Media post: How to Be A Super Efficient Driver

It’s not that some drivers don’t understand automotive things, it that people are so busy that they simply do not have time to fuss over their car or change their driving technique. We believe there are a few things for you to be aware of. You can save a great deal of money by knowing those things. We have put together this article to explain some of those habits! We hope you enjoy it!

Inflate your tires

According to this Norco, CA Jeep Dealer, AAA says over half of the cars on the road roll with under-inflated tires. Under-inflated tires cost you money in tire wear, and gas mileage. This one is a no-brainer too, you lose about 5% gas mileage when tires are low on air. This is an easy situation to rectify, just pump them up!

Not Cleaning Out Your Car Regularly

Did you know that hauling extra stuff around can also worsen your gas mileage? That’s right. Take the big TV out of the back seat, and store it in your garage or in a spare room; it really doesn’t need to be there!

Fast driving

Driving quick is a big waste of gas.  People can easily gain a whopping 8-10% by slowing down just ten miles per hour when they are on longer trips. That is right, 8-10% and it is simple why this is. It takes tons of energy to move objects through air. See how that’s true by putting your hand out the window when you are driving around. You can feel the force pushing it back. Now multiply the hand’s surface area by about one hundred times and you’ll understand how much force the front of your car has to overcome.  Save money and drive slow!

Don’t Idle

This one is probably a given, but it is amazing how much people idle. If you are parked and waiting for someone, turn off the engine. Restarting the vehicle only takes about ten seconds worth of fuel. You might wonder if you should idle in cold weather to “get it warmed up” but the truth is that it is not necessary.

Instead, car makers say that you should just drive a vehicle slowly for 30 seconds after starting it up during any cold weather. This will warm up your vehicle quicker than simply letting it sit there. And if you live on a busy street or road where this is difficult, then we recommend doing it anyway—other drivers can deal with this.

Get your fluids changed

Many drivers ignore their vehicle’s fluids until they run low and a warning light illuminates. Not a smart thing to do. Fluids become contaminated over time and will wear out! It is in your best interest to keep fresh fluids flowing throughout your car’s engine. Your car’s manual will give you a schedule to follow. It is best that you pay attention to the schedule, particularly with your transmission fluid.

Don’t feel bad; everybody has bad automotive habits. However, it’s been costing you money!

Media post: Best selling Chevys over the years

1965 Chevrolet Impala 

Late in 2016, Chevrolet became the best-selling brand in the United States of America for the first time in 5 years. The top spot has been hotly contested by Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota for years, and a scale back in production by Ford, not to mention an October recall, and put Chevrolet in the top spot. However, the big question is whether or not Chevrolet can take back the top spot this year.

As car sales decline in 2017, what’s it going to take for top auto brands to stay competitive and weather the storm? Chevrolet has a rich and storied past as one of America’s favorite car manufacturers, and while the details change, if Chevrolet maintains its focus on the priorities that have made its vehicles hits in the past, it can weather the storm of rocky sales and come out ahead a year or two from now.

The best-selling Chevrolet ever, and in fact, the model that continues to hold the record for highest sales in a single year, is the Chevrolet Impala. In 1965, more than one million units were sold and no model has yet to beat this number. The Impala was long, wide, and luxurious at an affordable price, making it an easy pick for families. It also delivered a unique look that remains instantly recognizable, though almost every year delivered a new signature appearance. After a long period of stability in the 2000s, a new revamp of the Impala came in 2014 that injected new life into the classic model.

The Malibu was first launched in 1964, just as the Impala was reaching its stride, to compete with the success of muscle cars like the Mustang. While it’s evolved a long way from its origins in the 1960s, it’s relaunch in 1997 put the emphasis back on younger drivers, including better safety features and tracking. Today, the Chevrolet Malibu also offers a hybrid Eco version for a new generation of environmentally-conscious drivers. The Malibu has always appealed to youth and in the 21st century, younger drivers have different values. Their image-consciousness isn’t just about having a fun and spirited car, they also want to drive something that’s environmentally responsible.

