Archive for Tips

How to Make Your Car Last Longer

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Our cars are one of the most expensive things that we own. We rely on them to get us to where we need to go and depend on them to keep us safe. Even though you can’t control ownership costs like gas, repairs and insurance rates, one thing that you can do is make your vehicle last longer. Use the tips below to make your car last longer, and help keep your ride in good condition.

Oil Change and Air Filter

One of the first things that your mom or dad taught you after getting your license was probably how to change your car’s oil and oil filter. Unlike the complex and long process of drilling for oil, which requires wire line wipers, changing your vehicles oil and oil filter should take less than a half an hour. All you need is a socket wrench, new oil filter and a quart of oil.

You know when you need to get oil changes, but do you know when you need to change your air filter? If your air filter is clogged, your engine will not be performing properly, and this will negatively affect your car’s fuel economy. To be safe, check your air filter regularly to make sure it is not clogged with debris.

Coolant

Another way to take care of your car and make it last longer is to maintain your coolant system. Make sure your car has the proper amount of coolant. By doing so regularly, you will avoid having to get your radiator repaired, which could cost you a nice chunk of change.

Under Pressure

Tires are one of the most neglected parts of the car. As a driver myself, I can say that I do not pay my tires much attention. Yet, it is very important to keep your tires at the right inflation pressure. It’s not only just a safety issue; when your tires are not inflated properly it will hurt your vehicles fuel economy.

Keep It Clean

You want to make sure that you take care of the exterior of your car. By regularly washing and waxing your vehicle, you will keep it looking good longer. This goes for the interior as well. Clean up stains and messes immediately, because the longer you wait the harder they are to remove. Use a vacuum to clean your floor mats and the carpet of your car. Consider using some car care products to help with your clean-up efforts.

Drive Safer and Smarter

If you didn’t know already, the way you drive also has an effect on your car. How you drive affects your gas mileage, and the wear and tear that your vehicle gains.  So, stop speeding up to stop signs/stop lights and slamming on your brakes. By driving smarter and safer, your vehicle and engine will last longer.

Complete Regular Checkups

One of the easiest ways to make your vehicle last longer is by taking it to get serviced regularly. Find a repair shop and mechanic that you trust, and let that repair shop service your vehicle all the time. Think of it as you going to see your doctor for your yearly checkups. When you get sick, you don’t go to different doctors each time, and your car shouldn’t either. By doing so, your mechanic will get to know your vehicle and be able to service it properly each time you bring it in.

The tips above are some of the easiest ways to keep your car running longer and safely. By checking your vehicle regularly, you will be more likely to avoid large repair costs. Think of it as a balance. You depend on your car to get you from point A to point B, and it depends on you to maintain it and keep it in good shape in order to run smoothly•

What You Need to Know About Teaching Your Teen to Drive

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Young drivers have some of the highest crash rates globally, but parents can take the necessary steps to minimize these incidents. Generally speaking, this crash rate is high because teens lack the experience to get themselves out of dangerous situations while driving. They are also more likely to drive while distracted. If parents take the time to teach their teens how to drive before allowing them to drive on their own, many accidents can be prevented.

Start in the Parking Lot

Before permitting your teen to drive on the road, have them practice extensively in a parking lot. Make sure they can drive in a straight line both forwards and backwards before moving into more advanced techniques. Starting and stopping are also important skills to learn, as your teen should be able to accelerate and decelerate smoothly. The parking lot is also a great place to practice turning, as the teen should not cut corners or go too fast. Try to limit your parking lot sessions to about 20 minutes, then extend them as the teen becomes more comfortable.

Leaving the Parking Lot

Eventually, you can take your teen out of the parking lot and let them drive on the road. This is always a scary time for parents, but it is part of the driving process. To minimize the stress on you and your teen, determine the route that you will travel before you depart.

Stay away from busy parts of town. This allows your teen to slowly integrate into traffic. As they get more comfortable driving on the street in residential areas, you can begin taking them to business areas of town that have more traffic. Be careful that you do not overwhelm your teenager with this scenario and keep the route relatively short.

