Car Insurance Demystified


First time car owners (and sometimes even seasoned ones) are often bewildered and overwhelmed by the many different types of car insurance available. In this article, we explain in laymen terms the difference between the main types of car insurance. Hopefully this will help you decide which type of insurance is suitable for your particular needs. Continue Reading →

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The Kenguru Electric Car – Driving Has Never Been So Easy For Wheelchair Users

the KenguruWheelchair users are often at the receiving end of a world designed for able bodied people. Even seemingly routine tasks like shopping, a health check or a short commute to the workplace can be quite onerous and require them to seek help from others.

For wheelchair users who want greater independence and desire their own vehicle to get around, they are faced with the daunting task of finding and customizing a vehicle to make it suitable for their particular needs. This typically involves a huge cost in terms of money, time and effort. The price of the modified vehicle may come up to $80,000. The large financial outlay often puts these vehicles beyond the reach of wheelchair users. Needless to say, eco-friendly vehicles were but an even more distant dream.

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Tips To Get The Perfect Car For Your Canadian Road Trip

roadCanada is a vast country filled with panoramic sights and rustic grandeur to delight any road trip enthusiast. But before packing your trunk and setting off, you need a car that will prove equal to the task as you cruise on the highways and off the road. Here are some suggestions on how you can get the perfect car for your Canadian road trip without busting your budget. Continue Reading →

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Buying a Car – New vs Used, What Are the Advantages?

So, you are looking to buy a car… Now one of the main questions you may be facing is whether to buy a new car or a used one. There’s no right or wrong answer provided you know what you are doing, but each alternative has its own advantages, and that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

Advantages of Buying a New Car

It’s New! – This is a simple reason, but powerful enough to motivate the purchase of a car. After all, everybody wants something completely new! There are other implied benefits of course like the absence of nasty smell and a clean history. These are issues that you won’t have to face if you are opting for a brand new car.

Have it the way you want it! – When ordering a new car you can choose which specs to include, and even the colors of both the exterior and interior. Usually a car dealer will send an email fax with all the specs and features you can customize.

Warranty – There’s no better guarantee that the one given you by the car manufacturer with the purchase of a new car. Sure, you can get a warranty with a used car but it will cost you extra money.

Latest technology – New cars come equipped with the latest gizmos and technology features. Digital technology inside cars is evolving at a quick pace, so you can see an evident improvement on a year-to-year basis, especially when it comes to navigation. If you want the latest gadgets in your car, this may be an important factor.

Less time consuming – When buying a new car you can just go to the dealer, pick your model an not worry about anything else. The search for a good used car takes more time, and it often requires you to visit different used car dealers (or private sellers), find a mechanic and test the car while looking for imperfections. If you don’t choose a good used car you may even have to deal with problems later!

Advantages of Buying a Used Car

Price – This is perhaps the biggest factor that influences the purchase of a used car. If you have a budget in mind, you can also take advantage of the reduced prices to buy a bigger or better looking model.

More options – Although you can buy a new car and have it customized right from where you buy it, perhaps you are looking for a model that is no longer being produced, at a discounted price of course.

Depreciation – Used car owners doesn’t have to worry much about depreciation. The biggest price drop comes the first months of having a new car, you can easily sell the car a few months later and pretty much recover your money.

Cheaper insurance – In most cases it is cheaper to insure a used car, this is an added bonus that will help you save money.

Remember that although buying a new car has its advantages, you could have a better experience with a used car, and don’t forget the basic tips when looking for a used car: take it to the mechanic, test it, and check for history.

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Land a Solid Career in the Automotive Industry

With the increasing demand for various kinds of automotive vehicles, there is also an increasing need for qualified and talented personnel in different companies. Working for the automotive industry can be highly rewarding especially since it is not too difficult to climb the corporate ladder and get a promotion.

During one of my trips down south, I met an online seller who owns a shop for good metal detectorsquadcoper kits and other products. While we were having a conversation, we talked about car financing options since he’s really interested to purchase a new one. At that time, he said that there’s not enough information available. That was when I came up with an idea of creating a blog where online users can get automotive tips, news and even career information.

Find Your Passion

Before I entered the industry, I started to work in the real estate industry. When I finally found that I really wanted to work with vehicles, I decided to give it a try. Working as an automotive specialist is something I have always wanted to do. But apart from my regular job, I am also passionate in writing. As such, I have decided to come up with a blog. At the back of my mind, I was thinking how I could help others when it comes to information. Since I am working in this industry, I get to have certain details and information but how about the others? My passion led me to this career and I love it.

