35 years), the “Car Talk” producers at NPR are assembling shows using the more than 1200 programs the brothers have recorded since 1987 (it’s well done, you can’t really tell). If you haven’t heard them, they are funny and informative, you must download this app and hear at least one show. The current show is available for free. The weekly show is updated on saturdays at 6pm (I think). They also are continuing their blog for the time being (see below).

Car Talk iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/car-talk/id325965405 (listen to this week’s show via wifi or 3G or better data connection (data rates apply)).

Tom & Ray’s blog: http://www.cartalk.com/content/tom-ray

iTunes podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/npr-car-talk-podcast/id253191823

“Breakdown Lane” In the event of a breakdown, this app helps you locate the nearest consumer-recommended mechanic, (not free): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breakdown-lane-from-car-talk/id548771566

Website: http://www.cartalk.com Here you can listen online via computer, there’s a consumer-recommended mechanic finder, forums, all kinds of goodies.

Article about their retirement: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/09/entertainment/la-et-0609-car-talk-20120609

 

(You can find these apps by searching on your mobile device using the name of the app inside the quotes””, or (via computer or mobile browser) by clicking on the hyperlinks above. Some apps may only be available for iOS devices.)

Disney’s 1958 ideas for the Highway…

Here’s a little Disney vid from 1958 (discovered via a @ZelectricBug tweet)

Talk about “idealism” …keep in mind, the Interstate system of roads was started just two years earlier, and the original portion took 35 years to complete. Initial costs were underestimated, and required maintenance was very much more than expected.

How many of these ideas do you see in actual use today?

What ideas seem a bit far-fetched, or trendy for the times in which the animation was made?

What ideas would you like to see developed that haven’t been yet?

Comment!! 🙂

 

Electric/Hybrid/Hydrogen Fuel Cell news:

2013 Scion iQ EV: Is This the First Crack in the Zero Emission Mandate’s Future? (via motortrend.com)

http://blogs.motortrend.com/2013-scion-iq-ev-is-this-the-first-crack-in-the-zero-emission-mandates-future-26541.html/0/#ixzz2Akh1RtOg/

 

Scandinavian Countries Plan For Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080050_scandinavian-countries-plan-for-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars/

 

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: Is It The Ideal Modern Family Car? (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080103_2013-ford-c-max-hybrid-is-it-the-ideal-modern-family-car/

 

BMW i4 Concept Electric Coupe To Appear At LA Show: Report (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080104_bmw-i4-concept-electric-coupe-to-appear-at-la-show-report/

 

Hybrid Or Just High MPG? Which Car Is Right For You? (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080102_hybrid-or-just-high-mpg-which-car-is-right-for-you/

 

Chinese Electric Car Revolution Running On Half A Battery (via earthtechling.com)

http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/10/chinese-electric-car-revolution-running-on-half-a-battery/

 

See Nissan’s Wireless Charging With Automatic Parking Location (Video) (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080113_see-nissans-wireless-charging-with-automatic-parking-location-video/

Some recent car news highlights:

Motor Trend Picks its SUV of the Year (via carbuzz.com)

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/10/21/Motor-Trend-Picks-its-SUV-of-the-Year-7711167/

 

Racer-Built Toyota Sequoia, Camry, Tundra, and Prius to Take SEMA Stand for Charity (via motortrend.com)

http://wot.motortrend.com/racer-built-toyota-sequoia-camry-tundra-prius-to-take-sema-stand-for-charity-278523.html/0/#ixzz2AkaSPIo6

 

VW Reveals Taigun Concept in Brazil (via carbuzz.com)

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/10/22/VW-Reveals-Taigun-Concept-in-Brazil-7711279/

 

Subaru BRZ STI to Pack 280 HP (via carbuzz.com)

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/10/22/Subaru-BRZ-STI-to-Pack-280-HP-7711283/

 

4 Awesome Alfa Romeo Tune Jobs (via carbuzz.com)

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/10/23/4-Awesome-Alfa-Romeo-Tune-Jobs-7711294/

 

2012 Tesla Model S: Most Important New Car Since Ford Model T?

I have to say YES! Tesla started over in designing a car, by designing it based on it being electric powered rather than combustion engine powered.

(from Green Car Reports greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1079995_2012-tesla-model-s-most-important-new-car-since-ford-model-t

ImageTesla Model S Alpha build

A Few Hybrid & Electric Car News Links

Honda Hybrid Sales Top One Million — Can It Catch Toyota? (via automobilemag.com)

Fisker Atlantic Production Delayed to Late 2014 (via automobilemag.com)

Toyota Prius Dominates California as State’s No. 1 Model (via businessweek.com)

2013 Scion iQ EV: Is This the First Crack in the Zero Emission Mandate’s Future? (via blogs.motortrend.com)

Romney Slams Tesla, Fisker Again In Final Presidential Debate (via greencarreports.com)

2013 Tesla Model S – The Quickest Sedan in America

This is where electric cars can and will go!

In the vid he states this car is $90K and up, however it is available with 3 different battery sizes/ranges and a couple performance levels along with a “signature” model, (similar to a “limited” car). Pricing actually starts at $50K (before tax breaks) for the 40 kWh batt/160 mile range, 60 kWh/230 range $60K, 85 kWh/300 range $70K and on up to about $100K.

The thing to understand about electric cars is that all of your torque is available from 0RPMs on up. Electrics are powered by a motor not an engine. If you’ve ever driven a hybrid gas/electric car in “EV” mode, where you start off using only the electric motor, you really don’t get much power, this is because the electric motor in a hybrid vehicle is only supplementing the gas engine, it is not the main power of the car. I.E.: the ’12 Toyota Prius, the gas engine has 98 hp, while the electric motor has 36 hp*, so in EV mode you have 36 hp available. In power mode 134 hp using both gas & electric.

The high-end version of this car is available now, more models due out by end of this year. For more info., here’s Tesla’s website: http://www.teslamotors.com/

Here’s a direct link to the options/pricing page: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options

(Look for more posts about electrics/hybrids/other alternative-powered vehicles. …I’ve been waiting many years for electric cars and solar energy to really catch on.)

(I have some news posts I wanted to post last week but was having difficulty learning how to use WordPress, so look for more news this week.)

*Note: (The Prius’s electric motor has 36 actual hp, called “traction battery” on toyota’s website, they claim the “electric motor” has 80 hp, but this is only on paper, besides, the hybrid hp rating is 134…98+80 does not =134.)