Friday, January 31, 2014

Guest Post: 3 Days and Nights - 2013 Dodge Charger SE

This is our first, of what we hope will be many, guest post and comes to us from a friend, Christine T., in Richmond, VA. If you are interested in contributing a post, please submit your idea through the Contact Us page and we will reach out to you to discuss.

From the southern garage of Richmond, VA, comes a review of the 2013 Dodge Charger SE. During the drive, weather ranged from freezing and downpours to sunny and clement. Driving consisted of stop and putter along the inner city, speeding down the highway late for a conference, and cruising around town with a friend. Overall? I really enjoyed it, and the few complaints that I had are relatively minor.

The captain’s seat is easily adjustable and comfortable, which is important when you’re a compact 5’ pilot. Seats are firm and held me comfortably in place on aggressive turns, but some may find more lumbar support desirable. The thicker multi-function steering wheel is comfortable and easy to use, even with my small paws. Driver visibility and rear passenger headroom are marginalized by the sporty body style.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Innovation: Audi Traffic Light Assist

Image courtesy of Yahoo! Autos
It is rare that new driver assist technology catches my attention these days as I find much of it extraneous and believe that it has a tendency to promote laziness and poor driving habits. However, at CES this year, Audi introduced a new piece of technology that not only has my interest, but just might be something that I would actually use myself. Called Audi Traffic Light Assist, the technology showcases the ability for Audi's cars to receive information about the upcoming traffic lights along the current path and have a countdown display in the center gauge cluster, helping the driver determine how long before the current light will change. Ostensibly, this means that with just a little forethought, this could help a driver make every green light along their route, allowing them to optimize their travel time.

As a side benefit, this technology could help alleviate some traffic jams as well as help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of time that cars spend idling at stoplights. Display the information on a head-up display in cars or via a helmet, like the upcoming Skully AR-1, for motorcyclists and it could become one of the most useful pieces of automotive technology to have been introduced since in-car GPS.

This is one piece of driver assist technology that I not only hope makes it from concept into production, but I hope spreads itself throughout all manufacturers as it would have some genuine benefits and could be something that makes driving a little more enjoyable and a little more predictable.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Editorial: Has automotive design become stagnant?

With the first auto show of 2014 now over, the automotive press dispersed back to their respective caves to stew over the latest reveals and what that means for the industry, and the automakers all patting themselves on the back for a job well done, it has been a rousing start to what should be an exciting auto show season. However, one thing continues to bother me, which is that, aside from a handful radical concept cars, that ultimately fail to ever make it into production in any form, most of the cars are increasingly starting to look alike.

Jaguar's F-Type convertible, an example of a car I personally
think has a great deal of design innovation, especially from
the front and rear three-quarter angles.
What am I smoking, right? But let's take a minute and look at this closely. Since automakers are increasingly looking to capitalize on whatever is driving demand at the time, nearly all of them have a few very specific goals in mind, which include better aerodynamics to improve fuel economy, bigger grilles to accommodate increased cooling demand for forced induction motors, and the "four-door coupe" look that is all the rage these days with consumers. As a result, many cars are starting to share similar profiles, wheel designs are starting to share common themes, and even the "me too" LED daytime running lights are starting to all blend together.

Some of this is attributable to the distinct style of a few top level designers who have hopped around from automaker to automaker, taking their specific design aesthetic with them as they migrated employers. Ian Callum, who was the chief designer at Aston Martin, carried his signature look onto Jaguar when he landed there. Peter Schreyer, who previously was employed at Audi, has moved onto working for Korean upstart Kia and brought his design influence to both Kia's and Hyundai's latest vehicles. However, even outside of these specific cases, design language continues to converge across the automotive marketplace as consumers have voted on their design preferences with their wallets. Those who dare to stray too far from the desires of the market have been hit with much negative critique from journalists and consumers alike.

