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
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

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Can I Really Make Money From My Salvage Car?

More and more British drivers are getting a better price for their scrap and repairable cars with online marketplaces. Online salvage and scrap marketplaces allow you to find a buyer for your car no matter where you are in the UK. If your car is MOT'd, crash-damaged, written-off or just scrap you may be surprised to see just how much you can get for it. Collection and payment are usually made within just a few days of an offer being accepted. Inevitably, some services are more reputable than others though so it does make sense to shop around to find a company that you can trust. You should always ensure that prices are guaranteed, so that any price you're offered on the internet or over the phone is always the price that you receive in reality. You also need to ensure that any paperwork is dealt with properly, and that the car will be taken out of your legal ownership once it is taken away. Reading reviews can help you to make an informed judgement about any service.
A Project worth Persevering With
So, why are so many buyers keen to purchase salvage cars? The market has made it easier for buyers to snap up models that they are interested in at a much lower price than they would pay. Although these vehicles usually require time and investment, for a hobbying mechanic they represent an excellent opportunity to get a great car back on the road. If you've got a prestige salvage car, you can expect to receive a particular significant sum for it in most cases.
An Additional Option
Although it can take months or years to strip a car of its salvage status, many buyers are more than happy to put the required time and money in. Don't worry if your salvage car is not prestige in nature though, as buyers can nearly always be found for any vehicle, even if it's just for scrap metal and parts. Salvage cars are rarely sold on once they are readied for the road again. One of the main benefits of restoring a salvage car is that it can allow a buyer to reduce their reliance on their main car, therefore extending its shelf life whilst giving them too great vehicles to sit on their driveway.
Hit the Road Again
A salvaged car may be used to run around in and whilst the other vehicle is used for special occasions. It doesn't usually cost much to insure a salvage car either, and they can sometimes be used for a long period of time before they finally reach the end of their lives. Not every insurer will offer a policy on a restored car, but it's never too tough to find one that will. Owners of salvage cars have to prove to inspectors that the vehicles are worthy of being on the road again. In order to demonstrate this, "before and after" photos can be taken.

By Chris Boffin

The Lotus M100 Elan Sports Car

A review of The Lotus M100 Elan Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this the twenty eighth model in the Lotus range.
In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Lotus M100 Elan, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1989 to 1992.
The M100 Elan Series 1
The original Lotus Elan sports car, designated the Type 26, was launched in October 1962 at the Earl's Court Motor Show in London, and was given the name Lotus Elan 1500.
It was phased out in 1975, having evolved into a number of variants, the last being the Elan Plus Two.
In 1986, the future of Lotus was secured when it was acquired by General Motors.
However, the idea of a small convertible, with an outsourced engine, was still kept alive, and design work began in 1986.
Consequently, in August 1989, the Elan was re-launched, at the Motorfair in Earl's Court London, as the Lotus M100 Elan Series 1 sports car, having been designated the Type M100.
There were, in fact, two variants on offer:
  • The standard non-turbocharged model, the Elan 1.6, developed 130 bhp at 7200 rpm, and 105 ft/lbs of torque at 4200 rpm
  • The turbocharged special equipment model, the Elan SE, with an "SE" badge on the boot lid, developed 165 bhp at 6600 rpm, and 148 ft/lbs of torque at 4200 rpm
The Elan was a two seater convertible, designed by Lotus' Peter Steven, and featured a fibreglass body on a steel chassis, with four wheel independent suspension.
It was conceived as a mass market convertible, with the target market being the US.
The M100 was the first, and indeed the last, car with front wheel drive to be built by Lotus.
Following its launch, press reaction was somewhat mixed, but it quickly gained the accolade of being "the finest front wheel car".
It was powered by the 1588 cc, double overhead cam, 4-cylinder, 16 valve, multipoint fuel injected, Japanese Isuzu 4XE1 engine, with an alloy head and cast iron block, as used in the Isuzu Impulse saloon.
Furthermore, as a result of it being extensively modified by Lotus, and fitted with an IMI turbocharger, the SE variant developed 165 bhp, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 secs, and a top speed of 137 mph.
It had a five speed gearbox, and servo assisted disc brakes all round.
Typical changes made to the Isuzu-Lotus engine included a new exhaust system, modified suspension, and upgrading the engine management system to improve torque.
The M100 Elan Series 2
Unfortunately, the launch of the M100 coincided with the onset of economic recession in the UK and US, combined with the introduction of the Mazda MX-5 sports convertible, which was marketed on the nostalgic concept of the original Elan, whilst the M100 focused on new technology.
Put simply, the Elan was regarded as the right product at the wrong time.
Furthermore, sales of both variants were insufficient to recoup the massive development costs.
Consequently, when Lotus was sold to Bugatti in 1993, the loss-making M100 was discontinued.
Between November 1989 and July 1992, a total of 3,855 M100's were built, of which all but 130 were the turbocharged SE variant.
A limited edition version, for the US market, featured a redesigned body with an alternative spoiler at the rear, a nose that was extended to comply with US regulations, and larger 16 inch wheels.
A total of 559 units of this variant were built.
Between June 1994 and September 1995 whilst Lotus was owned by Bugatti, a limited edition of 800 turbocharged Elan M100 Series 2 sports car units were built following the chance discovery of a warehouse full of surplus engines and gearboxes.
This model was fitted with a new dashboard, the power steering was uprated, and the suspension was stiffened.
Since, by this time, it was necessary to fit catalytic converters to the Bosal exhaust system, the power output of the Series 2 SE variant was reduced to 155 bhp, whilst the 0-60 mph time increased to 7.5 secs.
The ABS system was only available on the Series 2 models.
With improved build quality and uprated interiors, the Series 2 was a greater success than was the Series 1.
When production of the Series 2 ended in 1995, Kia Motors of South Korea acquired the rights to build their own version of the Elan.
This marked the end of the Lotus M100 Elan
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

