Sunday, 22 June 2014

Car GPS - 3 Benefits Apart From Finding Your Location

Most people are very thankful to have a car GPS system installed in their vehicles because it helps them navigate with a great deal of ease. These high tech devices help drivers find places that are hard to locate because of unfamiliarity since they mark the location of the vehicle on a road map. Like most people who use these devices, you are sure to appreciate this feature which is after all the main benefit it offers. However, you will also be glad to know that a car GPS system also offers many more benefits. Needless to say, all GPS systems do not necessarily offer the same features and their prices vary accordingly.
Some of the additional benefits offered by vehicle GPS devices include:
1. Alerting of emergency services in case your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident. This can prove to be a lifesaver in certain situations, especially when the people in the car are not able to call for help themselves. This is generally a paid service but plenty of people feel that it is a worthwhile investment for very obvious reasons.
2. Helping the law enforcement authorities locate your car in the event that it has been stolen. The police will be able to track your car's movements with absolute accuracy thanks to its GPS device. This will also help minimize the damage to your car since you'll be able to get it back from the criminals before they have had a chance to strip it of its valuables.
3. Providing you with information about nearby places of interest. If you generally spend time looking for restaurants, hospitals, ATMs, gas stations and the like then your GPS device can be programmed to pop up information about nearby places that you seek. It will also give you directions to reach the place in addition to the estimated driving time; all extremely useful information that can help you to drive better.
Make sure that you select the best possible car GPS system for your vehicle based upon the features that it offers. Be sure to select a device of the right size so that it does not take up too much place on your car's dashboard. Price is also a very important factor to be considered. The many options available in the market these days ensure that you will be able to find the right device at the best possible price.

 
By Manzoor Mohammed

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What Is the Right Parking Barrier for You?

Whether you own an apartment building, office building or you just want to keep your parking space free of unwelcome visitors, then you need to look at the different parking barriers available on the market today.
There is a choice available, though each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Ideally you want a solution that will restrict visitors from parking in bays not allocated for them, eliminating the risk of the parking bay owner arriving only to find there isn't anywhere for them to put their vehicle.
One of the most frustrating things apartment owners, tenants and office tenants find is that people visiting in their local area take advantage of their parking space, reducing how far they have to walk. This is one of the most frustrating experiences when you come home after a long day at work and can't even put your car in your own parking space.
Many buildings have installed remote-controlled building entry, which only enables those with a remote control to drive into the parking area and put their car in their own bay. While this has proved successful in most instances, there are still those within the building that will allow friends to park in the building, taking up someone else's bay.
If you are one of those people who spend their time writing on other driver's wind screens and leaving notes on stranger's cars, because they have taken your space again, then you need to speak to your building manager to come up with an alternate solution.
One of the methods introduced by many buildings throughout the world was individual parking barriers. These require vehicle owners to get out of their vehicle, lowering the barrier and then enabling to drive into their bay with ease. The gates lock in place with a key system or padlock, reducing the risk of anyone else stealing the bay.
Of course these parking barriers come with their fair share of disadvantages, including driver safety. The driver has to exit the vehicle to lower the gate, this gives room for car theft, especially when drivers leave their keys in their vehicle. This is on older buildings and is already being replaced by modern options to make sure drivers are safe each time.
Then there are the remote-controlled parking barriers, which are placed on each person parking bay, such as the parking systems. These barriers used a high range infrared remote control which lowers the gate as the driver drives up to their bay. It eliminates the risk of the driver having to get out of the vehicle, while keeping the bay vehicle free from unwelcome drivers.
These offer a host of advantages including the fact they give driver safety and they effective in pricing.
It is advisable to do your research before grasping any of these parking barriers. In some cases landlords or building owners need to give approval for personal parking barriers, so this is something that you need to keep in mind.
If it gets approved, make sure you discuss your options with the building owners, showing them photographs of the product you want to use. This way you can place the order and have it installed without having to remove it because you didn't go through the proper channels.
Finally, only buy from a reputable company that offers a reliable parking solution to meet your needs, whether you're looking to protect your bay at home or at the office. Many landlords are understanding about the situation you find yourself in on a regular basis when visitors steal your bay for their own convenience.

By Natalie Ayash

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What Is Geofencing and How Is It Used for IVMS?

Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. A geofence can be dynamically generated-as in a radius around a mine site or office, or a geofence can be a predefined set of boundaries (i.e. school zones or neighbourhood boundaries).
Geofencing is an integral part of In Vehicle Management System (IVMS) (also known as GPS tracking or Telematics) hardware and software. It allows system users to draw zones around places of work, client sites and high risk, dangerous or secure areas. Geofencing can be a valuable tool. Examples of situations where it may be utilised include:
  • Formally mark 'no-go' zones
    Example: Could be used to ensure employees avoid construction zones or environmentally protected areas.
  • Create speed awareness
    Example: Speed limits can be associated with certain areas such as a school zone or worksite.
  • Record entry, exit and duration within certain zone
    Example: May be used to verify that driver routes are followed or that certain KPIs are met.
  • Block high risk/dangerous areas
    Example: Aids employees in avoiding unsafe areas such as a train line or explosive area at a mine site.
  • Theft Prevention Tool
    Example: When a car is parked with the ignition off, it can be programmed to put up a geofence. Should the vehicle move from that geofence the user or operator will be notified.
Notification Integration Options
There are many ways that geofence-related notifications can be incorporated into an IVMS system.
  • Events and notifications can be programmed to be automatically sent via email or SMS to multiple parties. Various criteria can be set up (i.e. when an employee enters or exits a certain area a notification is sent to the operations manager, or if a no-go zone is breached, management is notified)

  • IVMS can be connected to trigger an audible or visible warning in-cab to create driver awareness (i.e. if a driver enters a high risk area, they will be warned with a flashing light or buzzer)

  • In high risk areas IVMS can be programmed to report more often for added safety and security
Electronic notifications usually includes the time, date and location that the virtual boundary was crossed, allowing for an immediate investigation or response to the situation.
Geofencing Benefits
Aside from just being a way to track activity within a specific geographical location, geofencing is a powerful tool for:
  • Improving driver safety and awareness
  • Establishing driver accountability
  • Streamlining daily operations
  • Increasing overall company productivity
  • Tracking inventory and high valued assets
By Harmony Sanderson 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Benefits of Parking Systems

