Motormouth: Dealers disappoint owners with dodgy service 09-18-2017
I took my car to a car dealer (not the one who sold me the car) for an oil change. Later, I discovered that they removed my commemorative license plate frame and replaced it with one advertising their store. I didn’t notice this until later, and by that time they had discarded my frame.
Mark Phelan: Ford Ranger Raptor breaks cover in Australian desert tests 09-18-2017
Can you say "Ford Ranger Raptor?" Now try it with an Australian accent: "No worries, mate. I’ll pick you up for the barbie in me Ranger Raptor. G’day."
Auto review: 2018 Mercedes E400 is the Debbie Harry of coupes 09-18-2017
I was surprised but not shocked earlier this week to see that new wave rock star Debbie Harry, 72, had strutted her stuff at a London fashion show. After all, vanity dictates we maintain an illusion of youth even as it slowly slips away.
Under the Hood: Lots to consider with frequently stalling truck 09-18-2017
Q: I hope you can solve my problem. I have a 1994 Dodge Dakota with 190,000 miles on it. The engine has never given me a problem until recently.
Auto review: Chevy’s Colorado ZR2 is a big boy truck toy 09-18-2017
In the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet has fielded a purpose-built pickup truck that boasts a number of exclusives. It’s the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, the only one to come standard with true "off-road" suspension and the only one with locking front and rear differentials.
Auto review: BMW 5 Series: A perfect union of performance, technology 09-18-2017
As one of BMW’s bread-and-butter vehicles — nearly 8 million have been sold — one might think the 5 Series’ identity and legacy would be etched in granite by now.
Auto review: 2018 Toyota Camry is anything but boring 09-11-2017
Neighbors flagged it down in the middle of the street. Friends asked for a ride. The teenager in the parking lot stopped and gaped. "Is that the 2018?"
Mark Phelan: Automakers relieved that millennials are finally dreaming of big SUVS 09-11-2017
Get ready for a surge in family-SUV sales as millennials start snapping up the practical vehicles like they used to buy glow sticks before a rave.
Motormouth: New cars offer no good space to store a purse 09-11-2017
Q: Do you have any insight if the trend to have the console fill the entire area between the front seats will continue?
Auto review: Jaguar adds pep to entry-level F-Type 09-11-2017
Jaguar Land Rover, taking a page from the European luxury car playbook, is offering increasingly attractive performance versions of its entry-level sports cars.
Under the Hood: Dash light turns on during day’s second drive 09-11-2017
Q: I have a 1996 Acura TL 2.5 with about 89,000 miles on it. At the beginning of the first drive of the day, all of the dash lights glow and then disappear.
Auto review: 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid clears the way for electrification 09-11-2017
Being first to innovate the market does not mean best. Honda launched the first hybrid in the U.S. in 1999 with the two-seat, three-door, odd-pod Insight.
Under the Hood: Civic’s air conditioning stops during long drives 09-04-2017
Q: Brad, we have a 2009 Honda Civic with 44,000 miles. We bought it new, and it rarely leaves the town we live in. When we do drive out of the area, though, and have the air conditioning on for an extended period of time, the fan blower shuts down. It happens regardless of the fan speed.
Larry Printz: Need to cut your fuel bill? Check out these new hybrids 09-04-2017
If you’re looking to make the most of your fuel dollar, you should consider a gas-electric hybrid. With the addition of electric motors to a gasoline driveline, fuel economy improves markedly, although that comes with caveats.
Motormouth: What is the difference between coupe and sedan? 09-04-2017
Q: The difference between a coupe and a sedan was explained to me many years ago by an old body and fender guy.
Mark Phelan: Here are the best new vehicles for traveling with dogs 09-04-2017
Just like American drivers, American dogs love the new generation of car-like SUVs, according to the editorial team at shopping website Autotrader.
Auto review: 2018 Chevy Traverse High Country takes family SUVs to the peak 09-04-2017
If you’ve wondered why automakers are canceling car programs and adding SUVs to their lineups, let me enlighten you: $53,085. That’s the sticker price of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country I recently tested. (I give four out of four stars).
Auto review: 2017 Audi RS 7 Performance trim is overkill 09-04-2017
The Audi RS 7 is a great car. But the all-new performance trim and its $137,000 price tag is silly. In a sign of the times, there is no shortage of similarly priced, fully loaded performance vehicles, ranging from a Tesla Model S P100D to a Porsche Panamera Turbo.
