Why do new cars suddenly have lower MPG ratings?

08.01.2008

I have noticed that most, if not all, new cars have lower miles-per-gallon estimates for 2008 than they had for 2007. Why is this? Are the cars less efficient, or are the ratings stricter? -- Ray...

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Will stopping on rough surfaces damage your car's braking system?

08.01.2008

Way back when, when I was 16, I went on a backpacking trip with my pal Cliff. We took my venerable '68 VW Squareback. As we were approaching a stop sign with railroad tracks in front of it, I braked while...

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

08.01.2008

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 don't know how long it was driven this way...

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Is a transmission cooler the way to go, if you want a little extra transmission insurance?

08.01.2008

I have a disagreement with my son. Well, actually I have many, but one in particular goes like this: He says an add-on transmission cooler (small radiator) will enhance the performance and life of the transmission. I say it doesn't...

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A fired customer wonders what to do next.

08.01.2008

I have been taking my cars for repairs and service to the same repair/tire shop for more than 10 years. The last time I went in for an oil change, the shop manager called me aside. He said, "You've been...

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How safe is a Smart Car on the open highway?

08.01.2008

We're getting a new Smart Car dealership in town, and I was wondering if you could tell me what you think about it? On the surface, if you can live with a two-seater, it sounds good: great mileage, safe and...

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An idle solution to Neil's engine-racing problem.

08.01.2008

A friend of mine has a 1997 Honda CR-V, which he bought used a few years ago. It is generally in good shape but has a problem that has become more and more alarming during the past year or so. Sometimes...

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Find out what causes engine overheating-- and how to fix it

08.01.2008

I was coming home from bowling the other night, and I passed my buddy going down the road. So we stopped in the road and were talking. Then all of a sudden he asked me, "What the heck is that...

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What happens when you accidentally shift into neutral, at 60 mph? It's not pretty.

08.01.2008

I accidentally shifted my 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager (SE 6-cylinder) into neutral while the car was in motion at 60 mph. I put it back into gear and heard a loud noise, and the car bucked like I had rolled over something...

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Is the Honda Fit's gas tank under the front seat, a cause for concern?

08.01.2008

My wife wants to buy a Honda Fit, but now she is worried about the gas tank. It is located under the front seat rather than under the trunk. Is this dangerous? -- Prentiss...

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