Thursday, December 27, 2007

Alloy Wheel Repair - Save Your Wheels Today!

It is a common misconception that alloy wheel repair is almost next to impossible. Most people believe that it can be a complete waste of effort and money. However, alloy's can actually be repaired to a great extent. Alloy wheel repair is in fact a well studied operation.

Alloy wheels can make quite an impact to the overall look of a car. Further, it can make a big difference to the functioning of the car.

Over the years, car manufacturers have taken a cue from the popularity of specialized alloy wheels and have opted to install modified wheels for their stock cars. Alloy's are now a common factor in most cars but along with its growing popularity comes several concerns regarding its maintenance.

Alloy wheel repair

It is a common misconception that alloy wheel repair is almost next to impossible. Most people believe that it can be a complete waste of effort and money. However, alloy wheels can actually be repaired to a great extent. Alloy repair is in fact a well studied operation. Many professional wheel repair companies can undertake the job perfectly.

Common alloy wheel problems

The most significant of damages that can affect an alloy wheel are radial runout, lateral runout and cracks. These damages will not only make the wheel look ugly but it can also greatly affect the car's driving performance. Let's take a closer look!

Radial runout affects the balance of the tire across its diameter. This results in the tire moving up and down with respect to its central axis while rotating. Lateral runout is damage that affects the balance of the tire across its width. Lateral run out is often left undiagnosed as the tire can look true but balance testing will prove otherwise. In the case of lateral run out if there is significant damage it will often be irreparable. Cracks, depending on the location can be repaired but in certain extreme cases it is safer to get a replacement alloywheel than to use one that has undergone alloywheel repair.

Repair for non-forged wheels

Alloy - wheel repair is often recommended for wheels that are non-forged. Forged alloy wheels are tougher and can also be more expensive. Most of the time, forged wheel repair merely consists of having the wheel refinished. Two-piece and three-piece alloy wheels are also more prone to damage as the outer lips of the wheel are commonly made of softer alloy materials.

Alloy wheel repair- the right timing

The best time to plan for alloy wheel repair is during the warmer months. Normally, alloy repair can take anywhere from three to five hours depending on the extent of the damage. If you want to minimize the damage, use high pressure especially when you are using low profile tires. However, it is important to make sure that the wear of the tire is still even.

Save money with alloy-wheel repair

Alloy's are an expensive investment. Fortunately, alloy repair companies offer you the option to get your wheels to look and function as good as new.

By Steven Magill

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Motorcycle Carburetor Theory

Motorcycle carburetors look very complex, but with a little theory, you can tune your bike for maximum performance. All carburetors work under the basic principle of atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is a powerful force which exerts pressure on everything. It varies slightly but is generally considered to be 15 pounds per square inch (PSI). This means that atmospheric pressure is pressing on everything at 15 PSI. By varying the atmospheric pressure inside the engine and carburetor, we can change the pressure and make fuel and air flow.

Atmospheric pressure will force high pressure to low pressure. As the piston on a two stroke engine goes up (or goes down on a four stroke engine), a low pressure is formed inside the crankcase (above the piston on a four stroke). This low pressure also causes a low pressure inside the carburetor. Since the pressure is higher outside the engine and carburetor, air will rush inside the carburetor and engine until the pressure is equalized. The moving air going through the carburetor will pick up fuel and mix with the air.

Inside a carburetor is a venturi, fig 1. The venturi is a restriction inside the carburetor that forces air to speed up to get through. A river that suddenly narrows can be used to illustrate what happens inside a carb. The water in the river speeds up as it gets near the narrowed shores and will get faster if the river narrows even more. The same thing happens inside the carburetor. The air that is speeding up will cause atmospheric pressure to drop inside the carburetor. The faster the air moves, the lower the pressure inside the carburetor.


Most motorcycle carburetor circuits are governed by throttle position and not by engine speed.There are five main metering systems inside most motorcycle carburetors. These metering circuits overlap each other and they are:
* pilot circuit
* throttle valve
* needle jet and jet needle
* main jet
* choke circuit

The pilot circuit has two adjustable parts, fig 2. The pilot air screw and pilot jet. The air screw can be located either near the back side of the carburetor or near the front of the carburetor. If the screw is located near the back, it regulates how much air enters the circuit. If the screw is turned in, it reduces the amount of air and richens the mixture. If it is turned out, it opens the passage more and allows more air into the circuit which results in a lean mixture. If the screw is located near the front, it regulated fuel. The mixture will be leaner if it is screwed in and richer if screwed out. If the air screw has to be turned more than 2 turns out for best idling, the next smaller size pilot jet will be needed.

The pilot jet is the part which supplies most of the fuel at low throttle openings. It has a small hole in it which restricts fuel flow though it. Both the pilot air screw and pilot jet affects carburetion from idle to around 1/4 throttle.

The slide valve affects carburetion between 1/8 thru 1/2 throttle. It especially affects it between 1/8 and 1/4 and has a lesser affect up to 1/2. The slides come in various sizes and the size is determined by how much is cutaway from the backside of it, fig 3. The larger the cutaway, the leaner the mixture (since more air is allowed through it) and the smaller the cutaway, the richer the mixture will be. Throttle valves have numbers on them that explains how much the cutaway is. If there is a 3 stamped into the slide, it has a 3.0mm cutaway, while a 1 will have a 1.0mm cutaway (which will be richer than a 3).

The jet needle and needle jet affects carburetion from 1/4 thru 3/4 throttle. The jet needle is a long tapered rod that controls how much fuel can be drawn into the carburetor venturi. The thinner the taper, the richer the mixture. The thicker the taper, the leaner the mixture since the thicker taper will not allow as much fuel into the venturi as a leaner one. The tapers are designed very precisely to give different mixtures at different throttle openings. Jet needles have grooves cut into the top. A clip goes into one of these grooves and holds it from falling or moving from the slide. The clip position can be changed to make an engine run richer or leaner, fig 4. If the engine needs to run leaner, the clip would be moved higher. This will drop the needle farther down into the needle jet and cause less fuel to flow past it. If the clip is lowered, the jet needle is raised and the mixture will be richer.

The needle jet is where the jet needle slides into. Depending on the inside diameter of the needle jet, it will affect the jet needle. The needle jet and jet needle work together to control the fuel flow between the 1/8 thru 3/4 range. Most of the tuning for this range is done to the jet needle, and not the needle jet.

The main jet controls fuel flow from 3/4 thru full throttle, fig 5. Once the throttle is opened far enough, the jet needle is pulled high enough out of the needle jet and the size of the hole in the main jet begins to regulate fuel flow. Main jets have different size holes in them and the bigger the hole, the more fuel that will flow (and the richer the mixture). The higher the number on the mainjet, the more fuel that can flow through it and the richer the mixture.

The choke system is used to start cold engines. Since the fuel in a cold engine is sticking to the cylinder walls due to condensation, the mixture is too lean for the engine to start. The choke system will add fuel to the engine to compensate for the fuel that is stuck to the cylinder walls. Once the engine is warmed up, condensation is not a problem, and the choke is not needed.

The air/fuel mixture must be changes to meet the demands of the needs of the engine. The ideal air/fuel ratio is 14.7 grams of air to 1 gram of fuel. This ideal ratio is only achieved for a very short period while the engine is running. Due to the incomplete vaporization of fuel at slow speeds or the additional fuel required at high speeds, the actual operational air/fuel ratio is usually richer. Figure 6 shows the actual air/fuel ratio for any given throttle opening.

Carburetor Jetting Troubleshooting

Carburetor troubleshooting is simple once the basic principles are known. The first step is to find where the engine is running poorly, fig 7. It must be remembered that carburetor jetting is determined by the throttle position, not engine speed. If the engine is having troubles at low rpm (idle to 1/4 throttle), the pilot system or slide valve is the likely problem. If the engine has problems between 1/4 and 3/4 throttle, the jet needle and needle jet (most likely the jet needle) is likely the problem. If the engine is running poorly at 3/4 to full throttle, the main jet is the likely problem.

