Summer-Proof your vehicle

The dog days of summer are here; have you summer-proofed your car? Yes, summer-proof your car!

Most of us are well aware of the damage the chill of winter can wreak on our SUVs, vans, and trucks but the heat and UV rays of summer can also harm our vehicles.

According to R.L. Polk, Americans keep their cars for an average of six years and most vehicles are resold at that time. Taking the time to summer-proof your vehicle is not only good for your car, it can add dollars to your resale price. Statista – The Statistics Portal, reported people are selling their vehicles at ever increasing rates.

Want top dollar for that car when you are ready to sell it? Make sure it looks good. The most obvious summer-time damage is to the paint and the dashboard. The UV rays of the sun can discolor paint and crack the dashboard until it looks like a model of the Grand Canyon.

BYK Laboratories explained that the UV rays breakdown the organic compounds in the paint like the binders which lead to the paint discoloring and drying out to the cracking point. Also increased dust because of dry, summer conditions can really build up.

Slide1Dust acts like sandpaper on your cars’ clear coat. The clear coat not only makes the car look good but more than that, it is the primary barrier against rust. The scratching effects of accumulated dirt and dust coupled with the drying effects of the suns UV rays, acidic insects from increased summer insect populations, bird droppings, and tree sap all have adverse effects on an otherwise beautiful and beneficial paint job.

Don’t forget, every trip to the beach we not only bring home sand in our shoes but also in our car, on our car and in our air filters. An air filters’ job is to trap sand, dust, and other particles to keep them from mangling our vehicles’ engines. Regular checks and changes of the filters will keep our engines running smoothly and a quick wash will rid the paint of the scratching sand.Slide2

Plastics and vinyl tend to absorb UV radiation more quickly than paint. This leads to crumbling windshield wipers, which do little good in the occasional August rain shower. One place you might not think of when you think of summer damage are the belts and hoses under the hood. Excessive heat from parking in the sun can damage these parts as well. It would be a good idea to check them a few extra times during the summer.


Summer Proofing Steps –

  • Park in the shade whenever possible but be careful of parking under trees that might drip sap and be a favorite roosting spot for birds
  • Wash your car often – once a week is recommended. Hand washing is recommended but having the vehicle on a regular washing schedule and hand dry – Don’t let it dry in the sun
  • Protect interior by tinting windows, using a windshield sun screen and using a protectant on the dash
  • Check and maintain all fluid levels
  • Check and change the filters often



Resource list


R.L. Polk



by: J. K. Luckhurst

The 2014 Jaguar F-Type – WOW!

Good day, friends. Today we’re going to look at the 2014 Jaguar F-Type. The first time I saw the new design, I was in awe. I absolutely love it. It has beautiful sleek lines and an aggressive stance.


However, the look of this bad boy isn’t the only impressive thing. There are three models being currently offered, The F-Type Coupe, The F-Type Convertible, and the The F-Type Coupe R. They each have their own unique identities and different performance specs, and all are fast, sound amazing, and are fun to drive. Unfortunately for me, I don’t own one; but I did jet over to my local Jaguar dealership and take one out for a test drive.

“The F-Type Coupe carries over the same engines as the convertible, but replaces the V8S convertible model with the F-Type Coupe R, which makes an impressive 550-horsepower.

We loved the exhaust note of the F-Type, so it’s safe to say this V8 R will sound like a herd dinosaurs charging down the street.

Also new for the F-Type coupe is a set of carbon ceramic brakes, which will help turn this car into an ultimate performance machine capable of delivering the goods on the track or the street.” –


They do come with a hefty price tag, but you’re definitely getting a big bang for your buck. Here is a look at the pricing for the convertible option.

$69895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V6
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 340 bhp, 332 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 20/28 mpg
2 passengers, 3525 lb, 3-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, V-6 engine, 10.4 lb/bhp

$81895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V6 S
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 380 bhp, 339 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 19/27 mpg
2 passengers, 3550 lb, 3-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, V-6 engine, 9.4 lb/bhp

$92895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V8 S
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 495 bhp, 460 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 16/23 mpg
2 passengers, 3675 lb, 5-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, 8-cylinder engine, 7.4 lb/bhp

The F-Type Coupe R gets even pricier

“With soaring performance, the F-TYPE R Coupe offers outstanding levels of dynamic capability and control. Its 5.0 liter supercharged V8 engine produces 550 horsepower, accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.0 seconds3. The F-TYPE R features an Electronic Active Differential, Jaguar Super Performance Braking System, and Sport Suspension with Adaptive Dynamics. MSRP starting at $99,000” – Jaguar Website

