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  • Volkwagens You Should and Should Not Own


    Volkswagens combine German engineering prowess with some great-looking machinery. Rob Griffin examines the best – and worst – VWs.

    Maybe it’s the big screen success of Herbie – the car using a mind of its own – that has made us believe Volkswagens actually have souls. Alternatively, perhaps it’s their history of reliability.

    In any case, VWs are making a remarkable impression.

    It’s also fair to say that there have been hardly any bad VWs ever made that will make composing a list of the worst and greatest a bit of a challenge. But we rose towards the challenge.

    The very best Volkswagens available: Golf MkII

    Volkswagen Golf MKII

    As the MkI Golf is credited with sparking the craze for hatchbacks when it burst onto the scene in the early 1970s, its successor, which arrived a decade later, is arguably the more significant machine. With more comfort and a higher build quality, the MkII was an instant hit and continued to become one of the best selling cars of the 1980s. A particular highlight was the GTI version that was made from 1984.

    The ideal Volkswagens ever produced: Beetle

    Volkswagen Beetle green

    Yes the very first one! What’s not to love about this car? Apart from being unbearably cute looking, its straightforward construction and durability meant it was produced for more than 60 years. Produced by Dr Ferdinand Porsche for an economy machine that could handle the demands to be driven at speed on the Autobahn, it enjoyed success on the race track and have become a firm favourite with the custom car community.

    The best Volkswagens ever made: UP

    Volkswagen UP

    Not all great VWs are old. Consider the UP as an example. This new breed of city car taps into what VW is doing well for a long time – produce great looking, economical, spacious machines that are fun to drive. Available in a variety of formats costing between £8,265 to just over £13,000, it has two power options, both of which are variants of your 1. litre three cylinder engine. Additionally there is the choice of three- and five-door models.

    The worst Volkswagens available: New Beetle

    Volkswagen Beetle red

    From the advertising literature, VW declares The icon returns. Well, the name may be the same but it bears absolutely no resemblance to its supposed predecessor. While it’s clearly a decently engineered machine, it also misses the mark in a number of ways. Plastic feel, its weird sloping design means it’s not that practical either, so I’m not really sure who would find it appealing, and also having a cheap. Surely anyone wanting this size of car would choose a Golf or Mini instead?

    The worst Volkswagens ever made: Phaeton

    Volkswagen Derby

    There are particular things that VW does adequately. Building premium class machines, however, is undoubtedly an area in which it struggles. But more that they will never compete inside the kudos stakes with the likes of Mercedes, not as they are necessarily bad at producing them. Giles Chapman, author of The Worst Cars Ever Sold, describes the VW Phaeton as being a classic lemon, despite as a decent component of technology. VW identified a form of executive that was more interested in engineering than expensive branding, he says. The Phaeton was like an anti-capitalist limo nevertheless the problem was that this idea didn’t really work outside of Germany.

    The worst Volkswagens ever made: Derby

    Volkswagen Phaeton

    While you’d struggle to think of really bad Volkswagens, there are a few mad ones and also the VW Derby, which arrived in the late 1970s, certainly fits this definition, according to Chapman. It was the size of a Metro although with a tiny boot on the back that turned it into a stupidly small saloon, he says. This must have been intended for individuals who always possessed a big car with a separate boot and so on retiring to Bournemouth wanted the same though with the running costs of any Polo.



  • Great SoCal road trips for the family

    If you live in Southern California, you are lucky. As a side note, I think it’s important that you know that my family lives in Boston, and they have been buried in over seven feet of snow in the last month! For those of us that live here in sunny California, we can’t fathom such a state of affairs. Sure, we have world class skiing and snowboarding within a few hours’ drive from Downtown Los Angeles, but thankfully, we don’t have to live that reality every day, all day. In order to feel momentarily superior and great about where you live, check this out.

