Written by a Guest Blogger

You’re heading out on the beaches of Australia. This is awesome, but how do you manage it in your vehicle? If you’re not careful, the rocks will defeat you. So, before you head out, take some tips from the pros.

Check Your Tyre Pressure

When you’re out on the paved roads in your 4×4 truck, you want optimal tyre pressure. That means making sure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. But, in the sand, you actually want to reduce pressure, since this will spread the weight of your truck out across a greater surface area. You’re essentially increasing the contact patch of your tyre.

You wouldn’t do this on normal roads because it increases wear while decreasing gas mileage. It also increases your risk for a blowout. In sand, however, it means that you’ll get more traction and reduce your risk of getting stuck.

Use Momentum To Your Advantage

Think of your truck like you would a boat in water. When you slow down, the boat sinks a little and the motor has to work harder. It’s the same in the sand. When you’re moving slower, you have to use more petrol and your engine has to work much harder to get you over the dunes.

Use momentum – keep your speed up, when appropriate, and keep moving. This will help you stay higher up on the sand. It’s also a lot of fun avoiding the brakes.

The one thing you have to be careful of are the drop-offs. Bright sunshine will make these harder to see, and driving too close to the edge may cause the sand to give way, pulling you down into water or over a steep cliff. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Never drive too fast. Never take sharp turns (it could separate the bead of the tyre from your wheel, causing the wheel to deflate). Always try to avoid getting bogged down. It’s easier to avoid a bog than it is to dig yourself out of one.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Has Good Clearance

If you’re going out into the wild yellow (or white) sand, make sure your vehicle has enough clearance. Ditto for rocks. Rocks present a special challenge. If your vehicle isn’t high enough off the ground, you might end up smashing up the fuel lines, undercarriage, and other important stuff, like the oil pan and fuel tank.

A small dent in the oil pan will probably damage the oil pickup – a pump that pulls oil through your engine and lubricates it. You’ll never know until your engine seizes up on you one day. Of course, you’ll probably feel a small bump under your vehicle. When in doubt, avoid rocks.

Don’t Use Traction Control

Traction control is usually a good thing. When one of your drive wheels starts slipping, the traction control mechanism sends power from the wheels that are slipping to the wheels that still have grip.

It does this through a computerised program. However, on the sand, you don’t necessarily want to have this feature engaged. Why not?

It can get you bogged down in the sand. The traction control’s job it to increase torque at the drive wheels based on how much traction you have at any given moment. But, in the sand, you’re going to slip on a regular basis. The problem is that the traction control will slow you down to try to gain traction. But, momentum is your friend in the sand. So, keeping it on is a recipe for disaster.

Bring a Winch and a Friend

It’s a good idea to bring a friend along with you in another vehicle, if possible. Getting stuck is part of the fun – sometimes. It’s also a reality. At some point, it’s going to happen. Bringing a winch and another truck that can haul you out of a sand trap will make sure that the whole trip doesn’t become a disaster.

About the Blogger

Anthony Meudell is an avid outdoorsman and writer. When he’s not travelling the Australian highways and byways, he’s writing about them. Read his posts on various websites, including travel and outdoor living.

Categories : Auto Accessories
Comments Comments Off

Top 5 Mistakes Made By Car Shoppers

By · Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Cars or Automobiles, since their very origin in Germany, have been popular as modes of transport and a popular luxury item. During their early days, cars had to be built on special order only and each design was unique according to the specifications of the buyer. With the introduction of a large scale production-line for automobiles in 1902, the United States ruled the automobile industry with over 90% of the total automobiles being produced in the US before the Great Depression in 1929. Today, cars are widely popular all across the globe with several brands like Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, General Motors and Honda etc. being among the top automobile manufacturers in the world. A lot of time, money and a several other factors are at stake when buying a car. While there are no specific rules or guidelines related to car shopping, there are several mistakes that people make while shopping for a car. Here’s a small list of mistakes that you should avoid while shopping for a car.


Image Credits @ German Medeot

  1. Improper Research

Buying a car without research, will not only waste precious time but will often leave you confused and possibly unhappy with the vehicle you end up purchasing. It is always advised to first narrow down the list of vehicles that fit your budget and research their specs. Thanks to the internet, knowing the specs of a car is quiet convenient.

  1. Sticking To Only One Dealership

Finding a great deal depends largely on your market research. Visiting more than one dealership can provide a solid base for the comparison of the deals. There are several dealership websites that provide a convenient way to make inquiries at various dealerships. Sticking to just one particular dealership can often lead to expensive purchases and can affect your budget. Compare the deals and let the dealership personnel know about the other options you have in case you don’t like the offer.

  1. In Case Of A Trade-In

It is common for people to trade-in their older vehicles for a new one. Thus, it is important for the owners to do a proper market valuation of their old vehicle to receive the maximum trade-in benefit. Several owners make certain repairs and fixtures to their old vehicles before bringing it in for valuation. It is always better to contact a proper retail expert to determine the condition of your old vehicle before proceeding with the repairs.

  1. Avoiding a Proper Test Drive

Several times, during a test drive, people tend to follow the route advised by the sales person. While it gives you a basic idea about how the car functions but doesn’t allow yourself to be familiar with the car’s handling. Several post sales complaints can be totally avoided with a proper test-drive. Treading routes that are more familiar to you than your salesman will help you know whether you are comfortable with your car or not. A buyer should keep all the driving conditions in mind while test-driving a car.

