Fact: A swift kick can get you a bill at the mechanics.

12.01.2006

I had a good laugh when you said on your radio show that it is customary in France to kick Volvos before entering. I have a '74 Volvo which I have to kick to open the driver's door. I was...

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Why was the idea of front wheel drive shelved from the 1920s to the 1970s?

12.01.2006

I ran across an interesting bit of history recently. It seems that Cord made a front wheel drive car in 1929. I also found out that Mr. Cord put himself in dire straits with the Securities and Exchange Commission by valuing...

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A car to carry all my junk...

12.01.2006

I am a college freshman who commutes about thirty minutes each way. I need a dependable, automatic, small, easy to drive car that can carry all my junk! Sounds like a dream, huh? I also need it to be fairly...

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When the rains come, bust out the hairdryer!

12.01.2006

My daughter owns a 1977 VW bug that she parks on the street. When it rains hard, the car won't start. To get it started she has to take off the distributor cap and dry it with a hair dryer. Is...

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This week--a radio that loses its memory more than my brother!

12.01.2006

I have a 1987 Acura Legend that I enjoy tremendously. But I have a strange problem that has recurred four times. The original-equipment radio periodically loses its memory of the 12 stations and three equalizer settings that I program into it. The...

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Ford Taurus: A connoisseur's guide.

12.01.2006

I retired about eight years ago, and at that time said good bye to new cars (cost and all). I've always driven GM cars; why, I don't know. But now I'm thinking of buying a Ford Taurus. I would like...

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Explained, at long last: all those tire dimension numbers!

12.01.2006

I recently bought a 1966 Volkswagen Bus Sundial Camper and noticed that it has a set of 205/75/R14 tires on the front and a set of 185/75/R14 tires on the back. I...

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Does using cruise control really help you save gas? Tom and Ray settle a bet.

12.01.2006

My gentleman friend and I have a steak dinner bet riding on your answer to this question. I say using the cruise control on our highway trips saves gas. It saves gas because I am not bopping between different speeds...

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THE TEN BEST OF 1990 PART 3

12.01.2006

RAY: Over the last two weeks, we've been unveiling our picks for ten best cars of 1990. In case you forgot, here are the winners we've announced so far: TOM: The BEST MINIVAN is the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager. The BEST ALL-AROUND SEDAN is the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable. The OTHER BEST ALL-AROUND SEDAN is the...

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When you've only got $7,000 to spend, does that mean you have to choose between style and reliability?

12.01.2006

We are looking to purchase a used car for around $7,000. Are we doomed to choose the utterly styleless but ultra-reliable 2000 Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla? We have two boys, 4 and 6, and are concerned about safety. We loved the safety ratings...

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What happens when you use a rag in place of an oil cap? Hint: it's not pretty.

12.01.2006

Oh brother. I lost my oil cap last time I changed my oil. While I searched for a new oil cap, I stuck a rag in the opening as a temporary fix. While driving on the highway, my car started...

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Heather wants to switch her '85 Ford Ranger from power steering to manual. Is she nuts?

12.01.2006

My name is Heather, and I'm a 20-year-old automotive technical-college student. My pride and joy is a 1985 Ford Ranger that is clinging to the last pathetic shreds of life. I love my truck dearly, and I plan on keeping her...

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Can a Lexus really hit 140 MPH on the open road? And... should it?

12.01.2006

I am having debates with my friends. One friend claims that her dad's Infiniti (I think that's the car) was going 140 mph for a minute or so on I-35. For some reason, I don't believe her. I also don't believe...

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How much damage did Tim's wife do, driving home from the circus... with the parking brake on?

12.01.2006

My wife drives a 1998 Subaru Outback Legacy with 110,000 miles on it. She recently had a dealer do a full brake job. Last night, when coming home from the circus, she forgot to take the parking brake off and drove home...

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Can Paul run Willie Nelson's "Bio Willie" biofuel in his diesel? Find out.

12.01.2006

I heard an interview recently on NPR's Fresh Air. Terry Gross was interviewing Willie Nelson, who was talking about how his wife bought a diesel car a few years back and started using biofuel in it (recycled grease and oil...

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