    Nearly 25in of snow fell on Boston on Friday night

    This tantalizing image of snow will kick off our Southern California road trip tour and take us to Mammoth Mountain. At just five hours away from Los Angeles, this haven for snow bunnies and thrill seekers is perfect for any winter enthusiast, and is easily accessible with a brand new, 2015, hybrid Nissan Pathfinder. With competitive fuel efficiency that makes it especially attractive and myriad high-end features designed for your comfort and happiness, a rugged road trip in this “tank with a conscience” is a joy for whoever is driving and all of the passengers. With minimal maneuvering, you can even take the family dog! If you’re heading up Mammoth way, you might want to consider getting chains for your tires, as they often have huge snow storms that make driving difficult.

    DTLA 2-2

    If you’re like my parents, the last thing you want to see in California is an intimate view of snow. Don’t fear, there are more exciting road trips that begin in Los Angeles than you could shake a stick at. Wine Country is a personal favorite of mine. Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez are stunning destinations for the romantic couple or the food and wine enthusiast. You probably won’t need something so rugged as a Pathfinder, and I recommend the Nissan Sentra. It’s a beautiful sedan, loaded with all of the furnishings for safety and luxury which makes it a perfect getaway car. The best thing about it is the way it drives. It is so responsive and smooth that minute you turn the key and start the ignition, you’ll feel like you’re driving on clouds, which is perfect for the long, windy mountain roads that will take you to your destination. If you’re in the market for a new car or truck, get online and go to either Cerritos Nissan or http://www.downtownnissan.com to find the car of your dreams.

    DTLA 2-3

    The last road trip that I feel compelled to share with you is one that takes you along the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. You will drive through quaint towns of towering red wood trees, and seemingly every turn off offers a view created specifically for a post card. It is probably the most beautiful drive I’ve ever been on, and each time I take it, I discover something new.

  • How the 1965 Mustang Became a Legacy


    Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Ford Mustang, we have reached into the archives to present our first drive from the July 1964 issue of Consumer Reports magazine (PDF), augmented with test results from the August 1964 issue of Consumer Reports magazine (PDF).

    Modern perspective

    Looking back, the enthusiasm that Consumer Reports and indeed the marketplace had for the original Mustang is infectious. It is actually no wonder out of this strong start that the pony car became such a fixture on American highways and byways. It is interesting to see how wrapped within the editors were in the smart buying advice, cautioning shoppers against the competition version, later better referred to as ultra-collectible Shelby GT350.

    It always remained true to its brand, offering an inexpensive, performance-focused, rear-drive coupe and convertible effective at being equipped from mild to wild, though with the ensuing decades, the Mustang has gone through numerous incarnations. The tradition continues with the all-new Mustang, and we enjoy taking that muscle-bound stallion for a ride.

    If you’re interested in Ford’s latest vintage, check out our 2015 Mustang preview.

    From the July 1964 issue

    CU’s First Look at the Ford Mustang

    There isn’t likely to be another Edsel, or ill-conceived Edsel promotion, in the Ford Motor Company’s future. Their latest new car, the Mustang, which CU is currently testing, was much more carefully planned as a car and has been launched by using a promotion campaign that is, if all-out, no more given to superlatives than most new-car launchings. From Ford’s standpoint, this effort could hardly have been better timed. The Mustang emerges as a non-utilitarian vehicle with a fresh, though not inspired, look in a booming niche for cars, especially a “personal” car just like the Mustang. It bears a fillip of prestige, a little of your aura from the Thunderbird and Riviera, and (via many choices) an extremely wide adaptability to people’s varying automotive desires. The combination apparently has broad appeal. As this report has been written, Mustangs are rolling off the line at the rate of nearly 7,000 a week.

    Although the Mustang is created up, in large part, of components from other Ford cars, it is actually unique in Ford’s stable in chassis construction, body styling, and general concept. A sporty-looking 2-door hardtop or convertible, very close to the Corvair in size and designed for a similar but wider market-ranging, according to options chosen, from a tame little filly all the way to a hot charger-the second a “competition” machine that CU advises its readers to ignore completely, even though it is not just a sports car.

    The Mustang body, either hardtop or convertible (the latter $250 extra), is 182 inches long and 68 inches wide-dimensions similar to the Corvair’s, leaving lots of space in the average garage. The new Ford entry weighs, in CU’s basic-model test car, just under 2,600 pounds. It is the type of car known as a “2 plus 2” coupe. They’ll be much happier back there if they’re small or have retractile legs, even though which is, it has a rear seat for 2 people.

