Unleaded Premium Fuel Is A Scam: Fact Or Fiction?

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Car Care, Engines, Featured, Fuel, General, Tips by Kurt Ernst | April 7th, 2010 | 12 Responses |

Is saving $6.00 per tank worth the risk of a blown motor?

A friend of mine (let’s call him “Stan”) is one of the smartest guys I know. He just authored a book on business process and works for one of the big financial powerhouses as some sort of a training guru. He recently hit me up for a recommendation on a domestic sedan, so I countered with the usual list of questions. One of them was “are you willing to use premium unleaded fuel”, to which Stan replied “unleaded premium is a scam”.

When I stopped screaming at my email, I realized that if Stan thought this was the case, then so do a lot of other people. Manufacturer’s don’t do a good job of explaining this, and dealers are reluctant to point out that your new car will cost you more money to operate than you thought. So what’s the real deal? Is unleaded premium a requirement, a luxury or a scam? If you need it, why do you need it?

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Minnesota Vikings & ALA Team Up To Reward Flex Fuel Vehicles

Posted in Alt Fuels, Cars, Fuel, Fuel-efficient, Newsworthy, Parking by Suzanne Denbow | October 16th, 2009 | 1 Response |


In what can best be described as an extremely odd move, the Minnesota Vikings and the American Lung Association have joined forces to reward drivers of flex-fuel vehicles. During Viking’s home games, fans with vehicles capable of running on both ethanol (E85) and gasoline will be given complimentary parking in the coveted Gold Lot at 401 4th Street South. Unfortunately, lot capacity and budget concerns mean only the first 25 FFV will be able to take advantage of the premium parking, all others will have to fork over the standard $40 fee. Read More…

Cash For Clunkers Leads to Highest New Car MPG

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Cash for Clunkers, Fuel, Fuel-efficient, Gas Guzzlers, Gas Prices, New Cars, Newsworthy by Alex Kierstein | September 30th, 2009 | 1 Response |

Clunkers Used Car Dealers

The continuing saga of the Cash for Clunkers plan has gotten more interesting as new reports emerge that suggest that the program has actually increased the average gas mileage of all new cars sold during that period to a record 23 MPG. That’s an 8% increase from 21.2 MPG in August 2008 and the best numbers recorded since gas hit $4/gallon back in the dark days of 2007. So should we celebrate or sagely shake our heads? More after the jump.

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MPG Standards To Increase 5% Per Year Until 35.5 MPG Is Reached

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Emissions, Environment, Fuel, Fuel-efficient, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Politics, SUV, Trucks by Suzanne Denbow | September 15th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Addressing the public from GM’s Lordstown plant in Warren, Ohio, President Obama shared more details on his new proposal to raise the national MPG requirements. Beginning with a 27.3 mpg for the 2011 model year, fuel efficiency requirements will be raised by 5% each year until reaching 35.5 mpg in 2016, at which point micro hybrids will replace both bike messengers and jaywalkers as the one aspect of city life you sincerely hate the most. Read More…

UPDATED: 2011 Chevrolet Volt To Get At Least 230 Miles Per Gallon in the City


On a Webcast Tuesday morning, GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson announced that the upcoming Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle is expected to achieve at least 230 mpg in the city.

“Are we overpromising?” Henderson said in response to a question from a skeptical reporter in the audience. “No. That’s what the customer will see in the city.”

At the moment, GM is unable to give an accurate highway fuel economy estimate, but rest assured, “it will be triple digit…But we don’t have it yet,” said Henderson.

This means that the Volt will be the first mass-produced vehicle to claim a combined fuel-economy rating of more than 100 mpg. And as it looks now, using EPA methodology, GM says the Volt will “consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in city driving.”

For all us layman out there, that means that it will cost the average consumer in Detroit “40 cents for a full charge” after recharging the Volt overnight.

GM has already begun pre-production of the Volt since June, producing 10 units per week for testing and development. Already, though, engineers have begun tweaking the platform for future Generation 2 and 3 models, with the primary aim of bringing the cost down from the estimated $40,000 sticker price for the 2011 Volt.

Henderson also charted the course of future models when he commented that GM plans to shun diesel technology in favor of electrics and hybrids.

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BREAKING: Confirmed Plans To Produce Environmentally-Friendly Honda NSX

Posted in Acura, Environment, Expensive Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Fuel, Fuel-efficient, Honda, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies by Chris | July 21st, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


A few months ago Honda aficionado’s were buzzing over spy shots of the resurrected NSX carving corners around the Nurburgring, with rumors of a GTR-killing V10 under the hood. But a poor economic climate nixed that great return. Or so we thought.

Sources from 7Tune.com have reported that the NSX will indeed be produced, although Honda’s focus for the car has substantially shifted away from world-class supercar benchmarks towards more environmentally-friendly purposes. Instead of the GTR, the “Super Hybrids Sports” NSX will be a direct competitor with Toyota’s FT-HS hybrid sports car, another performance nameplate reslated as a green car to take advantage of an increasingly petrol-phobic market.

Click the jump for more details.

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BMW Considering Return Of Four-Cylinder Engine To U.S.

Posted in BMW, Car Tech, Cars, Commuter Cars, Diesel, Emissions, Environment, Fuel, Fuel-efficient, Gas Prices, General by Geoff | July 18th, 2009 | 2 Responses |
Kicking It Truly Old School: BMW 2002

Kicking It Truly Old School: BMW 2002

Like it or not, after a long absence, BMW may bring four-cylinder engines back to the U.S. to help it meet stricter fuel economy standards. According to Bloomberg, rather than make an even stronger case for clean diesel engines, (which Americans just can’t seem to embrace), BMW is seriously contemplating a return to smaller engines. Read More…

Axis and Allies: Volkswagen May Partner With Suzuki

Posted in Chevrolet, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Diesel, Emissions, Fuel, Gas Prices, General, GM, Porsche, Suzuki, Volkswagen by Corey | June 26th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |
Suzuki Splash: One Byproduct of Suzuki/GM Coupling

Suzuki Splash: One Byproduct of Suzuki/GM Coupling

Reading like a reenactment of German and Japanese diplomacy during WWII, Volkswagen continues to consolidate its status as the world’s most dominant automaker with discussions of acquiring a stake in Suzuki while the Japanese automaker relaxes ties with former affiliate GM.

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Wunderbar! BMW Tweaking Excellent Twin-Turbo Diesel

Posted in BMW, Car Tech, Diesel, Emissions, Environment, Fast Cars, Foreign Cars, Fuel, Horsepower, Luxury Cars by Alex Kierstein | June 23rd, 2009 | 2 Responses |
<i>Image: Autoblog</i>

Image: Autoblog

BMW is doing a round of upgrades to the European-spec versions of its excellent twin-turbo 3.0L diesel engines, which we only just received in the States in late 2008. Two main technologies have been updated to allow more power and efficiency. First, the common-rail fuel injection system now supports a whopping 29,000 PSI injector pressure, up 6,000 PSI over the last version, allowing greater control over the mixture. The turbos have also been tweaked to scavenge power more efficiently. What does it all add up to?

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Dodge Viper SRT-10 Roadster “Least Green Car in Britain.” How Is This News?


A British charity organization that focuses on helping the environment by reducing the use of cars has released a report showing that the Dodge SRT-10 Roadster (how they badge the Viper across the pond) is the worst car in Britain (from an environmental standpoint). Which is clearly no great surprise – the 8.3L pushrod two-valve motor is a dinosaur, and it’s up against a load of tiny French cars and other assorted European nonsense.

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