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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, climate change hysteria fueled by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg along with politicians across the world has been freaking some people out over climate change fears, like if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels we’ll be on fire, or under an ocean… or California will end up in an ice age. One of the biggest things right now is that internal combustion engine vehicles that run on gas and coal is under fire right now for existing.

The problem is, there is no climate crisis caused by vehicle emissions. Climate change has been happening since the dawn of time and continues to change. Droughts, forest fires and temperature changes isn’t something new, nor caused by vehicle emissions. Its nature.

Nature also corrects human mistakes, such as the fires in Australia which was man made and since a lot of animals were killed in the fire and some of the forest has been lost a huge rain bomb occurred. The planet corrected itself by making it rain. Arsonists was to blame for the fires, it didn’t help that the forest was dry enough for the fires to get out of control. The planet is fine, it’s the people we need to worry about because right now people have schemed up this idea that we are causing all the bad weather in the world and we need to switch to cleaner energy and abandon our use of fossil fuels. The problem is, everything uses fossil fuels. So switching to electric vehicles is like a drop in the ocean compared to the mass amount of production around the world. It doesnt do anything when coal is worse but coal plants do burn cleaner than they did when they first were around.

The biggest push is electric vehicles right now. Major manufacturers are starting to build them however a lack of materials for the batteries isnt making mass production possible. The long recharge times and lack of range especially in the cold are 2 major problems of EVs and even then the longevity of the batteries and electric motors is another story as they’re expensive to replace. It’s not cheap to replace a gas engine or transmission either but sometimes its cheaper to repair them. Repairing a blown head gasket vs an engine rebuild is a no brainer. Just got to have around $1,000 to make that happen vs a $4,000 engine rebuild. But electric car motors run about $3,000 per wheel and EV batteries are higher than $5,000. It makes no sense to invest in electric cars. Especially since the batteries are holding these cars from getting more mainstream. People talk about them but most don’t want one. Hydrogen is another energy but so far its supposedly inefficient, but would be far better than gas and with some modifications hydrogen could be used in current gasoline vehicles, making it a much more practical use of our technology. EVs are a stop gap and its most likely they won’t be around for much longer when the amount of EVs being sold is dwarfed by gasoline vehicles. While some countries are getting mostly EVs those are smaller countries.. even California has a small amount of EV market share. They want to ban gasoline vehicles but its unlikely in the event many people will be upset and the ban may never take hold. Not to mention bigger cars can’t handle range as good and towing reduces the charge level to about 30 minutes. Doubtful we’ll see many electric trucks in the future even though they’re trying to make them, they just won’t be practical for towing.

So bottom line is gas is here to stay for awhile at least until 2040 when they try to ban gasoline vehicles and may succeed if EVs get their way and have better range and short recharge times. Then theres the longevity factor. I would recommend sticking with gas or at the very least a hybrid. At least you can save some money on gas and not have to worry about polluting as much. Even Dodge is trying an electric torque assist to reduce gas consumption. Don’t buy into this EV insanity because it most likely won’t happen for quite a while at least.

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Optimists have been wrong about EV adoption as predictions have been set too high. EV sales only account for around 1% in the U.S. and majority of it is Tesla model 3 in California. After seeing the 5 hour Tesla pileup at a supercharger station I’m sure a few of the owners have gotten rid of them. Of course some of them are loyal to a fault and this isn’t really good especially when EVs have a set of problems.

In Chicago there are a couple charging outlets for apartment dwellers but having 2 outlets is not good for those who want to wake up to a full charge and since some of them have time limits its going to be difficult for those who may be on vacation and want to come back to a full charge. It may be difficult for those who are thinking of buying one and worry about having access to them. Then there is the cost to install a charger for these EVs. It affects rent and will bring the rent fee up. That depends whether it effects all the residents or those who only choose to buy one, however I would be looking for an apartment that doesn’t have this extra cost as others will because who wants to pay more for rent for stuff they wont ever use.

So despite there could be a charger for an EV at one apartment, if you decide to move you may not get the ability to charge and will end up going back to gas.

And if it was as easy to have an outlet more apartments would include them for engine block heaters or battery chargers for gasoline vehicles. In my experience though, the 10 or so apartments I’ve lived at didn’t have outlets for cars. Neither I saw the 20 or 30 either. Living in the Midwest having an engine block heater would be nice and again, car companies would have made these engine block heaters standard so the vehicles are already ready to go with the cabin heater pumping out heat within a minute. But this never happened. Its only if you have access to a plug is where you are able to ask for an engine block heater and again most vehicles I seen dont have them. Its always been an option most likely an aftermarket piece that was probably more for diesel engines than gasoline. If you see a plug like an extension cord sticking out the front grill, that’s generally for an engine block heater that’s just sitting there.

