We’ve all been there. Stuck in traffic, a big rig in front of you and a thick cloud of diesel fumes descends on your car. Of course the first reaction is to click the recirculate button on your AC to try to limit the fumes that enter your car. Although that might be a little tougher if you are in a convertible or on a motorcycle. At that point you can’t help but wonder why those dreaded smog regulations don’t apply to large trucks.

Toyota Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Truck

Toyota Zero Emissions Big Rig

Yes that plume of diesel exhaust is legal. According to the DMV “smog inspections are required for all vehicles except diesel powered vehicles 1997 year model and older or with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs, electric, natural gas powered vehicles over 14,000 lbs, motorcycles, trailers, or gasoline powered vehicles 1975 and older.” (DMV Smog Regulations).

The Toyota Solution

In a July 30, 2018 press release Toyota announced it’s second generation solution, (more…)

Volkswagen ID Cross

Volkswagen ID Cross

For the last several years the residents of Mt. View California have watched the 2 seater Google self driving car navigate the streets. This “Self Driving” vehicle built by Lexus was meant as more of a test vehicle than one that was set for production with the top speed being about 25 miles an hour. One of the biggest questions that entered my mind while watching this little and not very exciting car drive by is when a more consumer oriented vehicle might be offered publicly. One of the many answers to that question was debuted in 2017 by Volkswagen. The Volkswagen I.D. Crozz a crossover vehicle with “I.D. Pilot” mode that drives autonomously!

Unlike the “Google Mobile” the I.D. Cross is a (more…)

Early last month Farrarri announced it will adopt a new more environmentally conscience clear coat technology. This new process will be used with at least 61 different metallic basecoat colors which are then covered by this new gloss or matte pigmented clear coat.

Some of the benefits of this new low temperature paint system are: (more…)

sun as seen through carr fire smoke

Morning Sun as see through the smoke of the Carr Fire

Welcome to the mountains and fresh air of the upper part of Northern California!. Well, normally… If you’ve been in the Shasta county area since the Carr Fire started you know the air is anything but clean and fresh. Besides just impeding our view of Mnt Shasta and the surrounding beauty of Northern California this smoke can present a significant health risk.

One solution that is often presented to help with his problem while driving is to set your air conditioner on recirculate. This does help, instead of continually pulling in contaminated outside air you recirculate the air that is already in the cabin. However unless you got in your car in an area where the air is clean you still have that same contamination in your car.

There is a solution, but before I get into that lets consider why this is even a problem.

Contamination from the Carr fire

While you might think that breathing the smoke from this fire is no worse than breathing smoke from a campfire that is not really true. True some of that smoke is from the burning forest, but in addition over 1000 homes and other structures were also consumed by the fire. Some of these homes were older. Many toxic materials are now floating around as ash. These materials may include asbestos fibers, ash from lead paint, plastics, as well as pesticides and other products that are commonly found around the house.

How bad is it? The local air particulate monitoring location on Breslauer Way has measure a high enough particulate count for much of this morning (Aug 7 2018) to be Very unhealthy. That is one step below hazardous levels. Calfire and other official agencies have stated that for health reasons people should consider wearing N95 or higher rated masks while outdoors.

Automotive Cabin Air Filters

Most vehicles now use cabin air filters. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to change. In fact they should be changed every 12 months or so depending on driving conditions. Standard cabin air filters are meant to trap larger dust particles and pollen. However they are not very effective for filtering smoke and other fine contaminants that are currently found in our air. For this you need a filter with a higher efficiency rating. (more…)

On July 18, 2018 Ford issued two automotive safety recalls that affects Select 2013-16 model year Ford Fusion and 2013-14 Ford Escape vehicles.

Safety Recall Details:
Ford is issuing a safety recall in North America for approximately 550,000 2013-16 model year Ford Fusion and 2013-14 Ford Escape vehicles to replace shifter cable bushings.

On affected vehicles, the bushing that attaches the shifter cable to the transmission may detach from the transmission. A degraded shifter cable bushing that detaches from the transmission may allow the transmission to be in a gear state different than the gear shift position selected by the driver. The condition could allow the driver to move the shift lever to “Park” and remove the ignition key, while the transmission may not be in “Park,” with no warning message or audible chime. If the parking brake is not applied, a degraded shifter cable bushing that detaches from the transmission could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of injury or crash.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

Affected vehicles include:

2014 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant between June 18, 2013 and Sept. 15, 2013

2014-16 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant between June 2, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015

2013-14 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant between May 15, 2013 and Sept. 15, 2013

2014-16 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant between June 2, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015

2013-14 Ford Escape vehicles built at Louisville Assembly Plant between May 15, 2013 and Sept. 15, 2013

The recall involves approximately 549,401 vehicles in North America, including 504,182 in the United States and federalized territories, 36,887 in Canada, and 8,332 in Mexico. The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S20.

