Whenever something goes wrong with a car, there’s always the fear of the bill that will come with the repair. Getting the car moving again might mean going nowhere at all until the repair can be afforded.
It may be tempting to attempt a car repair yourself. However, this is becoming more unadvisable as cars become more sophisticated and complex a result of auto technology. Are the savings worth giving it a go, and what other factors should you consider? This article explains why it’s best to leave car repair to a professional.
Cars are Complicated Machines
Cars are now made with as much technology as a computer. They have sensors for all kinds of malfunctions. They monitor fluid levels and pressure levels to help avoid situations like tire blowouts or the engine seizing from lack of oil. But the more clever and sophisticated these machines become, the more things that can go wrong with them. Not only can more go wrong, but there’s more to damage as well.
An untrained pair of hands trying to make a repair might actually cause more damage than they fix. The tiny, fragile parts and cables that make cars run can easily be damaged while trying to get to another part below or around it.
Everyone knows what car they drive, but how many versions of that car is there? Do you know the year of manufacture? Car parts can vary from year to year within the same model with updated technologies or more efficient parts. If you buy the wrong part and try to install it, the car may not run properly. And even if it doesn’t cause more damage to the car, the auto repair shop won’t refund a used part.
Fitting the part might also be tricky if you don’t have the right tools for the job. Having the wrong sized screwdrivers or spanners can cause more damage or make the job more difficult by damaging parts or destroying tops of screw heads.
The sophisticated technology in cars can sometimes be what’s causing the problem. A malfunction or faulty reading can bring the car to a halt, so it’s not just mechanical issues that cause problems within cars anymore. An auto repair specialist will have a special reader which plugs into the onboard computer that can tell if it’s a computer problem or mechanical.
Without a good mechanical knowledge base, it’s probably safer to take the car to an auto repair shop. The damage you could cause can very easily escalate and the bill for repairing those damages will be even higher than if the car had been given to a professional right away.
Debate continues on whether running the air conditioning or driving with the windows down uses more gas. The general consensus is that open windows decrease fuel economy more than a/c does, but only at highway speeds.
Air conditioning uses engine power, which is why it results in the engine using more gas. And the hotter the exterior temperature, the harder the air conditioner works to keep the interior of the vehicle cool. The engine then must work harder too.
Why Open Windows Lower Fuel Economy
Driving with the windows down reduces the aerodynamic quality of vehicles and creates air resistance, or drag, from the wind that enters through the windows. That requires more engine power to propel the vehicle forward.
Which Is Better?
Experts generally say that on the highway, driving with the windows open uses more gas than having the a/c running.
However, Discovery Channel’s MythBusters team conducted an experiment that didn’t support this. With two identical sport utility vehicles on Altamont Raceway in California moving at the same speed (45 miles per hour), they found that the model with the a/c running ran out of gas before the one with the windows rolled down did. In fact, the SUV with the open windows ran a full 15 miles further than the other one did.
The study’s results are intriguing, but they also are lacking. The results could be different for:
other vehicle models
higher or lower speeds
the size of the open window space
the air conditioner setting
the exterior temperature
Speeding along a highway at 70 miles per hour with the windows down might use more fuel than running a/c would.
In fact, the Society of Automotive Engineers did its own study and found that the effect of open windows on SUV gas mileage was much less dramatic than with full-size sedans. That’s because SUVs aren’t aerodynamic in shape.
Both vehicle models in the study had V-8 engines. It’s still unclear exactly how these issues affect smaller, sleeker cars without that level of horsepower.
In general, you’ll save more money on gas with the windows up and the air conditioning on at highway speeds. Turn off the a/c and open the windows when you’re driving at slower speeds if it’s not too uncomfortable. That will save money and delay any needs for air conditioning service due to wear and tear over time.
The only thing worse than driving in winter weather is driving a car that isn’t properly prepared for winter’s cold and snowy conditions. To get your car ready for whatever winter may throw at you, follow these simple five steps.
