Talking Cars: 2011 Mustang the best ever
QUESTION: I am interested in buying a new Mustang GT. My question is, the 2010 or the 2011? Is the 2011 that much better than the 2010? I have spoke to a couple of dealers and they are offering the 2010 at a good discount. Have you driven the 2011? I have not seen any at the dealer or on the road.
ANSWER: I did spend a week in the 2011 Mustang GT. My only complaint, it was only a week. Ford has built the best Mustang to date. My personally owned Mustang is a 2007 GT500, which is a great muscle car. With that said, the 2011 is light years ahead of its predecessor. The 2011 is a true all-new car. Start with the 5-liter V/8 backed by a six-speed manual short throw shifter and 373 optional rear end gear set (which is a must). The power of this new 412 HP 5-liter V/8 keeps on going up to the red line of 6,500 rpm. The cold air intake and back-to-the-’60s exhaust sound is just another fabulous feature of the car. Remember, the older engines used to red line out under 6,000 rpm. Open the doors and there is an illuminated sill plate. Look at the upgraded leather interior with color set inserts and stitching. A big money option on import cars. Power heated seats, steering hub controls, large navigation screen, Sirius radio, Shaker 500 audio sound system. Gone is the harsh suspension bang over bumps – large front Brembo brakes, electric power steering and a great driving feeling. Paint fit and finish on our test car was perfect. Our test car had the rear spoiler deleted, and I like the look it without the rear spoiler. I have driven all of the pony cars, and the 2011 Mustang is now at the top of the list. Drive both the 2010 and 2011 and I think you will agree the 2011 is the way to go.
QUESTION: My 2006 Toyota Camry V/6 reverently failed the state emission test for a fault code p0420. The inspector says the fault code indicates a faulty catalytic converter. I did some price checking and found the price of the converter from $400 to $1,300. My mechanic says the low price catalytic converters do not work and the fault code will come back on in less than a year. Is this true?
ANSWER: Here’s the real story. There are many aftermarket companies that produce catalytic converters. Some are made with a minimum amount of the precious metals just to get by. Another consideration is most vehicles have to meet the California emission specs, and some aftermarket converters do not meet these specs. A look under the hood at the plastic spec card will indicate if the car is federal or California emissions rated. Have the technician check all the converters on this car. He may not be aware there is also a converter mounted on the front exhaust manifold that is a common failure. The factory converter y-pipe from Toyota is extremely expensive. This is where we use an aftermarket replacement that meets the proper specs and is half the Toyota cost. On the front manifold converter we do use the factory Toyota brand. You also have to make sure the engine is running properly. On a poor-running engine, a misfire exhaust leak ahead of the catalytic converter will damage a catalytic converter and even set the fault code p0420.
QUESTION: I own a 2010 Ford Escape Limited 3.0 V/6 six-speed automatic. When I accelerate from a stop there is a noise like blowing over an open soda bottle. I went to the dealer many times and they showed me a TSB #9-25-03 referring to the noise and said this is a normal condition. Do you have any ideas?
ANSWER: You have the Ford TSB. They agree with the sound you are hearing. At this time consider it normal, because there is no fix. It is not a safety concern, and as soon as Ford comes up with a fix you will be notified. I personally got a new Escape for a week test drive. As soon as I do get the 2011 I will let you know.
QUESTION: I own a 2007 VW Jetta with 70,000 miles. I heard a noise coming from the front end. I brought the car to the shop and they said the noise was a worn out front wheel bearing. The technician suggested I replace both front bearings. What are your thoughts?
ANSWER: When we get a vehicle with a noisy front wheel bearing it is our policy to check both, replace the bad bearing and then road test the vehicle. If the vehicle is now quiet we do not replace the other bearing.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.