  1. Forgetting To Contact Your Insurance Agent

Simply depending on the dealership to handle all the matters related to the purchase is something that car buyers should avoid. One must be well aware of all the intricacies of the insurance agreement when buying a vehicle. It is often advised for shoppers to contact their insurance agents before the sale of the vehicle takes place. Insurance agents will ensure that you clearly understand all the different clauses in the new insurance agreements and important details like the vehicle’s historic report in case of a used vehicle.

Most experienced car buyers know the important of thorough market and automobile research before settling down on a particular car or dealership. It is often advised for car buyers to be well aware and informed about the vehicle they have decided to buy. Avoiding the above mentioned mistakes will not only save you from wasting time and money but will also help you get the best satisfaction from your dream machine.

Author Bio:

Stuart Wood is an automobile fanatic and is the contributor for several websites and blogs related to automobiles and motorcycles. He is also the contributor for Search All Wreckers which is the best place to find used and new parts for your car.

Categories : Car Buying
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

A lot of motorists have a fairly basic knowledge about how their car works but many would not really know what they were looking for if they lifted up the bonnet (hood).

When you get in your car each day and the engine starts up, that is probably all you need to know and you can drive away without any problems, but what if the car doesn’t feel right when you are driving along?

Diagnosing car problems yourself might seem beyond your basic skills but when it comes to things like transmission trouble, there are tell-tale signs you should be able to notice and take heed of.

Logical thinking

Even if you don’t have a great deal of car knowledge, you can still apply a degree of logical thinking and keep an eye and ear out for anything that doesn’t look or feel right on your car.

It would be far better to service an auto transmission and get it checked out at the first signs of trouble rather than leave it to chance and risk a mechanical breakdown, which could be a lot more expensive to solve.

Getting in gear

A lot of cars have automatic transmission these days but there also plenty of vehicles on the road with a manual gearbox.

A common sign that there is a potential problem with your manual gearbox is when you try to get the car into first gear from a starting stop or when you are travelling along and you experience resistance when you are trying to work your way either up or down the gears.

If this happens to you, it could be that you are low on transmission fluid or you have the wrong viscosity in there. It could also be that the clutch cable needs adjusting or replacing.

Smells funny

A burning smell coming from your car is never a positive sign and it could be that you are getting the scent of burning transmission oil hitting your nostrils.

That could be a sure sign that your transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid serves two purposes, it keeps all the moving parts well lubricated and able to move freely and it also helps to keep gearbox unit cool.

If you get a burning smell coming from your car, check to see if any fluid is leaking out and also consider getting the fluid changed as it may simply be dirty and not as effective as it once was.

Warning lights

You should always pay attention to any warning lights that appear on your dashboard. The check engine light is designed to provide you with an early-warning system that all is not well.

This warning light can come on for a variety of different reasons and one of them is to indicate that you could have a problem with your transmission. A lot of newer cars are equipped with sensors that are placed in various parts of the engine, so that any irregularities are detected and a warning sign sent to the driver.

These sensors can pick up small vibrations and other signs that even an experienced DIY motor enthusiast might not pick up immediately, and there may even be a code that comes up on the screen to tell you where it thinks the fault may be.

Not as smooth

There are different warning signs to look out for depending on whether you have a manual or automatic transmission.

With a manual transmission, an obvious sign of trouble is when you feel the car grinding and shaking, which could be a worn clutch plate or something more serious. If you have an automatic car, it may be that you actually feel the car changing through the gears rather than the smooth transition that you are used to.

Use all your senses as an in-built warning system and any sounds, smells or sights that don’t seem right or if the car doesn’t feel as smooth as it used to be. Get it checked out as soon as possible.

About the Blogger

Hudson Estell has been working on cars since he could grasp a wrench. He thinks everyone should understand the basics of auto repair and he likes to blog about it online.

Categories : Tech Tips
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Drivers would and should check their vehicles on regular bases to see if there are  any low tires, burned out lightbulbs, or low fluid levels. When you see there is a problem you should get it fixed or you attend to it yourself. Another way you get warnings or find out about possible problems is by listening to your auto.

If you listen carefully you will hear that your automobile is making an urgent call to you at times. You will hear a noise that wasn’t there before and certainly it isn’t part of the usual sounds an auto makes. You need to pay attention to these noises and deal with them in a timely manner. Otherwise, you could end up in a mechanical failure related accident and have to deal with car insurance claims.

Here are some of the noises to listen out for:

Hissing Noises

You need to be aware of a few different noises to detect them in time before they cause much bigger problems or sudden stops. They may be coming from under the hood like hissing noise or smoke coming out of the bonnet (hood). This may mean the coolant is leaking. There is a high chance it may spray hot water (coolant). You need to be careful when opening the bonnet (hood) to avoid burns.

Hissing or sizzling noises may be due to simple pipe (hose) burst. That can be solved by changing it or it can be a sign of a much bigger problem. If you keep driving the automobile you may cause much bigger problems that cost you a lot more money.

Knocking Sounds

Another common problem is knocking sounds coming from the engine. If you still have the warranty you can report these issues to manufacturer or their approved repair shops and get it sorted. They normally need special attention and can be costly for you to pay out of the pocket.

Furthermore, it is important these problems are repaired properly to avoid reoccurring and resulting in engine failure. Hence, your better option would be to take it to a manufacturer approved mechanic regardless of having a valid warranty or not.

Loud Bangs and Flapping Noises

A load sound with difficulties in steering the wheel and overall imbalance are signs of a problem with tires. You should slow down without braking hard and try to get to the safety to inspect it. Braking hard can further disturb the balance of the vehicle and cause accidents. It is essential that you always keep a spare tire in good condition. Otherwise, the towing charges will probably double the costs if you don’t have an independent or insurance company provided recovery service.

