Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cars and Their Urban Troubles

Purchasing a car has become an inevitable consideration to working people once they have achieved a certain measure of financial flexibility in their lives. Originally when the car, next to the television, was seen as a luxury item, many people could not help but resign their transport needs to mass transport especially in big cities. In contemporary times the case has a new face.

The urban setting has changed since then where large cities have seen an influx of personal vehicles on the thoroughfares and car ownership has plummeted to millions of vehicles in any given large city. In cities where interchange ways are not sufficiently developed, and the metro system is unaccommodating, the large number of personal vehicles on the streets on certain times of the day especially in the morning and the evening has continued to cause gridlocks and overlapping traffic situations on major streets.

It is inevitable then that city authorities have premiered many modern measures to curb the effects of this vehicular revolution by installing traffic laws that include parking rules and the creation of non motorized zones. The latter step has led to restrictions to car drivers from accessing certain districts of large urban centers where only pedestrians are allowed to use. In certain cities the drivers are advised to leave their vehicles in designated spots and access their working places by the electric train or the public metro system to minimize the traffic congestion in the busy commercial district. Car owners who find entry to the heart of the city are required to pay a daily parking fee.

Car ownership has risen partly due to the reduction of commodity prices and the permeation of many subsidiary motor companies manufacturing vehicles cheaply from spare parts obtained from world class car makers. This has made the car recede from the horizon of being a piece of luxury to becoming a city bug.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Basic Car Maintainence Part I; Oil Change

What you'll need:

Tools Required

-Axle Stands (EUR20 approx per set)

-Socket Set (EUR50 for an adequate set)

-Oil Funnel (Any motor-factors, EUR8)

-Rag cloths

-Metal Oil Drain Pan (Again any motor factors, ensure you have this placed accurately before draining the oil)

-Fresh Oil (EUR16, will vary with quantity and quality of oil)

-Some Common Sense in relation to car mechanics!

Prior to attempting an oil change, you must ensure that you have the appropriate tools (as listed above), which prove essential for performing the task successfully. You will need to invest in a set of Axle Stands, a socket set and oil drain pan.

Preparation and Safety:

o Starting your cars engine before draining oil is advisable. Warm oil will drain faster than cold oil, so let the engine run for ten minutes before progressing to drain the old oil.

o Make sure you have placed the car on a level surface. Engage the handbrake and get to work!

o When parked, ensure the car is supported securely, prior to crawling beneath the chassis. Do not attempt to start an oil change without secure support. After jacking the car up, place two Axle stands at the front to prevent the car moving.

o Make sure to consult your owner's manual or an automotive parts specialist to find out the weight of oil which caters to your cars requirements. Quantity of oil required will vary with differing cars and engines. Quality will rely on you; do you want to buy fully or semi-synthetic oil? Obviously expect to pay more for fully synthetic popular brand names.

o Always handle hot automotive oil with extreme caution, (wear appropriate gloves to remove plugs and basins by hand).

Draining old oil:

o Locate the oil plug for draining oil on the underside of the engine, which is usually to the front centre of your car. If you cannot find its location, consult your owner's manual. Once found place your oil pan/basin underneath the plug. Loosen the plug anticlockwise with a socket wrench, and remove by hand.

o The oil will drain into the basin, whilst this is happening hold onto the oil plug.

o Once the oil finishes draining, wipe off the oil plug with a cloth and the surrounding area before replacing the drain plug gasket. You can opt to replace the old gasket, though we advise you change it every time you perform an oil change

o Once fitted reinstall the drain plug slowly.

o Tighten with a wrench or socket. Be careful not to over tighten the plug, which may result in threading of the bolt head.

Replacing with fresh oil:

o Remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine (underneath the bonnet).

o Now place a funnel where the opening lies and pour in your new oil (3 litres approx, again check your workshop manual which will of course vary with engine size and type!). Once finished put the cap back on.

o Having poured in the new oil, start your car and let the engine run for around one minute. Stop the engine, check your oil dipstick (in close proximity to the oil filler cap) and add more oil if necessary.

o Once level is perfect, check around the oil drain plug for leaks. Wipe away excess oil with old cloths and take one last run around the oil drain plug area.

o Dispose of the old oil by placing in a plastic container and bringing to an appropriate disposal location (Motor garage, recycling area), do not just throw away!

Make sure to record the mileage at which you changed the oil, so for future reference you will know when the car is due another change. The universal figure for recommended change of oil is around ten thousand miles. Safe motoring!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Purchasing Repossessed Cars and Autos

Repossessed vehicles or an automobile taken back from the lender is an alternative purchase for consumers, in the process of looking for a new or used vehicle. This process is fairly straightforward however can be simpler, by understanding a few key elements of purchasing a repossessed vehicle. First a repossessed vehicle is the result of a person unable to make payments on a car loan. A bank or lender, giving the loan to the owner made several attempts to contact the owner of the vehicle to make payments. When payments are delinquent, the bank or lender goes out and gets to vehicle back or the owner returns the vehicle.

