What’s your automotive news for the week?

Well folks, I got nothing for you this week. As the world hits the pause button on life until further notice, the automotive sector is just one of many that is effectively shut down. A minuscule side effect of that means there’s also not much car stuff to report on. That doesn’t mean manufacturers are doing nothing though – far from it. Similar to how Detroit went to war in WW2 by building an “Arsenal of Democracy”, they’re going to war against this pandemic by shifting production to much-needed medical supplies. I recommend following Autoweek’s coverage to learn more about what OEMs are doing since they’re able to keep up with a situation that changes as rapidly as this one.

As for today’s news recap though, I’m opening it up to you. Let’s talk cars with each other on a Friday when we’re stuck at home, shall we? If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend and be safe.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

28 Comments

  1. Far, far northern Minnesota continues to have so many perks – so far, the only Corona here is sold in 12 packs (for now – hopefully it stays that way and heartfelt thoughts and prayers for EVERYONE afflicted and affected)
    Automotively – I ordered a programmer to recalibrate the pickup’s speedo/odo after my tire increase. Pretty cool little unit (although funny, it wouldn’t work when it was cold out and I had to warm up the cab). Glad I had a GPS to check it against, because the programmed tire size is about an inch different than the actual tire size.
    Weather forecasts call for hot weather next week (they’re talking temps into the 50’s!) and the snow will soon be gone – the MiSSus has been itching to get her hot rod back on the road.
    Snowmobiles went back to the toy factory this week, but the MiSSus put in her snowcheck order for next winter (850 VR1 and an 850 Pro-S. Hellya!)

    Stay safe everyone

  2. The only automotive news I have is that my classic in the garage is just sitting there depressed waiting to be run. It’s funny how it just looks depressed.

    1. I feel your pain. Forecast is predicting snow around freezing point here, which means salty roads. No social distancing on four wheels for me.

  3. I haven’t done much in the way of car stuff this week besides taking the Mustang for walks occasionally to get food on the near empty roads. But I did get Jeff to spend his money on iRacing so I consider that a win.

  4. Traffic around the house has let up a little. However, there seems to be a considerable uptick in motorcycles blasting by after 10 pm at speeds that are likely well into triple digits.

    1. Honestly, I have entertained the thought to take a mountain trip myself. Not to race some snowflakes or reindeer, but to enjoy great scenery and winding roads in what may potentially feel like a living car advertisement. But these social isolation weeks have flown by mercilessly, so, so far, none of that has happened. The police here is telling media that they catch people doing twice the speed limit currently, which is usually rare, but now a daily thing.

    2. Honestly, I have entertained the thought to take a mountain trip myself. Not to race some snowflakes or reindeer, but to enjoy great scenery and winding roads in what may potentially feel like a living car advertisement. But these social isolation weeks have flown by mercilessly, so, so far, none of that has happened. The police here is telling media that they catch people doing twice the speed limit currently, which is usually rare, but now a daily thing.

    3. Honestly, I have entertained the thought to take a mountain trip myself. Not to race some snowflakes or reindeer, but to enjoy great scenery and winding roads in what may potentially feel like a living car advertisement. But these social isolation weeks have flown by mercilessly, so, so far, none of that has happened. The police here is telling media that they catch people doing twice the speed limit currently, which is usually rare, but now a daily thing.

  5. A few weeks back I took my G70 to a local detailing shop to have its paint corrected (boy did it need it…I’m sure the commentariat here is already well aware, but any time a dealership offers a wash or detail service, DON’T TAKE IT) and get a ceramic coating applied to lock in the freshly-polished goodness. Right around now was when it was due to have its one-month “checkup” (looking for any high spots or places where the ceramic coat didn’t cure properly, as well as going over care and washing tips and recommendations). I assumed I’d have to postpone that, but I was happily surprised to find that they were still open (makes enough sense; they’re a small, I think two-person, shop off of a quiet street, not likely to have a lot of interaction or attract a lot of attention). Got me out of the house for a nice drive, and got that all done and taken care of.

    Also got to admire a Viper ACR that was in the shop for a full-body paint protection film wrap (the guy who walked me through the wash process for my car commented that the timing of shelter-in-place had worked out well for them; they’re devoting a lot of time to doing the work on the Viper, anyway, so instead of having or needing a lot of customer cars in and out, they have one big job to sustain them and they get to focus mostly on it).