Squeaking Sounds

Surely, you know that brakes are one of the most important parts in the control of the auto. They are not expensive to maintain in good condition and highly advisable to get them checked regularly. Brake failures are known to be one of the major causes of accidents reported by crash investigators. And they result in large damages and injuries claims that will increase your auto insurance rates.

A squeaking sound generally means that brake pads are worn out. You need replace them as soon as practically possible. Otherwise the brake pads will ruin the brake rotors. This can be costly.

Rattling Sounds

Rattling sounds under cars may sound like coming from engine but it is more likely to be exhaust problem. This could be due to loose or worn exhaust components. They are common issues that can be repaired by either fixing the bolts or replacing the exhaust and usually don’t cost a lot.

Grinding Noise

You may notice this sound when you are shifting the gears in a manual transmission. It is something motorists are worried about since it can cost a lot of money. There may not be a quick fix and changing the whole gear box may be necessary. If you have an older car this is the time to think about getting it repaired or spending the money to buy another automobile.

Generally, costs are several folds especially if the problems cause accidents. One of the first things you will see when you make a claim is increase in your premium at the next renewal. If you don’t want to pay high auto insurance premiums you should get quotes from comparison websites like Cheap Auto Insurance .net and compare. You may be surprised how low your rates can go down.

In this aspect car maintenance plays an important role to avoid crashes in the same way. In fact, a good mechanic should be able to notice imminent troubles, check exhaust, tires, brakes, oil and filters. They have advanced computerized equipment to detect problems or gauge engine performance. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cars.


Categories : Insurance
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Place your key in the door and ignition and turn. Or, better yet, hit a remote entry button. It seems simple enough, yet things get complicated for car owners when it comes to lost, stolen, and damaged keys.

What happens when a key breaks in a lock or ignition? Can you replace a transponder chip online? What are your options if you lose a key on the road- can you get in your car another way?

Know the Types of Keys

Modern automobile keys feature three components. A mechanical component addresses the steering lock; a transponder chip sends signals to a car’s system, igniting the engine; and, a third remote component unlocks doors and operates alarms. Transponder chips send unique signals from the key to a car’s engine system.

What are common key mishaps and how can you fix them?

Stolen While Away

Modern keys are complicated because it became so easy for thieves to steal. Potentially, a thief could swipe keys for a brief period, head to the hardware store and make a copy, then return keys undetected, later picking the best time to access your car.

Remote entry prevents thieves from copying a key’s grooves; thieves now must ‘hack’ a given automobile’s computer to start it.

Remote Won’t Work

Key technology got better, with dealerships offering remote entry. If remote entry or alarm button won’t work, check if the battery is damaged or flat. If you’re in a populated area, radio frequency could be the problem; get closer to your vehicle.

In some emergency cases, tow trucks move parked cars to a different location for remote entry to work.

Forgot to Ask About Master Key

Keys (along with spare sets) get lost, but older cars have ‘master keys’ mechanics use to program new sets. However, regarding newer cars, manufacturers have since stopped using master keys, maintaining information within databases.

Replacing a master key or needing to address an engine management system gets costly. If you’re buying a used car, check the handbook and ask the salespeople for the master key when applicable.

Key Was Broken Off

On rare occasions, keys break in doors and ignitions. Don’t make matters worse by damaging a door lock or ignition components. Call roadside assistance and check your car’s manual for associated instructions.

On-site assistants, like AutoLocks Ltd., are able to gain access and start most cars.

Separate Transponder

Don’t make a deal with online vendors without checking manufacturer literature. Despite promises of advertising, some third-party replicated transponder chips won’t work with specific makes and models.

Ensure your model’s transponder chip can be replicated. In some cases, you have no alternatives but to buy a new set from your dealership.

Broken Window

Can’t thieves break a window and tamper with a car’s ignition system? Sure, that happens often, but manufacturers like Mercedes use rolling codes in transponder chips.

If a thief attempted to‘hack’ a car’s code (as some due regarding fixed codes), it would be increasingly difficult if not impossible to start the engine.

Forgotten Spares

Some owners raise their brows at the price of a spare set of keys, especially for sets using transponder chip technology.

However, consider the cost of finding yourself stranded or needing to replace all the locks of your car because you hadn’t made or reserved copies. It can cost more money in the future for avoiding a minimal expense now.

About the Blogger

Sam Matthews has loved cars since his first peek at a malfunctioning engine as a young child. With years of professional experience and a deep passion for all things automotive, he frequently blogs about car care, legal questions, and other usual concerns.

Comments Comments Off

8 Most Popular Cars Of 2014

By · Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Since the birth of the 1st modern automobile in 1886, by Karl Benz and the introduction of the first popular commercial automobile carriage the Ford Model T in 1908, Cars have become an essential part of our lifestyles and have found a place in zillions of homes across the world. Cars are used by nearly every US citizen and the several top notch car manufacturing companies have sold cars and have established their manufacturing facilities in various parts of the globe. With the advancement in automobile technology and design, more and more people are becoming devout car enthusiast as evidenced by the huge crowd at the various auto shows and Motor shows across the world. Here is the list of the most popular cars in 2014.

  1. Cadillac CTS


Image Credits @ AlBargan

The Cadillac CTS is a luxury sports car, manufactured by General Motors. The Car was introduced the first time in 2003. The car underwent several design and component changes through the course of time and in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a new model to be launched in 2014 was unveiled. The 2014 model is the 3rd generation of the Car and utilizes a 2.0L turbocharged I4 and 3.6L V6 engine. The Cadillac CTS is a 4-door sedan which is available in a front-engine, rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. CTS is available with a 6-speed GM 6L50 automatic and 8-speed Aisin TL-80SN automatic transmission.

