Consumer Reports names its top choices in ten categories, from small cars to family sedans, SUVs and trucks. Our top picks are chosen from more than 270 vehicles recently tested.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Forget ethanol, crazy inventor created a car that runs directly on corn - and spits popcorn out of the back. There's only one problem, in order to start, it needs a few gullible people to push it. Also, the corn feeding device vaguely looks like DeLorean mod that makes it run on garbage in Back To The Future.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
There has always been some debate on the pros and cons of changing your transmission fluid on a routine basis, per your vehicle owner's manual recommendation. One of the many rumored suspicions is that doing so will open your car up to having dreaded transmission issues sooner. To debunk those conspiracy theories, let's get into the meat of the topic and explore, together, why it absolutely makes sense to change it regularly; and how not doing so could actually cause your car to run sluggishly - potentially costing you precious pennies in the long run!
1) Heat is the enemy
The number one reason that manufacturers recommend you change your transmission fluid regularly is because it degrades as it continually heats up during driving. There are exhaustive studies about the precise temperatures in which its effectiveness actually wanes. Suffice it to say that most owner's manuals duly recommend changing your fluid every 30,000 miles. There is one exception to this rule: newer vehicles using Dexron III ATF fluid can often go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. As you drive, and the transmission heats up, the viscosity of your fluid changes; over time, this heat causes transmissions to burn up and this is the single-most cause of transmission repairs today - burned up transmissions.
2) Gunk and sludge
As your transmission continues to heat up and it continues to break down, your car's transmission components begin to get bogged down with gunk and sludge. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that gunk and sludge are going to clog up your transmission gears, causing unnatural wear and tear on your vehicle's transmission. If you want your transmission to continue to operate smoothly, it is vital to keep it clean.
3) Leaky seals and putrid odors
No, I'm not talking about a horror flick here. A well-maintained machine is one whose owner regularly checks the transmission fluid levels - yes, using the dipstick! You should ideally check your transmission fluid level when your engine is warm and idling. Transmission fluid should be bright red and should smell sweet, not putrid or rancid. It shouldn't be brown or black or even dark red. It should look like the tip of the spindle after Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger. If your transmission fluid level is low, or the color is not right, it's time to change your transmission fluid and check (or have checked by the mechanic) all of the seals around the transmission for leaks.
If you want your transmission to last throughout the life of the car, it is imperative that you change your transmission fluid regularly, following your owner's manual guidelines and a few common sense rules. In today's world of disposable everything - neglecting your transmission can be a rude awakening to your wallet. The potential costs associated with ignoring the routine maintenance guidelines on your transmission could total thousands of dollars that would be better spent on a nice, warm vacation to a sunny spot this summer.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7502640
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Any responsible vehicle owner is always mindful of every component that may - and will - need periodic maintenance and eventually, a replacement. This is not just a task to be remembered, but it is a simple means to ensure that the vehicle will always be in its best running condition - not to mention at its safest. This holds especially true for the vehicle's tires; this is because the tires are the most exposed and prone to wear and tear. Needless to say, without ensuring its usability and proper condition, it can lead to mishaps and catastrophes.
So how will you know when it's time to change your tires?
It is a well-known fact that not all vehicle owners are well versed when it comes to identifying key factors in car part maintenance. Not everyone has received professional training; and quite frankly - though vital, not everyone has the time and resources to get that kind of education. Fret not! The following will help you know if you should still be driving around using them or if it is high time that you start shopping for replacements.
Chips and Cracks will do you harm - personally inspect each tire for signs of cracks or chipping. Take them to the shop if they can still be repaired.
The Penny Test - over time, it is only expected that the tires' treads will eventually run thin. After all, it is always exposed to the road and spins hundreds of times in every trip you make. With the help of a penny, you can determine if the treads are no longer suitable for use. What you'll need to do is to simply turn Lincoln's head upside down. Insert the coin as far as it can go in between the treads and note what you see is left of Abraham Lincoln's head.
If you cannot see anything beyond the nose or the forehead, then your tires are still good enough to use. However, if you can see some of his hair but not all the way to the top of the head, then it is time for you to do some tire shopping. While you can still use them as you seek for a replacement set, it would be best not to decide to do the necessary replacement at a much later date; a month from the time of the test would be acceptable, but do not go beyond it. Ultimately, if you can see the very top of Lincoln's head with the coin practically exposed, then you should not waste time lolling around anymore. It is the utmost importance to change it.
Time is of the essence. Regardless if you use your vehicle a lot or not, no set of tires must be kept in use for over ten years from the time of purchase. At the very least, six years should be enough and a maximum of ten years worth of use is acceptable. However, you should also note that each manufacturer and State has its own set of regulations that allows the maximum timeframe that tires can be safely used without replacing.
