Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why Getting Your Car Serviced Regularly Is Essential

The mechanical condition of a car dictates its safety as well as its performance on the road. In order to guarantee
  • a smooth ride,
  • prolong the life of a car,
  • and increase its safety
The owner should always consider getting the vehicle serviced regularly. The main reason why this procedure is required is to ensure that any mechanical anomalies can be spotted and rectified before they can cause harm.
The routine maintenance is a small price to pay to guarantee one's safety on the roads. So what are the benefits of acquiring this service?
  • It reduces the repair costs - maintenance procedures are preventative in nature and this means that it is a good way of avoiding major repair bills as a result of oversight.
  • It reduces the chances of getting surprise breakdowns.
  • Regular car services will lower the possible risk of getting involved in an accident
  • Servicing involves various procedures that guarantee better fuel consumption. In essence it is cheaper to run a car that regularly goes for servicing
There are several kinds of servicing available and they include the following:
6 month or interim car service
This is a procedure that is intended for those individuals who cover a lot of mileage over short periods. This means that the car will require more regular checks to avoid unforeseen faults. Some of the work includes filter and oil changes as well as a comprehensive diagnostic check for all essential functions.
12 month or comprehensive car service
This is an all inclusive checkup that should be mandatory for all cars that are used on a regular basis. Most service providers do no less than 70 checks as well as some necessary adjustments. Replacement of worn out components is also done where necessary. The procedure includes Spark plug and air filter replacement among other processes.
Winter Inspection
Ensure that your car is ready to withstand winter conditions by getting a specialised check. Winter safety checks should be a mandatory practice for all car owners.
Car owners have a wide variety of options when it comes choosing a vehicle servicing company, whether you are driving a Land Rover or a Volswagen Polo. There are even new companies offering to service your car at your home or work place.
Of course, for those owners that are mechanically savvy, there is the option of servicing the car themselves. But you have to be qualified to do so and you must know exactly what you are doing.
Whether you use a professional's help or do it yourself, getting your car is very important.

Article Source:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Part 1. Review of the year. BMW 2012

2012...what an amazing year for BMW and it's fans. Lean back and enjoy the review of the year. Part one: new vehicles.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays
from Star Tech European!

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas
and your blessing all year through!" 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Preventative Vehicle Maintenance Saves Money and Time

We rely on our vehicles to get us to work, run errands, transport our families, travel long distances, and get us home again safely, regardless of weather or road conditions. Despite our reliance on our vehicles, many owners neglect or delay routine maintenance in hopes of saving money. While this approach may save money in the short term, following a routine maintenance schedule can actually save drivers money in the long run by improving gas mileage and preventing costly repairs.
Routine maintenance will ensure that your vehicle is working properly and efficiently. Worn and damaged equipment are replaced or repaired, preventing breakdowns and vehicle malfunctions. Engine fluids and filters are checked and replaced or replenished during these inspections as well. Tires are inflated to the proper pressure level, improving your car's fuel-efficiency and improving handling.
Every new car comes with an operating manual that outlines recommended maintenance intervals specific to your vehicle. Performing the services provided in this guide will help prevent major service and repairs in the future. Taking proper care of your car can increase its life, optimize gas mileage, protect your vehicle warranty, and improve resale value.
Increase The Life Of Your Vehicle:
Proper care and regular maintenance will help your vehicle run properly, reducing the stress and strain on the engine, transmission, and other components. Regular check ups are necessary to diagnose and fix problems that could compromise the owner's safety. A large percentage of vehicle accidents are the result of poor vehicle maintenance.
Optimize Gas Mileage:
With gas prices constantly rising, drivers are looking for ways to improve gas mileage. A well-maintained vehicle will burn fuel more efficiently, saving you money at the gas pump. Proper tire pressure diminishes road friction, allowing your car's engine to run more efficiently. Keeping your car well tuned and fixing damaged parts can increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle as well.
Protect Vehicle Warranty:
In most cases, completing minimum maintenance guidelines are necessary to keep a vehicle's warranty valid. The manufacture may deny warranty claims if minimum maintenance standards have not been met. Denied claims can result in costly, out-of-pocket repairs for vehicle owners.
Improve Resale Value:
One of the most important reasons to follow routine maintenance schedules is to increase the resale value of your vehicle. While all vehicles depreciate over time, completing proper maintenance at suggested intervals can increase resale value. Many used car buyers are willing to pay more when given evidence of proper maintenance. Dealerships prefer to buy vehicles with complete maintenance records because those vehicles are easier to certify. Be sure to keep a complete record of all routine maintenance so that you will have proof when selling your vehicle.
There are some things that drivers can do between scheduled maintenance checks to ensure that their vehicle is performing efficiently:
  • Check engine oil level using the dipstick
  • Check air pressure in tires to ensure that pressure is at proper level
  • Inspect wiper blades for damage and check windshield washer fluid level
  • Check tires for damage and wear
Keeping your vehicle in properly maintained and repaired can improve vehicle performance, safety, and save you money over time.