While jetting carburetors, place a piece of tape on the throttle housing. Place another piece of tape on the throttle grip and draw a line (while the throttle is at idle) straight across from one piece of tape to the other. When these two lines are lined up, the engine will be idling. Now open the throttle to full throttle and draw another line directly across from it on the throttle housing. At this point, there should be two lines on the throttle housing, and one on the throttle grip. Now find the half-way point between both of the lines on the throttle housing. Make a mark and this will show when the throttle is at half throttle. Divide the spaces up even again until idle, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full throttle positions are known. These lines will be used to quickly find the exact throttle opening while jetting.

Clean the air filter and warm the bike up. Accelerate through the gears until the throttle is at full throttle (a slight uphill is the best place for this). After a few seconds of full throttle running, quickly pull in the clutch and stop the engine (Do not allow the engine to idle or coast to a stop). Remove the spark plug and look at its color. It should be a light tan color. If it's white, the air/fuel mixture is too lean and a bigger main jet will have to be installed. If it's black or dark brown, the air/fuel mixture is too rich and a smaller main jet will have to be installed. While changing jets, change them one size at a time, test run after each change, and look at the plug color after each run.

After the main jet has been set, run the bike at half throttle and check the plug color. If it's white, lower the clip on the jet needle to richen the air/fuel mixture. If it's dark brown or black, raise the clip to lean the air/fuel mixture.

The pilot circuit can be adjusted while the bike is idling and then test run. If the engine is running poorly just off of idle, the pilot jet screw can be turned in or out to change the air-fuel mixture. If the screw is in the back of the carburetor, screwing it out will lean the mixture while screwing it in will richen it. If the adjustment screw is in the front of the carburetor, it will be the opposite. If turning the screw between one and two and a half doesn't have any affect, the pilot jet will have to be replaced with either a larger or smaller one. While adjusting the pilot screw, turn it 1/4 turn at a time and test run the bike between adjustments. Adjust the pilot circuit until the motorcycle runs cleanly off of idle with no hesitations or bogs.

Altitude, Humidy, and Air Temperature

Once the jetting is set and the bike is running good, there are many factors that will change the performane of the engine. Altitude, air temperature, and humidity are big factors that will affect how an engine will run. Air density increases as air gets colder. This means that there are more oxygen molecules in the same space when the air is cold. When the temerature drops, the engine will run leaner and more fule will have to be added to compensate. When the air temerature gets warmer, the engine will run richer and less fuel will be needed. An engine that is jetted at 32š fahrenheight may run poorly when the temperature reaches 90š fahrenheight.

Altitude affects jetting since there are less air molecules as altitude increases. A bike that runs good at sea level will run rich at 10,000 ft due to the thinner air.

Humidy is how much moister is in the air. As humidy increases, jetting will be richer. A bike that runs fins in the mornings dry air may run rich as the day goes on and the humidity increases.

Correction factors are sometimes used to find the correct carburetor settings for changing temperatures and altitudes. The chart in fig 8, shows a typical correction factor chart. To use this chart, jet the carburetor and write down the pilot and main jet sizes. Determine the correct air temperature and follow the chart over to the right until the correct elevation is found. Move straight down from this point until the correct coreection factor is found. Using fig 8 as an example, the air temperature is 95š fahrenheight and the altitude is 3200 ft. The correction factor will be 0.92. To find out the correction main and pilot jets, multiple the correction factor and each jet size. A main jet size of 350 would be multiplied by 0.92 and the new main jet size would be a 322. A pilot jet size of 40 would be multiplied by 0.92 and the pilot jet size would be 36.8.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Car Audio Component Speakers - Available In Many Standard Sizes

Since the automobile was created, there have been many inventors looking to improve their cars with their own work. The car-audio systems are just the same in that hobbyists have constructed a dizzying array of systems from car audio component speakers to systems requiring vans to carry.

When planning a new car stereo car audio system, you have to begin with the car stereo. Models can be found featuring CD changers, sophisticated displays, or even just a simple radio. Many systems are designed simply with volume in mind, featuring a high power output rating that also has a very limited frequency range. For a wider frequency range with smoother response, consider higher fidelity systems that make the sound clearer and crisper, albeit without the overpowering bass "thud." If you listen to classical, loudly or not, you probably want a system focused more on fidelity than sheer volume. On the other hand, classic rock demands to be played loud! Your choice in car audio should be in part decided by your musical tastes.

Selecting the right car audio speakers is not rocket science. Most stereo systems have four component speaker outputs, whose output has two measurements, impedance and power. Impedance is measured in ohms, and the power is measured in watts. These specifications can be quite technically complicated, but for the normal user, it is a simple matter to match exactly the impedance of the speakers with the stereo output channel, and that the wattage of the speaker is equal to or greater than the stereo channel. If you do at least that, then you can enjoy your music !

If you aren't satisfied with the sound coming from your car's stereo, and you want a louder, high-fidelity system, you'll need to get a separate amplifier. After you install the amplifier into your existing stereo, it will read the stereo's signal, amplify it, and then output this increased signal to your speakers. It's easy to add car audio component speakers with an amplifier - just be sure to use the output specifications of the amplifier and not the specifications of your stereo!

Lay out of the car needs to be examined after outlining the specifications of the system that one wants. If one doesn't want do do some big modifications then one needs to order speakers of the proper dimensions suitable to the audio car component which are available in many standad sizes - six inch diameter for example. Amplifiers can be placed at a convenient place anywhere so that it can be connected with wires to all the speakers as well as the stereo.

After you have decide on this you would be ready to install your system. The installation varies greatly from car to car but one common thing is to ensure that the car is off and the battery is disconnected at the time of installation. The car and the stereo both have manuals outlining the procedure of installation, and it is finally up to ones determination to install the system.

Innovations in car-audio systems have led to an array of systems from car audio component speakers to systems for vans. The car stereo car audio system starts with car stereo with features CD changers/fancy displays/just a radio and systems may focus on loudness/quality of sound as required. One should ensure that the impedance on the speakers, matches with stereo output channel, to avoid speaker damage. Driving the speakers normally is from an internal amplifier and for louder/high fidelity system from external amplifier of the car stereo. Car layout determines the size of speaker and location. During installation make sure your car is off, and the battery disconnected.

Article Source:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Classic Cars in Cuba

Havana is a potent mixture of the old and the new. Modern office buildings punctuate the skyline alongside deteriorating Eastern European residential towers. Ancient vehicles, some with more rust than paint, share the road with newer, shinier models, while horse-drawn carts mingle with motorcycles. Flea markets display Cuba holiday mementos - wooden models of cars built in the 1950s, which are still seen on Cuban streets.

'Yank tank', 'máquina' 'cacharro' and 'bartavia' are all words used to describe the American classic cars in Cuba. It is the only place where history and circumstance have combined to enable a whole society to preserve these amazing vehicles and turn them into a national treasure.

About 150,000 classic cars existed at the time of the 1959 Cuban Revolution when the U.S. imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. After this, international trade was made very difficult, so the cars that were present at the time have been nurtured and cared for ever since.

Of the 60,000 classic cars in Cuba, about half are from the 50s, another 25 percent from the 40s and a similar number from the 30s. Brands include Chevrolet, Ford, Cadillac, Buick, Plymouth, Chrysler, Dodge, Willy's, Oldsmobile and De Soto - vintage models of all of these can be seen on Cuba's roads today.


As a clash of cultures and ideologies, few experiences compare with that of rounding a corner in the heart of Old Havana with its crumbling baroque buildings and coming face to face with a gleaming 1955 Thunderbird that looks as if it had just been driven off the lot.

Cubans are increasingly aware of the value of classic cars, particularly when visiting Americans become nostalgic about them. They realise that there is business to be made from hiring them out, and it is therefore possible for those on holiday to Cuba to hire out a classic car for the duration of their stay. Although there are more classic cars in the US overall, an American would have to go to Cuba to see a concentration of the cars filling the streets like a snapshot of 50s USA come to life.

Cuba holiday makers feel they have stepped into a time warp to that perhaps more innocent age, when Americans sported prim and proper outfits and drove shiny, sparkly-wheeled cars in brilliant colours with fins and chrome bumpers. The cars made driving feel special. The size of them and the comfort gave a calm feeling for a time when people were able to take their time and enjoy the good things in life.