Businesses and building owners use parking systems on daily basis to protect reserved parking spaces. Such barriers are designed to cut the risk of visitors using bays which is reserved for tenants, apartment owners, offices and more.
One of the most frustrating things experienced by a parking space owners is getting to their bay to find someone else has taken claim to it. This is a waste of your time as you go from apartment to apartment or office to office trying to find the culprit. This usually ends in you having to find alternative parking, even though you've paid for your space.
There are some advantages associated with parking systems, which is why they are introduced in different buildings and parking areas around the world. You see them more and more in office buildings and apartment buildings and many hospitals use them for their doctors and surgeons parking, enabling them to park and get inside in the case of emergency without having to drive around to find somewhere to park their vehicle.
One of the biggest advantages to parking systems is their price. These are price effective solutions that are guaranteed to keep your tenants happy. One of the biggest complaints received by business owners is the parking situation, especially in busy areas.
Another benefit is the amount of time it saves the parking bay owner. When you get home at night and find someone else has taken over your parking bay, you waste so much time running around looking for them or trying to find another bay to park your car. This is not only frustrating, but is also a complete waste of your precious time.
These products offer vehicle safety, which is very important in today's environment. Many of such are designed with a barrier that lifts into place, enabling the driver to maneuver into the bay and then put up the barrier in front of their vehicle, eliminating any risk of anyone trying to steal the vehicle.
Because most of such parking systems come with remote-control access these days, it improves driver safety dramatically. In the past these parking barriers were manually lifted or put down, resulting in drivers having to leave their vehicle to lift or lower the system. With remote control, the driver remains in their vehicle until they are securely parked, once parked they are able to get out of their vehicle and go where they need to go.
Many of these parking systems available on the market today are visually appealing, they are not ugly pieces of metal that are in place and barely used. They are stylish and modern, blending in with the aesthetic appeal of the building without compromising on the functionality they give.
Another of the many benefits of these parking systems is how they cut frustration and anger for those who own the parking spaces. If you are paying good money each month for your own private parking space, then you shouldn't have to find another bay to park in after a long day at the office. Because of how these barriers protect the space, drivers can arrive, enjoy remote-controlled access to their bay and park with minimal frustration.
Finally, these barriers are easily identifiable, immediately advising other drivers that the bay belongs to someone else. Putting up a small sign with a name on it or placing a "reserved" painted on the floor doesn't have the impact you need to drop strangers from taking advantage of your bay. It is imperative that whatever solution you choose is noticeable to all other drivers who may inclined to take advantage of your space.

By Natalie Ayash

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Top 4 Tips For Selecting The Best Dashboard Cameras

This day and age we have all sorts of drivers on the road trying to get to places as fast as possible. They consist of young, old, insured, and uninsured people. It's now more important than ever to protect yourself from bad drivers as well as scam artists. We've all heard the horror stories about the people who back their cars in to another car and then claim they were rear ended.
A great way to protect yourself is by installing a dashboard camera. These have become common accessories now with the everyday driver. Fortunately, the cost of these cameras has dropped where they are affordable for most everyone now. Below I have listed a few tips for selecting the best dashboard cameras.
Loop Recording
The last thing you want to do is spend your time going through and deleting videos where nothing important happened. Therefore, it's best to choose a camera that comes with a feature where once the memory is full it will start back at the beginning and record over old videos.
Optional Hardwire
The best dashboard cameras allow for hard wiring to the vehicle's battery. This prevents the need to plug it in each time you go for a drive. It also allows the camera to start recording when the car's cranked. I particularly like this because it's just my luck that an accident would happen the day I forgot to plug the camera in.
Motion Detection
Public parking is treacherous to a person's car. I've been on both sides of the fence here. I've had my car sideswiped while parked and I've accidentally backed in to a parked car. A good dashboard camera will have a parked mode where it'll start recording when it detects motion regardless of your car running or not. If someone backs in to your car in a parking lot, the camera will record their license plate if they take off from the accident.
Quality Video
No matter which camera you get, make sure that it records HD quality video. This is the only way to know that you will consistently see license plates or street signs in the recordings. Also, if you find yourself needing to use the recorded video as evidence you won't have a questionable image.
When selecting the best dashboard camera these are a few important features to look for. Features that I have listed above are what make them easy enough for everyday use without taking away from your normal driving activity. You'll be able to find a camera with everything listed here without breaking the bank. Your safety is certainly worth a product that will do well when it's needed.

By Wes Holyfield

Tips For Choosing Replacement Tires For Your Truck And Trailer

No matter how carefully you drive or how cautiously you choose your routes sooner or later you are going to have to replace your existing truck and trailer tires. If you are an owner operator then you know that this is a very costly event and you do need to take time to select just the right type, brand and design of tire that matches your typical driving experience.
The type of tire that you use should be designed for your type of driving. In addition you need to consider the position on the truck or trailer for the tire. Generally there are three positions that are possible and they are designated as an all positions tire, a drive axle or a trailer axle tire. In addition, since these same tires can be used for different types of vehicles they are also rated for long haul, regional, on/off road, urban and off road. Different tire companies may have different designations, but they will equate to the same purpose.
Steer Tires
Steer tires are designed for the tractor and create a smooth ride and easy handling. These are the tires that help you corner and turn while maintaining good traction and grip on the road. Steer tires can actually be used in all positions but they absolutely should be used for those all-important front tractor tires.
The tread design of steer tires is also unique. It is always designed to move water away from the tire in a ribbed type of channel design. This helps with keeping the tire on the road during cornering.
Drive Tires
The drive tires are the workhorses of your tires and they need to be designed to provide outstanding traction while also being incredibly durable. These tires, unlike all position or trailer tires, should only be used on the torque axle for maximum efficiency and better fuel economy. However, if you are always on very hard surfaces, never on soft gravel, dirt, sand or snow, and if you typically drive on dry road conditions you may be able to avoid these specialty tires and go with all position options.
You have a range of different options from rib radials to lug or block patterns. Again, for relatively dry driving conditions on hard surfaces rib radials are the best and most efficient choice. Rib radials have a lower rolling resistance, which means they allow you to go further without the need to use fuel to keep moving.
Generally the drive tires will wear the fastest of all the tires on the truck because of the torque and the force that they exert on the road to get the rig moving. This is definitely not the set of tires you want to skimp on when it comes to quality.
Trailer Tires
Trailer tires are designed to roll freely and resist the pressure and friction during braking. They are also designed with thicker sideways to minimize the risk of damage due to rubbing on the curb as you pull up to park. They are not designed for traction or for torque and should not be used in the steer or drive positions for safety reasons.
Many of the top lines of trailer tires now are designed to be puncture resistant or to have construction options that help then stand up to contact pressure, withstand heat better to help minimize the degradation of the tread over the miles and to also prevent the tire from becoming extremely rigid in cold weather. Puncture resistant trailer tires are also a consideration and are used by many large fleets as a cost and time saving option for long haul routes as well as short deliveries.
Maintaining Tires
While this seems obvious it is critical to make sure that all tires are the same size on your truck and trailer and that they are rated for the size of the load that you are carrying. It is also highly recommended that on a tandem axle if one tire goes flat or needs to be replaced, also change out the remaining tire with that cycle, don't wait to change it out with the other side. This is because when one tire goes flat the remaining tire on that side is carrying all the weight, potentially resulting in structural weakness that may not be obvious from the outside but may lead to another flat just down the road.
Always check the inflation recommendations on the tires and fill up when the tires are cool, before you have driven the truck and trailer. Avoid running with tires that are not inflated to the recommended pressure as this is considered by tire experts to be the most common cause of tire failures on the road.
While there is no hard and fast rule, most truckers will find that all tires will need to be changed out every three to five years. While you can gauge this by the tread and wear it is also a good idea to keep track of the miles and change out tires proactive. Remember that the cost of a flat on the road, especially in bad weather and road conditions, can really add to your tire budget. Always take care of yourself and your safety on the road by having the best tires possible on your truck and trailer.