Article Source:

Star Tech European in Vacaville specializes in European Automotive service and repairs. The auto repair business doesn't have the best reputation, so we go the extra mile to build trust. That includes taking extra time to really explain what your car needs and why. Our goal is to give professional, friendly, honest service without the stress and hassle of going to the dealer. We will never sell you something you don't need.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Think Blue Factory: Volkswagen's Eco-Friendly Production Factory

Environmental protection doesn't necessarily lead to higher costs. This is proven by the construction of the American Volkswagen plant at Chattanooga, TN. Think Blue Factory is the name of the strategy; lower energy consumption, lower production costs increasing the pace of environmental protection.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Common Signs You Need Brake Repair Soon

It is easy to forget about handling a car's brake repair. The maintenance appointments, like oil changes, happen frequently enough and you may have a reminder sticker on your windshield so that you don't go over. However the braking system is a little different. While the manufacturer can suggest part replacements at different intervals, driving style varies from person to person so there are no concrete numbers to depend on. Instead, look for signs that it is time you made an appointment to have your braking system looked at.

Grinding or Screeching Noise

If you don't notice the grinding or screeching noise that occurs when you come to a stop, there is a good chance that those around you are picking up on it. This is one of the most obvious signs that you may need brake repair. There are times when certain pads will cause more noise so it is not a guarantee that your vehicle needs service. However when it comes to the safety of you and your family, it make sense to go through with an inspection just to be sure.

Pulling to One Side or Pedal Pulsates

When you attempt to come to a stop, have you noticed that your car tends to pull to one side or the other? If so, it could mean that something is wrong. Most of the time, it means that one of the pads is wearing down more excessively than some of the others. This is never good and means that you are looking at some part replacements. Brake repair is not the only possible solution. Your vehicle may also be out of alignment or your tires could be wearing unevenly. When you put your foot down to get your vehicle to stop, if you notice that the pedal pulsates there is a good chance that you have a problem.

Takes Too Long to Stop

One of the scariest signs that you need brake repair is having your vehicle take a long time to come to a stop. If you notice that you need to press down on the pedal harder than normal or you notice that the car's response time is unacceptable, call and request and inspection of the braking system. Most service shops will be able to take a look and let you know right away what is wrong. In fact, many offer free inspections so you are not out any money, but you can still learn if there is a problem.

Warning Light

Some vehicles make it easy for drivers to realize there is a problem. If a warning light comes on that involves your braking system, you instantly know that there is an issue that needs to be addressed by a certified technician. Take it in for brake repair right away.

Article Source:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BMW i3 Concept Coupé.

The BMW i3 Concept Coupé is a study for sustainable premium-class motoring with zero local emissions. Beyond this, the three-door model employs the design idiom that has been created especially for the BMW i cars to convey an undeniable sense of dynamism and driving pleasure.
The BMW i3 Concept Coupé shows the ongoing development process for getting the first ever all-electric model from the BMW i brand ready for series production.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Audi Service and Repair: Protect Your Investment

Savvy consumers looking for a luxurious and powerful car or SUV have discovered the many advantages of Audi vehicles. These German manufactured automobiles are designed to give drivers a reliable and stylish ride that rivals the best foreign imports. Keeping your Audi serviced and well maintained will ensure that it will run efficiently for many years to come.

The Audi brand is synonymous with cutting edge technology and luxury performance. These vehicles are known for their superior safety features and exceptional driving experience. Audi is instantly recognizable as a luxury vehicle that is comparable to vehicles like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. As the premium brand within the Volkswagen group, Audi is available in many different body styles at various price ranges.

Audi vehicles are well equipped with luxury features and advanced technology that are exclusive to this brand. These sleek cars provide a comfortable and powerful ride. Audi cars and SUVs feature powerful engines, plush interiors and high end features that make them a popular choice for those drivers who want a stylish, luxurious ride. These vehicles are also known for their many safety features.

One of the best ways to maintain your investment is to have your Audi vehicle serviced by a trained and qualified mechanic who has experience working on these type of cars. Routine service and maintenance ensure that your Audi runs efficiently. From tire inflation and oil changes to major repairs, your service provider should be familiar with the specific needs of your vehicle.

A well maintained engine will run more efficiently than one that is not working at top condition. Clogged filters and parts that are not properly lubricated can cause your engine to work harder, resulting in wasted fuel and increased emissions. Be sure that your tires are inspected regularly to ensure that they are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires cause more friction between the tire and the road surface, making your engine work harder and burn excess fuel.

Be sure that any parts that are replaced are Audi genuine parts. They are designed to precisely fit your vehicle. When you use replacement parts that are made by the manufacturer, you are sure to get a product that is guaranteed to perform at top level. If you own a new or previously owned Audi, you have made an investment in a quality vehicle. Be sure that you use only the best parts available to ensure that your Audi vehicle maintains its safety, value and reliability for many years to come.

