How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor [VIDEO]

Thought I'd share with my readers this video I made “How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor.”  While the car in the video is a Toyota Camry the process is the same on the majority of cars with 4-cylinder engines out on the road.

How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor

Technically on this Toyota Camry it is called an Air/Fuel Sensor.  It was throwing engine code P1135 Bank 1 Sensor 1, which means it was the Upstream Sensor on this Toyota Camry.

Tools I used for replacing the Air/Fuel Sensor on this Toyota Camry.

New Air/Fuel Sensor – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/denso2349010

Metric Gearwrench Set  – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/gwflex

Used for getting off Exhaust Manifold Cover

Adjustable Wrench – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/crescent10

Magnetic Parts Dish – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/magneticdish

Rubber Gloves – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/rubbergloves

Mechanic's Gloves – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/mechanixgloves

Fender Cover – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/pbfendercover

Actron Code Scanner – http://www.adamsautoadvice.com/go/pocketscan

Toyota sold 1.22 million Corollas in 2013

toyota corollaThe Toyota Corolla is the best selling car of all time and it seems that will not change anytime soon.  Toyota announced that global sales for the Toyota Corolla hit a record 1.22 million units in 2013.  The data was taken Toyota's internal data based on individual vehicle sales and reports from distributors of the Corolla from all around the world.

For Toyota and their best selling car, the Corolla, this represents a 5 percent increase from 2012.  As we all know the Corolla’s popularity is strong among people in 150 countries and regions all over the globe and is hard to beat since the car is so damn reliable, sturdy, and easy to fix.  In Afghanistan “Corollas are Forever” with almost 90% of the  cars on the roads being used Corollas from other countries.

“The Corolla stands as the international face of Toyota and touches millions of people across the globe every day,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager.  “Being the world’s best-selling car speaks volumes about the satisfaction and loyalty our customers feel about the Corolla and Toyota.”  Of course is that Corolla and Toyota loyalty or just the fact there is no other car as good as a Toyota Corolla?

Thanks to the recent Corolla redesign, which includes better design cues and elements along with improved fuel economy, the Corolla’s worldwide sales since its introduction since 1966 are over 40.72 million units as of February 2014.  This makes the Toyota Corolla the best-selling car of all time.  Outselling the VW Golf, Ford Mustang, and and VW Beetle.  (The Honda Super Cub is the best selling motorized vehicle of all time.  Honda has sold over 60+ million of these motorcycles all over the world.)

Based on Toyota’s analysis new vehicle registration data the Corolla has retain the title as the best selling car for 2013.  Global Toyota Corolla registrations were 1,098,524 million, which is a whole lot of Corollas.

This figure includes  all models and variations of the Corolla which includes the Corolla Axio, Corolla Altis and Corolla EX 4-door sedans.  The subscripts “Axio” “Altis” and “EX” denote trim levels of the 4-door Corolla sedan sold in various global regions, including Japan.  Also included are the Corolla-badged Fielder and Rumion 5-door wagons.

In the US alone the new Toyota Corolla sold more than 300,000 units in 2013, a 4 percent increase over 2012.  Toyota stresses that in 2013, 97 percent of all Corollas sold in the U.S. were built in North America.  So the world's best selling car is made in America too.

Toyota joins forces with Muppets for Super Bowl commercial

toyota super bowl commercial

This year Toyota has decided to join forces with Jim Henson's legendary Muppets for the big game tomorrow or (February 2nd,  2014).  Toyota is airing their Super Bowl commercial on TV for the all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander. The Super Bowl spot will feature the Muppets and the actor Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Idiocracy).

Toyota Highlander – Joyride

About a week ago Toyota released this teaser trailer for the Toyota Highlander Super Bowl commercial.

The Muppets will be coming out with a movie in March, 2014 “Muppets Most Wanted” so Disney and Toyota seemed to feel this was a good cross promotion for both brands.  What did you think of this Toyota Super Bowl Commercial?  Was it awesome, good, bad or terrible?  Let me know your thoughts about it.

 

Consumer Reports Top 10 Picks for 2013 [videos]

consumer reports auto issue

Consumer Reports at the National Press Club in Washington DC today announced the magazine's well regarded Top 10 Picks from the magazine's much anticipated April Annual Auto Issue. They presented their findings on vehicle and quality rankings on a wide range of automakers and vehicles.

Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, and Rik Paul, Consumer Reports Auto Editor, presented the non-biased and independent findings to an eager audience of Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) members, various well-known media outlets, and reps from most of the leading automakers. Jessica Anderson, the President of WAPA, even commented it was a noticeably large turnout. Hey it's Consumer Report's and a lot of people turn to this information when shopping for a new car.

Consumer Reports Top Pick's for 2013

  • Honda Accord (Midsized Sedan) – Consumer Report's really felt that Honda “nailed it” with the redesign of the Honda Accord. The reliability, roominess, comfort, reasonable pricing, and fuel efficiency all helped the Honda Accord earn high marks and a Top Pick this year. ($23,270 to $30,860)
  • Subaru Impreza (Compact Car) – The Subaru Impreza won the Compact Car category last year and now takes the “Top Pick” title this year too. Consumer Report's noted that both the sedan and hatchback are great values and have great features. This includes nimble handling, a compliant and absorbent ride which the editors note rivals luxury sedans. Along with impressive fuel economy for an All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) car the Subaru Impreza is hard to beat.
  • Hyundai Elantra (Budget Car) – This one of the Consumer Report's top rated compact sedans and it is clear why. Hyundai offers a really great value for those on a budget. The Hyundai Elantra is more roomy, provides decent handling, a comfortable ride, smooth powertrain, a nice interior with good fit and finish. ($18,445)
  • Toyota Prius (Green Car) – The Toyota Prius can't seem to be dethroned from winning this category. It has been named a Consumer Report's “Top Pick” 12 times before and this now this is the 10th consecutive year it has won a Top Pick. The editors noted that it is hard to beat the fuel economy, hatchback versatility, practicality, affordability, and value the Toyota Prius offers consumers. Environmentalists and liberals can rejoice and can continue to feel proud of the beloved Toyota Prius. ($26,750)
  • Audi A6 (Luxury Car) – This comes as a bit of surprise since Audi has not had a car be named a “Top Pick” be Consumer Report's in over 10 years. The Audi A6 received good marks for having a stunning supercharged V6 engine, smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, and a ride you would expect from a German automobile. Handling is also quick, precise and agile and driving an Audi A6 is a sinful pleasure. The interior and high-tech features also impressed the Consumer Report's editors. ($56,295)
  • BMW 328i (Sports Sedan) – The BMW 328i edged out the Infiniti G37 which took the Sports Sedan category for 4 years. Like the Audi, BMW had not had a Consumer Report's “Top Pick” for 10 years. What made editors change their minds? The redesigned BMW 328i is roomier, more luxurious, and has better fuel efficiency with the 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Like all BMW's it still retains fun-to-drive characteristics. ($43,195)
  • Honda CR-V (Small SUV) – A smooth ride, responsive powertrain, excellent fuel economy, a great ride, roomy interior, standard backup camera, and Honda reliability make the Honda CR-V a Top Pick. ($26,455)
  • Toyota Highlander (Midsized SUV) – The Toyota Highlander returns for 2013 as it won this category last year. Consumer Report's notes that it has the practicality of an SUV with the refinement of a great sedan. The Toyota Highlander provides a quiet cushy ride along with secure handling and a smooth powertrain. With Toyota reliability it is hard to go wrong with the Toyota Highlander. ($38,578 to $47,255)
  • Honda Odyssey (Minivan) – Consumer Report's renamed the “Family Hauler” category to Minivan this year. That's probably because you can't get anything better than a minivan for a family hauler! 🙂 Editors noted that Honda Odyssey provides a comfortable ride, roominess, and versatile cabin that is quiet. Rik Paul noted that is provides a rear backup camera as standard which Consumre Report's that was an essential safety feature around a car that is going to have small children around it. With Honda reliability the Honda Odyssey takes the Minivan category. ($36,830)
  • Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ (Sports Car) – These twin sisters might have different names but are the same car underneath. The super-sharp handling, fabulous braking, a powerful engine, and Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD) make this a true driver's car. (I know since I have drove a Subrau BRZ quite fast at the WAPA Rally.) Reliability, good fuel economy, and good fit and finish all at a reasonable price earned the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S a Top Pick. ($25,025 and $27,117)

To earn the coveted Top Pick from Consumer Report's they must meet high criteria in 3 areas: road test, reliability, and safety. The vehicles must rank at or near the top of the vehicle category and earn above average reliability grades. Reliability data is calculated from the Consumer Report's survey that non-profit organization send out every year to subscribers. In the last survey data on 1.2 million vehicles was collected. Vehicles should also perform adequately in testing conducted by the government or insurance industry.