Read More About Automotives

Finding my passion is never an easy thing. And whenever someone asks me which career to pursue, I always say that one should go for a job that he loves. Since I have finally found my passion in working with automotives, I never get tired with my work.

This is one of the tips that I give to those who are still looking for the job they want. Apart from finding our passion, we should also invest in human capital by gaining more knowledge and skills. This worked well for me so I am quite sure that it will also work for others. When I was still starting, I would read news about automotive most of the time. Even if I was not in the sales and marketing department, I studied the market and the business. In my years of experience, I can say that constant reading and improving my skills definitely helped me a lot in my career.

Using the Internet in Searching for a Job

When I was starting, we barely use the Internet. But with the coming of the digital age and the increasing number of people using the Internet, it is now easy to find and get details regarding a particular job. At least now, everyone can just search for a job without any hassle. Through my blog, readers can access valuable information not just about financing options, automotive news, useful tips but as well as career information.

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Where Will You House Your Next Restoration Project?

Eyeing off the fastback Mustang, Charger or Camaro in the classifieds but not sure where you are going to rebuild it?

This is quite a common problem for car enthusiasts. Not only is restoring a car a lengthy process but it is also fun. And the fun can dissipate rather quickly if you have to work on muddy ground or your up all night worried about the tarps you put over your pride and joy keeping the rain out during a storm.

Mechanics have the best setup. Hoists and tool chests on wheels. But not all of us can afford that, but we do require something. And setting up your rebuild in a good place is important.


So what should you look for in your restoration garage?

Enough space – It is obvious but you need to have enough space to do what you need to. Maybe pull out an engine, or leave a hardcover roof covered so that it doesn’t get damaged in the weather.

A good rule of thumb is to get a shed 10-15% larger than what you think you’ll need. We found a good tool online to give you a basic guide to how much room you’ll need here.

Enough height – Having a shed with enough height is also important, if you need to get underneath your car whilst the bonnet is open you don’t have to worry.

Large doorway – A roller door, or large bifold doors is important to make sure you can get your car in and out when the time permits.

Security – The last thing anyone wants is there restoration being tampered with. So getting a secure shed is very important. Doors that have inbuilt locking mechanisms tend to be better than just padlocks so if you are concerned, go down that route.

Foundation – A shed with a concrete slab as the base is a must in our opinion. It is flat, hard and easy to work on. If you drop something on it it is easy to find and it is stable and level. Pavers, and gravel just don’t cut it. Neither does the ground. It may seem like an expensive added expense at the time. But it is well worth it in the long run!

Power – No matter what shed you decide to get, having one that is powered is mandatory. You will need power for the tools and most likely for light during those days where the job ‘just has to get done.’ Powering a shed is no big deal, you can get someone to do it for you, and you can look into doing it yourself. (here is the best guide we found about powering a shed)


And there you have it. Having a quality shed, with all your tools neatly put away an organized can make your car rebuild very enjoyable. Being able to quickly do the job and have it looking great is enough to make any motoring enthusiast proud.

So it is worth taking the time to plan your rebuild, before you get too far stuck into it.

Thanks for reading.

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2015 Volkswagen Microbus

Every few years, vehicle manufactures will surprise us with a nostalgic revival of one of their classic models. In the 90s, Volkswagen did it with the iconic Beetle. In the 00s, Mercedes rebooted the Mini Cooper to the joy of car fanatics the world over. Now, in the 10s, Volkswagen is back at it with the all new 2015 Microbus!

For those of you who were around during the 60s, you will remember things like flower power, the rise of feminism, and the coolest vehicle on the road, the Volkswagen Microbus! This beautiful van, reminiscent of the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, was the epitome of free living. Behind the wheel of the Microbus you could traverse the entire continent and need nothing but the dollars for gas and the dream of freedom.

While the hippies eventually grew up and went corporate, so did the spirit of that movement, and the Microbus got left in the dust and was discontinued. However, now those once rebellious men and women are retiring, and it’s time to refuel the unrestricted passion for life, and Volkswagen has the answer! This vehicle has been revived to revive the emotions of the 60s while introducing a whole new generation to the feeling of freedom.

What’s new in the 2015 Microbus?

Power Train Engine: The new Microbus has the options of going gas or clean burning diesel with it’s turbocharged 2000 horsepower, 4 cylinder engines. From 0 – 60 in just over eleven seconds, this fuel efficient bad boy will power you down the road with 200 pound feet of torque!
Of course, had hybrid been an option in the hippie hay day, it would have been gobbled up! The 2015 Microbus will have the option of going hybrid, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving baby boomers a few bucks for their road trips!

