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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;