Tesla Model S long-range Sedan claims a range of 390 miles. For some time, this was the best battery capacity on the electric car market, but that is no longer the case. General Motors has topped Tesla in that regard. Thus the adage becoming number one is easier than remaining number one proves true.
But what is it all about, and what does it mean for the electric car market? Are we about to see a drop in the price of electric vehicles?
GM’s New Battery and Possible Implications
The new battery can potentially power motor vehicles for up to 400 miles, currently the best range. General Motors hopes to license the battery to other electric vehicle manufacturers to make them affordable. GM’s aggressive plan is to put everyone in an electric vehicle and reduce the effects of global warming.
Ultium, as GM calls the new battery cells, has flat and soft pouches. In contrast, the battery cells from Tesla are hard cylinders that must be in horizontal rows like books stacked in a bookshelf. The benefits of Ultium are that they can take any shape, allowing designers a lot of flexibility, and, therefore, more versatile than the Tesla battery.
The electric vehicle batteries contain cobalt, an expensive component. Ultium includes a small amount of it, without affecting performance. Combined with continued manufacturing improvements, the prices of the battery go down.
GM is optimistic that the current battery improvements will drive the costs below $100 per kilowatt-hour. This is the mark often cited by industry specialists as the threshold that will make electric vehicles genuinely competitive with their fossil-fuel counterparts. The battery makes up a large part of the electric vehicle cost. Bringing this cost down will make the electric-vehicle affordable, and that is what we all want. At least most of us!
When your car has suffered a loss, whether its body work or mechanical repair, there is an easy way to get through it all. Relax, don’t worry, and just let your mechanic handle it all. It is that easy, providing you make sure your rights are protected.
Handling the Insurance Company
Your insurance company will protect their interests over yours, so they’ll make it look like you have to use their suggestions on a mechanic to fix your vehicle. However, you have the right to use whatever mechanic or body shop you want to use. And you should use your own, if you know your repair shop’s work and they have your best interest at heart.
Your mechanic will recommend that you do what is best for you and your ride. And that is what he will recommend. Your insurance company is going to want to skip things and try to have this done as cheaply as possible. If they are using the mechanic they have under contract, that mechanic is going to do what the insurance company wants done, because they want more insurance business. So, use your own mechanic or find one with excellent reviews.
After you find a shop to fix whatever is wrong with your vehicle, ask them for an estimate. Your insurance company will probably tell you to get estimates from 3 different mechanics, and that’s a good thing. It keeps everyone honest and the estimates will possibly show different ways to get the job done. That’s good to know.
Once you’ve agreed with the insurance company who is going to do the work, leave your vehicle there and let the mechanic deal with the insurance adjuster and the insurance company. You get to sit back and wait for your car to be finished. You don’t have to bother with any of it. Your mechanic is quite skilled in handling it all.
When the manufacturer of your vehicle decides to recall your vehicle for a repair they’ll send a letter to the address on your car’s registration. Then you’ll need to get your car repaired. Here is how to do that for free.
In order to receive your notice of recall for your car, van or truck, you’ll need to have your correct name and address on your car’s registration. This is an easy to overlook task after you move. But it’s important that you keep that address current for recalls and other notices that the DMV might be sending to you – like automated traffic violations from those pesky cameras.
There is another way to receive notices for recalls. You can register your email address with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You’ll fill out the form which includes the year, make and model of your car. You have the option to add more vehicles and to subscribe to all vehicle notices.
What to Do
When you receive a recall notice for a vehicle you currently own, it’ll give you information on what needs to be repaired and where to get it repaired. The repair is free to the car owner providing you have it repaired at the auto dealership. If you use a private mechanic to do the work then you’ll have to pay for it.
You don’t have to get the repair done, but it’s highly recommended that you do. Recalls are issued when it’s a safety issue. If you don’t fix it then you’ll probably be putting you and your passengers in harm’s way.
At A1 Performance Auto Repair we provide recall information for our customers’ convenience. We do not do any recall work for the manufacturers. You’ll get an appointment at the auto dealership for those repairs. We can do your car’s maintenance and other repairs that are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you were thinking of fudging the details about your solo fender bender on that country road late at night, you’d better think again. Whatever details you report to your insurance company had better match what your car told them first.
