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Sep
06

Essential Car Maintenance You Can Do At Home

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Written by a Guest Blogger

We all love our cars in our own ways, with some giving them what many (partners especially), might perceive to be a little bit too much TLC. On a sunny weekend morning, many of us take to the driveway to give our cars a clean and polish inside and out, performing numerous maintenance tasks along the way.

This love we show for our cars – and bikes for that matter – emphasizes how important it is to go somewhere you can trust to get any parts you need to do any repairs yourself, or to get them done professionally. There are a great number of jobs you can do yourself, getting the parts from Brownsville auto parts and taking them back and getting your hands dirty.

 PicUnderHood

There’s often nothing better than fixing something yourself, as shown by the irrational love of DIY shown by many people. One such example is changing the air filters in your car to help to improve performance. To do this, just pop open the bonnet and locate the filter. Make sure you have a look at how it sits in the casing (so you know how to replace it!) Then simply remove the old one and replace it with the new one, making sure you do up and fastenings so the filter remains in place – you don’t want dirt getting through into the major working parts.

Windscreen wipers can last either a long time, or a short time depending on how often they’re used and the brand you have fitted. Changing your wipers takes no time at all, it’s just a fiddly process trying to locate the fittings so that you can unclip the old one and replace it with the new. The key here is not to let your wipers slam back down on the glass otherwise you risk cracking it, (which will be far more expensive than your new blades!)

Headlight bulbs are prone to wearing out just when you don’t want them to. For that reason, with the nights getting progressively longer towards the end of this summer, it’s probably a good idea to change them over for newer ones to get you through the winter. It’s dangerous to drive with headlights that aren’t working with other road users potentially assuming you’re a motorcycle if you only have one working headlight, which puts you at risk.

To change your bulb, locate where the lights are housed and start by removing the wire that holds the existing bulb in place. Remove the bulb from its current location and, using a clean rag to keep dirt from the bulb, replace it with the new one, clipping it into place. Plug the wire back in and be sure to test your new headlight to make sure you’ve replaced it sufficiently.

Categories : Auto Parts
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Obviously when you fly to another city and need transportation, you will need to use mass transit or rent a car. Other times when you might need a rental include: special occasions, when your vehicle is at the repair center, or if you need a special type of vehicle (e.g., a truck) just a couple of times a year. Instead of outright owning a vehicle, some people and businesses opt to lease.

Pros and Cons

Leasing a car has some distinct advantages as compared to buying. Usually the down payment is less when you lease. When you purchase you often need to put down 20% to obtain a loan. The monthly payment is usually less when you lease too. The disadvantage here is that you don’t own anything at the end of the leasing period. If you are the type of person that always likes to have a newer vehicle (3 years or less old), then leasing may be for you. Make sure you read the fine print what the dealer requires as to the returnable condition of the vehicle so you can avoid any penalties. For businesses, there may be tax benefits too.

Working with a Car Solutions Company

For some small and large organizations, it makes sense to work with a car solutions company. These companies work with businesses to identify funding methods and help with fleet management. One company, Hitachi, even has electric vehicles in their portfolio for businesses that want to “Go Green”.

Conclusion

You have choices when choosing a new vehicle. When determining if it makes sense (or cents) to lease, consider the down payment, annual estimated mileage, monthly payments, routine maintenance, depreciation, and tax consequences.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

Categories : Car Buying
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Aug
29

Automotive Manufacturing – Then and Now

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When I was an automotive instructor I liked taking the time to discuss with my students how automotive manufacturing has evolved over the last 100+  years. Let’s look at the assembly line in 1913 and now in 2013.

Ford Motor Company’s Moving Assembly Line

Henry Ford is often credited with first implementing the assembly line into automotive production. But it was actually Ransom Olds that did it first. What Ford perfected and implemented was the “moving” assembly line. Even though the ever popular Model T was introduced in 1908, it wasn’t until 1913 that Ford implemented the moving assembly line at his new plant in Highland Park, MI. In just a year, he reduced the time to build a car from 12 hours and 30 minutes to just 1 hour and 33 minutes. Below is a video of Ford’s moving assembly line from 1919.

Tesla Motors Modern Plant

Fast forward 100 years. It is now 2013, the 100 year anniversary of Henry Ford’s moving assembly line. The automotive company that has the attention right now is Tesla Motors and their flagship car the Tesla Model S. The number of robotics used in Tesla’s plant is amazing. Words cannot do it justice. Automation is optimized to the fullest.

