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Under the Hood: Faulty transmission, floppy sun visor and more

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I own a 1995 Mazda MPV with an automatic transmission and 225,000 miles on it. The transmission will not consistently shift to drive. Some times -- if I'm lucky -- I can shift to drive. But then I can't shift to park or reverse. I'm wondering what's causing this problem.

--Juan

A: Juan, I'm wondering if you may have a cable-linkage fault ...Read more

Mark Phelan: High octane gas coming — but you'll pay more for it

Automotive / Automotive News /

Automakers and oil companies are quietly developing a new generation of fuels and engines that together will generate more power from less gasoline, reducing emissions and boosting fuel economy.

But industry executives are reluctant to talk publicly about their research.

Why so quiet?

Because no company wants to be the poster child for higher...Read more

Auto review: Porsche Macan GTS is a go-fast, high-strung crossover that works

Automotive / Automotive News /

There is no shortage of high-horsepower performance crossovers, from the recently announced 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to BMW M Series and Mercedes-AMG in crossovers big and small. Call it the rise of the PUV, performance utility vehicle.

It would make sense for Porsche, who makes the world's best sports coupe in the 911, to ...Read more

Five worst new car features

Automotive / Automotive News /

The state of the auto industry is one of opposites. There are sport utility vehicles with more horsepower than sports cars, and pickup trucks equipped like luxury flagships. Americans hold on to their cars for over 11 years yet new car sales broke records in 2015 and again in 2016. Yet we're also paying record high prices of more than $34,000 to...Read more

As auto sales cool, there are great deals to be had — and worries of a lending bubble

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Heather Milne Barger and her husband knew it was about time to replace their 12-year-old Honda Civic hybrid this year -- not only because it was showing its age, but because they knew there were bargains to be had.

"There were a lot of deals that dealerships were having, and cheap financing," said Milne Barger, 44.

Sure enough, ...Read more

Auto review: Honda brings Civic hatch back in style

Automotive / Automotive News /

Good things don't necessarily come in small packages. It's more like good things make great use of space. The 2017 Honda Civic hatchback is one of the roomiest compact hatches, which makes it competitive not just with other hatches but with America's darling, the compact crossover.

The Civic hatch returns after a 12-year hiatus in the American ...Read more

Tesla plans to nearly double its car-charging network

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla will nearly double its Supercharger electric car charging network this year to 10,000 public charging units globally, up from 5,400, the company said Monday.

The company plans to begin producing the mass-market Model 3 later this year and is aiming to expand its current annual vehicle production from 80,000 last year to ...Read more

Betting on a Tesla failure

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- A high-end Tesla Model S can rocket from zero to 60 mph in 2.27 seconds.

But can the electric car maker itself accelerate from producing 80,000 vehicles a year to 500,000 in 2018? A million in 2020? Can it make money in the process?

Short sellers are betting big on no.

It's a dangerous bet.

Here's how it works: Short sellers...Read more

Auto review: Zero's DS 6.5 is a commuter rarity

Automotive / Automotive News /

Battery electric automobiles have broken most of the barriers to ownership, even if they haven't broken sales records.

Tesla overcame the performance and luxury hurdles with its sleek Model S. The Chevrolet Bolt EV smashed previous range limitations. In the two-wheeled electric world, Zero motorcycles may help shake commuter resistance among ...Read more

Federal judge recalls VW's glory years before imposing $2.8B fine

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- For a moment on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox grew wistful about Volkswagen's past.

That was before Cox imposed a $2.8 billion criminal fine that is part of a larger $4.3 billion plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that includes civil penalties.

Before he characterized the automaker's actions as "massive ...Read more

Tesla recalls some Model S and Model X cars for parking brake problem

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Because of a parking brake that might stick and render a car immobile, Tesla Inc. has issued a voluntary recall for certain Model S and Model X luxury electric cars.

In an email to owners Thursday, first revealed by TechCrunch, Tesla said that no injuries related to the defect have been reported, and that "we do not believe ...Read more

New Mopar center to serve 200 Fiat Chrysler dealers

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Mopar opened a new parts distribution center in Virginia this week to serve Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealerships in the Mid-Atlantic region as the automaker continues to expand its parts and service brand.

The new center in Winchester, Va., near the north-south Interstate-81 corridor, is the first of two such facilities planned to ...Read more

Under the Hood: Replace timing belt before long road trip

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: Brad, I own a 2009 Subaru Forester with around 93,000 miles on it.

I change the oil every 5,000 miles using a synthetic and I have also changed the transmission fluid.

I have not had any problems since I bought it new in 2008 but I am soon taking a road trip to Florida and want your opinion on changing the timing belt and pump.

Subaru says...Read more

Flying cars may be poised to take off, but survey shows Americans want a parachute

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Flying cars are beginning to look less like science fiction these days, with big companies and small startups developing working prototypes. Nothing's commercially available yet, but experts say highway vehicles with wings are possible over the next five to 10 years.

What do consumers think? Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle ...Read more

Larry Printz: When record players rode in cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

Saturday is Record Store Day. In honor of the event, let's look back at a technology that way before cassettes, CDs and the rebirth of vinyl tried to displace radio as the in-car entertainment option of choice.

Pretend it's 1956 and your only in-car option for music is AM radio.

At first, this might not seem so bad considering some of the era'...Read more

Auto review: Porsche adds turbo to sporty Targa

Automotive / Automotive News /

There are weeks when I lose interest in driving, and there are cars that restore my interest. This was one of those weeks, and the new Porsche 911 Targa 4S is one of those cars.

The German sports car company has upgraded this model for 2017 by turbocharging it and adding features normally found only on sportier models.

New to this year's model...Read more

Mark Phelan: 'Rhapsody' interior challenged Lincoln, highlights brand heritage

Automotive / Automotive News /

Blue was Lincoln's signature color in the brand's glory days of the 1950s and '60s, but engineers shuddered when designers suggested reviving it for the brand's new flagship: the 2017 Continental.

You wouldn't think it, but creating an all-blue interior for a car is maddeningly difficult, Continental chief engineer Michael Celentino says. ...Read more

Vehicle-sharing services offer range of driving experiences

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Miguel Casillas figured renting out his company's three-vehicle fleet made perfect business sense.

Casillas, executive director of the nonprofit SV Links, shuttles international business tourists around Silicon Valley in a Tesla Model S, Model X and a Mazda SUV one week a month.

The other three weeks, the expensive cars sit...Read more

Auto review: MX-5 RF is more than just a seasonal hardtop convertible

Automotive / Automotive News /

Forty-six degrees is not convertible weather. Unless the sun is out in March in the Midwest. Such a bright appearance after such a gray season provokes people to wear shorts, drink early and smile. Or to put the top down at 70 mph with the heat on low and cozy up in the new hardtop Mazda Miata. The MX-5 RF is more than just cozy; it is an ...Read more

Modern station wagons offer antidote to boring crossovers

Automotive / Automotive News /

The station wagon, exemplified by the wood-grain 1970 Buick Estate that starred in the campy movie "The Way Way Back," was the classic American family car of baby boomers and Gen Xers. In the age of crossovers, however, a new generation of wagons steers away from families with performance, style and versatile luxury. The modern wagon is perfect ...Read more

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