Jun 17, 2008
Audi Wins At Le Mans 24 Hours
Allan McNish has become the very first Briton to seat behind the wheel of a diesel engined sportscar and race to victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours yestreday when the Scotsman’s Audi notched an exciting and enormously victory in style. The victory earned McNish his second Le Mans career win. The milestone happened 10 years after his earlier win in the French classic – and the German manufacturer’s eighth victory from the time when he débuted in 1999.
“I’m overjoyed to have finally won the Le Mans 24 Hours for Audi. I’ve come very close on numerous occasions in the past but despite fierce opposition from start to finish, some of the most demanding and difficult track conditions I’ve ever raced in, and totally unpredictable weather, I’ve finally done it,” says an overjoyed Allan McNish.
The 76th Le Mans 24 Hours showcased 55-cars competing for the glorious prize around the 8.47-mile circuit consisting of closed public roads and outspread, as foreseen by McNish, in to a twice-around-the-clock dogfight.
“I decided not to take risks at the start and was happy to follow the Peugeots. But after just over two hours, they encountered problems of varying degrees. The track was treacherous in the rain – greasy and slippery – like driving on ice. Thankfully the car was very sure-footed but driving in those conditions for over three hours required 100% concentration because if you made the slightest mistake, you just didn’t go wide, you went off the track and out of the race,” added McNish.
Posted at 02:32 am by BobHawke
Jun 3, 2008
300,000 Units Of C-Class Brought By Mercedes Benz
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is set to continue the success story of the forerunner model in the year since its market launch. More than 300,000 customers have acquired either a sedan or station wagon option of the latest model since its official world premiere back on March 31, 2007.
According to The Auto Channel, German customers are also very eager about the innovative C-Class. According to Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority The model was once again the best-selling vehicle in the mid-range division last April. The most significant market for the C-Class is Germany which accountable for the company's 25 percent of overall sales, followed by the U.S., UK, Italy, and South Africa. A sum of 290,000 C-Class sedans from the 204 Series has been internationally distributed from the time when the market launch in the spring of 2007.
"The sedan got off to an excellent start, and since its premiere at dealerships at the end of last year, the new C-Class station wagon has also been enjoying high popularity. Both models, in fact, have posted growth rates of 70 percent on the corresponding periods from the prior year since their respective launches. As a result, the new C-Class has been the worldwide leader in its market segment since the beginning of 2008," explains Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"In the first year of sales, one out of every two C-Class customers in Germany chose the Avantgarde line and in other core markets the share of total sales sometimes is even. The response of our customers to the sporty design of the C-Class Avantgarde even exceeded our expectations. This new product strategy makes the vehicle very attractive to the most diverse customers within the heterogeneous C-Class customer base, and it also enables us to win over new customers to the Mercedes-Benz brand higher," added Maier.
Posted at 10:36 pm by BobHawke
May 13, 2008
Remembering The Kentucky Bus Crash Day
The 20th anniversary of the worst drunk driving crash in U.S. history is
being celebrated today, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(MADD) is reaching out for the country to pause for a couple of minutes of
silence at 11 a.m. CT, today in honor of the victims/survivors of the crash as
well as support the MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving by signing the oath
to help make sure that there are no future drunk driving victims/survivors.
Going back to its history, a repeat DUI offender with a .24
percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was the wrong way down the highway
driving a pickup truck, crashed into a bus returning from a church tour to Kings Island
Amusement Park on May 14,
1988. The sweltering crash took the lives of 27 passengers, 24 youth and three
adults, which include Patty, Karolyn Nunnallee's 10-year-old daughter. Furthermore,
thirty others were injured. As a result, Karolyn was motivated and propelled by
the disastrous and preventable incident into a career of volunteer activism starting
at the local community level and then she became MADD National President from
"For nearly 20 years I have fought on the grassroots
level adhering to the mission of MADD, and my work is far from over. As a
victim advocate I am so grateful that MADD took the lead and formed the first
Crises Response Team in the nation. They were the first to assist the first
responders in the crash and then coming to Radcliff to assist the families
whose loved ones were killed and those who were scarred physically and mentally
in the crash,” says MADD Past National President Karolyn Nunnallee.
Posted at 09:55 pm by BobHawke
Feb 15, 2008
No Hands, All Ears…Just Listen And Talk
Distracted drivers are dangerous. This is why he must avoid distractions at all costs; thanks to wireless connectivity for helping drivers achieve this end.
Bluetooth headsets, equipped with an earpiece with a cell phone to allow hands-free conversations, are especially beneficial in cars. Aside from avoiding distractions, the use of Bluetooth headsets saves the driver from being ticketed for using a cell phone without one of these headsets.
