DRAWING BOARD

2024 Toyota Prius: Toyota’s fourth-generation hybrid arrives in spring with gorgeous new fastback styling. The base 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine and electric motor produces a net 193 horsepower.

The plug-in hybrid Prius Prime gets a 2.0-litre engine, which increases net output to 220 horsepower. A panoramic moonroof is standard, while energy-generating solar panels are optional.

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Did you know: Actor and part-time racer James Garner drove the pace car at the Indy 500 on three occasions. IMAGE: Wheelbase
Did you know: Actor and part-time racer James Garner drove the pace car at the Indy 500 on three occasions. IMAGE: Wheelbase

AUTO TRIVIA

  • Actor and part-time racer James Garner drove the pace car at the Indy 500 on three occasions: 1975 (Buick Regal); 1977 (Olds Delta 88); and again in 1985 (Olds Calais).
  • The current octane rating system for gasoline was derived by Sir Harry Ricardo, a British engineer who studied the anti-knock properties of various combustible fuels during the 1930s. A higher octane rating means a higher resistance to uncontrolled burning, referred to as detonation.

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Air gets into the braking system when the fluid-filled components are replaced, leading to a spongy pedal and ineffective and even dangerous stopping performance. PHOTO: Wheelbase Media
Air gets into the braking system when the fluid-filled components are replaced, leading to a spongy pedal and ineffective and even dangerous stopping performance. PHOTO: Wheelbase Media

WHAT’S UP, AUTO DOC?

Air gets into the braking system when the fluid-filled components are replaced. The result is a spongy pedal and ineffective and even dangerous stopping performance.

Removing the air necessitates “bleeding” the system, which involves opening the valves located on the wheel cylinders/brake calipers at each wheel, one at time, and forcing out the fluid and air with pressure from the brake pedal.

Unless you have brake-shop equipment, this usually takes two people and the following oft overlooked tips:

  1. Make sure the reservoir of fluid is full and that you have enough fluid to refill it often.
  2. The person in the vehicle holds constant and steady pressure on the pedal.
  3. Begin with the wheel farthest from the reservoir, usually the right rear.
  4. Do not pump the pedal while a bleeder valve is open as doing so draws air back into the system.
  5. Each time you bleed a line, refill the reservoir and secure the top/filler.
  6. A clear plastic hose pressed over the bleeder screw will allow you to drain the fluid into a container instead of letting it run all over the parts and onto the ground.

Share your tips with the Auto Doc at www.theoctanelounge.com using the contact form.

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1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, sold, US$316,000. Source: Bring a Trailer
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, sold, US$316,000. Source: Bring a Trailer

AT AUCTION

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, sold, US $316,000: The first year of the second-generation Corvette coupe is known for a rear window that’s bisected by a raised body line that runs from the roof to the tail.

The resulting split-window Corvette was a one-year-only anomaly, which makes the car incredibly rare. As part of a complete mechanical modernization, this ’Vette’s original 327-cubic-inch V-8 engine was replaced with a 6.2-litre LS3 V-8.

The suspension, brakes and transmission are also new and the interior has been fitted with leather-covered bucket seats, tilt steer and new instrumentation. (Source: Bring a Trailer)

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The HD Garmin Catalyst provides real-time information plus Bluetooth-enabled audible coaching for the optimum racing line. SOURCE: WheelbaseMedia
The HD Garmin Catalyst provides real-time information plus Bluetooth-enabled audible coaching for the optimum racing line. SOURCE: WheelbaseMedia

TOP GEAR

HD Garmin Catalyst; Cdn $1,400; buy.garmin.com: For anyone who heads to the racetrack, the HD Garmin Catalyst provides real-time information plus Bluetooth-enabled audible coaching for the optimum racing line.

The touch-screen shows lap times by segment, the corner entry and exit speeds and acceleration and braking forces. The product comes preloaded with a track database featuring road courses from around the world, but the company says users can also add courses.

– By Wheelbase Media

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