Care & Attention

While classic cars are still used for daily transportation, often as taxis, they have also become cherished heirlooms handed down from generation to generation within families, in some cases going all the way back to the 30s.

Most owners of classic cars spend hours applying waxes and polishes and basking in the praise and admiration of passers-by. Some even reminisce about a time when their cars were new, and life itself seemed brighter and as inviting as an open highway.

To own one of these vintages defines who you are, how you spend your time and how you wish to be known, and Cubans will go to incredible lengths to keep their classic cars running. 1950's bumpers and tailpipes are recreated and myriad other parts are adapted. Steering wheels carved from wood, hub cabs made from aluminium cans and plastic sheets for windows are common. While such shortcuts would be frowned upon in the United States, classic car lovers admire the Cubans' ingenuity and their ability to keep the cars running.

The Future for Classic Cars in Cuba

Each day these cars get closer to extinction. They are now outnumbered by boxy Russian Ladas, Volga sedans and more recent Eastern European and Japanese imports. But the biggest threats to Cuba's classic cars are the scarcity of parts and lack of original factory literature to maintain them with uniform standards.

Hopefully they will still be preserved for years to come, even if they become increasingly temperamental with all the alterations they go through. If you're thinking of hiring a classic car on your Cuba holiday make sure to make a ceremonial splash of rum on the car's floorboard for good luck!

Emma Lelliott is the general manager of Captivating Cuba, an independent Cuba holiday specialist. With offices in Havana and the UK, Captivating Cuba can offer expert advice on where you should visit on your Cuba holiday. From a vacation in Varadero to a [ ]holiday in Havana, Captivating Cuba can tailor an unforgettable holiday experience for you. Article Source:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Car Warranty - The Basics

Extended car warranties always sound like a product that car owners should have in place, but few of us completely understand what they entail. The concept behind warranties is not as complicated as many of us think.

Those who have bought a new car from a dealership in recent years are likely to be familiar with the basic idea behind a warranty agreement.

A brand new car is usually covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Often this lasts for the first 12 months that you own the vehicle, although it can sometimes be in effect for a longer period.

Once the initial period has expired, there is then the opportunity to take out an extended warranty. An extended warranty can provide a similar level of cover over a period of months or years, but there will be fees involved.

An extended warranty can bring peace of mind, hence the reason why many people decide to pay for this additional form of cover.

Extended warranties will be available after the initial manufacturer's cover expires and will also be available for many second hand cars.

Many people make the mistake of believing that extended policies must be purchased from manufacturer's or car dealerships. This is not the case.

There are numerous independent car warranty companies that can sell you a new agreement, offering a comprehensive level of cover. Many of these companies will sell direct to consumers online.

By buying online you could save yourself a substantial amount of money. Online purchasing allows you to compare prices more easily and also lets you see exactly what standard of cover you will be getting.

If you are looking to purchase an extended warranty then shop around online - you'll find that there are some excellent deals currently available.

By Keith Barrett

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The safety of your children in the car

Anyone with children knows that car safety is important. They are so little and cars are so big, they have to be taught safety by example as well as enforcing safety rules. Contrary to popular belief, children actually listen when their parents talk to them. The only kids who refuse to listen are kids who have never been expected to.

Children should know basic car and road safety. Explain to your kids that being the size they are makes them hard to see from the drivers seat of a vehicle. Put them in the drivers seat of your car and ask them to look around them, show them why it is hard to see them rather than just tell them.

Show them how important it is by making sure drivers have given you eye contact prior to crossing in front or behind them of them. Be sure to talk your way through it, so your child is aware that you use your rules to keep you safe too. The more a young child sees you following your own safety rules, the more apt they will be to pick them up instinctively.

Car seats
Quite possibly the most important factor in auto safety with regards to children is their car seats. Any good parent will research the seat they buy to protect their child and only those with the highest safety ratings should be purchased. This goes without saying, your child's safety is worth all the money in the world. Again it is always important to explain your actions to your child. No doubt anyone who has ever driven a 2 year old anywhere has had to answer the question 'Why do I have to get in the car seat?'

This is another place where leading by example will help to drive your point home and make a more lasting impression on your child where safety is concerned. Wear your own seat belt, not just on long trips but every time you get into your vehicle and move it. The tests and research should be enough to convince any rational being, your chances of surviving an accident are considerably higher if you are strapped in. You strap your kids into extravagant contraptions to keep them in place and safe should something happen on the road. Not taking the same precautions yourself simply doesn't make sense.

On the road rules
Driving a car is serious business and should always be treated as such. Again it is important to make sure your children are aware that the road can present danger in a split second; and that the drivers attention is best kept on the road where it belongs. Explain to them that loud noises, sudden movements, arguing and rough housing are all things that can distract even the most prudent driver and put everyone in the car in danger. Parents, your job isn't easy, but remember while you are on the road you have a responsibility to everyone on the road with you to keep your attention on the road and not in your back seat.

Kids are young little creatures, and their attention span is in direct relation to their life span. Car safety is something you should talk to your children about regularly because keeping it in the forefront of their minds will help them to develop habits that keep them safer throughout their lives. Small things make a big impression to the young ones, and following our own rules is something that will impress on your children far stronger than anything you say to them.

by Paige Filler

Monday, November 19, 2007

Using an Aerosol and Make Your Car Interior Look New Again

Remember when you bought the car that you are driving today. If it was a new car, the outside shined and sparkled like a new diamond ring. Every time you opened the door, that new car smell swirls around your nose. You could see your reflection in the chrome (or chrome plated plastic) and glass from the dashboard and instrument panel. The carpet and seat cushions were clean and spotless. There were no scuff marks on the inside door panels, or on any of the upholstery. You were so proud and protective, that you no one was allowed to drink or eat anything inside your car. You would park, what seemed like miles away from the front of the stores, to avoid possible damage to the outside of your car from other cars or stray shopping carts.

Even if it was not a new car, it was probably cleaned and polished to make it look like it was new. So you still are able to experience that feeling of owning a new car. But a few years have gone by since you bought your car. Now hopefully you have been lucky enough that the outside of the car doesn’t look like it has been in a shopping cart demolition derby. But even being extremely protective of your car’s interior, just normal wear and tear will still take a toll on your carpets, seats and other interior parts. The carpets may be worn or stained with the dirt and grime that we all transport with our shoes on a daily basis. The fabric on the seats are stained from food and drinks, that were once not allowed in your new car. The door panels and seats have scuff marks from the heels of shoes. But, it has been a great car and is still a great car, it just doesn’t look as great as it once did.

You can make your car’s interior look like new again, using a Vinyl and Carpet Dye that comes packaged in an Aerosol Spray Can. You can restore the original color of your car’s carpet, on some occasions, it is even possible to change from the original color. (You may be able to go from a light color to a darker color, but never the opposite.)
The Vinyl and Carpet Dye can be used on the seat fabrics, headliners, plastic and leather interior parts.

Whether you are an experienced auto detailer, car enthusiast, or someone who wants to restore their car’s interior themselves, Vinyl and Carpet Dye Sprays will help you achieve your desired results. Several considerations must be addressed in your achieving your desired results. Do you want the color of the Vinyl and Carpet Dye Sprays to match the color exactly or are you just trying to clean them up and make them all uniform in color? Why is this important? To just clean up your car’s carpets, you can go online to Vinyl and Carpet Dye manufacturer’s websites and choose a color off of their stock color chart that you think matches your carpet color. Stock colors usually do not have a color matching lab fee like most custom matched colors do.

Clean your carpets of any dirt and grime. Make sure that carpets are completely dry before using the Vinyl and Carpet Dye Sprays on them. First it is advisable to remove a small piece of carpet from an unexposed area of the car and spray it to see what it will look like, before you begin spraying the exposed areas. If you have chosen a good close color match, and the color is acceptable, you can use it on the rest of the carpets. Before spraying, unless you have removed the seats and taken the carpets out of the car completely, you must protect the areas of your interiors that are not to be dyed or painted. This is accomplished by taping off the areas using a good quality tape and with paper such as newspaper. Leave only the areas to be sprayed exposed. The taped off areas will be protected from the overspray of the Vinyl and Carpet Dye Sprays. Before using the product, you must have proper ventilation when using an aerosol product containing paint or dyes. It is advisable to always spray the all of the carpets and that you don’t try to spot spray. Spraying all of the carpeted areas, will help to promote uniformity in the carpet’s color. After following the Vinyl and Carpet Dye Spray instructions on proper application techniques and if you chose a good color match, your carpets should look like new. Even if it is not the exact color of the original color, it looks good.