Dealers will replace the shifter cable bushing at no cost to the customer. Owners should (more…)

budd-e volkswagen 2016 concept

budd-e volkswagen 2016 concept

Herndon, VA (August 1, 2016) — Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Volkswagen BUDD-e has been named “2016 Concept Truck of the Year” at the 15th Annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. Judges recognized the all-electric microbus concept for raising the standards of automotive design, with features that address both the utility and mobility needs of the present and future. The award ceremony was held at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich., on July 31, 2016.

“We are thrilled that the BUDD-e has been honored as 2016 Concept Truck of the Year and (more…)

Over the years there have been many new materials developed for the automotive industry or developed by other industries and adopted by the automotive industry. Many get dropped by the wayside like the early uses of hemp. Others have remained firmly rooted and have remained a staple to the industry for years. Recently Ford announced it’s latest direction in automotive materials. Captured CO2 based foams and plastics.

In a statement to the press Ford claims that its “Foams [are] formulated with up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols [and] could reduce petroleum use by more than 600 million pounds annually”. This statement made on May 17, 2016 states the intention of Ford to have this new product in its production vehicles in 5 years.

This announcement doesn’t mark the first use by Ford of more conservation minded materials. For nearly two decades, researchers have worked successfully to develop sustainable materials for Ford products. In North America, soy foam is in every (more…)

Xpert Auction Software

Xpert Automotive Auctions

Over the last 12 years of my working with NorCalCars.com I’ve worked with quite a few of the automotive dealers in the Redding area down to Sacramento. I’ve always found it interesting to talk with them about where they get their inventory. Some work with the larger new car dealers buying their trade-ins but for many the best way is to buy the cars at large auctions, some of which are open to the public, others not. Buying at the auctions meant heading down to auction yard, often in Sacramento or the bay area and bidding on vehicles. However, some of the dealers I worked with managed to get their lot stocked while sitting in the comfort of their own office using online auctions.

Every week when I would come by to update one dealer’s inventory on NorCalCars.com he would be sitting at his desk placing bids on various vehicles on a online automotive auction website. This got me to wondering why more of the dealers didn’t do the same. It came down to it that the reason was that most of the auction companies didn’t have the software necessary to do online auctions. This made sense in a way, at the time good auction software just wasn’t available and creating your own custom software is a very expensive proposition. Thousands of hours of research and development can go into creating a high quality auction software, add to that the skills necessary to to manage the servers and keep the database optimized for quick response means that most auction yards simply don’t have the time and resources to run online auctions.

Xpert Automotive Auction

This leads me to today’s web-post “Xpert Automotive Auctions“. While auctions may not be for every automotive dealer many do have the inventory necessary to start holding auctions and Xpert Auction Software can be the answer to the high cost of development and hosting of your own software. (more…)

VW Sport coup Concept gteWolfsburg/Geneva, March 2015 —Volkswagen will debut the Sport Coupé Concept GTE at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, heralding a new and progressive Volkswagen design language. “Evolution and revolution come together in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. This concept is based on Volkswagen design DNA, which has been visibly sharpened even more. It shows how the highest-volume brand of our Group is shaping the immediate future,” says Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen AG.

Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development, elaborates: “This breathtakingly dynamic coupé is unlike any other to appear in this class. The design of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is an impressive alternative to the classic sedans of the B and C segments—it has the style of a sport coupé that is enriched by the functionality of a large hatchback and the interior space of a sedan.” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand, adds: (more…)

Diablo Valley Mustang Asssociation

Diablo Valley Mustang Asssociation

The Diablo Valley Mustang Association is proud to present our sixteenth annual Show and Shine, on May 3, 2014. This year we are celebrating our Club’s 35th and Mustang’s 50th anniversaries. The show is open to all Ford products. A portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. At last year’s show we collected 847 pounds of food and donated a large portion of our proceeds to the Food Bank.

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano works to end hunger and increase access to nutritious food for low-income individuals and families through a comprehensive group of programs that combat hunger and its causes. They serve 149,000 people every month directly and through 180 affiliated agencies. We are seeking donations for the door prizes, grand prizes and trinkets for the “goody bag” each entrant receives. A donation such as a car related item or a gift certificate of nominal value will give your company name recognition among our participants and show your enthusiasm to our Ford devotees. All donations will be acknowledged with a thank you note and a listing in the show program.
(more…)

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