European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 5 1999, Page 58

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 5, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseSunday december 5, 1999 stars and stripes Money pages automotive Al designed for Tigh d by Ann m. Job for the associated press be for All the changes Nissan made in the 2000 Altima Sedan you d think the car had t been redesigned in a while. You d be wrong of course. The Altima s second generation Model debuted just two years with Competition heating up in the Middle Sedan Market Nissan did t want to wait to Shore up its top Selling car which accounts for about 150,000 sales , the 2000 Altima is restyled slightly offers new features rides More quietly and handles More confidently. Although the Altima still does t offer a v6, which is something competitors like the Honda Accord Mitsubishi Gallant and Toyota camry have. Instead All altimas come with a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, double overhead Cam four 2000, though the engine gets a new Cam profile to boost Low to mid Range torque and exhaust manifold and exhaust system Bac pressure changes help improve Power. Valve lifters in the engine Are lighter weight aluminium now and valve Spring rates Are reduced too. The resulting increase of 5 horsepower to 155 at 5,600 rpm and 2 additional foot pounds of torque to 156 at 4,400 rpm does t sound impressive and by itself it in Combine it with a noticeably tighter body feel and firmer handling and before Long you la be pushing this Altima harder than you would any of its predecessors. In fact the car s new handling poise was immediately noticeable during Back to Back test drives of last year s Altima be and the new be Model. I could take curves with higher Speed and manage sudden stops better. I also could swing into lanes on the Highway and wind through traffic with a greater sense of increased the body stiffness by using a new rear Tunnel Brace. Altimas with new 16-Inch, lower profile tires like these Model i had also Benefit from a front strut Tower Brace. Don t take All this to mean the ride is harsh in the Altima. On the contrary even in the sporty be Model the ride is rather compliant. But when pushed the Altima also shows decent Road manners. The associated press the Nissan Altima gets a minor styling face lift for the 2000 Model year but the real change is in the handling. It s accomplished with the help of an acceleration sensitive Monroe strut that s on the Altima s four wheel Independent strut suspension. In a novel move Nissan became the first automaker to make this special strut Standard. It s on altimas with 16-Inch new strut automatically adjusts damping firmness by using a nifty Oil bypass valve inside the strut s Center pin to provide a steady confident stance in aggressive Maneu vers while not compromising a pleasant mainstream kind of test Altima be also came with revised front and rear Spring rates that make for a firmer suspension and with bigger sized front and rear Stabilizer bars. There s other new equipment too. For the first time the Altima has Platinum tipped spark plugs that under regular driving Don t need replacement until 100,000 Are second generation and deploy with less Force than the earlier bags. All five seat positions in the Altima come with shoulder belts and front seat belts have Standard pre pensioners to help position passengers properly during a airbags debut on the Altima for the first time. They re Standard on the Gle Model and optional on two others. But there Are places where Nissan contains costs. While the Driver s Side window gets that thicker Glass for greater sound insulation done of the others do. Outside mirrors Don t fold. The trunk lid on the Altima is lightweight and the there s no padding under it. The lining material inside the trunk in t the heavy expensive stuff and floor Mats were a $79 option on the tester. According to consumer reports Early altimas those from the 1993-97 Model years ranked better or much better than average in owner trouble complaints. But the 1998 Model fell to an average ranking. 2000 Nissan Altima be base Price $15,140 for be with manual transmission $15,940 for be with Auto Matic $16,340 for axe with manual transmission $18,640 for be with manual transmission. As tested $22,423. Type front engine front wheel drive five Passen Ger compact Sedan. Engine 2.4-Ltter, 16-valve, double overhead Cam four Cylinder. Mileage 21 mpg City. 31 mpg High Way. Top Speed not available. Length 183.7 inches. Wheelbase 111 inches. Curb it 2,692 pounds. Destination charge $520. Heavier Oil of in hot climates safely drilling through firewall by Tom and Ray Magliozzi dear Tom and Ray i brought my 1993 Mazda Miata to one of those Quick change lube places. Though the changed my Oil in a Jiffy when i got Home i noticed that the Little window sticker said20vv-50 instead of the usual 10w-30, should i go Back and have them Drain and refill it wit the usual or is the thicker stuff of to keep in there for the next few thousand Miles i liven los Angeles. Dave Tom you re probably of with 20w-50 i los Angeles if you lived in Anchorage i d Tell you to March right Back. On the other hand if you live Din Anchorage you probably would t be driving a Miata Ray 20w-50 is a thicker viscosity Oil. It s designed for hotter climates and severe but in my experience the Only effect it will have is on your fuel Economy. Since the Oil is thicker it takes Little More Energy to move the engine parts around and your mileage May drop by a but mechanically it should t cause you any problem. In the future you might want to let them know at the outset that you want 10w-30. And let them unload the 60,000 Gallons of 20w-50 they got on Sale on somebody else. Dear Tom and Ray i need to run a two wire 12-Volt Cable from my Battery to the Driver s compartment whereby Amateur radio transceiver is located. The local Ford dealer could not recommend a Loca Tion to put the Cable through the fire Wall. But it must be possible. Can you Tell me How to place a Small Cable through the fire Wall with out doing any damage to the vehicle or the Cable Dallas Tom there Are three ways you can do this four if you count going to a place that installs car radios and saying Here put this thing in for but we know that since you re a Ham radio opera Tor you want to do this yourself. So the easiest approaches to find a wire under the dashboard that already carries 12 volts. You can easily tap off for example the cigarette lighter which is already fully protected with a fuse. Tom the second easiest thing to do if you want to run a new wire is to use an existing Hole in the fire Wall. There Are already lots of wires coming from the engine Bay into the passenger compartment. And you should be Able to sneak an additional wire among them and not have to Drill a new if there s no room for an additional pair of wires there or if you re just dying to Drill a Hole then you can just go ahead and Drill away. As Long As you re care Ful not to say Drill into the Heater Core you won t do any damage to the vehicle by making another Small Hole in the firewall. Just be sure to fit a Grommet into the Hole before feeding the wires so the wires Don t chafe and cause a and speaking of causing fires if you do run your own wire be sure to put a fuse for it As close to the Bat Tery As possible. You want to be sure that if anything does go wrong the fuse blows before the passenger Compart ment goes up in flames got a question about cars email Click and Clack by visiting the car talk Section of on the world wide web. Distributed by King features Syndicate inc

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