Putting off routine maintenance can result in costly repairs. Leaving engine oil in your vehicle too long can damage your engine or result in expensive repairs in the future. When oil is left inside an engine for extended period of time and starts to breakdown. You can start developing sludge, which can severely impact the performance of your engine and eventually lead to engine failure. The same is true for other maintenance items throughout your vehicle.

You've made the decision to drive one of the world's best luxury vehicles. Keep up with your routine maintenance so that your Audi will last for many years and retain its value. Find a qualified Audi service center in your area to ensure that your vehicle is expertly maintained.

Article Source:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gift Ideas for Porsche Enthusiasts

Why shouldn't the sports car lifestyle carry over into times when you're not actually driving your new or used Porsche? Whether you need a gift for a Tigard or Hillsboro Porsche enthusiast, or you're looking for a little Porsche bling for yourself, the following Porsche-themed products will help express the sporty spirit.
1. Model Cars
To pass on your zeal for your favorite auto maker, think about giving your young son, grandson or nephew a model kit or pre-built toy. This is an excellent choice for mature, quiet children. Pre-built toy Porsches are wonderful for younger, more active kids.
2. Porsche 917 Piggybank
Your new or used Porsche needs regular love. Yet if you own one, you know that maintenance isn't free - it takes quite a few pretty pennies to fund regular Porsche service. Save for service for your new or used Porsche with a 917/20 Piggybank.
3. Cufflinks
At formal affairs across Portland and Hillsboro, Porsche cufflinks earn the best kind of attention. Choose from a gold mount with the full crest, or a subtler brushed stainless steel bar clip design.
4. iPhone or iPad Case
The interior of a high-end sports car is an oasis of lush leather. Add a touch of that luxurious comfort to every digital interaction with a Porsche iPad or iPhone case. Each case is made of genuine Porsche interior leather, so you know your holiday gift will be regularly used.
5. Mouse Pad
Let your web surfing be as invigorating and smooth as the experience you get while driving your new or used Porsche. We're not guaranteeing that a branded mouse will actually enhance your online experience. However, that logo could inspire you to finish your work in a flash so as make more time for your preferred Portland or Hillsboro Porsche joy rides.
6. Porsche Books
Several glossy coffee table books have been published on the subject of Porsches. New and used Porsche models sprawl like eye candy across the pages of these tomes. If someone in your life has been following Mad Men recently, consider purchasing "Porsche. Die Mark. Die Werburg" for them. This fascinating read explores the evolution of the brand by tracing its role in advertising history. Alternatively, if you're on the lookout for a stellar appreciation gift for your Porsche service tech, think about purchasing "Cayenne," which tells the story of the newest addition to the brand.
7. Office Items
USB sticks, tabletop clocks, key rings, golf accessories - whichever coworker you're shopping for, Porsche has you covered.
8. 911 Wireless Mouse
Wireless, cherry red, and understated, the Porsche 911 mouse is operable with both PCs and Macs. With one of the world's best-known high-performance vehicles at your fingertips, your desk will be the envy of coworkers and Porsche service techs alike. If you prefer another model, take a look on the company's website; several other models have been adopted for computer mouse designs.
9. Porsche Clothing
Porsche offers a cornucopia of clothing for both genders and all ages. Knitted pieces, sports shirts, and even crystal-studded scarves are available with the company logo. For speedster glam types in rainy climates such as that of Hillsboro, Porsche sells a toasty, extra-long women's cardigan with a discrete metal tag featuring the familiar logo.

Article Source:

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of The XFR-S

Welcome to the XFR-S, Jaguar's fastest and most powerful sports saloon car, delivering electrifying performance with a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 engine boasting 550PS and 680Nm.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Volvo Cars All-Digital Instrument Cluster

Volvo's new digital instrument cluster has three different modes for a customized driver experience. The driver can choose between the themes Eco, Performance and Elegance depending on the driving situation. Each mode brings not only a different layout, but also different functionalities that can be switched between instantaneously while driving. The Eco mode is designed to give the driver all the information needed to drive in a more fuel efficient way. The Performance mode transforms the cluster into a more power focused interaction. The Elegance mode presents a classic and clean cluster.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Alternative Drivetrains. BMW history and Present.

