Monday, May 28, 2012

Essential Tyre Safety Tips

Tyre maintenance is a matter of critical importance. As the only point of contact between the road and your vehicle, tyres largely determine how safe and stable your car is out on the road. Furthermore, the pressure placed on tyres over long periods can lead to a significant deterioration in quality, putting you or your family at risk.

Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take to ensure that your tyres are road-safe and reliable. Following these tips will grant you peace-of-mind, improved on-road performance and a dramatic increase in vehicle safety.

Tyre Pressure
It may sound obvious, but if your tyres are not properly inflated then they will just not work as intended, leading to sub-optimal performance and safety. Under-inflated tyres also deteriorate much more quickly and lead to greater fuel consumption, which means a significant extra and unnecessary financial burden.

It's important that you check your tyres' pressure at least once a month and that you check the pressure when the tyres are cold in order to get an accurate reading. The correct pressure for your particular tyres will be outlined in the manufacturer's handbook or outlined on the tyres themselves, so make sure you follow the right guidelines and always have tyre pressure in the back of your mind when starting your journey.

Tread Depth
A more serious safety risk arises when your tyres' tread depth is at an unsafe level. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, although it's generally advised that anything less than 2mm is unnecessarily risky. Tread depth plays a pivotal role in braking distance, especially in adverse weather conditions, so if your tread depth is insufficient you're at substantial risk of being involved in an accident.
Checking tread depth is simple. Take a 20p coin and insert it into your tyre tread. If you can see the outer band of the coin protruding from the tyre, then the depth is dangerously low, and you should consider replacing your tyres as soon as possible. Unlike tyre pressure, tread depth cannot be remedied through a trip to the air pump.

Tyre Condition
Perhaps the most obvious indicator of wear is the external quality of the tyres. If there are nails or other objects protruding from the tyre wall, then it's essential to remove them and check for significant damage. Also, look closely for evidence of cuts, cracks or bulges, especially on the sidewalls. Damage to the sidewalls could put you at risk of a dangerous blowout on the road, and it goes without saying that you should get the tyres replaced if you suspect such damage.

And Finally...
Even with all these safety tips in mind, it's always a great idea to have a spare tyre on hand to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. Even with well-maintained tyres, there are always going to be risks that will be out of your control. At the same time, a clear focus on tyre safety will do you and your vehicle immeasurable good, so keep these tips in mind every time you turn on the engine.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bestselling Models of Small Sedans

Buying a smaller sedan is a good option for a car finder who is after for a vehicle that could be easily driven on tight spaces and even on traffic congested streets. Buying this type of sedan also allows the buyer to earn greater savings from reduced fuel expenses since small sedans are popular for their impressive fuel economy. In addition to this, smaller sedan models are also sold in affordable prices. So, if you are interested in buying a small sedan, make sure to consider some of the bestselling models such as those that are enumerated below for each of these could offer you the best value for your money.

1. Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is considered as one of the bestselling small sedans in the market right now. This is because the Prius remains as the most fuel-efficient model in the market with fuel economy ratings of 51 miles per gallon in the highway and 48 miles per gallon on the highway. In addition to this, the Toyota Prius also remains a top choice of buyers since this model is also sold in an affordable price that is lower than $23,000.

Aside from its impressive fuel economy and lower price, the Prius also offers an ample interior space. Its four-door layout also makes the entry and exit of car occupants more manageable. The legroom and the headroom provide ample space for the car occupants to sit comfortably inside the vehicle.

2. Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is also considered as a best-selling small sedan model. With its simple layout and decent fuel economy, the Corolla still remains as one of the top choices among car finders who are after for the most affordable yet reliable vehicle that they could purchase either on cash basis or by getting some of the available auto financing deals offered by dealerships and lenders.

Although the Corolla is viewed as one of the oldest smaller sedan models, its image is still attractive to most buyers since Toyota Motors has subjected this to a series of upgrades. But despite of the upgrades implemented in it, the Corolla has still retained some of its original features particularly its good running performance and modest fuel economy.

3. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic sedan is one of Honda's popular and most in-demand models. Famous for its attractive looks and relatively lower price, the Civic has successfully maintained its desirable image despite the fact that this is one of Honda's oldest sedan models. Due to this, there are still a lot of car buyers who prefer to buy the Civic. Most of these buyers love the Civic's fuel economy ratings of 45 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway since this allows them to save more from reduced fuel expenses. In addition to this, Honda Motors has incorporated more advance features on the Civic which allowed this model to cope up with the competition posed by other smaller sedan models.

4. Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion is also a small sedan model which is included on the bestselling list. This sedan became a best seller since the earliest versions were popular for their impressive fuel-consumption. Aside from this, the Fusion still remains as a best seller in its class since Ford has been subjecting this sedan to several upgrades particularly on its exterior and interior design. Thus, the demand for the Fusion continues to increase as the years go by.

Monday, May 14, 2012

2013 Honda Accord Receives the New HondaLink Connectivity System

Honda has recently confirmed that the 2013 Honda Accord will be getting the company's latest connectivity system dubbed as the "HondaLink."  In addition to this, other car models such as the 2013 Honda Crosstour, the 2013 Honda Fit EV, and the upcoming Plug-in Hybrid version of the Accord will also be getting this system.

Based on the information provided by Honda, the HondaLink system will include a number of useful as well entertaining features such as the audible updates from on Twitter and Facebook, Internet-based radio stations like Pandora, and audiobooks. In addition to those, HondaLink also enables the company's customers to stay connected with other people, music that they want to listen to, and the different types of media that they like without the need to use their cellphones.

In order to provide more user-friendly functions, Honda's personnel especially those who are involved in the development of the company's technologies placed the audio controls of the HondaLink on the vehicle's dash and other controls on the steering wheel. Aside from that, this HondaLink is also equipped with the voice-recognition function that makes it more manageable to operate.

Aside from the functions mentioned earlier, HondaLink can also be had with a smartphone application that enables vehicle owners to manage the system's contents in their phones and use the stored information the next time they drive their cars.

Honda has also provided some hints that the HondaLink will be offered in two versions. The first version will be used on the 2013 Honda Accord as well as on the other gas-powered models that the company would be producing. This version offers the features provided earlier and possibly a number of additional items that Honda's engineers would be adding soon.

The second version of the system will be dubbed as the HondaLink EV system and this will be used on the hybrid and electric car models such as the upcoming version of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid and the 2013 Honda Fit EV. This version will still provide the features that were previously mentioned as well as added information about charging stations for EVs, the vehicle's driving range, and activate the vehicle's heater and air conditioning through the application created for the HondaLink EV system.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seven Winter Driving Safety Tips for Fear of Driving in the Snow

It's back-to-school season, which means winter is fast approaching. If you have a fear of driving in the snow, it's a good time to brush up your skills with some winter driving safety tips.

    1. Good lights: Your headlights and taillights should be clear of snow. This will help other drivers to see you. Get a new set of headlight lenses if yours are old or sand-pitted. Make sure both headlights work and replace broken tail and running lights.
    2. Visibility: Make sure you can see well. Clean the outside and inside of your windows thoroughly. Replace any old windshield wiper blades. Apply a water-shedding material on the outside of all windows. This includes the mirrors. Your windshield washers should work well and be filled with anti-icing fluid.
    3. Tire check: Use snow tires (sometimes called "winter tires"). Adequate snow traction requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread. Summer tires have little or no grip in snow. "All-season" tires don't always have good snow traction either: If the roads where you live are regularly covered with snow, get snow tires.
    4. Check for black ice: If the road looks slick, it probably is, but black ice can make it slick without it looking that way. Also called "glare ice", drivers often don't see it at all. Feel for black ice instead with a smooth brake application or by turning the wheel slightly. Does the road feel slick? Then slow down.
    5. Make turns slowly: Many motorists have lost control of their cars along icy curves. Slow down. Speeding on slippery curves is one of the top 25 causes of car accidents. Make sure to drive the posted speed limit. Avoid an accident by driving cautiously.
    6. Reduce speed on snowy roads: Remember your vehicle can't slow down or stop rapidly on snowy roads. Turning performance is also decreased. On snow-covered roads there is significantly less friction between the road and your tires. Make sure to slow down if the road is snow packed.
    7. Avoid icy uphill driving: Try to not drive up steep hills when it's icy. If you can't avoid it, go up the hill slowly in 2nd gear. Steer around obstacles and use feather braking to keep your momentum. Don't stop until you've cleared the top of the hill.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Need For Speedy Auto Parts