Space: The classic box design of the frame with the wheels set out to the side means lots of interior space for you and your family. Whether bringing the kids out to the beach for the day, or camping over the weekend, the Microbus has enough space to bring all the people and goods you need to enjoy the perfect family activity.

Visibility: No, we don’t mean the visibility of the vehicle. Because everybody will be looking when you drive this down the street! We’re talking about the 7 inch in-ceiling screen which shows what’s going on behind the car so you always know if you’ve got a clear path. Safety was definitely on the mind of the designer for this one.

Price: While the official starting price has not been dropped yet, the estimates are anywhere between $30,000 to $40,000 due to the fact that this german engineered car will be manufactured in Europe and shipping will add to the expense. The lower end of the price range would put the Microbus in competition with the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Town and Country, however, the higher end would mean direct competition with the Nissan Quest.
Either way, this car is selling itself to the emotions of the drivers who want it. Even a price point in the 40s wouldn’t be an issue for the person with the dreams of cross country road trips.

While we don’t have the exact release date, it can be expected that this vehicle will hit the market anytime after September. Hold on tight, here it comes!

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The Truth About Personal Finance Leasing For Cars & Autos

I recently decided that wanted to change my car and like any guy I started to have a look around. I checked out a few websites as well to try and find out, what cars were being recommended by the independent magazines. That would be at least a good starting point to try and understand what was available, and also give me a good idea of pricing. After that it was time to start my viewing and meet the rather infamous car salesman.

I already have a car and it was fully paid off and I had also checked what is called “the book price.” If you don’t know what that is, it is a price used by all car dealers, and it is a value that is placed on a used car, based on the year the car was made in conjunction with the number of miles on the clock. Then the car dealer can adjust that depending on the condition of the vehicle you are trading in.

Understanding Book Prices

Let’s say you had a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro the price range could be anything between about $14,000 to $34,000 and that would depend on the specification, the number of miles on the car, and its condition. A car with low mileage and in good condition would be valued higher than one with a lot of miles and a few dents here and there. That all makes sense to me.

Understanding The Financing of Cars & Trucks

Outright Sale With Cash

Now I could just sell my car privately and use that to help pay off my new car. It is a little more work but in reality you will probably get more for it.
I could also trade the car in for book price and pay off the rest of the car which would save me the hassle of a private sale.

Financing Terms

Most people will trade their car in and take out a Finance plan. This is not as simple as just buying an electric drill or a mitre saw at around $100. When you start talking in thousands of dollars, then a dot percentage point can have a pretty heavy impact on your repayments. An example of this would be that if you wanted your payment plan to be around $500 a month, then the amount you get for your own car, plus any down payment you can afford will determine what value of car you can buy.

Let’s say that you got $14,000 for your old car and wanted to pay no more than $500 a month. Then the highest value car you could afford would be about £31,000. Interest rates for new cars are around 3% depending on where you buy from.

Personal Leasing Plans

These are where you trade in your old car, and take out the difference on a personal leasing plan. It simply means you can afford a better car, but after the repayments you may not have paid off all of the amount. Car dealers are starting to use these, as the theory behind those is that you will come back at the end of the payment terms, and take out another new car, and pay the same amount. You do of course have the option of paying off the final amount and then owning the car outright.

In essence you will not ever own the car, but you lease it, and can always continue to drive a newer and high specification car. It is certainly an interesting option and I think worth checking out. Just watch out for some catches though as these leasing plans are restricted and determined by the average number of miles you will do in a year.

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Personal Training and Fitness Courses from my Car

Following my successful graduation as a qualified personal trainer, I set about implementing my unique business plan. As I work in a rural area and public transport is virtually none existent it soon became clear that the only way to run a personal training business in this part of the world (Norfolk) would be to become totally mobile.

This meant I had to challenge what I thought I already knew about the personal training business, having become accustomed to thinking of training as something that happens inside health clubs and gyms, an idea I suppose I must have gotten from my Discovery UK fitness instructor course that led onto my personal trainer diploma.

With this in mind I found the perfect vehicle – the Ford S Max. It has all of the style you would expect to see for a Personal Trainer and it was cheap and easy to brand up. It has masses of room in side for all of my equipment and it is good value to run with excellent mileage to keep my costs down. Another big advantage of this car is that it doubles up as an excellent family car for when I am not working. It also acts as a mobile advertising wagon for me too, and I have had a number of calls where clients have said they saw me in the PT car.

