Midnight Oil Auto Blog

Safety Recall Update – Domestic Part 1

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NHTSAHere are the latest safety recalls from domestic automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). General Motors tops the list this week with four total recalls but Chrysler comes back to blow them away with a big number in a single campaign — 643,618 Jeep units expected for inclusion. Remember to look inside of the driver side door jamb (on most vehicles) to locate the manufacturing date (month/year) if you feel that your vehicle is covered under any of these recall campaigns. Furthermore, option code labels are normally found underneath the spare tire cover on cars and inside of the glove box door on trucks. These labels bear a strange looking block of letters and numbers (usually broken into groups of three). These individual three-digit combinations identify every feature with which the vehicle was factory equipped.

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Top 5 Sleepers From BestRide.com

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2004-subaru-xt-bestrideIt’s easy enough to order up a brand new Camaro SS from your Chevrolet dealer, but it’s a whole different matter to buy a truly fast car that flies under the radar. We combed the archives to find five seriously quick cars that don’t loudly announce their presence.

2004 Subaru Forester 2.5XT

There isn’t a sleepier sleeper than the Subaru Forester 2.5XT. But despite its crushingly boring looks, and it’s “mom-mobile” status, the 2.5XT is a hot rod, featuring 235-lb.ft. of torque, just about the same as you’d get out of a WRX. This example was also equipped with a five-speed manual, a rarity for Subaru Foresters of any vintage. They’re truly the best of all possible worlds, with seriously fun performance, family-hauling utility and the ability to blast through any weather condition.

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Recall Update: 226,326 Nissan and Infiniti Cars and SUVs

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2002-Nissan-Maxima-Recall-BestrideNissan is recalling almost a quarter million  2002-2003 Nissan Maxima, Pathfinder and Infiniti I35 and QX4 models, along with 2002-2004 Nissan Sentra and 2003 Infiniti FX vehicles to address a safety defect in the passenger side air bag.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the defect, which includes 226,326 cars, may produce “excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment of the air bag.”

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AutoMoto International Film and Arts Festival – August 14 – 17

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automoto-festival-james-garner-grand-prix-bestride Adding to the festivities at the Monterey Car Week this year, the AutoMoto International Film and Arts Festival is featuring showings of the James Garner film Grand Prix, a live CarCast podcast from Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria, and special appearances from Bob Bondurant and Pete Brock.

 

The event takes place August 14th thru the 17th at Monterey’s Golden State Theater and the Monterey Marriott, featuring a slate of full- and short-length films, including the classic Grand Prix, starring James Garner; Faith Granger’s The Deuce of Spades, and Henri Chemin and the Lost Hemi.

It also includes great motorcycle films including Peter Starr’s Take It To The Limit, as well as the debut of Why We Ride.

The schedule is ambitious for sure:

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Tragedy at Silverstone Underscores the Dangers of Vintage Racing

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denis-welch-lotus-18-bestrideThis weekend, veteran vintage racer Denis Welch was killed in the UK’s Silverstone Classic. It’s a reminder of just how dangerous vintage racing can be.

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2014 Lexus IS 350C

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Four-place convertibles are relatively rare. But to accommodate actual people in the back, the driver and front passenger of the IS 350C must motor their seats far forward. The folding top is hidden under the tonneau cover behind the rear headrests. Lexus

Convertibles are iffy things. In cold climates, their seasonal window is short, if sweet. Ironically, that goes for warm climates also, where it’s often too hot to run around topless. In urban areas, there’s the risk that some villain will slice through the fabric top and help himself to your E-ZPass and your iPad. And finally, a car without its roof also lacks an important bit of bracing, so some convertibles shimmy like belly dancers.

Convertibles, then, are like hot tubs and home exercise machines—great ideas that don’t quite pan out in everyday life.

Even this Lexus IS 350C isn’t perfect, although it comes closer than many other droptops. Its top is aluminum, fully lined and with a glass back window; in place, it looks like the real thing. Push a button, and the roof unlatches itself from the windscreen, folds up into three sections, and hides itself away under a panel behind the back seats.

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Mad Max Timeline: From 1979 to the Comic-Con Trailer

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Mad-Max-bestrideThis weekend, Comic-Con attendees got their first look at the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer. In two minutes and forty-three seconds, it resurrects a franchise that died in 1985 with the release of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Here’s a look at the franchise from its first inception to today:

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FREE AUTO GUIDE: KEEP COOL in the DOG DAYS of SUMMER

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overheatedThe scorching temperatures of summer are bearing down upon us from New York to L.A. and from Portland to Panama City. Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that our vehicles are running as efficiently as possible. That means proper care and maintenance of your vehicle’s cooling system. Allowing your engine to run just 10-degrees hotter than normal could mean the difference between good fuel mileage and poor fuel mileage and that is not mentioning the inherent damage done over a few months. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your cool during even the dog days of summer.

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2014 FORD F-150 TONKA TRUCK

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tonka side autmnQuick, somebody build a bigger sandbox! The good folks at Ford, in conjunction with Elkhart, Indiana based Tuscany Motors and Hasbro Toys, are giving all big boys what they really want to play with: life size TONKA trucks. These larger than life steel toys were a mainstay around our house for the better part of three generations (before electronic gaming caught on) and it is good to see that they continue to load and dump sand and rocks on make believe work sites somewhere in the minds of Ford engineers. If TONKA trucks make you want to wax nostalgic, then maybe you ought to look into purchasing one of these. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)? Around $72k. How is your haggling? These trucks are wheels down at your local Ford dealer, right now but hurry because only 500 will be produced.

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USED CARS: Certified Pre Owned Luxury Sedans under $30k

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You already know that purchasing a quality, late-model, used car can save you thousands of dollars in depreciation but you may not know about the many benefits of buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle from a reputable used car dealer. Certified pre-owned vehicles, like the ones found on used car websites such as BestRide.com, have undergone a strenuous regimen of tests and inspections at the hands of experts. Once it is determined that the automobile meets the muster, they are granted the CPO stamp of approval. Some of these luxury sedans are so nearly new that they are backed by warranties from the dealership.

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FIRST 2015 DODGE HELLCAT to CROSS BLOCK at BARRETT-JACKSON

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SRT 1July 25, 2014Dodge has announced plans to sell the first ever 2015 Dodge SRT Hellcat during the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014 Auction, which will be held at the magnificent Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino from September 25 – 27. The one-of-a kind Hellcat will be on display from July 31 – August 2 at Barrett-Jackson’s Second Annual Hot August Nights Event in Reno, Nevada but with all of the buzz around the most powerful American muscle car ever built, a pre-screening is hardly necessary so don’t expect a great bargain on this beauty.

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History Saturday: Cars on the Moon!

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Apollo-15-lunar-rover-bestride1On July 26, 1971, Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin and Command Module Pilot Al Worden left the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard Apollo 15, bound for what NASA would eventually consider the most successful space mission to date.  It was the first mission to utilize a lunar rover, which allowed the crew to explore the Moon’s surface much further from the Lunar Module.

Boeing, Bendix, Grumman, and Chrysler all submitted proposals to build the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle.

Boeing won the contract as the prime contractor on 28 October 1969. General Motors’ Defense Research Laboratories in Santa Barbara, California, provided the complete mobility system, including the wheels, electric motors and suspension. Boeing delivered the electronics and navigation system.

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