A newer entry into Chevrolet’s lineup, the Equinox has stayed strong where other models have seen sales decline this year. In May 2017, the Equinox sold 20,908 units in the United States compared to 21,252 in May 2016, while February, March, and April 2017 all saw sales improve over the same period last year. The Equinox is no doubt buoyed by the growing dominance of the compact crossover.

There have been plenty more successful Chevrolet vehicles, but no look at the manufacturer’s success would be complete without the Silverado, an amenity-packed pickup that began in the heavy-duty sector and evolved into a luxury pickup that still packs the power of a workhorse. Still packing an impressive style change from 2016 that screams power, the Silverado imposes the kind of confidence and authority Chevrolet needs to maintain as it navigates what could be a lengthy recovery for auto sales in the U.S.

Media post: Two thirds of new drivers are not ready for the road

What’s the news?

Research carried out by Insurance company Liberty shows that 61 per cent of new drivers, having passed their practical driving test, don’t feel that they’re adequately prepared for life on the road.

38 per cent, or two out of every five, feel that they are fully prepared.

Half of all drivers under the age of 30 feel that they’re not confident enough when performing tricky manoeuvres, such as parallel parking or tackling big roundabouts with multiple exits. Once again, two out of every five drivers surveyed say that they feel entirely confident in such situations.

A whopping 70 per cent of drivers feel that Irish roads are more hazardous now than they were a decade ago (something which is most certainly not borne out by accident statistics). That number is higher among female drivers (81 per cent) than male drivers, and it’s a view held more by those aged over 55, and those living in Connacht and or Ulster.

Among Irish drivers that lack confidence on the road, feelings of nervousness have been experienced by 60 per cent when behind the wheel, while almost half (49 per cent) have experienced anxiety. 19 per cent report feelings of panic and 18 per cent a sense of fear.

Overall, women drivers are less confident than their male counterparts; under 30 drivers are the least confident of all age groups; and the country’s least confident drivers are from Connacht/Ulster.

Commenting, Deirdre Ashe, Director of Personal Lines at Liberty Insurance, said: “The results of this survey show that as a country, we currently lack confidence in our driving abilities and feel increasingly unsafe on our roads.

“In many ways, this isn’t entirely surprising. Our roads are busier than ever before, with more distractions for drivers, like smartphones. Adding to the danger is the huge number of uninsured private vehicles on Irish roads, estimated by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) to be over 151,000.

“In light of these findings, we all as drivers have a duty in taking greater personal responsibility for our actions on the road. By extension, road safety education is now more important than ever. For example, if drivers are particularly nervous entering roundabouts or parallel parking, they should be looking to address and improve on this, like taking advanced driving lessons with IAM Road Smart Ireland. Further tips and advice are available on the Liberty Insurance Safety Centre as part of our ‘Ready for the Real Road‘ initiative.

‘Finally, since its foundation, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has led the way in raising standards on road safety and testing, and as a result we have seen significant improvements on our roads. In continuing down this path, there may be merit in incorporating some of these findings into the RSA’s driving test curriculum and using it as an opportunity to develop new features within the driving test that will challenge learner drivers on the various issues cited in our research.

“In short, our findings demonstrate the importance of the ongoing collaboration between government and industry in the promotion of safer driving, particularly among younger drivers and in regional areas with less developed infrastructure.”

To find out more about Liberty car insurance or home insurance visit Liberty.ie.

Watch the Ready for the Real Road video from Liberty Insurance above in which six drivers put their skills to the test to find out if they’re ready for the real road.

