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Car problems are brewing, can you smell them?

July 8, 2015

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When it comes to recognizing issues with your vehicle, using your senses is a good indicator that something could be wrong. In this article, which is the first in a series of 4, we will talk about how becoming in-tune with your senses (your sense of smell in this article) can help aid in recognizing issues with your vehicle.

When there is a burning smell while preparing your food, it’s generally a good indicator something isn’t right correct? The same rule of thumb applies when it comes to your vehicle. Any abnormal smell generally is an indication something isn’t right.

Here are a few smells and how to recognize what the issue could be:

  • Burning Oil: A scent that is somewhat thick, heavy, and sometimes accompanied by smoke coming out from under the hood or the exhaust, is usually an oil leaking or burning issue.
  • Antifreeze or coolant leak: A sweet odor that’s usually accompanied by steam from under the hood of the vehicle could be a coolant or Antifreeze leak.
  • Electrical Short: A burnt toast, somewhat pungent odor, could be an indicator of an electrical short.
  • Emission Failure: Sulfur or rotten egg smell that’s continuous could be a sign of emission failure.
  • Overheated Brakes or Clutch: A smell that resembles that of burning rubber could be overheated brakes or an overheated clutch.
  • Overheating: Metallic odor that is hot usually accompanied by a sweet odor of antifreeze or coolant could be a symptom of your vehicle overheating.

ALWAYS consult with a professional at the Automotive Service Center of your choosing when it comes to any issues that you smell, especially since it could be an issue bigger than expected. Also, when talking with your automotive professional, make sure to talk about the particular scent being smelled along with any other relevant information to make the diagnostic process easier.

Just remember, smells are important in detecting issues, just like when food is being prepared. If you can smell any of the smells listed above, be sure to have your vehicle looked at by a professional service center.

Next Nissan Z could be more like original 240

June 17, 2015

The current Nissan 370Z is six years old, meaning a replacement is on the horizon. But what will the next Z car be? In an interview at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan Chief Creative Office Shiro Nakamura revealed that one idea for the next-generation Z could see it move down market, closer to the original 240Z or the 1999 Concept Z.

“We are studying a couple of different concepts. Because the sports car market is becoming smaller globally,” said Nakamura, “We would like to do something, I personally think, is more [in the] original concept of Z, which is … more practical and appealing to younger customers.” The original 1969 240Z, sold under the Datsun nameplate, became an icon thanks to a combination of attractive styling, reasonable performance, and affordable price. In 1970, a new 240Z went for less than $3,600 at the dealer, although high demand resulted in early resale values above retail.

In the US, the 240Z begat the 280Z in 1975. Subsequent versions grew in numerical name and performance, but that trend has an end point. The future path may be to reverse course, jokes Nakamura. “We are questioning ourselves in repeating the 350, 370. We don’t want to create 390Z, right?”

While Nissan is working on the next Z, the bad news is that the IDx is confirmed dead. First shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the IDx concept was a vision of an affordable, four-seat sports car like original Nissan/Datsun 510. “I think IDx will not be produced,” said Nakamura, before continuing to say that the Z could fill that role.

Don’t expect a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S clone. When asked specifically about the MX-5, the Nissan designer stated “We may not necessarily go into the same category. Personally I see other options that are very interesting. We want to do something the same as this, unique,” he said, referencing a picture of the GTR-LM racecar on the wall.

As for timing, we couldn’t get any specifics. And the chances of the Z moving down market aren’t even certain. “We still need time to finalize this,” said the Nissan chief designer, “I mean, we have a couple of ideas.”

Lykan HyperSport joins Abu Dhabi police motor pool

June 9, 2015


Law enforcement in the United Arab Emirates has been making headlines of late, assembling some of the fastest cars available for their police motor pools. But while Dubai may have garnered the lion’s share of attention to date with its pursuit-vehicle acquisitions, the police in neighboring Abu Dhabi have made a notable acquisition of their own – and a fitting one, we might add – in the Lykan HyperSport.

Created by W Motors (which relocated from Lebanon to the Emirates shortly after launching), the Lykan HyperSport is touted as the first Middle Eastern supercar, and featured prominently in Fast & Furious 7. With a 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six delivering 740 horsepower, it’s claimed to reach 62 miles per hour in a scant 2.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 245 mph. It also carries an astronomic price tag of $3.4 million that could only be afforded by the richest oil barons in the fiefdoms of the Persian Gulf – and, apparently, by their public officials.

In short, it’s the perfect vehicle by which Abu Dhabi can show up its neighbors in Dubai, which has showcased a police motor pool including supercars like the Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin One-77, Ferrari FF, and Bugatti Veyron. Of course, it’s entirely likely that these six- and seven-figure supercars have merely been loaned to these Emirate police departments, equipped with flashing lights and flashy decals, and put on display for publicity purposes alone. But with so many supercars residing in these countries, these just may what local law enforcement agencies need to keep pace with the quickening flow of traffic.

Cars.com runs 11-second quarter with Dodge Charger Hellcat

June 1, 2015

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The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and its Challenger sibling are two of the heroes of the modern performance world. With a headline-grabbing 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, their output even shames many supercars. But how quick can one really cover a quarter mile? Cars.com recently decided to find out by taking a Charger Hellcat to the drag strip to see if the sedan lived up to Dodge’s 11-second claims. The results were quite impressive.

After 13 quarter-mile runs of adjusting variables like the tire pressures and the car’s various electronic aids, the Charger Hellcat managed a pass in 11.03 seconds at 126.61 mph – the pinnacle result of the day. This car was mechanically stock and wore the optional Pirelli P Zero tires. According to Cars.com, other quick sprints reached 11.09 seconds and 11.1 seconds, which even beat the site’s 11.41-second best from a Challenger Hellcat last year.

Getting the Hellcat’s prodigious power down without losing traction was a challenge, even on the summer tires. Cars.com thought it had a run that could have dropped below 11 seconds, but then the wheels spun. Using the factory-recommended pressures, the Charger Hellcat was no still slouch with an 11.27-second time recorded, but taking things down to 25 psi proved the quickest at the strip.

We already knew that the Charger Hellcat was a wonderful vehicle for eating up huge gulps of asphalt at high speeds and could verify its 204-mile-per-hour top speed. Apparently, the 11-second quarter-mile claim is just as accurate. Also, for any curious owners, the Cars.com story divulges many of the tweaks required to reach this seriously quick time.

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 to start at $47,870

May 26, 2015

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