Manufacturing Behind the Scenes

To create an automobile from raw materials, many processes have to take place. Everything from tool making, die casting, CNC machining, plating, and painting. RD Castings gives an overview of many of these processes and the high tech machines used to complete them.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

Categories : Auto Manufacturing
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Vehicle insurance is one of those things that you love it when you need it and hate paying the premium when you never use it. Nonetheless, it is required all around the world. And it makes sense to protect yourself from liability and from the extreme costs if you do wreck your vehicle. Let’s compare what’s required in the USA and UK and then identify characteristics of companies you may want to do business with.

Car Insurance in USA

Vehicle insurance in the USA differs by each state. The minimum in most states is liability insurance. Using three numbers such as 20/40/10, identifies three specific policy limits – bodily injury per person/bodily injury per accident/property damage limit…in that order in thousand dollars. Other types of insurance includes collision and comprehensive; medical payment; personal injury and no-fault; uninsured and underinsured; umbrella insurance; and, rental, towing, and total replacement insurance. To find out what’s required in each specific state, check with the state’s insurance regulator. Some states, like Missouri, have informative videos to list the requirements.

Car Insurance in the UK

Third party insurance as it is called in the UK is the bare minimum. When you have the minimum amount of insurance, you are protecting your liability if you cause damage to a another car, person, animal, or property. But don’t think about getting your car’s costs reimbursed…you will need additional insurance to protect your investment. Something very important to note is that if you own a vehicle you are responsible for providing insurance on it EVEN if you are not the driver. You own it, you insure it. For more information about motor vehicle insurance in England, Wales, and Scotland, check out the Gov.UK guide to vehicle insurance. If you need information specific to Northern Ireland, check out NIDirect.Gov.UK.

Finding an Insurance Company

What characteristics should you look for when shopping for auto insurance? You have lots of choices. Find an agent or broker that takes the time to explain the policy, complete annual reviews of your needs, and suggests ways that you can save money. One characteristic that I feel is important is to be able to talk to a person. In today’s age of technology and cost saving measures by some companies it seems that talking to a live person is becoming scarce. In the UK, one company – Sky Insurance – makes their mission statement about actually listening to customers to make personalized recommendations for their customers. Getting recommendations from friends and colleagues is also a great idea. Learn about each insurers’ services and then make a decision.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

Categories : Insurance
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Aug
26

9 Essentials for the Ultimate Garage

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Growing up in Northern Minnesota our garage at home consisted of a floor jack and an air compressor. Today many car enthusiasts are building the “Ultimate Garage”. But what should be included? Here’s my list!

1. Automotive Lift

This may sound crazy to the average person, but to the automotive enthusiast an automotive lift should be on the must have list. When designing your garage make sure you install vaulted trusses or have enough headroom to accommodate a lift. In reality, a lift is not that expensive. For $2,500 to $5,000 (£1606 to £3212) you can install an above ground model. Check out certified lifts by the Automotive Lift Institute.

2. Master Tool Set

I’m not talking about just a simple wrench and ratchet set here…get a master tool set so you are prepared and enjoy your work. A master set includes wrenches, ratchets, sockets, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, pry bars, tire tools, measuring tools, electrical tools, cutting tools, oil change tools, inspection tools, and diagnostic tools. Nothing is more frustrating than looking for a tool and wasting time doing it…so keep your tools organized!

3. Tool Chest

To keep your tools organized, look for a tool chest that has slip mats in the drawers, swivel castors, security lock, and ball bearings sliders for the drawers.

4. Air Compressor and Tools

Pneumatic tools can make a difficult job easy…and considerably faster. Consider how long pit stops would be in a race if the pit crew had to use manual tools. Air ratchets, impact wrenches, cut-off tools, blower nozzles, and other air powered tools need a high quality air compressor to handle this job.

5. Car Creeper

If you can’t afford an auto lift or your garage isn’t conducive to one, invest into a quality creeper. It sure beats lying on your back on a cold concrete floor.

6. Wheel Dollies

Restoring a classic car can take years. Consider purchasing wheel dollies so you can maneuver your car around the shop while the engine is being rebuilt.