You wouldn’t run a marathon without stretching out or addressing your health. Your car needs the same kind of loving care. Now is the time to take it in for whatever routine maintenance it might require. Get an oil and air filter change, and ask your mechanic to check your car’s fluids–including antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid–and top off any that are low. Have your battery and all your headlights, taillights, and turn signals checked.
If you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, ask your mechanic to inspect your tires for wear. If possible, do some research on the best all-weather tires or invest in a set of snow tires that can be switched out for your regular tires each autumn
Get your paperwork in order
This is good advice for any time of the year, but when you run the chances of sliding off the road on ice, hitting deer or other animals that are more active in fall and winter, or being involved in fender-benders, you’ll want to make sure your paperwork is in order.
Make sure your driver’s license is up to date. Put proof of insurance in your glove compartment box. Consider joining an automotive club like AAA, and make sure you have your membership card and their number in your car or wallet.
Have the necessary numbers on your phone
It’s never a bad idea to have a few phone numbers or apps at the ready on your phone so you don’t have to be searching for them under duress. Is there a towing company in the area that you trust? Program in their number. Ditto with ride-sharing or taxi services. While you’re at it, make sure your contacts are all up-to-date. You never know when an accident or traffic conditions might make you late to an appointment or to pick up a child at school; make sure you’ve thought through your backup plans.
Do the little low-tech things to give you an edge in winter driving
In addition to snow tires, a little bit of additional weight in the trunk of your car can help stabilize it in snowy conditions. Consider buying a bag of water softener salt, sand, or even kitty litter to use as fifty additional pounds of ballast. Bonus points: if you need a bit of traction under your wheels, you can always open the bag and spread the sand or kitty litter in front of or behind your wheels.
If you’re interested, now might also be the time to ask someone to show you how to check tire pressure or even change a tire. These can be valuable skills to help maintain your car or help you in an emergency when auto clubs or tow trucks are busy with other stranded motorists.
Prepare a “winter-ready” kit for your car
Make a list of supplies that you need for both your car and anybody who might be riding in it. For the car, you will want to have an ice scraper and snow brush, a small snow shovel, jumper cables, traction mats (in addition to the sand or kitty litter), a flashlight, and possibly even some basic tools like a wrench or screwdriver set.
For yourself and your passengers, always have a box or kit with extra hats, scarves, mittens, and a blanket. Depending on how far you will be traveling, you might also want to pack a gallon of distilled water, a few high-protein snack bars, and a pack of disposable wipes or paper towels. Assemble a basic first-aid kit and put that in your trunk as well.
With a little bit of planning and preparation, both you and your car can be prepared for many of winter’s surprises.
Car troubles are often unexpected, but many potential problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and checkups.
5 things to keep in your car
1. Spare tire
Most cars come equipped with a spare tire, or a donut. Donuts are smaller than normal tires and are only designed to be driven on for a short period of time, about 50 miles. When not used, these tires have a longer shelf life–typically 8-10 years. The consistent heat from inside the car, as well as the passage of time, causes the rubber to dry out. This results in worse traction for an already inferior tire. If you haven’t replaced the spare that sits in your trunk in a decade, it’s time to do so now. If you ever use your spare tire to swap out for a flat, make sure you replace it as soon as possible. Spare tires should not be reused because of their very short mileage lifespan.
Proper tire pressure is an important but often forgotten aspect of car maintenance. Low tire pressure can cause any number of issues, from low gas mileage to a potential tire blowout. Checking your air pressure regularly can prevent these problems from occurring. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your car for quick and easy access and use it often. Your car’s owner manual should have a recommended PSI level for your vehicle.
3. Jumper cables
A dead car battery is a great inconvenience, but by already having jumper cables, you’ve won half the battle. Using jumper cables and a friendly person’s car to recharge your battery is much cheaper and usually faster than calling a tow truck or a roadside assistance company like AAA. You can also use your jumper cables to help out someone else in a jam, saving them time and money as well.