What should you be looking for when shopping for new tires? Before you start grabbing tires off the racks, you have to consider a few factors. Keep in mind that not every single tire available in the market will be suitable for your vehicle. Each vehicle will require specific measurements that will fit. Otherwise, just slapping them with any available tire you see may cause more harm than what you intended to be good.
The first thing that you need to do is to check your old tire's specifications. You will see the outer rim is embossed with alphanumeric characters. Take note of the whole thing to make it easier for you to search for replacements. The numbers beside the P (that stands for passenger vehicle) in the series indicates the width of the tire, measured in millimeters. It is followed by a slash that indicates the actual height's ratio to the width. Immediately follows is the Radial diameter (R) of the wheel that will fit the vehicle, as measured in inches. Finally, you'll find the load index and speed symbol.
Now that you know how to identify the kind of tires that will fit your vehicle, you will now have to answer one question to determine your next move. Are you happy with the old tires or would you like to try a new set?
If you are very satisfied with the old ones, then it would make the whole shopping process easier for you. This is simply because you already have a specific brand and model to look for.
However, if you decided that it is time for you to try something different, the process may not be as simple but could just be very rewarding in the end. As many already know, there are various brands for tires that are widely available in the market nowadays. Likewise, their prices vary as well. Therefore, if you are considering changing brands and sizes, then you should do a little bit of research on your ideal candidates. Make a shortlist of the brands and sizes and learn about them through reviews. You could also consult your local mechanic for recommendations to make this task easier for you. It is important to keep in mind that it is never advisable to make an uninformed decision especially when it comes to buying tires. You may be after savings, but you should also prioritize quality and safety.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7485703
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Remember when reports started to come in that consumers were paying north of $100 to fill up their gas tanks? Well, those days are about to return as gas prices push above $4 per gallon by this summer. Don't expect prices to drop any time soon, which means that consumers will have to find other ways to save gas. Read on for seven tips on how to conserve fuel.
1. New cars. If you're in the market for a new car, your gas savings will come by choosing the right model. You don't need to choose a limited-range electric vehicle or a pricier hybrid model either. Some models, such as the Mazda Mazda6 and Nissan Altima, deliver 38 mpg on the highway or at least 10 mpg better than your current ride.
2. Cheap gas. You can find the cheapest priced gas in your area by using a service such as GasBuddy.com. Gas Buddy will point you to the stations with the lowest prices, saving you as much as 10 cents or more per gallon. Keep in mind what you're putting in your tank too. Unless it is required, forgo the pricier premium grade gasoline and choose the more affordable regular unleaded instead.
3. Maintain your speed. High speeds can return lower gas mileage. To achieve optimum fuel efficiency while on the road, you should use cruise control and set your speed at about the speed limit. If that limit is above 65, however, your fuel economy will likely begin to drop.
4. Keep it light. If you use your trunk or rear storage area to carry anything beyond the essentials, that heavier weight will effect your fuel economy. Also keep in mind that when your vehicle goes out full that your gas mileage numbers will come in below the published figures.
5. Tire inflation. Yes, under inflated tires can be a drag on fuel economy. And dangerous too. Expect to lose two to three percent of your fuel efficiency if your tires are as much as 10 psi under normal amounts. Don't fill your tires to the levels published on the sidewalls, however. Instead, use the numbers placarded on the inside of your driver's door or glove box for the correct fill levels.
6. Take it easy. A lead foot and hard braking will impact your fuel economy adversely. Just ease up on the pedals by slowing braking and by accelerating smartly. You'll not only save on gas, but reduce the wear and tear on your engine, brake system and other key components such as the transmission.
7. Keep it serviced. If your car is not being serviced according to schedule, you may be using more fuel than expected. Perform tune ups, change the oil and follow manufacturer recommendations for other maintenance. A well-tuned car performs optimally and will save you fuel.
How much fuel can you save by employing each offered tip? Perhaps as much as one-third, especially if you use cruise control on the open road. Check out FuelEconomy.gov for additional tips and for a breakdown of the percentages saved for each method used.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7496412
Friday, February 8, 2013
Nobody leaves his or her home in the morning anticipating a traffic accident. Whether your car crash is a fender bender or a more serious collision, having a car restored to its pre-collision status is rarely something one looks forward to. The auto body and paint shop you work with can make a huge impact on the ease of returning your life to normal. It is important to shop around and find a collision shop that has advanced technology, plenty of experience, and puts a premium on customer satisfaction to decrease the interruptions to your daily life caused by an accident.
When your vehicle is involved in a collision, auto body work is the first step to repair the damage. Collision repair entails structural restoration along with automotive painting. One of the trickiest parts of repairing your car to its pre-collision state is the auto painting process.
It takes a great deal of skill to match the color of your car's paint for several reasons. First, slight variation in color occur are used car manufacturers at different geographical locations. Cars manufactured on the west coast may differ slightly in color from those built in the east. Although a standard color exists for every vehicle model, carmakers give paint suppliers a tolerance difference of up to 5 percent plus or minus to match the paint. Additional color differences result due to multiple paint suppliers.