To go online to shop for new auto parts is not just a smart idea when it comes to saving your hard-earned money. If you take that a step longer and consider the saying "time is money" then you will really save a bundle if you go online for your spare parts. To be able to compare vast options of different car dealerships and auto repair shops and see what they have in stock, and also utilizing the opportunity of seeing what regular costumers has to sell in terms of parts, will give you a much better position for negotiating.

The Auto Repair Shop

They have lots of spare parts, naturally, but usually the up-market their profit margins to such a degree that it almost becomes ridiculous. If you do your research correctly, but do not have the necessary skills to perform the surgical part of installing the spare parts, at least you can know what kinds of parts that is needed, and getting a hold of them a lot cheaper online then buying them from the auto repair shop.

The Need For Speed

And, instead of going around from place to place to compare prices, which will take you forever especially if the spare parts you are looking for prohibits you from using your car, and you have to take the twenty-stops-a-minute city bus, inching forward one block per half hour, then you could really keep that motto of time is money in the back of your mind.

Even taken into account the amount of time it will take the online business to deliver the goods, and even taken into account the shipping costs, you will likely get them faster and cheaper by going online.

And once you are out on the roads again, feeling the power of your beloved baby car roaring under you, the wind blowing through your newly styled hair since you treated yourself to a professional hair-dresser after saving so much money on the fixing of your car - a fact that really will contribute to the broad smile you have on your face.

The days of omnipotent repair shops and dealerships are long gone, they are not the only ones hoarding up all the spares, nowadays you can find what you need when you need it. And it will be fast and cheap, and customer reviews can help guide and reassure you that the parts you are buying online are reliable, and that the seller is serious.

The Online Scam

The risks of getting scammed has been seriously reduced since every serious business is subjected to customer opinions from everywhere, so if someone is trying to pull a fast one, he is bound to be ousted sooner than he could blink.

The information society of today has made everything move faster and more efficiently, and there is no time or need to spend a couple of days searching for just the perfect auto parts, when you can find them in just a few hours online.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Concept Cars: The Cars of the Future in the Last Five Years

Every one of us would want to have cars which are high-tech and innovative. However, if cars of the future are what you have been looking for, then perhaps it is time look into concept cars. Concept cars are vehicles made for the purpose of displaying new car styling and technology. Forget your suburban family minivan; these cars are innovative and are the latest in the game. These vehicles are mostly made for showcase purposes; they are often regarded as prototypes and may need extra tweaking or modifying before being sold to the general public. But by keeping track of concept car trends in the last five years or so, you will have a good idea on what to look forward to in the future, and which features should you focus on in getting your next vehicle.

It would be impossible to list all concept cars released in the last few years, simply because there are too many of them. But there are several universal trends which are almost exclusively shared by the concept cars of the last five years. The most noticeable element is aesthetics. Most of these cars would have extra shiny, titanium-like exterior. The curves are streamlined and sharp, with metallic hues being prevalent. Take the BMW GINA for example. This vehicle has a smooth yet futuristic exterior, and may seem like a mix of 1950's luxury cars and the platinum cars of the future. However, what is more impressive is that this model is made out of fabric; Spandex to be exact. Its flexibility allows the rider to change its shape at will over a moveable frame, but yet is sturdy enough to be able to handle harsh roads and fluctuating temperatures

The next element shared by the latest concept cars is functionality. Of course, one cannot imagine the future without picturing extremely fast cars, right? These cars are not just able to go fast, but they can cruise while on top speed. The Mercedes-Benz F700, released in 2007, has a Pre-Scan feature which allows riders to not feel any bumps on the road. Although concept cars are able to burn serious rubber on the tracks, they can still keep their carbon emissions in check. Many manufactures focus on developing cars which are environmentally friendly, such as the Cadillac Converj, which relies on an emission-free electric motor. Whether it is a car which is futuristic in design, or those which perform ahead of other models in their time, concept cars prove that your dream car is just around the corner.