- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

2009 DODGE VIPER: The Viper SRT10 is the ultimate American sports car and the icon of the Dodge brand. The SRT10 offers outrageous power with an 8.4-liter, 600-horsepower V-10 engine contributing to blistering acceleration (zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 4 seconds, zero to 100 mph in the low 12-second range), setting an American sports car benchmark. A dramatic hood featuring a larger, more efficient hood scoop for air induction and functional hood louvers to facilitate a greater cooling effect enhances Viper’s bold, aggressive looks. It is priced at $85,710. (Source: Dodge)

AUTO-REPAIR ADVICE: Tom asks: The air conditioning has stopped working on my 1984 Buick. How do I get it working without Freon? Answer: The best replacement is the refrigerant that all late-model vehicles use: It is called R134a. The shop will evacuate the system if possible, remove the air conditioning compressor and drain out the old oil. The next step is to install new air conditioning fittings that are compatible with the R134a machine. The key to proper cooling is to make sure the technician fills the air conditioning system only to 75 percent of the total recommended refrigerant charge. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)

CASH FOR CLUNKERS: Officially called the Car Allowance Rebate System, CARS gives you $3,500 or $4,500 to trade that old beater on a new vehicle. The CARS program began on July 24 and lasts through Nov. 1 - or until the federal funding of about $1 billion runs out. Know how to make it work for you and the cash-for-clunkers program can deliver a big financial boost to your new-vehicle transaction. Your vehicle cannot be older than a 1984 model and cannot have a combined fuel-economy rating of more than 18 miles per gallon. Visit cars.gov for rules. (Source: FreeWheeling, Motor Matters)

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