Archive for September, 2007

Water-damaged Cars

September 27, 2007

There are a lot of spots that seem nice during sunshine. But, unless you aren’t actually familiar of the place, you won’t know that it is being flooded during rain. The unfortunate part is… if it is the only path for you to get home. So, your car gets soaked into the flood water. What is up next? Nothing less than a bad damage, worse on passenger cars.

David Miller, owner of Trinity Collision and Car Repair Center, said, “The bad thing about passenger cars is when they go into as little as 12 inches of water sometimes six. You could suck water into your motor and damage your motor or destroy your motor all together.” That sounds terribly dire. And, worse is that much expensive problems arise as the water mounts, she said.

Though newer models have high technology features these hi-tech equipment could be easily destroyed by water, and these electronics also make them more fragile during floods. Miller said, “Use to be on cars people would worry about water getting in the doors now a days all cars have computers and if you get water inside (you’ll) need a new computer and that’s at least 1,000 plus dollars.”

That’s not the most. “You could actually total your car in as little as 12 inches of water,” Miller said.

Let’s take a look at another concern – the buying of a car that has been flooded. Well, such car is definitely not a good option to be your purchased used car. That is why, if you want to buy a used vehicle, regardless of where it would be from (dealer or auctions), make sure you ask for a complete list of its history. The Better Business Bureau said most water-damaged vehicles wind up at car auctions rather than at large dealerships. But possibly, both have them.

If the seller can’t or won’t provide you with the complete list, check on the car’s carpets if they have been replaced. If they are indeed replaced, the car has most likely been flooded. Another determinant would be if there are rusts under the dash, which would mean the engine has been soaked deep in water. Lastly, you could also check on the car’s trunk for a water line. If you found none of those three factors, the car is nearly safe from water damage. But remember, that won’t mean the car is totally the best used car for you.

Get Ready for the Winter

September 20, 2007

Winter is once again in the air and, we could not stop it from coming. All we can do is get prepared for it.

Well, winter won’t stop us from our daily habits either: traveling for work, for business or even for a visit to somebody out of town. But, the thing is our car gets greater hazards in this season, so we’d better get them in its best shape before the snow starts getting falling.

Edward Peace, an instructor in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s auto diesel technology department, knows what can go wrong and how to prevent trouble through few simple steps. I took his words quoted from ktuu.com:

“We expect to get into the car, vehicle or whatever it might be; we turn the key and it’s going to start and when it doesn’t start we’re at a loss. We don’t know what to do… Cars have become more complicated. We look under the hood and we say, ‘Oh dear, this is nothing like grandpa had,’ and it’s not. But, it still needs to be maintained. As good as it is, it’s no better than the maintenance we put into vehicle.”

Stay on top of basic repairs – “In most cases, it’s a matter of us ignoring our minor maintenance or our preventive maintenance, if you will.”

Then, here are the Peace’s recommendations:

  1. “Get your oil changed, get air filter checked. Air filters are a huge issue here, saves you gas mileage and a lot of expenses with the vehicle.”
  2. “Another thing that is key this time of year is your battery. You want to look for corrosion, dirtness – that type of thing. Anything that will prevent the electricity from the batter getting to the starter to start this up on a cold morning.”
  3. “Understand that a battery at 100 percent – if this battery is 100 percent at room temperature at 30 degrees, it’s probably going to be at 50 percent. As the temperature drops, the efficiency of the batter drops with it,” implying that batteries tend to loose charge as it gets colder.
  4. Engine coolant and washer fluid levels should be maintained.
  5. Flushing the antifreeze every 30,000 miles or three years is recommended. However, owner’s manual tells the actual count, as model and makes’ requirement vary. “If General Motors calls for an orange, put their orange in. If Ford calss for an orange, put their orange in. The two do not like each other. They will not mix’ you can cause internal damage to the engine.”
  6. “The tires, in the winter time, if you have bald tires – I don’t care if you have the best tires in the world – if they are bald in the winter time, in the snow and ice you’re going to create problems,” saying that we should check whether the rubber meets the road.
  7. “If you can see the top of his hairline, the tire is ready to be changed. It’s that simple and anybody can do that’ it’s not rocket science,” explains as he said that simple tire test can be accomplished with a penny through determining “Abe’s hairline”.
  8. Keep an emergency preparedness kit in cars, anticipating accident along the road.