Bad Weather

If you live in an area with extreme weather, you might want to prevent your teen from driving in these conditions at first. Snow and ice are particularly dangerous; even experienced drivers can struggle when the road is slippery. This is another scenario where you should start in the parking lot and then slowly allow them to drive on the road. Taking your teen to the parking lot to get used to how the car handles snow gives them a good base from which to learn. It can also encourage them to be extra careful during these conditions.

Create Rules

As with anything else involving your teen’s behavior, it is important that you set boundaries. Begin by having rules that determine where your teen is allowed to drive and how late they are allowed to stay out. You might also want to restrict the number of passengers that your teen is allowed to carry.

More passengers increase the chances that your teen will become distracted while driving. Have a set list of punishments to be implemented if your teen breaks any of these rules. That way, they know what the consequences will be if they choose to ignore the guidelines that you have created.

Distracted Driving

In addition to driving with too many passengers, many teens now use their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. This is an escalating problem that causes numerous accidents every year. It does not matter if the driver is making a phone call, sending a text message or surfing the internet from behind a global VPN. Using a phone while driving is dangerous.

In fact, the FCC reported that over 400,000 vehicle-related injuries in 2010 were the direct result of driving while distracted. Also, 11 percent of all accidents involving drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 occurred, because one of the drivers was texting. By setting a good example when you drive, you can hopefully prevent your teen from exhibiting any of this dangerous behavior.

Tips for Recovering from a Tarnished Driving Record

If you have had enough of going to court, paying fines, and suffering other legal consequences because of your bad driving, however, you may wonder what you can do to earn a fresh start with your local DMV. By heeding these key pieces of advice, you can look forward to a better future on the road and become a model motorist.

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Reduce the Points on Your License

Many states have a points system through which people incur penalties for each infraction they garner while driving. The courts can give you points for speeding, parking illegally, failing to yield at stop signs, and countless other wrongdoings that you may engage in while steering a car. Even if you have a lot of points attached to your record, however, you can have these infractions reversed by simply avoiding these illegal behaviors

As time passes, your penalties will fall off your record, which in turn improves your standing with the DMV. As long as you resist the urge to fall back into these bad habits, you can reduce the number of points until your license is clean.

Another consideration is the employment of legal counsel. If hired before your court appearance, an experienced attorney “may be able to get your charges reduced or have your case dismissed”, says Katz & Phillips, P.A., Florida DUI firm.

Do Not Drink and Drive

This tip seems painfully obvious to many people; however, if you have struggled in the past with staying sober prior to getting in a car, you may think that this tip is somewhat of a challenge. Your state, like many others, probably has little tolerance for repeat DUI offenders. If you truly want a fresh start with your state’s motor vehicle department, it is imperative that you avoid this charge at all costs.

You can still go out and enjoy the occasional party. However, you should at all times avoid getting behind the wheel of a car and driving yourself home after you have had a few drinks. Stay at the party host’s house or let a friend drive you home. As long as you avoid this charge, you can get the new and improved motorist record you want.

Get Legal Counsel to Expedite an Expungement

Most states let people request to have their driving records expunged of all traffic and DUI infractions. You most definitely have this option available to you; however, you may need to hire an attorney to do it for you. Having a legal record expunged can be a lengthy and complicated process. In all likelihood, you probably do not know the paperwork or departments in the state to communicate with to make this request happen.

Your attorney can file a formal request on your behalf and present your question to the court. If the court agrees, the charges can be taken off your record, giving you a clean motor vehicle background in the state where you live.

When you have grown weary of the expense, hassle, and risk that come with incurring charges like DUI and speeding, you may decide to turn a new leaf and drive better and safer. You can embrace this new start by having your record expunged and avoiding the urge to join in your former dangerous habits.