So with this in mind, no.. power outlets won’t be in every parking space, nor will they exist in many apartment/condos or for street parking. Even if one apartment does add more charging spots, its only if the demand is there. It’s unlikely that will happen seeing as many will continue buying gas vehicles.

The argument is, gasoline vehicles ran into the same problems. Not enough gas stations. People didnt change over from horse and carriage overnight. Even then you just drove where there was a gas station. It was also easy to build gas stations as well due to the vast amount of places to put them. And if you needed to go somewhere where there wasn’t a gas station you took a horse. And who knows, the range on the early cars could have been all you needed. Driving more than 20 miles in may have seemed silly back then. Now people go over 500 miles on a trip. But the transition from gas to electric may take far longer or it may not happen at all. Its dependent on every parking space at home to have a charging outlet and that’s unlikely, especially when someone can come along and unplug it while you are trying to wake up to a full charge, people will do something like this and cause mayhem for many motorists. Charging an EV can take over 30 minutes and wouldn’t work when the convenience of having a 5 minute refuel time on a gas vehicle. So even if there was charging outlets at home it would still make sense to have faster recharge times which would reduce the lifespan of the batteries. Cold climates is another problem as you lose 40% of your charge due to heating the cabin and keeping the battery warm. This also doesnt work for apartment renters. Those 2 outlets will be a fight if 3 or more people want to keep their batteries charging overnight forcing the landlord to consider adding more charging stations driving up renting even higher depending on whether they make all residents pay or just the EV owners. In turn I recommend people who are looking for apartments to avoid the apartments that have charging stations as they might be paying more rent for something they’ll never use.

2019 had very lacking EV sales. There are claims that pre orders for the new Tesla truck and other EVs in the works are selling out. Seems like a selling point to me as car companies can boast about preorder sales when the product hasn’t even been completed as the sale has not been completed. That 50k or so pre orders can end up as 5k. Or it can be 100k. Pre orders is not actual sales.

Also looking at actual used EV inventories most used EVs are either EVs from 2012 or the used Teslas that is still $50k too high. Seeing how its mostly Teslas out on the road, eventually those high resale values is going to drop like a bowling ball. So while city mandates could force apartment owners to install charging outlets the demand may remain small as you can move to another city that doesnt have charging outlets available. In effect people will not gamble they will have the ability to charge everywhere. No matter what some EV enthusiasts say, there isnt charging outlets in every apartment. If you park your vehicle at home and dont see an outlet you’re not going to consider getting an EV. Even if they were to be standard it’s unlikely you’ll still consider one if you are not in the market buying one.

The government, EV enthusiasts and environmentalists all would like to force people to buy one and not let the free market decide and if it was total free market, electric vehicles wouldn’t stand a chance which is why the extreme push for them. That wont work either, not unless EVs exceed everything a gasoline vehicle can and its unlikely that will happen until the 2040s and even then there at least will be another 20 years before they would dominate roads. Unless of course we allow politicians to get in the way of allowing people to drive gas cars freely and tax free. Bottom line is the future is bleak if people get their way and force everyone onto EVs.

For me, Honda and Toyota gas vehicles are proven. They’re not broken and last forever on the orginal drivetrain (usually, anyways) so I dont see any need to replace them with batteries.

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Remember when I wrote about how EVs or electric vehicles are not the future? Yeah well more car makers are investing a lot of money in being optimistic about EV adoption. A few countries have heavily invested in replacing gas with EVs. California is pushing EVs but isn’t exactly pushing when much of the state already would embrace this newish technology and Colorado wants to do the same.

Illinois governor JB Pritzker recently signed off on the Paris Accords so now Illinois has to reduce its carbon emissions by 28% and that deadline is 2025. That means reducing the amount of gas vehicles and coal plants.

Now I’m all for cleaner energy but not at the expense of spending more money, or affecting what I can or cannot buy. I don’t know what will actually happen because really this carbon reduction goal is way out of reach. Especially when many people already purchased a new vehicle.