Under the Hood: Behind the popularity of 2.0-liter engines 08-28-2017
Q: I was curious why there seems to be such a huge number of 2.0-liter engines on the market now. What is there about this size that makes it so popular?––Frank H.
Motormouth: Replacing damaged parts is recommended, even for splash shields 08-28-2017
Q: While we were coming back from vacation, the splash shield on our 2013 Mazda3 came loose. We pulled over and had it taken off by a local auto shop.
Mark Phelan: Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz pickup? Wake me when they sell 100,000 08-28-2017
Hyundai just announced it will build the Santa Cruz small pickup in a bid to reverse slumping sales.
Auto review: Honda Clarity Electric: A plug-in BEV with midsize sedan style 08-28-2017
Honda showed up early for the hydrogen fuel cell party, getting to market before Toyota’s Mirai and Hyundai’s Tucson with an early version of its current Clarity sedan.
Auto review: 2017 Buick LaCrosse is a good car at a bad time 08-28-2017
Lacrosse the sport is growing in popularity across the country. LaCrosse the car is not. With sales of GM’s full-size sedans down nearly 20 percent in the first half of this year, rumors are swirling about the end of the Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS and CT6, and the Buick LaCrosse.
Motormouth: New gear shifter grinds driver’s patience 08-21-2017
Q: My wife and I are loyal Chrysler customers. She is driving our fourth Town & Country minivan. I currently have a Charger R/T.
Auto review: Lincoln Continental returns with ‘quiet luxury’ after 15-year hiatus 08-21-2017
If you ever wondered whatever happened to the Lincoln Continental, you’re not alone. For many years, it was the flagship for a luxury-car company that moved global dignitaries and U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, even on that fateful day (a Continental codenamed SS-100-X by the Secret Service).
Under the Hood: Failed heater core making a mess 08-21-2017
Q: I’m hoping you can help me. The floor beneath the dashboard of my 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 is wet. Looking closely, I can see orange fluid dripping down from the parts above. Any ideas on how to fix this? It’s becoming a slimy mess.
Auto review: Moving? Try the Dodge Durango, a modern-day Conestoga 08-21-2017
Do you get up from the couch to turn on the television? Of course you don’t. Credit Commander Eugene F. McDonald Jr., founder of the Zenith Radio Corporation, for developing the first television remote, appropriately dubbed "Lazy Bones" by the company.
Auto review: 2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle goes longer on style than miles 08-21-2017
When the BMW i3 debuted in 2014, I called it an odd duck. An odd headless duck. Nothing has changed on the outside for 2017. The duck pun may have been a reach; it looks more like geometric Picasso tiles for kids were fashioned together to form an eco-pod on wheels, especially in the new hue of Protonic Blue.
Mark Phelan: New books track classics from Ford, Chevy and VW 08-14-2017
Three new books tell the history of some of America’s favorite vehicles in text and photos. Devoted fans of Ford pickups, Chevy muscle cars and oddball VWs will find lots to love about the new books, all of which are loaded with photos, illustrations and facts.
Auto review: Mercedes-AMG’s first compact performance crossover takes a bite out of competition 08-14-2017
Let the big dog eat. I don’t know where the phrase comes from or why people seem to use it for everything from a toddler getting her way to a rare straight drive on the golf course, but it applies just as well to the Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
Auto review: Gorgeous 2018 Lexus LC 500 redefines Lexus style 08-14-2017
I’m a believer. I remained skeptical for years as Toyota executives vowed their company would become a design leader. No more.
Under the Hood: What’s necessary, what’s not at 60,000 miles? 08-14-2017
Q: Our 2011 Honda CR-V just reached 60,000 miles and needs its scheduled service. Our dealer prepared a quote for me that included what Honda recommends plus a few other things and totaled $579.
Auto review: Ferrari GTC4 Lusso: Lush looks and luxury in a super sports car 08-14-2017
I confess: I had mixed feelings about saying goodbye to the 2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. I was sad, because I’d had such a good week driving it. But I was also happy, because I had gotten through the week without damaging it.
Motormouth: High octane recommendation causes confusion 08-07-2017
Q: I drive a 2001 Lexus LS430 with 58,567 miles. The car manual says I should use gasoline with an octane of 96 or higher. I cannot find an octane that high. Any suggestions?
Under the Hood: Watch your transmission temperature when hauling a trailer 08-07-2017
Q: My wife and I took the plunge and bought a fifth-wheel trailer and a truck to tow it. Everything was supposedly chosen to work seamlessly together and, so far, it tows great.
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