7. Engine Cranes and Engine Stands

And to get your engine out, a quality engine crane will be needed. Don’t trust an engine being lifted out and supported by a substandard device. SGS Engineering manufactures engine cranes and engine stands for professionals and Do-It-Yourselves.

8. Vehicle Service Manuals

Whether you have a classic car or modern sports car, invest in a vehicle service manual to assist with the task. You can purchase online service manuals, consumer service manuals (like Haynes or Chilton), or professional dealership manuals.

9. Safety Equipment

Even if you act safely, you will eventually get a cut or bruise. First Aid Kits are inexpensive and a must for every shop. Who should you trust for your safety needs – the Red Cross. Get an all purpose fire extinguisher – ABC rated – for your garage. An ABC rated fire extinguisher will put out A fires (trash, wood, paper), B fires (gasoline/petro, oil, grease), and C fires (electrical). Learn more about how fire extinguishers work at “How Stuff Works”. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, disposable gloves, earmuffs, and earplugs are also must. Keep them handy and get in the habit of using them.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

Categories : Tech Tips
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Aug
23

Automotive Manufacturers – Old and New

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How many automotive manufacturers can stand the test of time? I love attending old car shows and swap meets, perusing old cars and car parts of yesteryear. Being at old car shows make one understand that auto manufacturing is a rough business. Think of the following antique car clubs: Plymouth, Pontiac, Studebaker, Tucker, Oldsmobile, Nash, Edsel, DeSoto, Austin-Healey, etc. The list of defunct automobile manufacturers is quite long – USA List and UK List.

New Car Companies

Some recent new car companies still need time to determine their viability. Companies like Fisker and Coda had struggles. While another startup, Tesla Motors, is on fire right now with their new Model S. But what will this 10 year old company look like in 20 years…50 years…or 100 years?

Car Companies with History

Let’s look at two car companies that have stood the test of time. Ford in the USA and Vauxhall in the UK. Incidentally, both car companies started in 1903.

Ford Motor Company

One hundred ten years is a lot of history.  Ford, in the US, has had quite an interesting history. Did you know at the first stockholder meeting Henry Ford wasn’t actually elected as President? He was the Vice-President. Before Ford Motor Company was formed, Henry Ford creating two previous auto manufacturing companies – the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899 and the Henry Ford Company (which was reorganized as Cadillac) in 1902.

Vauxhall Motors (General Motors UK Limited)

Like many early developers of the automobile, Vauxhall actually started as a different type of manufacturer – marine pumps and engines as the Alex Wilson and Company in 1857 and then later as Vauxhall Iron Works in 1897. But with the massive paradigm shift from horse drawn carriages to the automobile in the early 1900s, many companies couldn’t resist testing this new market. In 1903 Vauxhall produced their first automobile. In 1925, General Motors acquired Vauxhall.

Purchasing Cars

When you reach the point when you need to purchase a new or used auto, you can check out the numerous auto manufacturers’ direct websites, dealer websites, or an online exchange & mart. Either way, compare models and ask yourself…will this auto manufacturer be around in 50 or 100 years? Something to ponder!

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

Categories : Car Buying
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Aug
22

How Do You Prepare for Your Driving Test?

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I remember counting down the years, months, and days until I was 16. This obsession was for one reason – so I could have the freedom of driving my own car. My Uncle Ed would take my siblings and me out and let us practice. He would find a desolate country road (or sometimes a field) and put us behind the wheel. I remember saying to him, “Uncle…what if I put the car in the ditch?” His response was, “We’ll pull you out!” And off we went. Now if you don’t have an Uncle Ed like I did, you may need to find alternative ways to prepare for your written and practical test.

Teens Waiting Longer

In the United States, teens in recent years have been waiting longer to get behind the wheel. According to the University of Michigan News Service, in 1983 about 69% of 17 year olds possessed a driver’s license, but in 2010 only 46% teens aged 17 had one. In the USA most states require that you are 16 to hold an unrestricted license…but it is up to each individual state. Did you know that if you live in South Dakota you could be driving unsupervised at 14 years/3months! The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled an informative map listing minimum age for unsupervised driving throughout the United States. In the United Kingdom, you need to find out if you are old enough to drive the vehicle (e.g., car, motorbike, moped, bus, etc.) that you want. Gov.uk has a handy only tool to find out what vehicle you can drive.

