AD #1111 – Where did $1.6 Billion go? Citroen DS Wild Rubis, GAZ Launches New Truck

April 12th, 2013 at 11:56am

Runtime: 8:09

$1.6 billion goes missing in an astounding vanishing act at one Chinese car company. Ahead of Shanghai, we get our first glimpse at a future Citroen DS SUV. Russia’s GAZ launches its first new commercial vehicle in more than 25 years. All that and more, plus a sneak peek at Autoline This Week with Dick Dauch, the Chairman of American Axle.


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Welcome to Autoline Daily. Well, we’ve made it through another week, and now let’s take a run around the world and look at the latest in the industry that never sleeps.

First we start in China, where is looks like a whole lot of money went missing at the First Auto Works car company. The Chinese media is reporting that somehow or other 10 billion reminbi went missing. That converts to $1.6 billion, and lemme tell ya, thems a lot of potatoes. The top 100 executives in the company have been hauled in for questioning by the Communist Party as part of an investigation that dates back to last year. While First Auto Works has a number of foreign alliances, it’s probably best known as one of Volkswagen’s major partners in China.

Sticking with China for the moment, analysts there are growing concerned about overcapacity. Even though the market is expected to grow by an average of 8 percent a year through 2020, that’s a slower rate than the last eight years. And China has more than 170 car companies which all want to boost production. One analyst predicts overcapacity could hit 10 million units within the next three years. And by the end of 2015, the ten largest automaker’s in China, both foreign and domestic, will have the capacity to build 35 million vehicles a year.

OK, now we move over to Russia, where the automaker GAZ just hit an important milestone in its turnaround. It just launched a new light commercial vehicle called the GAZelle NEXT. It will be sold in various versions including cargo and passenger vans and busses. It comes standard with a Cummins diesel, but will also offer gasoline, CNG and LPG versions. And it will start at $22,000. This is the first new commercial vehicle from GAZ in nearly a quarter of a century. Remember, GM’s former purchasing VP Bo Andersson is now running GAZ. Productivity jumped four-fold since he took over, and it looks like he’s doing a bang-up job with the company.

Next we go make a stop in Western Europe, specifically in France, where Citroen took the wraps off a new concept ahead of the Shanghai Motor Show called the DS Wild Rubis. Not many details were shared but the company says it is a full-hybrid with plug-in technology and it hints at the future look of the DS SUV. We’ll have to wait for more info once it’s officially unveiled.

And finally we end up in your garage. Earlier in the week we reported on GM having to reflash the oil monitor in a number of its vehicles because it was letting the oil change interval go too long and the engines were wearing out prematurely. That got us here talking about how often we change the oil in our cars, and generated quite a bit of debate. So now we want to ask you. How often do you change the oil in your car, or have it changed? Is it every 3,000 miles or less? 5,000 or less? 8,000 or less? 12,000 or less? Or is it greater than 12,000? Send your friends a link so they can participate and we’ll go over the results on Monday.

Coming up next, he took over a basket-case operation from General Motors and turned it into a shining example of modern manufacturing, a word with Dick Dauch, the chairman of American Axle.

Dick Dauch bought what used to be known as Chevrolet Gear & Axle from General Motors back in the mid-1990s. What he bought was a run down, money-losing, poorly operating axle facility and transformed it into a beautiful manufacturing complex. He’s also my guest on Autoline This Week and here’s a clip from that show.

(Our preview of Autoline This Week with Dick Dauch is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

You can watch that entire episode right now on our website at, or check out the left hand column of our home page for a link to the list of over 50 television markets that carry Autoline This Week on public television stations all across the United States and Canada.

But that wraps up this week’s reports. Thanks for watching, and please join us again here on Monday.

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156 Comments to “AD #1111 – Where did $1.6 Billion go? Citroen DS Wild Rubis, GAZ Launches New Truck”

  1. rick Says:

    every 10,000 mi. using full synthetic 0w-20 oil & best oil filter obtainable

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    Friday Infotainment Break

    Frank Lloyd Wright & Porsche/Mercedes

    Ugh ! But now they’re stripping the place bare in order to replace it with …….. a bank … sigh …… just what NYC doesn’t need ….. one less architectural icon and auto dealer … and one more bank …. snif :(

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    Usually drive under 8,000 miles per year ….. change oil every 12 months regardless …. so I’m in the 5-8k category …

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 fans TV head up

    Tonight on NBCS ….. F1-36 … 36 hours in the life of F1′s bad boy Sebastian Vettel

    And don’t forget the new car show in 35 minutes on Travel Channel if you’ve got access …. I’ll give my opinion after watching it …

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    I just sold my 2004 Chevy Silverado with 112,000 miles on it. I changed the oil when the Oil Life Monitor indicated it was at 0% life. This was typically around 7,000 miles. The engine was running as smooth as ever when I sold it and I am sure it will go to 200,000 miles with no problem. The concept of changing oil every 3,000 miles is outdated. It was a good idea when engines were not as precisely crafted as they are now. The auto service industry continues to advocate the 3,000 mile interval for their own self-serving interests.

  6. MJB Says:

    I change my own oil using Royal Purple Oil and Filter.

  7. Brian Tome Says:

    Extended drain interval comes from using AMSOIL Signature Series 100% synthetic motor oil with an AMSOIL Ea oil filter. Oil is rated at 25,000-mile or 1-year drain interval. Filter is rated at 15,000-mile or 1 year interval. Hence at slightly less than 15,000-miles of annual driving, I only have to change my oil once every year.

  8. Drew Says:

    This is worth further expert discussion. In my simplistic view, oil degradation is a function of 3 factors: chemical breakdown due to high temperatures, chemical breakdown due to contamination from combustion blow-by, and basic contamination from the initial production “shavings”. Two of the 3 factors have been mitigated. Synthetic oil does not breakdown from high temps. Also, regulatory requirements for emissions and fuel economy have driven stricter manufacturing tolerances for bore concentricity, piston sizing, and ring seals… such that blow-by is virtually non-existent.

    So, I’ll raise the following questions Do today’s engines with today’s full synthetic oils only require occasional oil filter changes? Does so much investment in oil change services at both dealerships and oil chain facilities (Speedy Lube, Jiffy Lube, Uncle Ed’s, result in an economic inertia and fear campaign that squashes the introduction of my 1st question?

  9. WNYer Says:

    Nobody here thinks of Dick Dauch as someone to applaud for transformed American Axel. We have had 3 facilities close in the western NY area since the mid-90′s. A plant in Buffalo and Cheektowaga as well as a foundry in Tonawanda. The one in Cheektowaga was the last and the workers there had taken pay cuts for three straight years. That had lowered their pay to less the half of where it had been. AA doubled it’s year to year profit and then asked for a 4th pay cut. When the workers finally said no the jobs were sent to Mexico.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like the effectiveness of the Jiffy Lube Myth is alive and well, with 3000 miles leading the poll so far.

    I answered 5000-8000, which is applies to the car I drive the most.

  11. HtG Says:

    When I got my Miata, I asked the techs to also change the transmission and differential oils, because who knew what had been going on with the first owner. I put in a high performance radiator too, since the engine had over 100K on it; I rationalized that lower engine temps would help out the oil, the engine, and feel cool.