By Ryan Grifford 

The Lotus Esprit V8 Sports Car


A review of The Lotus Esprit V8 Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this the twenty fifth model in the Lotus range.
In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Lotus Esprit V8, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1996 to 1997.
The Lotus Esprit V8
After years of much thought since the mid 1980's, Lotus finally decided to fit a V8 engine into the Esprit's mid-engined chassis, together with a new interior, uprated clutch, improved gearchange, and a modified rear wing that was now mounted higher up.
The Lotus Esprit V8 sports car was launched in March 1996 at the Geneva Motor Show, and was seen as the replacement of the Series 4 Esprit and the Sport 300.
The need for such a change had its roots in new tighter emission control regulations in the US the result of which would have, almost certainly, prevented the existing 4-cylinder Turbo variant from complying.
It was powered by a Lotus 3.5 litre, 32 valve, V8, all aluminium, twin turbocharged engine, using Garrett T25/60 turbos.
This engine, developed by Lotus, was designated the Lotus 918, and produced 350 bhp, with a top speed of 175 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 secs, and a 0-100 mph time of 10.1 secs.
This was a huge improvement over the 4-cylinder Turbo, and positioned it on a par with its arch rivals the Ferrari F355 and Porsche 996.
The 918 engine originally developed 500 bhp, but was detuned to 350 bhp in order to prevent damage to the Renault transmission linkages, which were not able to cope with such output.
It was fitted with the same Renault five speed gearbox as previously, but no charge-cooler (intercooler) was added.
It retained the same ABS braking system, sported even larger wheels, and proudly displayed a V8 badge next to the rear lights.
The wood and leather interior was replaced by a more minimalist approach, including the use of push buttons within a redesigned centre console.
However, it still retained, from previous models, a necessary struggle to enter or leave the car.
Rear vision was still poor owing to the size of the rear spoiler.
In late 1997, the V8 model was presented in two slightly different specification formats, designated the Special Equipment (SE) and GT models.
The performance of each was virtually unchanged, with both displaying a restyled interior.
However, the SE variant was offered with more luxurious appointments.
The Lotus Esprit V8 GT
In October 1997, the Lotus Esprit V8 GT sports car was introduced at the London Motor Show.
It was powered by the same engine, and offered the same stunning performance as the V8, but without some of the more luxurious fitments, such as leather seats and air conditioning.
As a result, its weight was reduced by about 50 kg, and the price tag was lowered by around £10,000, which made it more attractive at just under £50,000.
There were a number of changes to this variant, which included:
  • A racing clutch was added to make operating the clutch much easier
  • The gearbox selector mechanism was modified to make it quieter and more precise
  • The anti lock braking system was overhauled
  • The rear wing was removed
  • The leather seats were replaced by composite racing seats from the GT3
The Lotus Esprit GT3
Also in October 1997, the Lotus Esprit GT3 sports car was introduced as an entry level Esprit, and with the luxurious fittings present in the V8 variant having been removed.
It was powered by the same Lotus 920, 2 litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged, charge-cooled engine, that had been used in previous models targeted at the Italian market.
It developed 240 bhp at 6250 rpm, and 216 ft/lbs of torque at 3750 rpm, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 secs, a 0-100 mph time of 12.9 secs, and a top speed of 162 mph.
Some of the features of the 1997 GT3 included:
  • There was no aerofoil mounted at the rear
  • "GT3" insignia were positioned along the bottom of the doors
  • Seats came from the Sport 300
  • It used the same lightweight ABS braking system as the V8
  • It was fitted with the Delco multipoint fuel injection system
This marked the end of the Lotus Esprit V8
Perhaps this stroll down memory lane might have answered, or at least shed light on, a possible question:
Which Lotus Sports Car is Your Favourite?
However, should this question still remain unanswered, I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of Lotus sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning 1952 to 1996.

By Peter Radford

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Practical Tips for Choosing the Best Car Amplifier

You want to enjoy the best audio entertainment in your car. This is perfectly possible with the right car amplifier. There are numerous models to select from so you have to evaluate each model's benefits and drawbacks. Here is some essential advice which you will need for making the right choice.
Determine the most suitable type of car amplifier for your sound system.
There are models which are designed to boost the signal sent to two, four, five or even six speakers. You should choose the number of channels based on your current system or on your plans for expanding this system. If you plan to upgrade, you should definitely go for a model with more channels.
You should know that there are two types of channels. The stereo ones deliver either a left or right-side signal while the mono ones provide both left and right audio. If you have a subwoofer, you should certainly consider a car amplifier with two or more stereo channels and one mono channel which will give you the super deep bass that you want to enjoy.
Evaluate the power of the device extremely carefully.
The technical capabilities of the device are among the most important factors which you should base your choice on. There are two types of power measures to watch out for. The root mean square power or RMS power measures the amount of continuous power which the device delivers to the speakers. The RMS power of the amplifier must match that of the speakers.
The other measure is the peak amplifier power. It indicates how much wattage the device is able to use for short and unexpected increases in sound. This number is always higher than the RMS power number. The higher it is the better the device will perform so that you can enjoy even better sound quality.
Look for capabilities and features, which match your needs precisely.
Since your stereo system has a built-in amplifier, you have to choose the additional one in line with the capabilities of the original unit. Take into account the amplifying power of the built-in unit and ensure that the additional one provides between 75% and 150% of the power limit of the speakers.
If you want to get super deep bass, you should go for a device with low-pass filter and built-in bass boost. That way, you will literally feel your heart pounding with the beat of the music. If you want trebles with amazing clarity coming out of your tweeter speakers, you should go for a device which features a high-pass filter. That way, you will protect the speakers and ensure that they will have a long useful life in addition to enjoying music even more.
Get all the accessories which you need for installing the device.
Most amplifiers designed to be used in cars do not come with all accessories which are necessary for their installation. That is why you should check what is included in the package and get the rest of the items separately. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing a complete car-wiring kit.
Finally, you should certainly consider buying a car amplifier from a brand, which has solid market performance and excellent reputation. That way, you will not have to worry about quality. Besides, you will get a warranty which is comprehensive and sufficiently long.