Know the Risks

Driving is risky business. Did you know that during the first months after obtaining a driver’s license teens have an especially high risk of crashing? What are the characteristics that cause teens to crash? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the contributing factors include: driver error, speeding, being distracted by passengers, driving while intoxicated, and driving at night. It is simple to infer that if you prepare better, slow down, don’t allow passengers in the beginning, don’t drink and drive, and drive when it is light out you will reduce your chances of getting in a crash.

Preparing for “The Test”

In the USA, since each state handles testing procedures differently it is best to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and check out the requirements. In the United Kingdom, you can research information at the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) or use a third party to book your practical test online. The best advice I have for you, as a former tow truck driver that has seen lots of accidents, is to prepare extensively…your life could depend on it.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at Facebook.com/AutoUpkeep.

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Aug
20

Self-Driving Cars

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self-driving infographic
Courtesy of: Autoinsurance.us

Categories : Insurance
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Written by a Guest Blogger

Assembly Line

Hybrid cars are bought for a number of reasons, the most prominent of those being saving on fuel expenses and being kinder to nature.

While hybrid cars do give a better mileage and are gentler on the environment than the non-hybrid ones, they also require proper upkeep to consistently deliver an efficient performance. It is not unusual for electric vehicle (EV) buyers to cry foul not long after their purchase. “My battery just died!” being the most common refrain.

The best way to avoid disappointment is not to buy an EV based on exaggerated expectations and to look after it well. This post points out some ways you can ensure your hybrid car stays in good health and serves you to the best of its ability.

Fully realize the potential of your car’s battery

Batteries of hybrid cars are expensive so replacement is costly. Luckily, their maintenance is neither costly nor difficult.

Batteries need to stay at a certain temperature for optimum performance. Severe weather is bad news for an EV which is why some of the hybrid models have in place a system that regulates the battery’s temperature. In cold weather, when the battery also turns cold, this system kicks in to keep it warm. Similarly, in hot weather the system cools down the battery to help it charge efficiently.

This, naturally, consumes power and has an effect on the longevity of the battery’s life. Therefore, always keep in mind that a hybrid car’s battery needs to be charged to the right degree at the right temperature for a longer-lasting performance.

Not all EVs come equipped with such weather or outside temperature-responsive systems, so ideally this is something you should consider before purchasing a hybrid. For best results, make it a habit to park your hybrid car in shade if you live some place that receives copious amount of sunshine all day, and park it somewhere warm when it’s freezing. This alone will extend your hybrid’s battery life.

Improve your driving style

The smoother you drive, the better your EV will serve you. Avoid accelerate fast-brake hard techniques. This is advisable not just for hybrid cars, but also for the non-hybrid ones. Keep a consistent pace and to slow down just take the pressure off the accelerator instead of turning to the brakes. A smooth drive always extracts a better fuel economy and prolongs your car’s battery life. At higher speeds, switch to cruise control.

Some models utilize the energy produced during braking to recharge the battery (a technique known as regenerative braking), thus plugging a leak of energy which otherwise would have been lost as heat. Even if your hybrid car contains the most evolved form of this technology, we’d still advise you to avoid the brake-accelerate or start-stop style of driving.

Don’t leave the vehicle unused for long

We are talking about leaving your EV unused for days on end. Chances are the battery may get discharged considerably, recharging which will require a lot of power. It’s best not to let such a situation come to pass, much less let it be a regular occurrence.

Don’t attempt DIY on your hybrid

Seriously, don’t even think about it. Getting your car serviced at regular intervals should be a part of your contract with your dealership entered into at the time of the purchase. These visits will take care of all the components that ought to be functioning well in your hybrid.

The technology is still relatively new and while there may be a number of tutorials online about how to take care of this or that on your own, leave the problem solving of hybrids to the professionals.

Conclusion

As always do your homework before purchasing a hybrid car since for most of us it represents quite an investment. The battery life, the warranty extended, and the mileage promised should be paid particular attention to. Fortunately for us, we have a number of options in this regard to choose from. Research well and talk to other EV owners before settling on a model yourself.

Author Bio

Tracy Vides is associated with The Hartford, an insurance and financial services company, which specializes in AARP insurance. You can catch her on Twitter @TracyVides.

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Aug
14

How to Buy a Used Car

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infographic

Used Cars Infographic: How To Buy a Used Car – An infographic by the team at Toyota Certified Used Cars

Categories : Car Buying
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Aug
13

Why Are There No Hovercars?