  1. Lexus IS250


Image Credits @ Drew Osumi

Unveiled for the first time in 1998, The Lexus IS250 is the 3rd generation of the IS series produced by Lexus. The car was first launched as a concept model in 2012 at the North American Motor Show. The retail version of the car was launched in 2014 by famous Japanese designer Masanari Sakae and features a remodeled and more modern and bulkier body. The Lexus IS250 is available in real wheel and 4-wheel drive and 6-speed automatic or 8-speed AA81E automatic transmission. The car was released with several trim levels and variants of the 2500 CC engine.

  1. Dodge Challenger


Image Credits @ Mishari Al-Reshaid

While most cars in the different best cars list contain sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs, the 2014 model of the Dodge Challenger incorporates the classic American muscle car style body with the most modern day automobile components and mechanics. The first model of the famous Dodge Challenger appeared in 1959 and soon became one of the most iconic American Muscle cars. The Car is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine and was unveiled in the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The design of the car is a largely unchanged through the years with the 2014 model being a modern take on the classic design. The Dodge Challenger 2014 features a 5-speed automatic transmission.

  1. Tesla Model S


Image Credits @ CaptureCloud

Introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S is a full-sized electric luxury car and is manufactured by Tesla Motors. The car is powered by an electric motor that utilizes 60Kw and 85Kw batteries to deliver the automobile, average speeds upto 89 kilometers per hour. The car exemplifies the automobile and electrical vehicle prowess of the American manufacturers and is available in a rear motor, rear-wheel drive layout. The 2014 model saw the rise in its popularity with a total of 31,584 units sold worldwide.

  1. BMW i3


Image Credits @ Revistadelmotor

The i3 is a 5-door hatchback produced by the German Automobile manufacturers BMW and is powered by an electric drive train. The BMW i3 was launched for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show where it was unveiled as a zero-emission electric car. The i3 utilized a 130-Kw electric motor that utilizes a 22kwh lithium-ion battery. The layout of the car is rear engine, rear wheel drive with a single speed fixed ratio transmission. The BMW i3 won the European car of the year and Super-Mini of 2014.

  1. Infiniti Q50


Image Credits @ Revistadelmotor

Manufactured by the Japanese automobile company Nissan and is a 4-door sedan which was launched at the 2013 North American Auto show. The car is also known as the Nissan Skyline and follows a front engine, rear wheel and 4-wheel drive layout. The design of the car was largely based off the Infiniti Essence and the Infinity Emerg-E. 4 different engine variants are available for this car with a 7-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual transmission. The Q50 also features a specially designed Bose audio system.

  1. Chevrolet Impala 2014


Image Credits @ campmusa

The 10th generation of the original Impala was launched in 2014, and is manufactured by the American motor company, Chevrolet. The Car is built on the GM Epsilon II platform and uses a transverse front-engine, front wheel layout. The 2014 model of the Impala was designed in order to keep the design asthetics of the older models while giving it a modern day look. The Impala is available in 3 different engine variants with L4 and V6 version and 6-speed automatic transmission with e-assist for better maneuverability.

  1. Mazda Mazda-3


Image Credits @ abmnews

The 3rd generation of the car was launched in 2013 in Australia. The car features an all-new platform with the latest Skyactive Chassis and is powered by a 2.5 liter and 2.0 liter engine. The Cars design was revamped to make it a more modern and sporty looks with an all-new grille. Mazda 3 features a front engine rear wheel and 4-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. The car also spawned a couple of other variants with various trim levels and drive train versions.

Making a list of the best 8 cars among the several cars that are launched each year is a magnanimous task. The aforementioned list of the best 8 cars are manufactured and designed by the most top notch and reputed automobile manufacturers in the world and exemplify the best and the latest in automobile technology. For more information on how to buy your dream car please visit the Tilsun Group website, which is one of the largest independent vehicle leasing organizations in the UK since 1998.


Author Bio:

Stuart Wood is an automobile enthusiast and likes to drive the latest and fastest of the cars. He is an avid reader of automobile related magazines and also a reputed automobile critic. He is the current contributor to the Tilsun Group’s website, which is a vehicle leasing company based in the UK.

Categories : Car Buying
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Everyone experiences an auto breakdown at some point. Whether it’s a flat tire, an empty gas tank or a problem under the hood, roadside safety is essential. The first rule of roadside safety is to not panic.

Panicking can make the situation worse and increase the odds that you’ll have an accident. Instead, focus on keeping your breathing calm. There are five steps you’ll want to follow if you happen to find yourself stranded by a roadside emergency.

Step #1: Pull over.

As soon as you realize your vehicle is having trouble, try to pull off the road. Getting out of the way of other motorists will keep you and other travelers safe. If traffic is heavy and it’s difficult to get off the road, put your hazard lights on. This will alert the drivers behind you that your vehicle is having difficulty or that your tire is flat.

Once you’ve pulled over, you have to decide whether to go for help or stay put. Don’t go for help if you’re in a bad area with little to no traffic. Also avoid leaving your vehicle if the weather is bad. This includes severe thunderstorms or snow fall. In these situations, it’s best to wait for help to come.

If you opt to leave your vehicle, lock the doors and put valuables (like electronic gadgets) out of sight. A full purse or an MP3 play left on your seat could be temptation for a thief.  Protect yourself by hiding gadgets or taking them with you.

Step #2: Help other motorists spot your vehicle.