Have these essential items included in you car survival kit:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A multitool knife
  • Extra set of clothes – so you can turn the car off and still stay warm
  • Extra socks, gloves and hats
  • Blankets
  • Waterproof matches and candle. (used to help keep warm)
  • Small can – to melt snow for drinking water
  • Local maps
  • Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wrench)
  • Road flares
  • Rope
  • Jumper Cables
  • Small shovel
  • Set of tire chains

“Maintain your vehicle – minor maintenance, change your oil, change your fluids, keep an eye on your car. Do not take your car for granted,” a nice piece of advice that seems so easy but oftentimes neglected. We just have to love our car and be responsible for it as it also takes responsibility of our life as we drive.

Top Five Future Cars

September 14, 2007

Would it be wonderful to know what we should expect in the future? Personally, I believe it would. Since I have been very much interested with cars, either classic or latest, it is quite a pleasure to be aware of the top five cars for the future. Carsandtuning.org provided the list and brief description, which are as follows:

  1. Saab Sonett – This vehicle is anticipated to resurrect the Sonett badge. Basis will be the Pontiac Solstice platform, making the Sonett a 2-seater open top sport car with a front engine and rear wheel drive.
  2. Lamborghini Murcielago Superleggera – This Lamborghini model is seemingly looking like a SF model from old movies. Equipped with 6.5 L V12 engine, the vehicle has to potential to reach 200 mph of power, running 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds.
  3. Fiat Barchetta – This has been based from a front wheel drive platform, offering a great driving experience. In UK, a right hand drive system will be made available.
  4. Alfa Junior – This is said to be more charming than the smaller Panda/500 or any Punto. Not until looking through its front grille, before one could actually consider it as an Alfa vehicle.
  5. Mercedes AMG Supersport – This will be a product of Mercedes Benz and McLaren collaboration. They will power it with 6.2 L V8 engine, producing more than 500 bhp. However, 2010 is when this stunning vehicle shall appear.

They are all very interesting. Unfortunately, since they are called “future cars”, we couldn’t get our hands on or even just our eyes on the actual model. All we can do right now is… wait.

Top 5 Race Pointers and 5 more to watch in Richmond Race

September 7, 2007

I know a lot have been watching every weekend’s race. For this upcoming Saturday, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond (Va) International Raceway is in the line. Who among the races do you admire most? Who among them always get to the top? Well, form sportingnews.com, I have been aware of who are the top five pointers in the coming race. Here they are, with few details of their performance:

  1. Jeff Gordon – has four wins this season. His momentum is expected to start this Saturday night at Richmond. His fourth-place finish in May broke a string of finishes of 31, 40, 30 and 39.
  2. Tony Stewart – has four top 10s in his past five races at Richmond. It has been said that his angers trigger a better performance on the track.
  3. Denny Hamlin – from suburban Richmond. He has known loving race that he considers Richmond races his world. In his three Cup starts at RIR, he has a third, 15th and second.
  4. Carl Edwards – qualifies well (10.3) but doesn’t finish well (17.0). He qualified second and finished 12th in May.
  5. Matt Kenseth – led 10 of the first 12 races this season (253 laps) but he led only four of the past 13 (35 laps, 31 in one race). He finished 10th at RIR in May.

Now, let’s look over whom we should be watching in the same race:

  • Jimmie Johnson (6th) – won last week and won at Richmond in May. He has a season-high five wins.
  • Kyle Busch (8th) – has a driver rating of 115.2, second to Kevin Harvick’s 125.4. In May, Busch finished second to Johnson. He has five top fives in five career Cup races at Richmond.
  • Kurt Busch (11th) – finished fifth in May after starting 33rd.
  • Kevin Harvick (12th) – excelled in the past five races in Richmond. He got all top 10 finishes, including last September.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (13th) – 128 points behind Harvick and 141 behind Kurt Busch.

Those are a few of what has been discussed in the site. Take a visit and see what’s more.

Ford Brands’ New Famous Italian Bidder

September 5, 2007

Who do you think is the latest bidder for Ford’s Premiere Automotive Group members Land Rover and Jaguar? After much news about the different bidders for the PAG members, another famous Italian bidder is now planning to acquire two of Ford’s subsidiaries in UK. Yes, I am talking about none other than the Italian car maker Fiat.

However, Fiat has denied these latest rumors. But according to some news in the European car market, the Italian automaker is joining the Indian partner Tata Motors in acquiring both Land Rover and Jaguar.

