This $11 car gadget can save you money


Have you ever neglected to sufficiently tighten the gas cap after refueling your car? If you have a car built after 1996, it's likely to have triggered the "Check Engine" dashboard idiot light, even though nothing is wrong with your car. Read the rest

Traffic wardens gave two parking tickets to car with a dead man in driver's seat


Mamadou Barry, 47, racked up two parking tickets in New York while sitting in his car. He was dead at time. "Officials said they were investigating why wardens had failed to give Mr. Barry a third ticket," reports Biebuzz.

Image: Shutterstock Read the rest

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Jump start a car without another car


I fortunately have not had to use Cyntur Pack Mini Lithium-Ion Jumpstarter to start my car, but it's nice to know I have it if I need it. It's been in my car's trunk for two months, and when I checked it today, the LED meter indicated it was still holding a full charge. (The manufacturer recommends topping it off once a year with the included AC charger, so I set up a reminder on my calendar.)

The 2,000mAh Li-Ion internal battery can also be used to charge mobile devices and it has a built-in flashlight. It comes in a nice zippered case with instructions glued to the inside.

It's very simple to start your car (or someone else's) with this. Just plug the terminal clamps into the battery pack, attach the clamps to the battery terminals, and start the engine. Good riddance to jumper cables.

Cyntur Pack Mini Lithium-Ion Jumpstarter ($100) on Amazon Read the rest

Mercedes tops list of most-cited cars in rap songs


Data science put to good use, finally. Once a top player, Lexus has fallen out of vogue, and Cadillac's #2 position has stagnated as Bentley rises.

The Game dominates the car endorsement game. The Compton artist wins the category hands down for seven of the major car makes, having logged more automobile mentions than any other rapper.

It's worth bearing in mind that some (or many) of the citations may involve paid endorsements. Who sang about Subarus? Read the rest

Don't do this to your car


An epic thread at r/AskReddit invites mechanics to describe the dumbest things people do to their cars.

As you can imagine, there is some pretty stiff competition. Here's a quick tl;dr of the 7000-comment thread.

1. Neglect to check the air pressure of the spare tire. — Back2Bach 2. Neglecting regular car washes in the winter cuts the life of your car in half. - gauget 3. Don't "literally top off" your oil. - Fingerbangbandit 4. Use "placebo bullshit devices [such as] magnets on the fuel line to "align" the gas [and] strange metal fins in the filter housing to spin the air. - rdesktop7 5. Add decals or badges from fast cars that are not even from the same manufacturer - various. (cf. leave dealership stickers on their cars - Kranenborg ) 6. Ride on bald tires. - Ravenwald (who has other good ones, too). 7. "Put that loud fucking exhaust on their car and think they have the fastest car on the block. Bitch your shit sounds like a lawnmower" - BattlingMink28 8. Any modification that costs more than the vehicle is worth - huhaskldasdpo. 9. Do nothing when the check engine light comes on. - indymash. 10. "Pretty much every aftermarket part" — Sneeze_wee, who claims to work in auto insurance and has more.

Guilty of #2. Guilty of #8, too, but that's just because the rubber cement used to glue a window seal back on is worth more than a '99 Nissan Sentra. Read the rest

Data analysis: the most popular cars in rap

Over at Cuepoint, a fascinating data analysis of the most popular cars in hip-hop, with lots of charts, graphs, and GIFs.

The most frequently mentioned car make is Mercedes Benz, also often referred to as Benzos. Rappers love to rap about their benzes, but they rarely mention what models. If we get down to the specific model that’s most frequently mentioned, there’s no debate — it’s the Chevy Impala, most specifically the ’64 year model.

"Riding Dirty: The Science of Cars and Rap Lyrics"

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Driver runs into motorcyclist who scolded him about using phone

In March, motorcyclist Samuel Ayres stopped at a red light and noticed a driver using a phone. He told the driver, "Put down your fucking phone. You're in your car." The driver apparently did not appreciate the advice so he followed Ayres, sideswiped him and knocked him off his motorcycle, and drove away. Ayers is soliciting donations to pay for the resulting bills. Read the rest

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Amphibious truck goes off-road, and off-land

This is the Gibbs Humdinga, a truck that truly goes off-road, right into the water. Read the rest

Cute photo: Pac-Man Ghosts drive MINI Coopers


Excellent marketing at a Jacksonville, Florida MINI dealership. Possibly promo for the forthcoming film Pixels. Either way, delightful. (via Reddit) Read the rest

How to know if the Overland Expo is for you

An afternoon at the United States' premier—and mostly only—convention for people who really like to live in their trucks.

The 17 states where guns kill more people than cars do


Motor vehicle deaths continue to drop in the US this century. Firearm deaths continue to rise. If the CDC's WISQARS data holds its path since 2013, guns will soon be America's top killing machine. The 17 states (and one district) in order are: Read the rest

Pickups, SUVs dominate map of most popular vehicles by state


Every Car Listed published some interesting maps about America's gas-guzzling habits. In 42 of 50 states, the most popular vehicle is a pickup truck or SUV. Read the rest

Lee Harvey Oswald's car on Ebay

You snooze, you lose. You have just missed the chance to bid on, and possibly own, the last car driven by Lee Harvey Oswald, which just sold on ebay. Read the rest

The new VW California van you can't have in California

Here's a new protest movement for all you old Hippies out there: "Bring the T5 VW Camper to USA". This sweet ride is like a Robocop update of the old VW bus, full of RV-like amenities including a fold-out bed, a sink, refrigerator and fold-out table; perfect for that cross-country drive to discover the soul of America you've been meaning to take. Read the rest

An automatic smart driving assistant that streams car data to your phone

The "quantified self" personal measurement tools all seem too constricting to me, at least at this point in my life. But, as one who cringed when I needed to buy my late-model Mazda3 for a commute, the concept of a "quantified car" makes a lot more sense. Buying a car means investing a decent sum of money in a depreciating collection of metal that requires sizable ongoing investments. Even when experiencing the joy of the open road, I'm still haunted by how much this contraption costs me. So, to ease my heartburn over car ownership, I bought the Automatic "Smart Driving Assistant" ($99) in early 2014. Read the rest

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