Good warning signs include triangle lights, flares or a warning light. If you’re able, set up triangle lights or other warning lights several feet behind your vehicle. This will give other motorists advanced warning about your flat tire or other auto problem.

Step #3: Let drivers know you need assistance.

You can let other drivers know you need assistance by raising the hood of your vehicle. You can also get attention by wrapping a white cloth around a door handle or the radio antenna. If you have a cellphone, you can use it to dial 911. The 911 operator may not be able to detect your location so it’s important that you give accurate information about nearby landmarks or signs.

In the event that a tire goes flat, you may be able to change it on your own without help. There are instructional videos that can guide you through the process and make it easier for you. You can even use a service like YTD to play or download a video tutorial on changing a tire.

Step #4: Be wary of accepting help.

Good Samaritans do still exist. But you want to be careful that you don’t accept help from someone pretending to be a Good Samaritan. If someone approaches your vehicle, keep the doors locked. Lower the window only enough to speak to the person. Ask them to call for help but don’t invite them into your vehicle.

Step #5: Keep your seat belt on.

When you’re stuck in your car, your first instinct may be to take off your seat belt. While seat belts can be uncomfortable to wear for a prolonged period of time, keep yours on anyway. In the event that another motorist hits your vehicle, you could be injured. This is why it’s important that you stay buckled up even if your vehicle isn’t running.

Roadside safety is an important part of being a good citizen. Many experts advise preparing an emergency roadside kit and keeping it in your trunk. This can come in handy if you become stranded on the road.

Remember to respect intellectual property with video downloads.

About the Blogger

Lisa Harold is a veteran mechanic. She often blogs about common car troubles and how to stay safe with your car.

Categories : Tech Tips
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Are you a defensive driver? Have you never been in an accident? Chances are you have some of the skills needed to be a great defensive driver. One who travels through lanes with the greatest of ease, and avoids accidents ahead, behind and to the side. But did you know that there are many ways to prevent car accidents?

Proper vehicle maintenance is one of the most common reasons for accidents on the road today, besides distracted drivers of course. Truck accidents are common due to malfunctioning equipment and cargo shifting due to improper loading. Cars with underinflated or bald tires can cause accidents during sudden losses of tire pressure too. Vehicle lighting is also a contributing factor in accidents. In rain, snow, or fog proper lighting is essential to keeping your vehicle on the road. So what can you do to help prevent these accidents?

  1. Do a vehicle check before you go on a trip. Check for leaks, low tires, replace wiper blades, test lights and ensure all check engine lights are addressed.
  2. Ensure your vehicle is worked on by certified professionals.
  3. Take your tires seriously! Check tire pressure at least once per month.
  4. If you are loading cargo ask a professional to review your packing and securing method before you get on the road.
  5. Check out the cars around you and watch for vehicles that do not appear to have taken these steps to keep themselves safe. Keep your distance from these vehicles.

Additionally there are defensive driving techniques which go above and beyond vehicle maintenance. There’s no way to ensure other cars on the road are performing their own proper vehicle maintenance, so use these defensive driving tips to read a vehicles “body language” and avoid accidents which may ultimately save your life. You don’t want to find yourself in a vehicle accident anytime soon.

Plan Ahead

A large part of avoiding an accident is planning ahead. Think about how you will react to a car suddenly entering your lane, or an out of control vehicle speeds by you. Put yourself in these hypothetical situations and think through how you would reach in that situation. Being prepared for the unexpected is key to your survival in the car.

Read Car Body Language

Just like with people you can read body language from a car. You may observe a car that is swerving slightly into one lane or the other, signaling they will eventually need to get into that lane. You may observe a car increasing its rate of speed as it enters the freeway, make room for them because you know they will need to get over – regardless if they see you or not. Look for these signs as they can help aid in understanding where a neighboring car will soon go, which may affect your driving.

It’s important for teens and individuals in their 20s to work on their defensive driving skills such as reading car body language. In the state of Illinois in 2011 the incidence of individuals fatally injured in car crashes was highest for individuals 19-29 than any other age group as reported by the DOT. Car accident lawyers in Chicago are adamant that defensive driving is essential for Chicagoans and other drivers in large metro areas.

Be Alert and Avoid Distractions at All Times

Texting while driving is a huge no-no. So is eating while driving and any other distraction while on the road. Limit your distractions and pay attention at all times. There’s no excuse for being distracted on the road, and proper defensive driving does not allow for distractions. Stay alert and you’ll stay safe.

Don’t make assumptions about other drivers while on the road and their intentions. Don’t expect parked cars to stay parked all the time. Don’t’ expect people to yield at interactions all the time or remain in the same lane when they are supposed to. When you’re on the road you risk being caught off guard and should prepare for that at all times.



Categories : Insurance, Tech Tips
Comments Comments Off

Carmony Rebranding

By · Comments Comments Off is one of the UK’s leading used car websites that provide customers with approved used cars in their area. The company was established in 2008 and is owned and run by Manheim Europe. They provide an easy-to-use lifestyle search feature which helps buyers to find the right car that suits their individual needs and takes into consideration aspects such as fuel efficiency, boot space, the number of seats etc. Carmony provides cars that suit every budget so that each customer is provided with exactly what they want. The site also reports on the latest news stories, events and reviews from the motor world which is a great way in which for customers to keep up-to-date with the latest motor news. will soon rebrand its website and offering which is sure to re-vamp the entire website, making it a unique place on the internet where only the best customer services are available. This rebranding of the website will now focus on customers wanting to search for a premium car, making one of the very few in the market that will focus on cars of a ‘higher value’. This will give car buyers the chance to opt for a better suited car and one that has been pre-approved by Carmony so buyers can drive easy knowing their car is amongst the best. All of the cars for sale through are ‘dealer approved’, which is a USP.