And I’m looking to buy a new car but still not enough money saved and most likely won’t have it until 2021. Between now and 2021 this gives this dumb governor enough time to come up with moronic laws or regulations pertaining to what kind of vehicles you can get. In which I hope not because I’m looking for a new Dodge Challenger. Yes, but the V6 option which has more than enough horsepower to drive during the summer. Hopefully by then I’ll have some way to fix the rust underneath my aging Grand Am that I want to keep on the road for awhile at least until I can get a truck or SUV. The Grand Am will be for winter driving and eventually be retired in a barn somewhere so when I’m an old geezer I can still take the car out to drive if I want some nostalgia. Most people wouldn’t hold onto their vehicles for very long and generally because they don’t take extra care with them. That’s another subject matter though.

I don’t know where this JB Pritzker guy is making Illinois heading towards but with a couple of states already pushing EVs out and 11 other states considering this, I worry what’s going to happen. I’m a firm believer in people spending the money they earn on what they want and need. A car can be both, you need one and you might as well buy one that you can enjoy.

The reason for me wanting the V6 Challenger and not the V8 isn’t for the sake of the environment or for trying to avoid an EV so if I use less carbon emissions it might be ok it’s mostly because I wouldn’t need all that horsepower, if I could even handle 500+. 300 hp is enough for now and I save money at the pump. 30mpg highway is pretty good and that’s what im looking for at the moment. I get about the same with the Grand Am but it’s possible that I may get more than 30mpg with the Challenger saving even more money since I’m not really a leadfoot and mostly stick to speed limits. We’ll see what happens there. On a side note Dodge is implementing a mild hybrid which is an advanced stop and start system. If you let off the gas to coast the car shuts off while the 48v battery takes over basic functions like power steering, brakes, A.C. or heat, lights and radio. Sounds interesting but is fairly expensive. I doubt the 2020 will have it and may not be employed until 2025 when car companies have to meet certain emission deadlines.

Now like I said I’m all for cleaner emissions saving the environment, blah blah blah. However that doesn’t mean changing to a Tesla or other EV because this is relatively new technology and there’s a big paradigm shift in the way these vehicles are refuled. Most people who don’t own a garage will never see the benefits in owning an EV. And the costs may not drop down anytime soon although Tesla and the other major car makers are trying very hard to make it possible.

They got many issues ahead and I don’t really have anything against EVs. It’s that they’re not ready for prime time because of the different fueling methods and the additional costs that come with them. There’s also a lack of options making it less appealing. It shouldn’t be rushed because we’ll still be here in 50 years still trying to change for the sake of the environment. There’s a lot of theories going around. Yes we should cut our pollution and dependency on fossil fuels but there is plenty of time. There really isn’t any need to toss away billions of dollars all at once or jobs as if everyone switched to EVs there’s going to be a lot of lay offs. Less moving parts is less maintence, less parts being produced and sold in part stores. It’s going to cause another recession. For me I would prefer to keep driving a gas vehicle, there’s always alternative fuels for gas that hasn’t been discovered yet. So I wouldn’t want to own an EV because the technology is too different for an expensive vehicle. And it’s powered by batteries. So it wouldn’t be a very good idea to toss away billions of dollars towards junking gas for EVs.

EVs are good in the sense that not everyone wants to maintain a gas vehicle and it’s an alternative fuel source but for right now, it’s not a replacement for gas as the technology is different and takes longer to refuel, not everyone has access to a charging outlet rated for EV charging. I don’t want an EV and shouldn’t be forced into it and neither should anyone else. This also includes hybrids.

One last thing to note while Tesla has shown that it has incredible acceleration the Dodge Hellcat and Demon (both Challenger trims) is still faster due to more horsepower. The only reason Teslas are quicker in the 0-60 tests is they are heavier, all wheel drive and this reduces wheel slippage. Their stock tires are most likely better as well. Dodge doesn’t put proper racing tires on. There’s a couple of videos on a Tesla vs a Hellcat or Demon where the rematch shows the Dodge winning after some proper tires. So while Teslas are quite impressive in launching power it’s really just dumb luck the massively heavy battery is actually a benefit. Most other EVs don’t have this sort of power.

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This will be my 2nd post this weekend and I’m combining a few of different topics starting with brand loyalty and my disdain for those who hate particular car makers for no particular reason. I’ve got a lot to say so make some popcorn or something.

Brand loyalty and the unwarranted hate for American cars.

Ive noticed many people are only Ford fanatics others GM, while others are Toyota only and so forth. I’m okay with liking a particular car maker im a GM person myself while i do have a particular set of favorites  (in order of course) with Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and lastly Dodge. Most of my favorite car makers are of American, considering that well i was born and raised as an American, besides the fact my grandfather was a Chevy only guy.