Driving electric, with hydrogen or hybrid --the BMW History of alternative drivetrains already started in the sixties.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mercedes-Benz Maintenance Tips to Improve Longevity and Performance

Mercedes-Benz is known worldwide as a symbol of luxurious, high-performing cars. With a blend of quality German engineering and expert craftsmanship, Mercedes vehicles are popular for their durability and cutting edge technology. Maintenance on these vehicles requires advanced equipment and thorough training. Here are some common parts that may be replaced to boost performance and reduce the risk of future problems.
Ignition System PartsEvaluation of spark plugs can produce an indication of overall engine condition. By inspecting spark plugs, technicians can help determine if a problem exists, and whether a particular cylinder is malfunctioning. Replacing plugs can make a difference in the performance of your Mercedes, and they should only be replaced with OE plugs.
Oil Filter: Replacing the oil filter is a simple task with potentially large implications. Oil filters catch and retain soot, rust and some other solid contaminants from the oil, resulting in a cleaner and more efficient engine.
Air Filter: The air filters on your Mercedes trap dirt and other airborne particles, protecting carburetors on older vehicles, preventing clogging of air bleeds and metering jets. In later models, air filters also protect the fuel injectors. A clogged or dirty air filter will starve your engine of proper airflow, resulting in significant performance reduction.
Fuel Filter: Fuel system contaminants can clog injector inlet screens if not trapped by the filter. Should the vehicle run too long using the same fuel filter, eventually the flow of fuel to the engine will become restricted, which means a loss of power and potentially stalling and hard starting.
Transmission Filter: The smooth operation of the transmission in Mercedes vehicles is vital for continued health of the drivetrain and to retain the smooth, comfortable ride Mercedes is known for. When the transmission filter becomes clogged, it may result in transmission slippage, gear engagement issues and hesitation. To extend the life of the automatic transmission, this filter should be replaced regularly.
Oxygen (O2) Sensors: The oxygen sensor serves to monitor the oxygen level of the exhaust, allowing the computer to adjust the air/fuel mixture to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Over time, a clogged O2 sensor will not be able to respond properly to changes in the air/fuel mixture. The deterioration of oxygen sensors is gradual, so the symptoms may not be obvious at first. The oxygen sensor must be replaced to restore optimal engine performance.
Tires: Many people do not realize that tires play a substantial part in the safety, longevity, fuel economy, and performance of your vehicle. You should check the air pressure in your tires each time you stop to refuel. Visit your mechanic to have your tires rotated and balanced every six months.
Fluid Levels: You should have all fluid levels, including transmission, oil, coolants, washer, and power steering fluids checked monthly.
Proper maintenance of your Mercedes will ensure that it performs at peak condition for many years to come. Protect your investment by working with a highly trained mechanic who is skilled in the specific engine requirements of foreign imports.

Article Source:

Star Tech European in Vacaville specializes in Mercedes-Benz service and repairs  The auto repair business doesn't have the best reputation, so we go the extra mile to build trust. That includes taking extra time to really explain what your car needs and why. Our goal is to give professional, friendly, honest service without the stress and hassle of going to the dealer. We will never sell you something you don't need.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mandatory Car Maintenance

Unless you live in a city with easily accessible mass transit, you rely on your car for your day to day life. Whether you drive into town from the outskirts on a daily basis or just enjoy visiting friends in neighboring towns, your car must be in tip-top shape or you'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere. By making sure to keep your car tuned up, you also ensure your own safety and avoid a lot of frustration. These mandatory auto maintenance tips are the most important things you should do for your car in order to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

Oil change: You should be getting an oil change every 3,000 miles or 3 months in order to keep your car up and running. If you have experience changing oil, you can do this at home and save some money on the cost of labor that a mechanic would typically charge.

Spark plugs: Typically, you'll have conventional spark plugs in your car, which should be changed every 30,000 miles. However, if you know your car has double platinum spark plugs, they should be changed every 50,000 miles.

Transmission filter and fluid: Your car's transmission filter should be changed at 30,000, 90,000, and 150,000 miles. The transmission fluid should be changed at 60,000, 120,000, and 180,000 miles.
Fuel filter: Unless your car's fuel filter is in the fuel tank, you should be changing it every 35,000 to 40,000 miles. However, if your tank is ever dropped, you should change the fuel filter immediately.
Coolant flush: You should have your mechanic do a coolant flush every 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Tire rotation: One of the most important maintenance tips is tire rotation. Every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, you should have your car's tires rotated. If left untouched, the car's tires will wear down at an unbalanced rate because the weight in your car can be distributed unevenly. Your back left tire may be worn down way less than your front right tire, which will cause balance issues.

Tire alignment: Going hand in hand with tire rotation is getting the alignment checked out every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. This can go unchecked for some time as long as your car is still driving straight.

Brake fluid and power steering fluid flushes: These fluids should be flushed every two years or when they look dirty, whichever comes first.

Professional fuel injection: Your car needs a fuel injection done by a professional mechanic every 40,000 miles to keep it running smoothly.

Throttle bore plate: The throttle bore plate must be cleaned every 20,000 miles.

Air induction: This service should be performed every 20,000 miles as well.

Air filter, cabin air filter, PCV valve: These three items should be replaced as needed.

