What Exactly Is That New Car Smell?

By Rachel Swaby for Giz Explains

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The smell of a new car is intoxicating. It reminds us of money and shiny objects. It evokes that golden period before repeat coffee stains, moldy Tupperware, and our trunk’s transformation into a Good Will depository change the way we feel about our car.

But it’s kind of a weird smell, right? It’s so different from chocolate chip cookies or eucalyptus or whatever else we identify as pleasant. So we decided to get to the bottom of the new car smell. What  is it?

The answer, according to Toyota’s color and trim manager Janis Ambrose Shard, certainly leans toward a more Pavlov’s dog-type reaction. We like the smell because we like the car. Unfortunately, says Shard, “The smell is mostly organic compounds in the vehicle off-gassing. Anything that is vinyl or plastic—the foam lamination on the seat surface, the plastic on the dash or on the door panel—it’s the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) coming out of them that causes that smell.” In other words, without the relationship to a brand new car, the smell would just, you know, smell.

VOCs probably ring a bell because they’re air pollutants. And they can do a number on your health. And they’re everywhere. Thousands of household products-from paints to cleaning products to waxes-all emit the gasses, and they’re normally found in low concentrations in indoor air. In your car, petroleum-based solvents in plastic and vinyl are to blame. VOCs escape from the dash and the seats because they don’t require super high temperatures to evaporate. A normal ol’ Tuesday will stir them up.

Another VOC fun fact: You know that weird foggy film that builds up on the inside of your windshield? Blame the new car smell. The same VOCs that we’re sniffing can be responsible for mucking up our windows, too.

“That new car smell is not something we strive to achieve,” says Shard. If anything, automakers are trying to cut it. Toyota has moved from solvent-based glues to water-based alternatives to slash VOCs, and other automakers, like Ford, have experimented with swapping petroleum-based seating for soy based foam. Natural materials, though, have their own set of challenges. For instance, Ford had to go through a lot of veggie-based foam trials to find one that didn’t offend the consumer’s nose. And because the natural material holds a lot of moisture, living somewhere like Louisiana where it’s both hot and humid, can cause some natural materials to deteriorate rapidly, says Shard.

Basically, they’re working on taking that new car smell away. In the meantime, we should start working on ending our affinity for inhaling VOCs. Let’s instead focus our olfactory efforts on new car leather. See, during manufacturing, the warm leather smell disappears from the pieces that go into cars. Leather manufacturers, knowing that the smell is important to us, make sure to add that smell back in before anything is shipped to consumers. Thank goodness we still have one unnatural smell to happily cling to.

3 Features About the New 2017 Jeep Compass

 I asked our salesman, Ryan William, to write 3 features about the New 2017 Jeep Compass.
  The 2017 Jeep “NEW” Compass is a great redesign by FCA.  Besides the new exterior design, the interior is luxurious and high tech!  As always with the Jeep brand, customers get the best off road capability.  Check out the newest CUV in the Jeep lineup, but first lets examine the details a little closer.
     1. The exterior design of the NEW Compass mirrors its big brother, Grand Cherokee.  The front fascia and headlight design are very similar and aggressive.  Several wheel choices throughout the trim levels give the customer options on their favorite look.  Optional panoramic sunroof also gives the NEW Compass a richer feel and appearance.
    2. Interior features have been redesigned to become current with high end SUV’s on the market.  High end trim and technology to meet the needs of current buyers.  Bluetooth and connectivity are right at your fingertips in the NEW Compass.  Touch screen radio and steering wheel mounted controls make it easy to operate.
    3. As always with Jeep you get outstanding off road capability.  The Optional Active Drive 4X4 system makes the NEW Compass capable on or off the road in all weather conditions, and the Select Terrain Management system allows the driver to select the drive condition to maximize the Compass drivability.
2017 Jeep Compass

Should You Buy or Lease a Vehicle?

Do you know all the pros and cons of each option?

There are several factors to consider when deciding to buy or lease a car, as both options have several benefits and downsides. For example, in addition to the monthly lease or loan payment, you need to consider how much you plan to drive, how often you’d like a new car, and if you plan to customize.

Benefits of buying a car

There are several advantages to owning a car, as opposed to leasing. Here are just a few of the most important ones:

  • You own the asset — Assuming that you finance the car, it can take a few years to build up any serious equity (where you owe less than the car’s value), but eventually you’ll have an asset that can be sold or traded in if needed.
  • No payments once your loan is repaid — When you buy a car, you’ll eventually pay off the loan and own the car free and clear, at which point you’ll no longer have a monthly car payment. When you lease, you’ll always have a car payment.
  • No mileage restrictions — If you own your car, you can drive it as much as you’d like without having to worry about paying a penalty. On the other hand, if you lease, you’re generally limited to 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles per year before you’ll start accumulating penalties.
  • No charges for excessive wear — When you lease, you’ll generally be held responsible for anything that could be considered beyond “normal wear and tear.” If you get a dent in a car you own, for example, you can choose to fix it or simply live with the dent and save the money.
  • Customization — A vehicle you own can be modified or customized as you see fit. Leased vehicles need to be returned in their original state, so any modifications will need to be removed, which is often impossible or very expensive.

Benefits of leasing a car

On the other hand, leasing has its advantages as well:

  • A new car every two-to-four years — Simply put, if you enjoy having a new car, leasing could be the way to go.
  • Little or no maintenance worries — For the most part, leased cars are under factory warranties throughout the term of the lease agreement. In my case, this is the primary motivating factor for leasing — I don’t like uncertainty, especially when it comes to potentially costly repairs. Leasing allows me to avoid this worry.
  • Cheaper monthly payments — While it depends on the particular make and model, as well as factors such as your down payment, you can generally lease a car for less money per month than it would cost you to buy it. In full disclosure, I lease my car, and the difference between my lease payments and what the payment would have been on a 60-month car loan was about $150 per month. When you lease, you’re only paying for the vehicle’s expected depreciation and associated charges, not for the residual value of the vehicle.