4. Windshield washer fluid
While you may not need to refill it often, it’s crucial to have windshield washer fluid on hand. The reservoir can seem to last forever, making it easy to forget to refill it. Running out of washer fluid is dangerous because you’re unable to wash away anything on your windshield, so your visibility while driving can be greatly reduced. Keep the tank topped off so you never come close to empty.
5. Pen and paper
Keeping a pen and paper on hand comes in handy for many situations, but it’s especially important to keep in the car. If you ever hit a parked car without the owner in sight, you’ll have to leave a note, and there’s no other way to do so than by tucking a piece of paper under the windshield wiper blades.
These 5 items may not be needed for everyday purposes, but they’re invaluable to keep on hand. In case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you prepared. Some of these tools will keep an emergency from happening in the first place. When there’s a possibility of breaking down on the side of the road or being unable to drive safely, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keeping your car carefully maintained and fully serviced is vital for extending its life and reducing repair bills over the long term. But not all maintenance needs to involve the expense of a qualified auto mechanic. There are three areas of car health which anyone can monitor with ease, but will help to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely.
Your car’s tires are fundamental to its performance and safety and should be inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good condition. Start off by checking the tire pressures at least once a month, and topping them up with air if needed. Keeping your car’s tires properly inflated reduces wear and tear to extend their life, improves grip for better safety, and cuts fuel consumption for lower costs at the gas station.
But there’s more to tire maintenance than just pressure. Tread depth is essential for a safe grip, especially under slippery conditions, and checking it should become a regular habit. All the treads on each tire should be at least 1/16th of an inch deep to be legal, and preferably a little deeper to give an extra margin for safety.
And what’s more, the depth should be relatively even across the whole of each tire’s surface, and also across each tire. Any spots of shallow tread will make handling more unpredictable and increase the risks of accidents. Tires will wear out at different rates under normal use, but tire rotation as part of regular servicing will help to even this effect out.
Lastly, for tires, any bulges, cracks, or bubbles in the rubber’s surface should be dealt with immediately by booking an appointment at your local tire change center. Even small problems in the tire structure can lead to dangerous blowouts when the rubber is under stress at high speeds.
Maintaining the engine itself is a job best left to an expert, but there’s plenty that any driver can look after under the hood. First, take a look at the various belts and hoses that connect the different parts of the mechanics together. If any of them look damaged or frayed or even just discolored, it’s best to check in to a repair shop to have them replaced. The cost will be tiny compared to the damage that a complete failure of worn-out components could cause.
Next, check that your coolant levels are high enough so that your engine is protected from overheating. This is easy to do using the scale on the side of the coolant reservoir, but always wait until the engine is fully cooled down before measuring.
Lastly, the oil level is also easy to check on most modern cars. If the level gets too low, topping it up is also easy. However, if you need to add oil frequently between service appointments, it could be a sign of a leak in the system, and you should have it checked out.
Lastly, the final round of checks involves the lights and other electrical features. Every so often, check that all the interior and exterior lights work as they’re supposed to. Look for any unexpected dimming when you turn on an electrical feature like the air conditioning, as this could indicate a battery that’s failing to supply enough charge. Do all the internal electronics work properly, especially when the engine is first turned on? Any strange behavior early in a drive could again be a sign that the electrical system isn’t receiving enough power, and that the battery may need replacing.
Lastly, turn on the climate control, air conditioning, or heating system, and check for any strange odors or noises as you move through the different settings. Problems might be as minor as a dirty filter that needs changing, but it’s better to catch any issue early to be on the safe side.
There’s no substitute for scheduled servicing by qualified auto mechanics, but every little extra you can do in between expert appointments can make your car run more smoothly, increase its safety, and cut down on repair bills.
Is it time for new tires? Tires play an important role in keeping you safe while driving on the road. However, worn-out tires increase the chance of suffering an accident or can cause you to be stranded on the side of a highway due to suffering a blowout. Staying proactive by replacing your tires can save you a lot of stress while also improving safety.
