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How Do You Reduce the Risk of Car Theft?

May 23rd, 2011

Nobody wants their car to be a statistic in car theft and carjacking. According to one study, a car is being stolen every 21 minutes. The places where car theft usually occurs is in shopping malls, colleges, movie complexes, stadiums and sporting events. There is no particular day of the week or time for car theft to occur, it happens at random and it depends more on the location. We have gathered some tips that you can follow in order to limit the risk of car theft.

When some people are in a hurry, they just leave their car running and dash inside the house or any establishment. This is just like handing the car over to the car thief. Avoid doing this. Turn off your engine, bring your car keys and lock your car before leaving.

Again, do not leave your keys in the car. Even if your car is parked in front of your house, always roll up the window and lock it.

Do not leave your valuable things like laptop, cellphones, bags and purse in plain view inside your car. This is too much of a temptation for car thieves. If you don’t want to bring your things with you just hide them in the trunk or glove compartment.

Avoid parking your car in dark areas. Always choose a well lighted area of the parking lot.

Do not leave important documents like your personal identification papers, vehicle ownership title and credit cards inside your car. You can just put the vehicle title and registration in your wallet. The thief will have an easier time selling your car if he has the registration and ownership title.

To deter the thief from stealing your car, you can install steering wheel lock, column or brake locks.

If your area is prone to car theft, you can have your Vehicle Identification Number or VIN etched on your car windows, doors, trunk lid and fenders. By doing this, it will not be easy for the thief to sell your stolen car parts.

Always have a copy of your license plate and VIN. This is a valuable information for the police if your car is stolen.

There are anti car theft gadgets and security system that can be installed in your car. One of the best and effective gadget or mechanism is the security system that shuts off the fuel supply of the car making it impossible for the thief to drive away.

These are just some of the tips you can use to reduce the risk of your car being stolen. If your car is stolen, report it immediately to the authorities.

Car Check for Road Trips and Long Drives

May 21st, 2011

One of the pleasures of driving are long road trips. It is fun to drive across state on the open road with your road trip buddies or your family. You are happily chatting with your friends while driving when you suddenly hear a loud bumping sound from your car. Your tire is out, a big flat tire. Now this can be fun if you are with your college buddies but this may be a nightmare for some people. To prevent this from happening, a complete car check must be done before your planned road trip. Here are some tips that you can do in order to prepare your car for that long drive ahead.

The first advice is to take your car to your regular mechanic and have it checked out two weeks before your road trip. This way, your car can be checked thoroughly for any leaks or wear. You have to give your mechanic some time for the necessary adjustments and repairs that your car may need.

Have your tires inspected. Is it time to replace those tires? If it is already bald then you better replace those tires. It is quite dangerous for your tires to blow out in the middle of the open highway. It is wise to spend a few bucks on new tires than spending it on the towing service and waiting for your car to be fixed on the side of the road.

Check all the lights if it is working properly. A broken tail light can easily get the attention of the local police patrol and you wouldn’t want your long drive taking a detour straight to the police station.

Bring an emergency kit with you just in case, like flashlights, pen and paper and cellphone with camera. This may come in handy if an accident occurs.

Little things should be inspected also like your windshield wipers. Driving along on unfamiliar road can be hazardous especially when it rains. You need every little bit of your car working in perfect condition and that includes your wiper.

Take an extra supply of things that your car may need like a new bottle of anti-freeze, engine oil and transmission fluid. Your trunk should include a tool box for flat tires, screw drivers, pliers, radiator hose clamps, a roll of electrical tape, jumper cables and a hand towel.

Last but not the least. Give your car a thorough cleaning both the interior and the exterior. Your windows and windshield should be very clean because you need a clear visibility for that long drive. Also, you want your driving to be as comfortable as possible so everything must be clean and in order.

Tips for Buying Used Cars

May 14th, 2011

If you are thinking of buying a used car then you better be prepared. Buying used cars can be risky especially if you do not have any former experience. There are a lot of things you have to look out for and to consider.

