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All-New 2022 Subaru BRZ Makes Global Debut

THERMAL, Calif., Nov. 18, 2020 -- The all-new, rear-wheel drive 2022 Subaru BRZ sports car made its Global Debut today at the Thermal Club Raceway in Thermal, CA. Subaru developed the all-new BRZ with the same fundamentals of sports car design that it used to create the original: low vehicle weight, an ultra-low center of gravity with precision steering and handling in an affordable 2+2 package. But for the 2022 model year, the BRZ features more power, better handling, improved styling, a 50-percent increase in torsional stiffness and a modern interior. A pure sports car with Subaru DNA.

Running counter to the current trend of power over precision, the 2022 Subaru BRZ focuses on simplicity and fun. Designed to deliver an unmatched driving experience, the all-new BRZ features a new and more powerful 228 horsepower 2.4-liter horizontally opposed engine. Sitting low in the chassis, the Subaru BOXER's unique design allows the BRZ to achieve a Center of Gravity (CoG) even lower than the previous BRZ and on par with exotic hyper-cars. The ultra-low CoG is critical to delivering unrivaled handling, with a low polar moment and quick reaction to driver inputs. The 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine redlines at 7,000 RPM and delivers a 15-percent increase in torque. The 2022 BRZ will be offered in both Premium and Limited trims and is available with two transmission choices; a standard six-speed manual or an available six-speed automatic with a new Sport mode designed for more aggressive driving. The new Sport mode allows for more rapid downshifts with automatic throttle blipping and utilizes yaw sensors to hold the transmission in a lower gear during hard cornering to maximize performance.

Clever and Modern Design

Despite its sporting intentions, the 2022 Subaru BRZ does not sacrifice everyday comfort and practicality. The 2+2 seating and folding rear seats create a useful cargo area that has space for carrying a mountain bike, golf clubs, or even four race tires and tools for track days. Utilizing aluminum for the roof, front fenders and hood, the 2022 Subaru BRZ has an estimated curb weight of just under 2,900 lbs., delivering on its promise of accessible performance.

Front-End Alignment vs. 4-Wheel Alignment FAQs | Good Works Auto Repair

As a vehicle owner, it’s good to learn about and understand some of the services that your car will need during its lifetime. You’re probably already familiar with things like oil changes and AC service.

But, what about wheel alignments? Do you know the difference between front-end and 4-wheel alignments? When is it necessary to schedule service? What exactly does it entail? Here, we’ll try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about wheel alignments.

What is a wheel alignment?

The term ‘wheel alignment’ is actually a little misleading. In reality, a wheel alignment involves making minor adjustments to a vehicle’s suspension, not the tires or wheels themselves. The main purpose is to ensure that the tires make proper contact with the road. Specifically, they need to be at the right angle in order to maximize road contact and provide appropriate traction and safe handling.

A wheel alignment generally involves looking at and making adjustments to three components:

Camber – This is the angle of the tire as seen from the front of the vehicle.
Toe – This is the angle of the tire as seen from above – a ‘bird’s eye view’.
Caster – Lastly, this is the angle of the steering axis.

An expert mechanic will evaluate all of these factors and make adjustments as necessary to bring your vehicle back into alignment.

Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Road Trip be a Turkey

One way to avoid a turkey of a Thanksgiving road trip is to make sure the vehicle you will be driving is running well. A 10-minute pre-trip check is a quick and easy way to help avoid the inconvenience of a breakdown many miles away from home, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council suggests the following pre-trip check to help ensure safety and reliability on the road:

Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Check the hoses and belts that can become loose, cracked, brittle, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

4 Reasons to Avoid Using A/C Recharging Kits | Good Works Auto Repair

These days, the internet is a treasure trove of information for Do-It-Yourself’ers. Just take a quick look at YouTube and you’re likely to find hundreds, or even thousands, of videos on any home or auto repair topic that you can imagine.

While online tutorials may be just fine for simple tasks like how to check your tire pressure, they’re not usually the right answer for more complex auto maintenance needs. The same holds true for DIY tools such as A/C recharging kits. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you might just want to avoid A/C recharging kits altogether and leave your A/C repairs to a professional.

#1: A/C recharging kits may not fix the root of the problem.
If you’ve taken a look at your A/C system to try to determine why it’s not working properly, you may have noticed that it’s low on refrigerant. You might think – “Well, that’s just like my car’s engine using oil. All I have to do is top off the refrigerant and everything will be just fine. After all, most A/C recharging kits come with a can of refrigerant for this very purpose.”

This all sounds logical but it’s time to go a little deeper. The truth is that A/C systems do not ever userefrigerant. If it’s low, that means there is a leak. Simply topping off the refrigerant level may buy you some more time but it will not solve the problem. Additionally, using the stop leak sealer in the DIY kit does not always stop the leak and it rarely offers a long term solution.

Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book Drive Holiday Cheer with Limited-Edition

ATLANTA, Nov. 18, 2020 -- Like most things in 2020, this year's holiday season will look and feel different in many ways – including how people will travel. According to a recent survey from Cox Automotive*, 86% of U.S. adults are planning to hit the road by car or RV this holiday season, versus flying. To make road trips a little warmer and help people drive in style, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book created limited-edition "ugly" sweater light up face masks and steering wheel covers to spread cheer all season long.