However, if you do want an exact color match as the original color of your car’s carpets, this to can be achieved. It is just a little more time consuming and costly. You would need to send a sample piece of your carpet from an unexposed area of your car, to a Vinyl and Carpet Dye Spray manufacturer. There usually a color match lab fee for a custom matched color, normally around $50 a color. You should still test the custom matched Vinyl and Carpet Dye spray in an unexposed area of your car to check the color match.

The same considerations should be taken when using the Vinyl and Carpet Dyes on the other parts of the car’s interior that needs to be restored. This is not a new product, it has been around for years and is used in many detailing shops, car dealerships and restoration companies.

Always follow the Vinyl and Carpet Dye instructions on proper use, ventilation requirements and other safety warnings.

by Larry R Lewis

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Help in choosing custom trailer

Cargo trailers are all the rage these days as we have an increasingly mobile lifestyle. Many people use cargo trailers to haul everything from animals to jet skis. There are many cargo trailers on the market, but if you’re like many people you’ll want to look at custom trailers.

Custom trailers are a wonderful way to personalize your investment! You will be able to design nearly every aspect of your cargo trailer so that it becomes perfect for you. There are many companies that offer custom trailers, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out which type of custom trailers you’re interested in. There are general cargo, ATV and motorcycles, Auto Haulers, Economy models and more! Think about the vision you have for getting a custom trailer.
Do you plan on transporting a vehicle? You will need an Auto Hauler. Are you planning on transporting just a few things here and there? You will be fine with an economy model.

It is important to research each of the different kinds so that you make the right decision for you when it comes to custom trailers. Getting an economy model if you’re planning on doing mobile vending is not going to work well for you.

You’ll also want to decide which manufacturer you want your custom trailers to come from. There are several reputable and quality manufacturers out there. Some names are better known than others, but that does not mean lesser-known companies are poor quality. Read some online reviews if you want to make sure.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is that some makes are only available in certain locations. It may be a good idea to get custom trailers from a location that is closer to you. If you’re willing to have custom trailers transported to you, that’s another option.

In addition to the different makes, there are also different models that you can customize. Again, you’ll need to think about your needs when picking a model. Sometimes you’ll want one that comes with all the bells and whistles, while other times you’d be satisfied with a more general model.

Almost every company that offers custom trailers will allow it to be super customizable. You don’t have to settle e for what is pre-made. After all, you are making a large investment in custom trailers. You will want it to be for something that is going to make you happy now and in the long run.

Many companies that offer custom trailers will allow you to choose a graphic you’d like to feature. If you own a business or are interested in a particular hobby or sport, this can be a great draw for you. Getting custom trailers shouldn’t be the same old thing. Custom graphics can really make your trailer stand out from the crowd.

When looking into custom trailers always remember to put your needs first. Choosing the wrong make, model, or size trailer is a big mistake. Do your research and find your perfect custom trailer. For an added touch, be sure to find a graphic you’d like to feature. Most of all, enjoy your new custom trailer and be proud that you had a hand in its design!

by Duderinow

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bumpers 101 - For Style and Safety

Vehicles play a very important role in our lives. They take us to our destinations and they transport goods for us. Because of their tasks, vehicle like people also need caring and pampering. Without those, they will easily wear out and would eventually be useless already. Vehicles need proper protection and maintenance. Taking them out in the road where thousand other cars, man-made barriers and excavations pose dangers, our vehicles must be ready for any unexpected threats to our safety.

Anti-lock brakes, airbags, and seatbelts are some of the most common performance parts and accessories for safety. Manufactured cars all have these basic features. But there are some vehicles that double the safety features with installed bumpers.

With a variety of bumpers equipped in a vehicle, the most common would be the front and rear bumpers . There are well- designed and well-crafted bumpers out in the automotive market that could add up or jazz up the look and style of your vehicles. However, more than the aesthetics, the performance and the most important function of the bumper should not be overlooked. Bumpers are designed to absorb and deliver the momentum during low-speed collisions to protect the passengers from its effects and the vehicle from severe damages. Bumper’s pieces are being formed into specific shapes faultlessly do this without much apparent damage to itself. This way, they can help protect every passenger on your car and also save you from the costly repairs that crash damages would cost you.

Made of heavy sheet metal, bumpers are installed in a vehicle and are usually mounted on the front and rear part of the vehicle. Built with “crumple zones”, these designs on bumpers, flex during collisions. Bumpers add appeal and enhance the looks of your vehicles.

If you’re into stylish bumpers, make sure that you wouldn’t compromise you and your vehicle’s safety. Go for bumpers that had passed standards and of high quality. There are many kinds of bumpers available; these pieces are available in different designs, makes, finishes and materials to cater to all kinds of vehicles regardless of what model, model year and model trim of vehicle you have. Make sure you choose the exact bumper fit for your vehicle and it is also important to go for trusted bumper brands with above standard quality.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Radar Detectors - Could One Have Saved Me?

I remember it well! I was on a fast stretch of road, but keeping to the limit for that stretch. I came towards a village, where the speed limit dropped by 20mph. Obviously I slowed down, and continued to slow. The road curved round to the left and went downhill. All this within about 100 yards of the slow down sign. And guess who was waiting for me at the bottom of the bend? Yes, you guessed it, the boys in blue.

I was fined for being 4mph over the limit! Grr. It didn't seem right then, and it doesn't seem right now either. So was there anything I could have done to avoid this in justice?

Radar detectors are extremely effective for warning drivers that they are approaching a speed detection device that uses a radar system. The speed is calculated using the difference between the transmit frequency and receive frequency (also known as the Doppler shift). They are essentially microwave radio receivers, and as such, it is important that the detector you want can identify the radio waves emitted by the equipment used by the authorities.

Radar detectors come essentially in two flavours, corded or uncorded. The corded typically mounts to your windshield, and because of its location offers an aerial less-obstructed detection. Cordless is as the name suggests, and offers you portable convenience to have the unit located where you want. This also means that you can use the unit for different vehicles without having to resort to multiple units or fiddly removals or re-installs.

There are some important considerations when shopping for radar detectors. These include band detection, which allow a range of police radar devices to be detected, distance of detection, ability to send a jamming signal, and, of course, price. In addition to these concerns, anyone interested in purchasing a motorcycle radar detector should check that the detector comes with an ear jack, because you will have to rely on an aural signal for these devices to be effective for you.

Some radar detectors can be extremely expensive but finding a discount unit is relatively simple if you know where to look. One option for purchasing radar detectors cheaply is to search for wholesale electronic distributors who have their own retail outlets. You will need to ascertain from the manufacturer that the detector that you are trying to buy will work in your area, or has band detection available. The stockist should have information about the frequencies used by your local authorities as well, so try and find this out before you part with any hard earned cash. Bear in mind that the cost of a radar detector is far less than the cost of the speeding tickets that you may face - so or protect yourself, get a radar detector.

Used radar detectors prices are reasonable and sometimes negotiable. They can be purchased from owners, dealers, or from superstores. Try to buy used radar detectors directly from the owners if possible, as you are likely to get a better deal. In the case of superstores, used radar detector prices are not normally negotiable, though they are usually sold for a reasonable, predetermined price. However, it sometimes pays to ask for a cash deal and to have cash ready, just in case! Such companies recondition the units to sell as refurbished items. A specialty of refurbished radar detectors is that their prices are remarkably low and they provide the same benefit that a new radar detector offers.

by Profitweaver

Friday, November 02, 2007

Anti-Lock Braking and its importance

By Dennis James

The ABS (Anti-Lock Braking) in one of the most important elements of a modern vehicle’s braking system. It works by a specialized computer activating the brake pumps so that during a powerful deceleration the wheels will not lock-up and you will be able to steer the car under such a circumstance. The situation was different before this system’s introduction. When you used to press powerfully the brake pedal, the system was fully activated permanently and the wheels blocked. This resulted in very numerous crashes, and a popular method among drivers to avoid brake lock-up was to pump the brakes.