Be cautious about private sellers. Never meet with the seller somewhere like a gasoline station, always view the car at their home and in broad daylight. Bring someone with you just to be safe. Try to find out if the seller is really the owner and if the place is really their home and they know the car they are selling by knowing its history and its controls.

You should know your budget limit so that you would know what car you can afford. Research and ask other people about the going rate for the particular model you want to buy.

In terms of mileage, the best buy can be a three year old car with an annual mileage of 10,000 - 15,000. So a three year old car should have an average mileage of 25,000 to 35,000. Cars having mileage above 10,000 a year is most likely used for business or driven long distances constantly.

When inspecting the car, the general rule is to check the engine plate if it matches the registration documents. Look for any tampering if there are any. Do not buy a car without test driving it first. It is advisable to test the car on a variation of conditions like twisting roads, urban driving and highways.

In terms of bodywork, check the car in daylight so you can easily spot if there are rusts and corrosion. Crash repairs will show up especially if it is not done perfectly. Ripples and change in texture of the body indicates that there are a lot of body filler underneath. A good tip is to bring a magnet, it will stick to metal but it will not stick to plastic body fillers. Check the structural bodywork like the chassis members, inner wings and subframes for corrosion. Check also the brake pipes, suspension and steering mounting points. These can lead to serious problems if they are crusted with rust and corrosion.

Inside the car, check the odometer if it is working properly. A car with a low mileage can also cause engine problems because this means that it is left for a long period of time or used only for short driving. It is better if the car is regularly used and serviced.

The next thing you should check is the engine. If the engine and its surroundings are dirty this means it has not been maintained properly. Upon starting, listen to the engine sound. If there is heavy rattling it could indicate a wear in the crank shaft and big end bearings.Check for blue or black smoke on its exhaust and check for oil leaks.

When it comes to the actual buying, there is nothing wrong with haggling or bargaining the price. Car sellers allow bargaining and they anticipate it and always remember your budget. Do not be pressured in buying the car, there are still a lot of cars you can find. You can always walk away if you are not happy with the car.

Honda Fit 2011 Quick Review

May 12th, 2011

The new 2011 Honda Fit is simply one of the best hatchback car to come out this year. It still offers that fun driving experience with its strong 1.5 liter four cylinder good for 117 horespower and 106 pound-feet torque. The four cylinder engine means you don’t have to worry a lot about spending too much on fuel.

In terms of price, it is ranked as the second out of 34 affordable small cars. This ranking is based on the 33 published reviews of other subcompact cars. It garnered a lot of awards and praises from different the Auto Press industry. It is included in the 10Best list of Car and Driver for third year in a row. Consumer Guide named it as 2011 Best Buy.

Its price starts at $15,100 which can be a bit pricey for the usual small car buyers. Another complaint about this car is its noise. If you are driving down the highway a considerable amount of wind, engine and road noise can be heard inside the car. Despite its drawbacks it is still preferred by a lot of driving enthusiast because of its sharp steering response, 2,500 pound curb weight and its 1.5 liter engine that delivers tons of driving pleasure.

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The interior features are perfectly designed for such a small compact car. Two adults can fit easily at the back without any complaints on long and extended drives. This car is also well known for its versatility. The maximum cargo capacity is a surprising 57.3 cubic feet. Almost the same as a small crossover SUV.

This subcompact four door hatchback is available in base and Sport level. With its fuel efficient engine and fun driving experience, this is absolutely one of the best small cars that you can find today.

How You Can Avoid Car Accidents

May 7th, 2011

No one wants to be involved in a car accident. Not only is it expensive to fix your car but statistics show that a lot of people die in major car accidents. There are ways to limit the chances of car accidents but the first thing you should do is obey road rules and use your common sense.

If you have children, keep them buckled at all times. Never let them roam around or fight inside the car while your driving. This will cause too much distraction from your driving.