By Syed Faris Hussain

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

How Much Can You Expect to Pay for Long Term Car Hire?

There will be a few situations in your life where you may need to consider hiring a car for a long period time. This can be an extremely expensive process if you do not follow the correct procedures. In order to know how much you can expect to pay for long term car hire, you need to figure out exactly what your needs are with regard to the vehicle itself.
There are two different options when hiring a vehicle, short term and long term. Short term car hire is normally associated with holidays or travelling. In these cases, the car will be rented to you at a daily rate. Long term car hire is rented to you at a monthly rate. Depending on your circumstances, you can choose to rent a car between three and twelve months when choosing long term car hire. The number of months that you choose to rent the car for will determine how much it will cost you per month. Different makes of cars will also be more expensive or less expensive to rent. If you only need a car to get around in for a few months, due to circumstances beyond your control, it is not advisable to choose an expensive car to hire.
If you are unable to buy a vehicle outright, you can "rent to own" a one by choosing long term car hire. This is a fantastic way in which to drive the car of your dreams in an instant, instead of waiting and saving for months and months on end. You can get your car straight away and pay for it on a monthly basis until you have the cash on hand to buy it from the dealer. In certain circumstances, you may be able to negotiate the monthly price to accommodate your needs. Just remember that the more money you can put towards your car monthly, the faster the car will be rightly yours.
How much can you expect to pay for a car? Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between R50,000.00 to R250,000.00 for a motorcar. These prices will be determined by the make, year and whether or not the car is second hand. If you choose to purchase a second hand car for long term car hire that is priced at R50,000.00 you can expect to pay R4166.67 per month over a twelve month period. Ultimately, the amount of money that you can expect to pay towards a car will be determined by taking these different elements into account. Prices will also vary according to the company that you deal with.
Do your research before choosing your new car
Before choosing to "rent to own" a car, make sure that you do adequate research. You need to take into account how much you can realistically afford to pay for a car each month, what year model you would ideally prefer, the actual model of the car and whether or not you would be satisfied with a second hand car. Once you have figured all this out, you need to come to the best long term car hire companies.

By Kenneth Nel

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Subaru Performance: Safety, Comfort, and Speed

Subaru performance is the stuff of legends. This car has made thousands of owners happy, with its various facets in engineering and technology, from the symmetrical, all-wheel drive, which creates high traction and even grip and stability, to the Subaru Boxer® engine, which is known for its power efficiency and horizontal efficient orientation, as opposed to the vertical orientation in other cars. The Boxer is also tailored to different specifications, from the 2 liter engine with 148 HP, to 3.6 liter one with 256 HP.
Collision Warning
The Subaru EyeSight® is a highlight of models, such as the Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback. This feature goes a long way in preventing crashes and includes a set of features, such as pre-collision warning, braking, and throttle control. Then, there are other technologies to make driving safer, such as warning for lane switching and cruise control that is adaptive. This last feature assists in maintaining a stable speed and ensures that when you are in a long line of cars, you do not accidentally crash into the vehicle ahead. Pre-collision braking is a system that offers an alert in the event of an unusual occurrence on the road, thus minimizing or preventing crash damage.
Smooth Journey
Subaru performance, therefore, is not just about speed or comfort, but it includes advanced safety mechanisms to give you a good time while on the road and ensure an effortless drive.
Comfortable journey in a car includes smooth motion. Most cars can do that on a plain, well-maintained road, but what about the narrow lanes and backwoods roads, that take you down the scenic route but often pose a great challenge for drivers, owing to the bumps and rough spots? The answer lies in the four-wheel suspension in models that feature four-, five-, and six-speed transmission engines. The suspension also includes rear double wishbone, which easily clears rough spots on the road, without jerks. If a smooth journey is your goal, then Subaru high-performance cars with this type of suspension will help you achieve your goals.
Navigation and Communication
Comfort also means communication technologies to help you get to your destination faster and with minimum trouble. No more getting lost in unfamiliar areas. The GPS Navigation includes voice and touch screen, and helps people find the destination on the map in a few seconds. You can also set the destination and be guided to it. Some advanced systems also offer traffic-related information, something that will make your journey smoother and help you plan your route.
Another feature is Bluetooth® connectivity to make it easier and safer to communicate. The hands-free mode is a great feature, as you can focus on driving, while also maintaining contact with others via phone. The phone can also be connected to the audio in some Subaru cars.
Purchasing your car from the right Subaru dealership enables you to choose the best vehicle, after carrying out a test drive. There are also maintenance and servicing options available, which will help you keep the Subaru performance in top condition.

By Allison Stevenson

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Things To Take Care Of Before Buying A Used Car

Before thinking about which car to buy, the budget that is available should be compared to that of the requirement. The worth of the current car and also whether it would be sold privately or be part-exchanged with a dealer should be worked out.
Then the likely costs of fuel, insurance and road tax should be calculated.
With more choices than ever, choosing the perfect car can be a bewildering process. It is of utmost significance to spend some time working out what will the car mainly be used for. How long the car has to be driven and how many passengers will be regularly carried should be thought of. Then an estimate should be made of the costs of fuel, tax, insurance, service and repair of the car.
The car should be viewed and inspected in daylight when it's dry so it is easier to spot damages if any. A history check should be run to establish if the car has any outstanding finance, has been stolen or written off. Then comes the part where the car's documents like the logbook, service history and previous MOT certificates are examined, to spot if the car has been clocked. The car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at the base of the windscreen, under the bonnet and stamped into the chassis under the carpet beside the driver's seat should be checked for signs of tampering, and it should be made sure that they match the VIN recorded in the logbook.
A seller should be chosen based of reputation and extensive market research. Going to a seller through recommendations from friends and family always has an added advantage. Once the seller is picked, all the necessary information must be gathered about the car and its features. It is very important to ask the right questions about the car and its past condition.
The test drive is a chance to asses every aspect of the car, from how it feels on the road, to making sure all its equipments are in good condition and work correctly.
The test drive should be of 15 minutes at least or more and on different types of road. The gears, brakes, steering and suspension should be checked properly to see if they work as they should, with no unusual noises and vibrations.
The kind of servicing the car requires and in what intervals should also be significantly considered. Used car salesmen set prices which are a bit higher than the actual worth of the call so bargaining is a viable option. Used Cars, Sedans or Trucks can serve well provided the necessary research is conducted before the purchase.