    For the Civic I take it to the dealer, not just for the discount, but because I know a tech will go over the car. I guess this is one reason a dealer will say to bring the car in every 3K.

  12. Chris Orchard Says:

    Every 3,000 – miles. Cheap insurance!

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Drew: Speaking for myself,I don’t drive as much anymore as I would like to.I change the oil every 5k miles using mobile 1 plus a new filter,just cause.That turns out to be about once a year.Besides the engine tech being so much better,the oil tech has improved as well.

    On my diesel tractors that I owned in the past,they called for an oil change every 250hrs.I changed it every 50 hrs,which was once a year,usually in the spring.I didn’t need to worry about condensation building up in the winter because it used to take me HOURS to clear my driveways and make room for the next snow.That made sure the engine was fully warmed up,lol.

  14. Duke Says:

    Too bad the question “Do you change your own oil?” wasn’t included in the poll. Might be interesting to see.

    Although I can afford to buy new cars outright (no financing), I just cannot break the habit of doing most of my own maintenance on my vehicles like MJB. I almost always have a case of RoyalP, Amzoil, or Mobil 1 handy in the garage.

    It actually takes me less time to do it myself than going to one of “fast” speedy or jiffy, or whatever lube joints – and I know that it is done right – for around half the price (full synthetic).

    There are some guys that consider themselves “car guys” that have never ever even turned a wrench/spanner on one. I have done several down to frame restorations, including engine and tranny overhauls and so I guess that is more of a “gear-head” than a “car-guy”.

    I am in 5-8k mile category – depends if I do a lot of towing or time factor for less driven ones. Oil is cheap when you consider the alternative

  15. avlisk Says:

    Around 4,000 miles, except now that I only drive about 4,000/year, I do it every 6 months.

  16. Stu Says:

    Even though Ford says 7500 miles, I change mine every 5000 miles. If nothing else, it makes it easier to remember when it needs to be done next.

  17. Jerome Green Says:

    I change oil every 5000 – 6000 Depending on whether there is a trip to California involved.

  18. Lex Says:

    I answered 3,000 to 5,000 in this weeks poll.
    I guest I can’t be wrong since that answer is leading the pack!

  19. ColoradoKid Says:

    ” Fast Lane : Italy ” – Travel Channel

    A review

    Well ….. its riddled with inaccuracies ….. missed huge chunks of history … is a bit over acted … massively biased …. and was far too overly romanticized to be considered even a reasonable overview of the post WWII Italian automotive industry …

    The host ! Who the heck is this Jason Harper character anyway ? The man claims to be a race driver and yet can’t handle the simplicity of a Lambretta scooter or a Vespa Ape ? . Seriously .. watching the man ‘ race ‘ a Lancia 037 on a rally stage … my late grandmother drove faster back in the day in her AMC Hornet 6 cylinder .

    Conclusion ? I might watch another episode ( assuming Travel Channel does another one ) as long as there’s nothing more pressing such as watching some paint dry etc going on . Maybe .

    Sorry I even brought the show up . After Bourdain’s experiences with TC ….. I should of known better …. mea culpa :(

    Rest assured though NBCS’s F1-36 promises to be a good one … saw the one they did on US skier Ted Ligety and it was quite good . More seeing what it takes to prepare for an event than Fanzine 8)

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    Uncle Bernie ( Ecclestone )

    The ‘ condensed ‘ history

    A caution to any Bernie fan club members …. this aint pretty !

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    #8 – Actually Kit … its the old reality that Jiffy Lube and the like have evolved into its current day ‘ Myth ‘ status that they’re perpetuating well beyond its sell by date

    But on the other hand …. don’t you think the manufactures ( oil and cars ) are taking things to the other extreme in order to promote their vehicles /product as Zero Maintenance despite the potential risk of damage if certain caveats aren’t followed ? ( such as leaving oil in the crankcase over 12 months etc )

  22. HtG Says:

    15 I’ve been reading J Harper in Bloomberg for a while. He does car reviews mostly, and writes pretty well, I think.

    But if’n yerr lookin’ for something to watch, check out Searching For Sugarman. Detroit related and Oscar winning documentary.

  23. G W Groovey Says:

    Since the first oil change in my 2008 HHR w/2.2L and manual 5 speed I’ve used Mobil 1. Since then I’ve changed the oil every other time the oil percentage dropped to zero. It now has 50k and the oil has always looked new. That’s about 17k between changes.

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – SFS … thats a winner alright … a bit of pop history too long ignored IMO ..

    As to Mr Harper ….. I certainly do hope he writes a whole lot better than he hosts.narrates/ creates TV shows …. cause that one today was ____ annoying …. taking every bit of discipline I had to even get thru the hour … yes …. it really was that bad … not as dumb as TG USA mind you … but as vapid as a car show claiming to be a historic overview of a given country can get

    Maybe Mr Harper should stick to the reviews and leave the history to the experts

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, the 3000 mile thing would have been kind of the “old reality,” back in the days of carbureted cars running sloppy rich during warmup, etc.

    To me, there is a lot of “it depends” regarding how often oil should be changed. If you live in a cold climate, do a lot of one mile trips, and never warm up the engine, maybe once a year isn’t often enough. On the other hand, with my cars that I only drive a few hundred miles a year, always in warm weather, and warming up the engine completely every time I run them, I figure once ever three years is often enough.

    19, G W,
    You are doing pretty much what BMW recommends. They say 15K miles or once a year, whichever comes first, and use synthetic.

  26. T. Bejma Says:

    Crisis in Europe looking worse…

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Any horror stories re bad oil changes done by minimum wage punks (even at luxury dealers)?? the most common one is that they forgot to add oil or left the cap off after which it spattered all over the nice clean engine bay.

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    22 – And its not going to get better anytime soon either … in fact its gonna get a _____ of a lot worse before alls said and done ….. guaranteed . China’s auto sales are also once again on the wane btw … with only Buick ( GM should be on their knees thanking that long dead emperor for the Buick /China connection ) holding its own …. barely . Even Audi’s losing ground there .

    But …. and I take no pleasure in saying this ….. our ( US ) time is gonna be coming all too soon as well ….. that ‘ Piper ‘ demanding his due… no extensions … no store credit …. cash only … and ‘ He ‘ doesn’t take no for an answer

    ‘ Reality ‘ – Oh its ever so much fun to turn ones back on ….. until of course its massive weight comes crashing down on ones head that is ….. [ better to see whats coming ... take what precautions one can .... and prepare to endure the coming storm ] – Thats a bit of advice from blue water sailing well heeded when it comes to the economy as well T .

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    23 – Yup ! One joker at my MINI dealer when I had it forgot to replace the oil cap …. luckily it was spring …. I smelled something off ( burning oil ) pulled over to check it out …. promptly noticed no oil cap …. and headed back to get it rectified ( I was only about four miles away ) ….. with the dealer also steam cleaning the engine bay as well as sending me home with an arm load of MINI goodies as well to make up for the mistake …. which even in his ( Service Mgr’s ) words could of been a lot worse had I not been paying attention

  30. RonE Says:

    23 – Put the wrong weight oil in my car. Mushroomed the oil plug up against the pan. Put in too much oil.