What is interesting is that last year no Hondas were on the Top Picks list. Honda seems to have adjusted quickly though and has come back into the ring fighting strong earning 3 Top Picks for 2013. Hyundai earning a top pick shows how far the automaker has come in a few years. It is also nice to see the Audi A6 and BMW 328i earn Top Pick selections, but it will remain to be seen whether they can retain the title next year.

Noticeably absent on the Consumer Reports Top Picks list were vehicles from domestic automakers, which means Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors (GM). Jake Fisher commented during his presentation that while domestic automakers have made significant strides and impressive improvements to their vehicle lineups over the past couple years, they still have quite a long way to go. Japanese, German, other automakers are also improving their lineups making it somewhat difficult to compete and catch-up so to speak with the competition’s quality and reliability.

Interestingly though during the Q&A after the press conferences I asked Jake Fisher and Rik Paul, “What car would you the two of you personally buy with your own money?” To my surprise they were willing to answer the question and did not say “No!”

Rik Paul commented he had been recently driving the Ford Fusion and really liked it but said that it does depend on a someone's priorities. Notably the Ford Fusion scored just below the Honda Accord in Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue this year. If he was going to get a Ford Fusion he would probably opt for the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Rik Paul did mention to me that he changes his mind every other week since he gets to test drive so many different cars. If only we could all be so lucky!

Jake Fisher reply to my question was that he really enjoyed the VW Golf TDI since it is a lot of fun-to-drive. He did mentioned that it would of course have to be a stick-shift, like any auto enthusiast would want. Although squeezing kids in back would be tough. (By the way he said “That's a good question!” in case you were wondering!”

The Consumer Reports auto testing is widely regarded in the auto industry as the best. The cars that Consumer Reports uses in testing are not given to them by the automakers as press fleet vehicles, like most auto publications get them. Consumer Reports buys the cars anonymously to make sure the cars do not have any special “tweaks” to them. They go through an extremely comprehensive testing procedures and all ratings are non-biased.

While there might be disagreement and hard-feelings about the ratings and the Top Picks list…it is hard to deny the impact the Consumer Report's Annual Auto Issue has on the auto industry.

 

Toyota RAV4 Super Bowl Commercial with Kaley Cuoco [Video]

Toyota seems to have hit the sweet spot with they're Super Bowl 2013 commercial featuring actress Kaley Cuoco.  This spot titled “Wish Granted” features Kaley Cuoco as the RAV4 Genie granting the Henderson family any wish they want.

The commercial seems to have the right mix of appealing to a wide range of audiences while targeting the family market that the 2013 Toyota RAV4 is meant for.

I mean who doesn't want to be able to just wish things to happen?  As well as have a Genie do it for them?  That would be totally awesome!

Some of the other commercials are more edgy, sexy, and eye-catching but… numbers don't lie or in this case view counts.  As I am writing this the Toyota RAV4 Super Bower Commercial with Kaley Cuoco has generated over 10 million views.  As far as I can tell no other automaker has generated anywhere close to this many views for their Super Bowl commercials.

After the Super Bowl we should have a better idea of which Super Bowl commercial will have created the most buzz and brouhaha.   Toyota has pulled ahead of the other automakers for the pre-Super Bowl eyeballs and I assume this spot will continue to dominate.

Got an opinion or thought about this Toyota “Wish Granted” Super Bowl commercial?  Then let me know!

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BumpShox Protects Front Bumpers from Bad Drivers

BumpShox, Front Bumper Protection!

Do you hate it when bad drivers hit your bumper? Sooo annoying… especially if it's a brand new car!

BumpShox might be your solution. The BumpShox bumper protector is a relatively new foam-based automotive product that looks like a big oversized license plate holder (well it is), but it is a bumper protector. It fits in place of any standard license plate and can be installed easily on virtually any car.