    Those options

    Under Mustang’s longunsafely and sharp-edged) hood and forward of its stubby tail, there might be any of four engines, three clutches, seven transmissions, two driveshafts, three wheel and tire sizes, three suspensions, four steering systems, and four brake options (none of which, CU is disappointed to report, has dual hydraulic systems for safety). The particular car CU is testing was selected with equipment comparable to that of the Corvair Monza Coupe that is certainly also under test. Equipped with an optional 4-speed manual transmission that costs $115 a lot more than the standard 3-speed manual but is, CU feels, the optimum choice with this engine, even though cU’s Mustang coupe is the bottom-of-the-line model-using a 170 cubic-inch unmodified Falcon 6-cylinder engine. The shift lever, as in all Mustangs whether manual or automatic, is on the floor. CU’s car has standard-equipment bucket seats.

    All Mustangs are designated by Ford as 1965 models, and they presumably continue throughout the 1965 model year with only running changes. They initiate a breakthrough in automatic transmissions for the Ford Motor Company as ‘65s. Beginning with 1965, you will see no more 2-speed automatics in Ford cars; only 3-speed torque converter units will likely be used. It is also probably that, beginning in the fall, Ford’s 200-cubic-inch Six, which now powers the Fairlane and Comet, will be available, with any transmission, in the Mustang.

    Buying a Mustang figures to be something of the adventure in itself. The shopper’s ability to mix and match the wide options-and his power to resist the salesman’s attempts to trade him up-not only may swing the price from a basic $2,345 to over $3,000 (and in many cases higher for that competition model), but can change the whole character of the car. “competition” machine-a very power V8 of 271 horsepower, weighing about 3,000 pounds, using premium fuel, and likely to be rather heavy-handling and noisy, though competent at going from to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds,. That’s at one extreme is a personal car by having an easily accessible power plant, which CU up to now has found being light-handling and docile and expects can give good fuel consumption; at the other.

    When it becomes available, the 200-cubic-inch Six, weighing nothing more than the engine in CU’s test car, will be CU’s preferred engine for the Mustang, particularly if an automatic transmission is chosen. If it carried a heavier engine, with this combination, the Mustang should retain its handling qualities much better than it would. Of your better V8 engine selections for the Mustang, however, the first is particularly interesting from the standpoint of price. A Mustang with the 260-cubic-inch V8 and standard-equipment 3-speed automatic transmission, synchronized in most forward gears, costs approximately the same as CU’s test car; though its engine adds about 160 pounds to the weight in the front wheels, it should provide powerful performance, flexibility, and quiet running, within $116 in the Mustang’s basic cost. It drives using a 3.00 to 1 rear end, which should allow moderately good gas mileage.

    Driving impressions

    In CU’s Mustang, the 170-cubic-inch engine gave sprightly rather than powerful-feeling performance. But it was quite satisfactory for normal driving use, particularly with the 4-speed transmission (which was not very smooth shifting at the start, but promises improvement when run in). The steering was rather slow, fairly precise, and very easy. No power steering is required on this model.

    In the driving CU’s test staff did so far, four characteristics be noticeable: The riding qualities of CU’s Mustang are good. The system structure is extremely solid over rough roads (though the convertible model figures to be less so). The inside noise level is very low-obviously the results of careful insulation. And wind noise, using the windows partly opened, is unusually low.

    The brakes were well-behaved in normal driving, though their size, in relation to the extra weight of the car, is no better than average, though none of CU’s standard brake tests have yet been made on the test car.

    The Mustang coupe is very low-a bit over 51 inches high-hence the seats also are low. The front bucket seats are well designed, but it is questionable whether they will be comfortable for day-long occupancy, due to their lowness. The passenger’s seat is fixed permanently in just one position. The two-passenger rear seat is a semi-bucket type, narrow front to back and hard at the center. There is tolerable headroom for adults, but so little legroom how the seat is comfortable simply for moderate distances. The back of this seat, unlike that from the Monza Coupe, does not fold to facilitate luggage accommodation. The Mustang carries its luggage in a conventional, yet not large, trunk having a capacity for two 2-suiters and three weekend cases. The trunk of the average compact sedan manages three 2-suiters and five weekend cases.