    Left the old filter gasket on my aunts car. Oil leaked all over her driveway and garage. They did come out and clean it up though.

    I change my own oil nowadays. 7500 miles.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The best horror story I’ve heard of was at a WalMart in Indiana, in the early 90′s. A friend had the oil changed in his almost-new Dodge Dakota. They drained the oil, changed the filter, and put oil back in. There was no problem with that. Then, though, they reached in through the open window and turned the key to start the engine. Then there was then a big problem. The truck had a manual transmission, and was parked in first gear. Chrysler didn’t use clutch interlocks then, and the engine started, and the truck proceeded to drive through the fiberglass garage door, scratching every body panel. Luckily, it hit a curb that stalled the engine, rather than hitting any vehicles or people outside. Needless to say, my friend was not pleased.

    WalMart paid to have the truck repaired, and gave him a little extra money for his trouble, but I doubt if he has been back to WalMart for oil changes.

  32. omar alshehabi Says:

    well i change my engine oil every 5,000 to 6,000 km i always use a 10,000 oil life range. in a 2011 chevy cruze

  33. C-Tech Says:

    @ # 23 Oh Pedro! How much time do you have! I will limit this to my favorites 1.) The Lube, Oil, & Shine – one of the lube kids quit, decided this wasn’t the career for him and he gave me a box filled with new oil filters. When I asked where they came from he said “if they were too hard to get off and we were in a hurry (remember this next time they promise you a 30 min/Quik lube) I just wiped the filter down and put the new filter in the box” This became known as the LOS -Lube, Oil and Shine.
    2.) Four-post lift, kid backs off the lift, driver’s door open and door whacks the post – about $1,000 in damage
    3.) (this was mine) Handicapped modified Pacifica – as I drove it in to change the oil using the hand controls, the accelerator handle got stuck! hit 1 car and scraped the wall before I thought to cut-off the engine.
    4.)Father-in-Law’s Oldsmobile, he took it to quick lube, they forget oil, he drives off then, back about 2 miles. They fill it with oil, say the appropriate apology. 2 weeks later the engine spins a bearing and seized up. Quick lube denies responsibility.
    Should I go on?

  34. C-Tech Says:

    Another one. The Police investigate a string of house burglaries that are happen in the daylight hours while people are at work, no broken windows or doors. Turns out the 2 lube kids would keep track of the nicer cars which came in for an oil change. If the owner left there house key on the key ring, they took the house key, gave it to an accomplish who would run down to Home Depot and have a copy made. They had the owners address from the work order and now a copy of the house key! The Police worked with the owner and manager and put a decoy car through service and caught the thieves red-handed. ONLY leave your car keys with service!

  35. HtG Says:

    I can’t talk about it. There were tears.

  36. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    What is the typical oil change interval for leased vehicles?

  37. HtG Says:

    It involved another artist in the family.

  38. Bob J. Says:

    I change my oil in my Fusion every 10000 miles. My Ranger every 3000. The reason for the large difference is Hybrid. Back in 2009 almost 300 Hybrid Escape owners were invited to Dearborn to meet with the Engineers. One question that popped up by one owner was the changing of oil. One of the owners was arguing the case for 3000 miles. The Engineer said you can do that if you wanted to waste money. The engineers argument was that sitting at lights or in traffic the engine was usually not running. Driving at lower speed also meant non running engines. In more recent times I have taken to adding Motorkote. The hardest part is reminding the Ford Dealer that I don’t need to come back so soon. They drive you nuts with all the reminders. Habits are hard to break. I still remember changing oil around 1000 miles. We’ve come a long way.

  39. Brett Says:

    I have the oil changed at 5k because my wife starts nattering me about “when are you going to change the oil?” if I go much past 5k. (that’s about six month of driving for us)

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    #36 Leap year or at every Presidential election, whichever comes first, which is why BMW and others began offering free oil changes with every lease, people were turning in lease cars with black molasses for oil.

  41. ColoradoKid Says:

    C-tech – You really don’t want to know how common that very same scenario is : only with Auto Alarm and Stereo installers nationwide …. What you really don’t want to know is how many of the active gangs in the US intentionally place their members in said jobs in order to gain access to both cars ( most common ) and homes … Seriously … the percentages are frightening


    HtG … seriously my friend … whats got you so emotional ? I know #’s 35 & 37 have me more than a bit concerned

  42. ColoradoKid Says:

    36 40 – Mines a lease …. ( see post # 3) … I take care of my lease ( and rental home ) as if I owned it …. cause when alls said and done …. I just might ;-)

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    But CK you are a car GUY most people that lease BMW couldn’t give a crap about what happens after the lease is up. The dealers should penalize lease returnees for not changing oil as scheduled, its free for Chris sake.

  44. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 43 – Too true .. too true … unfortunately …. which is just one in a very long list of why purchasing a used Leased vehicle often is not a very good idea unless all the appropriate records are available to confirm proper care

  45. M Campbell Says:

    Who sends their oil off for analysis? I use that guidance on when to change the oil, which is usually 15k-17k miles.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if those high efficiency oil filters like K/N make any difference in how long your oil can last, I say the older the engine, the dirtier it gets and the more often you need your oil changed, I used to do mine every 3k but now since I have to add a quart per week, it’s like getting an oil change monthly.

  47. Ed K Says:

    All you so-called experts that use synthetic oil and either do or don’t extend your oil change interval are wasting your money, I’ve done it both ways and I can tell you from experience the synthetics buy you nothing that you’ll ever notice unless you live in extremely cold climates. They might make you feel superior to your fellow motorists but thats in your head and not worth the extra cost, which is driven mainly by the marketing to gullible drivers. Plain old regular oil changed according to the manufacturer’s recommedation will do just fine for all you so-called gear heads that think you know better than the people that built the vehicle.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    #47 I’ve actually read that some experts prefer the real dino oil to the synth stuff, something to do with gaskets and seals not getting the proper lubrication and drying out.

  49. HtG Says:

    47 I tend to push back on the dealer’s service schedule because I rely on the OEM engineers.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some manufacturers are specing 0W20, and probably other viscosities that come only in synthetic. If you use 10W30, yeah, there is probably little reason to use synth.

  51. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hey Ed K: What makes you think we don’t know anything about oil changes.Who the hell died and made you king of car knowledge? My father started me working with him on cars when I was 4 years old,and I’m in my 60′s now kid.Just by your post alone it shows you don’t know shit about the subject.Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance to come on here and talk smack.Most of us on here are well versed as to the BIG differences between the oils,synthetic or dino,or everything in between.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    C-tech … seeing as how you are ….. the tech among us that is …. got an answer for Mr K #47 ?

    IMO Ed K’s blowing smoke .. but what say you C- Tech

    Especially in light of the fact that most manufactures ( M-B BMW MINI Toyota etc etc etc ) do recommend synthetics

  53. ColoradoKid Says:

    Hmmn .. rereading Ed K’s post …. why do I get the feeling we’ve been here before ???