I have been testing the BumpShox for awhile, on several vehicles. I liked using the BumpShox on all of our cars (a 2002 Toyota Camry, 1996 Honda Accord.) Not that it really adds to the look of the Camry or Accord, but it sure is a conversation starter when people notice it, point, and ask “Hey, what's that?”

However, one of the points of the The BumpShox is it's unobtrusive, small, and does not detract too much from the look of the car, at least when compared to other bumper protectors. Typically other bumper protectors or bumper guards will cover the whole bumper and are pretty damn ugly. What's the point of owning a Mustang if you can't enjoy the beautiful lines?

For the most part the BumpShox is not that noticeable. Once you get used to it, it's sort of a fun little addition to your car.

On one of my roadtrips, I parked my Accord in a large parking lot with a few cars. You would assume there was little use for a BumpShox in this situation. When I came out of the store, to my surprise someone had parked a tad to close to my car! The BumpShox was cushioning my car's bumper against a hideous Dodge Caliber.  (Who drives a Caliber anyway?)  I was quite pleased with this and the BumpShox saved me a a weekend of DIY bodywork, which probably would have come out with bad results.

So for protecting your front bumper against stupid and bad drivers, even in large parking lots, the BumpShox can work well.

Where the BumpShox supposedly really shines is in tight parallel parking spaces in cities. The only issue is that it is only going to protect your bumper when you are in the space or parking and moving forward to reposition your car.

Because the BumpShox is unobtrusive and small it won't protect the majority of your bumper at various angles when parking. Only slow front end taps will the foam cushion work.

For complete bumper protection, the BumpShox is not necessarily ideal. Of course larger bumper protectors that cover your whole bumper cost $150+. That's a lot to shell out! If you are tired of having bad drivers hit your beautiful bumper, the $35 bucks it costs to buy a BumpShox is probably a good investment. If you want to buy two, it will cost $60.

I can't guarantee that the BumpShox will work in all situations. For light front-end taps and bumper protection from bad drivers who can't park, even in a large parking lot, it did it's job well on my Accord. That's good enough for me! 🙂

Top Gear UK vs. Top Gear USA: Which Top Gear is Better?

top gear
Top Gear

If you love cars as much as I do, you inevitably love Top Gear. If you don't know what Top Gear is, I can sum up the the TV show for you like this, “The greatest thing EVER!”

Top Gear shows you what happens when you let loose three crazed automotive journalists and give them an unlimited budget to do what they want with cars. The three hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond get into wacky situations during each episode. They engage in antics such as driving to the North Pole, crossing the English Channel in homemade amphibious vehicles, and trying to prove British Leyland built good cars, just a few situations the three hosts get into during an episode. Top Gear goes boldly where no other TV show goes. It also answers the question of what every man would do if he could remain a kid forever.

Top Gear UK is an immensely popular TV show. I am not the only one who thinks so, as the original British Top Gear has an estimated global audience of 350 million people in 170 different countries every week.  (According to Wikipedia!) 

Americans like to copy good British TV shows. The Office, American Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, etc. were all British TV shows first. Now you can add Top Gear to that list. The History channel now broadcasts an American version of Top Gear with Rutledge Wood, Adam Ferrara, and Tanner Foust. Top Gear USA follows the same format as the original Top Gear, with the three hosts reviewing cars, getting into crazy situations, having celebrities on the show, etc.

The fact that Top Gear USA is still on TV probably makes diehard fans of the original British version groan with pain. The first time I watched an episode of Top Gear USA I didn't like it. This might be because the hosts are not nearly as witty and entertaining and majority of the segments seem to be carbon copies of the original.

Brits, it seems, are just better at making good TV than “Stupid Americans” as Europeans might call us. It makes we wonder if there will be an Americanized version of Downton Abbey. (At least we make great action movies with lots of explosions!)

I may have my own opinions about Top Gear USA. However, I'd like to hear from my readers on which you prefer.

I have compiled these videos for a heads-up challenge, Top Gear UK vs Top Gear USA. Which do you think is better? Watch the videos and decide for yourself. Leave a comment below and share your opinions.

TRAILER 

SKIERS VS. CAR

Top Gear USA – Mitsubishi Evo X by cjrobe0

VIDEO GAME VS. REAL TRACK

Top Gear -NSX @ Laguna Seca

CELEBRITY APPEARANCES

CAR REVIEW

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