    Because of its long hood, the Mustang is not going to give the driver and visual impression he is handling a small car, and he will gain few impressions through the mechanism that it must be a cheap one. Driver vision is very good.

    Probably the most impressive highlights of CU’s Mustang is an almost complete absence of poor fit and sloppy workmanship in a vehicle being built at a hell-for-leather pace.

    Despite a contrary impression conveyed by Mustang advertising, some items of equipment will be missed. The glove box has no lock. The wipers have only one particular speed. And, no windshield washer is supplied for, except as part of a package including two-speed wipers (at $20). Also the touted “sports steering wheel” consists of a regular wheel sporting faked “lightening holes”-depressions touched up with black paint-in the spokes by which the horn is blown. Also, though Ford stresses the “building block” or “design-it-yourself” aspect of the many basic and accessory options for the Mustang, one item (which could be particularly desirable on the 8-cylinder models) is at present missing from your list: a restricted-slip differential.

    On the whole, however, CU finds the Mustang, on short acquaintance, an agreeable car-one in which an individual appearance is achieved in a compact package with minimum handicaps (except perhaps for the low seating) and without the over-elaboration of detail and “luxury” items that often make this type of car expensive rather than efficient and useful.

    But two points should be made. Faults may seem that will render it less desirable than it now seems, before CU is thru with its testing of the Mustang. Secondly, the Mustang will not offer the optimum bread-and-butter uses at their lowest prices. A good-performance compact, with full, high seats, front and rear, and a big trunk, can be bought at a discount-the Valiant or Dodge Dart, for example, as well as Ford’s own Comet or Falcon. You will get the genuine article in the Mustang at very nearly the lowest price around if it’s individuality or flair you are looking for in a American-made vehicle.

    From the August 1964 issue

    The Mustang displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair.

    Photo: Ford Motor Company

    Summing up

    The Mustang appears to be a sports car, or Gran Turismo sports touring car, but-at least from the version tested here, along with the larger Six… it’s actually a sporty car, or runabout, of compact size and appearance, appealing because of its lowness, easy handling, and the fresh lines that are its chief stock in trade. The greater powerful V8 versions from the Mustang, culminating in a strictly competitive version, are progressively much more able (and are, CU understands, away and far the best-selling Mustangs), but even these are likely to offer sports car speed and acceleration, rather than handling.

    1965 Mustang 6

    (through the August 1964 issue)

    2015 Mustang V6

    MSRP $2,461 N/A

    Wheelbase (in.) 108 107.1

    Length 182 188.3

    Width 68 75.4

    Height 51 55.4

    Curb weight (lbs.) 2,585 N/A

    Engine 2.8L I6 3.7L V6

    Horsepower 101 300*

    Torque (lb.-ft.) 156 270*

    Transmission 4-spd manual 6-spd manual

    -60 mph (sec.) 16.8 N/A

    Overall fuel economy (mpg) 20.8 N/A

  • Check out this kia soul review


    The Soul lives because increasingly gray area between hatchbacks and SUVs. A boxy, upright design gives it abundant interior space and super-easy access. You sit up high in chairlike seats, surrounded by an ample glass area once and for all visibility. One that’s lower to the ground, though overall, it feels like driving a small SUV.

    Redesigned for 2014, the brand new Soul provides a more mature and well-rounded package than its predecessor. As soon as you get past the quirky styling, which reminds some of a surfer dude with wraparound shades that is.

    Unlike a real SUV, the Soul is offered only with front-wheel drive. Our test vehicle had the larger of two engines available, a 164-hp, 2.-liter four-cylinder, mated to your smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Even so, power delivery was just adequate. Some people wanted more gusto when merging or going uphill. Fuel economy averaged 26 mpg, that is good although not outstanding.