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What weight oil do they say to use in your Benz?

  55. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link to an extended discussion on synthetic oil from Adam Carolla’s CarCast podcast. Yes, really

  56. XA351GT Says:

    I know there are F1 fans here. Have any of you seen the trailer for Rush? The Ron Howard movie chronicling the 1976 season battle for the championship between Niki Lauda and James Hunt. What I’ve seen looks fantastic. I’m partial to this era of F1. Which for me went down hill with the start of the Ground Effects era. I really liked the tall air scoop cars the best. To me they looked like how a all out race car should be .

  57. ColoradoKid Says:

    56 – You betcha big fella …. in fact I put up the link for the official preview and the official FIA year end review for that season the other day ….. ” Rush ” promises to be a good one ….. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a few of the pre-production ‘ rushes ‘ as well as a couple of films on the making of ” Rush ” …. and if the finished product aint at least as good as ” Grand Prix ” or better I’ll be damned surprised and very disappointed

    Check out F1-36 tonight btw XA on NBCS …. 36 hours of Vettels preparation for a race …. the one NBCS did on skier Ted Ligety was brilliant so I’m betting the Vettel one will be equally as good


    HtG – Adam Carolla ???? Surely you jest

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – Manual and factory recommend Mobile 0W-40 for the GLK

  59. ColoradoKid Says:

    ” Rush ” F1 movie

    Heres the link again for the extended trailer in case anyones missed it

  60. HtG Says:

    57 Do I ever jest, CK? Carolla’s got a specialist on who does Joe Gibbs oils. Perhaps you can summarize the discussion for me. ;)

    Seriously, it’s interesting.

  61. Sunrack Says:

    Ever since the article in Popular Science c.1973 I have been a fanatic about using Synthethic and changing the oil every 10K miles with Mobil 1. One of the main benifits is that it simply will not sludge and clog oil galleys. Prime example: I bought my 97 Expedition 5.4 new and now with 412,000 miles I have not had ANY wear or damage issues related to engine lubrication. Valve/cam covers have never been off! I even changed the tranny oil with Mobil 1 ATF every 100K and the original factory E4OD is still shifting like a champ! Did I mention that I regularly tow a 9K pound utility trailer (overloaded) and do not baby this thing. My money has NOT been wasted!

  62. dcars Says:

    Nissan recommends 3500
    Honda recommends 8000
    So that’s what I do.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks. You definitely need synthetic to get that viscosity.

  64. C-Tech Says:

    Here my .02 before going to the beach with Wheel Woman
    1.) If you have a new car or bought a used with extended warranty then follow the manufacturers recommendation. Why? If there should be an internal engine problem and you need to show proof of oil changes then you will have them. Going beyond the maker’s recommendations, even with special oils (Lucas, Amsoil) will NOT give you the legal coverage you need.
    2.) After the warranty your oil change schadule and the type of oil you choose should depend on your driving habits. Daily driving in stop-and-go conditions, frequent towing, longer commutes using regular oil I would recommend 5-7K intervals on cars built within the last 5-6 years. For some people with busy schedules synthetic makes sense just because you can double the interval and reduce the number of times you stop for oil changes (Wheel Woman loved the idea of 2 synthetic oil changes per year on her 98 Mitsu about 20K miles per year).
    3.) Olders cars I recommend 3-5K oil changes and thats what I use on my 2001 Cherokee. I use 5W-30 regular oil because I get it at a discount. I do use a Mopar filter, my personal preference to use a better filter than the cheapest availiable that most places use.

    To me, synthetics are used and recommended by manufacturers who build very close tolerance engines (M-B, BMW, Chev. Corvette, Audi) and this oil provides the best performance over time. GM Dexos is a semi-synthetic which is recommended in their newer engines. To me, CHANGING to synthetic in an older engine will not gain you any performance, but will allow you to extend the interval between oil changes which balances out the increased cost. The problem in the long term with synthetics (IMHO) is as your engine gets older and starts to leak, your expensive oil winds up on your garage floor and in the street.

  65. Jerry Says:

    AMSOIL Signature Series 100% synthetic motor oil with an AMSOIL Ea oil filter.1-year drain interval. about 15,000 to 20,000 mi. 2001 buick now has 168,000 mi on it. Do not need to add any oil in that time.

  66. C-Tech Says:

    For leased vehicles the oil change intervals are the same. One of the reasons for including maintence (oil changes, brakes) in the lease price is to keep the customer returning to the dealer to service your car. It also gives an advantage when comparing costs of ownership. When the vehicle is turned in it makes it a no-brainer as to where the maint. was done. By the way, they do check to see if the engine is sludged and will charge you back for repairs (just checked a car for lawyer who is fighting with Nissan. They are charging the owner for an engine for lack of oil changes and the owner (leasee) does not have enough oil change receipts).

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What do you think about changing from synthetic to regular oil? My MINI came with synthetic, with a 15K mile/1 year recommended change interval. I drive it only about 5K miles/year. After it’s off warranty, which is soon, would it be ok to use regular oil and change it once a year, or is it “bad” to change from synthetic to regular?

  68. C-Tech Says:

    If the viscosity is the same, it probably won’t hurt the engine. What is the unknown, over the longer term, is regular oil might leave some more deposits because of heat. These deposits might accumulate more so than regular oil. Can you find the same viscosity in regular oil for your Mini? If not then a semi-synthetic may be better for you (and less than full synthetic).

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The MINI uses 5W30. I haven’t checked, but I think it may be available in regular oil.

  70. RonE Says:

    Pat Goss of MotorWeek: The truth about long life oil.

  71. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Big News:

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I wonder if all filter elements of the type for BMW’s are good for at least 15K milrs. They should be.

    The only case I’ve ever heard of with an oil filter actually falling apart was with a two wheeled BMW. It was an old ‘air head,” which had notoriously inconvenient to change filters. The filter in question had probably been there at least ten years, and the paper was completely falling apart.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess there will be a “next gen Titan,” given this announcement. Nissan probably wouldn’t hire this guy to sell Versas, would they? Until this announcencement, I figured Nissan would just cut their losses an drop Titan/Armada at the end of the current model’s like cycle.

  74. HtG Says:

    #71 the guy on Carolla’s show said one difference between filters was that some elements had more depth, and could catch more chunks over time compared to thinner pads. So, better flow


    1.Tesla sedan being driven aggressively by late 30′s male sporting in faconnable Grizzly Adams beard. Jerky driving and bobbing through lanes, irritating others. We shall see

    2. Newish Beetle in black turns right off main road, slowing drastically and poking along, blocking traffic on main road. So not cool

  75. HtG Says:



  76. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit:There has to be a lot more to this story.Diaz is a pickup truck god to the ram fans.He broke the ‘corporate mold’ for 1/2 tons with the diesel that will be out later this year,which in turn has the other oem’s scrambling to plat ketchup,lol.

  77. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I met a new client with an ATS. Young executive type base model, previous 3 series owner,4 yrs old, had some issues after the 3rd year, DUH! I had to ask him to give me the nuts and bolts and he says, so far, so good; handling similar, preferred the 3, powertrain, prefers the 3, felt more nimble,light on its feet and willing to take off,(inline 6 vs 4). HATES the CUE and does not have a cd player!!!! Shocker I did not know that! must hook up phone or subscribe to sat radio, NO CD player, WTF is the CD an endangered animal now?