Article Source:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free CPR Training For Ages 10-18 This Weekend At United Heart Training Center in Suisun City

Presented By:
United Heart Training Center

November 17 & 18, 2012

For: Ages 10-18 years old
Time: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

One Harbor Center
Suites 200-240
Suisun City, CA 94585

A Donation of $10.00 Will Help Provide Manuals for the Classes

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Most Reliable New Cars From Consumer Reports

After crunching the numbers on more than a millions cars, Consumer Reports National Research Center can tell you which are the most reliable.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The All- New Volvo V40 Pedestrian Airbag

Your All-New Volvo V40 features the world-first Pedestrian Airbag. If there is a frontal collision between your V40 and a pedestrian, the bonnet is automatically released and an airbag inflates to cushion the pedestrian, greatly reducing the chances of serious injury.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Typical Vehicle Maintenance Questions

Car owners have to be mindful of maintenance concerns. A vehicle that is well-maintained will last longer. One that is neglected has the tendency to break down sooner than you can expect. There are common car maintenance queries that all motorists should be aware of. It is equally important to know the answers to these essential questions.

• When do you need to change your engine oil?

Regular oil needs to be replaced every 3,000 miles and artificial oil after 5,000 miles. Keep in mind that engine oil is meant to lubricate and cool internal engine components. The oil will eventually lose its efficiency reducing its capacity to disperse heat and act as lubricant. Regular checkups are needed to make sure that your engine oil is still in shape.

• What should be done if the car engine overheats?

Turn off the car air-conditioner or heater the moment you notice that the car begins to overheat. Pull over to the shoulder assuming you are driving at normal speed. The problems may have to do something with the cooling mechanism, busted drive belt, shattered hose, or congested radiator. When you have parked safely on the shoulder, turn off the engine and open the hood. Allow the engine to cool down for approximately 20 minutes. Refrain from opening the radiator cap while the engine is still hot or running. Add some coolant if you see nothing defective. Start the car and drive at a guarded speed to the nearest service shop.

• What is the correct tire pressure reading?

The tire pressure should be adjusted according to the recommendation of your car manufacturer. These specifications (PSI or pounds per square inch) can be seen on the side of the tire. Tires that are inflated correctly will assure you of improved fuel mileage and reduced deterioration. You can also control the vehicle effectively if tires do not have any inflation problems.

• What is the life span of spark plugs?

Spark plugs of newer models can last up to 90,000 miles. Older cars usually have spark plugs that last from 12,000 to 20,000 miles. Plugs with iridium tips are more durable than those with platinum points.

• Why do the brakes make strange sounds?

As soon as you hear a squeaking sound every time you step on the brake pedal, there is certainly a need to replace the brake pads. The brake system should never emit any sound. It may be hazardous to continue driving when this happens. Ask a mechanic to inspect the brakes right away even if the problem is very minor.

Article Source:

Friday, November 2, 2012

BMW Seat Memory

Utilize BMW's programmable memory seats to adjust the seat and save new seating memory preferences.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Auto Repairs Should Be Left to Professionals

When it comes to auto repairs, some people opt to take the cheap way out. In other words, they get assistance from people who aren't certified professionals. This may seem like a good idea, especially when they find someone who will charge them half of what a professional would. Little do they know, taking the cheap route isn't always the best decision.

One reason it's best to go to a professional for auto repairs is that they have all of the proper equipment. When working on a vehicle, it takes more than a wrench and a few screws. There are certain pieces of equipment that are needed for particular issues. In other words, what's needed to replace tires is totally different from what's needed to fix a dent. An amateur most likely doesn't have direct access to all of the different specialized tools that are needed. This could severely compromise the quality of their work.

Now, some may say all the person has to do is go and purchase the parts if they don't have them handy. This is a true statement. However, even with all of the right parts, this doesn't make them professionals all of a sudden. So, they could have the best parts in the world, but that doesn't automatically increase their skill level and ability. Their inexperience and limited knowledge could even cause them to use some of the parts incorrectly. So, it's best to go to someone with the proper equipment as well as the right amount of experience.

Another reason it's best to go to a specialist for auto repairs is that they offer a warranty. This is extremely important because it ensures that the vehicle owner is protected in the unfortunate case that something goes wrong with the repair. No matter how great and skillful a mechanic may be, they might still make mistakes. So, it's always best to have some type of protection.

On the other hand, an uncertified person usually doesn't offer a warranty. Therefore, if the repair goes wrong prematurely, there's really nothing the owner can do to be compensated for the issue.

Contrary to what some people may believe, auto repairs should be completed by certified professionals. This helps to give the vehicle owner a better chance of getting high quality work done on their automobile. It also gives them an opportunity to be protected if something prematurely goes wrong with the repair. Although it may not be an attractive idea financially, it is the best route to take when all is said and done.

