Archive for category Car Trips

Chrysler developing all-electric Fiat 500EV for U.S. market

We knew Chrysler was up to something when it showed off an all-electric Fiat 500 at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Today, the automaker has officially announced that it will engineer and produce the Fiat 500EV for the United States, starting in 2012.

As of this writing, details about the 500EV are slim. We do know that the powerplant will be comprised of three main systems – an advanced lithium-ion battery, high-power electric powertrain module and an EV control unit to manage overall power flow. The 500EV will be developed and engineered at Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

In more Chrysler EV news, the automaker will be receiving up to $48 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a total of 140 Ram plug-in hybrids. Originally, the automaker had plans to bring a Ram hybrid to market, but due to the slow-selling nature of other gasoline-electric pickups, Chrysler’s plans were canned. This new round of electrified trucks will be used in a three-year demonstration project that will aid in expediting the development of vehicle electrification technology. No word on if we’ll see a production version of the Ram PHEV anytime soon, however. In the meantime, buyers hoping for a high-mpg Ram can look forward to a light-duty diesel option currently being considered. Hit the jump to read the full details in Chrysler’s press release.

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Car Maintenance Checklist

While we’re going through rough economic times, keeping our expenses down is more important than ever. Expenses such as car repair and maintenance can be minimized by taking care of our cars properly. Preventive maintenance is still one of the best ways to keep our cars in good shape and avoid expensive repairs and replacements. Also, paying attention to what’s happening under the hood of the car can help you prevent problems and solve some before they can get worse. Additionally, following the maintenance schedule on the owner’s manual of your car is good practice.

Here’s a checklist of what you should keep an eye on in your car:

  • Change the oil and oil filter regularly – It is highly recommended to change the oil and the oil filter for every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
  • Check all the fluids – These include brake, power steering, transmission, transaxle, windshield washer and antifreeze fluids.
  • Check the air pressure level in your tires at least once a month
  • Check all the lights and make sure they all work
  • Replace the windshield wiper blades periodically – Old wiper blades can get cracked and torn, causing streaks on your windshield.
  • Inspect the engine belts for cracks and missing segments
  • Check the air filter and make sure it’s not clogged or damaged.

 

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