Self-Driving Cars Could Create Tons of Jobs, Silicon Valley Venture Capital Whiz Says

When autonomous vehicles finally arrive in significant numbers, they have the potential to wipe out massive swaths of existing jobs. Goldman Sachs, for example, estimates that self-driving cars and trucks could take out 300,000 jobs a year in America alone, in fields ranging from long-haul trucking to urban taxi driving. But Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessenthinks in the long run, self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles have the potential to add far more jobs to the U.S. economy than they destroy Andreessen made his thoughts known on Tuesday during a discussion atRecode‘s Code Conference in California. The idea that autonomous vehicles, like any form of automation, will take more jobs than they ultimately create is “a fallacy,” according to Recode‘s account of their event. “It’s a recurring panic. This happens every 25 or 50 years, people get all amped up about ‘machines are going to take all the jobs’ and it never happens.”   If anything, “the jobs crisis we have in the U.S. is that we don’t have enough workers,” he said, according to Axios.  For proof, Andreessen says, you just need to look to the past—and to the arrival of the automobile itself. When cars hit the scene around the turn of the 20th Century, people were worried about them wiping out all the jobs associated with the care and upkeep of horses, such as blacksmiths. In reality, however, the automotive industry not only wound up creating tons of new jobs on its own, but also helped create all sorts of related industries that didn’t exist before—everything from road-paving to office complexes. Self-driving cars, he says,...

Everything you need to know about the Takata Airbag Recall

Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both in what NHTSA has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were mostly installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants. (Look for details below on waits for replacement airbags.) At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force. If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin—a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device. NHTSA has determined the root cause of the problem: airbags that use ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent. As postulated early on, environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age as associated with the defect that can improperly inflate the airbags and even send shrapnel into the occupant. To date, there have been 11 deaths and approximately 180 injuries due to this problem in the U.S. Through various announcements, the recall has tripled in size over the past year. It is expected that the inflator recall will impact more than 42 million vehicles in the U.S., with the total number of airbags being between 65 and 70 million. Visit www.safercar.gov to check the recall status of your vehicles.   Visit our guide to car safety.     Recent timeline March 2, 2017: Ford recalls 32,000 2016-17 Ford Edge, 2016-17...

What is your tire wear telling you?

Common Tire Wear Patterns By closely examining the tires, you may be able to determine if the tire is wearing properly or if replacement should be considered. Here are five common tire wear patterns you need to be aware of: 1. Excessive Inner or Outer Wear. Excessive wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire, known as “toe wear” or, in more extreme cases, as “camber wear,” suggests something may be wrong with the wheel alignment, according to Bridgestone. To fix the problem, you’ll likely need to make an appointment with a mechanic. 2. Center Wear. If the center of the tire is quicker to wear than the edges, then the tire is likely over-inflated. Find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle by looking at the sticker typically found in the doorjamb on the driver side or in the owner’s manual, according to Edmunds.com. Adjust the tire pressure accordingly for a smooth, safe ride. 3. Outer Edge Wear. If the outer edges of the tire wears faster than the center, the tire is likely under-inflated, says Popular Mechanics. Follow the tire pressure recommendation on the side of the tire, and add air to the tire as needed. 4. Cupping Wear. A diagonal scalloping on the tire, known as “cupping wear,” suggests the suspension may be worn, bent or somehow compromised, says Pep Boys. This is a serious concern, and you’ll probably need to make an appointment with a mechanic immediately. 5. Patchy Wear. Patchy wear implies the tire is out of balance. Have a mechanic spin and rotate your tires, as this will help equalize the wear....

Used Cars with Salvage Titles–What you need to know

As you shop for a used car, you might come across the phrase “salvage title” in a used car advertisement. The price is going to seem right and you’re really going to want to buy it. Just make sure you act with your brain and not your heart. There are a lot of things to consider before you can understand used car salvage titles. Used car salvage titles are not automatically a bad idea. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before purchasing a used car with a salvage title. 4 THINGS TO DO Here are four things you absolutely have to do before even considering buying a vehicle with a salvage title: Understand What a Salvage Title Is Get a CarFax report Get a Qualified Inspection Weigh the savings vs. future costs UNDERSTAND WHAT A SALVAGE TITLE IS In almost all cases, salvage title is given to any vehicle that has sustained damage worth 75% or more of its value. For example, a 2009 Honda Civic worth $9415 that suffers $7061 in damage in a collision, is going to be branded with a title stamped “salvage.” Some states also call this a junk title. According to carfax.com, the following 11 states also use salvage titles to identify stolen vehicles: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Requirements are going to vary by state. In Florida, a car has to be damaged to 80% of its value before the accident. Vehicles in Minnesota are considered salvaged when they are declared “repairable total loss” by an insurance company, were worth at least $5,000...

Springtime Auto Tips

Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Winter’s gloom (to say nothing of grit and road salt) is literally washed away. Take out the snow shovel, the gloves, and heavy boots and store them ’til next season. Surely summer can’t be far away. Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision then now. ASE offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer. Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules. Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in. Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians. The tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician. Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs. Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. (Properly dispose of used oil.) Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended. Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold. Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs. Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer’s dust and...