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Are Used Car Tyres Safe?

It is no secret, brand new car tyres can be very costly, this is why many car owners opt for used tyres because they seem like the ideal way to save some good cash on car maintenance.
However, there is more to buying car tyres than just getting a set with a lot of tread and for a cheap price. What many car owners fail to notice is that using used car tyres poses some safety risks that might not be evident then, but will be later.
Car tyres are made out of rubber compounds that are known to age as time goes whether used frequently, barely used or completely unused. However, it is really not clear how long the tyres can serve the car by providing the owner safe transportation until deterioration occurs to the point where they fail to serve their purpose.
When To Change Your Tyres
Tyre manufacturers recommend tyre replacement between 5-10 years regardless of wear and of course depending on the conditions. If the tyres are frequently exposed to humidity, heat, direct sunlight, salt air and other factors that can lead to quicker breakdown of the rubber compounds, then they should be replaced after a few years.
Buying used car tyres should not be an option, it doesn't matter if you are saving on cash or are trying to be environment conscious by preserving the natural resources by use of used tyres. Either way you are reducing your road safety conditions by driving around in used tyres and further outlined below are reasons why.
You Have No History Of The Tyre
It is easy to find the right size of a used car tyre for your vehicle but there is no way you can tell if the tyre was in a vehicle that was frequently overloaded, or was driven at very high speeds.
Such facts can affect the tyre's functionality in a way that might not be initially noticeable but might lead to failure in the near future. The tyres might also have been wrongly repaired, unnoticeably damaged, exposed to harsh elements or simply mishandled which can later affect transportation.
You Can Miss A Recall
With all new tyres being the registered to the car owner buying it, in case of a recall for any reason, the buyer can be contacted easily. However, with used tyres the link between the manufacturer and the buyer is no more and the buyer of used tyres may never know if the tyres have been recalled because of a safety issue. This might be very dangerous for you because you may end up baring the consequences as the buyer of the recalled used tyre.
Will fail When You Desperately Need Them
With used tyres, you can never be sure. Since you have no record of their history and are accepting them because they have plenty of tread and are sold at a great price, you are never quite sure when they will fail. There are common cases where the used tyres failed when the car owners had to rush to work while late, an important meeting, when tending to an emergency and so on.
If You have To Buy
If you are buying used tyres, then let it be only when you are buying a used car because a used car will obviously have used tyres. This way you can see the vehicle the tyres are from and can tell the mileage and overall condition.
You can also get maintenance records of the car to further help you tell the actual state of the tyres. You will not know the complete history of those used tyres in the second-hand vehicle, but you can tell if they are in good condition by looking at the vehicle.
If the vehicle looks neglected, then there are high chances the tyres are too. In this case you will have no other option but get brand new tyres. This is because the safety of you as a car owner and any occupants in your car will depend on the condition of the four tyres that you are riding on.
The Bottom Line
Buying a new set of tyres is no doubt a worthwhile practice because you are wisely preventing the danger posed by the unknown condition of the tyres. Used car tyres will save you some good amount, but they are not really worth the huge risk they pose. Their disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
If you are in need of changing your tyres then an expert tyre fitting company like can help you out.