Only drive at the allowed speed limits. If you are the type of person who wants to go fast and is always in a hurry then you better learn to slow down and drive the posted speed limit.

Always wear your seat belt. This is one advice that we hear often but it is the one thing we sometimes forget doing. Remember that many people survive car accidents because of seat belts. It really can really save your life.

Never drink and drive. This is just pure common sense. Just think of the problems that you will face if ever you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol. You can be fined and your license can be suspended but the worst thing is if you cause an accident that hurt or killed someone.

You have to drive defensively. This means you always have to be on guard when driving. There are driving schools that teach defensive driving if you want to learn. A lot of car accidents are caused by driver error and negligence so you have learn how not to be involved in one. Keep your focus on the road and not on your cellphone or car radio. By talking or texting on your cellphone you are putting yourself and others at risk because only half of your attention is on driving. The same is true with women who are applying make up while driving. Pay attention to the road and be a responsible driver.

These are just some of the most common and simple ways you can avoid accidents and the sad truth is that it is very easy to follow but people still get into accidents because they fail to follow road rules.

Hybrid Cars – The First Step Towards Change

April 3rd, 2011

We have seen the evolution of vehicles since its invention up to the present. Cars have been a part of our lives and will probably be with us into the future. The major change that will happen to cars and other vehicles in the future is limiting or possibly eliminating its dependence on fossil fuel. Steps have been taken to find alternative fuel to keep our cars running but it will still take a long time before we completely replace diesel and gasoline for other types of fuel. There are two reasons why cars of the future won’t be dependent on gasoline. The first one is that cars are considered as one of the major air pollutant today and the environmental concern on global warming is rapidly growing. The second reason is that our fossil fuel will not last forever. Oil prices today are soaring and we have to find a solution to this problem by developing other means of fuel that will power our vehicles and will not pollute our environment.

The trend in the car industry today is producing fuel efficient cars such as hybrid cars. Hybrid cars have two engines, it has the normal internal combustion engine of the normal car and the battery and electric motor of an electric car. Hybrid cars are considered environment friendly cars because they do not have high emission fumes and they don’t need much gasoline as compared to a normal car. Hybrid car works by using electric motor when you are just driving at a normal 30 mile per hour pace. If you are on a traffic stop and go city driving condition then your hybrid electric motor is the one doing the work. When you get to the open highway and you are going to drive faster, the gasoline motor kicks in. Unlike in electric cars, you will not need to recharge your electric battery motor when it runs low because it automatically recharges while you drive.

This year there are numerous hybrid cars that have come out. Here are some of the 2011 hybrid cars that are available.

Honda has the Insight Hybrid – A 5 door hatchback compact sedan that offers automatic climate control, tire monitoring pressure system and other cool features. It has a fuel capacity of 10.6 gallons. Honda has also released the Honda Civic Hybrid.

2011 Toyota Hybrid Camry – A 4 door/5 passenger midsize sedan that has anti skid traction control, keyless entry starting system, curtain side and driver’s knee airbag, etc. Toyota Prius also has its latest hybrid model as well as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid – It’s also a midsize 5 passenger sedan with dual zone automatic temperature control, rear view camera, keyless entry pad and other modern features.

These are just some of the latest hybrid cars in the market today. Other automakers have also released their latest hybrid cars: 2011 Lexus RX 450h, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Experts believe that hybrid cars are just a transition technology from gasoline cars to alternative fueled cars. These hybrid cars may not completely revolutionize the car industry but it is a very big step towards the goal of cleaning the carbon emissions of our car.

Helpful Car Care Tips

March 25th, 2011

Cars, just like people, need proper care and attention. If you take care of your car it will surely reward you back with better performance. You may find out that a little effort on your part can make a very big difference in maintaining your car. Here are some basic helpful tips that you need to know for your car maintenance.