Camless engine from Koenigsegg–the Future?

A subsidiary of Swedish supercar marque Koenigsegg has been working on a new type of valve system for engines that does away completely with the camshaft, hence the descriptor “camless” is often used. That subsidiary is FreeValve (previously Cargine), which has published a video that shows the inner workings of its revolutionary engine. The engine relies on pneumatic valve actuators to open valves, which are then closed by air pressure or springs. Each of the valves can be controlled individually, which enables infinitely variable valve lift and duration as well as easy cylinder deactivation. A pneumatic valvetrain also draws less energy from the engine than conventional cams. https://vimeo.com/145498720 This is all said to result in both significant gains in output (up to a 30 percent increase in horsepower and torque) and a jump in fuel economy (also up to 30 percent). Overall emissions are said to be reduced significantly as well. So what’s the hold up? Reliability, refinement and noise levels aren’t up to scratch and remain the biggest hurdles in the technology’s advancement. And while such technologies won’t ultimately save the internal combustion engine from being replaced by electric motors in more and more cars, they should at least help prolong...

Driving in snow isn’t so bad…

Hello Everyone: With all the snow we’ve been having and that is currently predicted for the next few days, I got to thinking about driving in the snow and the things we should all be more mindful of when the roads are bad.  Firstly, most accidents happen during braking; so it’s always important to take the normal distance you drive behind another car and double it.  There’s few things more traumatic while behind the wheel than sliding uncontrollably, so an increased following distance will give you some more time to slow down. Folks who peek at texts, get that phone and put it in your pocket or, better yet, stick it in the glove compartment.  The chances of an accident while distracted increase dramatically when road conditions are poor. Pay extra close attention to cars in front of you for sudden braking.  If you see a rapid stop occurring in front of you, you’ll have more time to slow down.  In the event this should happen, it’s also important to look in your rear view mirror, just in case you’re being followed closely.  This may mean you get rear-ended, but at least you’ll be prepared for it and minimize the risk of injury to your neck, shoulders, and back. For those of you without all wheel drive, snow tires are the best thing you can do to improve your vehicle’s performance in the winter.  If this isn’t an option for you, be aware of your route and avoid areas that are hilly with Stop signs, as your chances of spinning your wheels upon acceleration go way up when traction...

Fluids That Keep Your Car Healthy

Just like with your body, there are fluids that keep your car healthy. Everyone knows we need a certain amount of water daily to keep our bodies working the way they should. If you don’t get enough of the right fluids in your body, you can become dangerously dehydrated. What follows then can be inability to think clearly, inability to work muscles smoothly, and eventually break down of your body or even death. The same thing is true of your car. It needs certain amounts of certain fluids to continue working right. If those fluids get and stay below optimum levels, your car begins breaking down. The engine oil is a good place to start checking fluids in your car. Just about anybody can check it. Raise the hood, find the oil dip stick, pull it out, and see the level of oil in your engine. The appropriate level for your engine is marked clearly on the dip stick. You shouldn’t have to add oil very much, if at all, to your engine. If you find the oil level getting low frequently, you need to take your car to a mechanic. Transmission fluid is the next to check. Remember, fluids keep your car healthy. Your transmission fluid is the one that keeps the gears moving smoothly. Unlike the oil, transmission fluid should be checked with the engine running. It’s a closed system, so you shouldn’t have to add any to it. You’re looking at the color of the transmission fluid mostly when you check it. The color should be red, not brown or any other color. If the transmission...

Hello Everyone, there’s a new blogger in town…

Hello Everyone: I wanted to introduce myself as the newest member of the Garry’s Service Center team.  My name is Todd Kane and I am the Business Development Manager for JEFKEL Enterprises, which is Garry’s parent company.  I hope to start blogging on a regular basis here about automotive-related news and other things I think would be helpful to our customer base.  In addition, I may occasionally humor you with more general topics.  I look forward to blogging for...

Car Exhaust Problems

One of the least noticed parts of your car may be the exhaust system. But car exhaust problems can add up to serious issues. Probably the only time many people think of the exhaust system is when they being hearing noises coming from it. Typically, car exhausts last around five to seven years. After that, a certain amount of rot sets in. Driving in areas where your car is exposed to a lot of salt on the winter roads will decrease that time. Also, many short trips or stop-and-go driving can shorten the life of your system and lead to car exhaust problems. The exhaust system of your car is designed to direct the noxious and dangerous gases caused by internal combustion engines away from the passenger compartment. Any leaks in that system can lead to these gases entering the passenger compartment and causing major health concerns. Because the safety of your family and friends is of utmost importance, you should have your system examined regularly. And if there are any car exhaust problems, get them taken care of right away. If you find there is rust on one part of your exhaust system, get it handled quickly. Putting off this repair can lead to the rust spreading to other, adjacent, parts of the system. There is the possibility of fire as one of the car exhaust problems you can find. The hot exhaust gases can burn the insulation between the carpet inside your car and start a fire. If there happens to be a gas line close to a leak in your exhaust system, the hot gases could...