What To Do If Your Car Knocks, Ticks Or Squeals

Each tick, knock, grind or screech that your car makes is its way of telling you that something is wrong. By ignoring these noises, simple issues can begin to grow. Find out what each sound means so that you can fix it quickly.

 

You hear a high-pitched squeal that stops when you shut off your engine: Readjust or replace the belt. These belts should have about half an inch of play and shouldn’t be frayed, cracked, or glazed on the underside.

 

You hear a continuous high-pitched sound that may continue after the engines shut off: Check the radiator pressure cap. The rubber gasket may be worn.

 

Something ticks rhythmically while your engine idles: Shut off the engine, wait ten minutes for the engine to cool and the oil to settle, and then check the oil level. If you have enough oil, have a mechanic check the valve adjustment.

If you hear a loud tapping or knocking sound in your engine, pull to the side of the road and call for road service. The source may be a loose rocker arm or carbon buildup inside the engine, but if it’s a loose bearing or a faulty piston, it can destroy the engine.

Mild knocking or “pinging” may be the result of using fuel with the wrong octane rating.

 

You hear the engine running after you turn off the ignition: Your engine is dieseling. This condition only happens to cars with carburetors. It is usually caused by an idle speed that’s set too high or excessive carbon in the combustion chamber.

 

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Decrease in the Fuel Economy Means Better Prices at Dealerships

The insanely low gas prices seemed like a miracle to everybody this winter, however the gift continues far beyond the gas station. What many drivers don’t realize is that the price of gas, the cost of a new car and the deals you receive with it actually go hand in hand.

Since the price of gas was so low car drivers everywhere are saving on gallons a day, which means they have more money saved to invest in a new car. Car dealerships and makers receive more money per purchase due to the bigger budget, which usually means a bigger and more expensive car and invest that money in better deals, lower discounts and larger incentives on future purchases.

Of course dealers and carmakers do not always put every penny of their new-found riches into the deal-making side of the business. They also look to book healthier profits.

But with more money sloshing around in the system, notes auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, it is fair to expect a new wave of offers and enticements in the Canadian light vehicle marketplace. We are seeing this now.

There’s more to this story, too. Lower pump prices are acting as an economic windfall for the average car owner. DesRosiers estimates that the typical Canadian uses about 1,820 liter18s of fuel a year. A 30-cent drop at the pump puts $546 into the pocket of every driver – and nation-wide amounts to a $13 billion economic stimulus.

What we have here is a country of enriched drivers being chased by an army of dealers and manufacturers with more money to spend on incentives.

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Volkswagon Redesigns The Minivan With The New Touran

Volkswagon recently revealed the new minivan, the Volkswagon Touran. This model is recently exported from Europe and introduces a seamless connection for your smartphone as well as new activated safety features that you can discover. In addition, there is more room for storage and luggage with the biggest compartment in its category. This allows more options for you while still being comfortable and light, with room to adjust depending on the situation.

The Touran is the first minivan and third VW brand model after the Golf and Passat underpinned by the automaker’s highly flexible MQB architecture. The new platform allowed VW to reduce the Touran’s weight and lengthen its wheelbase to increase interior space, VW said in a statement.

The latest Touran, which will be made in Wolfsburg, will go on sale in Europe in September. It will not be sold in the U.S. but it will also be built in Shanghai for China with a launch scheduled for the end of this year.

VW gave no details on prices for the third-generation minivan but a spokesman said they would not be much different from the base 23,250 euro price tag in Germany of the current model despite new added content.

The Touran will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 3. It will face new competition from another Geneva debut, the BMW 2 series Gran Tourer, an all-new model that BMW hopes will poach new customers for its brand from rivals such as the Touran and Mercedes-Benz B class.

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VW Golf Named North American Car of the Year

It seems to happen on a yearly basis. Naming of the North American Car of the Year. Each year a bevy of journalists get together and name the Car of the year. Who took it this year, you might ask? Well let me tell you. Volkswagen, with their brand new 2015 Golf. Beating out the Ford mustang and the Hyundai Genesis. Currently in its seventh generation the Golf offers more selection than most of its competitors. So no wonder why it was chosen as the winner.

That wide range of choices is one of the factors that led us to choose the Golf as our 2015 Best Car To Buy. Volkswagen’s last win was the  North American Car of the Year in 1999, with the New Beetle.

Meanwhile, the 2015 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck took home 2015 North American Truck of the Year honors.

For the 2015 model year, the F-150 was fully redesigned with several efficiency-focused features such as a lightweight aluminum body and downsized 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine option, joining the previous 3.5-liter version.The F-150 was chosen over the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup and 2015 Lincoln MKC crossover, giving Ford its eighth Truck of the Year award.

The awards–now in their 22nd year–judge vehicles based on a number of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for money.

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Warren Buffett Now a Car Salesman

Billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has agreed to buy Van Tuyl Group, America’s fifth-largest auto retailer and plans to buy more dealerships over time.

His Berkshire Hathaway Inc. would acquire an about $8 billion retail business with operations from Florida to California, and use it to snap up family-owned dealerships elsewhere. The retailer, which will be named Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, can leverage Berkshire’s other companies to provide car sales, financing and related services.