Article Source:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

H2O International 2012 | Volkswagen

Once again this year, Ocean City was taken over by hundreds of VW owners and enthusiasts from around the world for a fun event to celebrate creativity and comradery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Best Tips for Driving in the Rain

While many of us would like to stay in the comfort of our home, the truth is that we have to get out and take on the world. Driving to or from work in the rain changes the daily commute.
Road Conditions Change in the Rain
There are more problems than most people consider.
  • The water on the road creates a thin film between your tires and the asphalt.
  • Your perception is impaired by reduced visibility because it's difficult to see through the rain. It often gets darker, too.
  • Oil builds up on roads during dry weather. When it mixes with a fresh rain, road conditions become exceptionally slick.
  • Your windows may fog up. We have a lot of humidity and the temperatures change rapidly during a storm - fogging your windows.
  • Hidden obstacles can give you a jolt. When that pothole fills up with water, you may not even know it's there until your car bounces from the impact.
  • Other drivers are still distracted. Let's face it - we're surrounded by distracted drivers.
Tips for Driving in the Rain
This may seem like common sense advice, but pay attention the next time you're driving in the rain and you may find it's not so common after all.
  • Slow Down - You have less friction on the road and therefore you have less traction. It's easy to lose traction and hydroplane out of control.
  • Increase Space Between Cars - With less traction, you need to give yourself more time to brake. If the car in front of you suddenly stops, you can't expect to stop in the same amount of space if you were on a dry road.
  • Daytime Running Lights Are Not Headlights - Turn on your headlights so other cars can see you. Daytime Running Lights do not illuminate the rear of your car, making you much less visible than cars who turn on their headlights.
  • Don't Use Hazard Lights - Driving in the rain with your hazard lights blinking is a distraction to other drives. Besides, it's illegal to use them while driving in some states.
  • Put the Phone Down - Eliminate your distractions. Not only do you have to compensate for the reduced visibility and poor road conditions, but you also have to watch out for the other drivers who aren't paying attention.
  • Don't Use Cruise Control - It may cause your engine to suddenly accelerate to maintain speed, which in turn may cause you to lose traction.
  • Avoid Puddles - Remember that pothole I mentioned before? Plenty of them that get formed by the heat & rain every summer.
  • Drive in the Tracks of the Car In Front of You - That car is leaving a path with less water, so take advantage of it. Put your wheels in its tracks.
  • Check Your Tires - If you don't have any tread, you can't channel water out of the way and your car is more prone to hydroplane.
If You Start Sliding
Despite your precautions, you may run into a situation where you lose traction and your car starts sliding. Here's what you need to remember.
  • Don't Panic - It won't help. It may kill you. Keep calm and think.
  • Turn Into the Slide - If you turn away from the slide, your tires aren't in position to channel the water out of the way. Worse, you'll likely flip your car over when your tires regain traction. Go with the force moving your car.
  • Don't Slam the Brakes - You're sliding. The brakes stop the tires from rotating during the slide. That means you've actually reduced friction that could stop your slide.
  • Hit the Gas - Moving tires create friction. By applying acceleration, you're increasing the odds of creating friction and recovering traction.
  • Avoid the Grass - If you think the road is slick, wait until you try sliding on wet grass. Do your best to stay on the asphalt. It's designed to increase friction.
  • Pull Over After You Recover - Once you've recovered traction, find a safe place to pull over. Now you can freak out if you want. Compose yourself. Check your car for damage. Once you're ready, find a safe opportunity to get back on the road and keep going. The excitement is over.
Don't let yourself fall into complacency when the road conditions change. Slowing down and remaining alert is a small price to pay to get home without incident.
Article Source:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

BMW 3200 CS "Bertone". History.

Presented in 1961, the BMW 3200 CS introduced numerous design elements found in later BMW models such as the famous Hofmeister kink and became one of the most prestigious coupés of its time.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Maintaining Your Vehicle During Winter Driving Conditions

