A Tire for All Seasons or Marketing Myth?

After abusing their tires all winter driving over the crater filled terrain most Ohioans know as their local roads, some will be thinking about replacing their tires this spring. Many of us will choose what appears to be the sensible option. An “all-season” tire.

Since their inception in the late 1970’s “All-Weather” or “All-Season” tires have been a less expensive and convenient solution to America’s tread-based trepidations. While the name suggests a tire your vehicle can wear year round, Popular Mechanics suggests otherwise.

Most drivers are mistaken in believing that all-season tires provide superior performance to that of summer tires, or more accurately three-season tires, in spring and fall rainy seasons.
All-season, in reality, means a compromise. The designer has chosen a tread type and tread compound that give drivers acceptable performance in all-seasons or all-weather. However this is not the same, obviously, as great performance in all seasons. In matters of traction, all-season tires only outperform three-season or summer tires during one season, winter.

Popular Mechanics tells provides a pretty simple explanation of how this all works out for the consumer:

  • In damp or lightly wet road conditions the tread compound is the biggest traction factor. A soft, sticky compound will give you the best grip.
  • In high water, higher speed conditions the tread pattern and there-by the tire’s ability to disperse water matters most.
  • Good and bad high water tread patterns are found on all types of tires. And worn tread or improperly inflated, but expensive tires may be outperformed by newer, properly inflated tires of lesser quality.
  • Summer or three-season tires get great dry/damp traction for exactly the reason the perform poorly in the snow: a soft, grippy compound, which hardens too easily in the cold. The all-season tire trades road grip for a compound that remains flexible at colder temperatures.

So Jody, you will have to decide which type of tire you feel is best for your vehicle and when you want to drive it. Maybe keep a winter car and another car for the other seasons? Ha ha.

~ Joe Victor

New 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550

Jody and I were looking into the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550. Wow! What a car! This car claims to be ahead of the pack in technology.

This car has only LED’s for all lights, an aromatherapy system, full LCD instrument cluster, stereoscopic cameras in from of rearview mirror just to name a few.

We found an online review that tells about this new car. You can read the full review here.

~ Joe Victor

Volvo testing self-driving cars

The Volvo Car Group will release 100 self-driving cars on public roads in Gothenburg, Sweden. Endorsed by the government there, the “Drive Me” project aims to pinpoint the benefits of driving autonomously. It will give them insight to challenges they will face technologically as well as provide a way of receiving feedback from their customers.

The study will start in 2014 with the hopes of having the first cars on the road by 2017. The car will be developed on Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and the first model will be the Volvo XC90 to be introduced in 2014.

The car will also feature autonomous parking. You can leave the car at the entrance and the car will park itself.

Joe Victor

Color Changing Concept

You might have heard of “mood rings” if you are old enough to remember the craze from the 1970s. They would change color according to your “mood”. What it actually did was detect your temperature and change color accordingly. So why am I talking about this, Jody? Because this month in the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota plans to display a color-changing vehicle in the show. It changes color according to the driver’s mood, warns of cars in blind spots, and suggest destinations based on your facial expression.

This car is codenamed Toyota FV2. See an image of it here.

~ Joe Victor

Check out the new Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley Motors has just introduced the Flying Spur, a new luxury sedan. The car comes with a 6 litre W12 engine that goes 0-60 in 4.3 seconds to a top speed of 200 mph. It has specially-designed soundproofing in the floor and doors.

It has an optional wifi hub for internet access. It comes with 64 GB internal hardrive for sharing. Rear seats include DVD players, wireless headphones and LCD screens along with port enabling to connect consoles, tablets, cameras, music players and phones.

You can find the full specifications here.

Joe and Jody Victor

How many cars have you had?

Hey Jody, most people go through more than 1 car in their lifetime. Some may even lease a new car and trade it in 2 years later for the newest model. Not Irv Gordon. He bought a brand new red Volvo P1800 in 1966. On September 15, he passed the 3 million mark. That’s right 3,000,000 miles on one car. That’s an average of over 63,000 miles per year. He set a world record for the most miles driven by a single person in a noncommercial vehicle in 1998 when he reached 1.69 million, but that didn’t stop him from continuing. The car still has its original engine!

Irv Gordon has driven through every state except Hawaii and 5 European countries with this car.

~ Joe Victor

About the Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S was voted the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Let’s find out why, Jody.

So what sets this car apart? It’s quick and it’s … electric! The range is about 265 miles. But Tesla is putting in charging stations that will be free. The charging stations should recharge for 150-180 miles in 30 minutes. It has an mpg-e of 118.

Tesla Model S is top in its class for safety.

For more information, read the article. You can view a gallery of pictures here.

~ Joe Victor

Easiest 2013 Cars to Bargain For

Forbes has compiled a list of the 14 Easiest 2013 Cars to Bargain For in each of 14 major categories that TrueCar.com predicts will sell lowest below MSRP.

  1. Large Car: Chevrolet Impala
  2. Large Truck: GMC Sierra
  3. Luxury Car: Jaguar XJ
  4. Luxury Sports Car: Infiniti G37 Coupe
  5. Midsize Car: Nissan Maxima
  6. Small SUV: Mitsubishi Outlander
  7. Large SUV: Ford Expedition
  8. Minivan: Honda Odyssey
  9. Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
  10. Small Car: Ford Focus
  11. Luxury SUV: Acura MDX
  12. Sports Car: Ford Mustang
  13. Subcompact Car: Smart ForTwo
  14. Small Truck: Nissan Frontier

So if you are looking for a new car, check out the site and see why they are marking them down before you make your purchase.

New Diesel Cars for 2014

The Victor crew
found that GreenCarReports.com has a list of new 2014 Diesel cars for better fuel efficiency. Here they are:

Audi – 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesels:
Audi A6 TDI mid-size sedan – for 29 mpg starts at $57,500
Audi A7 4-door coupe – 29 mpg starts at $66,900
Audi A8 large luxury sedan – 28 mpg starts at $82,500

BMW – 180 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel
3-series sport sedan – 32 mpg city; 45 mpg highway; slightly lower with xDrive all-wheel drive option; starts at $39,525 without xDrive; another $2000 with
3-series Sports Wagon – up to 43 mpg; only comes with xDrive; starts at $43,875

Chevrolet – 151 hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel four cylinder:
Cruze Diesel – starts at $25,695; 27 pmg city; 46 mpg highway

Jeep – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel – 21 mpg city; 28 mpg highway;

Ram (formerly Dodge Truck) – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck – priced $2,850 higher than Ram 1500 gasoline

Ride on.
~Joe Victor