Freelance writer and auto enthusiast Molly Pearce knows the difference good standing at the DMV can make in a variety of ways- cheaper insurance, more job options, less profiling from law enforcement and she hopes this post can offer motorists some fresh ideas on moving towards a cleaner driving record. Attorney firms, such as Florida’s Katz & Phillips, P.A., can be a one answer to your driving record woes. The majority of Molly’s legal research for this post came from this firm’s website.
Photo credit- http://flic.kr/p/cYhTao

Street Racing – Miami’s Underground Entertainment

 

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Despite unsanctioned street racing being illegal throughout the Miami-Dade area, enthusiasts still find a way to break out their souped-up cars every weekend. Even though the city sponsors official street competitions regularly throughout the year, the underground street races continue to take place, often without significant legal consequences.

The mandated fine is upwards of $5000 per offense. Because law enforcement in Miami is often slow to catch on to these races, let alone punish racers, people who live in popular street racing areas and willing spectators should take special note for their safety while enjoying these fast-paced events. People who live close to the city’s regional track, the U.S. 27 strip in the Pembroke Pines area, and numerous other places throughout Miami should use these precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe while witnessing these races.

Stay Out of the Road

As sunset reaches the city, the time also approaches for you and your loved ones to abandon the city’s streets. Once the sun has set and the city-sponsored races at the regional track have ended, novice racers will take to the strip to begin their own fast-paced fun. As they roar up and down the roads, the drivers of these cars often do not take notice of pedestrians or even children at play.

Case in point, a 12 year-old boy was recently killed by street racers as he ran into the street to retrieve a ball. The driver who hit him never stopped, thus indicating that the drivers of these illegal races are more interested in speed than safety. If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of such an event, while you explore your insurance options, you should also contact legal professionals. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, a legal firm whose practice includes Miami, recommends speaking with an attorney to determine if you need legal representation.

If you are in the vicinity of these races or make the trip to watch them in person, it is vital that you keep your children and yourself out of the roads before and during the races.

Prepare to Move Quickly

Because these races are not sanctioned by the city, street racers often have few, if any rules that they follow while they compete. With the lack of restrictions, safety may be put on the back burner as racers try to outdo each other in these contests. If a driver feels slighted by an opponent, that person could act out with anger, putting others in the vicinity at risk. If a fight breaks out among the drivers, it is imperative that you move yourself and your loved ones to safety. Getting out of the way while the racers fight out their differences can keep you safe during these races.

Keep Safety Gear Nearby

When street racers take to the roads, they may give little attention to whether or not their cars are kicking up debris. If you are watching a race, you could be hit by flying rocks, gravel and metallic shards that are strewn about by the car’s tires. Rather than risk losing an eye or losing your ability to hear because of the cars loud rumblings, you should consider bringing and wearing safety goggle and ear plugs. It may not look cool but as you may have to duck and dodge flying debris, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Miami officially outlawed unsanctioned street races more than two years ago. Nonetheless, racing enthusiasts take to the roads every weekend to battle it out with competitors in these wildly popular street races. If you are witness to these events, you can stay safe by taking these precautions to heart. If despite all good precautions an incident does occur, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene says: “Our accomplished auto accident attorneys in Miami are dedicated to handling cases for individuals who have been injured or lost loved ones as a result of the reckless actions of another driver.

Freelance writer Teresa Stewart appreciates fast cars but also understands the need for safety so encourages these precautionary tips for spectators.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bortescristian/4620954880/

 

Master Your Car Remodel: How to Finance New Repairs

When your car starts making a funny noise, you can only avoid it for so long. After meeting with a mechanic, you’ll likely find yourself raising your eyebrows at the estimate that you receive. Even the most basic of repair bills can rise to $1,000 or more, but you can find a few ways to cut those costs or finance the job.

Master Your Car Remodel How to Finance New Repairs

Use a Short-Term Loan

A short-term loan is a loan that you pay back within one year or less. Most banks and credit unions won’t finance loans with shorter terms because the lenders won’t make back much money on that loan. You can take out an auto title loan, or a payday loan to pay for the repair bill, or you can use a peer to peer loan. Peer to peer lenders are available online, but you can also borrow money from family or friends. Some mechanics also offer payment plans and in-house financing.