Fiat was even noted to be interested on buying these brands and was even regarded as early bidders but the media only focused on news about Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata and another Indian automaker which were former Ford affiliates, bidding for the new ownership of the Ford luxury brands.

Both Tata and Fiat are collaborating in India on making the production version of the Palio compact. This new car brand will be going under the name of Fiat and Tata Motors. Tata Motors is owned by the family-controlled Tata Group, whose assets include other foreign firms like Tetley Tea and Corus Steel. They are planning to purchase these Ford famous brands in order to be recognized not only in India but also in other countries.

The news on the European market says that the Italian car maker is only interested on the minority stake in Ford’s British subsidiaries, with the Italian car maker reportedly willing to pay a huge amount of $1.5 billion to acquire these brands.

Ford has promised to reveal the new owners of their luxury car brands this October.

Top Ten Green Cars Articles of 1924-1973

September 3, 2007

Autoblog has released the top ten green cars of 1924-1973. It’s interesting to know that people during those times were already environment conscious when it came to their vehicles. Now I don’t have to wonder why auto makers are venturing into green cars since before, they were already conscious about the environment.

Here are the Top Ten Green Cars Articles of 1924-1973 as compiled by Autoblog:

1. Low-Cost Homemade Car Runs 40 Miles Per Gallon (Jun, 1950). Former college professor builds a car with the frame and wheels of a 1934 Ford and scrap lumber and it gets 40 MPG.

2. Water Succeeds Gasoline As New Invention Is Perfected (Dec, 1935). G. H. Garrett’s split water into hydrogen and oxygen and ran a motor with little modification.

3. Three-Wheeled Auto Makes Speed with Low Fuel Cost (Oct, 1924). Flivver was designed in Germany and uses very little fuel. It can go 10 MPH, there were no taxes on it and you didn’t need a license to drive it.

4. Flier Designs Streamline “Push Button” Car (Nov, 1938). Built by a California airman, this car lowers fuel use through clever designs like a covered front wheel. I think car car companies should do that today

5. Japanese Minicar (Dec, 1958). Subaru 360 gets 60 MPG and can go 50 MPH. 54 inches high, 51 inches wide and 117 inches long.

6. A New Switch for Electrics (Jul, 1973). “A NEW day is dawning for the electric vehicle” is the start of the article about the electric vehicles of the early seventies.

7. Motorcyclette Has Speed, Comfort (Feb, 1932). This little bike saves on weight by getting rid of the brakes and using the rider’s feet instead.

8. Motor Scooter Burns LPG (Dec, 1955). Ralph Carlton converted his scooter to run on clean propane, which is in a tank at the front. Is that “Green’s fuel” on that back?

9. Postman Goes Around on Motor Scooter (Jul, 1939). Take THAT Segway! Postman Henry R. Smith built this gas powered scooter for $150.

10. Auto Fuel From Cow Manure (Sep, 1949). What better place to end, than in the end? Cars that run on poop. The “bio-gas” generator is not a new idea, the 1949 article says, and mentions uses dating back to 1912.

Nissan’s New 2008 Sentra

September 1, 2007


We have seen how Nissan has given the 2007 Nissan Sentra their own definition of perfection. The car received updated exterior sheetmetal as well as updated drive trains and designs also included the six-speed automatic going on a 2L engine part giving away 140 horsepower with CVT available as an option.

The new 2008 Sentra is stretched a little with a wheelbase of 5.9 inches longer than the current model. Its overall length also expands to 2.3 inches longer with 3.2 inches wider and 4.0 inches taller measurements. The new car provides more enhanced legroom and head room for more comfort during the drive. It has a passenger volume of 97.7 cubic feet is 9.2 cubic feet. Cargo room has been made bigger with an increase of 13.1 cubic feet, an increase of 1.5 cubic feet.

Other safety upgrades include the following:

Front seat side-impact airbags
Side curtain airbags are standard as are manual air conditioning
15-inch wheels
Satellite radio pre-wiring

These options also come along with the 2008 Nissan Sentra:

Leather-appointed seating
Intelligent Key keyless entry system
Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System
Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with six-disc change
Eight-channel amplifier
Eight speakers

The 2008 Sentra Model and the 2.0 S also gets these following standard equipments:

Anti-lock brakes,
Cruise control,
A security system,
A front seatback pocket;
A sunroof is a new option

The SL model also got the XM hardware with monthly subscription and all the Sentra models gets the driver-side power window with one-touch auto up/down also included.