Keeping the holiday spirit alive is more important than ever this year, and so is having the best car for holiday travel. Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, the trusted names for car buyers, instill confidence in shoppers when it comes to researching, purchasing and maintaining the best car to match their lifestyle and travel needs. With cars becoming more of an escape and safe haven, it is important to keep them looking their best, especially for the 7-in-10 consumers that are committed to purchasing accessories for their cars. And, with people anticipating 1-3 pit stops on their long holiday journeys, having a festive mask readily available will be key.

2021 Ram 1500 Named to Car and Driver's 10Best Vehicles for Third Consecutive Year

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 18, 2020 --

Ram 1500 lineup earns the award and is the only pickup on this year's list

Car and Driver evaluates each contender versus its peers using a 100-point scale, basing each score on intended purpose, value and vehicle operation

Car and Driver has named the 2021 Ram 1500 to its "10Best vehicles for 2021" list for the third consecutive year. Previous winners were invited to defend their crown and the new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX was also submitted for evaluation. The award applies to the entire Ram 1500 lineup, the only pickup truck to secure a spot on this year's list.

Car and Driver evaluates each contender versus its peers using a 100-point scale, basing each score on how well it meets its intended purpose, how good a value it is and how compelling it is to operate. This award recognizes the smartest, most entertaining cars, trucks, SUVs and vans on sale today. Vehicles are judged with an emphasis on value, mission fulfillment and if they're fun to drive.

"We are incredibly humbled that Ram 1500 has earned a spot on Car and Driver's 10Best vehicle list for the third consecutive year and feel validated that we continue to build the best trucks available," said Mike Koval Jr., Head of Ram Brand. "We are honored that Car and Driver's recognition includes the all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, which sets the benchmark for extreme performance pickup trucks and clearly telegraphs the Ram Truck brand's leadership in the segment."

This is the third year in a row Ram 1500 – the most awarded light-duty truck in America – has been named to Car and Driver's 10Best.

Increase in Demand Pushes State Averages More Expensive

Motorists are paying more to fill up than last Monday in nearly 30 states with the vast majority paying just a few pennies more. On the week, South Carolina (+8 cents) saw the largest increase followed by these states who each had a six cent increase: Michigan, New Mexico, Indiana, Delaware, and Minnesota.

With the majority of states seeing increases, the national gas price average pushed a penny more expensive. The overall weekly increases seen across the country are likely a reaction to the latest Energy Information Administration’s report showing increased demand (from 8.3 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d) while supply dwindled by 2.3 million bbl.

“Following a jump in demand, we’ve seen a number of state gas price averages increase on the week. However, the majority of these increases were just a few pennies,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “With many states seeing rising COVID-19 case numbers and a number of officials warning against holiday travel, demand is likely to see a dip in coming weeks.”

Elon Musk Says Tesla May Reveal Cybertruck Changes in a 'Month or So'

The updated design could bring many little improvements.

Tesla has been refining the Cybertruck’s design ever since its debut a year ago (aka the Before Times), and it might be close to showing what has changed in the months since. According to Roadshow, Elon Musk told one fan that Tesla could show the updated Cybertruck “maybe in a month or so.” That certainly isn’t a firm schedule, especially for a company prone to delays, but you might not have to wait too long to see if the design is slightly less polarizing.

The emphasis is on “slightly.” Musk added that the refreshed electric pickup has “many minor tweaks,” and that “even the small details matter.” Tesla had toyed with the possibility of a smaller body, but decided against it after determining there wasn’t much room for change.

Smart Cruise Control Steers Drivers Toward Better Decisions

Vehicle manufacturers offer smart features such as lane and braking assist to aid drivers in hazardous situations when human reflexes may not be fast enough. But most options only provide immediate benefits to a single vehicle.

What if, like a murmuration of starlings, our cars and trucks moved cooperatively on the road in response to each vehicle's environmental sensors, reacting as a group to lessen traffic jams and protect the humans inside?

This question forms the basis of Kuilin Zhang's National Science Foundation CAREER Award research. Zhang, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University, has published "A distributionally robust stochastic optimization-based model predictive control with distributionally robust chance constraints for cooperative adaptive cruise control under uncertain traffic conditions" in the journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

The paper is coauthored with Shuaidong Zhao, now a senior quantitative analyst at National Grid, where he continues to conduct research on the interdependency between smart grid and electric vehicle transportation systems.

Creating vehicle systems adept at avoiding traffic accidents is an exercise in proving Newton's First Law: An object in motion remains so unless acted on by an external force. Without much warning of what's ahead, car accidents are more likely because drivers don't have enough time to react. So what stops the car? A collision with another car or obstacle -- causing injuries, damage and in the worst case, fatalities.

Should You Use an A/C Recharging Kit? | Good Works Auto Repair

Savvy consumers are always looking for ways to save money. After all, you work hard for your money … why spend more than you have to?

When it comes to auto repairs, however, spending wisely often looks a little different. In our experience, the best way to save money on auto repairs is by following a preventative maintenance schedule that catches small problems before they become big ones.

In contrast, some vehicle owners wonder if they can save money by doing their own repairs. Take your A/C system, for example … is it wise to use a DIY A/C recharging kit to get your system running properly again? We don’t think so, and here’s why.

Why NOT to use an A/C recharging kit

When your A/C system stops blowing cool air, you’re typically frustrated and want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Before you head to the local auto parts store for an A/C recharging kit, however, consider this:

A/C recharging kits aren’t compatible with every car. If you have an older make and model, or a very new one, the refrigerant in these kits may not be compatible with what’s in your vehicle. Mixing the two is not a good idea and many auto repair shops won’t want to service your vehicle if you’ve put in the wrong refrigerant.

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