  78. HtG Says:

    76 yup. CDs are yestertech. I never use it in the car, rarely at home. AUX on my aftermarket radio is the way for me.

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Since it is a base model, he could have, and probably should have gotten the ATS without CUE.

    Both of my 2010 cars have CD players, but I never use them. I use my phone or iPod if I want to listen to music. BTW, all of the music on my phone and iPod is from my own CD’s, but I use the electronic gadgets because it is more convenient. I’m surprised the ATS guy wouldn’t do that, and would even miss the CD player.

    At first, I missed cassette players when cars quit having them, but I have gotten used to that. I never had a car with an 8 track player.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    You guys make me feel like I should start listening to Lawrence Welk, no CD player, really? WOW when I finally switched from cassette to cd 4 yrs ago, I though I was making a great leap forward and now I’m a dinosaur again! I don’t own a smart phone, mine is pretty stupid, only dials and receives calls (sometimes) BTW I never had an 8 track either, it would take up the whole Beetle dash. Kit I suppose GM is including CUE in just about every ATS they build, this guy got the base model due to economics, otherwise he would have picked the V6, btw they also have the SRX as the kiddie car.

  81. HtG Says:

    I’ll give you old, Pedro. My ’96 Miata had its original cassette/radio and I was using an adapter for line-in to my iPod. I kept the original radio because I wanted to keep the car original, but I was told by my Miata specialist that owners regularly called to ask if he had a cassette player for sale. These guys value the ancient tech on their old girls. I told the young guy that bought my car that if he were to switch out for a new system that he could get bucks for the original part. (gave him the cassette adapter as an extra)

  82. T. Bejma Says:


    Doesn’t need to be on your phone Pedro. I picked up the latest iPod Nano for $139 to hook up to the Cruze. I was getting music via bluetooth from my work supplied smartphone but it only displayed “Bluetooth Audio” on the screen. With the iPod I get song info and album art ;-)

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect you about need to order an ATS to get one without CUE.

    I occasionally use one of those cassette-looking things to play my iPod through the cassette players in my van and Golf Cabriolet.

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    #81 my cd deck does not have en input for any outside source, so CD and radio, but the thing is so damn loud that I don’t even bother playing music, the roar of that engine is music to my ears, BULL$HIT! (not to mention the hole in the muffler)

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think you can get radio transmitter things to send signals from iPods, etc, to radio in cars like yours. It was easier to play CD’s in cars with cassette players, using the cassette shaped things with a magnetic head that lines up with the head in the player. I’ve used those with a CD Walkman and, more recently, with an iPod.

  86. ColoradoKid Says:


    Here’s a hint ; re; music sources ….. iPods MP3 players etc …….. sound like absolute crap …… avoid em at all cost …… they are beyond the worst of the worst despite all the hype and hoopla … not to mention they’re a pain in the ____ … annoying as all ____ ( Steve Jobs is spinning in his grave right about now .. with the Apple police no doubt on my tail and those ‘ gifted ‘ shares in jeopardy ….. but friendship afer business I always says ) and you wind up missing out on a good 45% of the content

    If I ever sat you down with your favorite song and did a side by side comparison on my system between Vinyl – CD – MP3/iPod you’d be shocked and disgusted at the difference….. and guaranteed anyone here could hear it ..

    Here’s the order of sound quality ( from an Engineers ears btw ) 1 being best … etc

    1- Live instrument
    2- Vinyl
    3- Cassette
    4- CD

    And way the ___ down into the very abyss

    5 -MP3/iPhone- iPad – iPod / ANY Computer download etc

    And everybody that knows anything about sound knows it . So leave the Trendy Wendy gee gaws to the Gotta Haves – Early Adapters – Convenience over Quality crowd and stick with the good stuff mi amigo

    So stick with the CD’s and smile the sly smile of ‘ insiders ‘ knowledge ;-)

    ( sorry and apologies .. Kit , HtG & TB …. but this is most definitely MY area of expertise as I’m the one with both the degree and the ‘ Golden Ears ‘ and the pay checks in the bank to prove it … not to mention reams of documentation to back me up )

  87. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Played through a car system, even a good one, no one can tell the difference between the sound of an iPod or other good MP3 player, and a CD.

    Yes, with a good home system, CD’s, and vinyl played with good equipment, sound better. That is why I play my CD’s, and sometimes vinyl when listening to music at home. In a car, there is no point. It’s less convenient than the iPod, and you risk damaging your CD’s.

    CK, have you ever done an A-B listening test using CD vs iPod in a car. You should try it. You will “fail” the test, if you think the CD’s sound enough better to tell, even in a very good car system.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys, I think only a Lexus Mark Levinson system (or similar) is accurate enough to be able to differentiate between sources, such as CD or mp3′s I met a true audiophile (he spent more on his sound equipment than his home NO JOKING) and his favorite music source is TA DA…. vinyl, not your everyday one, 78 rpm audiophile vinyl played through a system that you actually have to turn on at least 15 mins b4 you can use it, he played a live Jazz record for me, I sat across the room and I could have been at a jazz club, absolutely pure and with such presence that it fooled me, his second choice is music through the internet, no CD no Ipod go figure!

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, are you sure your friend was playing 78 rpm vinyl, and not 33 1/3?

  90. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit now that you mentioned it, it may have been 45 rpm full size vinyl it was not 33 1/3 that I know for sure, now I see with 78 rpm you could only put one song on each side. All I remember was that the Italian made turntable cost over $25k it is suspended by 3 air cylinders and it’s a case of a little too much if you ask me. Jut the cartridge was a few hundred bucks, ridiculous prices

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My turntable is Swiss, and is about 50 years old. The pickup arm is British, and the cartridge is Danish. All of this stuff would be museum stuff to your friend, but it seems ok to me. At my age, my hearing isn’t what it once was, especially at high frequencies.

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, do you know what your audiophile guy has for speakers?

  93. GaryPaul Says:

    This is a long post:

    skip it if desired

    Well lots of comments here on oil change intervals and once again the emphasis always seems to be on “how many miles between oil changes.” As a general rule of thumb, as long as you are following the minimum recommendations in your owner’s manual, TIME IS USUALLY MORE CRITICAL THAN HOW MANY MILES YOU HAVE DRIVEN! Yet we relatively rarely hear arguments about whether oil should be changed every 3 months or 4 months or 6 months or 1 year, etc.

    The reason TIME is a simpler and better general rule of thumb is because: in general, as long as the conditions (Ex: outside temps, or load, or driven too few miles) are NOT severe, the guy who drives high miles is typically doing the highway mileage thing: that is he is covering many miles, yes– but this is an environment that is beneficial to the engine oil life (engine fully warmed up, in a good temperature zone, impurities burned off) which greatly extends oil life per mile covered (and internal engine component life). Now think of the guy driving just a few miles each day–the oil never really fully warms up, acids are not burned off, oxidation is encouraged on internal engine parts, etc. This guy may think that he does not need to change his oil at 6 months & with only 300-400 miles on the odometer it may even look clean!