Media post: Shopping For Deals on Used Trucks Can Be Easier Than Ever 

General Motors dealership in Anchorage 
Shopping for a used truck is easier to do than ever before. Of course, you need to know where to look. These days the best deals are to be found on the world wide web. This is a major convenience upgrade that you should appreciate. You no longer have to drive all around town, or through the neighboring town, to check your local used car lots for good deals. You can log on to the web, click around until you find a local used truck vendor, and browse through the deals that they are offering until you find one you like.
Web Shopping Makes Looking For Your New Truck an Easy Task
There is no need to suffer while you shop. It doesn’t have to be an agonizing chore. You don’t need to spend hours on the road wasting all of your precious time, energy, fuel, and cash. Instead of spending the whole day on what might end up going into the books as a wild goose chase, you can do all the shopping you need right on the web. You don’t even have to leave the comfort and security of your living room or kitchen.
You Already Know What You Need, You Just Need to Find It
It’s not as if you don’t already know exactly what kind of truck you are looking for. If you already have a make, model, and year in mind, you can easily find the one that best fits your personal needs. You just need to know where to look in order to find the best deal for your dollar. This is where knowing how to use the power of the world wide web will come in handy. The best deals are always going to be found there.
It’s Time For You to Find Your New Favorite Place to Shop
Let’s face it, most men don’t like to shop. But if you need to find a used truck to drive, you have to grit your teeth and put up with the inconvenience. This doesn’t mean that shopping has to be a chore than you enjoy just slightly more than getting a root canal. There’s a place that you can go to get an excellent deal on your next used truck. Feel free to browse through Southwest Motor used car inventor for great deals today.

Media post: A new type of turbocharger

BorgWarner turbocharger. Picture courtesy wardsauto.com

There’s a lot to like about electric vehicles and one would think they are ready to become the dominant technology on our roads. Except they aren’t. Electric cars make great replacements for passenger automobiles, but trucks are an entirely different matter. Until electric propulsion technology offers the performance and affordability of gas and diesel-powered engines, the status quo will reign – i.e. internal combustion engines.

Keeping the venerable internal combustion engine up-to-date, though, isn’t easy. The challenge for automakers lies in keeping up with ever stricter fuel economy requirements and emissions regulations while delivering the performance that consumers demand. Fortunately, there are automobile companies with a lot of bright engineers that keep new technologies coming. BorgWarner is one of those companies.

BorgWarner is an industry supplier that has a history of building innovative and durable automotive components. According to Trinity of Taylorville, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Taylorville, IL, it was BorgWarner that Dodge went to when they needed an ultra-strong manual transmission for their Viper sportscar. Today, a new BorgWarner technology has been developed to make engines more fuel efficient and it is taking the industry by storm. It’s a new type of supercharger technology.

First, a word about turbochargers. They are essentially a small turbine, driven by exhaust gasses, that forces more air into an engine. Since this means more oxygen is driven into the engine, it develops more power from the same amount of fuel. Ah, but turbochargers have one key weakness: When you quickly need power, such as when passing a car, when you step on the pedal, it can take a few seconds for the engine to respond because the turbo needs to start spinning. Engineers call this delay lag.

Over the years, various improvements have reduced supercharger delay lag but BorgWarner has developed a technology that all but eliminates it. They call it an “e-booster” and it is basically an electric motor connected to a turbocharger that spins the turbo up fast (70,000 rpm in three-tenths of a second!) providing a performance boost until the turbocharger gets up to speed. The company claims it greatly improves efficiency and could increase fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent.

BorgWarner first toyed with this idea in the late 1990s, but decided the e-booster needed too much power. But the recent introduction of 48-volt electrical systems in cars has changed the picture. 48-volt systems can prove four times the power of a traditional 12-volt system this allows automakers to power a lot of devices with electric motors.

Even though the e-booster technology is thoroughly fleshed out, it will be several years before you will see one in your standard car. Automotive engineers are working on other electrically-driven engine components and the 48-volt systems that they require.

Media post: Why won’t my car start

Picture courtesy autoservicecosts.com 

Is your car not starting? There are loads of reasons why this can happen. You may hear a range of noises when you place the key into the ignition – from nothing at all, a hard clunk to a dodgy clicking noise. Here’s how to spot what could be wrong with your motor and how to fix it.

Dead battery

If you stick the key into the ignition and there is no sound or lights on the dashboard, then your battery is dead as a doornail and your car won’t start. You will need to flag down a fellow motorist with a working car, ten minutes to spare and some jump leads!

