The 2015 F150 is the highest-volume application for primary aluminum bodywork and body structure (as opposed to individual panels such as hoods or decklids on a primarily steel car) up to this point, plus it's brand new and the dealer/body shop techs are fresh from getting trained up on the repair techniques - and… » 1/27/15 2:13pm Tuesday 2:13pm

Oddly enough, the sequence of events is often Two: there's a leak somewhere in the system; Three: it needs more refrigerant (because it all left via the leak); One: the compressor isn't working (because the low-pressure switch detects the lack of refrigerant and won't let the compressor engage and self-immolate);… » 1/20/15 3:32pm 1/20/15 3:32pm

Once upon a time, I received on a monthly basis, copies of Road & Track, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Grassroots Motorsports, Automobile, 4Wheel & Off-Road, Diesel Power, Racer, and Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, along with SportsCar from the SCCA and, weekly, AutoWeek. » 1/16/15 3:56pm 1/16/15 3:56pm

Disclaimer: I (briefly) worked on the current GM mild-hybrid powertrain system (Malibu & LaCrosse) during 2008. Exactly one part I directly influenced made it to production: a small stainless-steel coolant tube pressed into the MGU. My dotted-line boss loathed it (he thought it could be used as a handle for the engine… » 1/16/15 2:46pm 1/16/15 2:46pm

The thing I find amazing is that this engine has been in the works at Cummins for over 15 years, starting with a US DOE R&D grant for a clean light-vehicle (under 8500 lbs GVWR, for those keeping track at home — in other words, 1/2 ton truck or smaller) diesel engine. It's been rumored to go into Dodge, Toyota, Dodge… » 12/30/14 9:59am 12/30/14 9:59am

1) Until and unless Congress acts (which I'll deem about as likely with the incoming Congress as a repeat of the Miracle of the Loaves & Fishes), the trade embargo will remain. The Executive Branch is within its powers to normalize diplomatic relations, but the trade embargo is a Congressional act that can only be… » 12/23/14 5:15pm 12/23/14 5:15pm

Back in the day, we had (analog) phones in our cars that looked like this. The handset was visible, the main electronics were hidden somewhere else and connected via a multi-conductor cable to the handset. This one likely is a VERY early cellular phone, which was just starting to get rudimentary coverage in major… » 12/22/14 4:07pm 12/22/14 4:07pm

Huh. I guess I didn't realize that Michigan isn't a member of the Driver's License Compact. This would explain why a speeding ticket I received in NY in the mid-1990s didn't show up on my MI license until an alarmingly long time later (as in, long after it would have fallen off my record in MI - 2 years on the DL,… » 12/17/14 4:54pm 12/17/14 4:54pm

Related: When the airbags were stolen* out of my '94 Probe GT (still miss that car), the insurance company (one that has the world "club" in its name; I'm still with the Texas version of them because this was more silly than anything else) was adamant that the car be towed to the repair shop as it was "undriveable".… » 12/15/14 1:57pm 12/15/14 1:57pm