April 2018

Talk of Tesla bankruptcy and the future of electric cars

By Christoper A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 12, 2018) The word on the street — Wall Street, that is — is that Tesla is mere months away from bankruptcy. The glacial ramp-up of Model 3 production has placed a massive strain on cash flow, there is no end in sight to the delays surrounding this car, and there has been another fatal crash with a Model S on Auto Pilot.

Edmunds — Auto loan interest rates climb to highest point since 2009

(April 11, 2018) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Interest rates on new vehicle loans are expected to hit their highest level since 2009 in March, marking the second straight month of sharp rate increases. According to the analysts at Edmunds the annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.7 percent in March — compared to an average of 5.2 percent in February and 5 percent in January. This compares to 5 percent in March 2017 and 4.4 percent in March 2013.

Cam Phaser Lockout Kit may be answer to knocking/clicking noise

(April 10, 2018) For late model Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicle owners dealing with a clicking, tapping, or knocking V8, a newly updated Cam Phaser Lockout Kit from Forbidden Diesel is available. Designed to be an affordable alternative to expensive engine repairs, the cam phaser lockout kit fits Ford Triton V8 engines with 3-valves produced between 2004 and 2014.

BMW 5-Series gets electrified for 2018

By Paul Borden

(April 4, 2018) The BMW 530e is pretty much a smaller version of the BMW 740e that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago, and I have the same issue with the 530e, a new plugin hybrid for 2018,  that I did with the 740e. I just don’t “get” the infatuation with plugin hybrids that deliver minimal mileage on electric power only.

Average new-car prices jump 2 percent in March year over year

(April 3, 2018) IRVINE, Calif. — The analysts at Kelley Blue Book today reported the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $35,285 in March. New-vehicle prices have increased by $703 (up 2 percent) from March 2017, while falling $23 (down 0.1 percent) from last month.  

"Most automaker transaction prices increased in March 2018 as the industry average rose 2 percent," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

National gas price average jumps 11 cents in two weeks

(April 3, 2018) Gas prices are edging up across the country as the market continues to purge winter-blend gasoline to make room for summer storage. At $2.66, the national gas price average is 5-cents more expensive on the week and 11-cents more expensive than two weeks ago, according to AAA.

“Today, only 38 percent of U.S. gas stations are selling gasoline for $2.50 or less and that percentage will likely dwindle in coming weeks,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.