With that said, the new Jaguar F-Type is our second favorite elite sports car for 2014. Falling into second place behind the amazing new Corvette Stingray
Sources: – Car & Driver – Motor Trend –

Why to Add a Cat Back Exhaust System

Here is another post for you go-fasters, drag racers and those of us that like that deep growl flowing out of our exhaust pipes. We don’t want an exhaust system that makes car alarms go manic or requires the girlfriend to wear earplugs. Upgrading your exhaust lets you hear the best underneath your hood. To us gear heads, that is a beautiful noise. You can legally upgrade your exhaust to gain power and efficiency. However, federal emissions regulations won’t permit just any exhaust system. One upgrade that’s almost universally permissible is in the exhaust system downstream of the second oxygen sensor. That sensor is always located right after the catalytic converter, we refer to these systems as “cat-back.”

How Exhaust Works

The exhaust system is basically a long funnel to expel spent gases from the combustion process. The gases dump from individual cylinders into the exhaust manifold. On cars with a V-type or boxer engine, there are two manifolds, one on either side of the engine block. Inline engines have only one manifold. The manifold’s snakelike tubes collect the gases and, on newer cars, send them down a pipe (or two if it’s a dual exhaust) and into the catalytic converters. The catalytic converter is a major component responsible for reducing emissions. At the front half of the cat is a reduction catalyst which uses platinum and rhodium to remove NOx emissions. In the second half, the cat burns carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. The result? Up to 90 percent of these damaging gases never reach the sky. But cats won’t scavenge this stuff until they reach operating temperature. So automakers mount them as close to the exhaust manifold as possible to capture engine heat quickly.

After the cat, the exhaust travels on to the resonators and mufflers to cancel sound. Without mufflers, your car would be as loud as a Sprint Cup Car. Cat-back systems often include new middle pipes, resonators and mufflers, and are often less restrictive (less back-pressure) so they can build more power and make better noises, too.

What’s Legal

In the good but smoggy old days before emissions standards, you could freely modify your exhaust, as long as the local constabulary didn’t object to the noise. Times have changed; California’s strict smog regulations have influenced the nation. Aftermarket speed parts built for newer vehicles are almost all 49-state-compliant. In the Golden State, they must pass stricter California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards. So, unless you own a smog-exempt car (1975 or older in California), it’s verboten to modify anything that might change the emissions profile. And that’s why the most common exhaust modification is a cat-back system.

Here are a few images that explain how it all works:

When it comes time to find the right exhaust system for your vehicle you have a lot of options. There are hundreds of websites out there, filled with posts from guys and gals that have put cat back systems on their rides. You can also go down to your local performance shop and talk to the experts. We always recommend knowing all of the facts before you purchase and install.

If you want to install your new cat back exhaust system yourself, here is a video with step by step instructions:

Sources: Car & Driver, Summit Racing, Engine World, and

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The Hottest New Cars for 2014

With 2014 right around the corner, I thought it would be a lot of fun to write a post about the hottest new cars for 2014. As most of us know by now, I am a speed junkie with a soft spots for the classics but I won’t let that cloud my judgement when looking at these cars.

1. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Chevy brings an iconic name back to the American sports car scene. The Stingray is available in coupe and convertible versions. She has been completely redesigned. Chevrolet gave the Stingray an all-new chassis and new mechanicals. The high-tech 6.2-liter V8 engine posses 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels that encourages fast driving, helping you beat your friends off the line with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in a screaming 3.8 seconds. Lighter in weight, but with a more rigid structure, an ideal 50/50 front-to-rear weight ratio, re-engineered steering and suspension systems and an array of sophisticated chassis-control hardware, the new ‘Vette’ promises unswerving handling. A new Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to tune 12 separate performance attributes according to five different driving situations, including one for use on wet roads and another that enables the engine to run on only four cylinders to garner maximum fuel economy. Oh, did we mention the new interior? It’s pretty designed for a rock star with the functionality of a race car. This is our favorite new car for 2014, hands down.

2. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Featuring bold and elegant new styling, it comes powered in the S550 version by a 455-horsepower twin-turbo V8 or a 5.5-liter twin-turbo 577-horsepower V8 in the higher-performance S63 AMG 4MATIC model. Over-the-top-shelf options include rear seats that simulate a hot stone massage, heated armrests and an ionizing and perfuming feature for the climate control system. Talk about riding in style…this is what I am talking about.

