hooniverse whats your automotive news

What Was Your Automotive News for the Week?

Seeing as how all the big news stories from this past week have originated from the Chicago Auto Show, which our very own Robby DeGraff is fortunate enough to be attending in person as you’re reading this, I’m stepping aside for the week and letting him provide the news. Chicago is usually the tamest show on the calendar but some neat little surprises have popped up. Be sure to check out Robby’s reporting LIVE(ish) from the show floor.

But since you’re here, why not stay awhile? 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.

[Image © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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38 responses to “What Was Your Automotive News for the Week?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    This monday I thought we had reached equilibrium – both cars newly tech approved, everything works, good commuting weather. I did not knock on wood though.


    My OBD 2 reader is nowhere to be found. Leaning towards a “let it magically disappear”-approach.

    1. Manxman Avatar

      In my experience it will always be in the last place you look.

    2. Smaglik Avatar

      The CEL or the code reader ?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        The CEL. The code reader has already done the trick. ?

        1. Smaglik Avatar


    3. nanoop Avatar

      And, did you check the engine?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        I gave it a good solid stare.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          Did you tighten the gas cap? (My default first check when confronted with a CEL, due to cluelessness about everything else).

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Can that throw a code? I will check it, filled gas not long before the warning popped up. But I am suspecting a vacuum leak to be the tru culprit; the car has had occasional signs of that for years. Uneven acceleration appeared right before the CEL and in the summer, it will not always start on its first attempt.

          2. 0A5599 Avatar


            Also, my wife’s car has developed an aversion to gas from the grocery store station. One tank will cause the idle to be rough. Two tanks is usually enough to get a CEL for a bad EVAP solenoid. Switching back to name-brand gas usually removes the code after 300 miles or so.

          3. Sjalabais Avatar

            Amazing, do you think they sell lower quality fuel or might they have condensation issues? What kind of car is this?

            I went to my local shop after work today and asked if they could give me the error code: “Diagnosis is 500 kr”, aka 60$. Which is eight times what I paid for my now mislaid OBD2 reader. Anyway, when I strolled back to my car, the CEL was suddenly gone. Figured that was due to that solid stare just before the weekend. Yepp.

          4. 0A5599 Avatar

            Off-brand stations usually mix lower quality additive packages (though the pump does dispense additional additives for a fee) into the gas they sell. Also, just like your bakery might sell you day-old bread at a discount, grocery store and wholesale club gas stations sometimes purchase cheaper gas because it is deeper into its shelf life at time of purchase. For whatever reason, the gas at that station is “gummier” than at the name brand stations.

            It’s a 6.2 LS engine that the CEL light comes on for, but it will make the idle rough on most of the other ones, too.

  2. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    I guess you could call it automotive news but I finally subscribed to iRacing last Friday. I was skeptical of it but so far it’s been addicting. I’ve grinded my way through all the rookie leagues (where people will legitimately try to kill you) and now I can start racing for real. Some friends I race with are committing to running the virtual 12 Hours of Sebring with the 911 RSR… so uh, that’ll be interesting.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      recently saw a guy on YouTube playing driving sims with a VR headset…and, for the first time, I felt like I wanted a VR headset.

  3. JayP Avatar

    Spent all last weekend swapping to track tires, putting $60 worth brake fluid in the pipes and setting the suspension.
    60 deg all week.
    Then Texas… it’s f’n 34 now. And rain this weekend.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      I’d be quite happy with 34 at the moment. We got all the way up to -11 in NDSU Bizon-ville today. (I had -20 on my pickup’s readout when I was driving to work.)

      1. onrails Avatar

        A high… of zero. High. Bundle up! Hope that groundhog was right.

    2. nanoop Avatar

      That must be large pipes, USD60!

      1. JayP Avatar

        Motul… cha-ching.

    3. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      even in sunn SoCal it rained last weekend, at my first track day in like five months. never had to deal with anything more than a damp track before, but I still had a good time.

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    My university was closed half of this week (two and a half days out of five) but I did manage to drive one vehicle to and from campus for today’s half day. Now it’s snowing again. If the forecast for the weekend holds true I’ll probably skip Sunday’s Swedish car show in Issaquah.


    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      But wouldn’t a Swedish car be the most appropriate vehicle in that weather?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        True, but the 96 isn’t currently operational. My plan was to sneak the yellow Dutch Volvo into the show again.

        1. Lokki Avatar

          I’m easily confused by any of MDHarrell’s cars but isn’t that Dutch Volvo really a Mitsubishi at least by design?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            I’m easily confused by them, too, but in this case it’s little more than a rebadged DAF 66, which is to say a Michelotti body, a Renault engine, and a Variomatic drivetrain. Same for the wagon version of the 66 parked behind the International pickup.