 

Compare Costs

Never settle for the first price you receive from a mechanic. You wouldn’t hire the first person who offered to repair your roof, and you shouldn’t hire the first person who looks at your car either. After the mechanic gives you a price, take the job to other technicians. If you ask five different mechanics for the cost of repairing a small problem, you’ll receive five different answers.

 

Ask for an Estimate

Always ask for a written estimate that includes the cost of any materials needed, and the labor involved in that job. You can find a number of websites that tell you the average cost of various jobs. These websites show you how much the parts cost, how much labor should cost on the job, and what other mechanics charge per labor hour. Use that information to determine if your mechanic offers the best rates.

 

Opt for Used Parts

Buying used parts is the secret to turning a big estimate into an affordable job. Whether you need SS Monte Carlo parts, or parts for a vintage automobile, used car parts often cost half or less than new parts do. Talk to your mechanic about lowering the cost of your repair bill with a few used parts. Used parts typically come with the same guarantee that you would receive on new parts.

 

Not everyone can afford to pay a high repair bill, but you can lower your price with used parts. Don’t forget to compare rates from other mechanics and look at financing options available to you.

Bought A New Car: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Vehicle

No matter where you plan on driving, there’s probably a good chance that you’re going to want your car to last as long as possible. In order to maximize the benefits while owning any car, here are five things to keep in mind:

Bought A New Car- 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Vehicle

#1 Sharing Rides

If you know of a co-worker, friend or someone who you can share a ride with, consider doing it. This is a great way to put fewer miles on your car, help the environment and put more money in your pocket. Even if you don’t know of anyone that you can share a ride with, many states have programs set up that you can join for free to find a compatible driving partner.

 

#2 Don’t Forget the Oil Changes

No matter where you plan on driving, always make it a habit to get an oil change at least every 5,000 miles. Every 25,000 miles, it’s best to get a professional tune-up done too. There are have been countless studies that have shown owners getting their cars up to 300,000 miles – all because of regular maintenance.

 

#3 Tire Pressure

Under-inflated tires can effect the fuel consumption by more than 10 percent. Uneven and older tires can place a lot of wear and tear on your car, and the experts at The Auto Stoppe Car Tires recommend that your tires should be changed every 45,000 miles or so, depending on the tire type. If you do need new tires, consider reputable organizations, before letting them work on your vehicle. Professionals who know tires will be able to tell you if your car should have a new set installed.

 

#4 Regular Undercarriage Inspections

Whether you know how to do inspections or you have a trusted mechanic, make sure that you get your undercarriage checked every time you get an oil change. During this inspection, the steering, suspension, braking system, fuel lines, tire and fluids should all be checked accordingly. Any type of damage or even signs of wear and tear can lead to component damages down the road. If anything needs to replaced, it’s best to do so immediately.

 

#5 Wash the Car

Keeping a vehicle clean is a great way to keep the value high and prevent rust from forming. Every six months, hand wax the car and perform a deep clean on the carpets and interior. A dirty, unkempt vehicle is known for corrosion problems and can show potential buyers in the future that you don’t care about your car.

 

By following these simple five tips, there’s no reason your odometer won’t reach the six-figure mark.

Looking For A New Car? 4 Tips To Help You Find The Right One For You

In too many cases, people decide on a car because of its trendy design or aesthetic qualities that are pleasing to the eye. However, buying a new car is a large investment that needs to be taken more seriously to find a car that will not exceed your budget or leave you unsatisfied in the long-term. If you are in the market for buying a new car, read on to find four helpful hints for how to find the right one to suit all of your transportation needs for years to come.

Looking For A New Car- 4 Tips To Help You Find The Right One For You

1. Assess Your Car Needs

Instead of focusing on your wants and wishes, it is important to determine everything that you will need the car to possess to be the right vehicle for you. For instance, take a while to think about how you will be using the car, such as for driving on the freeway, on city streets, or off road in the backcountry. Ask yourself if you need a manual transmission, all-wheel drive, large cargo capacity, adjustable seating features, or the latest GMC accessories in Kansas City.