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Written by a Guest Blogger

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t scuttle the morning traffic jam and sail through the skies to work like George Jetson does, you’re not alone.  There are really a lot of everyday gadgets we take for granted now that seem to be inspired from watching The Jetsons cartoons on TV, leaving many people wondering why are there no hovercars like George’s available today.  Apparently, real life is a lot more complicated than cartoon living.

Garage-Top Garage

HPad

How do you envision a successful hovercar?  What does it look like?  Does it have wheels for use on the ground or is up, up, and away its only option?  Where will you keep it when you’re not cruising the friendly skies and how will it get there?

Maybe garages of the future will have a garage-top garage specially built for the hovercar.  Just drop down and call it a done deal, no need to land on terra firma and maneuver into a closed building with a roof.  Of course, a hover car, especially the first one, will be a toy to be babied.  Hover cars will surely require hover car covers to keep them pretty, especially in a garage with no roof.  But where will you store the hover car covers when you’re flying like an eagle?

The Wayward Wind

tornado

A strong wind can make driving difficult, even when the wind is coming in mere strong gusts.  Think tornado or hurricane and a lighter-than-air machine may get hurled all the way to the merry old land of Oz.  It could take a lot more than a pair of magic ruby slippers to return you safely to the farm.

Insurance

FlockofBirds

If you’re one of those people who has to have the first of every new gadget that comes along, you already know the first model is the most expensive.  With a whole new technology, a hovercar will be quite pricey in the beginning and probably for a long time afterward.  It will need to be insured.  It doesn’t take more than filing a claim or two to discover the insurance industry is not one for thinking outside the box.  Things don’t move very quickly there and new, inventive claim applications seem to get pigeon-holed into old claim codes.

Speaking of pigeons, just imagine the delay in processing that would be caused when you say your vehicle got totaled because you sucked up a pigeon into your exhaust system.  Or drove into the 13th floor of a very tall building.  Or you dropped your purse and gave a man on the street a concussion.

The 3D Danger Zone

3d

Traffic fatalities are considered a preventable form of death and yet there were 45,800 people killed on America’s roadways in the year 2000 alone.  Another 2.4 million people suffered injury.  If traffic accidents already claim the #6 spot in cause of preventable death in the US and we’re only traveling in two dimensions (left and right, forward and reverse), are we ready to add another dimension — up and down — to the equation?

The injuries would skyrocket, too, and change in nature as falling out of the sky became more common — ouch!  The more safety features built into an aircraft, the heavier it gets.  The heavier it is, the more fuel it consumes and steering becomes sluggish.  All those crazy drivers on the road make a jaunt across town treacherous enough without expecting them to make room for incoming flying machines, too.

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):  Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000

The Gas Tank

There are lots of grumpy people pumping gas these days and that’s just to travel in two dimensions.  Add a third, gravity-defying dimension to the fuel load and you break the bank.  A hovercar might also need a gas tank so big it defeats the anti-gravity mechanisms that got you shopping for a hover car in the first place.  If you don’t like traffic jams now, imagine the commuter nightmare you’ll be facing when you have to juggle multi-jobs to keep your hovercraft’s tank full.

ABC News:  Jetson-Like Flying Car in Production

Dust Bunnies from Hell

Ecologically minded technologies have cleaned up the air around our landlocked vehicles and, for that, many people are grateful.  When we take clean air for granted, all it takes is one look at footage from Beijing on a smog-filled day to be thankful for unleaded gasoline.

A hovercar may never use gasoline to get up and go but, whatever the fuel, lift-off will likely require a down draft that will stir up the dust and the dirt in all directions.  Not so bad when you soar above it all but the people on the ground will not be happy.  If you dread housework now, you’ll absolutely loathe the litter of dust bunnies from hell your family hovercar will create.

Johnny Law

To get a license to drive a hovercar, would you need to take driving lessons or flying lessons?  Get a driver’s license or a pilot’s license?  Whether a license from the state department of motor vehicles or the FAA, you can be sure Johnny Law will be up there, too.  It would be nice to leave road rage on the ground but we’ll need a whole new rulebook so we can keep the friendly skies friendly.