With the introduction of ABS however these problems were solved, because the electronics does everything. An ABS fitted braking system will pump the brakes up to 15 times per second. You have to admit that no driver could match this performance.

You might ask yourself how ABS works.
Each wheel is fitted with sensors. They scan continuously the movement of each wheel and when they sense that a wheel has stopped, which is the case with a powerful braking, this sensor will transmit the ABS computer a signal. The computer will regulate the pressure in the braking system for all four wheels accordingly and this way wheel lock-up is reduced.
The computer will direct the braking pump to increase and reduce pressure in the system a few dozen times per second all the time the brake pedal is pressed. The driver can steer the car almost normally, because he will have control of the wheels in avoiding an obstacle, for example.
You can hear and feel the ABS when it enters the scene, you will feel some short movements in the brake pedal and you will hear a distinct sound.

Your breaking distances will not be reduced if your car is fitted with ABS. It has other purposes, to allow you to handle the car in a case when a powerful brake is necessary. There may be situations when ABS braking will actually increase the braking distance of the vehicle. If you have to brake forcefully and an obstacle appears in front of you, you will be able to drive around it and not crush into it.

The entire job is done by specialized computers and sensors. The driver is not obliged to do anything special, just to use the brakes in the normal way, braking and keeping the brake pedal pushed. Do not use the pumping technique when driving an ABS fitted car, because the actual pumping is being done by the system.

The early systems were rear-wheel ABS, which pumped only the rear wheels. They have been used quite some time ago in SUVs and pick-up trucks and are no longer produced. Today almost all cars are manufactured with four-wheel ABS as standard equipment. In this case, the system uses the sensors at each wheel to pump them all, individually, according to the situation. It is the most efficient system, the more precise, but it is the most expensive one to implement. Some less expensive cars are fitted with a three-channel system.

Dennis runs Car Dealer Check a website dedicated to providing honest car dealer ratings and providing a consumer car dealer survey service.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Octane Boosters and the Truth Behind Them

By Drew Shielly

Octane numbers are something we see every day and probably take for granted. We all know this is a rating means to measure a fuels resistance to pre-ignition, but how does that apply in a practical sense. Let's first assume you have a car that runs well on 91 octane. What could you gain by altering the fuel you fill up with. By going down to 87 octane you will achieve better mileage, but could risk detonation depending on your cars engine. By going up to 93 octane you might allow your car to advance the timing gaining horsepower. Due to lower BTUs per gallon you will give up a few miles per gallon. So right off you can see that it is a balancing act.

Looking closer at this, you notice that the extra horsepower comes from the ability of the car to advance timing and not the fuel itself. Higher octane fuel has less BTUs, but still nets power due to the timing advance and higher boost it can achieve. In modern vehicles with knock sensors the timing is constantly varied to achieve the best balance between performance and economy. Because this adjustment takes time, simply switch to higher octane at the track is not good enough. The fuel needs to be run in advance to allow the car to compensate for it. So using 91 all he time and then going to the track and filling up with 95 is not going to help your track times. You will have a faster car on the ride home though.

The other end of the spectrum is less octane. The down side here is the risk or pre-ignition and high EGTS. Both of these can lead to melted or bend pistons. Valves and the head is also placed in risk. If you have a modern vehicle it will detect this and retard timing to prevent damage. This timing modification is easy to detect with an OBDII scanner and it an easy to diagnose too fuel with too little octane.

Because of the above reasons, a lot of people turn to the boosters as a way of having both good fuel commonly and good performance at the track. The problem with them is most do not work. If you do find one what works, adding it to your tank a day before you go to the track can be beneficial. Despite the benefit, use boosters sparingly as most rely on MMT as a means of boosting the octane. Excessive MMT can cause problems with sensors, injectors, or even the exhaust.

By now you are probably confused again by what all of this means. To sum it up, if your car has no changes to compression, raised RPM limiter, or lots of boost, you should probably use whatever fuel the dealer recommends. If you have a race built motor, stick to a race fuel that meets the need of your engine. If you have a lightly tuned engine and enjoy the occasional track day, throw in a bottle of octane booster the day before and call it a day. Do not rely on boosters all of the time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Beautiful Car

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hybrid Electric Vehicles - Pros and Cons

By Levi Quinn

In the past few years, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) have been getting a lot of press, both good and bad. As with any new technology-that is, any technology newly offered to the public-there are proponents and opponents to the wide use of HEVs. Pros and cons are bandied about freely, and it can be difficult for the average person to weed out any useful information. Here is a brief, simple synopsis of the advantages and disadvantages of HEVs.

The most obvious benefit of HEVs is lowered environmental impact. A vehicle that's powered solely by electricity produces absolutely no emissions. Admittedly, a hybrid vehicle does emit some carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but only from the gasoline-driven engine. If your vehicle is powered by electricity 50% of the time, it will reduce harmful exhaust emissions by 50%.

Hybrid vehicles are quieter, and cause less noise pollution-an important consideration in urban areas. The engine only runs when the vehicle is being actively propelled forward. Over time, this trait also cuts down on overall energy consumption.

Another obvious benefit is that HEVs run on a fuel source that is already readily available, and that does not depend on foreign oil. The United States already has numerous electrical power plants that are already producing vast amounts of electricity.

For the most part, hybrids are easy to fuel up. The majority of hybrid vehicles on the market today have batteries that can be plugged in and recharged; an adaptor allows most hybrid owners to "fuel up" their vehicles at home. Some cities make charging stations available, as well.

However, there are downsides, as well. HEVs use a lead-acid battery. These can take a long time to charge, sometimes as long as 10 hours. This is not so much of a problem if you're at home and plan on leaving your car to charge overnight, but it can be decidedly inconvenient when you're traveling. In the future, as HEVs become more prevalent, you can expect charging stations with the capacity to charge batteries in a fraction of that time will to become available.

Another drawback is that while hybrids do vary somewhat in the distance that they can travel on a fully charged battery, the average is about 60 miles per charge. Again, this isn't much of an obstacle for a hybrid vehicle, which can switch over to gasoline power at need-but decidedly inconvenient for a car with fully electrical propulsion (EV). In addition, the batteries have a limited shelf life-roughly three years-and are extremely expensive to replace.

Researchers are experimenting with other types of battery, such as nickel-metal hydride, nickel cadmium, and lithium-ion batteries. At present, these types could offer better performance, but the costs are prohibitive.

Lastly, the purchase cost of a hybrid vehicle is a major deterrent for many people who are considering "switching over." HEVs are still more significantly more expensive that their gasoline-driven counterparts. To some degree, decreased fuel consumption, better fuel economy, and reduced maintenance costs serve as a counterbalance to the higher cost. There are also governmental tax credits, at the federal and sometimes even at the state level, for individuals who purchase hybrid vehicles.

Is it worth it to replace your current vehicle with an HEV? That depends. Only you can say. Do your research, and do the math. Look at all of the different factors involved, and make an educated decision. Only you can know if an HEV is the best choice given your life, your preferences, and your budget.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Best Car Donation Tips To Save You Money On Your Taxes

By Helen Hecker

In the United States it's possible to donate a vehicle (usually a car, but it can be a boat or any other form of transportation) to certain charities, and in return be able to claim a tax deduction on your personal income tax return. A car donation may be accepted on the condition that the vehicle doesn't have to run but should be in towing condition. A charitable car donation may be worth more than a trade-in.

The new rules allow the donor to deduct only the amount the charity receives for the vehicle. Charities usually provide you with a release of liability when they take your vehicle, and after the car sells, they send you a tax-deduction form that explains how much they received for your car. There have been car donors who needed a new vehicle and they ended up buying donated and repaired vehicles.

You may have an old vehicle sitting on your property or on the street that you don't use very often. Make sure you have the title in hand if you call in your donation.

You can usually donate a sad-looking car that's not running, depending on the charity. The donor benefits from the donation by receiving a tax receipt for the highest possible value of the vehicle. It's good to know that when you donate a car, you'll get it off your property within just a couple of days, freeing up space in the garage, in the driveway or even your yard.