Batteries go flat or die when you leave your lights or the radio on and return to your motor hours later. It may be that you left your car unused for a while in very cold weather.

Restarting the car is easy. The working car should be parked bumper to bumper to allow you to connect the jump leads from your dead battery to the working car. Connect the jump leads, with the positive end to the positive battery terminal, and likewise with the negative ends, to ‘jump’ the vehicle.

Once connected, start the working car and run until the dead car can start. Whatever you do, don’t stop the engine of the dead car until you have driven around for a while to power it up!

Dirty or corroded battery connection

It may look sinister but a dirty battery connection can be easily cleaned up. Simply turn the car engine off and use a spanner to loosen the battery terminals.

A toothbrush is a great tool to scrub those parts up and can be helped along with a simple homemade solution – one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda to get them looking and functioning as good as new.

Once you‘ve done this, you’ll need to check your battery for any leaks or cracks.

Out of fuel

You usually get a petrol can warning light flashing up on your dashboard to let you know you are nearly out of fuel. When this happens, you’ve normally got around 50miles left in your tank.

But, you may underestimate how far you’ve driven and simply run out of gas. Hopefully you have a jerry can in your boot, which you will need to take (on foot!) to the nearest petrol station and fill up before getting back to your motor and filling up.

Faulty spark plugs

If your spark plugs have been well lubricated with WD40, then they should be in good working order. But an engine misfire is something you would instantly recognise. It’s when the engine stumbles, slows down and then appears to regain pace before stopping. Extremely worn spark plugs cause a vehicle’s ignition system to work harder and can stop the engine turning over as normal.

If one spark plug misfires, it can dump raw fuel into the exhaust, which eventually, will overheat the catalytic converter. The good news is, they don’t usually need to be replaced until you hit 100,000 miles, so inevitably, are easy to forget! However, if this is the issue, you’ll need to be towed to a garage.

Low oil levels

Low levels of oil put a great deal of strain on the battery when the car is started. You should always ensure your oil is topped up to the maximum line when you check with a dipstick. Never let the amount of oil drop below the minimum line as this will cause unnecessary wear on your engine and could cause it to blow up.

If you’ve often thought, ‘my car won’t start’, hopefully you have learned some of the reasons why, here. If you’re still not sure why your car is not starting or need to fix any other issues, it’s always a good idea to get a mechanic to check over your vehicle – including the battery and tyres. Even if you have managed to re-start your car with the existing battery, you should always get a professional to check it.

Media post: What is a Minivan Hybrid Exactly?

A minivan hybrid? Who would have thought? Well apparently, Chrysler not only thought about but made it happen and the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid is a one of a kind and is taking America by storm. The Pacifica Hybrid is an all new model and has replaced the discontinued Town & Country van and moved the concept of minivan right into the verdant future.

This gas-electric plug-in minivan is the first of its kind and like Chrysler products in general, it is moving the automotive industry into areas only dreamed of previously. Since minvans are usually used for short trips and errands around town, the Pacifica Hybrid is perfect for those kinds of duties. The electric range of this roomy transporter is 30 miles, which gives you plenty of latitude to drop the kids off at school, pick up groceries, go out to lunch, pick up the kids and take them to dance class and take a leisurely cruise home without using an ounce of gas.

This hybrid is easy to charge too! Depleted batteries can be charged at home or at a public charging location in about two hours when using a Level 2 (240 Volt) station. You can also charge your Pacifica at home using regular outlets but it just takes a bit longer – up to fourteen hours, which is from dinner time until you leave for work the next morning. That’s just for the electric part of the minivan. When you need to get up and go without the electric motor silently powering your trip, then the robust V6 gas engine kicks in and you’re on your way.

The gas/electric combination gives you 530 miles, which is pretty substantial and the EPA has concluded that with combined driving the Pacifica Hybrid will get 32 mpg overall which out does pretty much all other minivans on the market. Road trips are now cheaper when driving this great van and you can accommodate seven passengers comfortably in the three rows of seats. The ride is smooth and the cabin is quiet, unless, of course, it is full of little people. Over all, this minivan is the best in its class and theoretically, if you only use it around town and if you charge it regularly, you won’t ever have to waste time and money at another gas station again. Stop by Foss Motors and test drive one of these marvels of automotive engineering for your self.

