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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Mercedes Sprinter van

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

I live just two miles away from one of the most popular recreational roads in America - the Blue Ridge Parkway. So I see a lot of recreational vehicles. And lately, I've been seeing a lot of Benz Sprinters.

Nominally, it's a commercial van - in the same class (and useful for the same purposes) as the Nissan NV van (and the new Ram ProMaster ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Why Punish People for Speeding?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Why should anyone be subject to punishment merely for driving "x" speed? Is it not of a piece with punishing someone for merely consuming alcohol? The justification usually given is that "speeding" might cause harm.

Well, sure. But that's something that can be said with equal validity about… well, pretty much anything. You might cause harm -...Read more

Eric's Autos: Oversold New Car Features

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

There isn't a new car on the market that hasn't already got all the basics covered. And then some. It's hard to find a new car - any new car - that isn't at least air conditioned. That doesn'thave - at least - a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, power windows and locks and an electric rear defroster.

"Basic" transportation is not what it ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Nissan Murano

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The Lexus RX is a really nice ride. The problem is, it's also a really expensive ride. Almost $41k to start - and over $50k fully loaded. Meanwhile, you could buy this Nissan Murano - which is very similar in terms of size, layout , what you get (and can get) features and equipment-wise - for just under $29k to start.

Or, get it loaded - AWD, ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Car Smells and Tastes

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

What can your car tell you just by the way it smells - or tastes? A lot, actually. Let's put on our chef hats and see what's cooking...

* Car smells like maple syrup -

Almost always, this is a sign the cooling system's sprung a leak. The chemicals in engine coolant give off a syrupy sweet smell that's particularly noticeable when the fluid is ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Bad Karma

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

What if you build it - and they don't come? Send the bill to the taxpayers! Twice. This is how you make money in the New America. Well, the green America. Don't earn it. Steal it.

The "business model" is simple enough: Glom on to a politically high-fashion issue - electric cars, for instance. Then obtain government (meaning, taxpayer) "help" ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Chevy Trax

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Remember the Chevy Tracker? The pocket-sized SUV sold (in the U.S.) from 1998 through 2004? It was very popular - and would probably still be around today were it not for the fact that it got outpaced by federal crashworthiness standards that made it effectively illegal to sell the thing. (The same fate befell another successful car that the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Car Lingo

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

How much do you know about cars? It's not just trivia, either. Knowing some things about cars - or at least, some car lingo - can help you come across as more car-savvy, even if you're not a gearhead. Andthat can help you avoid getting ripped off by a bad apple car salesman or service advisor. The bad ones are looking for marks - and if you ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Radar Love

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

A bullet-proof vest does not mean you're bullet-proof. It just means most bullets won't penetrate the vest. But some will. Same with radar detectors. You'll be less vulnerable - but you won't be able invulnerable.

Probably the greatest threat - the one radar detectors are least able to protect you from - is so-called "instant- on" radar. The ...Read more

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

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

Eric's Autos: Get An Old Bike While You Can Still Afford One

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

As new bikes become more and more like new cars - that is, complicated and expensive, both to buy and maintain - the remaining supply of old bikes is going to get pricier as a result of increasing demand. After all, they're not making any more of them.

The situation with bikes today is a lot like it was with cars - especially now-classic muscle...Read more

Eric's Autos: Blue Haze - Mazda RX-8 (2001-2012)

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the greets ideas never get fleshed out and remain... great ideas. Mazda's rotary engine, for instance. And the car that was built around it. The RX8.

Well, it began with the RX-7 - which first came to market in 1978. It was the heir-apparent of the Japanese (home market) 1967-'72 Cosmo - Mazda's first production car foray into rotary ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Mandatory in-Car Breathalyzers by 2020?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Drunk driving checkpoints presume you're drunk until you demonstrate otherwise to the satisfaction of a cop. In about five years - maybe sooner - your car may take over that job.

NHTSA - the federal agency that brought you shrapnel-spewing airbags you're not allowed to say no to - has revealed its next decision-made-for-you in the name of "...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Chevy Impala

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Big family cars used to be what American car companies did better than anyone else. Chevy is doing it again. It may not be rear-wheel-drive or offer V8 power, but the Impala is a family sled and road car worth of the bounding African antelope badge on the sail panel.

Perhaps because it is a Cadillac road sled with a bounding African antelope ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 BMW X5 M

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the quickest cars on the road aren't even cars - much less high-performance sports cars. This BMW X5 M, for instance. Don't let the four doors fool you. Let them fool the dude sitting next to you at the light in his 911.

With not-far-from 600 hp under its hood, the gag is on pretty much everyone - in anything - who thinks they can ...Read more

Eric's Autos: What They're Not Telling You About New Cars

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Did you know that some (and soon, probably many) new cars don't rely entirely on an alternator to generate the electricity needed to run accessories and - critical thing - keep the battery charged? And that these are not hybrid cars?

BMW and Mazda were the first to graft hybrid-esque regenerative braking technology onto non-hybrid cars. The ...Read more

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