Here are five signs that’s it time for you to purchase new tires for your vehicle.
1) Lack of Air Pressure
Low tire pressure can often result in a blowout if you don’t take the time to put air in your tires. Modern vehicles will immediate notify you if you need to put more air in a tire. You may also have a leak if you are constantly receiving low-tire pressure notifications. Getting your tire inspected is a good idea to see if you need a patch or a replacement.
2) Not Enough Tire Tread
One of the obvious signs of needing new tires is a low amount of tire tread. Not enough tread increases the likelihood of suffering a blowout. One simple way to determine your tire tread is to place a penny inside the groove of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing you and upside down. If you can still view his whole head, it’s time for you to purchase new tires.
3) Excessive Shaking or Vibration
Driving a vehicle that’s constantly shaking is always a frustrating experience. While it’s normal for a vehicle to shake while driving on a poorly paved road, it isn’t common to experience excessive shaking or vibration while driving down a smooth highway. Excessive shaking is a possible sign that you have a problem with the interior of your tire, and it needs to be replaced.
Many tire manufacturers offer a tread-wear warranty that guarantees them to last for a specific amount of years or miles. These warranties can often range anywhere between 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Once your tires have surpassed this warranty date, it’s a smart idea to consider making a replacement to avoid any potential problems.
5) Cracked Rubber
Cracked rubber tires are never safe to drive on due to the increased chance of an accident. These tires can eventually begin to crack due to age or poor alignment. Checking your tires on a frequent basis is a good way for you to notice any signs of cracking. Replacing these tires as soon as possible is essential in keeping you much safer while on the road.
Many people don’t even think about their tires until it’s too late. Trying to repair a flat or replace a tire on your own is often a time-consuming and stressful experience. Staying proactive by replacing your tires in advance can save you a lot of hard work. Keeping all of these different things in mind will help you determine the best time to replace your tires before you experience an accident on the road.
Love it or hate it, the Urus has become Lamborghini’s most popular model. This year, the Italian automaker produced their 15,000th Urus SUV. Why do people like it so much? The Lamborghini Urus is a rather schizophrenic vehicle. On one hand, it’s brutally powerful and fast. On the other hand, it’s luxurious and spacious. It’s a supercar pretending to be a daily driver and that’s quite a feat to pull off.
In a company press release, Lamborghini’s CEO Stefano Domenicali lauded that “The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV. The Urus elevates the SUV to a level not previously possible, the Super SUV. It is a true Lamborghini in terms of design, performance, driving dynamics, and emotion as well as drivable every day in a range of environments,” said the Automobili Lamborghini Chairman.
Lamborghini Urus Aerodynamic Design and Bold Style
The exterior design of the Urus SUV isn’t very distinctive. It has many of the same proportions as the Audi Q7. After all, both the Q7 and the Urus come from the Volkswagen Group. However, the Lamborghini Urus manages to cut its own cloth in several different ways.
For starters, the Urus has the best weight-to-power ratio in its class. For as much technology that the Volkswagen Group threw at the Urus, it’s not the heaviest super SUV on the market at 4,847 pounds. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT weighs 5,000 lbs. and the Bentley Bentayga weighs 5,324 lbs.
The Urus just looks heavy. The front of the Urus SUV has a grille that adds character to the vehicle. It has large slats on the sides of the nose that taper to a thin line in the middle. The hood has distinctive Lamborghini bodywork and styling. The profile has sharp angles and hexagonal symmetry that resembles other supercars in the Lamborghini stable. The roof sweeps down in a coupe-like fashion. The rear has quad exhaust ports, wraparound taillights, and a rather blunted tail end.
Performance Specs for the Lamborghini Urus
The beating heart of the Urus is a twin-turbo 4.0 Liter V8 engine. It produces 650 horsepower and maxes out at 6,800 RPMs. Now, that’s relatively tame for a Lamborghini. You’ll still enjoy a loud, distinct exhaust note, but don’t expect that many shrieks and pops. It’s a subdued Lambo, but it can still blow the doors off the competition. This SUV also has access to 850 Nm of torque that is mostly supplied to the rear wheels. The Urus travels from zero to 60 MPH in 3 seconds flat and reaches a top speed of 189 miles per hour.
