Author Archive | Eric Peters

The Semi-Retired Car

New cars come with maintenance schedules that give you time/mileage intervals for things like oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotation and so on. Follow these recommendations and – assuming a decent/sound car to start with – it ought to be a long-lived car. But what about old, semi-retired cars? They came with maintenance schedules, too. But these […]

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Nothing Runs You Like a Deere. . .

We are allowed to use the land as the sovereign sees fit – and not otherwise. If we use it in ways forbidden, the king – whoops, Uncle – will punish us. He can also just take it from us via another noxious doctrine – that of eminent domain. But until recently, we at least owned our […]

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A Great Time To Buy a Used Car

You might want to buy a used car while they’re cheap – but not just because they’re cheap. And cheap they are. Because of unprecedented desperation tactics to sell new cars – including under-bid incentives, cash back offers and “free money” loans at zero or nearly zero interest. Which the car companies have had to resort […]

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‘Autonomous’ Cars

Within 12 years, only 5 percent of the driving done in this country will be done by “autonomous” drivers – according to a study that is getting huge play all over the mediascape. That is to say, only 5 percent of the driving will be done by people like you and me – ordinary people going […]

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Living in the Homeland

One of the truly scary things about living in The Homeland, as it is officially styled nowadays, is that you are subject to punishment prior to conviction. Merely to be accused is sufficient to deprive you of liberty and property. And even when – after much expense (yours) and time forever lost – you are […]

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The Danger of Low Speed Limits

Almost every new car I test drive – even the humblest hybrid – has a speedometer that reads to at least 120 mph. 140 is common; 160 not unusual. Some cars have speedometers that read to 180 or even 200 MPH And some of those are capable of pegging them. Few ever do. It would […]

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The $94,000 Traffic Ticket

Imagine a ticket for “failure to display a front license plate” – not even a moving violation – costing you almost six figures. Nathan Cox of Mechanicsville, VA doesn’t have to, because he lived it. Well, he paid it. $94,000. And it could have been worse. Initially, he was looking at $1.3 million. Technically, it […]

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Irreparable Damage

You’ve heard the saying – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? True enough. But there are also things you can’t fix once broken. The car will never be quite right again – and may be a lot wrong. These Irreparables include: * Water damage – This has always been a killer; a water-logged interior […]

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Demonized

Really, it’s surprising it took them so long. But it is much more surprising that automotive journalists are leading the chorus ululating for the outlawing of the Dodge Demon muscle car. The automotive journalists at Automotive News – which is (or was) to the car world what The New York Times once was to the news-gathering world, […]

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Is Slower Safer?

The mantra is that Slow is Safe. But Slow is often also oblivious – and sloppy. Which tends to be dangerous, the opposite of safe. The priests – and priestesses, more often – of The Safety Cult have not noticed. The other day, I rolled up behind a car descending a mountain pass. The speed limit […]

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Snitch for the State

Late last week, it was revealed who squealed. The Clover responsible for making it impossible for any of us to buy a diesel-powered Volkswagen henceforth – and a lot more – is Stuart Johnson, the former head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He was outed in a book written about […]

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Hose Heroes?

Law enforcers aren’t “heroes”  . . .  but what about firemen? Are they Hose Heroes? People are pressured to regard them as such. Much as they are pressured to genuflect, North Korean funeral-style, before the Presence of a law enforcer. You are probably forced to pay for fire “services” in your community. Just as you are […]

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The Hero Problem

When the state and its media bullhorns refer to armed government workers – law enforcers – as “heroes,” it’s a sign the hour is getting late. When most people don’t draw back and spit coffee all over the keyboard at the idea, it’s minutes to midnight. How did it become “heroic” to enforce laws? And […]

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Desperate Solutions to Made-up Problems

Desperation brings out the worst in people – including engineers. But then, you can’t really fault them. The government issues its fatwas – which aren’t suggestions – and it is the job of the engineers to figure out ways to comply with the fatwas. Hence, the becoming commonplace use of turbochargers and direct injection. Neither […]

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Taxing Them Off the Road

For planned obsolescence to work, you’ve got to keep the conveyor belt rolling. And most of all, prevent anyone from getting off. It is a problem if people “cling” to their old cars instead of regularly trading them in – ideally, to be crushed – for new ones – hopefully, heavily financed. But how to get […]

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German Engineers Outsmart DC Bureaucrats

You make the rules, we’ll find new ways around them. That could be AMG’s motto and maybe is . . . unofficially. The Rhinoceros Thing you see before you is somehow fully compliant with every government reg; and yet… well, just look at it. Al Gore does not approve. But it’s all – for the moment […]

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Brock Yates, Phone Home

The car press has become the propaganda ministry of entities and individuals who either know nothing about cars or who loathe cars. Whichever it is, the end result is the same: The writing of serially dishonest stories (and that ancient journalistic term is most apt) that anyone who does know something about cars – even […]

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Subprime on Wheels

It’s a good time to be a repo man. . . again. Lots of business picking up used cars people stopped making payments on. According to S&P Global Ratings and an article in Bloomberg News, defaults on these subprime loans are at their highest water mark since the subprime collapse of 2008 and the “recovery […]

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Why the Press Is Hated

The press wonders – or pretends to wonder – why it’s held in contempt by more than just a small handful of people. Maybe the pressies should read what they publish. The other day, Automotive News published the following: “Dozens of U.S. cities are willing to buy $10 billion of electric cars and trucks to show […]

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