3. Jaguar F-Type

It packs a powerful 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that puts out either 340 or 380 horsepower, depending on the version. A 5.0-liter 495-horsepower supercharged V8 is also available; it’s estimated to enable the F-Type to hit the 60 mph mark in just over four seconds. All engines come mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual gear-select mode with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.  Its lightweight, yet-rigid aluminum structure, rear-drive configuration and sophisticated suspension promise sporty handling abilities in the British sports car tradition. A closed-roof coupe version will follow within a year.

4. Jeep Cherokee

Replacing the former Liberty model in Jeep’s lineup, the new midsize Cherokee SUV features a new Jeep that should brighten up the faces of traditional Jeep enthusiasts. It packs either a Fiat-supplied 184 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a new 271-horsepower 3.2-liter V6, with an advanced nine-speed automatic transmission standard. The Cherokee offers many high-tech safety features, along with niceties like a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a wireless charging pad for portable devices.

5. Mercedes Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes says it will be among the most-aerodynamic car designs among production cars, with a coefficient of drag at just 0.23. A 208-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes with the base CLA250, while the high-performance CLA45 AMG variant packs a specially tweaked hand-built 355-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four. The only available transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive optional on the CLA250 and standard with the CLA45 AMG.

6. Cadillac ELR

The midsize Cadillac ELR coupe is essentially a luxury-minded two-door version of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric car. The ELR features distinctive styling that borrows cues from other Cadillac models, with a posh high-tech-looking interior and assorted amenities, though its electric powertrain and engineering largely carries over from the Volt. It’s powered by an electric motor and a plug-in chargeable battery pack, but once the battery runs low (it should run in full electric mode for about 35 miles on a charge), a small gasoline engine engages to run a generator that, in turn, powers the motor. Those with a modest commute may rarely have to visit a gas station. If the Volt is any indication, the ELR should be quick off the line and deliver reasonably sporty ride and handling attributes, though back seat space and cargo room look to be tight.

7. Chevrolet SS

The new leading sedan at Chevy is an aggressively styled rear-drive model that comes by way of General Motors’ Holden subsidiary in Australia. In homage to classic SS-designated models from the 1960’s, this bad boy goes fast with Corvette’s 6.2-liter 415-horsepower small-block V8 engine, and can go from 0-60 mph in around five seconds.

8. Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra

Fully redesigned for 2014, General Motors’ full-size pickup trucks come with myriad structural and engineering revisions to enhance their already decent ride and handling characteristics. We have to admit being disappointed with the Silverado and Sierra’s only modestly revised exterior designs that seem dated from day one. The trucks’ trio of “EcoTec3” engines include a new 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower, a revised 5.3-liter V8 with a beefier 355 horsepower and a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horses for heavier-duty use; all incorporate direct fuel injection for improved performance and selective cylinder shutdown for better fuel economy.

9. Toyota Corolla 

I know, I know…this doesn’t really fit in with the other machines we have talked about thus far. But check out this little Corolla, you’ll be impressed.

10. BMW 4 Series

For 2014, the former BMW 3 Series coupes and convertibles get a major redesign and are reclassified as 4 Series models. Fresh exterior designs borrow front styling cues from the sedans, but they otherwise resemble smaller versions of BMW’s 6 Series models. There’s a choice of a 240 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the 428i, and a faster 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo-six in the 435i, ad both can be mated to either a standard eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission; BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be optional with the coupes.

11. Cadillac CTS

A third-generation CTS sedan debuts for 2014 that’s longer, lower and lighter in weight than before, with more athletic-looking exterior styling that’s highlighted by an striking new front end treatment that announces its arrival with authority. Three separate engines are available, including a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a just adequate 272 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 with a livelier 321-horsepower. Meanwhile, a new Vsport version features Caddy’s first ever twin-turbo V6 that delivers an eager 420 horses, along with other performance-minded steering, braking and suspension upgrades.

12. Infiniti Q50

13. Kia Cadenza

Kia, a brand known more for its budget-minded models, takes a step deep into luxury-car territory with its new Cadenza sedan. While it sits about five inches longer than Kia’s popular Optima, it affords only equivalent interior room. Power comes from a 3.3-liter direct-injected 293-horsepower V6 engine that would seem to be only about as quick – though perhaps smoother and quieter – and somewhat less fuel efficient than the Optima’s excellent 2.0-liter turbo-four engine.

Sources: Fobres, Car & Driver,, Market Watch & U.S. News

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