By Tyler Higgins

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Effect of Wheel Size on Your Car

Is Bigger Better? The Effect of Wheel Size on Your Car
Plus-sizing your wheels and tires is an easy way to upgrade a vehicle's look. As a wheel gets larger in diameter, the tire's sidewall must necessarily shrink to maintain the same profile. These larger alloy wheels with their shorter tire sidewalls have bold visual appeal. Bigger tires and wheels look cool, no doubt about it. But what is the effect of wheel size on your car? And does a bigger wheel add anything to your vehicle's performance?
Typically, someone wishing to plus-size starts from a 15- or 16-inch standard wheel size and upgrades to a 17-, 18- or 19-inch diameter. As wheel size increases, tire diameter decreases to maintain the same overall diameter, ensuring proper clearance, gearing and speedometer readings. Large diameter wheels and tires are often only available in increased widths, so plus-sizers must take their wheel well and fender depth into consideration as well. A manufacturer's car wheel size guide can help determine what sizes will fit your make and model.
As to performance, increasing the size of your wheels has both benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, tires with shorter sidewalls can improve steering response and cornering stability. Increasing the wheel diameter and width may also increase traction. On the downside, larger tires mean more weight. More weight hurts fuel efficiency, acceleration and stopping distance. Wider tires have a tendency to float, reducing traction in inclement weather. Perhaps the biggest downside to plus-sizing is the reduced durability of the tires themselves. Narrow tire sidewalls don't have the strength of standard tires and can be damaged by potholes and road debris. They can also sustain damage from getting pinched more easily.
Numerous wheel size comparison road tests give 17-inch and 18-inch wheels and tires the highest ratings, citing good grip, steering, braking and a comfortable feel. Upgrading from a 17- to 18-inch diameter had negligible effects on ride quality and offered additional grip. Heavy 19-inch wheels and tires fared the worst in road tests, straining the suspension and increasing impact harshness. In contrast, 15- and 16-inch standard wheel sizes were the quietest and had the smoothest ride, but had slightly more understeer on the skidpad.
Ultimately, plus-sizing comes down to a personal preference for visual appeal over performance, but an upgrade to a 17- or 18-inch setup makes a good compromise. Be sure to take the likely effects of wheel size on your car into account.

By Ankit S Agarwal

Three Advantages Of Having Mini Dash Cams Installed In Your Vehicles

With the ever-increasing amount of people on the road these days, more and more accidents occur. If you wind up involved in an accident, having an in-car camera installed will protect you from wrongful blame when you're not at fault. However, that's not the only reason for putting a dashboard camera in your car. There are several other advantages of having mini dash cams installed in our vehicles. Below I have listed a few of those advantages.
Insurance Premiums
Installing a dashboard cam can prevent your insurance premiums from rising. Drivers have started using the video from these cameras as an independent witness to prove who is at fault after accidents. You will now have rock solid evidence of any collision or other incident should you need it. Right now there are no insurance companies that offer discounts on premiums for adults that install dash cams. However, there is one company that discounts premiums for young new drivers that have them. This brings me to the next advantage on our list.
Teen Safe Driver Program
A company known as American Family Insurance has started a Teen Safe Driver Program where they give new teenage drivers a free mini dash cam for one year. Included in the program is driver coaching and education for helping them be better drivers. The camera that the company provides records inside and outside of the vehicle when it detects swerving and sudden speed decreases or increases. The recordings are then sent to the driving coaches through Wi-Fi where they can grade the teen drivers on a weekly report card. Parents can review the report each week by logging in and checking the videos and grades. By participating, teens get a ten percent discount on their premiums. Therefore, not only are these cameras allowing lower premiums for teen drivers but they also help parents keep an eye on their children's driving. All the while, making our teens better drivers and making the roads safer to drive.
Crash for Cash
This is similar to the reasoning behind the insurance premiums. A dash cam protects you against scammers that intentionally have car accidents to extort money from their victims. It has become such an epidemic that it now has its own nickname. This dangerous stunt has become known as, the "crash for cash" scam.
You can find thousands of dashboard cam clips on YouTube. The reason is incidents are commonly caught on tape. They're usually caused by a person doing something that is less than ethical. For example, one of the most popular dash cam videos shows a guy that runs in to the road and starts acting like he was hit by a car. The funny thing about it though, is that the car had already come to a complete stop before the guy ever came in to the road. Who knows what would've happened if there hadn't been video evidence to prove that the guy was faking? Considering the cost at risk of not having one versus the cost of the cam itself, the advantages of having mini dash cams installed are obvious.

