2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8

If you have always been a fan of the Challenger then check out the stylish features of the new 2012!

Changing my Oil

When Should I Change my Oil?

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil in your vehicle once a year or every 7,500 miles, and some even recommend every 10,000 miles in passenger cars and light truck gasoline engines.   For diesel engines and turbocharged gasoline engines, the usual recommendation is every 3,000 miles or six months.

There seems to be some mixed feelings and ideas on this.  If you ask different companies you may get an answer stating that this is for vehicles which are driven under ideal circumstances.  What exactly are ideal circumstances?  What we consider normal driving may actually be considered severe driving in certain states.  Stop and go traffic and frequent short trips in cold weather, driving at highway speeds in hot weather and dusty or gravel roads and carrying heavy loads are all severe driving.  For this type of driving it is recommended that you change your oil every 3000 miles. This is not to say that everyone needs to start changing their oil every 3000 miles.  If you primarily drive on the interstate and have a newer car you should probably follow your manufacturers recommendations.  Most newer cars come equipped with an oil monitoring system and a light inside the car will come on to let you know when it is time to change the oil.  A new engine can probably go 7,500 miles between oil changes.  Manufacturers have developed new technology and have created better engines, but they can’t ride with you and make you drive better, nor do they know your driving habits, a good estimate and, what we recommend is to change your oil every 5ooo miles.

Why Change the Oil?

As miles build up more unburned fuel is dumped into the crankcase diluting the oil and causing the oil to break down.  Not changing the oil often enough causes accelerated wear and engine problems.  Oil breaks down due to high operating temperatures, causing a loss of lubrication and without enough lubrication those engine parts rub against each other and wear out.   Also remember to check your oil levels between oil changes because eventually all engines will burn oil, so you may avoid an engine meltdown one day.

1964 1/2 Mustang

Ponycar Revolution

In 1961 Lee Iacocca had a vision to create a sports car which would seat 4 people, weigh less than 2500 lbs and be no longer than 180 inches.  This vision would become reality and would become one of the hottest selling cars on the market.  On March 9, 1964 the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line and was introduced to the world on April 17, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair.  The Mustang sold over 22,000 units and a revolution had begun.

The truth is that there is no 1964 1/2 Mustang, but that term was coined by Mustang enthusiast.  This model was produced for 6 months before refinements were made, the ones produced within the next 6 months are considered to be 1965.  But technically they are all 1965 Mustangs, I will  still call it a 1964 1/2.   Besides knowing the date it was manufactured, how can you tell if it is a 1964 1/2?  It  has to be factory-equipped with a generator charging system, a 170ci six (U-code), a 260 2V (F-code), or a 289 4V (D-code) low-compression, large horns mounted down on the frame behind the radiator, a brake light pressure switch on the master cylinder, a center “off” heater fan switch, and a generator charge light, just to name the basics. These are features exclusive to Mustangs built between early March and July 31, 1964.  There was never a fastback made in those early production units, so if you find a ’65 fastback it is not a ’64 1/2.

The pony interior was added in the ’65 production group featuring  special seat covers with running horses across the back, exclusive interior door panels with integral armrests and pistol-grip door handles, a five-gauge instrument panel, wood-grain steering wheel, and appliques on the instrument cluster, glove-box, and center console (if equipped).


The Camaro

First Generation Camaro

The first-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966 (designated as the 1967 Camaro) in response to the hugely successful Ford Mustang (the Mustang had been developed in response to the Corvair.)


The executives at Chevrolet realized that the Corvair was not going to compete with the sales of the Mustang partly due to its rear-engine design and Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed, which called the Corvair "The One-Car Accident".