ABC News reports:
To make Bluetooth even easier to use in cars, most new luxury cars and some standard cars are sold with optional built-in Bluetooth speakerphone technology, which doesn't even require an earpiece. Some cars also come with built-in iPod integration, displaying song titles on the dashboard and controlling the iPod using buttons on the steering wheel, again to minimize distractions. One new built-in product, SYNC, the voice-activated system created by Ford Motor Co. and Microsoft Corp., lets users do both things hands-free: play music or make phone calls using simple voice commands.
I tried the $130 Venturi Mini from NextGen Venturi Ltd. and the $120 Parrot PMK5800 from Parrot Inc. on three cars made in 2000 and 2005. Neither device offers a surefire solution; each is limited by your particular car and cellphone. But the Parrot sails ahead of the Venturi Mini by using voice activation for phone calls, something the Venturi Mini can't do. Venturi's version of "hands-free calling" requires initiating a call on the cellphone itself or by looking down at a tiny, grayscale screen and painstakingly scrolling through names of contacts. Furthermore, the Parrot worked after only a few steps, while the Venturi took much longer to set up and get going.
If you want to achieve to try wireless connectivity, might as well as your nearest dealer. You can also solicit advice from your friends and relatives. If they are satisfied, I see no reason for you to be upset.
Just listen and talk. No worries.
Posted at 03:35 am by BobHawke
Feb 7, 2008
AutoLeaseAD.com And CyberCalc Arbitrage To Join Forces
One of the leading suppliers of lease payment advertising on car dealership websites, Texas-based AutoLeaseAD.com, will work with CyberCalc Arbitrage to classify exceptional pre-owned lease deals for their clients. The Auto Channel reported that Jerry Thompson of AutoLeaseAD.com, a CVLE, and a well-experienced auto-leasing specialist and a guru in pre-owned leasing, has announced its joint venture with CyberCalc Arbitrage to carryout excellent value to consumers.
"Our core service is pretty simple. We provide lease payment advertising on dealership websites for our dealers' existing inventories," Jerry said.
"With CyberCalc Arbitrage, we are able to move up the value chain to provide our dealer-customers with a shopping list for target vehicles that would provide the greatest optimal combination of profitability and end-user value in pre-owned leasing," he continued.
"The value is clear. With AutoLeaseAD, dealers are able to advertise online with the lowest possible lease payments available through our extensive network of leasing partners. With CyberCalc Arbitrage, they are able to put the most profitable lease vehicles in their inventories to maximize their return on investment. The two services work hand-in-hand," says Bill Krautter with AutoLeaseAD.
"Pre-owned leasing is really an untapped, unexplored frontier. With today's consumer more educated than ever before, vehicles has become a commodity almost overnight. Late-model, pre-owned leasing provides the greatest opportunity for consumers to drive more car for their money while allowing dealers to earn substantial gross margin compared with traditional finance options," says Jeff Cook, president of CyberCalc.
"Late model pre-owned vehicles have already realized their most significant depreciation. When you combine that with the fact that the average lessee trades vehicles 59% sooner than a retail purchaser, you can see right away the real value in pre-owned leasing. Those that get it stand to do very well for themselves," Cook said.
Posted at 08:20 pm by BobHawke
Nov 26, 2007
SafeAuto Insurance Shares Tips on How to Prepare Your Car for the Winter Season
It’s becoming harder to wake up each morning with the chilly breeze blowing outside. Winter is really fast approaching. But the question is: Are we ready for the coming winter? Did you have your car undergo its needed maintenance for the coming winter? If your answer to these questions is NO then consider yourself fortunate since SafeAuto Insurance Company has taken the initiative to provide you with helpful tips on how to “winterize” your car to avoid accidents and breakdowns especially this busy travel season.
The tips provided by SafeAuto Insurance were based on their market experience and from the frequently reported road troubles by customers who are utilizing the free roadside assistance program of SafeAuto.
Jon Diamond, SafeAuto President said, "Millions of drivers will be traveling this holiday season, and taking some simple preventative steps to winterize your car can mean the difference between a happy holiday and being stranded on the side of the road. We pioneered the concept of keeping our customers legal for less, and keeping them safe is simply an extension of that spirit. Our customers know that if they need assistance we'll be there for them. However, if we're able to keep our drivers on the road, or prevent a roadside tragedy, that's a benefit that can't be beat."
Here are the tips provided by SafeAuto with regards on how to winterize your car:
1. Check the blades. Replace worn blades and don't forget to fill the car with washer fluid and antifreeze solution.
2. Keep a full tank. Keeping your tank at least halfway full prevents moisture from freezing in the fuel lines.
3. Winterize your tires. Monitor your tire pressure. Cold air causes tires to contract, reducing traction. If you are traveling through an area prone to heavy snow, invest in tire chains.
4. Check the battery. Cold temperatures reduce battery capacity by up to 50 percent. If your battery is more than 3 years old, have it checked by a certified technician.
5. Charge your cell. If vehicle trouble arises, it is far better to stay in the shelter of your car and make a phone call than to subject yourself to dangerous conditions.
6. Winterize your emergency kit. Stock your car with a flashlight, jumper cables, food and water, an ice scraper, a blanket, warm clothes and a first aid kit.
7. De-ice to unlock. A number of de-icing solutions are sold at discount or auto parts stores. But remember, if your locks are frozen, keeping de-icer in your car won't do any good.
8. Check your lights. Snow, sleet and freezing rain mean reduced visibility. Be sure your fellow drivers see you coming by making sure all of your lights are in proper working order.
9. Practice makes perfect. Haven't changed a flat in awhile? Don't know where your spare tire even is? It's better to prepare now, than to try and figure it out when the snow is piling up around you.
10. Winterize your driving skills. It takes longer to slow down when the roads are covered with slippery ice and snow. Brake earlier than you normally would and pay special attention at intersections where vehicles are coming from multiple directions.
Posted at 10:43 pm by BobHawke
Nov 15, 2007
CarMax Shares Car Caring Tips for the Winter Season
The net is loaded with winter car care tips well basically since its going to be cold and snowy soon. But the question is: which tips can you trust? Obviously, advices from car specialist such as CarMax can prove to be a great help.
Hereâ€™s what Todd Gartner, CarMax ASE Master Technician has to say: "The harsh winter weather can expose hidden problems that have developed during the previous seasons. That is why it is so important to prepare your vehicle for the cold weather season by performing all preventative maintenance services as recommended by the manufacturer."
CarMaxâ€™s automotive service technicians offer ten winterizing tips and these are as follows (sourced from The Auto Channel):
â€˘ Check your anti-freeze. The best ratio of anti-freeze to water is 50/50. The number one cause of engine-related breakdowns is cooling system failure. Prevent this by having your cooling system flushed every two years.
â€˘ Replace your windshield wiper blades twice a year. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with freeze resistant wiper fluid (plain water and standard windshield washer fluid will freeze) and keep an extra gallon in the trunk.
â€˘ Check your battery. If the battery is more than three years old, have a technician test its capacity. Have the alternator tested at the same time. Make sure the battery terminal ends are corrosion-free.
â€˘ Check your tire pressure. Check the pressure when the tires are cold, and set the pressure to the car manufacturer's recommendations for your specific tires. When the weather turns cold, the air inside the tire will contract and the pressure will drop.
â€˘ Look at the tread depth on your tires. Put a penny headfirst between the treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln's hair, it's time to replace the tire.
â€˘ Check your spare tire. Make sure it has the proper air pressure and tread depth and that all the proper tire-changing equipment is in the vehicle.
â€˘ Check that your lights, heater and defrosters are working properly.
â€˘ Check all rubber hoses and belts to ensure they are not damaged. Coolant hoses wear from the inside out. Inspect for heavy cracks or chunking in the belts. Alternatively, have a professional inspect all hoses and belts.
â€˘ Have your car's brake system checked. If you haven't had the system inspected in the last six months, have this performed.
â€˘ Assemble a winter emergency kit for the trunk of your vehicle. It should include a blanket, extra boots and gloves, an ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, flares, a small snow shovel, a flashlight, kitty litter (for traction when stuck in snow) and bottled water.
â€˘ â€śIn addition, keep the fuel tank full," Gartner said. "It may be necessary to change routes or you may be caught in a traffic delay or need to turn back during a bad storm."
For more car caring tips simply visit www.carmax.com.
Posted at 09:38 pm by BobHawke
Nov 13, 2007
CarMax Offers Gas-Saving Tips
With the current high cost of gas prices, consumers welcome whatever gas saving tips that can be provided to them. CarMax, Inc., the nationâ€™s largest retailer of used cars is offering advices on how to save money on gas.
According to ASE Certified Master Technicians Juan Crespo and Todd Gartner, "Even though gas prices have become a burden, there are still ways to save money on fuel. Maintaining your vehicle and driving it efficiently can assist with improving your gas mileage and decrease fuel spending."
And here are the gas-saving tips from the experts of CarMax:
1. Drive Efficiently
-- Drive the speed limit: gas mileage decreases at higher speeds.
-- Don't drive aggressively: speeding, quick acceleration and excessive braking all waste gas. Driving aggressively lowers gas mileage both on the highway and when driving around town.
