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Drive in anxious and cruise out confident with the best automotive information for your vehicle! Tune in to KTAR News 92.3 every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon as Matt Allen helps listeners with their car problems. The show call in number is 602-277-5827.


Latest News From Bumper to Bumper Radio

Are self driving cars the wave of the future? Should General Motors be promoting their autonomous cars during their HUGE recall problem? GM President predicts self-driving cars will be available by 2020. Lauren Fix discusses this on Fox Business Channel with Gerri Willis.

Most vehicles start out with a "new car" smell, but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be "Car Care Aware" and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown.

Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car.

Use the sniff test to identify any unusual smells in your vehicle, including the following six warning signs:

Across the country, many buyers soon find out that the number on their odometer doesn't come close to matching their car's true mileage.

We use mileage to determine when to get our oil changed, when to rotate our tires, and how much our vehicle is valued, but that mileage on your new "used" vehicle, may not be what you paid for.

The people at CarFax tells us that, unfortunately, "odometer fraud" is not a forgotten scam. It's been around for decades but, with the advent of the digital odometer, many people mistakenly believe that odometer roll-backs are no longer possible. However going digital has actually made odometer fraud easier; it's just like hacking a computer. The bad news is that New York is one of the top five states with the most amount of "roll-back" cars.

How do plug-in hybrids save money? After doing the math, you will know whether it fits your budget and lifestyle.

Plug-in hybrids save money on fuel by operating on both electricity and gasoline and by saving energy. Like regular hybrids, plug-in hybrids use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor but have a higher-capacity battery to store electricity. They take advantage of electricity's low cost and the electric motor's energy efficiency but retain the convenience of gasoline's widespread availability and quick refueling. Plug-in hybrids also save energy through regenerative braking, which recovers much of the energy typically lost when you apply the brakes. Regenerative braking slows the vehicle by converting its momentum into electricity, and stores the electricity in the vehicle's battery. Plug-in hybrids also save fuel by using a start-stop system that saves fuel by turning off the engine when it would otherwise be idling, and starting it automatically when the accelerator is pressed, such as at a traffic light.

The big advantage of a plug-in hybrid is that you can plug it in to re-charge the battery. It's much cheaper to run your vehicle on electricity from your outlet than on gasoline. Based on typical average rates, operating a plug-in on electricity costs less than half as much as it would on gasoline.

Plug-in hybrids have a larger battery than a regular hybrid so you can use more electricity and less gas. When the electricity runs out, it operates just like a regular hybrid. You don't have to plug it in to drive it, but re-charging it whenever you can will maximize your fuel savings.

A plug-in hybrid's motor is also more powerful than a regular hybrid's, so the plug-in hybrid can be driven in electric-only mode at higher speeds, not just during low speed driving.

If you're considering a plug-in hybrid, it's important to understand that all plug-ins are not alike. Some have batteries that hold more electricity than others, and some can go farther on electricity without using any gasoline. Since using electricity instead of gasoline is key to saving money with a plug-in hybrid, your driving habits, especially the distance you drive between re-charging the battery, can have a big effect on your fuel bill.

With all of these factors affecting electricity use, it can be difficult to estimate how much fuelling a hybrid will cost you. So, check it out and see if a plug-in hybrid could be right for you!

The average American car owner pays almost $9,000 a year in driving costs. Automotive expert Lauren Fix, The Car Coach shares important automotive maintenance and car repair tips to help you save money and keep your car running smoothly.

For more information and for a FREE car care guide, visit the Car Care Council at www.carcare.org.

Bumper Audio Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper Radio answers a listener's question regarding their cold air intake.