          2. Vairship Avatar

            And the Variomatic means a built-in limited slip differential, thus the problem with snow is what? 😉

            Some modifications might enhance it even more: https://drivetribe.com/p/double-dutch-1971-daf-555-4wd-variomatic-WAP0a8HAQpeGBKUuNlII1A?iid=KQZ-CqwOQqCo3wcvOFktAg
            Ever thought of putting the engine in the passenger seat and adding a *front* mounted Variomatic for the ultimate in 4wd? https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSIC8jtTlTCB4lpZDU4OLw0C1Nj6bveOTBXLrSAfzs928Al4Vas

          3. mdharrell Avatar

            Alas, no, it’s only the earlier Variomatics, those with swing axles, which act like LSDs because they have no differential whatsoever and so instead rely entirely upon differences between the two pulley systems for cornering. DAF discontinued those because (1) swing axles fell out of fashion, thanks largely to certain key shortcomings, and (2) the Variomatic belt/pulley system can’t quickly change ratios at very low speeds, such as from a standstill, sometimes leading to severe mechanical damage from sharp turns at very low speeds on high-traction surfaces, as when sharply exiting a paved parking space.

            In later Variomatics, such as mine, both sides feed into a conventional (and, as it so happens, open) differential as part of a de Dion rear suspension. Two belt/pulley systems are still used, both for redundancy if, for example, a belt breaks, and as a way of distributing the load, although the DAF 46 uses only “half” of a Variomatic with just one belt. The drivetrain in my Volvos is like the 46 shown below but with the addition of a second belt/pulley system on the other side:


          4. Sjalabais Avatar

            Your association is a little newer by date, the late 90s, early 00s NedCar that was the base for the slightly misnamed Mitsubishi Carisma and the first Volvo S/V40:

  5. kogashiwa Avatar

    Never buy “Blacklion” winter tires.

    “Winter” “tires”.

    Just about killed me multiple times this week. It’s been a lot slicker than usual with the insane cold around here but still. No excuse.

    For next winter my plan is to move to somewhere that doesn’t get winter.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Had to google “Blacklion” and, oh boy…why did you get them in the first place? When I have been unsure about a car deal, tires like this would usually be the drop that tips me over to a “no”, because saving on tires is the worst signal to send by a current owner. Not meant to be harsh here, especially coming from someone who only repairs what is deemed “necessary”. But tires and suspension parts are the foundation everything relies on and should be chosen wisely and maintained well.

      1. kogashiwa Avatar

        Fully agreed.

        I was broke and my previous set was not roadworthy. Bought from shop I trusted who assured me they worked well. So much for that I guess.

    2. neight428 Avatar

      Not for winter-spec, but I went with the cheapest tire I could find for my SVO Mustang back in college when I was brokedy-assed broke. Those things were like fast wearing billiard balls. Thankfully, I never ended up in the ditch. On the plus side, I sharpened my opposite lock reflexes in the wet!

  6. onrails Avatar

    Another cold one here this weekend, but now only 12 weeks away from One Lap! Finally finished with the helmet last week and put in the rest of the entry fee for the race this afternoon. A few more weeks and I’ll contact my friends at Tire Rack for new shoes. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d5750fbff027c32e51e410c09eb992b6bfea572304b386c8ecd87ad0d03e45c3.jpg

  7. salguod Avatar

    The BMW has used maybe 1/4 of a quart of oil since last week’s frigid temps froze the CCV system. The CCV parts plus valve cover gasket parts, VANOS seals, a washer pump and motor mounts were ordered this week. Installation is planned for one of the next few weekends. I’d like to get a beater truck in the stable beforehand so I’m not pressured to get the BMW on the road for work on Monday. We’ll see if that works out.

    1. onrails Avatar

      A friend of mine is dealing with the same issue. Apparently there’s a ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ CCV system from BMW that from his description sounds like a late development band-aid. According to him the only real difference is a thickness change in the plastic of the valve to make it less susceptible to thermal expansion. Sounded like the thicker one was the ‘hot’ one. Good luck!

      1. salguod Avatar

        I think most of the replacement parts available are the cold weather versions with insulation. That’s what I have on the way. It looks like more than a thickness change on the CCV itself from the pictures at part stores, at least for the M54 in my 325Ci. The housing looks beefier, with the gaps and crevices between the working bits filled in with insulation. The hoses look thicker, but I assume that’s an insulation layer over the original plastic.

        My impression is that BMW put the cold weather parts in when new if you got the winter package when new, but I may be wrong on that.

        The valve cover gasket failed due to the increased crank case pressure. I’m not sure the VANOS seals need done, but with 150K on it it’s one of those “as long as I’m in here” things.

  8. Lokki Avatar


    Finally got the old Alfa Spider into the shop to swap our the differential for a Limited Slip rear end. They were standard after 1972, but my car is a 71. However, they were an option for 71 so I am ‘allowed’ to make the change as a ‘period correct modification’. There are always some cool cars there for restoration The silver car is a Taraschi

    A pretty successful racer from the late 50’s, Taraschi was one of many small Italian independents of the day, collectively such makes are referred to as Etcerterini…

    This one came into the shop, in dozens of boxes, about three years ago. It’ll probably leave as a running car, ready for paint, by the end of the year.