  • Dealership Website Guide


    When the time comes to start your new car search, you might be at a bit of a loss. With car lots dotting the highways in most towns, auction websites, and classified ads, it’s hard to know where to start. But whether you’re looking for a new car or a used car, large, reputable dealerships are usually your best, and safest, bet. And if you need an easy foray into the world of buying a car, the quickest way to get a sense of what’s out there is to peruse car dealership websites.


    Almost any dealership will have a website that is easily searchable. For instance, if you look up Riverside Nissan, you would find the Metro Nissan Redlands website, http://metronissanredlands.com. Here, you’ll find a variety of information about the dealership. Whether you need to know the lots’ operating hours, a contact phone number for the service department, or directions there so you can stop by to see a car, you’ll find it all on their easy to navigate page.
    You’ll also be able to find information about any specials that a dealership is running at the time. From weekly newspaper ad deals to coupons for ordering parts or accessories, it’s all on the website. One of the greatest advantages to looking at a website, is that you can get familiar with the staff before you visit. It’s always important to work with a salesperson that you feel comfortable with and you can learn about a dealership’s staff on their site before you visit in person.
    Finally, and maybe most importantly, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with what is available on any particular car lot. Most dealerships keep their inventory regularly updated on the site so that potential customers always know what they have in stock at any time.

  • Tesla Model S battery is now more easy and convenient to use


    In response to two widely reported Model S incidents this past year-where road debris were run over, hit the underside of the cars and ended in battery fires-Tesla has developed a bolt-on deflector assembly available free to current owners. This change has been included in new cars, and our Model S has been given this simple, efficient upgrade. (Read our complete Tesla Model S road test.)

    Tesla describes the fix as “titanium underbody aluminum and shield deflector plates.” It’s not much to think about.

    With the car up on a lift, all you see is a flat silvery bar about four inches wide and two feet across covering the front edge of the ballistic-grade armored battery case, which occupies most of the car’s underbody. That visible metal strip may be the “aluminum extrusion.” Pulling off the plastic cover forward of the battery pack reveals the “titanium plate” that is painted black. The third piece is the most forward component a “hollow aluminum deflector bar,” also under the plastic shrouding.

    This modification must provide significant protection to the battery pack. Fire-related incidents last year involved vehicles striking a considerable piece of road debris at highway speed. In one case, a trailer hitch evidently pierced the battery case. No one was injured in these incidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted an investigation and determined that Tesla’s proposed modification would mitigate the fire risk (see PDF). All Model S cars rolling off of the Fremont, Calif., assembly line are fitted with it and the company is actively conducting a customer support campaign, since March 6.

    Front of car are at top of image.

    In some circles online, there were assumptions how the shield would cover the whole battery-that might have been costly and would add weight. According to NHTSA’s summary of events, it was debris strikes against the battery’s front edge that precipitated the sole two fires known to date, and.

    If Tesla’s debris-deflector works as anticipated, it’s an elegantly simple solution. The new components are unlikely to change the aerodynamics of the car or add any significant weight.

    Having our upgrade made was really a simple process, aided with the Tesla service center in Milford, Conn., picking up the auto and returning it in two days, at no cost. We applaud the way Tesla has addressed this risk and appreciate the customer service. Other automakers would prosper to emulate how this young company deals with potential problems.

  • Improve You Gas Mileage


    If you want to get better fuel useage and save big bucks at the pump, simply changing your driving habits can improve your miles per gallon by 30 percent or maybe more. To illustrate this aspect, two General Motors fuel economy engineers each drove an identical 2011 Chevy Cruze on a combined city/highway route, each using a different driving style. The 2011 Cruze has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy rating of 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The engineer who drove aggressively turned in an average of 20.5 mpg, while the engineer who employed fuel-efficient driving techniques delivered an average of 37.4 mpg on the same course. That’s a positive difference of 16.9 mpg due solely to driving style!

    Many people falsely assume that the vehicle they drive should regularly deliver its official estimated fuel economy rating. The true secret word here is “estimated.” The combined, city and highway mpg numbers are calculated by running the automobile through preprogrammed driving cycles on a stationary chassis dynamometer. This test does not completely allow for various human factors, including driving style, as shown from the Cruze example.