The Urus employs an 8-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. The stability and all-wheel drive capabilities of the Urus are top-notch. It comes with active torque vectoring and four-wheel steering. Each wheel can steer independently for enhanced stability.
There are seven driving modes. You can find the ANIMA handle inside the cockpit. It’s a manual control that toggles through strada, sport, corsa, sabbia, terra, neve, and ego modes. Strada mode is for daily drives and Corsa is for maximum performance. If roads are slippery, you can choose Neve. The Ego mode allows the driver to customize the traction, suspension, and steering to their own specifications.
The interior of the Urus is dominated by the center stack. It’s a delightful mix of tactile controls and touchscreen displays. Marty McFly would feel at home inside the Urus, but this SUV doesn’t need to get back to the future. It’s doing just fine as the premiere SUV supercar of the moment.
There are two main touchscreen displays. Both deliver haptic feedback when you key in different functions and settings. The menu buttons are oversized and easy to read. There’s a 21 speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system on board and the Urus also has voice recognition software.
The Urus is shockingly spacious. There are 21.75 cubic feet of cargo space and two different seating configurations. With bucket seats, the Urus fits four passengers. With a rear bench, it fits five. The materials are upscale and diverse. You can configure a Lamborghini Urus with your choice of carbon fiber, leather, wood inlays, and Alcantara.
Is it Safe to Drive a Lamborghini Urus?
Russian driver Andrey Leontyev spoke about the Urus after setting a new high-speed record across the ice, Leontyev had this to say in a press interview about the Lamborghini Urus. “I am certain that even a fairly inexperienced driver could still perform well in this vehicle if they were to step onto the racetrack. But that same person would also be able to drive the car to their summer home or to the countryside with friends.”
The Lamborghini Urus has 40-millimeter-thick carbon-ceramic brakes in the front and 30 mm thick brakes in the rear. It can go from 62 MPH to a full stop after about 37 meters. There’s adaptive air suspension onboard and the Urus has active roll stabilization technology.
As a member of the Volkswagen Group, this SUV has all the latest safety technology on its options list. Owners can choose from a number of advanced safety features in three different packages. They’re called ADAS or advanced driver assistance systems. You can equip the Urus with blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, self-parking, and more.
Final Lap in the Urus
The Lamborghini Urus is popping up in suburbs all across America but that doesn’t mean it’s not a supercar. It has a powerful twin-turbo V8 engine, advanced racing technology, and the look of a Lamborghini. The Urus also has a supercar price tag. It carries an MSRP of $218,009.
The Urus is faster than the Bentley Bentayga and the Cayenne Turbo GT from Porsche. If you want to feel the thrill of having your back pressed in the seat every time you get behind the wheel, then the Urus could be your daily driver. It does have all the safety and tech features that motorists want from an SUV. Those features are just wrapped in a hulking, neon, fire-spitting frame.
Here’s a closer look at what to do when your vehicle’s engine gets hot and is overheating. Have you ever been driving along and watched in horror as that little arrow on your instrument cluster started to tip a little too far to the right? What’s happening to your vehicle? Were you starting to panic?
You shouldn’t be too worried. Your vehicle probably isn’t about to burst into flames, but you do need to take action. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse. It’s not the sort of problem that fixes itself.
You might be thinking – Hey, I’m not a mechanic. What can I do to fix this problem?
The important thing is not to panic. You also don’t want to make the problem worse. Auto mechanics have years of training and expertise in this area. So, it’s best to seek professional help when there’s a problem with your vehicle overheating. However, there are some tips and tricks that can save you money and time when you first start to notice that your temperature gauge is in the red.
First, you need to identify the reason why your temperature gauge is reading hot.