Winter driving is often feared by many because of the increased dangers associated with changing weather conditions and increased traffic on the roads associated with holiday driving. Preparing both yourself and your vehicle for winter driving can not only keep you safe but can also save you money.
Preparing your vehicle for winter driving can help you avoid costly repairs and breakdowns that may leave you stranded on the side of the road in freezing temperatures. Taking a few minutes to do a quick visual inspection of your vehicle prior to driving can help you find and prevent things that can lead to troubles along the way.
Taking time to perform some preventative maintenance not only prepares your car for winter driving but increases the life of your vehicle.
Here are some preventative maintenance tips to help you prepare your vehicle for winter driving:
  1. Inspect your antifreeze while your engine is cold. This can be done quickly with an inexpensive antifreeze tester by even the novice driver. It takes only seconds to remove the radiator cap and perform the test. Ensuring you have adequate levels of antifreeze can prevent your engine from freezing and causing damage.
  2. Visually inspect all lights. Making sure your headlights, signal lights, brake lights and park lights are operating is essential to being seen on the road, especially if it is snowing. The more visible you are to other drivers the better.
  3. Visually inspect your tires. Inspecting both the tread and tire pressure regularly is crucial to safe winter driving where good traction on both snow and ice is required.
  4. Check your wiper blades. During winter driving it is more likely your windshield will become obscured by snow and salt as you drive. Having your wiper blades in top working condition means increased visibility while you drive.
  5. Visually inspect your engine's belt and hoses. Cracked or worn belts and hoses are likely to break during cold temperatures associated with winter driving. Ensuring these are in good condition prior to driving will reduce the likelihood of a breakdown associated with a failure in one of these components.
  6. Have your oil changed regularly. Winter means more cold starts for your engine. Having both clean motor oil and a clean oil filter will reduce wear on your engine during those cold morning starts. This will increase the life of your engine.
  7. Have your battery inspected. Cold weather makes your battery work harder and nothing is worst than having a dead battery during those cold winter days. Ensure your battery and charging system are functioning correctly by having it inspected.
  8. Have your brakes inspected. Stopping on icy or snow covered roads is often difficult and it is important to ensure your brakes are working properly. Having your brakes inspected and replaced when required will provide you with more braking power when needed during those slippery days of winter.
While these preventative maintenance tips will give you the advantage during winter driving, it is always important to be prepared for the worst. Invest in a roadside emergency kit that includes a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, energy bars, bottled water, jumper cables, flares and a first aid kit.
The dangers associated with winter driving can be minimized by following these tips.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

The All-New Volvo V40 - Active TFT Display

The V40 is available with a new, fully graphic instrument cluster. This active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display brings the interaction between car and driver into a new dimension.The instrument cluster expresses emotional functionality, always displaying the most important information in any given situation right in front of the driver.

The driver can choose between three graphic themes.The Elegance theme has amber illumination that creates a traditional and calm aura.The Eco theme features green background illumination, designed to create an environmentally inspired look. An Eco meter is displayed on the left. The current and accumulated fuel consumption figures are displayed - and the driver is rewarded with a green light when eco-driving is optimal.
The Performance theme has red background illumination, creating a sporty atmosphere.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Save Gas - 8 Great Tips

When money is tight we often look for simple ways to save cash. Cutting your gas bill down is a great way to start. But where to begin? Follow the simple steps below.

1. When out on the roads, avoid staying to close to the car in front of you. When they hit the breaks or slow down this will force you to hit the breaks too. My point? Accelerating uses much more gas than when you are driving at a constant speed.

2. When you park your car, try not to park in the sun. If possible, find some shade to park under. The reason for doing so is to prevent the car from heating up. When the car heats up the gas evaporates quicker. This means even when you are not driving you can lose quite a lot of fuel.

3. The more the car weighs, the more fuel it needs to accelerate. Try to empty your car as much as possible by getting rid of things that are not required like golf clubs and football equipment.

4. You should always plan your journeys in advance. Plenty of people take longer routes than needed. You can find the most fuel efficient routes using a sat-nav or an online route planner.

5. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly. You can find the correct tire pressure levels in the car owners manual. By doing so, you can increase your gas mileage by over 3%. This may not seem like much but when you add it up over a year you can see why it is worthwhile.

6. You can also buy a new, fuel efficient car. There are plenty of hybrid cars which can save you a heap load of cash on gas each month. Of course, this may not seem like the cheapest of options at first. However, over the period of a year or two the amount you save on your gas bill allows the new car to pay for itself.

7. Avoid idling as much as possible. Whenever you get out of your car to drop something off or post something, make sure you turn the cars engine off. It only takes a few seconds to turn it back on again so what is the point of wasting fuel idling?

8. Finally, make sure you use cruise control to your advantage. By maintaining a consistent level of speed you are saving a lot of money.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mercedes-Benz TV: The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive

The supersports car equipped with Formula 1 high-tech produces no local emissions and represents electro-mobility in its most exclusive form. Generating a massive 552 kW, the world's most powerful electro-sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 in only 3.9 seconds.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How To Maximize Your Car's Performance