When is the best time to change my oil and filter? This is one of the common questions asked in car maintenance. Well the basic rule of thumb when changing oil and filter regularly should be every 3,000 to 4,000 miles if you are using conventional engine oil and every 5,000 to 6,000 miles if you are using synthetic engine oil.

All the fluids in your car should be checked regularly. These fluids are your brake fluids, power steering, transmission, antifreeze and windshield washer solvent. Safety should be the number one priority for you, having these fluids inspected will ensure that your car is always safe to drive.

Do not forget to check your tires at least once a month. Always remember that an under inflated tire can cause early tire wear. The worst thing is that under inflated tire can negatively affect your fuel efficiency. This simply means a waste in money and fuel just because your tire is under inflated.

Check your spark plug regularly and have your engine tuned. You may think that it will cost you more money to have your engine tuned but having a damaged spark plug is actually much worse because it will reduce your fuel efficiency up to 30 percent.

The lighting system of your car should also be included in your maintenance. This is important for your safety because this includes checking your headlights, tail lights, turn and brake signals.

Another safety precaution maintenance is having your hoses and engine belts inspected. You would not want having worn out engine belts because it can affect the performance of your engine.

The next sets of tips are car care tips that will help boost your fuel efficiency and save gas.

Never leave your car parked under the heat of the sun. Always try to park your car under a shade. A car left baking under the heat of the sun has a higher amount of evaporative emission rather than cars parked in the shade.

Choose the lower octane gasoline for your car. Unless your car needs premium gasoline, that pricey high octane gasoline is just a waste of money for you. Don’t expect that this high octane gasoline will improve your car performance or improve your fuel efficiency. You can save hundreds of dollars a year if you follow this advice.

Those are just some of the basic car care tips that you have to keep in mind. Remember to always follow the manufacturer recommended maintenance which can be found in your car manual. Do not just take your car for granted, your car’s performance will depend on how you maintain your car.

2010 Bentley Azure

January 21st, 2010

The Bentley name has always been associated with exceptional style, and the 2010 Bentley Azure is certainly no exception. The Azure is currently only available in one trim, which is powered by a 500 horsepower 6.8 liter V8 engine with twin-turbo. The six-speed automatic transmission includes overdrive.

Standard features for the 2010 Bentley Azure include leather/chrome gear shift knob trim, programmable garage door opener, a trunk/cargo mounted 6 disc CD changer, a navigation system, Bluetooth compatibility, six speakers and 20″ painted alloy wheels. Safety features include front airbags, side-impact airbags, ABS and driveline traction control, programmable exterior light control and parking assist.

The MSRP for the 2010 Bentley Azure starts at $363,000.

2010 Audi TTS

January 19th, 2010

The 2010 Audi TTS is a step up from other vehicles in its class. The TTS is currently available in two trims - a two-door quattro Roadster, and a two-door quattro Coupe. Both of these trims are powered by a direct-injection turbocharged 265 horsepower 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. The only transmission choice is a six-speed automatic S-Tronic.

Standard features include cruise control, heated front seats, SIRIUS AM/FM/Satellite radio, steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth compatibility. Safety features include front airbags, side-impact airbags, a headlight washer, ABS and driveline traction control, panic alarm, daytime running lights and knee airbags.

The current MSRP for the 2010 Audi TTS starts at $45,900.

2010 Audi TT

January 16th, 2010

For the 2010 model, the Audi TT is designed to be the beginning of the Audi and VW selection of performance vehicles. The 2010 Audi TT is powered by a 200 horsepower 2.0 liter direct-injection turbocharged engine. The transmission is only available as a six-speed automatic. Some standard features include cargo concealed storage, a programmable garage door opener, a trip computer, a service interval warning, power fuel door release, a CD player, Bluetooth compatibility and a tilt-wheel adjustable steering column. Safety features include stability control, knee, front and side airbags, run-flat tires and 4 wheel anti-lock brakes.

The MSRP for the 2010 Audi TT currently starts at $37,800.

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