    This is actually great news: A little bit of human control can go a long way toward meeting as well as exceeding a car’s mpg rating. The following 12 fuel-efficient driving techniques are easy to apply and learn. Try these tips for how to get better gas mileage and call upon your competitive spirit to find out how much you can boost your vehicle’s fuel useage with each tank.

    12 Fuel-Efficient Driving Techniques

    1. Light Touch in the Accelerator. As the accelerator pedal controls how much gasoline or diesel fuel (or electricity, in the case of electric cars) is fed to the engine, it makes sense that a light touch will yield the most effective mpg. A car or truck is least efficient after it is accelerating, and so the trick is to apply just enough power to get up towards the desired speed quickly enough, without hard acceleration and without prolonging that phase. On the other hand, accelerating too slowly can actually hinder overall fuel consumption.

    2. Avoid High-Speed Cruising. Wind resistance compounds with speed, meaning high-speed cruising greatly diminishes fuel economy. The threshold for most vehicles from which highway mpg really starts to degrade is at about 60 mph, above which fuel economy drops off at a rapid rate. Only when it’s feasible and doing so won’t impede traffic or cause other safety issues, although you can increase mpg by running below the speed limit. If you feel “range anxiety,” slow down, electric cars will discover their range drop significantly at higher speeds, so.

    Running air cooling or other engine-powered accessories helps make the engine work much harder and hurts fuel economy. At slower speeds, roll the windows down to cool off. At higher speeds, however, obtaining the windows down creates aerodynamic problems, so it’s actually better to use air conditioning.

  • Worst Cars for Driving on Icy Roads

    It’s winter and with that time of year comes the inevitable icy roads and the corresponding fear about driving on these roads. Even in summery climates, there exists a chance for roads to ice over a few times per season. If you live in a place where that doesn’t happen that much, you can just take that opportunity to stay in and catch up on Netflix, but if you live in a place where icy roads are very real – and very often – you need to actually shape your life around this inevitability and get a car that is good in the ice and snow. Pretty much anything 4-wheel drive or even better, AWD like a Subaru, and you can make it through with ease. So that’s easy to know – but what are the worst cars for dealing with icy roads? Let’s explore.

    Dodge Charger


    The Dodge Charger and its sister the Challenger are excellent cars for many things – driving fast, impressing the type of lady who frequents the Sunset Strip in 1977, and guzzling gas like prices are dropping the way they are dropping. But if you want to handle the icy roads in your hometown, you should steer clear from this rear wheel drive monster. When we checked out the Charger at Dodge Downey, it was a cold and icy day, and we couldn’t even get it out of the parking lot. We should have just stayed home! That said, if you want a cruiser for summer, you can’t go wrong with the Charger – see for yourself at http://mcpeekdodge.com.

    15-Passenger Van


    We’ll just go with the generic 15-passenger van here. Not only are these things always rear-wheel drive which is the worst for icy situations, but their weight vs size ratio is so bad that you will literally be unable to get up icy hills, or to control yourself as you slide down icy hills. These things have a lot of utility, and usually they are laden with gear or people which will help. But if you are driving the thing around and it’s mostly empty, you are going to be in to a world of slippery sliding hurt. Make sure not to make any plans to tour in the North East if you’re in a band, or do any other project that requires a cargo or passenger van from December through March.



    The greatest irony of all time (well maybe not ALL time) is that Volvos, a car that is designed and manufactured in one of the snowiest and coldest first-world places, i.e. Sweden, is so horrendous in the snow. It’s also rear wheel drive (sense a theme?) and is a total failure at traversing snow banks or icy climbs (and climes). These things will last to 300,000 miles or more, and are easy to work on yourself, which makes them popular among manly men in the north east, but the fact remains that when push comes to shove (and it sure will), these things are terrible in bad weather.

  • The Deal With Bosch Automated Driving


    Basic Car Maintenance Tips

    blogger Latest blog entry

    04/28/2014 07: 00 AM

    Correctly making use of the parking brake.