By Ian A Rojas

Big Toys for Big Boys

Imagine a little guy, playing the floor, "Vroom, vroom, my cars go vroom!" Imagine looking around the little guy's room, and you see a race car bed, race tracks on the wall, and bins filled with little metal cars. We will never know where this love of cars originates, but it is truly his first love!
The common ground that ties all car connoisseurs together is the lifetime love and fascination of automobiles. Cars are can be so appealing to children because of their shiny paint, silver chrome wheels, glossy black tires, and the rumble of the engines. Many little boys grow up loving cars. They collect Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, and play with them from dawn to dusk to see how far they can launch from a racetrack or how fast they can bank a curve. As the little boys grow to be teenagers, the love of the car continues. A car means freedom and a rite of passage in a teenage boy's world. The teenager finally has status among his friends. Not to mention, having a car is a great way to impress a prospective girlfriend. This newfound independence with his car can make a huge impact on young impressionable guys. As the adolescent boy grows into a young man, his taste for high speeds, top performance, and the amazing beauty of heavy metal machines continues to mature. Then before you know it, he is consumed with the hottest, latest, fastest trends in the automotive market. Big boys always need to improve their toys. After all, for most men, they need a distraction from daily life, and something they can invest in.
Local car dealers provide access to the best and most popular auto parts that the consumers are searching for. One of the hottest trends in headlights are HID lights that provide superior vision enhancement for night time driving experiences. HID lights are basically two beams of light that cross into one extremely powerful beam of light. This light can extend illumination much further than the average headlight. This stronger illumination can make a safer and higher performing driving experience. Reputable car audio dealers in your area will have these popular HIDs, as well as other market trending products.

By Gustavo Natotschiev Lopes

Looking for the Best Driving School Around Town: The Easy Way

How many times have we heard our parents, siblings, relatives and everybody else say that we should be safer drivers? In all honesty, this is much easier said than done considering the fact that accidents on the road account for a lot of the injuries and fatalities reported in the country.
Question is, should you take your driving training in just about any driving school? Will your everyday ordinary driving lessons be enough to help you iron out the kinks in your driving?
You have to remember that not all driving schools are created equal and expect them to offer the same courses as everybody else. In fact, others are just your run-of-the-mill driving school who just decided to offer a new course for the extra cash. Never fall prey to such rip-offs. You have to make sure that you get the best driving school for your own benefit.
Here's how:
Tip #1: Is the driving school credible?
First of all, you need to consider the reputation, record, and status of the driving school.
Here are the primary questions you should ask:
  • Is it trustworthy?
  • Are people recommending it to others?
  • Do you hear any negative comments from past customers?
Although it is quite elementary, you should always check if the school is a legit business. You can do this by calling the organizations that accredit driving schools in your area. Some schools might offer up a bargain but if they are not duly recognized or registered with the local Department of Motor Vehicles then enrolling in their programs might do you more harm than good.
Tip #2: Is the curriculum good?
Next, choose the curriculum itself. Albeit the fact that film viewing is no longer popular, a driving course should include at least 100 minutes of viewing time. The movies or videos that should be shown should contain information regarding the course. It may or may not contain graphic scenes of accidents depending on the course at hand.
Tip# 3: What is course duration?
You should also remember to check the duration of the course. It may be separated into two parts - the classroom schedule and the behind-the-wheel schedule. You should also check if the behind-the-wheel part of the program applies all that was mentioned during the "class".
Some substandard schools just let you drive a car and mention instructions every now and then without even letting you apply the lessons you have learned. Also, the instructor should be able to immerse you in different driving situations and locations that will test if you are road-ready.
Tip# 4: Is the course fee worth it?
Lastly, take note of the expenses for the whole program. Some providers show you a very cheap value that tends to have hidden "extras". Ask the school for the total cost of the program and compare it with other driving schools. You have to remember that going for the cheapest option is not always the best decision. Weigh your options properly and sometimes, you might need to trust your gut.

By Maria Nacpil

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Importance Of Legal Window Tinting Your Automobile

Window tinting for automobiles, trucks, and recreational vehicles all have visible light transmission laws that vary from state to state. Visible light transmission means the amount of light passing through any piece of glass to the interior of the vehicle. For example a clear piece of glass would have a 100% visible light transmission.
All of the window film manufacturers of today offer their products in different visible light transmissions or VLT's which they can be referred to as well. I will use SolarGard HP Smoke for an example. This particular window film comes in VLT's of fifty percent, thirty five percent, twenty percent, and five percent. They do not offer any different light transmissions in between the ones provided. It is important to note that these VLT's are all based on 100% clear glass. So for example a 35% visible light transmission installed on a factory supplied automotive glass with a 75% visible light transmission would give it approximately a 26% visible light transmission. So it is important to know the VLT of the glass before the installation of any window tinting. This can easily be checked with a meter which slides over the edge of the glass and reads the visible light transmission. Any reputable window tinting business will have one of these meters, and I am sure will check your glass for no cost. If one is not available in your area, and you have trouble attaining a meter they are available for purchase with a starting retail of eighty nine dollars.
The benefit of having window film that is too dark is very little. Staying along with our previous example of the SolarGard HP Smoke. The heat difference between the 50% light transmission, and the darkest available the 5% light transmission is a mere 10%. So to capture that example the window film is 45% darker, but only achieving an additional 10% in heat rejection! So darker does not necessarily mean cooler. It simply means more light is being taken out.
Most all glass installed in vehicles today have some sort of tinting to them. It varies from the automobile manufacturer, and the model of the vehicle. Generally they range from 75% on the front two windows, and as dark as 15% on the rear doors and back glass. The windshield is only allowed to have tinting on the top down to the AS1 line marked in the glass or six inches if the line is not marked.
There are different laws also regarding the location of the window tinting. They are separated into the front driver and passenger, the rear driver and passenger, the rear glass, and the windshield. All of these locations will have different laws and vary from state to state. To check the law for your state you can see a window tinting chart provided by the International Window Film Association provided at http://www.IWFA.com
The importance of having legal window tinting is critical. The reason being if you were ever involved in an automobile accident, and found to have illegal window tinting you could be held liable for the accident. The insurance company would claim you were negligent, and that you had an improper and illegal vehicle unsafe for the roadways. They would then deny the claim, and you would be held personally responsible for the accident costing you thousands of dollars in medical and attorney fees. The risk far outweighs the reward in this case. Especially for the very small benefit of the additional heat rejection. Some states do have medical exemptions that do allow for the darker shades be applied. Again check your state law, and be safe.