It’s Not Lonely at the Top

Here on the ground we’ve got crowds to deal with when we drive.  Some of the crowd drives cars or trucks but there are trains and buses, too.  And motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, vans, SUVs, even boats in tow, and pedestrians, too.  It’s not lonely at the top, either.

The skies are filled with really, really big machines that travel much, much faster than a personal hover car likely ever will.  Some of us are pretty stubborn about yielding the right of way on land but these giant flying machines coming at us at hundreds of miles an hour will make history out of our cute little hovercraft long before we can even think ‘blinker.”

UFO meets plane at Denver airport

So why are there no hovercars flitting through the skies?  We’re just not ready for them.  The technology is in constant study and the ability to make and use a hovercar is an almost-undeniable thing of the future but all technology needs people.  Are we humans really ready for hovercars yet?

We may not be there yet but do keep CarCovers.com in mind for when we are.  You’ll want a cover for your hovercar and CarCovers.com will have exactly the hover cover you need to protect the hovercar in your life.  Betcha that’s where George Jetson gets his.

Author Bio: Jonathan Volk runs CarCovers.com, a leading online retailer of Car Covers, Jeep Covers, Truck Covers, and Ford F-150 Truck Cover. With tens of thousands of satisfied customers and an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, he constantly strives to sell top quality car covers at the lowest prices.

Categories : Auto Accessories
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Written by a Guest Blogger

Often, when you see a nice looking car, you possibly don’t miss to look at its number plate just to understand what it says about the owner or which message does it bear?   These days, almost all the vehicle owners want to have the number plates that would represent their relation to their cars, their professions or for something they’re passionate about.  Thus, having personalised number plates have become a huge fad and designing them is really a creative process. It’s further a high approach to express one’s individuality in way that the onlookers would also enjoy.

LicensePlate

But the question is why do people bother getting their own plates if they can get regular plates? Well, there must be something good on getting such plates.  This is the reason why we regularly see beautifully designed personalised number plates in television series and films that show certain traits of the characters. Thus, these plates are just in a massive trend and that’s why last year Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency of UK raised £67m from the sale of personalised number plates. And if you do remember, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove the car during their wedding with its number plate read JU5T WED.

Thus, for those who’re thinking of getting such personalised number plates, needn’t give much thoughts as it’s certainly going to be exciting and personal on having such plates. Let’s check out some clear and concise reasons to go for your own personalised plates.

Personalises Your Car

Among the most common reasons to get such plates is to personalise a car. For all the owners, their vehicles are very important and they do give significant attention to them. Thus, they employ many personalisation options such as changing the colour, alloying wheels, tinted windows and many other modifications. This has, further led many owners wishing to put more personal touch on their vehicles by putting an array of personalised number plates that either indicates any messages or display their personality.

Promotes Your Business

You can also make the most of promotion with the help of personalised number plates. For example, if you run any business that you’d want to promote and it might require some travel, then personalised number plates are great ways to denote your business title and similarly marketing your company even though you’re out driving.

Moreover, even if your car is parked up somewhere, the passer-bys are more likely to drive their attention towards your number plate if it’s made   uniquely. Thus, you never know how it could all advertise your business so effectively.

It’s an Investment

There is yet another amazing reason to think about having your vehicle personalised number plate is that it can be truly a good investment.  If you get the plates that are highly looked for or probably to be desired by a whole lot of people, you can surely ascertain the value of your unique number plates goes up over the years. And in the upcoming days, if you want to sell out your number plate, it’ll surely fetch you thousands of pounds beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Thus, when it comes to get your personalised number plates, you should do a good research so that you can find out best plate that will surely add up to the value. Along with this, a personalised number plate can hide the age of your car and can give stunning appearance as well. So, opt for your very personal yet unique number plate and let your car go extra miles!

About The Author :

Ross Wright is a great car enthusiastic and he also has a huge collection of Private number plates in the UK. According to him having such number plates with unique National Numbers will surely make the most of any car as well as presenting special messages or persona.

Categories : Auto Accessories
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Jun
25

Maruti Swift—It’s time to Ride High!

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Advanced Design and Comfort

Maruti has bagged another milestone by producing Maruti Swift. This can be acutely put to terms if you see the performance of this car. Engineers at Maruti are very impressed from the outcome it has produced. Maruti Swift is the blend of advanced design and perfect comfort which provides the best for the driver as well as the passenger. You can enjoy wide space for comfortable seating and convenient leg rooms.

