The Truth About Cars » missing The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 05:27:35 +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 » missing Piston Slap: The Balding Accord? Mon, 05 Nov 2012 21:02:14 +0000 Ann writes:

Last fall we purchased for my son a 2003 Honda Accord with 78K. When we had it inspected the mechanic pointed out that a few of the fins on the condenser were missing, but the radiator seemed to be working fine so he didn’t think it was a problem worth worrying about. Well, shortly after we purchased the car my son had an accident which pulled off the bumper. He has been driving this winter with no bumper, thus exposing the condenser. When he finally took the car in to the body shop they noticed that ALL of the fins are now missing. He said he’d never seen anything like this, no explanation for why they had begun to fail in the first place and continued to drop off. He checked the radiator fluids and took the car for a ride and said as far as he can tell the radiator and condenser seem to be working fine, and to reduce the expense of repairs he doesn’t think we need to replace either but that if we were going to do the work at some point now would be the time. Obviously the fins are there for a purpose. Should we place the condenser since we’ve got the car open doing the other bodywork? Is there any reason we should replace the radiator at this point too? It seems to be working fine.

This is my son’s car and he doesn’t have enough $ to pay for the repairs so we are helping out. We’re looking for ways to keep costs down but I don’t want to do anything foolish.

Your advice would be appreciated.

Sajeev Answers:

Well, that’s a new one for me! Who knew Hondas shed cooling fins like male pattern baldness?

Apparently you aren’t the only one with this problem, even if yours is much worse given your lack of a front bumper. Yes you should replace condenser, if you live in an area where air conditioning is more than just a luxury. The fins maximize the efficiency of the system, as the extra surface area helps cool down the refrigerant as it circulates through the system.

The (engine) radiator? Hopefully all the fins are there, but if not, that absolutely needs to be replaced: you might save a bit in labor with the bumper removed.  Or not. But still…this shouldn’t happen, even with your bumperless Accord.  Hopefully your Accord just came with poorly constructed parts, and the replacements are fortified with plenty of Rogaine.

Fingers crossed on that.


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Über-Porsche Gemballa: Company Bankrupt, Boss Missing, Detectives in Johannesburg Tue, 23 Feb 2010 19:00:59 +0000

When I met Uwe Gemballa the first time, he looked like he could be the manager of the local strip club down the road: Shoulder long bleach blond hair, a flashy watch, a suit to match the watch, the shirt unbuttoned down to the chest. I then found out that he had brought a Porsche 911, that made upward of 750hp, to a friend of mine, to make it street legal. Gemballa had one of the hottest tuner shops in Germany. His mods to the Porsche Cayenne produced the fastest SUV in the world – at least that’s what Uwe told me. Last I heard from him was some two months ago. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Then it became quiet. Now I know why.

Yesterday, Gemballa’s wife Christiane sent their lawyer to the court in Ludwigsburg, near Porsche’s Headquarters in Zuffenhausen, to declare GEMBALLA Automobiltechnik GmbH & Co. KG as insolvent, reports Das Autohaus. A spokesman of the court confirmed this today. Gemballa’s shop, it made around 25 units a year, is closed. Gemballa’s case is wide open.

Gemballa has not been heard from since February 8, 2010. He had flown from Dubai to Johannesburg, South Afrika. From Johannesburg, he called his wife. According to some records, he said he had an accident and needed a “larger sum of money.” According to Germany’s BILD-Zeitung, Gemballa had claimed he had been kidnapped, and Christl should transfer a million Euro immediately. Christiane declared Uwe as missing. She thinks he’s worth €10,000 – that’s the reward to whoever can give conclusive information of his whereabouts. Gemballa’s offices were searched by officials of the public prosecutor in Stuttgart, ostensibly to find traces of the man that had vanished.

According to information from Johannesburg, Uwe Gemballa was last seen with a fugitive from the Czech Republic. The billionaire had been sentenced to six years behind bars because of tax evasion. He also evaded the authorities and fled to South Africa. According to the not always reliable BILD, Gemballa was supposed to deliver him a tuned Ferrari, worth €2m. Supposedly, there was a down payment of €1m. “Were there complications with the deal?” surmised BILD. Or were there bigger problems? The market for hopped-up Porsches is not what it used to be.

“To find out whether he has been kidnapped, or whether he went into hiding on his own, this is the job of a detective of the BKA and one of the Police in Böblingen,” write the Stuttgarter Nachrichten today. The detectives have been dispatched to South Africa to work there with local police. The BKA (Bundeskriminalamt) is the German equivalent of the FBI.

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