Your vehicle has to have all four of the tires inflated in order to be accepted. By donating a car it can eliminate spending money on repairs, advertising fees and the problems or liabilities associated with selling a vehicle. In some cases charitable car donors can still claim fair market value for their used vehicle.

If your automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV or aircraft is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way toward supporting the charity of your choice. Make sure to fill out the forms the charity representative gives you and have them ready for the driver when he comes to pick up the car. No need to pay for advertising, no loss of privacy and possible security risk, and no need to pay for vehicle registration, insurance, and repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer.

Also, if your car is running, consider dropping it off with the charity yourself to save the organization from paying for towing costs. For states that require smog certificates or safety inspection certificates, you can donate your vehicle without these documents. And some cars may not qualify for the tax exemption because of the condition they're in.

There are a few exceptions in the new tax law regarding the fair market value section, for example, you may base your deduction on the vehicle's fair market value if the charity sells it to a needy individual at a discounted price or if the charity uses the car as part of its mission instead of selling it. Some charities have the capability to repair or perform maintenance and get a donated vehicle ready for sale. A vehicle donation is allowed if you itemize your income tax return.

Whether it's the law in your state or not it's a good idea to protect yourself by having proper insurance coverage on your vehicle until it's donated. One of the exceptions to the new IRS regulations allows donors to still deduct the fair market value of their vehicle, provided the charity materially improves the vehicle.

If you donate a car you can get a tax break and help your community at the same time. Major charity car donation programs include: Kidney Foundation Car Donation Program, Target and Goodwill Industries. Whatever the case, your car donation, like any charitable donation, will get you a good tax deduction, will go to help someone in need and it'll make you feel good that you were able to help in some way.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fuel Additives And Effects On Fuel

By Drew Shielly

We tested a common additive, Torco, to see if it could add performance to your vehicle or increase mileage. Before discussing this product, lets first address key differences between a racing fuel and pump fuel. The one everyone thinks of is octane. Under the US octane rating system AKI (Anti-Knock Index) pump fuel is graded as (RON+MON)/2. Meaning if a fuel had a RON (Research Octane Number) of 96, and a MON ( Motor Octane Number) of 90 its AKI would be 93. Race fuels can be graded on any of the standards AKI, MON, RON. So what is octane and why is it important for performance? Octane is what gives gasoline its ability to resist pre-ignition. As displacement, compression, boost, RPM, go up it becomes harder to keep the fuel mixture from igniting prematurely.

If under load or high heat, you experience knock with 87 octane, stepping up to 91 octane is logical step for both performance and longevity. If you experience no knock or timing pull at 91 there is no benefit to you stepping up to 93 or higher. Raising the octane further would only serve to decrease mileage. The additives that raise octane have less energy than the base fuel, effectively lowering the BTUs of the fuel. That is you will make the most power and have the best fuel economy with the lowest octane that is capable of preventing knock under your specific conditions.

Another major distinction between race and pump fuel is RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure). The easiest, overly simplified, way to think of RVP is as a system to rate the tendency for the fuel to want to evaporate. The lower the number the less tendency the fuel has to evaporate. In general racing fuels have a much lower RVP than would be found in pump fuel due to the poor starting characteristics that come along with low RVP fuels.

Burn -speed is another major difference. Race fuels are blended towards a specific application. The desired burn rate in a Kart at 16,000 RPM is very different than the target burn rate of something like a big-block V8 at 9,000 RPM. Too fast of a burn and you may experience less than optimum power. Too slow and your valves may be opening before maximum pressure is reached.

Without going into further detail such as specific gravity, dielectric constant, and numerous other variables, you should now have a basic understanding that there is a lot more to fuel than just octane. Altering these variables randomly can serve to be counter productive. For the purpose of objectivity lets look at one of the most common indicators. Octane.

Torco advertises that it can raise 93 pump to 107 when used in the highest concentrations. Tested in the highest recommended mixture we saw an AKI of ~99 though a secondary testing method. 8 full points from 107 if you assume Torco was implying 107 AKI and not 107 RON. This would mean it was raising 97RON to 107 RON. If you standardize the results on AKI you will see that 107RON is actually fairly close to 99AKI. This is much better than you could hope for with the more common additives such as with xylene or Tulene. If you assume $3.00 per gallon of 93AKI pump and $17.50 for a can of the Accelerator that works out to $6.50 a gallon. With race fuel such as VP and Sunoco in the $5.00 neighborhood this does not make since. On the other end if the spectrum, you could mix 1 can with 20 gallons. In areas where only 91AKI is available, this makes a little more sense at ~$3.80 per gallon to end up with 93AKI.

So an additives replace race fuel? No. Do they have limited applications? Absolutely. If you have a legitimate need for slightly more octane this is a great way to go. If you are tuning a highly modified engine for maximum power stick to race fuels.

Monday, October 01, 2007

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Car Detailing

By Chad Hervig

Did you know that, apart from a house and the expense of raising children, an automotive is the most expensive item the vast majority of us will ever buy? Why then do we find it acceptable to neglect these expensive purchases? C'mon folks, let's get out there in the sunshine and give our cars a good cleaning! They love it, I know they do.

I used to run a pickup and delivery car wash business, and I quickly realized the importance of the following five tips that I'm going to share with you. Some may sound simple, but you'd amazed at how many of my friends and neighbors I see washing their cars the hard way.

I'm going to assume that everyone knows to spray your car down with water thoroughly before employing these steps. It dislodges the loose dirt and dust that would otherwise be swirled around with your mitt, and it also effectively cools the surface temperature of your car a bit before washing, which makes cleaning easier.

№1 - Clean the Tires First.

I never condone the use of harsh chemicals on a vehicle's paint, but on tires and rims it's generally a good way to go, simply for the time savings and the effectiveness of most cleaners (email me or visit my website for recommendations). I use a soft bristle brush and an old wash mitt. Do NOT use the same water that you're going to use to wash the car, since the brake dust and road tar that your rims accumulate, not to mention those harsh chemicals that you used to clean them, are not good for your paint at all.

№2 - Repeat After Me:

We wash the car from the TOP down! This is a simple tip, but most folks tend to forget it, instead just dunking their mitt in the water and slapping it up on the nearest body panel. Why does it matter? Not only does gravity dictate that dirt and water always run to ground, but you actually end up saving a lot of time, soapy water, and rinse water when you start at the top. Try it and you'll agree. I also find that it ensures a more thorough and consistent cleaning.

№3 - Don't use old bath towels to dry off your car.

I know it's easy to do it that way, but those towels actually aren't soft enough to keep from putting miniscule scratches into your paint. You won't notice it right away, but try drying the same car with crusty bath towels for a couple years, and you'll definitely notice a duller paint finish. But don't throw those towels away! Use them to dry your windows, rubber trim, door jambs, wheels and tires, really anything but the paint. What do you dry the rest of your car with? A chamois. I'll always prefer the genuine sheepskin chamois, but there are some competitive synthetic ones out there.

№4 - Cost Saving tip here:

Save your old newspapers for cleaning your car windows! You still need to use Windex of course, but old newspapers are essentially free and they actually do a MUCH better job of cleaning your windows, with drastically less lint than paper towels. Also, a wad of newspaper goes a lot longer before needing to be replaced. At the car wash where I ran my business, we used to dig the newspapers out of the trash cans. Free! Just grab a full page, crumple it up into a large wad, and off you go. For some reason, the color pages don't work as well, so try to use the black and white pages. Seriously, if you've never tried this then you'll thank me.

№5 - Use a damp rag on your dashboard and interior trim before applying the vinyl detailer (Armor All or similar).

When you spray your dash, your seats, the door panels, and everywhere else with detailer without first wiping it down, all that dust and grime just gets spread around, not really removed. This step is also free, and will save you money in Armor All as well. Take a clean rag, dampen it with water, and quickly wipe everything down. Take a peak at your rag. See? Afterwards apply your vinyl detailer SPARINGLY. Now that's a nice looking interior.