-- Use overdrive and cruise control: If your vehicle has a manual overdrive, make sure it is ON; overdrive reduces engine speed, which helps to save gas. Cruise control also saves gas by maintaining a consistent speed.
-- Avoid idling: idling for longer than 30 seconds uses more gas than starting up your engine.
2. Maintain your Vehicle
-- Get the manufacturer's recommended maintenance done: keeping your car in shape improves gas mileage.
-- Make sure your tires are filled to the correct pressure: this can increase gas mileage by three percent. Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications.
-- Whenever possible, use synthetic oil: look for "Energy Conserving" motor oil; it will reduce friction and increase fuel economy.
-- Check and replace dirty air filters: clogged filters can decrease gas mileage up to 10 percent.
3. Plan Ahead
-- Combine errands: this will save time, money and gas.
-- Carpool: carpooling and ride sharing can cut weekly gas costs in half.
-- Remove excess weight: excess weight in the cab or trunk can reduce mileage. Every extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by approximately two percent.
-- Eliminate excess wind resistance: roof racks and carrier crates on the top of the car create drag or wind resistance. Removing these items can increase fuel economy by about five percent.
-- Use air conditioning when traveling at highway speeds: driving with the windows open uses more fuel due to the increased drag.
-- Fill up your car in the morning: early morning is the best time because the gasoline is cooler and denser. Since gas pumps measure volumes of gas and not densities, you get more fuel for your money.
For more information on CarMax and for more gas-saving tips simply visit their website at www.carmax.com.
Posted at 03:57 am by BobHawke
Nov 5, 2007
AAA Still Recommends Traditional Tire Gauge over TPMS
Most of the 2008 model year vehicles are equipped with TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. This technology is very convenient to use since it simply illuminate an on-dash warning light whenever the pressure in one or more tires is low. However, North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA believes that TPMS should never be made to replace monthly tire pressure checks.
All 2008 model year vehicles and other newer vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system as mandate by the federal law. Unfortunately the TPMS is not 100 percent reliable in the sense that on-dash warning light only illuminates when a tire is at least 25 percent under inflated which according to AAA is way below the pressure required for safe driving.
Basing on a recent survey conducted by Rubber Manufacturers Association, at least 40 percent of motorists said that if their vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system they would only check their car’s tires only if the dashboard warning light came on. If there is no warning light then they would not check their tires. Also more than two-thirds said that since their vehicle had a TPMS they have become less concerned with routinely maintaining their tires.
Why is proper tire pressure important?
Correct tire pressures are vital to efficient and safe vehicle operation. And according to the research conducted by AAA one in every three cars has under-inflated tire. Furthermore, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also reported that around 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries have been attributed to low tire pressure-related crashes.
Here are some of the reasons why it is not advisable to drive with under-inflated tires:
1. It is unsafe to drive with under inflated tires since they tend to build excessive heat that damages the tires leading to failure. It can also affect handling precision and increase stopping distances.
2. For those who want to save on their fuel consumption, do you know that for every one PSI pressure drop in all four tires, gas mileage is reduced by around 0.4 percent?
3. Under-inflated tires wear tires unevenly reducing the life of the tire thus requiring for more frequent tire replacement.
Now that you know the importance of maintaining correct tire pressures, the next thing that you should be aware of are the types of technologies that monitors tire pressure. There are two types of tire pressure monitoring systems that are currently used on new vehicles: the direct and indirect sensing.
The direct sensing systems are the most accurate and advisable for use. This type of system makes use of a sensor found inside each tire that detects the pressure up to one pound per square inch (PSI). Most direct-sensing TPMS can read out tire pressures on a dash display thus eliminating the need for the traditional gauge that checks tire pressures. But still it is very important for car owners to consult the tire information decal or owner’s manual of their vehicle to know the correct tire pressures that their car’s should have. AAA also recommends for motorists with cars equipped with direct sensing TPMS to check on-dash readout monthly for any decreased pressure.
On the other hand, indirect sensing systems do not monitor the actual pressure in each tire and are less sensitive as compared to direct sensing systems. But indirect sensing TPMS can monitor the anti-lock brake system wheel speed sensors to determine when one tire is under inflated as compared to the rest of the tires. An under-inflated tire usually has a lower profile and rotates faster than a properly inflated tire. And just like the direct sensing systems, the indirect sensing systems will not also illuminate the tire pressure warning light until one tire is under inflated by 25 percent. However, since indirect-sensing TPMS monitor relative tire speed rather than absolute tire pressure, it usually fails to detect low tire pressures in case all four wheels deflate equally. This is also the very reason why AAA still recommends the use of a gauge to check tire pressures monthly to check under inflated tires.
And since the winter months are here it is important for car owners to check their tire pressures since tires lose one or two PSI for every 10 degree drop in outside air temperature. For more information on TPMS or how to properly check their car’s tire pressure they may visit any local AAA Approval Auto Repair facility for assistance across North America. To locate an AAA facility in your area simply visit AAA web site at www.AAA.com.
Posted at 01:19 am by BobHawke
Oct 30, 2007
Winterize Your Car with Tips from 3M Car Care
There are lots vehicle maintenance tips coming out on the net that can really make life easier for you this coming winter months. And speaking of tips, 3M Car Care is also offering simple to follow tips that work amazingly.
According to John Mailand, technical services manager for 3M retail Automotive, "Winter preparation is more important than spring cleanup for your car. The harsh weather can be hard on your carâ€™s mechanical systems, while tough road conditions can wreak havoc on your carâ€™s exterior. With a few easy maintenance projects this fall, you can really improve the performance of your vehicle this winter and enhance the longevity for years to come."
For the coming winter months 3M Car Care recommends exterior clean-up and protection that will include the cleaning of exterior finishing to prepare the car for a protective winter coat to keep off damaging salt and sand off the carâ€™s finish throughout the winters.
3M Car Care also provides ten tips on how to winterize your vehicle and these are as follows (sourced from The Auto Channel):
1. Just like you, your car needs a good bath. Make use of 3M Car Wash Soap to remove summer dirt and grime without stripping off the wax protection.
2. Get rid of the tar and debris from summer road work using 3M Adhesive and Wax Remover. Simply rub it on with a microfiber cloth, leave it for a few minutes to loosen dirt, old wax and tar, and then wipe off.
3. For the wheels and tires use 3M Wheel and Tire Cleaner to remove brake dust and highway grime
4. Bring back the brand new look of your tires with 3M Tire Restorer. Itâ€™s very easy to use simply spray on and wipe off for a deep black luster. You may also use the 3M Tire Restorer for restoring black plastic bumpers and door handles to their showroom style.
5. Protect the clean finish on the wheel hubs or rims with 3M Performance Finish. Just wipe on and wipe off. Not only will it stand up to months of car washes, it also will endure sleet, snow and sludge on winter streets
6. Remove surface scratches with 3M One Step Cleaner Wax. This easy to apply wax eliminates surface scratches and restores the shine to the paint finish in one easy step.
7. Give the car a good protective coat of 3M Performance Finish. This innovative finish, which chemically bonds with clear coat finishes, keeps the carâ€™s finish looking good through up to 50 washes. And it is simple to apply with no hazing ďż˝" just wipe on and wipe off in minutes using a 3M Microfiber Cloth without any worries for residue left in cracks and crevices
8. Get the glass clean inside and out with 3M Glass Cleaner, which has a unique vertical cling to prevent drips and is safe to use on glass, plastic, chrome, metal and painted surfaces
9. Protect the upholstery with 3M Leather and Vinyl Restorer, which revives the natural sheen and soft feel of the factory finish
10. Clean the car's carpet with 3M Carpet Cleaner and protect from winter salt and dirt with 3M Scotchgardâ„˘ Fabric and Upholstery Protector spray.
Aside from your car's exterior 3M Car Care also suggest for you to protect your carâ€™s mechanical system, components, and fluids. For this task, 3M recommends seven easy tips that you can perform personally:
1. Prevent rough idling, which can be worse in the winter, with 3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner. Just spray it on to the throttle plate to clean, lubricate and increase engine performance.
2. Add 3M Complete Fuel System Cleaner to clean fuel injectors, intake valves and combustion chambers for maximum power and fuel economy.
3. Check the tire pressure and fill to the manufacturer's recommendation. Cold weather decreases tire pressure, which can lead to blown tires in the winter--- not a great time to have to change a tire.
4. Prepare door, hood and trunk hinges, locks and other moving parts with 3M Multi-Purpose Spray Lubricant. This lubricant is four products in one--- it lubricates, penetrates, displaces water and resists corrosion.
5. Flush the coolant system and add fresh antifreeze---don't be tempted to just top off from the previous year because older antifreeze can damage the car's coolant system.
6. Check the battery. If it is four years or older, it might be a good time to replace it, particularly if the car is operated in a cold climate.
7. Consider changing the oil to a lower viscosity for colder temperatures.
3M Car Care offers a comprehensive product line that includes performance cleaning products, waxes, compounds, glazes, adhesives, abrasives, and other specialty products that were once offered solely for the professional market.
Posted at 04:36 am by BobHawke