Admit it, you know you’re making a statement when you buy a new car. What you don’t know is if your car choice is making the statement you want it to. Based on (non scientific) research, here’s what your ride says about you.

Chevy Suburban

Suburban

Image via Flickr by woodleywonderworks

What does the Suburban say about your life? That you don’t have one anymore. Between your three teenaged boys and those pretty toddler twins, it’s amazing there’s room for all the hockey gear, soccer shoes and strollers, not to mention the Bernese mountain dog you can’t leave home alone. Your day’s a success if you manage to brush your hair before you leave the house to drive the kids around.

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shutterstock_7331536-ogVehicles seem to always be improving. With their advancements, accessories to compliment them have also improved. With all the new ones coming out, it can be hard to know which is worth the investment and which you should go without. Here are some of the car gadgets that are worth it.

GPS

If you love to travel, chances are you’re not opening a map every time you need to get somewhere. There are great apps for that but sometimes those fail and you may not have that service on your phone. Instead of worrying about it, just invest in a good GPS system.

GPS is not only good for travel, it helps in your daily commute. With the system in your car, you can easily map out the best routes to take to work if you’re facing heavy traffic or other distractions. It can also remember locations you visit, which is great if you’ve recently moved to a new community. You may not think you need it, and there’s a good chance you don’t, but you’ll never have to stress out over directions again.

With an average price tag of about $90, this is a worthy investment.

Reverse Camera

Sure, you’re a great driver but even professional drivers aren’t perfect. You may do just fine backing out of your driveway while the neighborhood kids are playing but why not use something that could make it safer? Getting out of a parking space can be a stressful time, especially during a big shopping day. Instead of worrying about missing the runaway cart, the daredevil who walks behind your car or the inevitable car that can’t wait an extra 10 seconds, you’ll always have a clear view of what your rearview mirror might not.

The average price for the hardware is about $150 with installation at around $80. continue reading…

shutterstock_109258415When you’re getting ready to buy a car, there are some things you need to make sure you have on hand. These will allow you to get the car you want at a price you can afford. Before you walk into the dealership, make sure to have the following items ready to go.

1. A Hard Budget

Remember, a car dealership is in the business of selling you a car, but they’re also in the business of making money. When you walk into a dealership, you need to know how much you are willing and able to spend. If you don’t have a hard budget in mind, you’re likely to spend much more than you can afford. Whether or not you tell the dealer your budget right away is up to you. However, make sure you don’t waver. A hard budget is something that should not be dealt with lightly.

2. Prices From Other Dealers

Another good thing to have with you is a list of prices from other dealers. Come up with some cars that you are interested in, and make sure to bring along the prices you find for these. Whether you write them down or print them off, they’ll be helpful. You can find prices from a variety of dealers online, or you can walk around a few different dealers to get an idea of what the cars are going for. Getting online prices is a great option, because then you’re able to find the best prices with the least amount of time put into the effort. continue reading…

Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Convertible cars are the ultimate status symbol, the epitome of looking cool on the open road. You could drive a convertible Mustang or a Chrysler Sebring, and if the top goes down, it doesn’t matter; to your fellow drivers, you’re the coolest road warrior on the highway. If you’ve always dreamed of tooling down the road with the music blaring and the wind whipping your hair, fulfill that dream—just make sure that you’re aware of everything owning and driving a convertible entails.

Put the Top Up

You know how easy it is to forget to roll up the windows or close the sunroof in your current car? You’ll inevitably forget on a day when it’s raining, and you wake up to sodden seats and a wet floor. Make that mistake with a convertible and you’ll need more than a big beach towel to dry up that mess.

Before you get used to driving your convertible, putting the top up isn’t second nature. You have to condition yourself, just like you did when learning to fasten your seat belt and adjust your mirrors.

Make Maintenance a Priority

Although there are ways to get away with keeping the top down a majority of the time, it comes down to more than just smart choices. Don’t forget to take care of your top either. In very inclement weather, park the car in a garage if possible. Keep an eye and ear out for any catches or grinding noises when the top goes up or down, as well, and stay mindful of any rips or tears in a soft top. continue reading…

If you’re getting your oil changed, or your changing it yourself, you’ll likely come across many of options. From premium to synthetic oil, as well as 10W-30 or 20W-50, you’re going to have some decisions you need to make. If you’re not the most car-savvy person, you may feel a little lost when you’re standing in the oil isle at the department store.

Conventional Oil

 

Image via Flickr by Clean Wal-Mart

Image via Flickr by Clean Wal-Mart

Most standard cars come with conventional oil. In addition, many small commercial vehicles only need a conventional oil. This oil comes in a variety of viscosities ensuring that there are options for nearly every vehicle on the road. When you get your oil changed by professionals, you will have the option of conventional or synthetic oil. In addition, the majority of the oil options you find at the store are conventional. These oils work well to lubricate most vehicles and keep them running, whether it’s warm or cold.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend oil is generally more expensive than the conventional oils. This oil combines natural oil and created, synthetic oil. While this oil can be used in most engines, it has been created to use on vehicles that will be towing heavy loads and those that are working in high temperatures. Synthetic blend oils are popular with those who drive bigger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, because of the better towing capacity. Most vehicles can use a synthetic blend without any problem, but it’s important to keep in mind that it is more expensive, and many feel that it isn’t worth the extra price.