Call this car what you will, people carrier or MPV or sport activity vehicle this vehicle has premium sports styling and outstanding technology. The 7-seats make it incredibly versatile and spacious, and it has allowed me to ferry people to and from the outdoor circuits in the parks which has allowed me to double the number of participants that I take and thus double my income.

When running a mobile personal training course in a rural area there are some very important considerations, one of which is my inventory of equipment that I must carry around. On any one day, typically I will be carrying the following items with me in the car: Kettlebells (four pairs 2kg – 12kg), six sets of suspension training kit, four heart rate monitors and assorted fitness testing kit. I will also have fitness cones and an assortment of equipment to set up a circuit or boot camp such as skipping ropes, mats, hoops, agility ladder, resistance bands and many other circuit station accessories.

Amongst the more logistically challenging kit that I use are the big chunky functional training equipment such as large tyres, medicine balls, power bags and two Vipers. At the same time I may well have with me high tech and fragile client assessment and diagnostic equipment such as a laptop, cholesterol and blood pressure testing apparatus and stopwatches. Ensuring that each item has a secure place and the back of the vehicle does not end up as a general dumping ground has been possible due to the sheer size of the S-Max.

One final advantage has been the great economy of using such a vehicle. I run my PT service every evening of the week and I have around 15 private clients that I train from home meaning that I have to travel on average over 100 miles each week simply to get to my clients. Due to the low maintenance costs and the good mileage, I can keep my running costs down on the vehicle which means that my personal training sessions can be competitive and affordable for my clients.

This has allowed me to expand my business each year for the last three years. They taught us business skills including the importance of expansion on my Discovery personal training course.

The addition of the S-Max to my company has been invaluable and for anyone out there running a similar business I cannot rate this excellent piece of kit highly enough. I would score this car ten out of ten for all the reasons listed above.

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Emergency Knives Save Lives

It seems as though as time goes on, the world becomes more and more conscious of health and safety. Where two decades ago, people wouldn’t think twice about doing something, now it has to be approved by regulatory authorities, risk assessed up the eye balls and protective gear given even if its a menial task. The same principal was applied to the carrying of knives. Where I am not suggesting the whole of the American population should be roaming the streets with blades in hand, there are some occasions where carrying a knife could be the difference when it comes to getting out of a situation alive.

Now, this isn’t an article about knives as a means of self defense or deterring attackers, I’m talking more about the underlying functionality, and how they can help you escape difficult situations in one piece. A prime example, is the added cutting edge that a folding knife can give you. Take a car accident, the most common killer when it comes to road traffic accidents isn’t the collision, it’s what happens afterwards.
Upon colliding with either another vehicle or a stationary object, cars are designed to crumple. They have specifically engineered crumple zones, that look to take the brunt of the impact and protect your legs from becoming damaged. Combined with the air bags, a good degree of cushioning and safety is provided.

However, once the airbags have been deployed and crumple zones have been well and truly crumpled, you can find yourself trapped. This is where the damage can occur, if you can’t get out of the car you could be exposed to harmful leaking gases, flammable fuel leaks and the risk of further collisions from other vehicles.

If you can move, then getting out of the vehicle should be priority number one, especially if you can smell leaking fuel. Enter the emergency folding knife, which could prove your saviour. These knives come equipped with two vital features that can prove the difference when you become trapped. First of all, the folding blade has a serrated edge specifically designed for cutting through the material that constitutes your seat belt. This material is designed to withstand impact in tact, but can become jammed after collisions. With these handy cutters you’ll be loose and mobile with just one simple cut.

The next issue comes with the doors. When crumple zones crumple, residual damage can be caused to the pillars and doors of your car, causing them to become stuck and not being able to be pulled open. These emergency knives come with a second feature, a window smashing point. These enforced points allow you to break glass with ease, without the risk of becoming cut. This gives you space to clamber free and aware from any potential explosives.

Where knives are dangerous to the untrained and immature, they do also hold a lot of benefits. Keeping a folding knife in your glove compartment could be the difference between life and death. You can find more information about folding knives, their benefits and what to look for here.

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How to Prevent Car Windows from Fogging Up

Don’t you just hate when windows start fogging up in your car? Personally, I’ve always find it a bit too annoying, especially when I’m in a hurry, so – curious as I am – I have looked for ways to prevent and/or minimize the appearance of this problem, which ends up obstructing my visibility, sometimes dangerously.