The Spy – Your Automobile
Your vehicle is spying on you. Every street you take, every rock you collide with, every bump in the road, it’s all being turned in to your car’s manufacturer constantly. The intention of this reporting isn’t to spy on you or catch you doing something wrong, but it may be used against you for just that reason.
The Event Data Recorder (EDR) is meant to keep an eye on the vehicle’s performance. This provides valuable information on the car’s safety. Instead of having to wait until X number of car owners report a vehicle problem and then having to sort of exactly what it is they are trying to describe, the vehicle sends the data along with everything needed to diagnose the problem. It was the EDR that discovered the Chevrolet Cobalt’s ignition switch was shutting down the car while it was still in use. The manufacturer recalled 2.6 million vehicles to fix it.
Luckily, California has joined several other states in putting legislation in place to protect consumers from unnecessarily spying on the car’s drivers. In California, the car’s owner must give permission to use this data. But a court order can also get that data without the car owner’s or driver’s permission. If it’s used for research, then they can collect that data. They can also use the data without permission for diagnosing and servicing of the vehicle.
What It All Means
What this means to you is you might think twice if you’re considering changing the details on what happened in a car accident. Your insurance company might have access to the data logged at the car’s manufacturer.
Brakes wearing out is a quiet, almost unnoticeable process usually. You drive the car every day and push the brake pedal often. Any change that is going on is so small that its unnoticeable. That’s why when the mechanic tells you that your brakes are in bad shape, you wonder how you could not have noticed they were so worn down.
Brake Need Repair
It usually takes a person who has never driven your car before to notice that something is amiss with your brakes. If their car has good brakes, it is very noticeable when they drive with worn brakes that need work. Here are some tips to use in recognizing brake problems in your own car.
When your brake pedal feels mushy or goes almost to the floor when you press it, the brakes are in need of repair immediately. The car isn’t safe to drive probably.
When you press the brakes, your car should continue in a straight line and not veer off to one side. If it does, it could be a simple fix, but it needs a mechanic to find the cause right away before serious damage is done.
Brake fluid is clear or a light golden color. If you see this color on the pavement where you park then you probably have a brake line leak.
If you feel a wobbling sensation in the steering wheel or hear it when you apply the brakes, it is an indicator that the rotor has worn unevenly. You’ll need to have your brake repaired before it quickly shreds your brake pads.
Grinding or squealing that sounds like metal on metal is the indicator sound the pads make when they are worn down. But if you just had your brakes done then it’s probably just cheap brake pads making their annoying sounds.
Get Your Brakes Checked
If you’re concerned you might need a set of brakes repaired, call for an appointment at A1 Performance Auto Repair. We’ll be happy to check it out and find the cause of the problem you’re having.
Of course, the most common problems that can cause you to get into an accident are weather problems and driver error and phone usage, but there are mechanical issues that can cause you to get into an accident, too. Here are the most common mechanical problems that can turn dangerous on the road.
Mechanical Problems That Cause Accidents
Aside from very obvious problems like the car suddenly breaking down and stopping in heavy, fast traffic, there are some minor mechanical problems that can get you into trouble, too.
Worn Out Brakes
A major problem is brake failure. Even with a dual brake system, worn out brakes are still a problem that can cause you to hit someone, something or another vehicle. Have your brakes checked once per year to make sure they are always in great shape.
When your suspension is in disrepair, you’ll be bouncing around so much that you cannot control the car properly. And then you’ll become a hazard on the road. Faulty steering is also a problem that will cause you to lose control of the vehicle. When you notice odd behavior in the steering or suspension, contact A1 Performance Auto Repair soon to have it diagnosed and repaired.
Worn Out Wiper blades
Windshield wiper blades need replacing every year at the least. When they no longer completely clear your windshield, you become an accident waiting to happen.
Faulty Headlights and Taillights
When your lights are blinking on and off, too dim to see or won’t go on at all, you’re not going to see well and others are not going to see you. This is a recipe for disaster. Get your headlights and taillights checked every year.
Worn out tire tread puts you at high risk for a tire blowout. Make sure you always have enough tread and the wear is even.
A1 Performance Auto Repair
Anytime you have a problem with your vehicle, give us a call for an appointment. We’ll figure out what it the problem is and promptly fix it. Stay safe on the roads.