Media post: Ram Continues to Improve While Others Start To Slide

We were looking at trucks the other day when it hit me: we’ve always wanted a Ram truck, so what are we doing wasting our time looking at any other brands? Well, that was a wake up call and we answered it. We went to Marlow Motor Company and walked the lot and the show room and found just what we wanted, a 2017 Ram 2500.

By the way, Marlow Motor Company has plenty of them in stock, so you can go down there and test drive one yourself. When we test drove the Ram 2500 we could hardly believe the incredibly smooth ride we got. It is a truck after all and we sort of expected to get a bumpy truck ride. The people who make that great Ram truck, however, fooled us and they made us feel like were some kind of royalty being driven in a vehicle with an ultra comfortable and very spacious interior as we floated gently and quietly on a cloud toward our destination.

We drove the Ram 2500 with the 6.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. What a ride! There are other engine options such as the 5.7-liter with 383 hp and the diesel, which gives you 385 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. Stand back with that one – it’s a powerhouse of a motor. There are two other diesels available, one provides 350 hp with 660 lb-ft of torque and the other turns out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Any choice is a good one but some are obviously stronger than the others, so just think about what your needs are before making a decision.

After the test drive we asked how the Ram 2500 scored on safety tests. You’re going to love this! The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2017 Ram 2500 crew cab models four stars overall and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), the other governmental automotive safety tester, hasn’t ran any tests yet on the Ram 2500.

We came out of the showroom with a whole lot of good feelings for this legendary truck. Not only did it drive well and get high marks for safety, but the spacious interior, geared for extreme comfort and functionality, coupled with its user-friendly infotainment system sold us. The Ram 2500 looks great in our garage and it looks even better when we’re driving it out on the highway.

Media post: Dandelion tires

Global warming is affecting many industries and the tire industry is one of them. Here’s the story. As you are undoubtedly aware, rubber is a key component of tires. What you may not know, however, is that there are two types of rubber involved. The first is synthetic rubber, a type of rubber that is made from petroleum. Synthetic rubber comprises about 70% of the rubber in your average tire. The second is natural rubber. Natural rubber is the original old-time rubber compound and it is made from the latex sap harvested from rubber trees. It makes up about 30% of the rubber in today’s tires.

So what’s the global warming issue? Over the last few decades, the fluctuations in the growing cycles of rubber trees in the sub-tropical zone where rubber trees grow have varied significantly. In some seasons the yield is strong and, in others very weak. With these fluctuations in the supply of natural rubber, the laws of supply and demand take over and costs go up and down. This makes the production of tires, indeed all products made from natural rubber, rather difficult to control.

Continental, a leading German tire manufacturing company, decided it was time to look for alternatives. Fortunately, rubber trees are not the only source of natural latex so the search was on. Eventually they came up with an easy to grow alternative to rubber trees: dandelions. That’s right, dandelions. As it turns out, the white fluid that comes out of dandelions is a latex that is similar enough to rubber tree latex that it can be used to make tires.

This was good news for Continental since the industrial use of dandelions offers great advantages. First, they are an undemanding plant that can be cultivated on land not suitable for food production. This means that dandelion latex could possibly be obtained on land not far from production plants. This allows better control of the growing process and eliminates the long and costly journey that rubber latex currently takes from South America or West Africa.

Technically, the rubber that is produced from the dandelion root is called Taraxagum. The name comes from the botanical name for the dandelion: Taraxacum. Especially good news is that not only is Taraxagum a nice alternative to rubber tree compounds, quite usable, it is higher yielding. Continental was able to extract several kilos of dandelion latex from a small pilot system, which would have been double the yield possible from a conventional rubber tree plant under the same circumstances.