The fact remains however that some really go out of their way to hate a particular brand of car. One of them being Pontiac. It seems like since i took this job in the auto industry that uses old machines that Ford automaker originally had that we now use and possibly other automaker machines from the 70s that still get the job done. Anyway i have had several people i should get rid of my Grand Am because its junk? Except the fact that it runs beautifully and i wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I was planning on keeping the car running and considering they don’t make Pontiac any more im sure eventually someone might want to pay more money than it’s worth. I am saving money for another car, just in case i need that money for a new vehicle, because the Grand Am is over 20 years old. Driving over 60miles a day certainly will one day take its toll but if people were at all concerned about reliablity of Pontiacs and American cars in general, they are just as reliable as any other car provided that they are well cared for.

This one guy i work with trades his car in every 6 years. Then tells me i need to get a new car. Funny thing considering switching cars can be just as unreliable as buying a used car with little care.

Besides the Ford jokes being funny the feud is often between Dodge, GM and Ford. Some people hate American cars all together. That certainly doesn’t make any other automaker any better and while there are differences they are all using the same or similar technology. And every automaker has its defects. While certain cars are more reliable than others, it all comes down to defective parts. A lot goes into building a car and therefore a lot could go wrong.

Even my car has some defects or issues. The windows for an example has plastic and often break if you try to open them in cold weather. BCM or Body Control Module malfunctioned, a gasket leak which was under warranty at the time the hazard switch was not soldered correctly and a few other small things. But they were inexpensive to fix and i stuck through them and now the Grand Am is doing well, which it always has done well.

But had i bought a new car every 5 years or so i may not be so lucky. And its always a gamble. But people can and should have the right to drive what car they feel most comfortable with without prejudice. And its sad that some people call a car, junk based on what the name says on the outside.

Driving reckless, road rage.

This seems to be getting worse as when i first had drove, people seemed to be less in a hurry and didnt speed all the time but with accidents becoming worse and people staring at their cellphones instead of driving the highway has become a dangerous place to be. I drive to Chicago via 290 and you have people doing 90+ swerving in between lanes just so they don’t have to slow down in order to get to their destination 2 minutes faster. I take about half an hour. I used to drive 65-70 with bursts of 80 to pass in the left lane but after seeing driving only 60 im saving 1-2mpg. Driving back and forth i saved about 3-4mpg and in some cases 5! That ends up being a lot and instead of using 1.3gallon of gas per drive im only doing 1 gallon per drive. That translates to bigger savings and im only taking an extra 2-3 minutes out of my day.

However impatient drivers can’t see this logic the faster you go the more gas you consume. And i have to figure out my mileage by dividing the mileage trip counter and how much gas i have to put back in. Most current cars you can see this in real time. So theres no reason they can’t see their dimished mileage capacity on the dash. Or maybe its because they don’t care. However some of us do and wasting gas to get to your destination a couple of minutes faster is just ridiculous. Of course people do what they want and they probably never get pulled ovet for it.

Cities tried to put in speed cameras but that was removed. People got upset that they were breaking the law by speeding. But their speeding is causing problems on the highway because for one you got people racing one another to work and another,

WHAT IS THE SPEED LIMIT?

Seriously, the fact you got someone doing 45, another 60 and then 65, 70, 80 (you get the idea) so it makes driving on the highway that much more dangerous not to mention you have someone lingering in the passing lane going slower than the middle lanes. So this makes driving hazardous and people die on the highway because of this.

If these people feel they need to speed across the highway unsafely, then they really should evaluate their schedules. Leave earlier, move to a different location whatever the case is there is ni need to endanger yourself and others. The speed limit is there to avoid this sort of problem but without it being enforced there is little hope that this will change.

On a side note, i sometimes get rocks thrown at me due to the fact trucks do not clean their cars off and already its damaged my windshield, but not to the point where its cracked, just irritating. Something should be done about this.

Car preventative maintenance for maximum life.

Engine oil. Most people know to get the oil changed and there is still controversy on when that should be done. It used to be every 3 months or every 3,000 miles but automakers and oil companies claim you can go longer. Some new cars mainly Ford and GM have oil life percentage monitors that tells you when you are in need of changing the oil in your car. People claim this is accurate however i always err on the side of caution and when it gets past 6,000 miles, 6 months or 30% of oil life remaining to get the oil changed. Some might be bothered by it but for those who want to maximize engine longevity this is the way. I personally change my oil after 4,500 miles  (its an older car) which is about every 3-4 months. I always try to change it during summer and winter as the changes in temp could affect the oil. May not be completely necessary but i sometimes would then change it early or extend it to 5,200 miles depending on climate history. City driving with lots of stop and go traffic requires more frequent oil changes as early as 3,000 miles. Especially when driven hard.