When considering the purchase of a repossessed vehicle, any number of auctions and lending institutions has an available inventory. Typically, large lenders hire an outside agency, to auction hundreds of vehicles in one venue. This is the auction houses business, and lenders rely on making a small profit after auctioning new cars and used cars. Find an auction by looking in local print or doing an online search. Another method, of finding repossessed cars, is to contact local banks. In smaller communities, banks are typically aware of any existing inventory. Banks are normally happy to earn a bit more on the sale of the vehicle. The lenders percentage of loss is lower when using this method of selling recovered autos.

It is ideal for customers, purchasing a repossessed vehicle, to have some knowledge of auto mechanics. If the purchaser has no mechanical ability, it is vital to find a trustworthy mechanic to take along. Paying a mechanic, to come to an auction, is likely cheaper than a down payment at a traditional dealership. Repossessed vehicles can go for as much as 80% under the appraised value; however it is still necessary to have a basic understanding of how the car runs. An auto is sold in current condition, meaning the buyer will pay any future repairs. This is something to seriously consider when understanding many repossessed vehicles parallel a foreclosed home. If owners fail to make payments, it is likely that an oil change or fixing damage might be unaffordable. Other circumstances might include an owner who becomes aggressive upon finding out they are losing a vehicle. This might include causing damage to the vehicle. For this reason, many vehicles at auction are simply sold for auto parts.

When actually bidding on a repo, remember to carry a price index for vehicles, typically sold at any discount store. Have an idea of what typical values are on a specific car, quote the price according to existing damage, and move forward with bidding appropriately.

Remember purchasing a repo is much the same as purchasing a car within the confines of a traditional dealership. Any auto loans, or necessary cash, must be in hand prior to purchasing the auto. In addition, a copy of current car insurance should be available. If current auto insurance was taken out on a previous vehicle, coverage should be current until you contact your agent. Discuss this with an insurance agent to verify coverage and any existing grace period.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Classic Cars And Where To Start

The key to investing in classic cars is to know about what your investing in, if you are interested in a certain car to start you down the road spend time on research. What owner clubs are there, are spares reasonably easy to get hold of, and so on.

Are you are a car lover, of a sentimental generation, or simply one who would like a cool ride, buying classic cars is your best bet. Restoring these older cars is probably one of the most rewarding, albeit expensive, of all the hobbies you can take on. But surprisingly, auto insurance for these cars is much cheaper than regular car insurance and is much different than insurance for a regular everyday car.

One of the areas that differs considerably between modern and classic cars is deprecation, buy wisely and appreciation is more likely. Restoration of any of the more mature cars is one hobby that a lot of people have and just seem to sink a ton of money into. Buying and restoring classic cars is a popular hobby for many car enthusiasts but is rarely a straightforward task.

Finding your ideal car, and restoring classic cars is a popular, and also time consuming and expensive, hobby for many automobile enthusiasts.

The mileage and engine is hardly ever an issue as the mechanics of the older cars and classic cars are normally very robust. As with anything, knowing what to look for and where to find it when it comes to scouting out your project car is paramount. The only way that an individual can keep abreast with all activities and events relating to classic cars is by joining the car club specializing in your chosen car.

Finding classic cars is not normally all that difficult but if you need a certain make or model, it could prove to be a challenge. And of course, the most rewarding part when it comes to owning and collecting classic cars is that you get to have a cool ride. Looking back and watching these cars is just like reliving the days when they were still roaming the streets, pure nostalgia. Restoration of classic cars is a wonderful past time for a lot people around the world, but go carefully, your wallet can soon be emptied.

And when you have your dream car, then what? Use it, of course.

Just imagine turning up to, say, a murder mystery night in your new wheels and dressed in period costume, what a start to your night, what a great talking point and you never know you may meet a like minded soul and spend the night talking about your classic and totally forget why you were there in the first place.

Heady days!

Friday, 18 May 2012

How to Recognize Signs of Overheating Problems to Your Car and What to Do If Your Car Overheats

Overheating of your car can be one of the most damaging things that can happen to your car. This is a major problem with most vehicles if not properly maintained. Just by not maintaining this particular area of your car, can cause major engine damage to your car. I am writing this article to help you if you ever have problems with overheating of your car. By having this knowledge and the sources that I mention at the end of this article you will be able to save yourself money, time, and car problems.

Whenever you have anti freeze in your car you should have a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. You should also have a good radiator cap to keep the water securely inside of the radiator. A good thermostat in the engine is needed to also help with regulating the temperature of water in your car.

