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Comment Re:So there is a problem... (Score 5, Interesting) 174 174

Tesla's Warranty is a bit better than what GM offers, true. However, it is not hugely better excepting the unlimited mileage for the powertrain, and 8 year battery warranty. That said, I've got some concerns with Tesla's battery warranty being that I live in MN.

"In addition, damage resulting from the following activities are not covered under this Battery
Limited Warranty:
â Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140ÂF (60ÂC) or below -22ÂF (-30ÂC) for
more than 24 hours at a time;"

That bit scares me. -22 F temps are normal for us in the winter, and I don't heat my garage. Thus, the car would be exposed to such temps for over 24hrs at least once a year. Kind of puts a crimp in my plans to buy a Tesla 3 when it comes out; I can already make the justification to buy a model S based on my driving needs, but I refuse to pay more in car payments than my mortgage.

From Chevy's website:

Warranty Coverage
Bumper-to-Bumper (including tires):
Coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Coverage is for the first 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Sheet Metal:
Corrosion coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Rust-through coverage is for the first 6 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

From Tesla:

Subject to separate coverage for certain parts and the exclusions and limitations described in this
New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the repair or
replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any parts
manufactured or supplied by Tesla that occur under normal use for a period of 4 years or 50,000
miles (80,000 km), whichever comes first.

Supplemental Restraint System Limited Warranty
Subject to the exclusions and limitations described in this New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the SRS
Limited Warranty covers the repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or
workmanship of the vehicleâ(TM)s seat belts or air bag system manufactured or supplied by Tesla that
occur under normal use for a period of 5 years or 60,000 miles (100,000 km), whichever comes

Comment Re:Pffft (Score 1) 723 723

"Cities like Birmingham and Atlanta are different. The ground surface temperature is warmer, so any amount of snow generally melts and converts to ice quickly. The people up north don't know/understand this, so they make ignorant comments to feel superior."

No, we have 4 real seasons. 2 of which are exactly like your "winter". Spring and Autumn often have ground temps high enough that snow immediately converts to ice, or ground temps below freezing such that rain instantly freezes to ice. We feel superior because we don't panic, and know that when a winter storm warning is issued by the NWS, you pay attention. Listen up, the NWS knows what they're about, if they issue a watch it is like 50/50, a warning is better taken as gospel.

A little bit of ice and you freak out. Come up to MN and I'll show you something to freak out about. Black ice. Can't see it. Looks like dry pavement. Will cause your vehicle to lose control with the slightest change in direction or speed. Worse by far than normal ice on the roads because there is no indication there is anything wrong until the car/truck gets very loose. If you panic on black ice, you're in the ditch or worse before you can blink.

Comment Re:You weren't there. I was. (Score 1) 723 723

I'm not nuts, I have a 320HP RWD car and I drive up iced over hills every year in the winter (Cadillac STS). Sure, it's easier in my Yukon with it in 4x4, but no chains needed; FWIW, chains are illegal in MN because they damage the road. Here's a hint, keep some kitty litter in your trunk. Throw it down on ice. Trust me. Rock your vehicle out if you can't get moving; don't just floor it in D. Try to get it rocking back and forth and eventually you'll move.

All season tires are what you need at a minimum. If you run summer tires on pavement below about 45 degrees, you're a complete fool. I suspect that is where the majority of issues came from. Summer tires need HOT pavement to work well. Cold pavement might as well be ice, say nothing about real ice and snow...

Hell, I don't even run winter tires in MN. Good all-seasons are all you need (blizzaks and other dedicated winter tires are the best, but I put on too many miles to use them). That and a brain cell or two.

You guys would really freak out if you ever came across black ice.

Comment Re:Canadian driving (Score 1) 723 723

"This wasn't black ice. It was a solid sheet of ice, curb to curb, sitting on every paved surface in the area. Without a single grain of salt, sand, or gravel sitting on top. Without a single gap of cleared road surface peeking through. If you've seen conditions like that in Michigan, you guys have the shittiest snow management system in the country, because unlike Georgia, you should be prepared."