On the individual level, a driver may own the vehicle involved in a collision for a several years. Another factor influencing automotive color matching is the car's exposure to the sun over time. Sunlight causes paint to oxidize. Depending on the age of the car and its exposure to the sun, the color can vary from its original hue by a significant degree.
Auto body shops providing quality collision repair and painting have highly advanced paint-matching technology. Fortunately, today's automotive paint technology is quite advanced. High quality auto body shops have computerized paint-matching equipment to aid them in obtaining the closest paint match possible. Unfortunately, not all body shops invest in automotive painting systems that provide superior repairs.
Along with the painting process, collision repair shops that use the superior automotive paints are likely to see higher success rates when matching paint colors than those using cheaper products.
When working with a reputable auto collision and paint shop to have your car repaired, what could be a major headache turns into a slight inconvenience. So make sure you shop around for an auto body shop that meets the highest standards. You and your car are worth it!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jillynn_Stevens,_Ph.D.,_MSW
If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident come see the experts at Corby's Collision. When you do business with us you will not only deal with our qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Some roads are more prone to accidents; these may include two-lane rural roads, uneven roads and those who attract fast drivers and those that are not equipped to deal with many of today's big trucks and SUV's. Let's take a look at some of the most dangerous roads in America.
The drive back home from Vegas can be quite dangerous, especially on the I-15. This road is often driven by California residents who visit Vegas. Since the drive home can be a bit long and monotonous, drivers have a tendency to put the pedal to the metal on this section of the route home. Over 466 fatalities on this road have occurred on the I-15 in the past 14 years. A large number of accidents also involve drivers who are not utilizing their seatbelts. Caltrans just added one lane to the I-15 at Mountain Pass in order to minimize the risk of accidents.
The I-95 in New York is very dangerous, partly because it tends to be super congested and busy all day long. The freeway is also a bit on the older and neglected side and in need of some renovation. It is very similar to the 101 to 405 fwy interchange in Los Angeles in terms of traffic density.
The Colorado 550 is very dangerous, especially during the winter time and is not recommended for drivers who are not familiar with driving through snow storms and high altitudes. It's known to be a very scenic and gorgeous drive to the amazing views but also quite deadly. In addition there is also lots of wildlife so drivers have to deal with animals running across the road in addition to the steep curves.
Next we have the 101 to the 405 freeway interchange in Los Angeles, CA. The reason why this stretch of freeway is considered so dangerous is because it is one of the busiest roads in the nation. It's dangerous but not the most dangerous freeway because traffic tends to travel so slow that it's almost impossible to get into a serious accident.
California State Route 17 is considered one of the most dangerous freeways in the nation; it travels through the Santa Cruz mountains and passes through Santa Clara. In addition to wildlife, which may cross the road intermittently, drivers have to deal with lots of blind curves and narrow shoulders. One section of the road is known as the Big Moody Curve because it follows an 180 degree turn followed by another one at 90 degrees.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6607245
Saturday, February 2, 2013
The auto repair that your vehicle needs may not just be based on the sounds you hear. In fact, if you are like most people, you don't think twice about getting your oil changed or checking your tires. You have things to do, and your schedule is often too packed to worry about additional things. When it comes to maintaining your vehicle though, there are several things you need to do. This spring, be sure that you are taking every step possible to ensure that your vehicle is able to run its best all summer long.
Have you pulled out the auto repair and owner's manual yet to find out how often you should get the oil changed? Do you know when you should change each of the filters? Perhaps you haven't thought about having the car lubed in a long time. All of this adds up to potentially big risks for the vehicle. You should have this done once every three months or more often in most cases.
Those Problems You Put Off
You have a check engine light on in your vehicle. You know that you need to do something about it, but you really have not had the time to get it done. This is the perfect time to take the vehicle in for a engine performance and evaluation. You will want the technicians to perform a diagnostic test to determine what steps you need to take to maintain your vehicle. The longer the engine is not functioning at an optimal level, the more likely it will be for your vehicle to have long-term problems. This can affect gas usage, too.
What other services do you need to have done to maintain your car? The following auto repair is often considered a must for most vehicles. During the spring, you should have your air conditioning system checked to ensure that it is working properly. You should also have the braking system visually inspected and tested, especially with wet roads in your future. Your transmission may also need service. You may need to have the suspension, steering, and differential inspected and maintained as the manufacturer suggests. You should also consider having the electrical system, tires, windshield wipers, and the lights checked. Taking the time to have this done will reduce risks to your vehicle.
Auto repair is not something to put off. If you know that your vehicle has a problem, get it taken care of right away. If your vehicle has not had all of the required maintenance, it is time to keep that in mind as well. Don't put off getting the help your car needs now.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7483748