Two Engine Options

Maruti Swift is available in with two engine options – gas/petrol or diesel. The gas/petrol 16 valve 4 cylinder 1.2 liter K – series engine has VVT and multi point injection. At 6000 rpm it generates 87 Bhp. At 4500 rpm it has torque power of 113 NM. For power transfer, it has a 5 speed manual transmission with synchromesh in all gears. The FWD drivetrain is designed with Mac Pherson Struts/Coil Springs. To make the ride comfortable, the rear suspension has torsion beam and coil springs. Braking is easy with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. It has a tight turning radius of 4.7 meters/metres. You won’t need to stop at the gas/petrol station often with a 43 liter/litre fuel tank. The Swift’s diesel engine option is interesting too. Its 1.3 liter/litre DDiS engine can accelerate up to 100 kmph in only 13.2 seconds. Now that sets you back in your seat!

Safety and Options

Well if you look at the Maruti Swift price, you will find that it does not compromise on either on beauty or comfort and has it all packed in one for a reasonable amount. It has fabric seat upholstery, latest instruments which shows distance to empty, average fuel consumption, digital clock, door ajar warning, seat belt warning. Entertainment modules such as integrated in dash music system with CD/MP3/DVD playback capabilities, Bluetooth compatibility, iPod, USB & Aux compatibility with four added speakers. Other features such as cup holders, leather wrapped steering wheels, illuminated dials, arm rest, sleek dashboard, A/C with heater, glove compartment, driver height adjustable seat, and lumbar support which you will find quite intriguing. Your safety is guarded with dual front air bags, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, traction control system, front row individual seat belts, middle rear three point seat belts, firm ceiling. You can also enjoy power window buttons, cruise control, child safety lock, engine immobilizer, power steering, tilt steering option for better driving, vanity mirror on sun visors, accessory/cigarette lighter, paddle shift, rear parking sensors,  and headlight off and ignition Key Off reminder.

If you need a little luxury, you can get the Swift with colored/coloured bumpers and a stylish sunroof. The physical specifications of the Swift are: ground clearance of 170 mm, length is 3850 mm, width is 1695 mm, and height is 1530 mm. To help you see where you are going, it has conventional headlamps (with headlight height adjusters) and fog lamps. For style, the LED tail lamps and alloy wheels add a nice touch of design. Safety features include a rear defogger, adjustable ORVM, outside rear view mirrors, rain sensing wipers, and headlight washer.

If you are looking for a compact car with options to make you smile, check out the Maruti Swift.

Categories : Car Buying
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Jun
17

The Five Best Ways to Choose a Tire

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Written by a Guest Blogger

In spite of what you might believe, you can’t simply choose a tire based on outside appearances. A tire might be a dud when you can’t even tell, especially if you’re unfamiliar with tire selection in general. There are ways to determine which types of tires will fit your car, and how durable they are. Sometimes you may even want to consider purchasing tires based on the season, depending on how drastically the climate can change.

Here are some tips to help increase your shrewdness when tire shopping.

Maintain Your Tires

Never forget to rotate your tires. Some will tell you to rotate them every 3,000 to 7,000 miles, while others might recommend it every 5,000 to 10,000. Ideally, your owner’s manual will tell you when you should rotate your tires. You can also rotate them every time you go in for an oil change, if you want to be thorough. And of course you should always keep your tires sufficiently inflated.

car-wheel-changing

Know When to Change Them

Few things can waste more money on a vehicle than replacing tires when they cause damage to your car in a blowout. Of course blowouts are dangerous enough for drivers and those around them, and have been responsible for some of the nastiest accidents. If you suspect your tires require replacements, examine them for even the most miniscule signs of wear and tear.

Some high tech tires contain colored bars on the tread that are exposed when it wears down. If that isn’t the case with your vehicle, another way to be sure your tires are okay is to administer the penny test: simply place a penny in your tire’s tread, Lincoln’s face sticking outward. If the head protrudes at all when the penny’s tucked in there, then it’s time for a tire change.