First: It’s entirely possible that your vehicle’s thermostat isn’t working properly. You could be getting a false reading if the temperature switch has malfunctioned. It’s important to look for other indicators to get a clear picture of what’s going on.
Second: The problem could be related to your vehicle’s water pump. If a gasket has worn down or if the pump itself is broken, then your engine won’t be able to cool itself properly. Check to see if your water pump is making a whining noise or if there’s coolant leaking from it.
Third: Your engine could be overheating if the coolant isn’t reaching the engine. This is a very real problem that most motorists will face at some point in their vehicle’s life span. You could have a faulty gasket or hose. It will need to be replaced immediately.
Troubleshooting Tips for an Overheating Engine
engine coolant reservoir
If you’re riding in your vehicle and you start to notice that your temperature gauge is climbing to the right, then the easiest thing to do is pull over safely to the side of the road. If you’re already a member of a roadside assistance service like AAA, then put in the call and have your vehicle towed to the nearest mechanic.
Turn off AC
If you don’t have the means to get roadside assistance, then the first thing you want to do is turn off your air conditioning and open all of your windows. This makes it a bit easier for your vehicle to keep itself cool if it doesn’t have to work so hard keeping you cool. Yeah, you might break a sweat, but more air will circulate to your engine.
Hopefully, the temperature gauge will have at least slowed its progress to the dreaded red zone. Then again, it might not have done the trick. You need to start thinking about getting off the road and finding a safe spot to pull over.
Turn off Engine
Once you pull over, take a few deep breaths, and turn off your vehicle. Pop the hood open and give it some time to cool down with the engine off before you do anything else. This is where patience will benefit you the most because you’ll need about fifteen to twenty minutes to let the engine cool back down.
Now, open the hood and locate the radiator. If you’re standing in front of your vehicle’s grille, the radiator is that flat piece of equipment directly beneath your belt buckle. You’ll notice there’s a big twist cap on the top. The radiator is responsible for housing the coolant fluid for your vehicle. It circulates the coolant fluid around your engine so that all the mechanical actions of the pistons don’t tax your engine too heavily. Without coolant or water, the engine will simply get too hot and seize up.
So, double-check that your engine is off and that your vehicle has been cooling down for about twenty minutes. You never want to open the radiator cap of a hot vehicle while the engine is running. You don’t even need to open the radiator cap even if your engine has been running hot, so avoid accessing the radiator directly.
Just take a look around and locate the coolant reservoir. There are usually two plastic containers near the radiator. One keeps windshield wiper fluid and the other keeps coolant for your engine. That’s the one you want. Hopefully, you have an emergency supply of coolant fluid or water in your vehicle. You can find it at nearly any auto supply store. So, pick up a jug or two at your earliest convenience.
Now, open the coolant recovery tank and pour some additional fluid inside. You can use water. There’s a maximum fill line on the side. So, make sure you don’t exceed that level. Once you’ve filled the reservoir, screw the cap back on tightly.
Next, you want to take a look underneath your vehicle. What you’re looking for is any obvious signs of a leak. The leak could be coming from a tube, or it could be leaking from the radiator itself. What you want to check for is whether you have a large leak or a small one. With a large leak, you won’t be able to prevent your engine from overheating for very long, but if the leak is small enough, you’ll be able to limp to the nearest service center or possibly make it back to your own driveway.
What if That Didn’t Work?
If you get back into your vehicle and drive away, then prepare for a tense ride. You’ll be watching that temperature gauge like a hawk. You should never drive too far when the gauge is in the red zone. So, pull over and repeat the steps from before if needed.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the gauge will go back to cold and then rapidly rise again. If the gauge reading is all over the place, then you might have a faulty thermostat. It’s a common mechanical problem. You might be able to replace it yourself, but it’s a pretty straightforward procedure for an auto mechanic.
The other potential cause of an overheating engine is a faulty water pump. If your thermostat is still running hot after you fill the coolant and you notice that the gauge is gradually heading toward the red zone, then you need to pull over and listen to your vehicle.