The move comes as car-retailing is poised to undergo significant changes that provide greater efficiencies. Dealer profits have been rising as auto makers culled less financially stable businesses during last decade’s financial crisis. Customers also have embraced the Web to shop for cars, cutting dealer overhead costs.

“We’re certainly thinking big and would like to grow the business,” said Jeff Rachor, president of Phoenix-based Van Tuyl Group, which Berkshire agreed to acquire in an all-cash deal. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Mr. Rachor, who will become Berkshire Hathaway Automotive’s chief executive, said the new company intends to pursue dealer acquisitions in the South and Midwest where Van Tuyl already has stores, relying on its new owner’s deep pockets. He estimated there are about 5,000 dealerships that have the scale that match its acquisition goals.

Van Tuyl, a closely held business that was founded in Kansas City nearly 60 years ago, owns dealerships that now sell about 240,000 vehicles a year. The company has been controlled by Larry Van Tuyl, the founder’s son who will become chairman of the new business.

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The New and Improved Volt

The Volt was considered a great vehicle for those who want to”go green” and still maintain some style.  General Motors will show the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in at the Detroit auto show in January, Chevy’s top marketer said today.

Tim Mahoney, Chevy’s global chief marketing officer, disclosed the plans at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. He also revealed a teaser photo that showed the redesigned 2016 Volt’s rear badge and a more sculpted decklid.

The next-gen Volt is expected to arrive in showrooms sometime in late 2015. GM will add a third seat in the rear and downsize to a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine, from the current 1.4-liter four-cylinder, sources have told Automotive News.

GM has sold more than 65,000 Volts since it went on sale in December 2010, making it the top selling U.S. plug-in car, GM said in a statement today.

Still, sales volumes have fallen short of the company’s initial expectations. Former CEO Dan Akerson had initially projected production of 60,000 Volts in 2012 alone.

This year through July, GM sold 10,635 Volts, down 9 percent from a year earlier. Sales dipped 2 percent last year, to 23,094.

GM said nearly 70 percent of buyers who trade in another vehicle for a Volt are coming out of non-GM brands, which is a high conquest rate. The majority of those trade-ins are Toyota Prius hybrids, GM said.

The Volt is powered by energy from its 435-pound battery pack for an estimated range of 38 miles. Once the charge is depleted, the gasoline-powered engine kicks on to power the electric drivetrain.  With this next generation keep the Volt on top?

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The All New McLaren P1 GTR

The all new McLaren P1 GTR is a beautifully designed concept car.  McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche have all come out with their hybrid-powered hypercars, vehicles that boast the bleeding edge of what is possible with today’s road-car technology. The next step, at least in the case of McLaren and Ferrari, is to push that bleeding edge just a hair further, with even faster, more focused versions of the P1 and LaFerrari. At the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, McLaren will be the first to give us a glimpse of that boundary-pushing machine.

The British automaker has announced that the P1 GTR Design Concept will make its global debut smack dab in the middle of Monterey’s legendary car week, with the veil lifting on Friday, August 15 at 6:00 PM EST.

McLaren doesn’t go into many specifics here, simply calling the P1 GTR a track-focused variant of the P1, which we kind of already knew. Based on what we can see from the lone teaser sketch, the new model will have a much more dramatic aerodynamic presence than the street model, with a massive rear wing and a huge rear diffuser. Sandwiched between those two items are a pair of exhaust tips that wouldn’t look out of place on the deck of your average battleship. Carbon fiber should feature prominently, with a few exposed sections of the stuff visible in the teaser image.  What this new super car provides is high speed at low cost.

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Fuel Economy Takes a Step in the Right Direction

American vehicles are getting better fuel economy than ever before, according to a study released in late April. Good news for SUV, pickup and muscle car drivers.

Over half of the vehicles sold this year deliver over 23 mpg, with one in nine topping 30 mpg, the study showed.

Even some traditional gas guzzlers are now yielding mileage once considered a stretch for small cars, industry and government data reveals, though automakers still face a stretch achieving the 54.5 mpg target facing them in 2025, observers warn.

“This has been remarkable,” said Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America, which has been tracking fuel economy trends for over a decade. After years of relatively stagnant mileage, the increased federal fuel economy rules passed in 2005 have been paying off, he said, it’s an encouraging example of how public awareness can inspire change in the industry.

Read the full article here.

 

US Auto Sales up 6%

U.S. auto sales picked up steam halfway through March and ended strong. 6% may not seem like huge growth. But after a 3% decline in January and a flat result in February, any sign of momentum is a good one for the industry.

Coming after many months of strong growth, the sluggish results earlier this year raised a troubling question in many investors’ minds: Was it just the weather keeping buyers away from car dealers, or was the economic tide starting to turn for the worse?

Several automakers made a point of saying on Tuesday that the pace of sales improved significantly in late March — a sign that maybe it really was “just the weather.”  As the weather continues to improve, hopefully auto sales do, too.

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Folding Car? Fact or Myth

These things are awesome! Ever tried to find a parking spot in New York City? If so, you’re probably still looking for one because your car is too big to squeeze into any of those tiny spaces that are available.

You might not have that problem if you had the Hiriko Fold city car, an uber-compact electric car that folds right up to shoehorn into the tightest of parking spots. If news of this pint-sized car quells your road rage with visions of vehicular bliss, brother, you’re in luck. The car is expected to hit the market next year.