Latest News From Bumper to Bumper Radio

Crude and Gas Prices Continue to Climb Higher as Stocks Tighten and Refinery Utilization Plummets to Lowest Level Recorded

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 8, 2021) — With a nickel increase on the week, the national gas price average has reached $2.77, which is a 31-cent jump in the last month. Every state average has climbed by double-digits since February resulting in 1 in 10 gas stations with pump prices that are $3/gallon or more.

Pump prices are increasing as refinery utilization is at an all-time low and crude oil prices (WTI) surged by more than $2/bbl to $66/bbl on Friday, the highest price in nearly two years. The jump in crude followed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ and their allies’, collectively known as OPEC+, surprise decision to minimally increase production in April.

“With crude oil prices back on the rise, we could see the national average climb towards $2.90 this spring with some relief by early summer,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “The last time we saw the national average flirt with $3 was nearly three years ago in May 2018. At that time, crude was averaging about $71 per barrel.”

We Can Not Settle for Mediocre When it Comes to Our Nation’s Roadways

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mar. 4, 2021) – “President Biden has vowed to make transportation infrastructure improvements a priority, and this new American Society of Civil Engineers report card shows that now is the time for the Administration and Congress to make good on this pledge. Once again, ASCE’s report card is an important reminder that neglecting our infrastructure has consequences for our economy and the safety of motorists.

This year’s report card gives America’s roads a “D” and bridges a “C” and finds that 46,154 bridges in the country are structurally deficient. The U.S. has underfunded its transportation infrastructure for several years, resulting in a $786 billion backlog of road and bridge repairs. Ignoring the problem is not a solution.

GoodGuys 11th FiTech Fuel Injection Spring Nationals | April 16-18, 2021 | WestWorld of Scottsdale

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Over 2,500 Rods, Customs, Classics, Muscle Cars and Trucks thru '87

Goodguys AutoCross - Featuring 16 car "Spring Shootout"

Nitro Thunderfest Dragster Exhibition

Burn Out Competition

Let’s take a look at some common problems that can occur with your vehicle’s heating and cooling systems. When you know what to watch for, you’ll better understand when it’s time to call your mechanic.

Today’s Vehicle Technology Must Walk So Self-Driving Cars Can Run

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2021) – Automakers may already hold the key to improving public acceptance of self-driving cars: fine-tuning existing vehicle technology. AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey finds that only 22% of people feel manufacturers should focus on developing self-driving vehicles. The majority of drivers (80%) say they want current vehicle safety systems, like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance, to work better and more than half—58%—said they want these systems in their next vehicle. These findings signal that people are open to more sophisticated vehicle technology, which if they provide positive experiences for drivers, will open the road to self-driving vehicle acceptance.

“People are ready to embrace new vehicle technology, especially if it will make driving safer,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Consumers are clear about what they want and if automakers seize the opportunity to provide a better experience now, it will pave the way for the vehicles of tomorrow.”

Nearly 96% of 2020 vehicle models came equipped with at least one advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning or lane keeping assistance. Consumers who buy new will likely have at least one type of vehicle safety system and in many cases, this could be their first interaction with more advanced vehicle technology. Previous AAA research has found that some systems, particularly those that provide the highest level of automation available to the public, do not always work as expected. These negative experiences could influence driver opinion of future vehicle automation. It also reinforces the need for manufacturers to continue to hone vehicle technology by expanding testing and focusing on including more real-world scenarios encountered by drivers.

Has your car needed some TLC and you haven’t gotten to it yet? Well NOW is the time to get it fixed!

Icy Temperatures Fuel Spikes at the Pump

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 22, 2021) — Motorists are filling-up to some of the most expensive gas prices seen in over a year. With the forced shutdown of Gulf Coast and some Mid-West refineries due to last week’s winter weather, gasoline stocks have tightened and gas prices have skyrocketed. On the week, 66% of state averages spiked by double digits (10–22 cents), driving the national average up by 13 cents to $2.63. That is the most expensive national average since October 2019.

“When close to 40% of U.S. crude production is offline because refineries are closed, there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “The good news is the nearly two dozen impacted refiners are expected to restart operations this week, if they haven’t already. That means regular gasoline deliveries will resume and impacted stations will be re-fueled.”

Last week, refinery outages were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas.

Do your tires have worn out treads? Bulges or cracks in the sidewalls? If so, new tires should be a priority for you. Here are 5 factors to consider so you can decide for sure whether or not new tires for your vehicle should be at the top of your priority list.

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Model Y Achieves 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA

Since the launch of Model S in 2012, we have engineered every Tesla around the same advanced architecture that maximizes occupant safety. Today, Model Y, Tesla’s mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), is the latest Tesla vehicle to earn a 5-star safety rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As part of their 2020 New Car Assessment Program, NHTSA tested Model Y Long Range All-Wheel Drive (AWD). We expect similar results for all Model Y variants, including our Performance AWD and single motor, rear-wheel drive variants in the future.

What makes Model Y safe?
Model 3 and Model Y were developed largely on the same platform, and this shared architecture is fundamental to both vehicles’ safety. To accommodate its higher mass and larger cabin space as an SUV, Model Y’s body structure is fortified and strengthened even further than Model 3 in pursuit of its 5-star safety rating.

People Blame a Vehicle's Automated System More Than Its Driver When Accidents Happen

Experts predict that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will eventually make our roads safer since the majority of accidents are caused by human error. However, it may be some time before people are ready to put their trust in a self-driving car.

A new study in the journal Risk Analysis found that people are more likely to blame a vehicle's automation system and its manufacturer than its human driver when a crash occurs.

Semi-autonomous vehicles (semi-AVs), which allow humans to supervise the driving and take control of the vehicle, are already on the road. For example, the 2020 Tesla Model S offers an Autopilot system, and the 2020 Cadillac CT6 has a Super Cruise system. In both, the driver must be ready to take control of the car at any moment.

However, this new study suggests that questions are likely to arise regarding blame, responsibility, and compensation when a semi-AV is involved in a collision.

Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper helps a listener having battery issues with his 2017 Hyundai Elantra.