    The parking brake inside your car is definitely that – a parking brake. Not a handbrake. No e-brake. Not an emergency brake. In fact, in case of an emergency, the final control in the car that you want to touch will be the parking brake. Locking the back wheels at any speed will result in a spin.

    When I moved to america I was appalled at just how many people (read : it appears to be everyone) don’t know the most basic things about the parking brake. Like the reason why you use it when you’re stopped at an intersection.



    If someone rear-ends you at an intersection, so you only have your foot in the regular brake, two things will happen, I’ll tell you why -. (1) you are going to jerk your foot off the brake as a result of rear impact, which means that (2) you will either run into the automobile in front, or worse – roll in the intersection into oncoming or crossing traffic.

    However – if you have the parking brake on, your foot coming off of the brakes makes no difference, and the distance you will be pushed will be considerably reduced, and as an added bonus, you won’t roll anywhere.

    After I moved to the usa and had to stay a driving test, the examiner thought I was bit funny within the head to take advantage of the parking brake at every intersection, until I explained the above mentioned to him, at which point he said I’d never heard of that before. And he was not just a driving instructor – he was a tester/examiner! Explains a whole lot about how people drive around here.

    I went on to describe to him why Normally i waited to change across traffic with my wheels straight too. It’s the same principal. If someone runs into you from behind, plus your wheels are turned, you’ll be shunted across the road into oncoming traffic. At least in case the wheels are straight you’ll go pretty much straight ahead. Again – total confusion from the examiner.

    Here’s another tip for automatic gearboxes – the pawl that drops to the notch on the outside of the main clutch housing when you placed the car in Park is not really very strong. Not really strong enough to help keep the car stationary on anything other than level ground. That may be slowly eating away the advantage of that notch and one day, the parking pawl will slip out and your car will take off with the gear shifter firmly in P, even though sure – you just throw the car in park when on hills and everywhere. So here’s the tip : make use of the parking brake every time your park – it reduces the probability of the P setting inside the gearbox giving up on you one day.

    What’s worrying about this all was illustrated when we traveled to a ‘new owners’ evening at the dealership where we bought our car. It was actually one of those freebies to explain the nuances of this particular brand, with free drinks and snacks, with the hope that we’d buy accessories or something. Anyway, one driver asked when should I use the emergency brake? (aagh – it’s not much of a fucking EMERGENCY brake! ) The expert in the dealership said – verbatim – Never – I don’t know why they can bother putting them in cars anymore.

    Throughout the rest of this website you’ll find in-depth articles describing in intricate detail how everything automotive works. On this page, I’ve simplified all that knowledge into a series of basic car maintenance tips, subdivided by category. These tips affect pretty much every car owner, from business fleet owners, to specialists like a limo service, on the weekend hobbyist. Basic car maintenance really isn’t very difficult. Some tips have simple explanations right here whilst others link back to the articles in the rest of the site. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try the search button after the top menu. Or have got a suggestion for something else I will cover, get in touch using the contact button at the top menu bar, if you still can’t determine what you’re seeking.

    TSBs and wiring diagrams

    If you’re looking for TSB (Technical Service Bulletins) or wiring diagrams for your vehicle, BBB industries have access to many of them for free. (Almost any decent car shop will have access to this type of information – as the owner, you should too). BBB’s search page is well worth a glance. Minor ones get done every time a vehicle is taken to a main network dealer, although major recalls normally result in owners being contacted. TSBs are the bulletins shipped to the dealer networks containing info on known issues and bugs with all brands that need to be rectified when the vehicles come in. If you’re searching for a particular TSB or wiring diagram to your vehicle; TSBs and wiring diagrams.

    Wheels and tyres

    Rotate your tyres!

    examine your tyre pressure

    Every 5,000 miles or 8,000km, rotate your tyres. arrow Tyre rotation.

    Clean brake dust off regularly

    Brake dust contains all sorts of nasty stuff. The combination of road grime, heat and moisture through your brakes will bake it on to your wheels , if you leave it very long. Brake dust normally clings to wheels with static electricity so a damp sponge and clean cold water is the best way to get it off.