Back in August of 2013, Chris Bangle, noted head of design at BMW who penned the controversial BMW 7-series that earned the moniker of "Bangle-butt" for its slightly odd-looking rear decklid, called for the industry to shake things up a bit and try to be more innovative in their designs. However, at the end of the day, manufacturers are in the business of selling cars. As much as they want to be innovative and distinct, they also want to maintain a brand identity and to offer cars that buyers are willing to pay for. Sometimes, it is possible to be too radical, as Acura found out when it introduced the "beak" that adorned the 2009 TL and subsequently alienated a sizable portion of its loyal customers. Other times, it pays to be different, as Hyundai discovered with swift sales of its funky Veloster hatchback. The trick is finding ways to create subtly distinct cues that allow for differentiation while maintaining the right balance of making sure that a new design is fresh and innovative, but does not offend the sensibilities of the buying public. Getting to that point, however, can mean great financial risk.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Driving 101: Winter Driving Tips

With all of the crazy winter weather we have been getting in much of the US lately, I felt it would be appropriate to start our Driving 101 series with some winter driving tips. Growing up in Southern California, the closest we came to winter weather was a little bit of hail on the rare occasion. However, in college, I had my first experience with true winter weather when, during a particular cold snap, I experienced a run-in with the side of a mountain after hitting a patch of black ice high up in the mountains. Following that experience, I made it a point of learning how to handle myself in even the worst conditions and was ultimately able to get to a point where I felt like I could tackle most any winter driving condition.

What follows are some of the lessons that I learned and are focused on not only keeping you and your passengers safe, but also making sure that the road conditions are safe for everyone else using the roads.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Product Review: Centric 120 Series Rotors and Stoptech Street Performance Pads

In my third long term post about my S2000, I mentioned that I had needed to change the front brake pads and rotors. Not wanting to pay an exorbitant amount for the OEM Honda brake pads and rotors, I did a little digging around and found what I believe to be the best pad and rotor combination for my driving needs.

StopTech Street Performance Brake Pads

Image Courtesy of The Tire Rack
When I had my 1997 Honda Accord LX back during my time in college, I had already experienced two different sets of aftermarket brake pads: Brembo Sport brake pads and the Hawk HPS Street brake pads. Between the two set of pads, I was most satisfied with the Brembo Sport brake pads. Unfortunately, they are not available for the S2000 (at least they were not at the time of this review), and I never liked the fact that the Hawk HPS pads performed somewhat poorly when cold. Luckily, StopTech had recently introduced the Street Performance pads for the S2000. Knowing that StopTech is a reputable manufacturer of brake components, I was intrigued enough to give them a shot.

The most interesting part about these brake pads is that they are "pre-scorched." This means, according to the box at least, that these brake pads will offer OEM like stopping power before being broken in. Pre-scorching also apparently ensures that these brake pads offer OEM like brake feel and stopping power while the pads are still cold. Sounds too good to be true, right? I am happy to report that StopTech's statement about pre-scorching seems to be true. During the first few days of use, I felt no difference in stopping power or feel between the StopTech pads and the OEM Honda pads. As my use progressed, I noticed the car's stopping distance becoming shorter, and the amount of force I needed to apply to the brake pedal coming to a stop light getting less. After being properly broken in, the pads definitely offer much more stopping power than the OEM Honda pads when warmed up.

Of course, this additional stopping power does come at a price. The StopTech pads are probably the dustiest and noisiest pads that I have used to date. During my first two weeks of use, before the pads were fully broken in, stopping was still a fairly quiet affair. After the pads were broken in though, stopping, especially when cold, became extremely noisy. The sound does go away after the pads get warm. Unfortunately, my daily commute to work is not that long, so the pads seldom have enough time to warm up to full operating temperature. Extra brake dust is also an issue with these pads too. My Enkei RPF1 wheels usually end up being covered in brake dust within about three weeks. I often forget how shiny my wheels are until I wash my car and scrub it all off.

Centric 120 Series Plain Rotors

Image Courtesy of The Tire Rack

Having to never needed to replace the front rotors on my S2000 until now, it took me a little while to come to a decision on what rotors to pick. I had originally thought that getting rotors from StopTech would help alleviate the noise issue. Unfortunately, StopTech only offers replacement rotors that are slotted or cross-drilled, which I just could not justify spending the extra money on fancy rotors when I would not have the time to use them on an autocross or track day. I have also heard that slotted and cross-drilled rotors have a tendency to wear out brake pads faster, which would have also made little financial sense. I was about to bite the bullet and just get a set of StopTech slotted brake rotors when I came across reviews on the Centric 120 Series which seemed good, so I figured they would be worth a shot.

There really is not too much to say about the Centric 120 Series plain rotors. They work just as well as the OEM Honda rotors and cost less. I think the best part about these rotors are the painted vents and rotor hat. The paint hides the rust that the OEM Honda rotors tend to exhibit after a few months.

