The Truth About Cars » flood The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » flood Piston Slap: Spicy…or Spicier? Mon, 12 May 2014 11:11:46 +0000

John writes:

Wasup, Sajeev!

I have an 06 R/T Charger and I am contemplating getting a set of Eibach springs for it. What other costs might be associated aside from installation? What other products would I need to purchase, if any?

Thanks for any input,

Sajeev answers:

Well son, there was once a time when lowering springs ruined the suspension settings of a half-assed platform: hat tip to my dear Fox Body Ford. Hopefully your German-bred Chrysler product has none of those problems.

Eibach makes two kits for your car: spicy and spicier. That’s because the lower you go, the more heat you gotta handle.

Lowering (or lifting, for that matter) springs alter any vehicle’s suspension geometry.  A wheel alignment is mandatory, and the LX forums seem to agree.  Mild lowering kits (1.5″-ish max) are usually fine with stock dampers, even if a firmer shock compliments a lower and (usually) firmer spring.  More aggressive setups usually need a matched set of dampers to go with, unless you care not about ride degradation.

Sometimes a full suspension kit includes an anti-roll bar upgrade too, which could help the feel and scrub understeer but the reduced left-to-right suspension flexibility isn’t necessarily that fantastic. More jolts don’t translate into faster lap times: do extensive research before you buy.

There’s also the matter of stock wheels: even the R/T might look a little silly with a lower body and boring-ass stock wheels. A bigger rim with a shorter sidewall is needed to “complete the look.” A different offset rim (see hyperlinked thread above) can also help with the inevitable: the meeting of expensive rubber with metal body parts. And brings me to the big problem with aftermarket lowering bits: driving style!

The more you have, the more likely you’ll avoid the punishment of potholes, pavement joints and puddles.  If you live in a place with bad roads, or flooding, you might want to reconsider.  Because nothing’s worse than a sore back, a tired ass and a hydro-locked motor if you treat a lowered car like a normal one.

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

See the slippery slope here? What exactly do you want?  Looking lower requires more parts than just springs to complete the look.  That’s the stance or hellaflush look, and it ain’t cheap. Going faster for the road and track? Going full aftermarket may be overkill: I’d try some factory funded engineering perfection via SRT-springs, famously high quality dampers (like Koni, Bilstein) and stickier tires on stock wheels. That won’t make you look any cooler, but you certainly will be.


Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


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Cayenne Production Rained Out Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:21:09 +0000 Picture courtesy

Germany has seen heavy floods, and it is beginning to impact car production. Porsche had to stop production of the Cayenne in its Leipzig plant. Not because the plant is under water: Bodies for the SUVs are made in Bratislava, Slovakia, however, they don’t reach Leipzig because the railroad tracks in the Czech Republic are under water.

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Hammer Time: The Used Car Flood After Sandy, And How Not To Get Soaked Fri, 02 Nov 2012 14:14:33 +0000

As collateral damage of Super-Sandy, stories are making the rounds of water-logged cars dumped on unsuspecting buyers by criminal dealers. Like many fake pictures posted on Twitter and Facebook, these stories are mostly made up, or pushed by new car interests. The dangers lurk elsewhere: In your neighbor’s driveway, on eBay, in the classifieds. Read this story if you don’t want to become a belated victim of Sandy. Katrina changed the landscape when it came to flood damage vehicles. Most of the 600,000 vehicles in the zone of that hurricane were classified as flood damage by their respective insurance companies. It was law. Pure and simple. The owners of Carfax and Autocheck even went so far as to offer special warnings to buyers on any vehicle with a VIN# that was registered in the region of Katrina’s flooding. The same law applies to Sandy.

The law solved a lot. But it most certainly did not solve all problems.

There are those car owners who are transients and simply find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those cars will never get the voluntary mark of caution unless they contact their insurance company. Among them, along with the general population of a flood damaged area, you will have folks that either don’t have insurance at all or carry the minimal amount.

Flood damage plus liability equals zero payout for many folks who are now involuntarily in the market for a used car.

Some of their vehicles are flooded to the point of no reasonable return. The ones that have been damaged, but are still in running order, are usually either traded in to dealerships of varying types. Or sold to folks who simply don’t know any better.

