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Hooniverse Asks: Should a New Engine Use Oil?


You may on occasion ask yourself just exactly how much wood can a woodchuck chuck, and every once in a while I bet you question who it was that put the bomp in the bomp-shu-bomp, shu-bomp, but when was the last time you asked yourself just how much oil should my brand new engine use?

In discussion with a couple of my friends it has come to light that a number of their newish rides require topping up the oil, something I thought only happened with old cars whose owners hoped that Marvel Miracle Oil really is miraculous. I can attest to the new-car needing oil issue myself as the wife once had a 2001 Jetta that used  quart about every 1,000 miles. That was an alarming rate to us, but seemed perfectly normal to the VW tech at the dealer, who gave us the standard line that they all do that.

Since dumping the Jetta, we have moved on to cars that seem to be tea-totalers, never using a drop between changes, and that has made me wonder if it’s a manufacturer thing. In my mind, a new engine shouldn’t use oil. Hell, I have 135,000 miles on my daily driver, and it still doesn’t use any oil. And yet, my buddies have been requiring a quart here or there, and again, the dealer says it’s no big deal. What do you think, is it a big deal? Do you think it’s okay for a newish engine to use any significant amount of oil? More importantly, is it okay for the maker and dealer to claim that’s not a problem?

Image: Breakerlink.com

Hooniverse Asks: Is the Average Modern Car Too Plasticky?


I will readily admit that I am old enough to remember when cars made the inexorable switch from metal dashboards to plastic. You can even point to the models that effected this change – Ford’s Maverick/Fairmont switchover for example. It wasn’t just dashes, at the same time cars made a wholesale switch – grilles, hubcaps, badges, light-surrounds – from metal to dead dinosaur.

I fully get the weight savings afforded to such a switch, as well as the safety implications as I would far prefer to interact with a yielding plastic surface than one intended to stand up to such attacks as a knee or forehead. Still, If you’ve been in pretty much any mainstream car from that era to now, it’s almost always a plastic fetish’s dream come true.

Car makers have gone to great lengths to mask the plastics in their cars, offering textures that disguise, and colors that beguile, but truth be told, I find those even more annoying. In fact, even the leather seating on modern cars isn’t even leather anymore, having been imbued with a vinyl coating that may extend its useful lifespan, but still doesn’t feel like leather to me.

We get into and out of a lot of cars over the months, and I’m wondering if they almost all aren’t suffering from extreme plastic-itise? What do you think, are modern cars too plasticky both inside and out?

Image: DarkCatLife

Hooniverse Asks: The Porsche Boxster – Future Collectable or Future 924?


Sometimes you get to ask yourself where should I put all this money? For most of us, being car enthusiasts means that the usual answer is to buy a car or truck that will, hopefully over time, appreciate in value. Some of the best investments of the past decade have been in air-cooled Porsches, the 911, 912 and 914 models having seen their values skyrocket in that time. It’s not just the Porsche name however, as while people have been fighting over the opportunity to throw cash at the air-cooled cars, the water-cooled Porsches haven’t seemed to enjoy the same attention.

In fact, while the 914 has seen values double in the past decade, the 924 – a car ostensibly intended as that model’s replacement – has tended to travel in the other direction, and in fact for a while the junk yards were littered with these unwanted models. Today, the older water-cooled 911s – the 996 model – track significantly lower in value compared to their immediate predecessors, the air-cooled 993 and 964. Step down a rung on the price ladder and you come to the subject of today’s question, the entry-level Boxster, which in its initial form shares much of the 996’s front architecture, its mundane dash, and water-cooling for its engine.

You can buy Boxters on the cheap today, usually way under ten grand. The question however, is should you do so as a good place to park your money and potentially see it multiply? Those who rolled the dice with the 924 never saw that rise occur, and the 928 has for some time been impossible to nail down with values all over the board. What about the Boxtser, do you think it is a future classic which makes it a good investment now? Or, is it a future 924?

Image: Government Auctions Blog

Hooniverse Asks: Who’s the Car Guy You Presently Envy the Most?


Do you have a collection of cool cars? Perhaps you do. Maybe you are even pretty darn proud of that rolling stock. The thing of it is, there’s almost always going to be somebody with more money who’s able to put your collection to shame. It’s true, I know that fact from personal experience.

I didn’t make a fortune selling jeans to hipsters, or by hosting the Tonight Show – Twice! I could have, but I didn’t. That doesn’t mean I begrudge those who have done so, as the likes of Magnus Walker and Jay Leno are very open to sharing the spoils of their labors – just don’t touch, m’kay?

There have always been obscenely rich people who have addressed the issue of wallet overflow with the purchase of classic iron. These days the Internet  brings those collections closer to the masses, and by masses, I mean people like you and me. Today, I’d like know which one of those fancy car collectors turns you BRG with envy. Who is the car guy with the collection you most covet?