By Brian Schauder 

Abridged Car Theory Test - Discover a Cheaper Alternative to the Standard UK Driving Theory Test

 The 'abridged' car theory test was introduced in October 2009 by the now defunct DSA as part of an overhaul to the UK driving theory test. The test gives safe road users an opportunity to complete a shortened version of the standard exam at a reduced cost. It has proven to be a successful initiative in getting more road users to acquire the 'Safe Road User Award'
To be eligible to take the 'abridged' test learner motorists must have successfully completed a voluntary course - the 'Pre-Driver Qualification In Safe Road Use' course - which was introduced in January 2009 and, at the time of writing (10th June 2014), is currently available at 10 locations throughout England and Scotland.
Those who successfully complete the course will be issued with a Safe Road User Award, permitting them to take the 'abridged' car theory exam. There are many benefits associated with taking this exam.
Firstly, the 'abridged' version features a reduced number of multiple-choice questions. Rather than the standard 50 questions and having to answer 43 correctly, 'abridged' car theory test candidates are required to answer 35 multiple choice questions, answering 30 correctly.
However, 'abridged' car theory test candidates are still tested on 14 hazard perception clips, in keeping with the standard UK theory exam.
Once candidates are issued with the Safe Road User Award they are required need to take the abridged car theory test within three years of getting it, otherwise the award becomes void and the process would need to be started again.
Secondly, the 'abridged' exam costs less, compared to the standard theory test, costing just £24. Candidates stand to save £7 and have the benefit of an accredited award certifying them as a safe driver.
The Safe Road User Award was developed in order to build positive attitudes to road use and help young motorists to take responsibility for using the UK's roads safely. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of deaths among drivers aged between 17 and 25, which has become a scourge on British motoring over the last 10 years, according to some commentators.
To enquire about the 'abridged' exam it's recommended that you consult a third party booking service or visit the official UK Government website. Either of these services can also be used to book the exam.
Using the official Government site requires you to carry out the booking, whereas enlisting the services of a third party company will mean they will book a test on your behalf.

By D Waldron

Top 5 Things You Should Not Miss to See at Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

If you are a car enthusiast, you're probably embarked on a never-ending journey of finding unique places where you can have a glimpse of antique cars and other classic car-related stuff. Lucky enough, if you are in Fort Lauderdale or perhaps you're planning of a visit there, one amazing place where you can fulfill this endeavor is at the city's antique car museum. There are many amazing finds there, but here are 5 of the top things you should not miss to see at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum.
  • 22 Pre-war Packard Motor Cars: All in full working conditions, these 22 pre-war Packard motor cars date back from 1909 to 1947. This particular collection is proud of the rarest Packards to date such as the 1909 Packard Model 18 Speedster. To date, it is the 60th oldest unit of its kind. In this collection, you'll also be amazed with the 1916 Packard Model 1-35 Twin-Six Town Car Limo which is now the only remaining unit in existence. Other rarities include the 1923 Packard Model 1-26 Doctor's Coupe which was usually used by doctors of that period to make visits to their patients. These cars exemplify the best worksmanship exerted by car makers at that time. For this reason, the cars in this museum are truly priced gems.

  • Vintage Automobile Literature, Ads, and Photos: Well, if you're wondering how the ads of old cars looked like, the perfect spot to go is the museum's literary-ad-photo sections. These specific galleries contain books, magazines, and other printed materials that will make you travel down memory lane in such as fast speed. Some of the pieces you'll see and read might just be part of your own childhood or of your parents or grandparents. Make your eyes feast with the great photos of classic and vintage cars which used to travel old streets and highways.

  • Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt Gallery: Like you, Pres. Roosevelt also hid a car lover in him. In this car museum, there is a dedicated space to this president and his car-related things. Discover for yourself what car accessories he used and what particular car model he loved the most.

  • Old Car Accessories: Along the museum's galleries and sections, you'll also find other interesting car accessories which might just add up to your knowledge and spark your interest better on vintage cars. From headlights to horns, to music boxes and jukeboxes, as well as automotive clocks, there are multiples of them. You can also see motometers, old roadway signs, tires, and even mascots.

  • Replicas: The museum itself is a replica of the 1920s Packard showroom. But inside the museum, you can also find the replica of the Texaco Gas Station. Know the history of the gas company as you see the replica accompanied by notes and other memorabilia of the Texaco Oil Co.
If you are want to see these car-related things, you better visit the city or as a best option to be nearer to this point of interest and other great attractions, talk to your local real estate agent and discuss the possibility of buying a new house in Fort Lauderdale.

By Desare A Kohn-Laski

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Best Car Wax Helps Preserve Your Cars' Look


One of the most common dreams among people young and old is having their very own car and if possible a brand new one. But it was said that a second hand vehicle is most likely one's first car as observed from yesteryears to this date. Now, that figures out why it showed that the number of people owning secondhand vehicles against new ones are higher. The figures shown indeed affirmed the fact.
Having a car entails a lot of benefits that one can obtain. For one, it is the best tool to directly take you to places you wish to go, in one ride, in less time and directly; without lots of stopovers as public transportations do, unless there is a need. This is the reason why it is very important for owners to provide their cars with the proper maintenance and giving them the right care.
Caring for your car doesn't actually eat up all of your time nor utilize expensive materials or even consume all of your resources. Being practical in giving its needs, care and maintenance doesn't need to be costly but you should go for the right materials so as not to cause any damage to your vehicle.
Investing in the best car wax is one advisable. If you got the best car wax, you are assured that you got a good cleaning material in there to help you out with an extremely thorough cleaning job in waxing your automobile inside and out. And if it's one of the best brands you've got, your vehicle will surely produce a show-quality car look. This means that it will have a more detailed appearance and a better or enhanced look. Couple this wax with the best car polish and you will end up having a car that would be mistaken as a brand-new one.
Also in cleaning your car, do not forget to get the most effective clay bars you can purchase in the market to help remove particles that the car gets from industrial fallouts and brake pads that have been stuck or embedded onto the vehicle's paint finish. Use this material with clean water for a better outcome. After utilizing the clay bars the right way, you will then have a mirror-smooth car surface.
So, for an effective removal of oxidized particles and ultraviolet damages on your vehicle go for a trusted car polish brand. And when it comes to acquiring a long lasting shine and preserving your vehicle's color, choose the best car wax.

By Jon Ryan Zimmerman

What To Know Before You Purchase A Car

Though buying a car may seem like a walk down the hill, many people have reported the experiences as stressful and unpleasant. This is because of the decisions that one has to make and the keen attention, which is put into the process before acquiring the car. Whether you are in the progress of buying a car in the near future, below are some of the ways to go about the tense situation.