A lot can be said for the watermarks you can find in carpets that are exposed to sitting water over the course of time. The noxious smells that remain in a car after a flood, and even the absolute destructive nature of all things saltwater to electronics, seals and metals. Although the damage to electronics is often immediate and irreversible, the other two simply work their magic over the course of time.

The damage to those major components along with the braking and steering systems are what will turn a once perfectly good car into a rolling deathtrap.

Everyone imagines someone taking out the carpet and simply power washing their way out of the damage. Even if the damage was apparently low around the car’s beltline, the amount of work needed to replace everything will still be extensive.

In the real world you may be looking at a replaced carpet, a scrubbing and bleaching down of the bare metal, sometimes replaced seats, certain suspension components, brake lines, tire related sensors. sensors, and a few other choice components. Unfortunately, the ones who do this type of work may prioritize their own financial interest over your future well-being.

So for those of you who are looking for a break on a flood damaged car that has seemingly little more than minor cosmetic issues, my advice is to steer clear. Stay far, far away.

Many of the models that are popular in overseas markets, and still in running order, will wind up exported. While a few of those that are perhaps more in lines with purely domestic tastes will remain in the domestic market. A treatise can be written on how to spot flood damage vehicles. 99% of you will simply be better off with the cliff notes version that can be found right here. Along with this should come two big sentences that should repeated like a mantra whenever buying a used car.

“Always get a vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic. Preferably one that specializes in that particular marque.”

If a mechanic sees hundreds of versions of the same vehicle over the course of the year, it will usually be a lot easier for them to identify flood damage related issues than if they saw hundreds of vehicles of varying types.

Familiarity breeds knowledge when it comes to cars. So get any car you want to buy inspected; regardless of whether you suspect flood damage or anything else.




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Six Months Later, Honda Reopens Flood-Stricken Thai Plant Mon, 26 Mar 2012 11:50:11 +0000

Honda, along with other Japanese carmakers, recovered within weeks from a devastating earthquake , tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Nevertheless, Monday morning production strategists pestered the Japanese why they had not relocated to safer grounds. It took Honda half a year to recover from a killer flood that had inundated those safer grounds.

Today, Honda reopened its automobile plant in Thailand. It was closed for six months due to severe flooding. According to The Nikkei [sub], Honda had to replace a lot of damaged equipment. After a cautious start, the plant is expected  to be at its full 1,000 units per day by mid-April.

The plant north of Bangkok is Honda’s largest production hub in Southeast Asia. The plant also a strategic export base for vehicles and parts.

Other Japanese automakers in Thailand recovered quickly after parts supply was restored. The Honda plant was directly hit and flooded for many months.

A few days before the reopening, Thailand’s Minister of Industry had to deny rumors that Honda would leave Thailand. These rumors were triggered by Honda’s investment into Indonesia.



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Toyota Lost More Cars To The Thai Flood Than To The Tsunami Tue, 07 Feb 2012 20:04:05 +0000

Today, I heard at Toyota’s October-December results conference that TMC lost 240,000 unmade (and some made) cars to the Thai flood. After the conference, I asked Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett how many cars Toyota had lost to the tsunami.

I expected a bit less than a million. To my surprise, Corbett said: “150,000.”

I could not believe it. And I spent the rest of the day twisting arms until I knew how that happened.

Units lost to tsunami

Apr-Jun ’11 Jul-Sep ’11 Oct ’11 – March ’12 Fiscal Year Balance
June ’11 forecast -800,000 350,000 -450,000
Feb ’12 status -760,000 120,000 490,000 -150,000

Units lost to Thai flood

  Oct – Dec ’11 Jan-Mar ’11 Fiscal Year Balance
Dec ’11 forecast -260,000 30,000 -230,000
Feb ’12 status -280,000 40,000 -240,000

These tables, in their boring Excel self, are a document of resilience, they prove that world events often defy logic, and can destroy the best laid plans.

In June 2011, three months after the March 11 tsunami, Toyota was scrambling for parts. The company projected that it would lose 800,000 units by the end of June, and maybe produce 350,000 more than planned in the months before March 2012, to end the fiscal with a shortfall of 450,000 units.

