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Ask Patty Blog Carnival Week Around the Auto World: April 3

Published Apr 3rd 2007, 3:49pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, it must be April Fool's at AskPatty. This week's carnival spans a broad assortment of topics from taxes, carpools, the Michelin Man's 'spare tire,' Girl Scouts, paint and much more. We're not fooling around here...

Ap_tax_time In an effort to encourage sales of new vehicles and jumpstart the auto industry, State Rep. Terry Brown, D-Pigeon, announced a plan to let Huron residents deduct the value of their trade-in on their taxes when they buy a new vehicle. According to the Huron Daily Tribune, this will give consumers an incentive to buy new vehicles.

Ap_clean_air_sticker According to the Detroit Free Press, Californians appear willing to pay $4,000 more for used gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles that have state-issued carpool stickers than for hybrids that don't, according to a sampling of prices by Kelley Blue Book for USA Today. The stickers allow low-polluting hybrids to use less-crowded, faster-moving carpool lanes, even if the driver is alone in the car.

Ap_michelin_man The Michelin Man Slims Down: Does the girth of Mr. Bibendum really affect how you feel about Michelin Tires? LearnedonWomen discusses how the Michelin icon has symbolically slimmed down his "spare tire" while Michelin touts how good tires and better cars can make fuel use more efficient.

4squareofdeath At the heart car buying is the "four-square" negotiation: a sheet of paper divided into four boxes that cover your trade value, the purchase price, down payment, and monthly payment. This is supposed to help you and the dealership come to an agreement, but as The Consumerist shows, it's really more akin to three-card monte dealer's deck of cards.

Ap_car_buying With increasing numbers of women staying single longer, working outside the home, and earning higher wages, more women are taking control of the car-buying experience. Meredith Thorn of the St. Cloud Times reports on how today's women are taking the wheel in car buying

Ap_girlscouts In case you haven't heard, the Girl Scouts are doing more than selling cookies and weaving potholders these days. "You don't need to always depend on a guy," says one Girl Scout. "Girls are very smart, sometimes they're smarter than guys." According to the Roanoke Times, the Virginia Skyline Girl Scout Council is focusing on giving girls life and career skills training, with participants participating in mock crime scene investigations, operating golf carts while wearing "drunk" goggles, even teaching the teens how to check tire pressure and fluid levels.

Ap_scion iMedia Wasteland evaluates Attik's "want2bsquare " website - an interactive cubeworld that puts users in a surreal experience where immersive Scion-related activities can earn them real swag. Each land is interesting in its own way, with its own design, colors and style. Peter Max may have inspired one; Lego likely inspired another.

Ap_nissan_350z_nismo According to a report at's Inside Line, Nissan Motor is working with research partners to formulate a new type of paint that could make it easier for police to identify hit-and-run drivers based on residue left at the accident scene. According to Edmunds, eventually, your car's paint might have its own "fingerprint" that could be easily traced.

That's it for this month! Thank you for all of your submissions! Please remember to submit your article next week using the online form or by emailing Breanne at

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