Serviceability Report: BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid

As more plug-in cars hit the streets, will they be a hit or a miss with technicians? At the New York City Auto Show in March, I had a great meeting with some BMW people. They’re proud and committed to their plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) systems. The question is, when you add a plug-in, […]

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Serviceability Report: Nissan Rogue

How do repairs on the newer Nissan Rogues compare to the older models? Here’s what you need to know. You, the technician, need a voice. I write these articles several times a year, and they also substitute for my therapist. After working on motor vehicles for decades, you start to question your perceptions. Did Nissan […]

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When the Industry Goes All-Electric

The writing’s on the wall for the internal combustion engine. Here’s what the future could look like, through the crystal ball of an EV/hybrid expert. It is 30 years from now, 2048, and most vehicles are battery-powered electric cars. The fuel cell was tried, but the infrastructure was never built out. So the few fuel-cell […]

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Serviceability Report

The 2018 Chevy Bolt vs. the 2018 Tesla Model 3: Sorting out the technology. In 2011, I wrote about the Nissan Leaf and compared it to the Chevy Volt. Since then, ACDC bought one of each, so we know them well. But a lot has changed in almost seven years. The cost has dropped on […]

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Serviceability Report

How does the original Toyota Prius Plug-In stack up to the new Prius Prime? Twenty years ago this December, the Prius was introduced to the world. Three years later, it came to America and the quintessential hybrid was born. Everyone has heard of Prius. The Plug-in Prius came out in model year (M/Y) 2012 but […]

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Serviceability Report: Ford Fusion Hybrid

The 2017 118-hp, 2.0-liter model looks good, but is it? Ford Motor Co. saw the light in hybrid technology with the introduction of the model year (M/Y) 2005 Escape hybrid. Since then, they’ve made many improvements and gained market share. Fleets fell in love, as the Ford hybrids are reliable, fuel efficient and roomy. Bill […]

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Why Interns Are a Must

Believe it or not, they could be the key to the future of your shop – and the future of your industry. For those of you who don’t know me, my wife, Deb, and I started ASA-Massachusetts in 1993 while owning and operating Van Batenburg’s Garage Inc. (VBG). As a 26-year-old in 1977, I started […]

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Makeover of a Plug-In

Redesigned Chevy Volt undergoes inspection. Is the second generation better than the first? There have been no redesigns of any plug-in cars except the Chevy Volt. The Nissan Leaf did get a larger capacity battery pack and the motor/inverter underwent changes, but the body and chassis stayed the same. Tesla has new models but not […]

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Serviceability Report: Honda CR-V

Which model year is easier to service: the 2011 or the 2016? I started my career as a motorcycle mechanic in the late 1960s. The local Honda shop needed a helper. After a day, I was hooked. I worked for peanuts and loved every day at Sportsman’s Cycle Sales in Holden, Mass. Today, I still […]

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Serviceability Report: Toyota Prius Gas/Electric Hybrid

How easy, or hard, is it to service the Gen III vehicle? For more than 15 years, Prius has been known as the quintessential hybrid. Sales have been so strong that at one time there was a waiting list, and almost 50 percent of hybrids on the road were Prii (plural for Prius). Comedians have […]

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Serviceability Report: Kia Soul

Let’s take a look at Kia. Is it easy to service? Kia was a poorly made car when this Korean car company brought its 1994 Sephia to America. Kia made cars for Ford/Mazda prior to 1994, but most people had no idea where they came from. Remember the Aspire from Ford? That was a Kia. […]

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Serviceability Report: Honda Fit

Honda makes great small cars. How does the new Fit stack up? Hondas are a favorite of mine. So being critical of Honda is not easy for me. This month, we will examine the 2015 Honda Fit and see what happened when it was redesigned recently. The Fit went on sale in the U.S. on […]

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