Pop the hood and listen to the sound of your engine. Do you hear any whining noises or unusual hissing sounds. It might even sound like your engine is squealing. That could be related to the water pump. This is a serious malfunction, and you’d better get off the road immediately. No amount of fluid top-ups will help you when the water pump isn’t working properly. Get your vehicle to a repair shop because you’ll need to have that water pump replaced ASAP.
Wrapping it Up
If you’ve never sweated out a good shirt because your engine ran hot, then you haven’t been driving long enough. It’s a common problem, especially with older model vehicles. Yet, it’s not the end of the world and your car isn’t going to explode if you know how to properly handle the situation.
The best thing to do is stop driving and call for roadside assistance. Get your vehicle to a repair shop and let a professional auto mechanic accurately assess the problem. If you have to make it a few extra miles, then be sure to keep some coolant fluid in your vehicle for emergency purposes.
You can pull over and cool off your engine for a while. You can also replace some lost fluids, but not every problem has to do with a loss of coolant. You could have a faulty thermostat or water pump. You can determine which one it is by listening to your engine, looking on the pavement for a leak, and watching your temperature gauge closely.
Hopefully, these tips will help you stay calm in a troubling situation. Getting to know your vehicle is the best way to assess any mechanical problem, so spend some time under the hood and get well-acquainted with your owner’s manual. It might not be a thrilling read, but it’s got lots of vital information.
WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade is located in Vancouver, Washington and houses a premium collection of cars, engines and automobilia. If you like cars stop by their museum of unique and rare automobiles from as far back as the 1930s.
WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade
Today, I headed up to WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade to check out their cars & coffee scene. I missed that event, but I did check out the museum. Not only will you find photos of some of the Ron Wade car collection below, be sure to watch the video above. I covered every car in the building and even the ones their currently working on in the shop!
What I always found curious about the WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade was the WAAAM part, as that stands for Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, which is a very cool museum in Hood River, Oregon. I’ve actually been to the museum and it’s awesome! Here’s the link to my article and video.
Seems that Ron Wade is friends with Terry Brandt who is the owner and founder of WAAAM. As the story was told to me, Terry asked Ron if he would bring some of his cars down to the museum. Ron told Terry no, but he would buy him a building instead and as far as I know, that’s how WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade came into existence.
Chevs of the 40s
So the building is a renovated auto dealership. In the back two rooms you’ll find a select collection of premium, exotic, classic, and antique vehicles. However, in the front, which I’m guessing was once the showroom, you’ll find, Chevs of the 40’s which is the worlds most complete supplier of 1937 to 1954 Chevrolet Car and Truck parts which Ron also owns.
WAAAM West Location
Address: 1015 NE 78th St, Vancouver, WA 98665
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Thursday
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Friday
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Saturday
The 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is one of the most impressive vehicles to come out of British automaker Aston Martin in a long time. It’s a super grand tourer with a V12 engine, sleek styling, and a whopper of a price tag. The DBS Superleggera is available in two different body styles. There’s the two door coupe and the stunning droptop volante. The DBS Superleggera delivers a phenomenal ride quality and might be one of the last great front engine V12 supercars.
Powerful Engineering of the 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
The 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is fitted with a 5.2 Liter bi-turbo V12 engine. It’s capable of achieving 715 horsepower and 663 pound feet of torque. The engine is mid-mounted but accessible from the front of the vehicle. With the optional carbon fiber casing, the engine has an artistic beauty all its own.
The Superleggera coupe can reach a top track speed of 211 miles per hour and travel from naught to 62 MPH in 3.4 seconds. The volante is only a few tenths of a second off those numbers. An 8 speed ZF automatic transmission shunts power to the rear wheels of the DBS Superleggera. It has electrically controlled exhaust and the roar is absolutely intoxicating.