But first let’s start by learning why your car windows get foggy.

There are three main factors that lead up to the forming of fog inside the car, they are: the weather, the use of air conditioning/heater and the amount of people entering the car. The problem will appear when water condenses on the window, and this can happen either on the inside or outside of the window. So for example, if you notice condensation forming on the inside of the windows (just pass your finger over the window to be sure), this means that the air outside is cooler than the air inside.

Well, having made that clear, let me share with you two methods I prefer to use when dealing with window fog, and both involve using a rather unorthodox object (at least for cars!): a potato or an ordinary shaving cream.

METHOD 1 – Using a Potato

Potatoes are not only delicious, they can also help you keep you protected against window fogging problems.

Star out by grabbing a potato. It doesn’t have to be a fresh one, I typically grab one that has started to sprout. Just make sure it is very clean though! Now cut it in half.

Grab one of the halves and rub it on your window. The idea here is to create a thin layer that will act as a shield against condensation. Once you’ve covered the window’s surface leave it to dry!

METHOD 2 – Using Shaving Cream

I first learned about this method on Lifehacker, and I have to say it works very well! It’s very simple, just clean the window using ordinary shaving cream. The soap will act as the thin layer that will prevent condensation from appearing.

You can use any kind of soap, but the shaving cream you use every morning is the least messy product to use in your car. Just grab a little, rub it over the windows of your car and you are done.

By the way these methods also work on any type of glass that usually fogs up!

Does smearing the window work? No, it is usually a bad idea to do this because it’s not really a solution. You see many people doing this as an instinctive response, but ti doesn’t wipe away the moisture – it just moves it around. If you don’t have a potato or shaving cream at hand, you can simply put the defrost on high heat with high blower and wait a few minutes, but it’s always a good idea to prevent fogging problems by creating a layer of protection.

Feel free to try out these methods, I guarantee they work! If you have any other method, share it with us!

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Top 5 Pizza Delivery Cars

If you have ever delivered pizza for a living, you know that the cars used are often slow, old and really suck up the gas. New cars could help a pizza restaurant save money and increase customer satisfaction. Customers will love getting their pizzas quicker. Unfortunately, most companies can’t afford to buy new delivery vehicles. The ultimate pizza delivery vehicle, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec Diesel, costs over $55,000. Since pizza delivery drivers don’t have this kind of cash just laying around, we have decided to set a budget when evaluating pizza delivery cars. The top 5 pizza delivery cars listed below can be purchased for less than $10,000 used with under 100,000 miles. We evaluated the cars by reliability, power and miles per gallon.

Top 5 Pizza Delivery Cars:

#5 – 2009 Smart Fortwo

When you first look at this car, you may ask yourself, “Where do I put the pizza?” What this little car lacks in storage, it makes up for in speed and versatility. It’s perfect for large cities where parking is limited. It can fit into half of a traditional parking space so you can pull into even the smallest gap.

#4 – 2002 Audi S6 Avant Quattro

If you are looking at a pizza delivery car that has it all, then consider the Audi S6 Avant Quattro. Audi’s are designed for the car enthusiast, especially the S line which offers the best in handling and acceleration. This station wagon can outrun any sports car made today. One great feature that you will appreciate in the winter time is the heated leather seats. The engine is a 4.2L V8 which will help you deliver your pizzas in no time flat. There is plenty of room in the back of this car for the pizzas. The only negatives that come with this car are the bad gas mileage and the high cost of repairs.

#3 – 2010 Wheego Whip NEV 96 Volt

If the Smart Fortwo appealed to you but not the gas mileage, then you will really like the 2012 Wheego Whip NEV 96 Volt electric car. It is small and versatile, yet has great gas mileage. In fact, it doesn’t use any gas at all which will save you a lot of money. The Wheego is the perfect city car as it can maneuver tight parking spaces easily.

#2 – 2007 Toyota Corolla

The 2007 Toyota Corolla is lacking features found in expensive cars, such as navigation and AWD, but it will save you money which makes the lack of features worth it. It is one of the most reliable cars in the past decade. You won’t need to spend a lot of money on repairs. The Toyota also has great gas mileage and you can easily get this car for under $10,000 with low miles.

#1 – 2010 Toyota Yaris

This is one of the biggest cars on our list, yet it is still small compared to other passenger cars on the road. There is plenty of room for pizza in the back seat. This car doesn’t have heated seats or navigation but offers excellent fuel economy and good maneuverability.