In the line below, you see what really happened. By the end of June, the shortfall stood at only 760,000. The company could restart production faster than thought, could make 120,000 more cars than planned before October 2011, and then was able to accelerate production to produce 490,000 units over plan before the end of the fiscal year. Result: Only 150,000 units below plan.

Then, the Thai flood ruined the best laid plans.

In December, it looked like 260,000 cars would be lost to the Thai flood, and 30,000 could be made more before the end of the fiscal.

No miracle this time.

By the end of the fiscal, Toyota will have made a total of 390,000 cars below plan, and will be hit worse by a flood that many perceived as a side-show. Of course, this has everything to do with the fact that the flood fell into the later part of the year. But such is life when the year ends and one has to look at the bottom line.

Speaking of the bottom line, my contacts tell me that the financial losses caused by the tsunami were greater

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After Two Floods, Honda Tanks, Nissan Soars Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:02:46 +0000

When the March 11 tsunami hit, observers thought that of Japan’s major automakers, Honda would be the least exposed. Most of its global production already is outside of Japan. Very few cars that are produced in Japan are exported. Toyota and Nissan looked much more vulnerable. Distrust predictions: Today, Honda presented the results for the last quarter of 2011. The numbers  look uglier than the cars in the video.

In the October-December quarter, Honda’s operating profit dropped 65 percent to 44.3 billion yen ($580 million). Analysts polled by Reuters had expected twice as much. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, Honda expects an operating profit of 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion), down 65 percent from the year before. In August 2011, Honda had forecasted 270 billion yen. That was before the Thai floods hit.

Top Three Japanese Automakers,  Calendar 2011
(Thousand units. Source: company reports)

Comparing the full year 2011 production numbers (first column: unit production 2011 in thousands, second column: change to 20-10,)  Honda emerges as the worst hit of Japan’s bigger makers. It lost 20 percent of total production. Toyota lost only 8.2 percent, Nissan added 14.3 percent. Despite having most of its production outside of the country, Honda soon emerged as the most unlucky tsunami victim. Parts shortages affected production the world over.

Then in fall last year, Thailand was inundated by a record flood. While other Japanese makers suffered outages due to parts shortages, Honda’s Thai plant was submerged for months and is a near total write-off.

There were more disasters. The high yen had and has all Japanese makers on edge, so did the tanking Japanese market. Only Honda has a remodeled Civic which “got panned in the United States when it was remodeled last year,” as Reuters put it.
Toyota will report on February 7, Nissan on February 8. We will see what their numbers bring. Have a look at the table above  and guess.

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Global Strikes Back: Honda Halts Production In Taiwan Because of Flood In Thailand Sun, 04 Dec 2011 09:00:16 +0000

After the tsunami had hit Japan, Monday morning production experts said that production must be spread over many places in the world, just to be safe. Mention this to people at Honda, and they’ll strangle you in a polite Japanese way.

The Nikkei [sub] writes that Honda will temporarily shut down its plant in Taiwan, because it is lacking parts coming from Thailand. Honda says:

“Since Honda’s production facility in the flooded part of Thailand is not operating, Honda Taiwan is affected by the discontinued supply of components. We have been adjusting our output in order to keep production going, but we are now forced to decide to halt our production here from Dec. 15.”

Honda has been the hardest hit of all Japanese carmakers in Thailand. Its plant is still under water, and there is no telling when production will resume. Parts missing abroad are mainly electronic subcomponents like computer chips, headlights, navigation systems etc. However, Honda’s plant in Thailand most likely will need a rebuild once the water recede. Keeping machinery under water for extended times has its effects.


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2012 Honda CR-V: See It Now, Buy It… Later Mon, 31 Oct 2011 21:59:17 +0000 Honda has shown off its CR-V in “concept” form already, so today’s leak of the first production-spec images from Japan ahead of the reveal in Los Angeles isn’t a huge revelation. On the other hand, it does come at a bad time, as the leak comes just as Automotive News [sub] reports that flooding in Thailand means

Honda will cut its North American output by 50 percent, starting Wednesday. All six North American plants will be affected through Nov. 10… Production likely will be affected for at least “the next several weeks,” Honda said. More cuts could be announced later. In addition, the December on-sale date of the redesigned 2012 Honda CR-V may be delayed by several weeks. (emphasis added)

So, if you’re jonesing for your fix of frumpy new CUV hotness, you’re just going to have to be patient. Speaking of which, while we patiently wait for October sales, Honda is telling Bloomberg that its sales went up in the last month, its first such gain since April. But between the ongoing problems in Thailand, a 50% production cut in North America, and the awkward looks of this CR-V, it looks like Honda had better enjoy this moment of good news while it can. Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail production12crv3 production12crv2 production12crv1 production12crv Hello there... you.