While I cannot comment on the effectiveness of this brake pad and rotor combination on an autocross or track, I can safely say that this combination works well in daily driving and for spirited thrashing about on windy roads. The StopTech pads work well in the daily grind of stop-and-go traffic, offering OEM like stopping power. Take your car up to a canyon or mountain road for some spirited driving, where the pads and rotors can get properly warmed up, and the stopping power and brake feel far surpasses the OEM pads and rotors. The best part? This pad and rotor combination is not that expensive either. The StopTech Street Performance pads cost $53 for the front axle set on Tire Rack, and the Centric 120 Series plain rotors cost $53 each. If you are looking for a good setup for improved brake feel and stopping in daily diving and spirited driving, the StopTech Street Performance brake pads and Centric 120 Series plain rotors make an excellent combo.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Events: 2014 North American International Auto Show

Though I was not able to attend the North American International Auto Show in person, I did try to keep up with some of the debuts as they were happening. We have already posted a full article about our thoughts on the 2015 Acura TLX prototype, but here are some of the other cars I found to be interesting.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 

C6 ZR1 beating performance in a Z06? Yes please! It seems like the Chevrolet engineers behind the all new C7 Z06 made it their goal to beat the C6 ZR1 in power, handling, and Nürburgring lap times. While we wait for the automotive press to get their hands on this car and prove Chevrolet's claims, this certainly bodes well for the C7 ZR1. The C6 ZR1 was already considered a beast with the capability to hang with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini at 1/3 the cost. If the C7 Z06 is capable of beating the C6 ZR1, one can only imagine what Chevrolet has up their sleeves for the C7 ZR1.

Porsche 911 Targa4

I like targa tops. The idea of having the open air benefits of a convertible but with a solid rear windshield and pillars, and a removable hard top that can be stored in the car without complicated motors has always seemed cool to me. The last generation of the 911 Targa amounted to little more than a giant sunroof, but Porsche has taken the Targa to a whole new level with this all new automatic targa top. From what I saw, it looks like the entire rear hatch lifts up, and the targa top slides into the back of the car in one of the most complex mechanical dances seen yet in the pursuit of open-air motoring. Sure, it could be more expensive thing to fix if something goes wrong, but it is still pretty cool to watch.

Toyota FT-1 Concept

Rumors have been swirling around for some time now, that Toyota has been working on a successor to the much loved Supra. Naturally, many people are expecting the FT-1 concept to be the next Supra. Honestly, I would be pretty excited if the FT-1 did come to fruition as a Supra in some way, shape, or form. It is definitely one wicked looking car. It is also nice to know that Toyota is really starting to get back to their sports car roots, starting of course with the already on sale Scion FR-S. Maybe now people will remember that Toyota actually had some excellent sports cars back in the day, and is not the sad, road appliance building company they are today.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

My brother and I really liked the first generation Genesis. Sure, it had its share of problems, and probably did not sell quite as well as many Hyundai fans would have wanted it to. Nonetheless, the fact that Hyundai was able to build a sedan and coupe that could actually compete on some level with established luxury heavyweights was no easy feat. This second generation Genesis looks to be even more promising. Personally, I am not a fan of the front end of the car, but the rest of it looks quite nice. Still, the one major obstacle Hyundai needs to overcome, with both the Genesis and Equus, is to get buyers to get over spending luxury car money on a Hyundai.

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept

OK, I admit that I do not know much about this car. The reason why it made it on to this list was because of all the hype surrounding it. While watching our Twitter feed, it seemed every other post was about this car. After doing some digging around, I found a lot of hearsay about how this car will probably end up being the next TT Coupe. Obviously, the TT will not have the same ride height, hatchback, roof rails, and grey paint stripe as this concept. If you remove those elements though, and replace the hatchback with a more traditional coupe form factor, I think I can see it as the new TT. The Shooting Brake here has a hybrid drivetrain, but will most likely end up with more conventional gasoline and diesel options in TT form. While this concept certainly looks pretty neat, I am still not totally sure what all the hype was about. Maybe someone can fill me in?

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

The Cadillac ATS coupe may not seem all that exciting at first. When you consider how well the ATS sedan has done against its German rivals though, the introduction of a coupe version of the ATS does become a lot more exciting. My brother and I have both test driven the ATS sedan, and while it could use some work, it still does a pretty decent job against its primary rival, the BMW 3-Series. It is pretty obvious that Cadillac designed the ATS coupe to compete with the new BMW 4-Series, and I hope that it puts up a good fight. Also, have you noticed that Cadillac has changed their badge?