  6. Haven’t really done car stuff here either unless you count putting out a car club newsletter (events calendar updated to show everything cancelled/postponed), but the traffic is probably 10% of normal and have been getting places twice as quickly on the few trips out I did.

  7. After an epic battle with a stuck DIN clip and a head scratcher over whether a wire was red or orange my new used truck has a working CD player. Total outlay $20 for a single DIN adapter and wiring harness and 2 1/2 hours of cussing to get the old double DIN out and the new one powering on. On the bright side I got to drive a pickup down a dirt road listening to Robert Earl Keen.

  8. Plugged in the battery maintainer. Over 24hrs later it still doesn’t show that the battery on the SUV is charged to 100%. I need to find my other one, I’m pretty sure I brought it home after I used it to get the battery in the MIL’s Mustang convertible before it came out of its winter sleep.

  9. Lots happening with my fleet.

    Oldest’s Mazda3 cracked a shock mount, so that’s getting replaced today. Every repair on this car threatens to doom it, it’s so far gone with rust and burning so much oil. But this should be a $30 fix so it’ll live to see another day. She’s driving the Ranger in the mean time.

    The youngest’s Protege lost a muffler this week and my go to local cheap exhaust shop doesn’t seem to be open. She’s also not working so it is probably OK. I pulled the dangling muffler and told her that if she has to go anywhere it’ll just be loud. No need to suggest that they turn the radio up.

    The wife’s Accord Hybrid is saying it’s time for service. It supposedly needs an oil change, tire rotation and transmission fluid change. The last is odd since the hybrid doesn’t really have a transmission in the traditional sense. Need to do some research on that.

    And I still need to get the shocks and struts done on the BMW.

      1. My Prius has a CVT, I’m not sure about other Toyota Hybrids, but I think the Accord system is pretty unique. It really has nothing that resumbles a traditional transmission. Here’s an article explaining it:

        https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15114066/explaining-the-honda-accords-shrewdly-designed-new-hybrid-system-tech-dept/

        “What’s clever about Honda’s latest innovation is that it has no transmission. At least, none in the conventional sense. There are four gearsets between the electric and combustion power sources and the front wheels, but all drive ratios are fixed.”

        I suppose those gearsets must operate in some kind of lubricant, wish is what probably needs to be changed.

        1. So it’s electric drive with the engine coming in at 43 mph, effectively in top gear I suppose.

          Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive doesn’t use the same sort of cvt as most, no cones and belts/chains.

  10. Hooray! Econoline passed SMOG, and with flying colors! Also the roads are empty. And touchscreens are gross.

    When I bought the truck, the dealer had retarded the timing so far (I assume to pass SMOG) that the thing overheated and got 8 mpg. IDK how he got by even then. My guy fixed the timing, which got rid of the overheating; still horrendous mileage.

    This time around (we test every 2 years) it was blowing NO at 1750 ppm, over the max 1550 ppm, and the HCs were bumping the needle at 114 out of 138. My guy replaced and repaired “pretty much everything he could reach”. This included the fiddly overdrive cutout button, reviving the check engine light and replacing all the 30 year old evaporation and vacuum hoses. Bonus: the hood now opens without needing two people, and for some reason all the speeds on the heater fan work. All for just $300!

    That also got the mileage up to 12, but only got the NO down to 1700 and the HCs down to 86. After putting in a catalytic converter the size of an Austin Mini engine ($850 for the California model) the NO is 920 out of 1550 and the HCs are down to 23 out of 138. All those years of running out of spec really toasted the old cat.

    The fun part of all this was I had a genuine essential services related reason to throw a can of Sea Foam in the tank and rail the Econoline all the way around San Francisco Bay at 70 mph; gotta clean those injectors before the new cat goes in! I seriously didn’t touch the brakes for 160 miles. The Bay Area is really quite beautiful; it’s just overlooked mostly because there’s always 10,000 tech bros trying to kill you on the road.

    Epilogue: I just went to this wonderful thing called a DMV Kiosk, in the supermarket, since my registration expires on Tuesday. It was fun to skip the line of shoppers all standing 6 feet apart, but of course, the damned kiosk is a touch screen. Needs some Purell.

  11. From my hometown, which is disproportionately being affected by the virus. No large group gatherings, social distancing, etc.; but they didn’t say you couldn’t have a car caravan roll by the homes of the families suffering.

  12. I am sitting here writing something, and for that, I checked the vehicle registry to get some data about my Honda Stream. Turns out, the boy I sold it to gave it up a month ago. It was junked in late February. Heartbroken!

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