    And instead of talking about pre-start pressure lubrication to help eliminate metal -to-metal wear we used to hear about “Slick 50” or other similar type of substances which did not address the critical issue of obtaining lubrication just BEFORE the engine was started to avoid a major part of the mechanical wear issue (the cold start).

    Another factor to remember here is that oil change intervals are a moving target– as engine oils get better, engine quality improves (engines assembled to closer tolerances, with better oiling systems, etc.), the day will come when change intervals of time/milage will be increased yet again. I myself used to change oil every quarter (3 months) 3 decades back, but went to 4 months 20 years back, and today I do a 6 month interval–I might be able to go longer but this makes a good time to check over a number of maintenance items on the vehicle at the same time–And I time my oil changes to match December 1st and June 1st so the clean oil and healthy oil is ready to take on low temps in Michigan Winters and higher temps of Summer.

    Dovetailing with oil change intervals is the price of oil today and how it appears to be related to the extended intervals that manufacturers are suggesting. Recall how only 10-12 years ago oil cost –what?–99 cents per quart?– And then it magically got a lot more expensive as people changed their oil less! I have never taken my vehicle to an oil change shop but on a snowy day for those less ambulatory, it may be a good option if its $19 and you watch them like a hawk so they don’t forget to place oil into the engine before you leave or endlessly try to get you to buy a new air filter (another part that has been massively improved from the manufacturer and typically does not need replacement nearly as often as the oil change shop recommends!), or way over tighten the oil filter.

    Which leads to yet another point. OK–Manufacturers all brag that they believe in being green and saving the world (which is mainly a rock ball). If they really believed this they would engineer a kit that would make your oil/oil filter change experience clean, drip free, and easier than ever. Think about how many people who do their own oil changes throw out an oil filter still filled with oil (remember the back-flow preventer holding the oil inside the filter)–& relatively easy to drain out with a nail poked through to disable the back flow mechanism–but who does this? Not many. And why have oil dripping and leaking along the side of the engine block when you loosen the old oil filter where it will drip onto the floor or be washed onto the road as you drive off into a rain storm? And why do you have to get under the vehicle to change the oil?

    I solved all these concerns first with a lateral oil change tube (goes from the oil pan to the side of the vehicle with a little double lock spigot–a breeze to drain oil); a remote engine oil filter with a funnel drain below the filter which drains any oil drips into the lateral oil change tube. I mean this could be sold as a kit at the dealer but should really be part of any manufacturer that wanted to simplify oil changes and help maintain a cleaner environment. Remote oil filter kits are sold but the green manufacturers never seem to put a whole whole package together: remote filter/easy access oil drain/collecting all old oil drips, etc.

    Regarding oil filters it is often the case that the crappiest filters often have the best marketing/advertising–or at least the most blatant.. For years FRAM made pretty crummy paper only media and bragged that their filters were top gun. But when we opened them up (at ACDelco) they were at the bottom of the barrel. Of course even a 50% synthetic media filter can do wonders (generally the size of the microns of physical filth the synthetic media filter stops is more precisely uniform and typically will capture smaller particles. Can’t say what the situation is today with filters but 20 years back Purolator and ACDelco were pretty good and offered synthetic media versions that were the best.

    I have no idea what this MotorWeek is talking about regarding synthetic oil “lasting longer.” Especially since you don’t need the stuff unless you are truly beating the hell out of your engine, or racing or heavy towing, or operating it under temperature extremes where it will flow much better at low temps and handle high temps better as well. The oil does have more uniform operating parameters because the oil molecules are not differentiated much. But it still gets dirty! And additives still wear out.

  94. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, I just remember that they were big, red and made in California, no sub needed, bass was low enough and I do remember him telling me the cost of each speaker cable was astronomical, I just couldn’t see spending so much $$ for them, oh and for whatever reason I don’t recall, he had them off the floor, could not touch the floor.

  95. pedro fernandez Says: along with MW and USA today did a sports sedan comparo and the 3 series is top dog again, followed by Volvo and Acura and then 4th is the ATS, low points for the Caddy, cramped seating and the CUE system, which seems to be universally assailed by all reviewers, didn’t Caddy engineers study this thing b4 putting it out there? Too bad cause they all praised it for its handling dynamics

  96. ColoradoKid Says:

    Chinese GP …….zzzzzzZZZZZZZZ

    Up next ;

    The ‘ ShameShame ‘ GP

    The minute the circus hits the Tilke tracks it all goes straight downhill …… think I’ll go watch some paint dry instead …. oh wait … bicycles next week ……


    Pedro – 94 – Hee hee hee hee ! GM’s MO to the tee . Half baked – half finished …. and therefore …… half as good … all while GM’s Spin Doctors keep trying to convince us the ATS is competitive with the 3 series …. Jeeze though ….. even the Acura and the Volvo spanked the ATS ! That one does surprise me a bit

    Well …. then again …. maybe not ;-)

  97. HtG Says:

    95 OMG, CK. I just “flipped off” the Beeb coverage because it’s so dull. Hembry was saying before the start that 18 team principles had congratulated him on making the results uncertain and enabling different strategies. Yeah, WTH is going on out there? We’re just watching the teams saving tires and pressing the DRS, counting laps till the change. I really can’t take this shit, but that’s just me. Cheers.

  98. HtG Says:

    crxn, ’18 team principals.’ So bored I lost my lexical lubricity.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the biggest problem with the ATS is CUE. If you don’t use the back seat, and don’t need a lot of trunk space, the smallness in those area doesn’t matter, as with my MINI. If a lot of controls are a pain to use, as with CUE, that is a problem.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    94, 95
    No one seems to be mentioning that the Benz C-Class finished dead last in the comparison.

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    #99 I think MB needs to refresh the C class, it’s not that old, actually, Volvo did surprise me! funny thing is that CUE was also mentioned to me by that client I met yesterday whose bigger issue with his ATS is also the CUE system, it has become the joke of the industry, I-Drive can now take a back seat to this Kit re 98, but if you can get more interior room and comfort for the same or similar price, you will opt for more room, even in the mid size group, the new Malibu’s rear seat room is criticized because it is smaller than its competitors, and why Kizachi has not made a blip in the sales numbers, even though it drives more European than the competitors, too small, though.

  102. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oops! ,my bad, the current C dates back to 2007!!! for sure they need a serious overhaul, if anything also surprised the Audi tested did trail the competition, it seems like now a company that allows a model to remain stagnant for all those years is just asking for trouble, also this just adds to the ever increasing cost of new cars, all this R&D ain’t cheap, they gotta pass on the cost to the customers, all these cars would have been in the 30′s just a few years ago, now they’re nearing $50k

  103. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the biggest weakness of the “entry level” C-Class is the underwhelming turbo four. It is slower than all of the competition, thirstier than the 328, and no less thirsty than the ATS turbo.

    Yeah, if you can get more room for the same price, why not, unless the less roomy car has other virtues you really like.