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Admittedly, I am a sucker for the Subaru WRX. I claimed it as champion in our hot hatchback comparison, and was heavily considering one when I was looking for a car. With Subaru already getting plenty of praise for the standard WRX, which made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November last year, Subaru decided to up the ante with the STI version. Though the engine is seemingly a carry over from the previous model, there is plenty of new electronic wizardry under the hood to make the new WRX STI faster. This car does make me wonder if Mitsubishi has something up their sleeves for the next Lancer Evolution.

Real Time Racing Acura TLX GT

This will be the car that Peter Cunningham of Real Time Racing will be campaigning with in the Pirelli World Championship GT class, racing against cars like the Audi R8 LMS, Chevrolet Corvette, SRT Viper, and Nissan GT-R. What makes this car stand out to me is what is going on under the hood. The TLX GT is still powered by the same 3.5 liter V6 that powers the road going version of the TLX, but with two turbochargers strapped to it. Yes, you read correctly: two turbos. This is exciting because it brings about the possibility of Acura de-tuning the engine for possible street use. A TLX with the ability to compete against the BMW M3, Mercedes C63 AMG and Audi RS4? Sure, why heck not!

2015 Honda Fit 

My fiancee's Honda Fit Sport is a car that I drive on a fairly regular basis, so when Honda announced that the 2015 Fit would be revealed at the NAIAS this year, I was curious what changes they would make. The 2015 Fit looks like it retains the same general shape as the current Fit, but looks a bit more sleek and sporty. In our drawing board feature about a possible Fit Si, I wrote that I had hoped for the next generation US market Fit to take on the look of the Japanese RS version. While it seems my wishes were not fully realized, it does look like Honda decided to at least use the wheels from the Fit RS, which give it a sporty flair. Horsepower has been bumped up to 130 hp, and torque up to 114 lb./ft. with your choice of 6-speed manual or CVT. The 2015 Fit is roughly 1.6 inches shorter than the current one, but passenger volume has been increased by 4.9 cu.ft. MPG figures are expected to far surpass the current Fit. This will also be the first car to be manufactured at Honda's new Celaya, Mexico plant.

For more coverage of the North American International Auto Show, please visit the official website.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First Impression: 2015 Acura TLX Concept

The wait is finally over. Today, at the Detroit Auto Show, Acura revealed the prototype version of its all new 2015 TLX sport sedan. You can watch the recorded version of the TLX reveal after the jump.

Over the past few months, Acura has been characteristically tight-lipped about the TLX. A few spy shots floating around the internet of a heavily camouflaged TLX doing warm weather testing, but no one really knew what engines or transmissions were going to be in the car, or even what the car could possibly look like. It was not until a matter of weeks ago that Acura finally announced the reveal of the prototype version of the TLX at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Upon hearing the announcement, we began to speculate and pontificate about what we would like to see in what will inarguably be Acura's most important sedan. You can read our drawing board on the TLX here.

With the prototype of the car now revealed, here is a quick run down of the potential specifications:

- 2.4 liter "Earth Dreams" Direct Injection inline-4 cylinder mated to an 8-speed Dual Clutch transmission with torque converter
- 3.5 liter SOHC V6  mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission
- Both 2.4 liter and 3.5 liter engines will come standard as front wheel drive with Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS)
- 3.5 liter engine will have the latest generation of Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) as an option, and boasts a 25% weight reduction over previous generations of SH-AWD
- At 190.2 inches, the TLX is 3.8 inches shorter than the current TL, but will ride on a wheelbase that is the same 190.3 inch in length as the current TL
- Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) will be featured on the TLX, and will employee four driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport, and an all new Sport+ mode.
- A significant weight reduction over the last generation car is expected
- Improved aerodynamics for greater fuel economy and noise reduction
- The car will see some version of Acura's new electronic gear selector setup, which we saw on the RLX Hybrid

What follows are our impressions of the car, after stewing on it for the better part of today.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Term Test: 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited post #2

Second Update
Current mileage: 21,245

I had an opportunity to spend some more time with the Sonata, this time on some more extended trips. The longer periods behind the wheel reveal a real weakness in the Sonata's overall design: it's steering feel. Since we were with family, both my wife and I shared driving duties at various times. At one point, my father-in-law commented to my wife that she needed to try to be smoother when she was behind the wheel. Just the prior evening, I had driven all of us to Irvine for a Cirque du Soleil performance and my wife noted a few points where she thought I was beginning to nod off. However, the reality was that the Sonata's rather dull and lifeless steering means that the driver is forced to concentrate extremely hard to drive the car smoothly. Even the slightest moment of lapsed concentration can result in slightly jerky motions, especially when one is used to driving cars that have much more responsive steering.