Image: TheCarConnection

Hooniverse Asks- What Company Should Buy What Car Company?

for sale

Recently there have been rumors floating around that Apple Inc. was thinking about buying Tesla. The fruity-computy company does seem to have taken more than a passing interest in the automotive world of late, opening a secret lair frequented by strange sensor-equipped minivans and lots of UPS deliveries, but would Apple/Tesla be a good mix?

This got me thinking that there are a number of car companies out there who are potentially looking for a sugar daddy, ripe for the picking as it were. There’s perennial yard sale contender Lotus, the recently resurrected DeTomaso, and of course the big dog, Ferrari, which is now a free agent, just to name some of the sportier options available for money bag shoppers. For a while it seemed like the Chinese were going to buy up all the free agents out there – taking MG, Volvo, and initially Saab, just to name a few. That doesn’t seem to have been going all that well for them, and so maybe they’ve stopped DVR’ing the Car Channel on the Home Shopping Network for a while.

That doesn’t mean that other companies couldn’t fill the void, and today what I’d like to know is what is your opinion as to what companies might make the best fit, the match made in Hooniverse heaven as it were. What do you think, who should buy who?

Image: Twitter

Hooniverse Asks: What Car Conspiracies Do You Think Might In Fact Be True?

200 mpg

Did you know that there’s a car that can run on nothing but pure tap water and that the government is keeping it from the public by polluting our water with fluoride just so it won’t work? Did you also know that by hanging a disco ball from the ceiling of your car you can fool laser speed guns 99.87% of the time? Well, truth be told, neither of those myths are true. Nor is the government keeping alien technology from us to prevent flying cars, they’re just a really stupid idea.

Automotive conspiracies are almost as prevalent as conspiracies of the political kind. Your driver’s license has a tracking chip in it, putting a magnet on your fuel line will improve your mileage, Ford decided it was cheaper to pay off accident victims than to fix all the Pintos on the road. Well, actually that last one – sadly – is true. Ford has long since admitted that wasn’t the right thing to do, so cut ‘em some slack, okay?

So many automotive conspiracies, at least one of them must be true, right? Which one do you think really is?

Image: Listia

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest Race Track Turn Name?


When it comes to race courses, what in your mind are the most interesting features? The long straights? Pit lanes perhaps? No, you and I both know it’s the corners that get the party started. That’s right, it’s the twisty bits that can really get your panties in a twist.

So important, and individually unique are each course’s corners that many have been given their own iconic names. Those names, like Le Mans’ Mulsanne Kink, or the Nürburgring’s crazy Karussell have entered the pantheon of automotive racing history, and have become as famous as the cars that have plied them.

Considering all the tracks in the world, and all the corners on those tracks, which one do you think has been imbued with the coolest name?

Image: Wikipedia

Hooniverse Asks- Do You Expect the Courtesy Wave?

courtesy wave

Let’s say you’re cruising down the freeway, traffic’s a little heavy and there’s someone with their signal on, dutifully waiting for an opportunity to merge into your lane to make a quickly approaching transition. Being the attentive type, and respecting their use of proper signaling, you ease up on the gas to create a space for them, which they quickly enter. Then comes the moment that might just make or break your whole day: the courtesy wave. Sure enough, you see through the other car’s back window a hand go up and a quick wave of thanks. Phew.

Or maybe you don’t and it doesn’t matter to you, you just move on with your life. Our society is structured on such common courtesies. They act like the glue that holds us together, lest we kill one another out of frustration over minor slights. What’s your take on the courtesy wave, is that still both a nicety, and an important unwritten contract between drivers? Or, is it a legacy of a more genteel but long bygone era?

Image: beautybybeccarod

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Accidentally Left in a Car? (Don’t Say a Baby)


Do you remember that clams and linguini your had that time at the Olive Garden? Sure you remember it – at least now – because you originally forgot it in your car turning it into the olfactory equivalent of a punch in the face.

I think the worst thing that was ever left in one of my cars was a package of crayons on the fabric upholstery of my old Dodge Neon. It was a hot day and eventually Strawberry Red merged with Cadet Blue and Carbon Black to make a new color that had yet to be named. That was a fun clean up.

What about you, have you ever accidentally left something important in your car, with calamitous results?

Image: Roosevelt

Hooniverse Asks: What’s Your Gas Habit- Fill Up or Dollar Amount?


Despite the unexpected drop in the cost of a fill up this past year, most people still follow some sort of ritual when it comes to gassing up their vehicle. It may be a big-ass truck with dual tanks were one is filled one week and the other the next. Or maybe it’s the desire to hit a specific gallon or dollar count on every pump run so it’s the timing that varies.

Whatever the prescription, it is your own, and today I wan’t to know what makes you tick… over the pump’s meters. Do you go in for a full-on fill-up every time you hit the station? Or, are you more of the type to put a certain dollar (or Euro, £, or whatever) in at each visit? Do you have a gas station ritual?

Image: Reaching Utopia


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