 

2. Establish a Clear Budget

Unless you have a large sum of cash lying around, you are going to need a loan from a bank or lender to afford the car. Before falling in love with the charms of a certain car, it is important to establish a budget on what a comfortable monthly payment would be. It is wise to never get trapped in a monthly car payment that is more than 20 percent of your take-home income each month.

 

3. Decide Between Buying or Leasing

When deciding how to finance your new purchase, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of buying or leasing for your individual situation. For instance, leasing comes with the benefit of requiring little money down and low monthly payments, but you will need to find a new car soon when the lease ends. On the other hand, buying is more expensive upfront with higher payments, but the car will be yours until it stops working.

 

4. Check Dealer Inventories Online

With the power of the Internet, you can more quickly and easily cover more ground by checking dealer inventories online. It is like bringing the car dealership to your own sofa. Once you have an idea in your mind about the car you want, search through dealership inventories across the Internet and compare selling prices. After you find some options, schedule a test drive for behind the wheel experience to make your decision a little easier.

 

If the choice for your new car is not clear immediately, sleep on it or test drive some more cars. While choosing the right car is important, there is more than one perfect solution out there for your driving needs; you just need to find it. Happy shopping!

Cutting Costs: Ways to Keep the Expense of Your Car Care Down

Cutting Costs Ways to Keep the Expense of Your Car Care DownAlthough some cars are amazingly reliable, there is no such thing as a maintenance-free vehicle. This means that it is inevitable you will spend some money on the upkeep of your ride. However, the total amount of cash that you will invest depends upon various factors. Here are some ways to keep the expense of your car care down.

 

Proper Maintenance

Failing to properly maintain your vehicle could lead to it requiring some very expensive repair work in the future. It is essential that you always have your vehicle serviced at the recommended intervals. This includes oil changes, transmission fluid replacement, coolant flushes, and changing the air filter. You will also need to have the wheels aligned on a yearly basis. Another cost-saving tip is to change your motor oil at the suggested mileage that is stated in the owner’s manual. Not doing simple checks and monthly routines could cause you to waste hundreds of dollars a year.

 

Reputable Garage

Every automotive repair shop is not created equal. While some shops will consistently receive good remarks, there are others that will garner bad reviews on the regular. Taking your vehicle to an unskilled mechanic could cause you to lose thousands of dollars. A good mechanic will quickly diagnose your vehicle’s problem, and give you an estimate of how much it will cost to fix the issue. Although an independent repair shop may effectively get the job done, you may need to see your vehicle dealer to get the right parts.

 

Do Not Abuse Your Vehicle

Far too many people drive their vehicle hard and fast, with little regards to the consequences. Racing away from stoplights, and driving too fast over speed bumps has a major impact on the longevity of a vehicle. A professional at Virginia Nissan dealers says not only will abusing your car cause the premature failure of expensive components, but it also decreases the overall value of your ride. This especially important if you intended on keeping your vehicle for the long haul.

 

Do-it-Yourself

Even if you have no experience in working on cars, you still can acquire the necessary knowledge with a little research and patience. Over time, performing your own car maintenance could put a lot of extra savings into your pocket. While you may not be able to tackle a major repair, you should able to handle tasks such as changing the oil, and replacing the spark plugs. One of the best investments that you can make is to purchase a repair manual for your vehicle. These indispensable manuals provide step-by-step guidance on performing maintenance, and making automotive repairs.

 

Do Not Ignore Red Flags

When it comes to taking care of a car, a strange smell or an odd noise should always warrant attention. Waiting until the issue gets worse is never a good idea. Often times, the check engine light will turn on when there is a potential problem with the vehicle. Some car problems can cause a domino effect. For an example, a failing alternator also has the potential to drain the car’s battery.

 

It is important to always remember to take your car’s maintenance very seriously. Not only will the proper upkeep prevent you from being stranded on the side of the road, but it will also save you big bucks in the long run.

5 Auto Rules to Keep Your Family Safe On the Road

When driving a vehicle, you have a responsibility to keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers on the road safe by practicing safe driving techniques. Follow these five driving safety tips every time you get behind the wheel to keep your family as safe as possible.