If a your car starts to overheat, it will usually start to make loud noises in the engine area, these loud noises are coming from the rings, bearing, and pistons that are metal parts of the engine. They are making these noises because the engine is not being cooled properly. This cooling is helped by the water and antifreeze in your car. These parts need to remain at a certain temperature in order to operate properly. This is why water, and antifreeze are so important to your car. You will also notice and smell steam coming out of the engine area due to overheating. Your temperature gauge on your dash board if working properly will notify you that your vehicle is overheating also. This gauge will usually be pointing to the extreme right or hot area of the gauge. Your hoses in your car that circulate the water in your engine will usually burst, due to pressure that has built up due to lack of antifreeze, and water.

The causes of overheating are usually either a bad thermostat, cooling system leaks (holes in the hoses), leaky head gasket, radiator fans not operating, overworking the motor, water pump not working, stopped up radiator, slipping or loosened belt, lack of water or antifreeze in the car, or a cracked cylinder head. These are the most likely causes of overheating.

If your car does over heat turn off the car immediately and have it towed to your nearest repair shop. Even if you notice the gauge going very close to the hot area, cut the engine off and take it to get repaired. Do not let the engine gauge go to the hot area.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Make Some Easy Money by Buying a Car For $1000 Bucks and Parting it Out

Lots of people turn to cars under $1000 bucks looking save a buck or two. Here is a quick guide on how to make some cash (that you can use to buy more rusty boxes on wheels of course)

Plain and simple part cars out.

Step 1. Buy a car. This is pretty much the most crucial step. If you are actually doing this to make money and not just salvaging that blown up buick sitting in your driveway than you need to find a car that people want to buy parts for. eBay is pretty much your friend here and my suggested avenue for selling most parts. In the past I have watched people make money from a variety of cars (my roommate used to finance his workshop with parted out cars) One in particular was a 1994 Honda Accord. Thats right you don't need to buy a 1939 Alfa Romeo (although that would be sweet) or anything super rare to get good money for parts.

Often times finding a car that is pretty common can be a good thing but be sure to check eBay for the prices certain parts are going for before hand and let that be your guide in making your purchase. Now when it comes to buying the car usually the ones that don't run will be your best deals and you may even get a freebie if your lucky. (few people want dead cars in their driveway) Obviously the less you pay the more you profit.

Step 2. Tear it apart. The key here is research and time management. Everybody wants to pull the engine and trans etc., but often times it may not even be worth it. Check out eBay or where ever you plan on selling and ask yourself is what these parts are selling for worth my time? Would I actually want to crate and ship this? Is anybody actually bidding on this crap? All good questions that need answers. Honestly it tends to be the nickel and dime parts that can really make you some money. Shifters, speedometers, sensors, mirrors, sun-visors, etc. these parts take seconds to remove and if they are in good shape people are often willing to pay a pretty penny for them, because the only other option for parts like these tends to be the dealers who charge an arm and a leg.

Step 3. Sell The Parts. Once you have determined what you want to sell and pulled the stuff off its time to start selling. I like eBay but swap meets, forums, and other sources may work better for you. If you have done your research you know where to find the people who see value in the parts you have pulled.

Step 4. Scrap the rest. Always factor in that you can prolly get $100-$300 bucks for the rest of the pile at the scrap yard. Usually you will want to haul it there yourself and will probably need to pull the tires and gas tank. I would even consider it a good rule of thumb to try and not pay more for the car than you can scrap it for. This helps you avoid any kind of loss.

And there you have it. Four easy steps to make some quick money and make your neighbors hate you.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hybrid Cars and Auto Insurance

The reasons for buying hybrids vary. Some believe that the 'War on Terrorism' is a result of America's dependence on oil and by purchasing a hybrid they are doing their bit to stop supporting it. Buying a hybrid car is also their way of lending support to organizations that channel resources into the discovery of alternative energy. Air pollution, the increase in smog and the greater incidence of respiratory diseases motivates others. Hybrid owners also receive tax deductions, which may be a factor to be considered. Whatever your reasons, if you've decided to buy a hybrid, you've probably done your research. You've checked out the facts and discovered that while they may cost more initially, hybrids are far more environmentally-friendly and you'll save a ton on gas in the process. There is however, one relatively unclear dilemma about the practically of owning a hybrid: auto insurance. How do auto car insurance quotes differ when it comes to hybrid cars? Are hybrid cars at a higher risk and does buying one mean that you have no option but to pay higher insurance rates?