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Thai Flood Worse Than Earthquake, Tsunami, And Nuclear Meltdown Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:26:06 +0000

It took Honda factories just a few weeks to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan with the force of 31,250 Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear bombs (if some scientists are right.) Once parts came in, all Honda factories were ready to make cars again. Now, Honda faces a more devastating disaster – caused by plain rainwater. Honda will have to keep its Thai factory closed for half a year once the flood waters recede, The Nikkei [sub] writes. Honda’s total production loss is expected to exceed 100,000 units, accounting for about 3 percent of Honda’s global output.

Honda’s factory in the Rojana Industrial Park in the city of Ayutthaya, is submerged under floodwaters as high as ten feet. Being inaccessible, the extent of the damage is unclear. Honda officials think that large parts of the plant need to be revamped once the floodwaters recede, which is not expected until mid November at the earliest.

Japan’s eight automakers have operations in Thailand, Honda is the only one whose facilities have been directly damaged by the floods. All makers suffer from parts shortages. Says the Wall Street Journal:

“Japan’s manufacturers still recovering from the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown now have to contend with a fourth crisis: Floods in Thailand. For the companies involved, it may be the biggest problem of them all.”

“The timing of the floods could hardly be worse. Japan’s auto and electronics industries are just getting back on their feet after the disruption caused by March’s unprecedented disasters. This has meant lost sales and market share, especially in markets such as the U.S. where competitors from South Korea and elsewhere like Hyundai Motor have been quick to step in.”

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All Japanese Carmakers Closed In Thailand – Loss Of 360,000 Units Possible Thu, 20 Oct 2011 14:09:04 +0000

Japanese carmakers, which barely have recovered from the effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, find themselves in another catastrophe. Floods in Thailand cost Japanese automakers approximately 6,000 cars a day, Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said today in Tokyo.

All nine Japanese carmakers have shut down their Thai plants. Shiga said that eight out of nine closed due to component shortages. Parts makers again are the critical link in the supply chain. Already, the effects of the floods are being felt in other countries. Yesterday, Japanese partsmaker Aisin Seiki closed its engine parts plant in Thailand. According to The Nikkei [sub], “this could result in a parts shortage that brings engine production to a standstill, impacting Toyota’s output of pickup trucks and other vehicles in Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries nearby.” Nissan also builds the March/Micra subcompact in Indonesia from parts shipped from Thailand.

According to Reuters, manufacturers are hoping for a resumption in December … if the floods recede. That could mean another 360,000 cars missing, and this while the Japanese car industry is pulling out all stops to make up for lost production due to the tsunami.

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Japan’s Car Production Under Water – Again Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:03:29 +0000

Six months after having been devastated at home by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, “Japan has experienced its largest overseas investment loss ever as a result of the flood disaster in Thailand,” Japans’s ambassador to Thailand Seiji Kojima told the Bangkok Post.

Thailand has become Japan’s favorite Asian production hub. More than 400 Japanese corporations have plants at huge industrial parks that have been flooded. On Monday, water began to inundate the large Navanakorn industrial park in the northern suburbs of Bangkok, reports The Nikkei [sub]. Yesterday, Thailand’s oldest industrial park was under water.

Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota and Nissan have shut down their plants in Thailand. Just like the Japanese tsunami, the floods have wider-ranging impacts. About half of the 1.64 million vehicles produced in Thailand last year were exported. Honda has already decreased output in Malaysia, because parts made in Thailand are missing.

Honda said yesterday that once the waters recede, it will take a month to re-start production at Thailand’s Rojana industrial estate, Reuters says. That can be a while.

Even if you are not in the market for a car, you have reason to worry. Want to buy a computer? Do it now. Says The Nikkei [sub]:

“Roughly 60 percent of the world’s hard drives are made in Thailand, so the floods will likely impact production of personal computers, recording devices and other equipment toward year-end.”




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