Reports started running in April 1965 in the automotive press, before any official announcements were made, that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther.  June 21 1966, 200 automotive journalist received a telegram from General Motors stating “…Please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow…(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary.”  The journalist received a second telegram the following day saying “Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28…(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations SEPAW Secretary.”  On June 28 General Motors held a press conference and made history with the first ever real-time press conference containing 14 cities hooked up via telephone lines.  The new Camaro line was then unveiled and when Chevrolet managers were asked what a Camaro was,the replied with  ““a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”   The word Camaro, according to Chevrolet,  was Old French for “friend”.

second generation Camaro

1972 Camaro-second generation Camaro

The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.  The first generation Camaro includes the year models 1967, 1968 and 1969.  The look of the 1969 Camaro was changed to a more angular look, the wheel wells were squared off, the dashboard was updated with square gauges and the tachometer was optional.  This was the last of the first generation Camaro and Chevrolet offered a ton of engine choices, everything from straight line six cylinder engine to an incredible 427 cubic inch monster that was part of the special order ZL-1. Most buyers picked the small block V-8.  The Camaro was a built as  a family car with its 2 by 2 seating and is considered to be Chevrolet’s Pony car while the Chevelle SS is considered the muscle car.

Model 0-60 mph Quarter Mile Time Engine Source
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.2 sec 12.8 sec @ 107.0 mph 427ci/425hp MCR 1987
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.3 sec 10.4 sec @ 128.1 mph 427ci/425hp Super Stock Mag 2/69
1969 Camaro Yeko 5.4 sec 11.9 sec @ 114.5 mph 427ci/430hp Yeko
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 94.8 mph 302ci/290hp Car Life
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 95.0 mph 302ci/290hp Road & Track 12/91
1969 Camaro SS Pace Car 8.0 sec 16.0 sec @ 88.0 mph 350ci/300hp Motor Trend7/96
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.8 sec @ 98.7 mph 396ci/375hp Car & Driver 5/70
1969 Camaro Z/28 n/a 14.7 sec @ 95.9 mph 302ci/290hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS396 n/a 14.5 sec @ 100.6 mph 396ci/375hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS 396 n/a 14.2 sec @ 97.3 mph 396ci/375hp MCR 12/97
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.2 sec @ 103.8 mph 396ci/375hp MCR Feb/Mar 1996
1969 Camaro ZL-1 n/a 13.2 sec @ 100.2 mph 427ci/425hp Hi PerfCars 8/69
1969 Camaro SS n/a 13.0 sec @ 108.6 mph 396ci/375hp Supercar Annual 1969

Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Getting Better Gas Mileage

Drive Efficiently

Calm Down

One thing most of us can do is to stop being so aggressive in traffic.  Not just being uptight and angry, but rapid acceleration and braking uses more gasoline, and can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% around town.  You will save gas and money, plus you will be safer on the road.

Slow Down

The second thing we can do is to drive the posted speed limit.   Gas mileage decreases rapidly as speed exceeds 60 mph.  For each 5 mph you exceed 60 mph it is the equivalent of paying $0.24 extra per gallon of gasoline.  Imagine how much money we could save on gas by slowing down.

Lighten Your Load

The third thing we should do is to remove any excess baggage from our vehicles that may be weighing it down.  This is especially true for smaller vehicles.  For every 100 lbs extra we carry in the vehicle it lowers the gas mileage by 2%.

Idle Behaviour

As most of know sitting in traffic waste a lot of gas and a car with a larger engine waste more gas than cars with smaller engines.  When you engine is idling it is getting 0 mpg.


If you are on the highway use your cruise control.  Staying at that constant speed will help you to save on gas (remember speeding up and slowing down rapidly waste gas).

Moving Forward

When you are looking for a parking space try to park so that you can pull out forward instead of backing up.  Yes, really!  This can improve your gas mileage up to 25%.

Keep in Shape

Keep your car properly maintained by keeping the tires properly inflated, using the right grade of motor oil and all filters replaced and you will improve your gas mileage.  This is one thing that many of us overlook but it is very important for the “health” our car anyway.  Vehicles require regular maintenance and without other things such as gas mileage falls by the wayside.

These are a few simple tips to keep in mind while driving if you are interested in increasing your gas mileage, and you may be surprised at how well they work.

American Cars vs. Foreign Cars

What is American Made?