But how does it perform? The initial tests run so far with Taraxagum are encouraging. Tires made from Taraxagum perform closely to those made from conventional natural rubber. The scientists at Continental are excited about this but challenges exist in the cultivation of enough dandelions to make industrial-scale production possible. Nonetheless, Continental believes that they will be making tires based on dandelion latex in some 5 years.

Other tire manufacturers are experimenting with rubber alternatives in addition to Continental. According to Reedman Toll Subaru of Downingtown, a local Subaru dealer in Downington, PA, Yokohama (which supplies tires for Subaru) has been looking at several alternatives to rubber tree latex too. Their research isn’t quite as far along but they have been using natural organic plant compounds for other purposes. The most striking is using orange oil, derived from orange peels, is being used in their high-end tires to increase grip. Apparently the results are impressive and Yokohama intends to continue the process for the foreseeable furture.

Media post: Charles Kettering – Automotive Pioneer

Unless you are fond of reading about automotive history, you don’t hear this name very often: Charles Kettering. Yet, Kettering was the genius behind some of the most significant advances in automotive engineering. Inventions such as electrical ignition systems, automotive starter motors and even Freon gas were all attributable to Kettering. He was also the founder of DELCO Corporation, an automotive parts manufacturer that was eventually acquired by General Motors.

The Early Years

Charles was born in Loudonville, Ohio, in 1876. He was the fourth of five children born to Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter Kettering. Kettering had poor vision and this lead to a childhood that unfortunately was consumed with constant headaches. However, he was a very smart boy and after his secondary school education was completed, he became a teacher. He enjoyed teaching and during this time, he took classes at The College of Wooster. Later he transferred to The Ohio State University (OSU) where he met his future wife, Olive Williams. Kettering eventually graduated from OSU in 1904 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Let the Inventions Begin

Kettering first job out of engineering school was with National Cash Register (NCR.) Here he worked in NCR’s large research laboratory. Kettering was by nature an innovative engineer and it wasn’t long before he achieved his first major invention: an easy credit approval system. This system was essentially a precursor to today’s credit card processing systems. He then put his mind to work on the old fashioned crank cash registers. Soon he developed an electric version which made ringing up sales physically much easier for sales clerks all over the country. During his five years at NCR, from 1904 to 1909, Kettering earned 23 patents.

Automotive Components

In 1907, colleague Edward A. Deeds invited Kettering and another engineer, Harold E. Talbott, to join him working at night on improvements for the nascent automotive industry. Working nights and weekends, in Deed’s barn, their first invention was an electric ignition system designed to eliminate the magneto. This invention was a huge success and in 1909, all three engineers left NCR and founded Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company also known as DELCO.

The First Self-Starting Car

Back in the early 1900s, cars were started by hand crank. It was a technique that required some strength and it was dangerous. Here’s why: If the ignition timing retarded, the crank could kick back and strike whomever was cranking. As the story goes, a good friend of Ketterings was struck by a hand crank and killed. He immediately vowed that no one would ever be killed again attempting to start a car. On February 17, 1911, the first self-starting ignition was first installed in a Cadillac and the automotive industry took a major leap forward.

Freon 

In the late 1800s until 1929, refrigerators used the gases, ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide, as refrigerants. Methyl chloride gas was especially toxic and deaths from leaking systems was becoming more common. In 1928, Thomas Midgley, Jr. and Kettering invented a refrigerant that was safe to use and called it “Freon.” Freon represents several different chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which today are widely used in commerce and industry. Unfortunately, the original Freon, referred to as R-12, has been identified as a major destroyer of the Earth’s ozone layer. Our service consultants at Central Ave. Hyundai of Hartsdale, a local Hyundai dealer in Hartsdale, NY, told us that Hyundai phased out the old R-12 freon in the early 2000s and is now using an environmentally Freon called R-134a. Had Kettering known about the ozone issue, he would have undoubtedly created a R-132a type replacement himself.

Legacy

His inventions, especially the electric automobile starter, made him Kettering wealthy. In 1945, he helped found what became the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center based on the premise that American industrial research techniques could be applied to cancer research.

Kettering died on November 25, 1958. After his death, his body lay in honor at the Engineers Club and then was interred in the mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

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