 

Stay Focused

Remain focused on the road at all times. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the kids or playing with the radio. If you do need to address an issue, pull over to the side of the road first. Do not text or talk on your phone while driving.

Drive the Speed Limit

Speed limits are in place for a reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that excessive speed contributed to 31 percent of all fatal crashes and 11,674 lives were lost. Speeding will get you where you need to go faster, but it increases your risk of getting into an accident by up to 50 percent. Leave earlier if you need to be somewhere by a specific time.

Wear your Seat-belt

Always wear your seat-belt and require the same for all your passengers. They prevent you from being thrown around the car or through the windshield The NHTSA reports that 70 percent of all fatalities in car accidents for kids between the ages of 13 and 15 were due to not wearing a seat-belt.

Adapt Your Driving for Weather Conditions

The weather accounts for numerous small and large car accidents. If it is raining, snowing, foggy or there is ice on the road, take extra precautions. Drive slower than the posted speed limits and keep plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread to reduce your chances of losing control. If your tires are worn down, you might want to get new tires from simpletire.com.

Don’t Follow Other Vehicles Too Closely

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This gives you more time to stop if they decide to stop quickly or reduce speed when you’re not expecting it. Experts advise keeping a minimum of three seconds of distance between you and the car you are following. Follow six seconds behind when driving in inclement weather.

Driving is a quick way to get from place to place, but it’s important to drive safely. Practice defensive driving techniques and always be alert to your surroundings and other drivers so you don’t get into an accident.

Review of the New Golf by VW

Today, we will take a look at the new golf launched by Volkswagen. This vehicle is the latest entrant in the golf series by Volkswagen. Today, we will take an in-depth look at this vehicle and give you our thoughts on the same. During this review, we will cover the performance as well as the features of the car.

Our aim is to provide you with a well-rounded view.

Let us start with how the new golf performs. This series comes with turbocharged engines. Volkswagen offers a number of choices when it comes to engines. You can choose from a 1.2-liter petrol engine that gives you a choice between 84 hp and 103 hp. The other option is a 1.4-liter petrol engine that offers either 120 hp or 138 hp. As a matter of fact the choice does not end here. The 1.6-liter diesel range offers 133 hp and the 2-liter engine offers 148 hp.

This vehicle maintains the amazing reliability of its predecessors. Both the steering and the suspension are extremely solid. This makes the ride comfortable and enjoyable. You never lose control of the vehicle. In addition to that we can also say that the car is extremely quiet. You will not hear the gears shifting or the suspension working hard. The ride maintains its smoothness, irrespective of the engines used. We did not feel any change when switching from the petrol model to the diesel model.

The new golf does not skimp on any safety features. The features included are:

- An anti-locking brake system for all four wheels;

- Airbags for the head both in the front and rear seats;

- An immobilizer system for the engine;

- An anchor for a child seat;

- Disc brakes in the front and the back;

- Traction and Stability control;

- Daytime running lights

These are only some of the features included in the vehicle. The care can seat five passengers. It has two versions – two doors and four doors. The floor of the vehicle can be adjusted to accommodate your luggage. The vehicle can easily seat driver and passenger who are six feet tall.

The standard features included in the vehicle are as follows:

- A cruise control system;

- An air-conditioning system;

- A driver’s seat which adjusts to your height;

- Adjustable armrest and lumbar;

- A navigation computer;

- Sound system with eight speakers, a CD player and an audio jack;

- Fifteen in wheels;

- A keyless entry system;

- Heated mirrors;

- Adjustable steering wheels

The luxury features in the new golf are as follows:

- Heated front seats;

- A Bluetooth interface;

- Option to plug in an iPod or a USB media player;

- Touch screen audio interface;

- Seventeen in wheels;

- Fog lights;

- Ambient cabin lighting system;

- Sunroof;

- LED running lights;

- Premium audio system;

Overall, the new golf from Volkswagen (I read very interesting things about it at the danish Volkswagen ny billig golf website) lives up to its expectations. What do you think? Take it out for a test drive and tell us how you feel about it.