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Top 10 Cars Students Choose

Student life provides some unique challenges when it comes to choosing a new car. Of course price is an issue(especially if you buy research paper for sale often), along with expected mileage and projected maintenance costs. But a student’s car needs to be able to deal with being packed to the gills when moving to and from dorm rooms, the ability to handle constant running around and running smoothly in spite of getting less than regular maintenance. We’ve rounded up 10 of your best bets to keep you moving in the right direction.

Scion XB

The Scion features a quirky, innovative design style sure to please any young student and a sticker price that keeps that demographic in mind. The Scion XB is one of the larger models, making it useful for packing – and unpacking – between semesters, but compact enough to handle campus parking.

Ford Focus SEL

This model is available in the used marketplace and its 2010 version comes with enough bells and whistles to keep students happy as well as impressive fuel efficiency and safety ratings. Best of all, it manages to look good without being over the top – ideal for students who know they’re the real star of the show, not their car.

Honda Civic

Perhaps the most trust model of car in recent years, just about everyone has had one or knows someone who has. This widespread use is backed up by a pretty strong reputation for reliability and efficiency – the perfect combination for students who need to watch every penny.

Dodge Dart SXT

For students who want to make a statement even as they pull up, the Dodge Dart delivers. Iconic styling, LED lights and a manual six-speed transmission – the newest incarnation of the Dart is perfect for students who need a bit of escapism.

Chevy Spark LS

The Chevy Spark isn’t the biggest car on this list. In fact, it’s positively tiny and comes with a small 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine but, given its size, the power it has works well for tooling around campus and using that princess parking space no one else could squeeze into.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Hybrid that changed everything for hybrid cars has become a mainstay on many college campuses around the country – and for good reason. Its amazing fuel efficiency, compact shape and reliability have made it the perfect choice for students.

Mazda CX-5

For students who hit the great outdoors when not hitting the books, the Mazda CX-5 provides plenty of space for camping gear, kayaks and surfboards paired with amazing technology. The Touring editions features a bevy of perks including Pandora internet radio and options to read texts for you and respond with standard answers in order to keep your eyes on the road.

Kia Soul

The Kia Soul offers the compact shape many students want when on campus, with a surprisingly roomy interior that can fit people, gear and moving supplies. High tech options like Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a dash display with touch screen.

Nissan Rogue

While small cars may top the wish list for many students, others need the space only a crossover can offer. The Nissan Rogue is well price, fuel efficient and offers plenty of space and rugged durability for students who need to be on the go while hauling supplies, possessions or passengers.

Jeep Wrangler

Sometimes the classics are still the best. For those who have courses and interests which lead to field work in archeology, agriculture and other subjects, the Jeep Wrangler offers the perfect way to handle being out in the field and dealing with the campus commute.

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Three Easy Tips for a Maintenance Free Summer

Summer is usually thought of as a time for fun but that can quickly turn if you fail to keep your car in good working order. Follow these three tips for a maintenance free summer.

1. Make sure you are up to date on your fluid checks and regularly scheduled maintenance visits.
2. Avoid being stranded after a blowout- check your tire pressure.
3. Keep cool with properly working a/c and keep your car parked in the shade.

Summer brings lots of opportunity for fun in the sun but the sun can be damaging to your vehicle. The harsher than normal conditions can affect the entire vehicle to some degree. Don’t let yourself get stranded because you overlooked a few key check-ups.

Although many people will be thinking of vacations and grilling out don’t forget about your regular maintenance routine for your car. Your fluids like coolant, oil, and washer fluid still need to be topped off or changed on a regular basis. Although you may think of it as a winter need, anti-freeze is an engine coolant and needs to be maintained during the summer too.

Keep your car cool for its sake. The heat of summer can cause cosmetic damage to your car. It can also make it very hard to cool off the interior when you get ready to go out. Protect the car by parking under a carport or under a shade tree. The best thing to do is park in a garage. Many people have their garages as multi-use spaces so sometimes this is an issue.

I recently had a leaky water heater replaced with a spiffy new tankless unit. This little gem was installed outside on the side of the house and you wouldn’t believe how much space it freed up in the garage. Although the water heater wasn’t huge the extra space it provided was enough to move some storage to that spot and free up enough room for me to park the car inside. I bonused on both parts, cool new tankless and more usable space! Check out this website if you are having any water heater issues.