The suspension setup features independent double wishbone coil springs in the front and a multi-link coil spring system in the rear. The Superleggera’s suspension is bolstered by an Adaptive Dampening System (ADS). It has three different settings: GT, Sport, and Sport Plus.
The Superleggera has serious stopping power to match its blistering acceleration. There are carbon ceramic brakes discs in the front and rear. There are also eight different electronic stability control systems at play here such as hydraulic brake assist, dynamic torque vectoring and electronic brakeforce distribution.
The Exterior Style of the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
At first glance, the DBS Superleggera definitely has the look of the Aston Martin stable. It has a large mesh grille in the front that flows air right over a finely sculpted clamshell bonnet. The hood opens from rear to front. There are large air intake ports in the lower portion of the front fascia and in the side paneling, as well. The profile of this supercar is complemented by 21-inch Y-spoke wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires. The rear fenders are wide and muscular. The rear track is also much wider than the front. Whether full titanium or matte black, the quad exhaust ports highlight the rear of the vehicle quite nicely. In truth, the body style of the DBS Superleggera is just a blueprint. Owners can choose from a myriad of colors and fully customize the Superleggera before it drives off the lot.
The DBS Superleggera Cockpit
The 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera promises luxury at your own specification. Owners can fully customize their cockpit with a wealth of choices in accents, upholstery, colors, and amenities. Perhaps Porsche is the only other automaker that offers this level of selection. Everything from the ceiling headliner to the carpet on the floorboards can be customized, even the color of your seatbelt restraints. If creativity isn’t your strong point, then Aston Martin’s designers are more than happy to outfit the DBS Superleggera in a finely tailored trim. Double-O Seven would be proud.
There are several upholstery choices – full leather, two-toned leather and Alcantara. Some of the leather packages can be downright garish with bright red, yellow or loud blue tones. The quilted pattern and contrast stitching of the leather upholstery gives the cockpit an almost reptilian aesthetic. Aside from full leather, the DBS Superleggera can be outfitted with an Alcantara environment, giving it a softer and sportier vibe.
This is a driver’s vehicle. It’s better suited for two occupants, but there is room for four passengers inside the DBS Superleggera. The interior of the DBS Superleggera is missing a ton of touchscreen real estate though. Most luxury vehicles look like movie theaters on wheels, but the Superleggera is much more austere. The center stack of the Superleggera has push button controls for most essential functions and a small touchscreen above the air conditioning vents. There’s also a digital instrument cluster for the driver. Otherwise, there isn’t much inside the cockpit to take your attention away from the driving experience.
Staying Safe in the DBS Superleggera
As is the case with most supercars, you shouldn’t expect technological safety features like lane keeping assist and pedestrian detection. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera doesn’t sacrifice space for these amenities. It does come with electronic stability controls and extra large ceramic brakes.
However, there are some safety features that might surprise you. This supercar comes with a 360 degree camera and parking sensors in the front and rear. There’s a tire pressure monitoring system, advanced airbags around the cabin, and blind spot detection. For the most part, you’ve got to do all the work when it comes to keeping this V12 beast under control.
Aston Martin at the Finish Line
The 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is hard to criticize. It’s elegant, powerful, and timely. Aston Martin delivers the super GT at a moment when the automotive industry as a whole is preparing to pivot toward electrification. That makes V12 supercars like the DBS Superleggera something like a time-stamped masterpiece.
Part of the delight in owning a DBS Superleggera from Aston Martin is customizing the vehicle. There are endless style options at your disposal, so each DBS Superleggera has the potential to be personalized to the owner’s preference. You can go for subtle sophistication or hate-me-now brashness. It’s all there in the optional equipment list.
The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera can cost upwards of $300,000. Clearly, it’s priced in the supercar stratosphere. There are cheaper supercars on the market, but few that can match the Superleggera’s charm and panache. It’s a singular automobile. The name translates to “superlight” but this is a heavy vehicle. The rear wheels can be a bit difficult to scoot around corners, but once you do, there’s nothing but horsepower waiting to fill the gap.