As a part of the rebranding scheme, the news section of will now concentrate mainly on ‘new premium cars’ above £25,000. This new offering on the site will drive the site forward in becoming a dedicated resource focusing on the higher value brands such as the famous Lexus brand and Audi. This new set up is similar to the layout on sites such as and, which focus solely on higher value properties.

The ‘used car portal’ UK market is very saturated and there are hundreds of sites out there that claim to offer only the best customer services and only the best cars. However, the question at hand is if there is sufficient room for another player in the market? Other used car sites such as, and are amongst the leading UK car sites however remains on top and with their new rebranding, they are set to stay on top.

Categories : Car Buying
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

After a long cold winter, there are many things that you need in order to prepare your car for those warm summer rays. You have the option of taking your vehicle for quite an expensive checkup prior to getting those summer tires put back on, or you can take a few minutes to makes some notes online and save that money for an amazing summer vacation.

As the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (2014) puts it, not only will preparing your vehicle for the summer help extend the life, but it can also put a much higher retail value on the vehicle when it comes to sell.

Before getting started it is important to know what needs to be checked.

Switching the Snow Tires to Summer Tires

This is usually the one thing that most people won’t forget to do. We all know how bad it is on the treads when you’re winding through cobble stone streets with the winter tires still on, so this should be a no brainer when it comes to preparing your car for the summer. Defining the word ‘bad’ in this situation can easily be explained in Transportation Research Board’s Special Report (2006). The amount of funds that go into replacing tires on vehicles reaches over $20 billion in the USA every year. One of the biggest reasons for having to replace your vehicle’s tires is because of overuse or use in the wrong seasons/weather conditions.

Checking the Windshield Wipers

If you have been driving around in slushy road conditions, chances are you may already know how well your windshield wipers work. When you leave your car parked outside in cold weather conditions, they take almost everything nature can throw at it, including snow, sleet, hail, and a whopping amount of road salts. Check out your wipers to make sure they are working properly, they are free of rust and they are tightly secured onto your vehicle.

Get Under the Hood

You may not be an expert mechanic, but before you take your vehicle into a shop and get a hefty bill at the end, try checking into certain parts of your car that may be easier to understand. It’s getting warmer out so pop open that hood! Checking the coolant level is fairly simple, make sure your car is not running, you are standing a clear distance away and opening the cap wearing gloves. Check in on the level of coolant, it may have gone down over the winter months. If this is the case, simply fill it back up to the line. Coolant can be purchased at most gas stations or vehicle shops for little to no money. Next, check your oil. Pull out the dipstick, wipe is clean with a cloth and put it back into the dipstick tube. Again, remove the dipstick and check if it is around the ‘full’ marking. If this isn’t the case, top it up with some oil. If you haven’t had an oil change for a while, now is probably a good time to get this done. While you’re under the hood, just make sure nothing is leaking or looks out of place and don’t forget to top up your windshield washer fluid.

Get in the Car and Run Some Tests

Pretend you are preparing for your first drivers education exam again, hop in that driver’s seat and do a test on everything you can. Get those brakes pumping, have someone stand outside of the car to check your signal lights and brake lights. Turn off the heat you’ve been using all winter and check out your air conditioning (please note: not all vehicles have air conditioning units). In the Belfast Telegraph (2006), they even mention the importance of running your tests. Think about getting ready for the summer, but also do not forget, you could be saving lives. For example, in the Belfast Telegraph (2006) they reported that over 10 people could survive each year in Northern Ireland if we simply checked our lights more often.

The Final Summer Make Over

Last, but certainly not least is the final summer make over! If you know how to do it right, this can be extremely cost effective and can make your car look like new again. Check out the salt stains, the built up rust perhaps building up under the car or the dirt/bust lining your car windows and doors. If you are lucky, you may be able to get away with a quick car wash and call it quits. For most cars, you will need a serious make over to get them ready for the summer sun! So in order to get the most out of your efforts use the following tips:

  1. Start with a basic car wash, get rid of all the easy dirt and dust lining the cars edges
  2. Use a car pressure washer for those hard to reach places and that stubborn grease and dirt stuck on the doors, the hood and the tires.
  3. Don’t forget that harsh sun conditions can also damage your car so make sure to polish it up with some wax to protect the paint and keep your car looking like new


Categories : Tech Tips
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

If you have decided it’s time you changed the look of your car but are yet to make up your mind on whether you should go for the traditional paint job or a vinyl wrap, here is a head to head comparison of the two options.


The highest quality vinyl wrap when installed professionally will cost you between $1,500 and $3,000. This includes the cost of custom graphics. A traditional paint job; again depending on the professionalism of the job and both the quality and color of the paint; costs between $5,000 and $15,000, inclusive of any graphics. So at the cost of a single paint job, you may be able to get between two and five vinyl wraps.

Resale value

If you are planning to sell your car in the future, it might be best to pick a vinyl wrap. That way you’ll have the chance to remove the wrap and return the car to its original color, which often leads to a higher resale price. Cars with original manufacturer paint are easy to resell, but if you apply a new coat of paint your choice of both the color and quality of paint combined with the quality of the job can influence prospective buyers.

Time taken to install

Wraps can be completed within two days, including graphics. Paint jobs on the other hand can take week or more before the job is fully done. If it is custom painting, you may have to wait to for even longer. This can leave you short of transportation options for a substantial amount of time.