We all know air conditioning can hurt fuel economy, my dad made us sweat to save a few pennies at the gas tank! Keeping the windows up can help with aerodynamics and is the better choice on the freeway. Plus it keeps everyone happier and a happy carload makes for a better trip!

Get you’re a/c checked every year, if it’s not getting cold it may have a leak in the system. You could get by adding coolant for a little while but a leak is something you will need to repair eventually. Most folks know this but it is worth mentioning, you will see some water dripping from the car during the summer, this is how the a/c system drains condensation, it’s normal.

Tire pressure is very important during the summer. As the temps climb the air in your car’s tires will expand so always make sure the tires are at an acceptable level before starting out on a road trip. You can find the recommended pressure levels in your owner’s manual, glove box, or driver’s door jamb (the max pressure on the tire side wall is not the recommended pressure). Tires that are over or under inflated can make handling more difficult or cause a blowout by generating excess heat in the tire. Nothing is worse than a blow out on a 100 degree day!

If you are taking any road trips this summer be sure your oil and filters are changed this can help with fuel economy in the short term and wear and tear on the vehicle in the longer term. If you keep the vehicle properly maintained you will use less fuel for long highway trips. Keep your tire pressure in check and use cruise control to maximize fuel efficiency.

Use these tips to help keep your summer fun in the sun instead of broke in the shop!

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Reduce Your Vehicle’s Footprint

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately on getting rid of my gas-guzzling SUV and getting a more eco and fuel friendly car. I’ve been filling up way too much lately, and with the rising costs of fuel, it’s putting a huge hole in my pocket. So I was looking at ways that I could not only reduce my car fuel usage, but also use my car less. Seems like a strange article for an automotive site, but I think we all owe it to ourselves to look for other options in vehicle propulsion – even if it means talking about not using a car in the first place.

One of the best options, of course, is to get a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. Many of these alternative fuels are not so easy to use…they are either expensive or hard to find. I can’t be bothered to go to a restaurant to get their old cooking oil every time I need to fill up. However, the hybrids these days such as the ever popular Prius offer a great alternative and compromise, and the fuel economy can’t be beat. So I’m honestly thinking of trading in my SUV to get one of these, especially because I drive so much.

I was also looking at fuel efficient SUVs. I think there’s a huge market for this – I have my SUV because I like a slightly larger vehicle and I also tend to cart around a lot of stuff – people, surfboards, sports equipment, etc. Luckily it seems that this niche will soon be filled. I may wait until then to get a new car or trade in.

More and more cars are using computer aided electronics in order to preserve fuel economy. The introduction of better integrated phones will enable people to quickly and easily access either their home computer to find directions or just look up a directory for the best local cuisine. This could help save a lot of driving in the long run. It might only save you a couple miles here and there, but add that up for millions of people and it’s a huge reduction in the amount of miles traveled. Computer integration is becoming more and more expansive, and it won’t be long before there are entire cloud based communications between your home computer and your car. It’s very interesting to see how some very advanced systems allow users to completely integrate all of their electronics. However, this could pose security and privacy threats, and so there are some great watchdog websites in place to monitor these technological advances.

Another thing to think about is to just not use my car at all – and that means riding my bike and staying local. There’s been a big push lately to help support local businesses by just sticking closer to home, fostering a sense of community as well as a stronger local economy. Instead of driving to the local Starbucks, I could just ride my bike to the local coffee shops. And I think that’s a huge part of how I will save not only on fuel costs, but also my own eco footprint.

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Why you need to change your auto cabin filter

You may not be aware that your newer model vehicle has a cabin air filter. It filters the air coming into the vehicle cabin from the air conditioning and heating vents. This air filter like other filters should be changed on a regular basis, at least annually. Some manufacturers recommend changing every 12-15,000 miles. How often you really need to change this cabin filter depends on how much you drive and where you drive. If you spend most of your day in the car driving and you live where there is heavy traffic or high amounts of dust and debris then you should check or change your auto cabin filter more often.

If you do not change the auto cabin filter regularly it can cause problems for people with allergies by blowing allergen triggers into the vehicle cabin. If your auto cabin filter becomes plugged it will reduce the amount of air that can pass through, therefore reducing what actually blows into the vehicle. That reduces efficiency of your fan and blower motor which can cause excessive wear and tear on the motor. If the filter is not changed regularly it can also cause foul orders to be blown into the vehicle cabin.