What if I told you that many of the vehicles manufactured in the USA were designated as foreign-made, while many of the vehicle manufactured in Canada and Mexico are designated at domestic made.  This is because federal regulations require that American made vehicles must contain 75% of domestic parts.  Therefore your vehicle could be assembled in Mexico as long as 75% of the parts were domestic parts.  But of course when we think of American cars we think of manufacturers such as Ford or Chevy.  Many of what we consider “foreign-made”  vehicles may have been manufactured here in the USA.  Toyota has plants in KY, IN, TX, TX, TN, WV, CA, MS, Canada and Mexico, so you never know where your car may have been built.

american cars vs. foreign carsIf you are trying to truly stick with buying American then you  need to look for 3 things: the engine, the transmission, and where the vehicle was assembled. All the information can be found on the window sticker.

The debate will never end as to whether “foreign” cars are superior to “domestic” cars, but many people were shocked when I told them that their “domestic” car was assembled in Canada.  These were die-hard American made car buyers and were truly disappointed to find this out.  However, if they could have purchase the same brand of car but a different model and it would have been assembled in Detroit.  That same vehicle will be assembled in the USA within the next 2 years.

Check out the video below about a Hyundai plant in Alabama:

In the end we all have our own reason for purchasing a certain vehicle.  If you are like my friends, die-hard American made car buyers, look for the 3 things I mentioned earlier, and do your research.

At All Star Automotive, we offer a wide range of automotive services to make every step of your ownership experience as easy as possible, whether you’re shopping around, or need repairs from certified experts.

To help you find just what you’re looking for, our new inventory and used inventory search provides plenty of options. And when you’re ready, quick credit approvals and online financing help make your purchase go smoothly and efficiently. Then schedule your service online and get the expertise of one of our factory-trained technicians. All these options at available at Baton Rouge’s favorite place to buy and service – All Star Automotive!

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

How do I Prepare my Car for Summer?

Hot summer months are very tough on the mechanical components of your vehicle.  Your cooling system has to work double time just to keep your engine from overheating, the tires need to work well on the hot pavement, and unless you like to sweat you want to make sure that air conditioner is in top shape.

It doesn’t take much to make sure that your vehicle is ready for summer.  Let’s start with the air conditioner;  if you don’t have enough Freon then it is not going to cool very well.  A good Freon charge will usually do the trick.  The technician willuse a machine like the one seen here to check the Freon and tell you if it needs charging.

Secondly you need to change out the oil.  Oil will run thinner when it is hotter, so you will need a higher viscosity oil in the hotter months.  If the oil you use is too thin, then your engine will not get enough lubrication.  Your owner’s manual will recommend the oil you should be using and you can also ask your service advisor.

If you had snow tires on your vehicle then you will need to swap those out.  Snow tires will wear out much faster on the hot, dry ground.  If you don’t use snow tires, then perform your regular maintenance on the tires by rotating and keeping the tires properly inflated.  Tires wear improperly when they are not inflated to the manufacturers specifications and they will get uneven wear if you do not rotate them so be sure and take care of this just as recommend.

Don’t forget to check all the fluids in the vehicle!  Radiator fluid and windshield washer fluid need to be checked and wiper blades should be replaced if worn.  Have you ever been in a thunderstorm with worn out wiper blades?  They either don’t clean the water off, or if they are really bad, they will go flying off.

I suggest if you are going on a road trip to have the belts and hoses checked out.  If you don’t know when they were replaced then it is an especially good idea to check this.  Check your battery and clean the corrosion of the post.  You should make sure you carry jumper cables with you in case you ever get in a bind.  I am always amazed when I people go running around yelling “do you have jumper cables” after they can’t start their car.  It is something my dad made me carry at all times.

Now some tips from my grandmother;  she was a huge believer in being prepared at all times.  So here is my grandmother’s advice.  You should always carry certain things in your vehicle in case you get stranded, including a flashlight, bottled water, small tools, a change of clothes (you may have to walk and if you are dressed up you will be happy for this), something to snack on and paper towels.