We spend so much money on our cars, and so much time in them, folks. I for one am glad to spend so much time in mine. Without my car I'm . . . well I'm a guy who's looking for his car. Let's send the right message about ourselves by keeping our cars in great shape!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Night Driving With Ease and HID

By Dylan Turnerr

Want to throw out your car’s headlamps for their lousy performance? You better reach out for an HID conversion kit. Rid you night driving stress and see far much beyond the dashboard.

What is HID?

If you’ve ever wondered about the bluish lights from the headlamps of other cars, you have seen HID lamps at work. It is no big secret, really. These High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps use mercury vapor, metal halide, or low or high pressure sodium. HID headlamps are more efficient and much brighter. They also draw less energy from a car’s battery.

The bluish green lamps are emitted by earlier Mercury vapor lamps. Today, the lights are whiter. Sodium lamps have yellow light, but high pressure sodium headlamps give off whiter illumination and the metal halide lamps produce light that is more natural.

The halogen-tungsten with sealed beams that you are using is fading out with the bold invasion of HID. These hit the scene in 1991 with the BMW 7-series. The North American market was quite slow in adopting the new technology, but it was immediately embraced in Europe and Japan. Finally, in 1996, the Mark VIII was the first American car to use these bulbs.

Arc Light Technology

HID bulbs produce what is known as the arc light effect. In conventional bulbs, electricity passes through a wire filament. Higher electricity voltage creates an arc of light which you see as a whiter illumination. The light produced is three times brighter than the common filament application.

HID bulbs have a lot of uses outside cars. You may also want to have the arc lights on your bike for those late afternoon races. Perhaps you need brighter light to warm your exotic plants or greens in your plant nursery. Brighter lights also assure safety on the road and security inside big retail outlets, shops, and parking lots.

Costly But Worth It

Make those long night drives during heavy rains hassle-free with HID headlamps. Upgrade your car’s headlamp with HID bulbs. You can opt for bluish, white, or yellow light. But for night driving, white light is preferable.

These bulbs are easy to install if you can get to the headlight assembly. Simply remove old bulbs and install new ones. However, you must make sure that your hands are clean and free of grease or you’ll end up contaminating the sensitive new bulbs. You can be sure that your new HID bulbs have been tried for their staying power, which passed the 200-hour test.

If you lack the tools and the expertise, you can have the bulbs installed by a mechanic. This may cost you $300 to $1,800, so make inquiries about the possibilities with regards to your car make and model.

Go For The Best HID bulbs

There are lots of HID bulbs out there. When it is about your car, look for the HID headlamps that will allow for "flash to pass" and give extra light on demand. Avoid HID bulbs that require more start up current, which may wear down your car’s wiring and other components. The best ones may be expensive, but when it comes to convenience and safety, you money is well spent.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Antique Ohio Electric Car

By George Christodoulou

Electrically operated automobiles are amongst the earliest vehicles, and are more energy efficient than all the conventional vehicles that use ICE (internal combustion engine) technology. Fortunately, for us the electric car doesn’t produce any exhaust fumes, and causes minimal or no pollution even if it charges from most renewable forms of energy. Besides this, these ‘green’ or ‘hybrid’ cars are capable of reducing our dependence on traditional fuels, while helping to mitigate global warming by providing relief from the greenhouse effect.

Electric cars are among the earliest automobiles, more so since electric vehicles predate petroleum and diesel cars. It’s believed that a Scottish businessman, Robert Anderson invented the first proto type electric coach somewhere around 1832-1839. However, it was the year 1835, that Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, Netherlands, helped his assistant Christopher Becker design and build the first small electric car.

The antique Ohio electric car is a vintage car now. The Ohio Electric Car Company produced electric cars, which were mainly bought by rich customers during the late 1800s and early part of 1900s. Electric vehicles were also produced by Edison, Anthony, Bakers and others during the early 1900s and even out-sold the conventional vehicles for some time! But due to technological limitations, besides other factors, these vehicles were limited to a maximum speed of 32 km/hr.

However, in 1913, Cadillac introduced the electric starter car, the sales of electric cars experienced a down slide and soon antique Ohio electric cars became just that, antiques. Now, electric cars are more popular than they have ever been with the fear of global warming and the increasing cost of gas.

George Christodoulou,
If you have any questions about antique Ohio electric cars, please visit

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Auto Relocation Specialists

By Iwan Gunawan Gonzales

SUMMARY: How you handle your car situation depends a lot on where you are moving to, and a good auto relocation specialist will know this. Let's face it; you can't drive your car yourself if you plan on moving across an ocean. If you are really attached to your car, then the auto relocation specialist can help you plan to have your car freighted to where you are going to live.

There are certain aspects of a relocation that many people overlook. One of the biggest things that people generally don't think about is what is going to happen with their car or truck or other big automobiles. It just doesn't cross their mind until the last minute when it may be to late to plan anything. There are a lot of different ways to handle your automobile when you are planning a move and it can be hard to know all of these points yourself. If you really want the edge and want it to be planned out perfectly to begin with, then you may need to enlist the help of an auto relocation specialist. These are people who know all about moving vehicles from one location to the next. You would be surprised at how much an auto relocation specialist needs to know.

How you handle your car situation depends a lot on where you are moving to, and a good auto relocation specialist will know this. For example, if you are moving just down the street, you don't need to worry about what happens to your car. In fact, you don't really need to use an auto relocation specialist in this situation. If you are planning to move across the country, though, then it is a whole other story. You need think about how you are going to get your car out to where you are going to live. If you want to fly there, then this can be a problem. While most moving companies will gladly move your things by themselves, that doesn't usually include a car or other kind of automobile.

In most cases, you would end up needing to drive the car down yourself, which can be really time consuming. A good auto relocation specialist will be able to help you plan for this kind of situation so that you can save money and you can be happy with what decisions will be made.

Another situation that you would need a specialist is when you are moving overseas. Let's face it; you can't drive your car yourself if you plan on moving across an ocean. This is just comically impossible. Instead, there are several routes that you can go through. If you are really attached to your car, then the auto relocation specialist can help you plan to have your car freighted to where you are going to live. If you are willing to buy a new car when you get there, this can actually save money though. The freight costs are very high to move your car, and there is always the risk that the freight company won't take very good care of it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Car Check List Before a Long Trip

By Pauline Go

Even a small problem inside the vehicle during a long journey could make life miserable if the vehicle is not prepared prior to the journey. Listed below are some useful suggestions that can be taken as a checklist for preparing the vehicle for a long trip.

Checking the engine oil:

Most of the problems arising in the engine are due to usage of improper engine oil. It is always important to periodically examine the color and the level of the engine oil and replace it once the color turns dark.

Automatic Transmission fluid:

Another important aspect that can cause a great damage if ignored is the automatic transmission fluid. It is always better to replace the automatic transmission fluid prior to the journey. A normal transmission liquid is red in color. The color of the fluid gradually turns brown and loses its thickness under high temperature. Depending on the mileage covered by the vehicle and the speed, the oil might even turn black.

Engine antifreeze:

The antifreeze or the coolant level in the overflow tank should be between “min” and “max” levels so as to ensure a safe and comfortable ride without the engine getting heated up. Any possible leaks inside the tank are indicated by unusually low levels of the coolant. It is always better to get the tank checked for leaks from a maintenance engineer before filling up the reservoir.


Any new battery usually lasts for a period of 2-3 years. If the battery is more than 4 years old, it is better to get it replaced. Another option is to get the battery examined by a service engineer or else carry a spare one inside the car.

Other important things that need to be checked before going on a journey include the pressure in the tires, checking the brake fluid, power steering fluid, air filters, fuel level, loosened clamps, steering and suspension components, lights and windshield wipers. Certain emergency features that must be taken on a journey include a spare tire, a first-aid box, tool box, flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers, a spare headlight bulb, a bottle of engine oil and antifreeze liquid.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Basic Vehicle Maintenance Tips For Safety On The Road

By Lydia Quinn

SUMMARY: Learn basic auto maintenance tips for your vehicle for maximum safety on the road. While practicing safer driving techniques on the road is a key to road safety, proper care and maintenance of your vehicle also plays a crucial role in getting you safely to your destination.

While practicing safer driving techniques on the road is a key to road safety, proper care and maintenance of your vehicle also plays a crucial role in getting you safely to your destination. After all, proper maintenance may mean the difference between getting home safely or breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Here are some essential car maintenance tips for keeping you and your car safe and healthy.