Apparently you've never experienced black ice. Regular ice, from curb to curb, I've seen, driven on, and all that good stuff. Even in MN, where we have winter every year, it happens from time to time. See, even though we've got all the equipment, sometimes the rain just up and changes to freezing rain. Had you pretreated the roads, the rain would have washed it away before it started freezing. The key point you southerners fail to grasp is that you've just got to slow down, modulate the throttle, and not be a total moron. Hard to do, I know, but it works.

Black ice, however, looks exactly like dry pavement. No sheen, no indication of it being there except any change of velocity (be it the slightest turn of the wheel, or most insignificant change in speed) causes your vehicle to want to switch front for rear. Black ice is scary shit, but you deal with it the same way as regular ice. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN, avoid any changes in velocity, accelerate and decelerate as though there is an egg under the relevant pedal, LEAVE 3x car lengths OR MORE of space between you and the car in front and don't panic.

Comment Re:You weren't there. I was. (Score 1) 723 723

"So don't freaking patronize us."

I'll patronize you when it is called for. It is called for in this case. 3" of wintry mix is a mild inconvenience, not a shut the whole city down natural disaster. Oh yeah, slush/sleet DOES plow out of the way with no problems. Drive slow is the right response to such conditions. As to the whole needing momentum to go up hill on ice; yeah, not so much. Proper throttle modulation to avoid tire spin works better since you'll be in control. Then again, I drive through worse conditions every year, so I wouldn't know how to handle such things...

We get wintry mix worse than what hit Atlanta several times a year here in MN. Usually in October & November, and then from March-May.

Perhaps you southerners should heed NWS warnings. When there is a watch, it's about 50/50 if it'll happen. If it is a warning, take the warning as gospel.

Comment Re:station wagon? (Score 3, Interesting) 208 208

"A station wagon is what moms wanted to drive. Whenever somebody says "Americans want SUVs". They're wrong. The SUV is a legal hack to get around fuel economy standards. See? If we build a station wagon with a center of gravity so high that it tips over in the parking lot, it's legally defined as a truck and we don't have to meet the same standards.

Sorry to get into this, but it's one of my pet peeves. Whenever I hear, "Americans want SUVs" it just grates on my nerves. No we didn't. We wanted station wagons. Mom didn't want to tip the kids over and throw them, her, and the groceries into a ditch. Shortsighted regulators left a loophole in CAFE, and they literally drove a truck through it.

Now all these kids don't even know what a station wagon is. Sounds about right. It's the vehicle that the mom down the block had. I distinctly remember us piling in there with the neighbor kids on more than one occasion, and she smoked like a chimney. Shotgun! I get to ride up front with Mrs. Potter and yeah, it smells up here but we didn't know nothin'. We didn't wear seatbelts and... well... I know this is survivorship bias talking but... we survived!

In other words, get your damned SUV off my lawn."

This American wants his SUV, not a station wagon.
I have an SUV instead of a station wagon. Not because I'm a mom (I'm not), and not for grocery getting, but because I live in a place with 4 real seasons and big 4x4 SUVs are handy for getting around for the 2 days it takes the DOT to clear roads after a winter storm. Besides, a car won't pull my snowmobile trailer or the boat.

That said, I don't use the SUV for daily driving. It's 17 years old and unlike the vast majority of SUVs, is muddy as often as not since it also does go off road. As a 2nd vehicle, it is great. Mine is nowhere near as big as a Suburban (2 door full size Yukon GT), and I sure as hell wouldn't want to load it up with micro SD cards; each one may be tiny, but enough to fill the thing up would have it so grossly overloaded it wouldn't be funny.

I'll try to keep my SUV off your lawn.

Comment Re:One word: (Score 1) 129 129

"Now then, if you want imaging, Magnepan."

All hail Magnepan!