Check Out Your Tire Size

Before you go in for replacement tires, always know what your tire size is by looking at the top of your tires. Common measurements will read something like “P***/**R**” with the “*” replaced by numbers. Here is a basic mini-guide to help you decipher the numbers and letters appearing on the rubber:

  • The preceding “P” in a measurement means that it’s a passenger tire.
  • Numbers following the “P” indicate the tire’s width measured in millimeters.
  • The first double-digit number after the “/” is the tire’s height-to-width ratio.
  • “R” signifies a radial tire.
  • The last two digits is the wheel’s diameter measured in inches.
  • It’s mandatory that each tire’s style and measurement is the same when purchasing.
Take a Close Look at Tread Life and Speed Ratings

On the search for tires, always inspect tread life to determine the durability of the tire. Tire companies might come up with unique designs for their treads, but in reality their level of quality is relatively similar. Speed ratings indicate whether or not a tire is built to handle high speeds. If you often travel on highways during a daily commute or other occasions, you’ll want to consider a tire with a high speed rating. Some states may typically have higher speed limits than others, which is another reason to pay attention to the speed rating.

Understand Your Driving Routine

The longer your commute to work is, or the farther and more frequent those road trips are, the more often you need to check your tires. Always pay close attention to your travel distances, as this way you can best gauge how often you use your tires, and even on what terrain. Consistently bad conditions may warrant year-round tires meant to handle that weather. And depending on how often you travel, you may want to go for tires that remain in good condition through heavy use.

For more assistance when searching for the ideal tires, talk with the experts at your local tire store for more comprehensive assistance with matching tires to your vehicle.

Bio: Lauren Feely is a guest writer for Auto Tech Centers, an auto repair center and tire shop providing extensive services to customers all over Illinois.

Categories : Tires
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May
31

10 Cars Offering 30+ MPGs for Less than $25k

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Just like we all want mates who are smart, good looking and funny – most of us all want cars that are stylish, fuel efficient and affordable. But as anyone who’s ever been in the dating pool knows, we’re not all a perfect match.

Now, the dating thing – that’s something you’ll have to figure out on your own. And the same goes for the “stylish” and “affordable” attributes we’re all looking for in our cars. But fuel efficient, well – that’s something that’s quantifiable – and something you can find out with just a little research.

For those of you looking for a brand-new car, there are several 2013s that get more than 30 mpg/combined and cost less than $25,000 – which is what many people consider an “affordability threshold.” Completely electric cars aside, there are several hybrids and standard combustion engine vehicles that offer great gas mileage. Below are just a few cars with good gas mileage that make the cut:

• Toyota Prius c Hybrid – 50 mpg/combined; starts at $19,080
• Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen – 34 mpg/combined; starts at $20,595
• Toyota Yaris – 33 mpg/combined; starts at $14,370
• Chevrolet Spark – 34 mpg/combined; starts at $12,185
• Honda Insight Hybrid – 42 mpg/combined; starts at $18,600
• Nissan Sentra FE – 34 mpg/combined; $15,990
• Volkswagen Passat – 35 mpg/combined; starts at $20,845
• Honda CR-Z – 34 mpg/combined; starts at $19,975
• Fiat 500 – 34 mpg/combined; starts at $16,000
• Toyota Prius – 50 mpg/combined; starts at $24,200

As you may have guessed, trucks, vans and SUVs are generally more expensive and won’t typically get quite as many miles per gallon as cars. However, some (2013) makes and models may surprise you with how good their gas mileage is. For instance:

• Toyota Tacoma (2WD) – 23 mpg combined/ starts at $17,625
• Mazda 5 – 24 mpg combined/ starts at $19,940
• GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid 4WD – 21 mpg combined/ starts at $41,305
• Mazda CX-5 – 29 mpg combined/ starts at $21,195
• Nissan Frontier (2WD) – 21 mpg combined/ starts at $19,260
• Honda Odyssey – 22 mpg combined/ starts at $28,675
• Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD –28 mpg combined/ starts at $40,170
• Nissan Juke – 29 mpg combined/ starts at $20,280
• GMC Canyon Crew Cab (2WD) – 21 mpg combined/ starts at $17,490
• Lexus RX 450h – 30 mpg combined/ starts at $46,310

*MPGs listed were obtained from U.S. Department of Energy’s website – http://www.fueleconomy.gov.
*Prices listed are for base model vehicles, and provided according to the manufacturers websites. (2/19/13).

BIO: Rose Fox – Rose is a guest author who just loves to write. She occupies her time word smithing about everything from useful tips to used cars, from farming to pharmaceuticals.

Categories : Car Buying
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