Check The Oil

It may seem obvious, but the importance of checking the oil regularly cannot be stressed enough. Checking it and changing it often is probably the single most important thing you can do to keep your car's engine in good condition.

Check Your Lights

This is one of the easier maintenance tasks, as you'll often find someone, hopefully not a policeman, will tell you that one of your tail lights isn't working properly. Having working head and tail lights is absolutely crucial to your safety. Have them fixed as soon as possible whenever one isn't working and avoid driving with one light out, if at all possible.

Check Your Tires

Check the tire pressure, but also the alignment often. Invest in a tire pressure gauge. Keep the tire pressure as your vehicle owner's manual recommends. Tire pressure affects many aspects of your car, including the amount of fuel it uses, the handling and performance, as well as the comfort and smoothness of the ride. Rotate your tires after every other oil change. Proper tire rotation helps your tires to wear more evenly. Also, keep a check on the tread wear of your tires and get new tires when needed.

Check Your Transmission Fluid

Check your transmission fluid according to your vehicle owner's manual recommendations. Top it up if needed, but do not over fill, as overfilling can damage your transmission.

Check The Engine Coolant

If you don't have enough coolant, you run the risk of overheating your engine and damaging it. Keep the coolant level topped up, especially if you're going on a long trip during warmer months.

Check The Belts

There are numerous belts in your vehicle, including the ones involved with the running of your alternator, your air conditioning and other parts. Be sure to check the rubber and the belt when you are performing your regular, under the hood maintenance.

Check Battery Contacts

Make sure the contacts on your battery terminal are clean. Often dirt and grime can build up on them, affecting performance.

Pay Attention To Warnings

Any modern car includes warning lights for various parts of the vehicle should the onboard computer detect something isn't working properly. When you see one of these lights go on, don't ignore it. Check your vehicle owner's manual to confirm what you need to check if it isn't obvious.

Be sure to read your vehicle owner's manual, the manufacturer will give you many recommendations for proper care and maintenance of your vehicle and often provide you with a checklist and recommendations for when and how to perform maintenance. Also, get yourself a copy of your vehicle's auto repair manual. If you need to do a repair yourself, these manuals will walk you through step by step, making it possible for even the least mechanical people to repair their own vehicle. If you have no confidence to make your own repairs, don't hesitate to take it to a professional.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How to help diagnose your automobile problems

by Guenter Hohmann

If you go to a doctor you don't just say "my body hurts". Of course not, you would be more specific. How about going to your bank and say "there's a problem with my money". They will look at you as though you had two heads. If you take your automobile to a repair shop and say "my car doesn't run right", what are they supposed to do with that lack of information?

I guess by now everyone should have gotten what I am driving at. If you want something corrected you must give as much detailed information as possible to expedite the matter as quickly as possible. No where is it more important to be specific about a problem than in today's complex automobiles. The better one can explain the problem the better your chances are of getting them corrected the first time and not wasting money on misunderstandings. Most people are in too much of a hurry and just scribble a quick note when dropping their cars off for repairs and not even taking the time to talk to the technician or service writer. Bad mistake! This leads to poor communications and the necessity for several phone conversations that may end up being misunderstood. To make the problem easier to understand, follow some of these guidelines.

Don't say "my car will not start" Specify; Does it crank but not start. Does it just click or buzz when turning the key. Is it just dead with nothing happening? Forget about that "it won't turn over" statement, it is most often misunderstood as to what symptom this pertains to.

Don't say "my car shakes" Specify; Does the steering wheel shake at high or low speeds, does the steering wheel shake when stepping on the brakes, is it the steering wheel shaking or does the whole car vibrate.

Don't say "my car stalls or quits" Specify; Does it stall after starting, does it stall coming to a stop, does it stall at idle, or does the engine just quit while cruising or accelerating.

Don't say "my air conditioner or heater doesn't work" Specify; is the air conditioner blowing warm, or the heater blowing cold. Many times people say their ac or heater is not working when they really meant the blower motor was not working. Again be specific.

Don't say "my car has a strange noise" Specify; the noise is a rattle, rumble, squeal, knock, vibration, ticking, and so forth. Specify; this noise is coming from the front, right or left. Rear, right or left. At highway speeds, or coming to a stop. Only happens during a full moon or total eclipse (just kidding). You get the picture.

I could go on and on but by now you can see how important the right information can be towards a speedy diagnose and save you some money by not having misunderstood symptoms worked on. Did I mention "Specify"?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How To Properly Test Drive A Vehicle

By Joshua Rose

SUMMARY: Don't let the stress and heat level produced from the car buying process keep you from performing the kind of test drive you'll learn the most from.

It doesn’t matter where you found the car, whether at a Dealership or from a private seller, the time will come when you need to drive the car with a critical eye, ear and feel. And you may not be totally comfortable with the prospect of doing a “test drive” because it’s obviously something most people don’t have to do very often.

So let’s do a trial run here. Some of this may seem painfully obvious, but you may be surprised by what many car buyers forget to do when in the heat of the buying process. So, try to stay calm and cool. You may even want to do a dry run on your own car first just to help the learning (or remembering) process.

Before starting the vehicle, inspect the interior and sit in each seat. Are the seats comfortable? Is there enough room for the passengers you are likely to have in the vehicle? If it’s a factor in your life, will passengers be comfortable on a long trip?

If you’re looking at a minivan or SUV (especially one with a third row), remove the seats to judge their weight and the ease of doing so. This will also help you evaluate the total space available for your cargo needs. Also, flip and fold the seats into their various configurations to measure how flexible the interior is.

Next, open the trunk. Think about the kind of vehicle use you anticipate. Imagine loading groceries, luggage or other bulky items you’re likely to transport. Also check the spare tire compartment. Is it accessible and easy to open and close?

Then, sit in the driver's seat and adjust the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors to your specific driving position. Does your body seem to fit the seat? Is the seat too hard or too soft? Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time right there.

Now look around and check your visibility. Are there any blind spots hampering your field of vision? Also, can you tell where the edges of the vehicle are?

While you’re in the vehicle, test the heater/air conditioner, the stereo system, all the power accessories, the windows, headlights, turn signals, visors, and emergency brake. As you’re reaching around, does anything seem out of place or awkward for you? Can you see your speedometer and other gauges without obstruction?

How about the seat belt? Is it easy to put on? Do you have to reach back too far to find it? Is there anything about it that may bother you over time?

Now think about things you’ll likely have with you when driving. For example, are there enough cup holders? Are there enough convenient compartments for your CDs and so forth? How about power outlets? Where are they and are there enough to meet your needs?

Now actually go for a drive. Start out in a relaxed, easy mode as you get used to the vehicle. If possible, pick a route you’re familiar with and one that has different driving environments (flat, uphill, downhill and highway). If you’re in an area you are not familiar with, let the Dealer or seller direct you to these kinds of driving locations.

Keep the conversation to a minimum and the radio off. Does the engine accelerate smoothly and quietly (unless it’s the kind of vehicle that’s supposed to be a bit rough or noisy)? Do the tires make any noise?

Try all of the gears. Is the transition from one gear to another smooth? What’s the acceleration like on a hill? Also, are there any noises when turning? Does the steering wheel adjust back smoothly after turning?

How does the car drive on the highway? Is the noise level appropriate? Is there any shimmering? Does the vehicle repeatedly drift off in one direction or another?

Now find a safe area to brake hard several times. Are you getting predictable performance from the brakes that you feel comfortable with?

Find a parking lot and make two 360-degree turns each direction. Is the turning radius acceptable to your needs? And if possible and safe, try out an emergency maneuver as if you were suddenly forced to evade another car or a pedestrian. Did the vehicle manage the maneuver in a predictable way and remain easy to handle?

When you return the car, put it in Park with the emergency brake on. Then, go out and listen to the engine idle. Is it running relatively quietly and consistently? Note the same about the exhaust.

If you are now satisfied that this is the vehicle for you, it’s time to finalize the price (fun, fun, fun). Once agreed, if this is a used vehicle, it’s time for setting up your independent mechanical inspection before making your final decision.