Even if they're on the complete opposite end of the efficiency spectrum from the horn speakers.

I feed my little MMGs 400Wpc (@ 4 Ohms), and back them up with a pair of HSU TN1220HO subs, but my little MMG/HSU setup is sonic bliss. Some day, when I've acquired more amplification, I'll be grabbing some bigger maggies and moving the MMGs to surround duty.

Comment Re:took his class at MIT (Score 1) 129 129

"Personally, I'm still looking for speakers that excel at reproducing music (modern as well as classical) but also do a good job in a home theater setup. I settled on a pair of Acoustic Research Status S-50 floor standers, good but still a bit of a compromise. Hearing good things about the LinkWitz Orion but I still have to find a pair I can listen to, to decide whether all that extra cabling and equipment is worth the effort."

Magnepan MMG. Order them direct from Magnepan, by phone, for a shade over $600/pair. They're made in the USA and sold in China. Be warned, you'll want an honest 200Wpc at 4 Ohms to dive them (I use 400 per channel), you'll need good subwoofers, plural, and good bass management in your processor/preamp. Seriously, there is no receiver that'll drive them as their efficiency is low. But man, the sound is incredible. I've listened to many a high-end box speaker and they all sound like the sound is coming from a box. Not so with dipoles, be they Planar Magnetic or Electrostatic. I've also not heard the Orion setup, but I can appreciate what it has to offer (no box!).

Planar-Magnetic dipoles and electrostatic dipoles are awesome. When you fall in love, you can move up to the bigger Maggies, where your speaker prices are still reasonable and have better bass, but they dominate a room and will have your amp begging for mercy.

Comment Re:FFT's ? kids these days (Score 1) 156 156

"Yeah , right.

That attitude is why american "sports" cars like the corvette , camaro or mustang use huge gas guzzling V8 engines because its cheaper to just chuck in something off the shelf than spend time optimising it and ending up with something more efficient and powefull."

Uh, first off, the Corvette is the only car you listed there that is actually a sports car. Second, the Corvette gets better mileage than almost any other sports car on the market; certainly better than anything that has performance anywhere near the Vette. Thirdly, GMs entire small block development program starts with making more power for less weight and in smaller external dimensions for use in the Corvette. The engines are beat upon in Vettes, and then given wimpy cams, anemic intakes & exhausts, and have their displacement lowered to be rolled out to the masses (to be fair the Camaro usually gets the un-gimped motor); the pickups & SUVs tend to get the gimped motors...

FWIW, the 5.7L LS6 small block engine in my '02 Z06 makes >405HP, gets me ~28MPG highway (~24MPG mixed driving), and weighs about 400lb complete in a car that weighs about 3000lbs and corners at >1G. The motor in my Vette has smaller external dimensions, less weight, less complexity, more power, vastly more torque at usable RPM, and costs less than most much smaller displacement, heavier, less efficient, larger external dimensioned, lower torque producing engines with turbos, multiple cams, and other high-tech trickery. Sometimes K.I.S.S. is the right way to go...

Comment Re:Instead of the FUD... (Score 1) 320 320

"Please show me the ultrabook that gets 10 hours of battery life. Hell show me the laptop with an intel (not atom) chip that gets 10 hours. The only laptops I have seen that give that kind of life all have to use an extended battery that ruins their form factor and adds quite a bit of weight." Exhibit A: MacBook Air 13", mid-2011 model. With the keyboard backlight off, and screen brightness at around 25%, I can get 10 hours of use out of it web-surfing and other light tasks. More typical use for me results in about 8 hours (keyboard backlight on, screen at 50% brightness). That's with an i7 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD space. I also do get over 10hrs out of my 3rd gen iPad using it to control my telescope. To be fair, that is with the screen brightness all of the way down, but never in sleep mode, and playing music the whole time. Apple, unlike EVERY OTHER manufacturer will usually exceed their ratings on battery life in real use.

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago