Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Nissan Leaf Limousine Makes Its Official Debut

The 2012 Nissan Leaf was once again used as a new type of vehicle which no one has previously imagined it would. This time, the latest version of the Leaf was modified to look like a limousine and used as shuttle vehicle of a hotel located in Nashville, Tennessee. The limousine version was revealed a few months after the first police version of the Nissan Leaf was unveiled in Portugal last July.

Based on the information provided by reliable sources, the Limo version of the Leaf was created by a Missouri-based company after they were contracted by the Embassy Suites Nashville South hotel to produce such vehicle. In order to cope up with the specs that the hotel has set, the Missouri-based company made a few modifications on the original setup of the 2012 Nissan Leaf.

According to Nissan, the modification has added about 400 lbs of weight on the vehicle. The limo is also using a single battery pack and this is currently installed on the back of the vehicle. This setup was specifically made to improve the vehicle's balance and at the same time make the modification process quite simple. In addition to this, the additional 400 lbs of weight were concentrated on the vehicle's center and this was intended to provide more room inside the car and stretch its maximum seating capacity.

In order to make the modified Leaf look like the other limousines, the company that was contracted to modify it has filled the vehicle's interior with cedar paneling, they also added a number of mirrors inside, and changed the Leaf's seat covers with soft leather to make the cabin look upscale as well as elegant. Although the vehicle's room retained its white color, the modification has changed the material used in this area into vinyl.

But despite of the modifications and changes that were made on the 2012 Nissan Leaf to turn this into a limousine, Nissan has not provided any negative remarks. This is because the essential components and layout of the Leaf has remained intact. Nissan might have seen this as an opportunity to show the buying public that the Leaf is versatile and could be converted to other types of vehicle without necessarily changing its overall mechanism.

As of the present, the limousine version of the Leaf is used as a shuttle service for guests who would travelling at a distance of less than five miles from the hotel's exact location. In addition to this, the limo version of the Leaf is currently considered as the first licensed and reliable electric limousine that could be legally driven on the streets.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Used Car Buying Pros and Cons

Buying a used car offers a lot of benefits and at the same time a few risks. So, if you are planning to buy a used vehicle either from a private seller or from one of the used car dealerships in your area, make sure to do your homework first prior to the actual purchase. It would be better for you to conduct the needed research and determine that existing pros and cons involved. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons before doing the actual payout. In order to help you assess things up, this hub provides some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used car such as the following.

Used Car Buying Pros

1. Used cars are cheaper

One of the most obvious advantages that buying a used car could provide is the cheap price. Most buyers prefer to purchase used cars since these are thousands of dollars cheaper than the brand new ones. This is the main reason why buyers with limited budget opt to purchase vehicles that are about two to three years old. These buyers don't really need to spend that much in order to buy what they want. They could also maximize the savings from doing such if they know how to look for the cheapest used car model in some of the dealerships' lot.

2. You might end up buying a well-equipped model

Buying a used car is also advantageous since the chance of finding a previously-owned car which is loaded with a lot of features especially those that are offered as optional items for the latest models. The good thing is that, you will no longer be required to provide additional payments for these extra features since the seller will just require you to meet the selling price that he has attached on his vehicle. This particular condition is not possible when buying a brand new model since every optional features included on the vehicle have their own prices and each of these are added up to the final sticker price of the new car.

3. Allows you to save on insurance costs

Finally, buying a used car could help you reduce the insurance cost. Brand new car models are usually sold with full insurance coverage as one of the requirement and this is quite expensive. Buying a used car on the other hand allows you to select the insurance coverage that you would be paying. Due to this, you can only secure a policy which involves the coverage that you think is necessary and a good example of this is the liability insurance coverage. Thus, you are given the chance to earn a significant amount of savings from reduced insurance costs.

Used Car Buying Cons

1. Used cars depreciate fast

Most car experts will not encourage buyers to purchase used cars since these vehicles depreciates fast. Based on recent calculations, majority of the brand new car models lose almost 47 percent of their real value in the first three years. After the next three years, the vehicle will further depreciate by 18 percent and based on this, you will most likely have a hard time selling the used car that you have purchased when needed. What's worse is that you might end up earning zero profit when you decide to sell this.

2. You might end up buying a lemon

Another disadvantage of buying a used car is the greater possibility that you might end up buying a lemon or a vehicle with a poor running condition. Since the car was used by the previous owner for a few years before you purchased it, some of the vehicle's component might have been damaged and before you know it you already paid the entire amount. Due to this, you will be incurring higher maintenance and repair expenses instead of earning a lot of savings from buying a vehicle at a cheaper price.

3. Used cars are not covered by warranties

Finally, buying a used car is not always advisable since this is not covered by warranties. In the event that the vehicle breaks down or is in need of major repairs, you will end up spending more since you will shoulder all of the expenses involved in having it repaired.

In addition to this, the vehicle will certainly need more repairs compared to brand new one because it was previously used by its first owner and the broken or defective components of the vehicle would most likely break down by the time you were able to purchase it.

Marty Bay is an Automotive Journalist providing helpful tips and advice which powers the Car Finder at the Car Finder Service website.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2013 Honda Accord Receives the New HondaLink Connectivity System

Honda has recently confirmed that the 2013 Honda Accord will be getting the company's latest connectivity system dubbed as the "HondaLink."  In addition to this, other car models such as the 2013 Honda Crosstour, the 2013 Honda Fit EV, and the upcoming Plug-in Hybrid version of the Accord will also be getting this system.

Based on the information provided by Honda, the HondaLink system will include a number of useful as well entertaining features such as the audible updates from on Twitter and Facebook, Internet-based radio stations like Pandora, and audiobooks. In addition to those, HondaLink also enables the company's customers to stay connected with other people, music that they want to listen to, and the different types of media that they like without the need to use their cellphones.

In order to provide more user-friendly functions, Honda's personnel especially those who are involved in the development of the company's technologies placed the audio controls of the HondaLink on the vehicle's dash and other controls on the steering wheel. Aside from that, this HondaLink is also equipped with the voice-recognition function that makes it more manageable to operate.

Aside from the functions mentioned earlier, HondaLink can also be had with a smartphone application that enables vehicle owners to manage the system's contents in their phones and use the stored information the next time they drive their cars.

Honda has also provided some hints that the HondaLink will be offered in two versions. The first version will be used on the 2013 Honda Accord as well as on the other gas-powered models that the company would be producing. This version offers the features provided earlier and possibly a number of additional items that Honda's engineers would be adding soon.

The second version of the system will be dubbed as the HondaLink EV system and this will be used on the hybrid and electric car models such as the upcoming version of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid and the 2013 Honda Fit EV. This version will still provide the features that were previously mentioned as well as added information about charging stations for EVs, the vehicle's driving range, and activate the vehicle's heater and air conditioning through the application created for the HondaLink EV system.

Now that Honda has finalized the use of the HondaLink in most of its models, this is expected to compete with the connectivity systems offered by other car makers particularly Hyundai's Blue Link, Ford's Sync, and Toyota's Entune.

Marty Bay is an Automotive Journalist providing helpful tips and advice which powers the Car Finder at the Car Finder Service website.

Friday, April 13, 2012

7 Winter Driving Safety Tips for Fear of Driving in the Snow

It's back-to-school season, which means winter is fast approaching. If you have a fear of driving in the snow, it's a good time to brush up your skills with some winter driving safety tips.

  •     Good lights: Your headlights and taillights should be clear of snow. This will help other drivers to see you. Get a new set of headlight lenses if yours are old or sand-pitted. Make sure both headlights work and replace broken tail and running lights.
  •     Visibility: Make sure you can see well. Clean the outside and inside of your windows thoroughly. Replace any old windshield wiper blades. Apply a water-shedding material on the outside of all windows. This includes the mirrors. Your windshield washers should work well and be filled with anti-icing fluid.
  •     Tire check: Use snow tires (sometimes called "winter tires"). Adequate snow traction requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread. Summer tires have little or no grip in snow. "All-season" tires don't always have good snow traction either: If the roads where you live are regularly covered with snow, get snow tires.
  •     Check for black ice: If the road looks slick, it probably is, but black ice can make it slick without it looking that way. Also called "glare ice", drivers often don't see it at all. Feel for black ice instead with a smooth brake application or by turning the wheel slightly. Does the road feel slick? Then slow down.
  •     Make turns slowly: Many motorists have lost control of their cars along icy curves. Slow down. Speeding on slippery curves is one of the top 25 causes of car accidents. Make sure to drive the posted speed limit. Avoid an accident by driving cautiously.
  •     Reduce speed on snowy roads: Remember your vehicle can't slow down or stop rapidly on snowy roads. Turning performance is also decreased. On snow-covered roads there is significantly less friction between the road and your tires. Make sure to slow down if the road is snow packed.
  •     Avoid icy uphill driving: Try to not drive up steep hills when it's icy. If you can't avoid it, go up the hill slowly in 2nd gear. Steer around obstacles and use feather braking to keep your momentum. Don't stop until you've cleared the top of the hill.

We should all be more cautious driving in the snow. Fear of driving in the snow is healthy if it makes us drive more safely. It's a way of protecting ourselves and our fellow drivers. Thanks for taking winter driving safety seriously. It makes the roads safer for all of us.

I'm a blogger, web developer and the creator of the Driving Peace program about how I cured myself of driving phobia.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Essential Tyre Safety Tips

Tyre maintenance is a matter of critical importance. As the only point of contact between the road and your vehicle, tyres largely determine how safe and stable your car is out on the road. Furthermore, the pressure placed on tyres over long periods can lead to a significant deterioration in quality, putting you or your family at risk.

Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take to ensure that your tyres are road-safe and reliable. Following these tips will grant you peace-of-mind, improved on-road performance and a dramatic increase in vehicle safety.

Tyre Pressure
It may sound obvious, but if your tyres are not properly inflated then they will just not work as intended, leading to sub-optimal performance and safety. Under-inflated tyres also deteriorate much more quickly and lead to greater fuel consumption, which means a significant extra and unnecessary financial burden.

It's important that you check your tyres' pressure at least once a month and that you check the pressure when the tyres are cold in order to get an accurate reading. The correct pressure for your particular tyres will be outlined in the manufacturer's handbook or outlined on the tyres themselves, so make sure you follow the right guidelines and always have tyre pressure in the back of your mind when starting your journey.

Tread Depth
A more serious safety risk arises when your tyres' tread depth is at an unsafe level. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, although it's generally advised that anything less than 2mm is unnecessarily risky. Tread depth plays a pivotal role in braking distance, especially in adverse weather conditions, so if your tread depth is insufficient you're at substantial risk of being involved in an accident.
Checking tread depth is simple. Take a 20p coin and insert it into your tyre tread. If you can see the outer band of the coin protruding from the tyre, then the depth is dangerously low, and you should consider replacing your tyres as soon as possible. Unlike tyre pressure, tread depth cannot be remedied through a trip to the air pump.

Tyre Condition
Perhaps the most obvious indicator of wear is the external quality of the tyres. If there are nails or other objects protruding from the tyre wall, then it's essential to remove them and check for significant damage. Also, look closely for evidence of cuts, cracks or bulges, especially on the sidewalls. Damage to the sidewalls could put you at risk of a dangerous blowout on the road, and it goes without saying that you should get the tyres replaced if you suspect such damage.

And Finally...
Even with all these safety tips in mind, it's always a great idea to have a spare tyre on hand to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. Even with well-maintained tyres, there are always going to be risks that will be out of your control. At the same time, a clear focus on tyre safety will do you and your vehicle immeasurable good, so keep these tips in mind every time you turn on the engine.

Tim Machin works for Tyre Medics, a UK company specializes in the supply and mobile fitting of car tyres, batteries and brakes. With over 2500 types of tyres for sale online, from all of the leading manufacturers, mobile tyre fittings can be booked in advance, or arranged through Tyre Medic's 24 hour emergency service.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Need For Speedy Auto Parts

To go online to shop for new auto parts is not just a smart idea when it comes to saving your hard-earned money. If you take that a step longer and consider the saying "time is money" then you will really save a bundle if you go online for your spare parts. To be able to compare vast options of different car dealerships and auto repair shops and see what they have in stock, and also utilizing the opportunity of seeing what regular costumers has to sell in terms of parts, will give you a much better position for negotiating.

The Auto Repair Shop

They have lots of spare parts, naturally, but usually the up-market their profit margins to such a degree that it almost becomes ridiculous. If you do your research correctly, but do not have the necessary skills to perform the surgical part of installing the spare parts, at least you can know what kinds of parts that is needed, and getting a hold of them a lot cheaper online then buying them from the auto repair shop.

The Need For Speed

And, instead of going around from place to place to compare prices, which will take you forever especially if the spare parts you are looking for prohibits you from using your car, and you have to take the twenty-stops-a-minute city bus, inching forward one block per half hour, then you could really keep that motto of time is money in the back of your mind.

Even taken into account the amount of time it will take the online business to deliver the goods, and even taken into account the shipping costs, you will likely get them faster and cheaper by going online.

And once you are out on the roads again, feeling the power of your beloved baby car roaring under you, the wind blowing through your newly styled hair since you treated yourself to a professional hair-dresser after saving so much money on the fixing of your car - a fact that really will contribute to the broad smile you have on your face.

The days of omnipotent repair shops and dealerships are long gone, they are not the only ones hoarding up all the spares, nowadays you can find what you need when you need it. And it will be fast and cheap, and customer reviews can help guide and reassure you that the parts you are buying online are reliable, and that the seller is serious.

The Online Scam

The risks of getting scammed has been seriously reduced since every serious business is subjected to customer opinions from everywhere, so if someone is trying to pull a fast one, he is bound to be ousted sooner than he could blink.

The information society of today has made everything move faster and more efficiently, and there is no time or need to spend a couple of days searching for just the perfect auto parts, when you can find them in just a few hours online.