  104. HtG Says:

    As you gentlemen appear to be boycotting the Masters, for whatever reason, here’s a link to an Autocar comparison between the Mini Paceman and BMW 1 hatch. Steve Sutcliffe is amazingly frank.

  105. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG I gave up baseball for being too slow so I am not taking up something even slower. BTW on that comparo video, the reviewer neglects to mention that the Mini does not slide around at the turns on the wet roadway, while be M1 does indeed.

  106. HtG Says:

    I think he’s intending those slides

  107. pedro fernandez Says:

    Too much of a chicken myself to try that, bad memories of sliding around in RWD cars when I lived up north. Even hydroplaning here due to crappy tires and soft suspension, I put too much emphasis on having the rubber contact the road securely.

  108. HtG Says:

    The sliding we see in car vids is done for people that mistake it for excitement. It’s just show and is slow. Actual useful skills like trail braking and trailing throttle don’t show up well on video. Opposite lock, baby!

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t seen the video yet; I’ll watch it on a bigger screen when I get home, rather than on my phone. It sounds interesting, RWD vs FWD BMW’s.

  110. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Something that was fun to do on slick parking lots up north, was rear wheel slides using power and brake together.

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:


    ….with FWD cars.

  112. T. Bejma Says:


    “half baked”, “half as good” is still good enough to beat the Audi and MB… Not bad for a BRAND NEW car!!

  113. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB is it too late for GM to take a cue from reviewers and the buying public and get rid of that CUE? it is the single most negative thing about the ATS, even from owners.

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Well, I watched the video, and that wasn’t what I expected, a MINI that costs as much as an M1. This reenforces what I’ve thought all along about MINI’s. The best way to buy them is in their most basic form, as a non-S, not JCW hatch or convertible.

    If you want a serious performance car, buy something else, like an M1, if you happen to live somewhere other than the USA.

  115. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, it will take a couple or three years to get rid of CUE, or make it substantially better. BMW are still working on making their iDrive better, and it’s still not that great.

  116. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why is that Mini so expensive? are they trying to bring it up market just by charging more for it? Kit is absolutely right, get into the Mini “world” by going for its most basic model, even manual, to get the most fun for the least money. You still get all that is great about the Mini at a minimum investment.

  117. HtG Says:


    It may be that people are stooges. I bought my sister and her husband a laptop with Windows 8 and they couldn’t figure the thing out. I find W8 to be great, taking a couple of days to get comfortable with, but lots of people hate it adn have returned their computers. Also, my neighbor with the BMW X3 barely knew how to operate the idrive, or whatever it’s called, even after months.

    Maybe we need to get some twelve year olds driving these high tech autos.

  118. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess they charge that much because a few people are willing to pay that much.

    I checked the MINI UK web site, and a basic MINI similar to mine costs about half what the JCW Paceman in the video, and M1 cost. Interestingly, the base car in the UK has cloth seats standard, rather than the vinyl used in the U.S. I’d rather have cloth.

  119. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG come on man, one thing is sitting at home, trying to figure out these things, it’s quite another to be sitting in a car, going 60mph and having to take your eyes off the road just to adjust your hvac system, or change a radio station.

  120. Kit Gerhart Says:

    116, or at least get their 12 year old kids, and grandkids to operate the controls, other than the pedals and steering wheel.

  121. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that car companies selling “upscale” cars need to have something to differentiate their products from mainstream cars. BMW started with iDrive, then Mercedes with whatever they have, and on and on. Now, it is cheaper to make this stuff, so it has “trickled down,” thus afflicting most Fords and other mainstream car brands.

    It’s unfortunately that no one will make a really nice, quiet, fast, great handling car with controls like, say a 1979 Chevy Caprice. OK, a ’79 Caprice may not have had the ultimate in simple, intuitive, controls, but you get my point.

  122. HtG Says:

    118 true. I wonder if different people have different issues.

  123. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that with certain electronic gadgets, people tend to stick with what they have. People who have used Windows computers for 10 years will probably stick with Windows. The same applies to Mac users. Also, iPhone and Android users tend to stay with what they have. I suspect I am an outlier, especially for a “senior” in having Mac and Windows, and an Android phone and an IOS device.

    Anyway, all of these car systems force people to learn a new type of electronic gadget when they buy a new car, and as Pedro says, a car is not a computer. While it is fine to sit at home in your easy chair to learn a new computer system, it is not reasonable and safe to learn one while driving a car. Worse, many of these systems are not even safe to USE while driving a car, even if you learn the basics while sitting in a parking lot.

  124. T. Bejma Says:


    I like using the voice command on my Chevy MyLink and the CUE System I played with at work is even better with more commands (for instance, I can’t change my HVAC by voice – I have dials, but CUE can). Doesn’t take much time to learn to talk to your car ;-)

  125. C-Tech Says:

    Back from the beach with Wheel Woman. She may not the Opel GT she once was, but having someone who cares about you and can discuss anything from teen behaviour, hydrogen fuel, to fine wines is priceless.

    Saw a black ATS, it looks great in motion.

    BMW iDrive – we are still figuring it out. By the way, the knob came off in her hand, so much for BMW quality. Too many items to manage with one set of controls in my opinion.

    MyLink (IMHO) is a better interface. She has tried MyLink and agrees.

    Given how close the 3-series and ATS are in performance, in the long term Cadillac has an opportunity to edge out the 3-Series on quality and durability.

    BMW and Mercedes dealers offer a superior customer experience in service

  126. C-Tech Says:

    Aside from oil, how often do you change the other fluids in your vehicle? Trans Fluid? Coolant? Differentials? Brake Flush? Do you use Nitrogen in your tires?

  127. C-Tech Says:

    Read the MotorWeek segment on the $46K comparision. 2 things stand out 1.) how close the competition is now compared to several years ago 2.) Comsidering the Volvo S60 is $8,000 lees than the $46K and a little long in the tooth, it and the Acura TL may be the best overall values in this segment.

  128. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also thinking of rental cars and how some people who rent have little or no experience with these systems (ME) bad enough you’re in unfamiliar territory, car and you can’t even turn the a/c on. Recipe for disaster!

  129. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 – China

    So whats wrong with this picture when a bunch of guys in funny pants pushing a little white ball around someones backyard is ten times more exciting than watching the most technologically advanced race cars … driven by the best drivers on the planet racing around a track at some 150 mph ?

    Oh yeah ….. the one ( Golf ) is still a sport …. whereas the other ( F1 ) has become a manipulated spectacle


    First Impressions – Luxury Car owners

    This weekend I was reading one of Rolling Stone magazines special editions and ran across a pleasant reminder when it come to who might own any given Luxury car ( remembering I had quite an issue when debating to get the GLK over the three pointed star on the snout )

    Jerry Garcia – King of the Hippies . Mr Tree Hugger himself . The Liberal to end all Liberals . Captain Tie Dye !

    Like to take a guess as to what he drove over the last decade or so of his life ?