  • Make a right, informed choice
This seems obvious; before you go on to buy that car that you are looking for, it is essential to make sure that you go for one that best fits you and your needs. Many people rush into the decision of acquiring a car only to make a regrettable decision that they would have been avoided easily by making an informed decision. Some of the consideration here is your body type and the regular functions that the car will be performing.

  • Set your price target
By using the internet, you can be able to acquire great deals on the type of car that you are searching. Moreover, the internet has made it easier for buyers to be able to compare prices of the various dealers while interacting effortlessly with them and hence the internet should be the first stop to view the different costs and land on a good deal.
  • Check your credits
If you are to buy the car on a loan, you should make it your homework to check your credit union to be able to find the lowest available rate. By getting a pre-approved loan, you get confidence in negotiating a better lower pr ice for the car.
  • Do not buy the car on the first visit
Many experts recommend that you do not buy the car during the first visit. This is because you may be able to find other suggestions or change your mind on the processes. Many people who have ignored this step or have rather rushed into the buying decision have been faced with regrets after making a wrong choice.
  • Check for warranty, insurance and repairs
Before you go to purchase the vehicle, it is important to check for other credentials such as the warranty repair services, guarantee and insurance policies. This will be essential in case of accidents and in legal proceedings regarding the car. For instance in case of an accident or repairs for the car you will need a lemon law attorney's help in legal matters that concern the repair and management of the vehicle.

By Saich M Kate

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Recent Lotus Elise Series 1 Sports Car

A review of The Recent Lotus Elise Series 1 Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this the twenty ninth model in the Lotus range.
In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Recent Lotus Elise Series 1, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1996 to 2000.
The Lotus Elise Series 1
Originally, in 1994, the Lotus Elise sports car was projected as a two seater, mid-engined, low production convertible.
It featured a fibreglass body on a lightweight aluminium spaceframe chassis, together with a galvanised steel subframe which supported the engine.
It was powered by an all aluminium Rover K-Series, 1796 cc, 4-cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam engine.
Fitted with fuel injection, it developed 118 bhp at 5500 rpm, and 122 ft/lbs of torque at 3000 rpm.
With its high power-to-weight ratio, it produced a top speed of 126 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 secs.
The Series 1 Elise was launched in 1996, and was designated the Type 111.
Elisa, the granddaughter of the chairman of Lotus and Bugatti, leant her name to the Elise.
Julian Thomson, head of design at Lotus, was instrumental in the car's styling.
It had independent suspension all round, a five speed gearbox, and disc brakes fitted on all wheels.
With the passenger's seat fixed, the adjustable driver's seat was positioned near the centre of the car, so maximising peripheral vision.
The Lotus Elise GTI
Introduced in 1997, and designated the Type 115, the Lotus Elise GT1 sports racer was powered by a 3506 cc, twin turbo, V8 engine, developing 580 bhp at 7500 rpm, and 288 ft/lbs of torque at 6500 rpm.
With a body made from carbon fibre on an Elise spaceframe chassis, and fitted with a Hewland six speed gearbox, it had a top speed of 195 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 secs.
It used vented disc brakes all round.
At least one GTI sports car was built in a street legal format.
The Lotus Elise Sport 135
The Lotus Elise Sport 135 sports car was introduced in November 1998 as a limited edition of 50 units, and its Rover K-Series engine was modified to develop 135 bhp.
It was fitted with a close ratio gearbox, sports exhaust, stiffened suspension, drilled disc brakes, metallic silver paint with a blue tinge, sports seats, roll over bar, and distinctive Sport 135 body graphics.
In 1999, additional units were built which featured Elise 111S wheels, and "Sport 135 99" logos.
The 50th Anniversary Edition
The 50th Anniversary Lotus Elise was a limited edition variant of just 50 units, based on the standard Elise.
Introduced in late 1998, the wheels were gold coloured, it had leather seats, but the sole colour was green.
The Lotus Elise 111S
With a designation based on the Elise Type 111, the 111S was originally given the name Elise Sprint.
It was launched in early 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show as the Lotus Elise 111S sports car, and turned out to be the most popular of the uprated Elise models.
It was powered by the 1.8 litre Rover K-Series Variable Valve Control (VVC) engine. The VVC addition helped produce better breathing at higher revs.
Coupled with a modified cylinder head, it developed 143 bhp. This engine variant gave rise to a wider and smoother power band.
With a close ratio gearbox and lower ratio final drive, it had a top speed of 133 mph, produced a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 secs, and a 0-100 mph time of 14.4 secs.
It featured wide rear tyres, disc brakes all round, a rear spoiler, a grille that looked like an egg crate, uprated springs and dampers, six spoke road wheels, and optional 111S logos.
In August 1999, the Elise 111S was replaced by the Lotus Sports 160, which developed 160 bhp.
The Lotus Elise Sport 160
The Lotus Elise Sport 160 sports car was launched in February 2000, and featured an uprated Sport 135 cylinder head, and a new camshaft and EFI engine management system.
Fitted with a catalytic converter and Sport exhaust, it developed 160 bhp at 7000 rpm, and 178 ft/lbs of torque at 5000 rpm.
Many regarded this model as the best Series 1 Elise.
In June 2000, the Elise 111S was phased out and replaced by the Sport 160 and Sport 160S, of which the later was fitted with sports suspension, a close ratio gearbox, and a taller rear wing.
Each was fitted with five spoke race wheels, either six or eight inches in width.
In July 2000, a kit was offered to increase the output of the engine to 190 bhp, as in the Elise Sport 190.
This marked the end of the Lotus Elise Series 1
Perhaps this stroll down memory lane might have answered, or at least shed light on, a possible question:
Which Lotus Sports Car is Your Favourite?
However, should this question still remain unanswered, I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of Lotus sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning 1952 to 1996.
I hope you join me in my nostalgic travels "down sports car memory lane".

By Peter Radford

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Finding a Good Car Air Freshener

The scent of a brand new car can be very pleasant. Unfortunately, that smell can fade rapidly if your car is not kept clean. Odors from trash, dirt, smoking, etc can affect how your car's interior can smell. Keeping your car clean can help avoid this problem and keep odors out. This can also help preserve your new car scent. A car air freshener or car deodorizer can also remove odors and improve the scent of your vehicle. These can be achieved with various scents. Many are available to choose from giving you a variety to suit your own preference. Removing foul scents and odors and keep you as well as your passengers happy when riding in your vehicle. Trying simple tips or ideas can make a complete difference in the quality of your vehicle.
There are many products that can improve the scent of your car. These can be items that clip on to your air conditioning vent to ventilate the scent throughout the inside of the vehicle. You may be able to use a car air freshener spray to spray as you please within the vehicle. These can come in different scents and really depends on your own preference. Some of these products may have a cartridge that may require to be changed after a period of time. Check the instructions of the product you have to ensure proper use. It is recommended to have a clean car interior beforehand to ensure better results. These products can generally be found at auto parts stores or car washes. They are made in small convenient sizes to make it easy for installation.
Using common household items can be a possibility as well. This can include baking soda, dryer sheets, or other recipes to keep your car smelling clean. Making your own air freshener is also a possibility. Research recipes online and experiment to find what suits you the best. It would be ideal to use something that will last and has deodorizing capabilities.
Having a car air freshener can be very beneficial for your car. It can keep odors out and keep you and your passengers happy when on the road. Your car will be cleaner overall and will maintain a clean scent and appearance. Bottom line, keeping the inside of your car clean is the first line of defense for keeping bad scents and odors out. Adding scents or deodorizers will reinforce the work you put in to maintain a clean car.

