Thu04242014

On The Road

Sensors, computers help cars run cleaner


This marks the return of Matt Pataky as a monthly columnist for On the Road. He is the owner of Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service in Mountain View.

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Hyundai Equus Ultimate, Mazda3 S Grand Touring are both fine choices


Courtesy of Hyundai
The Hyundai Equus offers the same advanced safety equipment as the German luxury cars.

As luck would have it this past month, two of our test vehicles were among the largest and smallest in the press fleet – the Hyundai Equus Ultimate and the Mazda3 S Grand Touring.

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DMV offers info online about pedestrian safety

Q: I’ve seen recent news coverage of pedestrian- and vehicle-involved crashes. Do you have information online about pedestrian safety?

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DMV issues reminder of new laws for motorists

The California Department of Motor Vehicles reminds motorists of the new laws that took effect in January.

• Clean air vehicle decals/ high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane stickers. Assembly Bill 266 and Senate Bill 286 together extend sunset dates for low- and zero-emission vehicles to operate in HOV lanes without meeting occupancy requirements to Jan. 1, 2019.

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The confusing future of automobile fuels


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The Green Car Journal named the Honda Accord – offered in standard gas and gas-hybrid versions – “Green Car of the Year” at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

With California the de facto leader of an eight-state consortium to reduce automotive emissions, the Los Angeles International Auto Show, held the week before Thanksgiving, seemed like the logical place to find out what the future holds for automobile fuel systems.

That’s where we were Nov. 20 and 21, and sure enough, the big introductions on the Honda, Toyota and Hyundai stands included vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel-cell systems that they are promising to put into production in the next two years.

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Engine oil isn't the only fluid that needs to be changed

Q: I took my car to a new shop for routine maintenance service and am being told that there are other fluids – not just the engine oil – that need to be changed. This is the first time I have been told this, so I am just curious if it is really necessary.

A: Yes. Be happy that you have found a shop that checks those fluids.

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This hybrid lives up to the hype


courtesy of Ford
The Ford Fusion offers a comfortable ride and excellent handling.

While automobile manufacturers continue to titillate us with visions of an alternative-energy future at events like auto shows, they aren’t forgetting current customers.

Case in point: the Ford Fusion, new for 2013 and offered with standard internal combustion engine, gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The 2014 models are out now.

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