Another area that was starting to suffer after over 20,000 miles on the road was the structural rigidity of the car. While not terribly noticeable on smooth roads, it became increasingly obvious on rutted roads or when hustling the car through fast corners that the cars structure was not as strong as it had been when originally purchased. The rattles and squeaks emanating from all throughout the interior also spoke to the deteriorating vehicle structure. It is disappointing that in only two-years, the Sonata has started to exhibit issues that should not appear in a well-built car until at least 4 to 5 years in. I have driven rental cars with more miles that had fewer squeaks and rattles.

Still, there is much to like about the Sonata. Its rather cavernous interior, enormous trunk, and well-equipped interior make it a genuine value in the segment when it comes to family hauling duties. As far as maintenance, it has required nothing aside from scheduled visits and has been extremely reliable. That turbo-charged motor delivers strong mid-range performance, but the transmission gets caught off-guard at points and occasionally lags to shift when acceleration is called for. Luckily, the gorgeous exterior continues to turn heads and is still one of my personal favorite mid-size family sedans after the recently introduced Mazda6.

Click here to read post #1.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Long Term Test: 2007 Honda S2000 Post #3

Third Update
Current Miles: 63,263

A few months ago, my fiancee and I decided to celebrate her birthday by heading down to Oceanside, CA to celebrate with some friends. From where we are located, it is an hour and a half drive along the southbound 405 freeway, connecting to the southbound interstate 5 right along the coast. It is a beautiful, but long drive that I would normally have absolutely no problem handling it in my S2000. Of course, circumstances were quite different this time.

I had started feeling a little sick, although I shrugged it off, thinking it was probably allergy related, and we took off anyway. Of course, I was very wrong about what was happening to me. As we progressed further, the body aches began. About half an hour out from our friend's place, my body was in excruciating pain. Every bump we went over felt amplified five times, shooting pain up my spine and throughout my entire body. Unfortunately, my fiancee does not know how to drive a manual transmission, so I had to pretty much tough it out until we got to our friend's place. By the time we arrived, I was pretty much ready to fall over and sleep. There were definitely two lessons I learned that day: 1. I need to get around to teaching my fiancee how to drive manual, and 2. we should probably just drive my fiancee's Fit when I am sick since the S2000 is pretty rough on the body.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

News: Contractor for Uber involved in deadly accident

Image courtesy of
Just before the new year, an accident in San Francisco left a 6 year-old girl dead and her mother critically wounded. The driver, Syed Muzzaraf, was behind the wheel of his Honda Pilot and turned into the family, who were utilizing the crosswalk at an intersection, without yielding to their right of way. Additional details are not clear at this time, but initial reports did not indicate the involvement of alcohol or any other controlled substance and the driver appeared to be entirely in control of the vehicle at the time.

While this would normally be buried in the local section of the newspaper and little more than a blip on the evening news, the fact that the driver was a contractor for the ride sharing service Uber has somehow raised it to the status of national news. Rather than focus on the dozens of other potential issues that this incident could help highlight, such as better pedestrian crosswalks or EMT response time or improved licensing requirements, the news media has instead decided to focus on whose insurance should foot the bill. They are trying to make the case to have Uber's commercial insurance cover the incident, even though Muzzaraf was not actively transporting an Uber customer at the time.

Rather than focusing on the causes for the incident, such as lack of driver patience or inadequate driver training, the attention has been shifted to avoid examining some of the deeper issues that create dangerous situations on our roadways. The death of young Sophia Liu will be trivialized in an effort to create a bigger story and the responsibility of the driver, Muzzaraf, will be minimized, allowing him to slip out of the limelight. If instead we focused on the underlying causes for the problems and made solutions to treat them instead of always only addressing the symptoms that bubble to the surface, we could help prevent these types of incidents in the first place.