By John Waller

The 5 Best Dashboard Cameras For 2014

Are you planning to join the growing number of people who install a dashboard camera in their car for that extra bit of evidence in case of an accident, road rage, or meteors falling from the sky? Then you may be wondering which one of the dozens of different models is the best choice for you!
It's easy to be overwhelmed at first, therefore we have selected the five very best dashboard cameras that you can possibly get in early 2014. We will be looking at dash cams from every price range, starting as low as $50 for a simple-yet effective G1W and moving up the price scale to almost 10 times as much for a top-quality, feature-packed dual-channel camera, the BlackVue DR550GW.
Note that the cameras featured in this article are not necessarily the newest cameras around. We have evaluated technical specifications as well as customer satisfaction for each camera during the course of 2013. Rest assured that the five winners presented here have been field tested by thousands of customers and received excellent feedback all around.
So What Sets A Dash Cam Apart From Other Cameras?
In case you are wondering why you can't just use a regular video camera, or even your phone's cam, it's because a dashboard camera should have all of the following features:
  • Connect to your car's cigarette lighter with a long power cable (at least 12ft) that you can run around the windshield, tucking it away neatly so it is hidden from sight.
  • Auto on/off: Dashboard cameras start recording when you start the car's engine, and stop when you park. That way, you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn your camera on or off.
  • Loop recording: Enables the camera to overwrite the oldest bit of footage when the memory card is full, so you never run out of disk space.
  • Impact detection / G-sensor: A G-sensor makes sure that if an impact is detected, the video footage immediately preceding and following the impact won't be overwritten by the loop recording feature, so you don't accidentally lose critical evidence.
  • Time and date stamp on video (and speed if we have GPS): useful should you ever need your video footage as evidence in court.
  • Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080 pixels) is pretty much standard in 2014. While there are still a couple of 720p (1280×720 pixels) dash cams available, most new cameras support 1080p resolution.
  • Interfaces: Dash cams generally come with HDMI, USB, and A/V interfaces.
Note that the cameras presented here come with all of the features listed above.
  • Storage: Most dashboard cameras support SD cards up to 32GB in size, with the notable exception of the Lukas LK-7900, which supports 128GB of storage capacity.
Having had a look at the basic features a dash cam should have, let's now check out our top camera choices for this year:
The Top 5 Dash Cams In 2014
G1W - Decent Video Footage For Tight Budgets
At around $50, this dash cam is an excellent choice if you can't spend a lot of money and just need a security camera, without being too concerned about video quality. The G1W has decent video at day, but night video quality isn't the best. Also, video footage from this camera can often be rather shaky.
Nevertheless, at this price the G1W makes for a decent security camera that will reliably capture what goes on in front of your car.
The G1W comes with an integrated 2.7" screen, which is great for adjusting the field of view and playing back video on the spot. The viewing angle is 120 degrees.
Mini 0801 Ambarella - Top Value For Money
The Mini 0801 is a small and stylish dashboard camera released in early 2013 that quickly became a best seller. It is available for less than $100 if you go for the basic version without GPS and internal memory. Video quality is great during the daytime, and average at night.
The Mini 0801 has a nice inconspicuous design and features a 1.5" screen for ease of operation. The angle of view is 135 degrees. A GPS logger and 8MB of internal memory are available optionally for around $10 extra each.
A nice feature of this camera is that the electrical contacts for the power supply are built directly into the camera mount, so if you want to remove the camera from your car you can do so without having to unplug the power cable.
DOD LS 300W - Excellent Video Quality
Another top seller, the DOD LS300W has excellent video quality day and night. Night vision is augmented by the WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) feature. This, combined with a large aperture of F/1.6 and a high bit rate of about 15 Mbps, makes for one of the highest quality dashboard cameras available to date.
The size of the camera is about the same as the G1W, but at 140 degrees the angle of view is larger. Boot up time is fast and a relatively large 2.7" screen is included for easy video viewing right in your car. The LS300W doesn't have GPS, but there is a newer version called LS330W which comes with an external GPS unit.
Lukas LK-7900 - Huge Recording Capacity And Great Heat Resistance
The Lukas LK-7900 is remarkable in two ways: One, it is the first camera to support 128GB SDXC memory cards, allowing for a whopping 28 hours of video footage. Two, this camera can withstand extremely high temperatures of up to 90 degrees Celsius (194 Fahrenheit), which is a great feature to have if you live in a hot climate, where lesser cameras might melt when leave your car parked in the sun for too long.
Due to the lower bit rate, the LK-7900′s video quality is not quite as good as the DOD LS300W's, but still very good at day and above average at night. The LK-7900 is small and round, making it hardly visible when affixed behind your rear view mirror. A GPS logger is included.
Optionally, you can acquire a so-called circular polarizing lens (CPL) separately for this camera. A CPL filter reduces reflections on the windshield when driving around in sunny weather (this is a problem that all dash cams have). Remember to remove it at night though, otherwise your video will be too dark.
BlackVue DR550GW-2CH - Full Featured Dual Channel Dash Cam
The BlackVue DR550GW-2CH dual channel cam tops off our list of the best dashboard cameras for 2014. At $450, this is the costliest and also by far the most luxurious of the five cameras presented here.
First of all, dual channel means it records out your front and rear windows. While the main camera unit is mounted on your windshield as usual, a smaller camera looks out through your rear window and records whatever is going on behind you. The two are connected by a long coaxial cable.
While the front camera records great quality 1080p video, the rear camera records at reduced resolution of 720p, which is naturally not as detailed as 1080p but the rear footage is still quite alright.
This camera doesn't have a screen, but it is one of very few dash cams that support Wi-Fi. This means you can connect it wirelessly to your smart phone or laptop. Moreover, this camera comes with an in-built GPS logger. It also has a voice menu feature, which allows you to easily operate it while driving.

By Sebas T Reyman