Longevity and safety or removal

The life spans of both vinyl wraps and paint jobs depend on exposure to environmental factors. Nonetheless, vinyl still comes out on top. High quality vinyl-wraps last longer, and are safe and easy to remove. If a car was to be wrapped in quality vinyl and garaged, its life span would increase by between five and seven years. Even after that long, you’ll still be able to safely and easily remove the wrap. Paint jobs generally last between three and five years, but painting also permanently changes the appearance of the car.


Unlike traditional paint, vinyl wraps also protect your car. For example, all surfaces covered by the wrap will be protected from direct, prolonged exposure to the sun. The wrap also protects the paint underneath from rock chips, debris and bug stains.

Ease of maintenance

Vinyl wraps are quite easy to clean; you will never have to wax your car again. With water and soap, you can hand-wash vinyl wrap to a sparkling new look. If there is any tough dirt, simply get a microfiber rag and a 70% alcohol solution and your wrap will look new again.


While paint jobs are actually quite popular, vinyl wraps easily win this race. Not only are they cheaper, they are much more cost effective in the long run and help maintain the resale value of your car. Wraps also give a wide range of options to choose from and are very environmentally friendly.

Comments Comments Off

Maintaining a Minibus

By · Comments Comments Off

Owning  a minibus can be great fun; they can be excellent to take on road trips, and may even be helpful for large families. While they aren’t as large as a full coach, they are often big enough to carry 15+ individuals. They are also exceptionally useful for those who require group transportation for a business. This makes them an ideal choice for schools, daycares, residential care centres, hospitals, and more. Proper maintenance of these vehicles requires an understanding of how they work, and how they differ from a car or truck. Both seasonal maintenance and regular maintenance tasks are required for these vehicles.

In the United Kingdom, the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) outlines guidelines for maintaining a minibus correctly. It is vital that you follow their outlines to ensure safety and legal status of your minibus. You should engage in regular checks–in fact, your minibus should be checked on a daily basis at a surface level if it is used each and every day.

Periodic Maintenance Checks

You should run periodic maintenance checks on your minibus. Special attention should be paid to certain areas to ensure that they are in ideal shape each and every day. You should:

  • Check all first aid kits to ensure that they contain all items
  • Ensure fire extinguishers are on the minibus and charged
  • Verify that passenger lifts are in working order
  • Check all passenger restraint systems
  • Check wheelchair clamps
  • Review webbing restraints
  • Verify that each seat is in working order
  • Check the heating, cooling, or air conditioning systems

In addition to these points, you should also check mirrors, oil and window fluid levels, and transmission fluid levels weekly.

Change Your Oil Periodically

Changing your oil is just as important on a minibus as it is on a car. Your oil should be changed every three to four months, or every 3,000 to 7,000 kilometres. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, most garages should be able to handle the job in just a few hours. If you do decide to change your own oil, make sure that you have thoroughly reviewed the process, and check within your owner’s manual or service manual for model-specific issues. Also remember that used engine oil needs to be recycled.

Evaluating Tyres

If your minibus is used regularly, you should evaluate the tyres at least once per week. This will ensure that your tyres are properly filled with air and free of holes. Monitor for issues while driving; it’s common to feel a slight bump on one side if you’ve got a flat. A tyre gauge can be kept in the dash or within your tool kit for quick verifications.

When Your Minibus Breaks Down

When your minibus breaks down, it’s important to visit a certified garage who knows how to deal with these larger machines. Be sure to ask whether the company handles minibus and coach vehicles. Repairs are typically fast, but may take a few days. If you need a coach to provide you with transportation while your minibus is being repaired, Coach Hire.

Categories : Tech Tips
Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

For the typical Jeep owner, the vehicle is a dependable everyday runabout and also a great off-roader that offers excellent ruggedness for the occasional camping trip. This is the kind of all-purpose use that the Jeep is built for. Some people, though, need their Jeeps for very rough terrain.

When you drive a stock Jeep over extremely rugged ground, the travel of the suspension can be so great that it causes the wheels to bump against their wheel wells. In such cases, modifications to the vehicle may be called for — you may need to get suspension lifts that have the effect of raising the suspension and making the vehicle sit higher on top of the wheels. Jeeps kitted out with extreme lifts become capable of unbelievable levels of punishment. Their suspensions are so tall that they can have their wheels independently twist in wild angles to grip the terrain.

Jeeps kitted out with lifts help with more than just suspension travel – they also allow the use of larger tires than come with the stock Jeep. Larger tires can mean smoother travel over rough terrain.

To be sure, not every Jeep lift enthusiast goes for lifts to be able to use his vehicle in harsh conditions. Sometimes, people just get them for the way they give their Jeeps an aggressive look.

How do you pick a lift kit?

Successfully lifting a vehicle requires attention paid in three areas – the wheels, the tires and the drivetrain. The lifts that you get need to work well with all three areas of your vehicle. Before you begin the process of shopping for a lift kit, you need to ask yourself 4 questions.

.   Do you know the exact purpose you will use your lifted Jeep for?

.   Have you made up your mind about the tires you will use?

.   Are you clear about how much you’re willing to spend?

.   Do you know enough about working on cars to carry out a complex modification such as a lift, yourself?

A Jeep lift is a major project – you will need to spend hours under your vehicle, patiently rebuild the suspension and repeatedly make tests and tweaks to make sure that everything works correctly. You need to be up to this kind of work. If you aren’t, you’d be much better off finding a professional to perform your lift for you. A trusted outlet selling Jeep Wrangler accessories should be able to give you advice you in this area.

