Cars Blog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 5:39 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

While combing through the news in the world of cars today, I found out something disturbing: My Mazda may have a genetic defect that could be lethal — to me. Apparently, 215,000 Mazda 3s and 5s built from 2007 to 2009 have a high-pressure pipe in their power steering system that is prone to rust.

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Tags: auto, Cars
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:37 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

The Honda Civic Hybrid is having battery issues. Edmunds is reporting the company recently sent letters to 100,000 owners of 2006-to-2008 Civic Hybrid owners letting them know battery packs in their cars could deteriorate and fail prematurely, confirming what many owners getting sub-par gas mileage already knew. Instead of offering to replace the batteries, the

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:00 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

One of the real benefits of having a blog about cars is the interactions with readers who know a lot more about a given topic than I do. After I posted a few weeks ago about some testing Ford did that called into question the crash-worthiness of aftermarket parts body shops use to repair wrecked

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Tags: auto, Cars
Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:29 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

This month, USAA, long admired by us geeks in the financial reporting world for its embrace of Web-based and mobile banking, introduced a soup-to-nuts auto loan feature into its already top-flight iPhone app. This is the same iPhone app, you might recall, that first allowed users to deposit their checks by taking pictures of them.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 10:00 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

I missed this last week, but apparently Nissan plans to introduce an auto air conditioning system that actually spritzes breathable vitamin C out of the vents in order to help condition your skin and reduce wrinkles. The technology is part of Nissan’s “Health & Well-Being” concept, which seeks to make the interior of Nissan cars

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:30 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

It’s funny; after writing about the affordability of family haulers yesterday, today I get a press release from Comerica Bank with the latest edition of its Auto Affordability Index. The index takes the average price paid for a car, including total interest on the auto loan, and divides it by the median income of an

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Tags: auto, Cars
Monday, August 9, 2010 3:59 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

While doing some research on the Honda website for Bankrate’s Fall Car Guide, I happened upon a plug for the Odyssey minivan. The van looked pretty sweet in the picture, with big 17-inch wheels, fog lights and all manner of electronic doohickeys. But being the skeptic that I am, I looked for the fine print

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Saturday, August 7, 2010 10:00 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

What do a Ford F-Series Super Duty diesel pickup truck and an iPhone 3GS have in common? No, it’s not a riddle, but more of a glimpse into the future of cars, which is looking more like the future of TVs, smart phones and all the other gadgets we use in our daily lives. Both

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Thursday, August 5, 2010 3:26 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

Yesterday the head of Hyundai’s American operations John Krafcik announced Hyundai has an ambitious new goal: raising the gas mileage of the entire Hyundai fleet of cars to 50 mpg by 2025. That goal is far beyond the new, stricter gas mileage standards mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year, which would

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:36 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

For those of you that were following the issue, here’s an update: Yesterday, the Massachusetts legislature rejected the latest iteration of the “right-to-repair” law. Like I said in the last blog post on the subject, the law would have forced automakers to turn over schematics and other proprietary information about their cars to independent car

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