    Check your tyre pressures

    Once per week is ideal examine your tyre pressures regularly -. Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel handling, comfort and economy. It’s easy to do and there is not any excuse to never. arrow Checking your tyre pressure.

    Check your tread depth

    Bald, slick tyres might be good for motor racing but they’re no good on the road. If your tread is too low, replace your tyres, most tyres have tread wear bars built into them now – choose one, examine it and. Four new tyres might seem expensive but they’re cheaper than an excellent or an accident. arrow Tread wear bars.


    Look at your belts

    In front of your engine there will be several rubber drive belts that loop around various pulleys, driving everything from the alternator to the a/c compressor. Rubber perishes, much more in extreme conditions like those located in an operating engine bay. Get your timing accessory and belt drive belt checked every 25,000 miles, preferably replacing it every 50,000 miles. See the Engine and Fuel bible for facts about interference engines and why checking your timing belts is a necessity, not a luxury: arrow Interference engines

    Fuel Economy

    Look at your tyre pressures regularly – once a week is perfect. Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy very noticeably. It’s easy to do and there is absolutely no excuse to not. arrow Checking your tyre pressures

    Checking your oil level

    Should your engine needs oil, this can be something everybody can do – it’s easy and quick and it’ll tell you. It can cause trouble for your engine if the oil is too high or too low. To look for the oil, park on level ground and wait until the engine has cooled down after driving, then locate the dipstick. Pull it out and wipe it clean, then push it all the way in until the top of the it is seated properly from the dip tube again. Wait a moment then pull it all out again. Check the level of the oil. If it’s in between the high and low marks, you’re fine. (If it’s too low, include a little.) The high and low marks can be denoted by two dots, an H and L or possibly a shaded area on the dipstick. The photos below show a Honda dipstick which contains the two dots. Why not merely read the level first time around? The first time you pull the dipstick out, it will have oil throughout it and it will surely be difficult to inform where the level is. That’s why you need to wipe it on a rag to acquire a clean dipstick, then dip it back into the oil to have a good reading.

    Read more: http: //www.carbibles.com/maintenancetips.html#ixzz30cM8gaLh

  • Trend You Should Follow On Car Boards


    No real surprise that marketing studies show a big and continued spike in interest in car blogs, car review sites and discussion forums.

    Lively, outspoken online communities can virtually widen your knowledge base by a hundredfold by providing first-hand tips on the vehicle, truck or SUV your thinking about buying, and provide extra muscle in negotiating the final purchase price.

    What exactly are current owners saying with that new or used make or model? Join the fray and acquire expert been-there advice with internet car forums now in progress within the U.S. and worldwide:

    Automotive Forums.com – One of many largest online communities available with separate forums specific to American or European makes and models, related Q&A, technical discussions, car rumors, news & video.

    Edmunds Automotive Forums – Get tips & information on getting a good deal including owner reports, safety issues, fuel useage, troubleshooting, performance & value reviews by make or model including hybrids, classic convertibles and carspickups, convertibles and SUVs and more.

    CarForums.net – Another huge community with easily searchable car and boards reviews by make or model, discussions on domestic vs foreign makes, audio system troubleshooting advice, plus the latest news, picture galleries, related video.

    Car Forums at Automotive.com – Learn from experience about the best car to buy, figure out the latest on who got a great deal (and who got ripped off), demand car dealer recommendations in your neighborhood, read buyer reviews plus more on general care & maintenance with specific discussions on used cars, trucks, SUV’s and sedans.

    Backfires – Car and Driver Forums – This is the official social network of your popular print magazine with a wide community of car enthusiasts discussing mid-size and compactscompacts, luxury and sports pickups, minivans and cars, user’s road tests, FAQ.

    Car Forums – Enjoy it says, with active discussions on American domestic (Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet), European (Mercedes, BMW, VW and Audi Volvo) and Asian models (Mazda, Nissan and Honda Mitsubishi), with more on 4x4s, SUVs & trucks, general maintenance and repair.

    Sports Car Forums – Fill ‘er up on information on Peugeots, Porches, Corvettes as well as other hot sports cars including Japanese, Australian and Korean makes and models with owner reports comparison reviews.