We hope that Sophia's mother will recover from her injuries and our deepest sympathies go out to the Liu family for their loss.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Editorial: We should all shed a tear for the impending demise of Holden as we know it

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Recently, we found out that Holden, that quirky car maker from Down Under, would be ceasing its manufacturing operations in 2017 and have its vehicle lines replaced with re-badged Buicks that will likely be manufactured in China. This is sad news for the motoring world as Holden, even throughout its ownership by the folks at GM, has always been a bastion for rear wheel drive and big push-rod V8 motors. The Holden brand has been synonymous with fast cars even for American car enthusiasts since the final generation of the Pontiac GTO, the ill-fated Pontiac G8, and the current Chevrolet SS are all vehicles derived from vehicles that were a part of the Holden line-up. Of particular interest were the cars of the Holden Special Vehicles group, an in-house tuning arm that took the already relatively powerful cars and cranked up the engines, suspensions, and appearance to 11.

For our friends down in Australia, this is a particularly deep blow as Ford has already announced earlier this year that it would be eliminating the Ford Falcon from its line-up and would no longer be replacing that car with another rear wheel drive sedan. The fabled Falcon vs. Commodore rivalry seems doomed to an early demise as the V8 Supercars racing series will be losing these two major competitors, even as it gains the likes of Mercedes Benz and Nissan.

So as this means another blow struck for V8-powered RWD 4-door sport sedans, we slowly see the segment shrink to a very few competitors. In fact, once Holden passes into the annals of history, only BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac are left producing cars in this category and even the long-term existence of those cars may be called into question as a result of ever increasingly strict emissions standards, a greater emphasis on fuel economy from consumers, and the steadily advancing march of AWD technology.

As enthusiasts, we should take a moment to salute the demise of a storied brand's true identity and hope that we can all be forgiven for allowing such a travesty to pass. That said, it is a damn good thing that forced induction has made for some increasingly fun and dynamically intriguing performance cars in the last few years.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bluetooth: A Public Service Announcement

Image courtesy of
By now, everyone should know what Bluetooth is, or at least knows what it is used for. For those that do not know what Bluetooth is used for, it is the wireless protocol that allows our cellular phones and portable media devices to wireless communicate with each other. Bluetooth is also used to allow our devices to wirelessly stream audio and information to other devices, such as earpieces, Bluetooth ready speakers, and our cars. In our wireless and digital life, Bluetooth is nearly everywhere.

Bluetooth has also made it possible to communicate via telephone with other people in our cars without having our hands actually on the phone. Studies have shown that driving while holding your phone in one hand greatly increases the chance of getting into an accident due to the distraction of holding your phone and attempting to maintain control of your car with the other. Because of this study, many states have made it illegal to be on the phone while driving, unless it is through a Bluetooth hands free device. Auto manufacturers have taken this opportunity to include built in Bluetooth hands free as an option or, in many cases, as standard equipment. The built in variant works by pipping the audio from your phone conversation through your car's sound system, while a microphone built in somewhere near the front of the cabin picks up audio and transfers is back to your phone.

Image courtesy of Gruel for Dinner
And thus comes the point of this Public Service Announcement. While built in Bluetooth hands free is a great piece of technology, it seems many drivers forget that their entire phone conversation is being streamed live through their car's audio system. For a good majority of people, at least the ones that I know, phone conversations tend to be private matters that you do not necessarily want to share with a stranger you have never met. Some drivers, on the other hand, simply do not care. I do not care to listen to your phone conversations, especially if they are about private topics one should not be discussing openly in public, much less while behind the nonexistent veil of privacy of a phone conversation over what amounts to a PA system in your car.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from East-West Brothers Garage

Happy New Year!

2013 has come and gone and we had all manners of great adventures that we were fortunate enough to share with all of you. In 2014, expect to see more test drives of cars as well as test rides of motorcycles and bikes as we expand what we are able to get our hands on. We will also be sharing more road trips, sharing more photos, and continuing to provide updates on our long-term fleet. New in 2014 will be the introduction of our Driving 101 series where we will provide driving tips and reminders that go beyond what is covered in basic driver's education classes and encompasses a more holistic look at how road users interact. Finally, look for more videos as we make better use of our camera rigs.

You too can help us make East-West Brothers Garage better. If you have suggestions for what you would like to see, please use the contact form to share your thoughts with us.

We wish everyone a safe and wonderful start to the new year!