You can have the filter checked at your dealership, or when you have your vehicle into the dealer or shop for other services. The service technician can check the filter to see if it needs changed. You should request to see the filter to ensure that they do not charge you if it does not need changed. And so that you can see exactly why you should have it checked regularly and changed when needed. Having the dealership or auto shop change your auto cabin filter can be quite pricey as these filters through the dealership can cost $50 or more. This is another reason you should ask to see the filter before they actually replace it. If it does not need changed you do not want to spend excessive amounts of money for a new one and labor.

If the filter does need changed or you have never checked it, you can do this yourself to save out of pocket expenses. Check your owners or repair manual to find out where your auto cabin air filter is located. Some are located just behind the glove compartment, making it easily accessible. The owners or repair manual will tell you how to remove the fasteners on the glove compartment to access the filter. Other vehicles may have the cabin filter under the hood where the air enters the cabin, these may be harder to change yourself, or require tools. Again you should read your owners or repair manual to find out where it is located and if it is something you can access and change yourself.

Changing your auto cabin air filter is something that needs to be done on a regular maintenance schedule. You should check it or have it checked about every 15,000 miles and changed at least once per year to ensure that you have cleaner air blowing into your vehicle.

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5 Tips To Keep Your Car Running Right

Black luxury carThe automobile is one of, if not the single, greatest innovation in the last 200 years, but we tend to take it a bit for granted. Most of us don’t think twice about our cars unless they aren’t working properly to take us to our jobs, appointments and other activities. It’s usually then and only then do we realize what life would be like without a car. Just like most people don’t think about their health until they have a health crisis on their hands. And just like you should look into the top rated crossfit shoes and perhaps even a top rated testosterone booster if you are going to start exercising, you should also do the small things to take care of your car for the long haul.

So to make sure that your car doesn’t leave you high and dry, we are going to share 5 tips with you that will help your car to run longer, better, and help you perhaps appreciate it a little bit more. Most of these tips can be done on your own, but if you’re not much of a do-it-yourself type of person, you can always find your local ASE certified mechanic to help you out.

  1. Change Your Oil – This is such an easy one to do and remember. Most people don’t change their oil regularly. Most experts say to change the oil in your car every 3,000 to 6,000 miles (if you have synthetic oil, then it can even be 10,000 miles or more). Changing your oil helps your engine run smoother and prevents it from getting clogged with old oil, debris and other contaminants that over time can harm your engine. There is really no excuse to not change your oil. You can do it yourself fairly easily and most places will only charge you $25 to change it. Just do it!
  2. Check Tire Pressure – Many people don’t know that low tire pressure can end up costing you more money at the pump. If your tires are low it’s harder for the car to roll and therefore will use more gas to get you where you are going. Checking your tire pressure is easy and should only take you 5 minutes to do so. If it’s low, then you can usually get air at a local gas station or you can buy a cheap pancake air compressor for just this occasion for under $50 normally. This also gives you a chance to check the condition of your tires, which can help keep you and your family safe.
  3. Check Fluid Levels – It’s a smart idea to check your fluid levels in your car at least once a month, preferably once a week. Over time your car may lose a little oil, but this is not uncommon nor usually a problem. However, if you’re noticing that every time you check the oil that it’s low, then you could have a bigger issue on hand. It’s always better to catch a problem early than wait for your engine to blow up or for some other catastrophic thing to happen to your car. You should also check your windshield wiper fluids to make sure they are adequate as well. You never know when you’ll use it in a time of need.
  4. Have Your Belts Checked – As a car ages, usually nearing 75,000 miles or more, it’s a good idea to have all the belts checked and perhaps changed. Many people don’t like to do this because it’ll probably cost a few hundred dollars (maybe less) to do this, but you don’t want a belt snapping while driving as this can cause a lot of damage to your engine. Just imagine a belt snapping in half while your car is doing 5,000 rpms. Let’s just say it’s going to take some things out along the way. Save yourself a lot of trouble later on and get those belts checked and changed.
  5. Check Your Brake Pads – Most of us take for granted that we travel in a car that can travel up to 70 mph (or faster depending on how much of a lead foot you are) and we can come to a stop safely. If your brakes aren’t working properly, then it’s probably a pretty scary ride for you. You can insure against any brake problems by checking your brake pads once a year just to see how they are looking. You don’t want to wait until terrible screeching sounds are coming from your brakes as this means it’s metal on metal and you’ll have a lot more to replace than just some brake pads.

These are all easy and affordable tips, especially compared to the cost of something major happening to your car. It can be hard to shell out your hard earned money for something that perhaps isn’t in dire need, but doing regular maintenance on your car can save you a whole lot of money and headache in the future.

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