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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Dodge Hellcat

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

I have been waiting for you. It took 45 years, but the moment has finally arrived. A real muscle car is once again available. Scary. Dangerous - in the hands of a fool or a novice. A car that's got more engine than traction and you'd damned well better respect that. 707 supercharged horsepower through just two wheels (the rear wheels). Mid-high ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Free and Easy Fixes

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

By Eric Peters For immediate release

Do you know what to do - well, what to try - if you can't move your car's gear selector lever out of Park? Well, first, don't panic. And don't try to force it. Because you might just break it - and then you'll really be stuck.

Instead, look around the console area near the shift lever for a Pez-sized ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Not All New Car News Is Bad News

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the news is good news. It's not all shrapnel-spewing air bags, annoying buckle-up buzzers and engines that shut themselves (and the AC) off at stoplights to "save gas." Here are some new features you'll find in new cars that won't make your teeth ache:

In-car WiFi -

Did you know you no longer need to find a Starbucks to find WiFi ...Read more

Ford to recall 433,000 cars for software update

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford is recalling about 433,000 of its 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles for a problem with the body control module.

The software glitch could allow the engine to continue to run after the ignition is turned off and the key removed or the after pressing the Engine Stop button.

The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries...Read more

Car sales sizzle, but higher interest rates loom

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- U.S. consumers are buying new cars and trucks at the strongest rate since 2001 and spending more on pickups, SUVs and luxury models.

But there are warning signs.

"We're entering into uncharted territory," said John Humphrey of J.D. Power and Associates. "There will likely be an increase in interest rates. Even a 50 basis point move...Read more

Larry Printz: Much of the newest car technology is nothing new

Automotive / Automotive News /

You climb into your brand new car. After fastening your seat belt and hitting the starter button, you push another button to put into gear. You adjust the automatic climate control using the screen at the center of the instrument panel. The gas-electric hybrid driveline powers you down the road as traction control ensures that you have maximum ...Read more

2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is built for speed

Automotive / Automotive News /

The 2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is a hot rod.

More muscle car than luxury car, more American than German, it's a wolf in wolf's clothing.

Sleek, low and lean, it looks fast and it is fast -- zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 193 miles per hour.

Climb inside the two-door, two-seater -- because you do have to climb inside -- fire it up,...Read more

Under the Hood: Air control issues have drive hot under the collar

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 1999 Corvette with dual-zone air controls. On three different occasions the controls have gotten stuck on a certain setting, and I've then been unable to get them to move. I bought two new units. They seemed to work for awhile and then the same thing happened. I had the car totally checked out, which cost $1,000. They couldn't find ...Read more

Ground-breaking design shakes up motorcycle helmet industry

Automotive / Automotive News /

BREA, Calif. -- Bob Weber had a small but simple plan. He wanted to design a safer helmet for dirt bike riders.

The entrepreneur, based here, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles, ended up disrupting the $250-million-a-year motorcycle helmet industry and igniting a debate over head injuries that could have much broader impact.

Weber's ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: I can't get out of park

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: Our 2007 Buick Rendezvous at times will not shift from park. It seems frozen there. If we turn on the ignition and put it in neutral, then it will let us shift. Help!

A: I'm confused! You seem to be describing correct operation of the shift interlock system. Here's how the system is designed to operate: With the ignition switch in the on ...Read more

Personalities, newcomers are shaping UAW talks

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Personalities and experience are likely to play major roles in contract talks between the UAW union and the Detroit-based automakers.

Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, could again be the wild card. He has shown himself in the past to be a hands-on CEO not afraid to take drastic steps or interrupt the flow of talks...Read more

Auto review: 2015 VW Golf SportWagen is the perfect antidote for crossover-clogged cul-de-sacs

Automotive / Automotive News /

Americans have become obsessed with compact and subcompact crossover utility vehicles. These are vehicles that look like SUVs but are little more than humdrum cars fitted with a hatchback body and a few more inches of ground clearance. Originally bought as an outdoorsy antidote to the minivan and station wagon, the CUV now clogs the nation's ...Read more

Mark Phelan: New book details US Highway 12, from its mastodon trail past to today

Automotive / Automotive News /

A fascinating new book traces U.S. Highway 12 -- Michigan Avenue, if you're a resident of metro Detroit or Chicago -- from its days as an Indian trail to when it became the second U.S. federal highway in 1825 and its current status as a scenic and leisurely alternative to the sameness of interstate highways.

The book is packed with facts and ...Read more

2015 US auto sales on track to hit a record

Automotive / Automotive News /

Through half of 2015, auto sales are on track to hit record levels not seen in 15 years -- which has many observers convinced the industry will see sales fall soon.

After climbing more than 4 percent through July, after several years of post-recession growth, annual sales could approach the previous annual record of 17.4 million.

The robust ...Read more

Consumers spending big on new cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Consumers are not just buying new vehicles -- they are truly spending as evidenced by the increasing average transaction prices the industry witnessed in the month of June.

"Transaction prices continue to climb, increasing 2.5 percent in June from last year, bringing the average up to $33,340," said Kelley Blue Book analyst Mark ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler sales up 8 percent, Ford up 2 percent, GM down 3 percent in June

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Sales of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cars and trucks rose 8 percent in June; Ford was up almost 2 percent, and General Motors fell 3 percent, but the industry remains on track for its best year since 2005.

Nissan's sales jumped 13 percent, led by a 54 percent sales surge for its small crossover, the Rogue. Toyota's sales increased 4 ...Read more

Auto Word: Two Personalities for 500X Crossover

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Fiat's third family member from Italy, the 500X, is destined to become the brand's most-popular model and biggest seller. It has the right size, the right looks and the right features with the right pricing.

The 500X shares the bones of the 500L wagon, but is a much different execution. The X concept was started from scratch (though it shares ...Read more

FCA makes unusual move amid SUV recall

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is telling the owners of 65 new 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos to immediately stop driving the vehicles and is recalling a total of 7,690 SUVs.

The automaker said it is taking the unusual step of telling owners to stop driving the vehicles because suspension components were installed that were ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Volvo V60

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Have you noticed? Acura has quietly dropped the TSX sportwagon. The Caddy CTS wagon is gone, too. Audi no longer sells wagon versions of the A4 or the A6, either. The Benz C-Class wagon disappeared years ago. Look around - the room's pretty empty. Well, except for this Volvo V60. It's not only a wagon, it's the only luxury-brand sportwagon you ...Read more

Eric's Autos: If Distracted Driving is Bad

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

We're told it's not safe to text while drive because that's a distraction. But how about all these buzzers and flashing lights and (yes, it's true) suddenly vibrating seats and steering wheels? Many new cars comes equipped with some - or all - of the following:

Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Cross Traffic ...Read more