By Wes Holyfield

5 Insider Tips to Buying a Used Car

 Need Some Insider Tips to Buying a Used Car?
Who Doesn't? From being greeted on the "Lot" to selecting the right vehicle to meeting with the Finance Manager - the whole process can become challenging. Here are 5 critical Insider Tips to buying that perfect used car that will help make the purchase a more positive and financially sound experience.
Tip 1: Know your Budget.
This can be a monthly number or an "out the door" cash price. Remember to account for gas, maintenance, and insurance costs, which can easily add to the monthly payment of the car. It's important to set a comfortable, yet strict number for your budget so you don't get "up-sold" by the Dealer.
Also, be wary of extended loan terms. Your goal should be to find the right vehicle at the right price / budget, and within the shortest term possible. Under 60 months financing is optimal, but over 60 months means that you are on too much car. Plus, the vehicle will continue to depreciate dramatically before you get half way through paying it off.
Tip 2: Select your Target Vehicle
This seems straight forward, but most people do not do this - or at least don't stick with it. So many people enter a dealership needing a certain vehicle, but leaving with something they wanted, instead. This is not necessarily bad, as often times we subordinate our needs for our wants. Just don't be the bonehead that needs a low-milage family car, but leaves with a very high milage BMW coupe just because the Bmer looked cool. Be realistic with your Target Vehicle and stick to it.
However, being flexible on the color or equipment actually helps the dealer provide you the best deal possible. You may prefer a popular white one, but they may have had a red one in their inventory for a long time that they will do anything to move out.
Tip 3: Do your Research!
The biggest benefit of knowing what type of vehicle you are in the market for is that you can research its reliability, cost of use, and fair market price based on options, milage and condition. Doing so allows the buyer to drive the negotiations, rather than the dealer.
So few people research their desired vehicles, and surprisingly most simply buy on emotion. These are the same customers that end up having buyer's remorse. Often times, what they just purchased does not pan out like they wanted, or they feel they paid too much after the fact.
Additionally, by pre-selecting a vehicle, the buyer becomes more realistic if that choice is within their budget, and keeps them on a more pragmatic path to a positive car-buying experience.
Tip 4: Love your Saleperson
Funny thing happens when a salespersons feels a strong connection with a potential customer. They tend to become a much stronger advocate for the customer. Prices seem to drop more quickly, and the salesperson truly becomes more helpful. The buyer ends up selling the salesperson than visa versa.
However, going into a dealership with a chip on your shoulder, or treating the salesperson with disrespect or omnipotence creates a confrontational situation where they will take you for every dollar they can.
Being nice, though, does not mean being weak. On the contrary. You would be surprised to see how much easier it is to get great deal with nothing more than a smile and friendly disposition.
Tip 5: Don't Love the Car
Or at least, don't show it. Buying a car is like playing poker. Those who tip their hand loses part of their pot. Also, don't be afraid to walk away from the deal. Just make sure that the salesperson and manager know that you are a serious buyer beforehand, and that you are willing to make the purchase right then and there if they make the deal right for you. Car dealers will cut a deal to the bare minimum before they let a true buyer walk.
Remember, that you can visit several other dealers before the end of the day, but you may be one of only a few customers that the dealer sees on a given day. Remember that you are in charge. It's your money, and the dealer needs to vie to earn your business. No matter what they throw at you, stick to your plan and keep it pleasant.

By Billy E Ducksworth

Monday, 3 February 2014

Everything You Should Know About Car Body Kits

Getting a personalized look for your car is only possible with the help of body kits. It has a custom front bumper, rear bumper and two side skirts. But a customized one also has front and rear lips, fender extenders, spoilers, air scoops etc.
One should always look for a kit which goes with the make and model of vehicle you have. By installing the right kit your car will get better mileage and you can also enjoy a safe drive on the roads.
When it comes to the body kits you can get it in different styles, materials and qualities. A lip, a bumper replacement and a wise body are the three different styles of kits available in the market. The right kit can help you get a dramatic change for your car. It not only modifies the look of your vehicle but also helps you enjoy a better ride.
Have a look at the different kinds:-
Kit 1
Lip Kit
A lip kit has a lip attached to the front bumper of the car. It also has a side skirt along with a lip used for rear bumper. These are one of the best kits available in the market. It's attached to the factory bumper. The only problem is that it gives a very subtle change and won't deliver the dramatic difference that they are exactly looking for.
Tip 2
Bumper Replacement Kit
The second most popular one is bumper replacement kit. It has both the front and rear bumpers which can give a quick makeover to your vehicle. It also has side skirts. The reason it has become popular among all auto enthusiasts is because of the dramatic difference it brings in your car.
Tip 3
Wide Body Kit
A wide body kit is one of the most expensive ones which can dramatically change the look of your car. It has replacement front bumper, replacement rear bumper, custom side skirts, new front fenders etc. You have to pay a little more price if you choose it.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when you are looking for a body kit. Buying a cheap kit is not the right option. It's advisable to not choose such kits. Make sure to keep your requirements in mind when looking for a kit. Keep all these excellent tips in mind to choose the best one for your vehicle.

By Popi Kahar