Picking the right kind of lift for your Jeep

Going with a small lift: If this is your first lifting project, you’ll do well to get a small lift – something that raises the level of your Jeep by no more than 2 inches. Small lifts are inexpensive and easy to install.  There is very little room for mechanical complications when you pick a small lift. This kind of lift is a good idea if all you want is a slightly aggressive look on your vehicle and the ability to run bigger, 31-inch tires. All you will need are a few spacers under your stock springs and long shackles at the back.

Picking a medium lift: Medium lifts work well for most Jeeps. You choose them when you need to use tires as large as 34 inches. While these lifts require a slightly more involved installation process than small lifts, they still don’t need too many additional parts. You’ll need a longer break line, wheel spacers and a new driveshaft. A medium lift can achieve 3.5 inches of additional clearance.

Getting a big lift: The biggest lift kits can be extremely expensive and can require a huge set of parts. Since changes to the front end geometry are required, you should expect to come up against a few complications during the installation process and be willing to research possible solutions. Nevertheless, you’ll get spectacular off-road performance and the ability to install 35-inch tires.

About the Blogger

Jeremy S is always fussing over his Jeep Wrangler. An avid blogger, he likes to share what he learns with others online and his articles mainly appear on motoring and off road blogs.

Categories : Auto Accessories
Comments Comments Off

Motorcity Breakdown: Suburu BRZ Vs. Scion FR-S

By · Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Scion isn’t a name that has a rich history associated with quality, but it’s come into its own now that Toyota has gotten serious about the brand. In fact, the company hopes to compete against the likes of Subaru – known for its “unkillable cars,” at least in the road rally niche.

Simple, and affordable, are key here. These cars are both marketed towards young drivers, not old ones. For the seasoned sports enthusiasts, the Subaru BRZ looks like the better choice. After all, Subaru has a history of producing all-wheel-drive sport coups and even sedans that tear up the off-road scene.

But, what you might not know is that there’s not much of a comparison in terms of the Scion FR-S vs Subaru BRZ when it comes to build. They’re almost identical in that respect. How could that be?

Well, both cars were, oddly enough, designed as a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru. Both companies wanted to produce a vehicle that was affordable and yet spoke to the racing enthusiast under 30.

That’s a slim market. You can’t even find a dedicated sports car out there in the marketplace anymore. It used to be that Honda was good for at least the S2000, and Toyota could put out a drop top roadster, but those days are disappearing.

Even with their similarities, there are some important differences, though, that make both vehicles right for different individuals.

Take the BRZ, for example. It’s a very “back-to-basics” car. Putting down 200 horsepower at the crank, its high-revving engine won’t ever be mistaken for American muscle. But, it has something American cars don’t: a 6-speed close-ratio transmission. Those are good for maximum utilization of what power it does have – zooming you from 0 to 60 in short-order.

Here’s where this car surprises a lot of folks used to Subarus though – the fuel economy is a stellar 34MPG.

Now, what about the Scion? While it shares much of the styling, and the chassis, there’s an important thing that’s missing from this car: creature comforts. The base model BRZ gets you a voice-activated navi system and an upgraded stereo system. You also get to take advantage of bluetooth hands-free.

If you want those options on the Scion, be prepared to pay for them a la carte.

Still, if you’re into the whole stripped down thing, it’s hard to beat the Scion. It’s got the same 200hp engine, a 6-speed snappy tranny, and power up in the 7,000+RPM range for technology-driven power (as opposed to raw displacement power a la the American muscle car).

The no-frills Scion will be the cheaper option for you, and it will be lighter too, as you won’t have all the extras. That will affect how snappy the vehicle feels and it could affect 0-60 times depending on how you drive the thing.

But, if you’re looking for a road-trip car, forget about it. Neither one is comfortable for long distances. These cars are fun-on-wheels, and perfect for tooling around town and on the country backroads. That’s where they shine and where you’ll be happiest in these cars.

About the Blogger

Robert Navarro has always loved all things cars. When not researching trends and innovations, he enjoys blogging about his insights into the automotive industry.


Categories : Car Buying
Comments Comments Off

How you can Save Money on your Car Insurance?

By · Comments Comments Off

Written by a Guest Blogger

Your car is something that you rely on heavily and it is very valuable, and this is why you will want a decent car insurance package. Car insurance is a legal requirement and something that could save you a fortune, and there is a good chance that you will need it at some point when you are out and about. The roads are a dangerous place for any motorist, and as well as this automobiles are incredibly complex bits of machinery which means that they will break down from time to time, and this is why insurance is so essential for anyone out on the roads. The idea of finding the right quote from the right provider may cause some stress though, and this is because there are so many providers all claiming to have the best premiums and level of cover.

Get Advice and Quotes from Car Insurance Specialists

Whether you have just passed your test or if you are looking for a new provider then you will want some expert advice from a specialist, and this is the best way to find exactly what you need. Ideally you will want a car insurance package that saves you money, meets all of your requirements and has a host of benefits too. Trying to find this yourself could take forever, and the majority of people simply do not have the time to spend hours on end in search of the right provider. This is why it is best to talk to a car insurance specialist, as they will be able to give you the best advice and deals, making it a simple and stress free process.

Look for Quotes Online to Alleviate Stress

Some car insurance companies, including ones like Autoline and other similar teams, will allow you to get a quote online so you will easily be able to see how much money you could save. When you go with specialist teams it is the easiest and best way to get covered, and this will alleviate a lot of stress that finding insurance usually brings. With a good level of cover at an affordable rate it means that you will be fully protected whilst out on the roads, and if you were to encounter any problems such as an accident or breaking down then you do not need to panic as you will be properly looked after by your insurance company.

Categories : Insurance
Comments Comments Off

Auto Upkeep Books

Auto Upkeep Homeschool Kit