ViscosityAn oil’s viscosity is how well it resists flowing. What you want is an oil that doesn’t thin out too much when it gets heated. Oil that’s too thin doesn’t have the same lubricating and sealing properties of thicker oil. So check out the viscosity ratings. You’ll see one for cold temperatures and one for hot. What you want is a higher second number, because that means it stays thick even when hot (like 20W-50 over 10W-30.)
Synthetic or ConventionalChoosing synthetic or conventional oil has a lot more to do with the car you drive than anything else. Some people claim that one is better than the other, but you need (more…)
The Difference in How They WorkCar engines, both gasoline, and diesel, function on four simple strokes: intake, compression, power, and exhaust. The difference between the two types of engines is how these strokes are executed. In gasoline engines, the intake stroke pulls air and fuel into the combustion chamber. A diesel engine only pulls in air. In the compression phase, both engines squeeze down the air into a small pocket. Both engines then convert fuel into energy through a series of small explosions or combustions. The difference is how the explosions happen. In gasoline engines, the mix of fuel and air is compressed by pistons and ignited by the spark plugs. In diesel engines, only the air is compressed, and then the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder. This is called direct fuel injection. Because the air compression heats the air to a high temperature and pressure, when the fuel is injected, it immediately ignites. This aggressive compression results in a more violent vibration and is what causes the typical diesel rumble. (more…)
Quality Means SafetyIn a 2016 study by Consumer Reports, high-quality tires like Michelin (more…)
The 240ZNissan didn’t win any awards for engineering when they shipped the Datsun 240Z to the U.S. in 1969, but they were the first to produce a high-end performance car in a price range that fit the average American budget. The 240Z’s 2.4-liter single-overhead-cam engine, 151 horsepower, and a four-speed manual transmission launched the Z from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds. At only $3601, the 240Z was an instant success and Americans bought 16,215 in their first model year.
The 280Z and 280ZXThe 1970s were all about luxury, so Nissan added more zip to the Z (more…)
Mazda MX-5 Miata SportFew sports cars have enjoyed the loyal following experienced by Mazda’s Miata line. Since the early 90s, fans of the car’s speed and style have embraced the two-seater’s classic lines. The car was originally designed in the image of timeless British roadsters such as Triumph and MG, so the Miata gives drivers the same close-to-the-road driving experience as these sports classics. Aside from its styling, however, the car is modern in every way. The Miata Sport’s motor puts out more than 150 horsepower, moving the lightweight car from 0-60 miles per hour in under six seconds. But it’s the car’s balanced weight distribution and advanced suspension you’ll appreciate most as you take tight turns in downtown Memphis.
Honda Civic SI CoupeHonda’s reliability and solid resale value are two practical reasons to consider this time-tested classic, but you’ll forget about these sensible concerns the minute you unleash the Civic’s VTECH inline four-cylinder motor. The SI power plant generates more than 200 horsepower, giving you ample pedal for merging onto I-40 or hopping the bypass to East Memphis. Roomier than a true sports car is, the Honda Civic Coupe doubles as everyday transportation. But don’t be fooled by its pedestrian exterior. Cornering, acceleration, and braking are all top notch. The Civic will take you from 0-60 MPH in 6.6 seconds and its Hondalink technology works with your smartphone to provide navigation and other functions.
Hyundai Veloster TurboThe Veloster’s shifting packages includes a dual clutch option much like an automatic, as well as a manual transmission setup. To experience the Veloster at its best, driving enthusiasts should complement its 200 HP motor with the manual version, creating a performance hatchback that belies its price. In addition to turbocharged performance, the Hyundai Veloster moves design trends forward with a three-door configuration. The driver’s side door is full-sized, while the passenger entry is split in two for easy access to the rear compartment. Among this year’s crop of affordable fast cars, this Hyundai is an ideal Memphis daily driver for those with high handling expectations. Horsepower costs money, but you may be surprised how far your budget goes in today’s performance car market. These are only a few of the sporty options available to Memphis buyers with $25,000 to spend.
A Spare Tire + Spare KeysA flat tire is a major setback on a trip, especially when you’re hundreds of miles away from your destination. Make sure you have a good spare tire along so you can get yourself back on the road in no time at all. It’s worth practicing changing a tire yourself so that if the worst happens, you won’t need to wait around for a mechanic to arrive and fix things for you. It’s also worth bringing along a spare set of (more…)
Memphis is a fun place all year-round — the music, the vibe, the food, the people, Graceland, and the famous Beale Street. Things don’t slow down in winter. Several festivals and events liven things up all through the winter season.
Jingle Bell Run – Nov. 12
Get a bunch of runners together, dress them up in holiday costumes and jingle bells, make it for a good cause, and you’ve got one fun and festive fundraiser! The Jingle Bell Run is a 5K fun race / 1-mile walk that gets the holiday spirit going while raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation. (more…)
Winter driving not only comes with its own hazards but also takes its toll on your car. Snow, sleet, and frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on your trusty automobile. Preparing your car for winter makes for safer driving, protects the engine, and helps maintain the value of the vehicle.(more…)
Deciding to buy a new car is never a decision to be taken lightly, and it can be especially stressful at the end of the year. Although you have no doubt that a new car would be nice, your budget may be stretched thin after summer vacations and holiday gift-buying. If you’re struggling with questions of necessity, practicality, and affordability, here’s how to decide if you should buy a new car before the new year.(more…)