Let's look at the issue from the perspective of car insurance companies. The average hybrid car owner would be someone who is environmentally conscious, has a sense of social responsibility, as well as the means to pay a little bit extra to do his or her part. People who fall into this demographic tend to be middle aged, financially stable, cautious drivers who are unlikely to engage in rash driving. Since demographics play a large part in determining premiums, from the perspective of insurance providers, Hybrid owners tend not to be high risk drivers and are in the age group which has the lowest accident rates, which should earn them low cost car insurance rates.

Hybrids however, employ some of the most cutting-edge technology and their maintenance and repairs tend to cost more than gas-only cars. Granted hybrid- specific components have long warranties and simple maintenance can be conducted at any repair shop but even so, cars with expensive parts tend to cost more to insure. Another issue is that small cars-hybrids and otherwise- tend to cost more to insure. They are harder to see on the road, tend to have more fragile structures, and hence are more likely to be involved in crashes and suffer more damages than your average SUV. While these concerns apply to all small cars, the size of the hybrid definitely affects its insurance rates.

This however, does not mean that Hybrid car owners need to resign themselves to sky-high insurance rates. Due to the fact that we're progressively becoming a more socially and environmentally conscious society, the fact that the Hybrid employs the latest technology and safety features, as well as the increasing prices of gas, this model is rapidly gaining popularity, and as it continues to do so the prices will fall, the availability of parts will increase, and all in all, many of the financial problems associated with this car will cease to exist. As statistics supporting the safety and functionality of hybrids emerge, the insurance rates for hybrids will start to stabilize. Also, many insurance providers are now encouraging the use of hybrids by offering online car insurance quotes for hybrids. This means that even if your initial insurance rates look a little steep, your premiums will actually be much more affordable than you fear.

There is confusion surrounding the issue of hybrid cars and insurance rates- some say that hybrids and insurance-friendly while others hold the belief that owning a hybrid is like asking for exorbitant premiums. At the end of the day, thanks to hybrid- specific discounts, the rates are not dramatically higher for hybrids. And even the existing gap can be bridged by availing of other discounts such as a defensive driver's credit, a good driver discount, air bag and safety mechanism installation discounts, etc. The lower gas prices, tax rebates and general sense of satisfaction from standing up for what you believe in may just tip the balance in the hybrids favor for many individuals. Besides, if you look hard enough, chances are you'll be able to find reasonable auto insurance quotes, even for a hybrid.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ibiza Car Tour (Part Two)

This article follows on from Ibiza Car Tour Part One, at the point that you are leaving Cala Jondal and taking the PM803 north to Cova Sanat, where you should stop and take a look at the stalactites. It is the biggest collection of stalactites on the island so you won't need to bother with any more after seeing these ones.

After that the best route to take is to drive on the main road to Sant Josep. Just southwest of the village is Ibiza's tallest mountain - Sa Talaiassa. At 1,600 feet this mountain makes a very impressive view and is a good photo opportunity so make sure to get to this point of the journey before dusk.

From Sant Josep you will go to Es Cubells, and this route is very picturesque. After driving through the olive trees you will take a small road left to find yourself at Vista Algere, which has amazing sea views. Once you get to Es Cubells you get views out to volta Formentera. Es Cubells has a designated panorama view which winds all the way to Cap Llentrisca.

You have to go back to Es Cubells and then as you near Sant Joseph take a left turn to Cala d'hort which looks out onto the mystical Es Vedra - is Atlantis really below it. I don't think so. It's an easy ride back to Ibiza Town from here, and you will take a costal road past Cala Moli to Cala Tarida, and on to Sant Agusti. Before getting home you might want to stop in Sant Antoni which is a hub of activity in the evenings.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Suzuki Mehran Is a Small Economical Car and an Affordable Auto

If you are looking for a small economical car, Suzuki Mehran 800CC is the most economical auto you can find in Pakistan. There are several reasons of this car being economical and affordable.

Fuel Efficient and better mileage when run on gas fuel

The most important reason is that it has a small engine and consumes less fuel than other rival cars and you can get better mileage when you run your car on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) which is easily available in Pakistan. Gas fuel provides a 30-40% more mileage as compared to running the same car on petrol. Plus CNG is around 30-35% cheaper than Petrol and Diesel. So it becomes really easy for common man to drive this car within his small monthly budget, making it extremely affordable car.

Cheapest auto spare parts easily available

Another reason of this car being so popular is that its spare parts are easily available, you can find it from your nearest auto store in any city. Prices of these parts are surprisingly low if you compare to other rival cars. Which again does not become big burden on owner's pocket. For example, you can find its side mirror in less than a dollar. So if your car goes through major maintenance, it will not be nightmare and you will still be able to afford it with little pain!

Great resale market and so many used cars for sale

Lastly this car has a resale market value that no other car offer. Better resale market means you will get better price of your car when you intend to sell it. It is really easy to sell your car within few days because of its high demand throughout the year.

All these features combined make it an affordable, cheapest and economical small car.