Full Synthetic Oil

The most expensive option is full synthetic oil. This is created oil that can stand much higher extremes in temperature. Whether you’re running in extremely cold weather or high temperatures, synthetic oil is going to work in the largest range. In addition, when using synthetic oil, you can go a little longer without an oil change. However, make sure to check your owner’s manual for the car. Not all vehicles are made to use synthetic oil, and while it’s a great option for high-tech engines, it may not be a good option for your vehicle.

Viscosity

The viscosity of the oil is the resistance to flow. This is going to help you decide what specific oil is best for your car. Again, check the owner’s manual, as it will likely have suggestions on the oil viscosity. The first number in a viscosity rating is its resistance at 0*F, while the second is at 212*F. So basically put, 10W-30 has a resistance of 10 in the winter and a 30 viscosity in the summer. It’s important to make sure that your oil stays thick enough to do its job, without clogging up the engine.

Picking out the right oil is an important job. One of the best resources you have is your owner’s manual. Every car is different, so what works in one car may not work well in another. Make sure you’re getting the right oil to keep your car going.

 

shutterstock_116005966-ogSummer is over, and now that the weather is turning, it is a great time to get your vehicle ready for the upcoming colder months. Typically seasonal maintenance work is completed at a maintenance station, but we’re about to save you some of that money and hassle by gearing you up with some easy tips for a d0-it-yourself approach to get your car ready.

1. Change out your wiper blades

Some people are unaware of this, but according to the National Institute for Automotive Service of Excellence, wiper blades should be replaced at the very least annually. The majority of people tend to go years without changing out their blades, so it’s very likely that your blades are up for a replacement. Wipers of course are typically more used in the colder months as well, so it’s best to get them replaced in the fall before the weather changes.

Wiper blades tend to be very affordable, too. They usually run anywhere from $10-20. All you have to know ahead of time is which size to purchase which can be found in your owners manual or most stores will have an in-store sizing guide to measure them against.

2. Check your spare tire

Flat tires can come up completely unexpectedly. This is more of a reason to be sure you always have a dependable spare tire in tow. It is a good idea to periodically check the pressure in your spare tire to make sure that it will be useful should you ever get a flat tire.

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shutterstock_126552695-ogJust like so many other operational things, your car requires a battery in order to function properly. Often times people have trouble distinguishing when it is time to buy a new car battery. Here are a number of signs that will help you determine that your car battery is in fact, dead.

1. Your overall car’s performance can be a key indicator as to your battery’s functionality. For instance, if you see that your car’s headlights are appearing dimmer, or your car changes it’s pitch when you turn on your air conditioner, these can all be noticeable signs that your car’s battery is dying.

2. If you turn on your car and it doesn’t start. Now, of course this can seem somewhat self-explanatory to many, but if your car doesn’t start, it does not automatically mean that the culprit is your car battery. If however, it doesn’t start and you hear a ticking sound or no sound at all when you turn the key, then this certainly can be the case continue reading…

6 Ways to Prevent a Flat TireNo one likes to be stuck on the side of the road, especially when it is the result of  having to change a flat tire. They always seem to appear at the worst times, be it on our drive into work, or when the temperature is below freezing. Although there is never a 100% guarantee protective measure, there are still a number of ways we can prevent a flat tire, such as the following six precautionary steps:

1. Keep your tires inflated properly

Experts agree that keeping your tires inflated properly can be just as important as keeping your engine tuned in terms of how well your car operates. If your tires are over-inflated, you will experience a rough ride, and at times your vehicle will be more difficult to control. If your tires are under inflated, they will go through more wear and tear sooner due to the increased friction that is needed, and they will ultimately wear out sooner. In order to check your tire pressure, you should use a tire gauge to check if you have the ideal pressure in all four tires.

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We can all agree that our cars can be an extension of our personality. Those of us who drive muscle cars do so with the intent to show off our sleek side as well as our powerful demeanor. In order to ensure that our muscle car is in it’s best shape possible, regular maintenance is a must. In order to save you money, and get you better acquainted with your car, we offer you easy do it yourself instruction.

We found this informative video from Dungeon Motorsports and thought this would help some of you guys with a late model Ford Mustang.

road-trip-pic5. Rocky Mountain Ramble, Northern Colorado: About 110 miles total, the Rocky Mountain Ramble highlights some of the most scenic parts of Rocky Mountain National Park which has over 147 lakes and over 350 miles of hiking trails that border the Continental Divide. There you can see where our great country literally splits. These views are truly a must for any traveler.

4. Big Bend, Texas: In the far southwest corner of Texas lies some of the most breath-taking elevation in America. Over 800,000 acres of Chihuahuan Desert is protected in Big Bend National Park making it the largest kind. For more than a thousand miles, the Rio Grande carves the border between the United States and Mexico, leaving a one of a kind landscape.

3. Bayou Byway, Louisiana: Cruising the Bayou Byway will have you shuffling through 13 parishes and 500 miles of the Louisiana backroads. Each of the small towns has their own unique history but all share they hospitality that is unique to Louisiana. Take in authentic Cajun culture as you eat incredible homegrown food and listen to lively jazz. This route is the perfect complement to a rowdy time on Bourbon street.

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