    What ever the biggest BMW had on offer that year …. with the 740i’s and 750i’s being his preference

    Too bad I didn’t remember that little factoid when the Sybil’s were around

    ” What a Looooong Strange Trip …. its Been ”

    Rock On 8)

  130. Kit Gerhart Says:

    125, 126
    I change the coolant every 6 or 7 years in my “occasional use” 80′s cars. A couple years ago, I had a brake fault light in my ’89 van which was caused by a sticking proportioning valve. A motorhead/hobbyist drag racer suggested I bleed the brakes through all of the wheel cylinders. I did, and that fixed it. Normally, I never change brake fluid, but maybe I should.

  131. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 96 – The most ludicrous moment in the NBCS coverage was Bob Varsha at the checkered flag proclaiming ( at the top of his lungs mind you ) ;

    ” This is F1 at its finest ”

    Seriously mien freund …. if that was F1 at its finest I’m loath to see what it is at its worst ;-)

  132. ColoradoKid Says:


    Nitrogen – Yes !
    Fluids – Whenever the manual mandates it

    Also … best infotainment system ? IMO Mercedes Benz’s …. its definitely more Apple than PC . The worst IMO being BMW’s iDrive … even the simplified system in the MINI was a royal pain in comparison to M-B’s system

    Cadillac ATS – As I’ve said many a time …. half baked …. not ready for prime time …. not bad mind you ….. but not nearly good enough …. pretty much the SNAFU for everything GM’s dumped on the market over the last decade or two

    Got to say though …. the fact that the Volvo beat out the ATS should be a major screaming wake up call for GM …… but it won’t be sadly

  133. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I use about 80% nitrogen in my tires.

  134. HtG Says:

    Any trace gases mixed in, Kit, just to be sure? ;)

  135. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Volvo beat the ATS because they were evaluating the cars as near-luxury transportation appliances, not as sports sedans. If they had been evaluating them as sports sedans, the BMW and ATS would have been the top two.

  136. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, a little argon and CO2, and a few others.

  137. HtG Says:

    F 8/10

    CK, DC spent half the time on the starting grid asking about tires. He’s sending a message. Whitmarsh is talking about it. It’s a waste of the drivers careers, to manage tires so mouth breathers and rugrats in asia sit there for two hours looking at billboards, if you ask me. Once I settle down I’ll write something about who’s interests are driving the sport for that Zwerg.

  138. HtG Says:

    135 What’s your opinion on Krypton? I’ve heard good things on the forums.

  139. ColoradoKid Says:


    An automobile is by definition …. a machine …. a machines purpose first and foremost …. is to function …. therefore judgement must be made on a cars Overall traits … not one minute aspect that has little or no bearing on a cars daily usage … therefore the comparison we’re discussing is in fact more accurate and appropriate … especially considering the ATS is anything BUT a ‘ sports ‘ sedan … its a quasi luxury sedan that doesn’t handle half bad

    And errrr …. bet me the ATS would come anywhere’s near the BMW as well as above any of its competition if in fact the judgement was unbiased as well as not motivated by shall we say a little under the table compensation … trust me Kit … the current ( not the 2013 model ) Lexus IS’ll spank the daylights out of the pretentious ATS in a GENUINE head up …. which …. you’ll likely never see in the print automotive media

  140. ColoradoKid Says:


    Oh those tires …. The only thing worse this weekend than the race itself was the ….. errrr ….. Qualifying ….

    Where the drivers spent 60% of the time sitting idle in the pits …. in order to ‘ save ‘ their tire supply for the race .

    DRS .. KERS … those pathetic Pirelli bad joke tires …. seriously HtG …. the ‘ sport’ is being taken out of F1 by leaps and bounds due to the constant manipulations to the point of abject boredom

  141. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is a summary of the comparison test. I guess what it says is “in the eye of the beholder.”

    Here is part of what they liked about the Volvo:
    “Comfort was the watchword for the Volvo. “By far, the most comfortable car here,” Robinson said. “Our S60 has Volvo’s base suspension setup, and it rides marvelously,” Mays said. “Shock absorption, cabin isolation and suspension noise (or lack thereof) all stand out.” And the seats? “Among this group’s taut seats, the Volvo’s cushy chairs are a welcome break,” Mays added. Our couple liked the dashboard’s “understated elegance,” and the “nice, worn-in look” of the seat leather.”

    …and here is part of what they didn’t like about the Volvo”
    ” The consensus was that while the S60 was very comfortable, it wasn’t great as a track performer. “Feels front-heavy, and overall heavy, on the track,” Healey said. “The handling is good for a Volvo, with minimized torque steer, but I don’t give ‘most improved’ awards,” Wiesenfelder said. “The mileage makes it much harder to be excited about the quick acceleration,” he said, especially in the 328i’s company. “Soft brakes, sloppy steering and plenty of body roll limit the handling front,” Mays pointed out, “and you’ll notice it on winding roads, not just a racetrack.”

  142. HtG Says:


  143. HtG Says:

    Ben, what’s the API on your server’s cooling fan? I may need to reverse it.

  144. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The current IS has even less rear seat space than the ATS, and it handles worse. Also, the IS250, the one most comparable to the ATS turbo in price, is slower than the ATS turbo. How do you figure that the current IS is better than the ATS, except for not having CUE?

  145. HtG Says:

    what I noticed in that comparo was the spread in points between the MB and BMW. It’s like spirited driving is so important to the testers that they just give it up. Well, there’s different kinds of customers. (and when was the last time you saw a BMW driver actually driving their car?)

    man, does caffeine work!

  146. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nitrogen, waste of money, synth oil, waste of money, frequent fluid changes, waste of money, brake flush waste of money, buying a new car waste of money, eating waste of money, drinking anything but water, waste of money I have bee told by 2 diff techs NOT to change brake fluid will then start having all kinds of problems and I have never done so, 15 yrs and 356k miles on original fluid and it stops, eventually!

  147. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the C250 had the engine from the 328, I suspect I’d rather have the Benz. It’s not as “sporty” or roomy as the 3, but I like its classy appearance, inside and out. Surely, MB can do better with a turbo 4 than their current one, and maybe they will in a year or two.

  148. pedro fernandez Says:

    The biggest mistake MB could make is to go after the BMW crowd, they’re are different animals and their customers know so, apples for Johnny, oranges for Anita Bryant, so the saying goes!

  149. HtG Says:

    146 If I may be vulgar, take a listen to BMW’s Start/Fart system. It really stinks. Of course, it’s not polite to mention it, or have it affect test results.

  150. Kit Gerhart Says:

    137, HtG,
    Krypton is too heavy. It adds unsprung weight.

  151. HtG Says:

    lol, Kit

  152. pedro fernandez Says:

    I already have a start/fart system, it only happens after lunch at Taco Bell when I leave the parking lot. Thank God I work alone and since my car makes so many noises, no one notices.

  153. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t experienced BMW’s start/stop, but from what I hear about it, I’d probably turn it off, even though I am kind of a fuel economy extremist.

  154. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Brake fluid: your just an accident waiting to happen.Not just the fluid either Pedro,the rubber brake lines need changing out……like yesterday.

  155. HtG Says:

    Kit, the current issue of Tire Inflater Enthusiast just hit news stands. There’s a comparison test between pressure gauges, how much is enough?

  156. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Their feature story is “air or nitrogen….who’s blowing gas”….