Other fluids need changing and lifetime fluid is false.  No matter what anyone tells you those fluids in your car break down over time just like oil so while fluid change is different for every car its best to follow your trusted mechanics advice. No fluid is lifetime especially transmission fluid, people were told this and then 100,000 miles or so later the transmission locks up and  like your stuck in neutral. Get that changed every 30,000 miles. Or if your mechanic can’t work on it, get rid of it and post negative reviews. Cheaply made cars without the means to change the fluid is bad. Not that I’ve heard of this but auto makers are making fluid changes more difficult.

Fix any problems or noises right away.  Sometimes a problem might creep up, sometimes it’s normal but other times a small problem can turn into a big one. If it sounds odd or you have a smell or a leak have someone check it out. Note the AC unit will produce water when ran during the summer especially in humid areas so dont panic. If you want to be sure stick a finger and look at it, you might have to smell it too but if you dont want to do that, run the car without the AC in the morning. Check all the fluids, make sure you are not losing anything.

If you do have a leak get it checked out. If it looks like an oil leak, find out if the oil plug bolt needs replacing, sometimes the oil filter is not tight enough or something is wrong with the seal.

Some problems like windows won’t function might not need attention right away but if you plan on keeping the car for life, may be a good idea to get it replaced provided you have the money.  Other problems may creep up that’ll cause a chain reaction of “oh that doesn’t need fixing” to this car is junk now.

Clean undercarriage and body, if possible keep the car out of direct sunlight.  Keeping the car clean is just as important as keeping the engine in proper working order. Washing and waxing will help prevent sun fade and using touch up paint will help prevent rusting. However that’s only half the battle. Cleaning the undercarriage is just as important and will prevent rotting. I’ve made this mistake and can be costly to repair. And people will then say its not worth to fix. If you want to go the extra step and get additional protection which is highly recommended is to have an autobody shop put a protective oil underneath. The autobody shop owner i spoke to uses Fluid Film (you can look it up) and it costs about  $300. It may be different elsewhere but if i do this every couple of years my car won’t fall apart rusting.

It works best with a new car with very little rust but its important to check up on this and is easily done by looking under the car.

If you live in a snowy/salty place this oil should protect your car. Its recommended to follow what your autobody guy tells you but its important to verify they are doing the correct way.

Even if you don’t plan on keeping your car the resale value of your car will remain well due to little or no rusting, especially in snowy climates.

Don’t wide open throttle your car or do burnouts and other advice. This may sound like you can’t ever have fun  constantly flooring your gas pedal and doing burnouts can wear out your car quicker, requires additional and more frequent maintenance. If you want to extend the life of your vehicle, don’t do them all the time. Every so often though its not a bad idea to floor it every so often to get everything going. Just dont do it when the engine is not fully warmed up when the temp gauge hasn’t reached its normal peak spot (usually in the middle of cold and hot). Do it safely too and if you got a performance car it may be better to learn what not to do when hitting full acceleration. Safety first. Also Seafoam in the gas tank is good once in awhile (but research this first). I also use Shell V-Power premium gas, more expensive but my cars fuel system is happy.

 

Other tips like warming up your car, i had previously talked about this in an earlier post but it must be said, for safety reasons and for longevity warming up your car in winter for a couple of minutes is recommended.

Some people may claim that they never warm up their car and never have any issues but its most likely that they dont hold onto their cars for very long. Some auto experts may say its unnecessary and that you should drive slowly after a 30 sec warm-up. You should take it easy on the throttle during the first 5 minutes anyway but not to the point where you are going too slow.

Im right near the entrance to the highway so i have little time to allow my car to fully warm up but during winter i let the temp gauge move before taking off. And i try to increase speed on the ramp as early as i can to get up to speed. You have to time it right. On the way home though i got ample time to reach optimum temp. For some though its going to take a little more than 3 minutes of warm up time especially if you don’t have a garage and live near the highway.

Another tip if you got a garage, use it. I see many people that do have a garage but don’t use it for their car. I could understand people using it for projects and some don’t have the space but sometimes its better to have someplace to shelter your car from the cold and sunrays. The dash can warp, and can fade the paint.

Hopefully this was informative and sorry it was really long but i havent written a post (besides yesterday) but i wanted to talk about this.

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