Because a car is a depreciating asset, people are more likely to hold onto their car for longer periods of time. Instead of trading their car in for a new one, people are holding onto their cars and maintaining them so they last longer. To make a car last longer and maximize its performance, there are certain things you can do. This will increase the life of your car and decrease the costs that could come along unexpectedly.
By keeping up with the fluids in your car such as oil, you will extend the life of your car. This means changing the oil when it is recommended. The oil needs to be checked and changed regularly for optimum performance. As fluids are being used, they can get low. This is why it is important to check the levels and top off as needed.
You know your car better than anyone because you drive it daily, so listen to the sounds your car makes and any abnormalities. By catching a problem early, you could avoid costly repairs. This could include sputtering, overheating, atypical noises or leaks. If you notice any of these, you should get your car in right away to have it checked and remedied.
One of the most important things you want to avoid with your engine is overheating. If this occurs, even once, it can cause problems. When overheating occurs, gaskets, seals or cylinders can be damaged. Make sure to watch the engine cooling system gauge on your car. Also, if your 'check engine' light goes on, have your car looked at right away. There is a reason why that light goes on and you do not want to drive with that light on for an extended period of time. Any warning light that goes on should be checked immediately. If the problem is caught early, it can be fixed for a lower cost than if you wait.
If you do need repairs, you need to find a trustworthy mechanic. Unless you know a lot about cars, you will be looking to your mechanic for answers. When repairs are necessary, you should use good, quality parts to ensure their effectiveness and longevity. There should be a maintenance schedule for your car and it should be followed, even if they seem unnecessary.
Sometimes mechanical problems are out of your control, while others are in your control. For instance, you should not accelerate too quickly on a frequent basis. This means breaking it in easily when it is brand new. And when you drive it in harsh conditions, it is important to let it warm up. The more you do these things, the more likely your car will last longer and need fewer repairs. Keeping your car clean is another good way to maintain your car.
No matter how long you plan to keep your car, you should do all of these things in order to maintain it. This should be done not only for yourself, but for the next owner of your car. Since a car can run for a decade or longer, you want to keep your car maintained so it runs its best.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

For The Child In All Of Us: Vacaville Kid Fest, Sat Oct 6th, Andrews Park

Vacaville Kid Fest was started in 1999, when an idea was born to create a "Children's Festival", a place where families could come and have a day of activities with their children at very little or no cost, and also have the opportunity to learn about many of the services and resources that were available to children and families. We adopted the theme "For the Child in all of us".

A group of City of Vacaville representatives, ranging from business owners and managers, nonprofit groups and media people were approached with the idea and met it with enthusiasm. And thus, Kid Fest was born.

The first Kid Fest Core Committee consisted of Shauna Manina, Meaghan O'Neill from Vacaville Police Dept., Linnea Dischinger from Vacaville Fire Dept., Todd Grames and Suzanne Green from Community Services Dept., and Reggie Hubbard from Housing & Redevelopment Dept. Other business people from The Reporter, Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District, and others all committed to the vision of a day of low cost or no cost activities, free resources, and fun.

Our first event in 1999 had 1 stage and 40 booths, with everything from food, crafters and merchandise vendors, a wide range of social service and community nonprofit groups, free children's games and entertainment, bounce houses, and a very strong focus on child safety and health. From the beginning, a large component of the event has been the presence of Vacaville Fire and Police Depts., with their equipment displays, children's fire muster, and safety information.

By 2001, there were 2 stages of entertainment and over 120 booths participating in the event. The committee members have changed over the years, but the event has continued, and become part of the fabric of what makes Vacaville a family oriented community. The focus remains on child and family safety and health.

See more about this wonderful organization at

See you there!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paris Motorshow 2012. BMW Highlights.

A look into the future with three fascinating concept models and several premieres of current models -- this is BMW at the Paris Motorshow 2012. New BMW ConnectedDrive features round off the experience at one of the most popular motor shows worldwide.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

10 Emergency Items to Keep in Your Vehicle

The majority of us spend a significant amount of time in our vehicles, therefore it is prudent to keep certain items safely stored away in case of an unexpected emergency. Here are several suggestions for items you should keep as part of an "emergency kit".
1. Flashlight with spare batteries
If you break down or get a flat tire at night, a flashlight is an indispensable item. Without one, checking engine components or changing a flat can be a very difficult and frustrating undertaking. In addition, be sure to always keep a number of spare batteries for the flashlight - you don't want it dying when it is needed most.
2. First Aid Kit
Injuries, whether major or minor, can never be foreseen, and you never know what might happen while you're out on the road. Be prepared for anything from scraped knuckles to small cuts or a bee sting. Basic emergency first aid kits are available at most department stores and pharmacies, and should contain most everything you may need to treat an injury.
3. Bottled Water
In your travels, you may find yourself broke down or stranded in a less than desirable location. Having water available ensures you can keep yourself and your family members hydrated.
4. Glass Scraper
If your area normally sees snow or ice during the winter months, an ice scraper for your windows and windshield is essential. Even in these fall months leading up to winter, it is best to be prepared now rather than unprepared when you actually need it. Be sure to keep a scraper handy, you never know when you might awake to find your vehicle covered in ice or frost.
5. Jumper Cables
At one point or another, most of us have had the misfortune of a dead battery, and find that we didn't have battery jumper cables in our vehicle. Hearing that empty click when you turn the key can be a real downer, but if you happen to have a set of cables you can quickly get a jump off another considerate motorist. Having these cables in your vehicle also enables you to help someone else out in a similar situation.
6. Hand Warmers
These very small yet useful items can be easily fit into your first aid kit or glove compartment. For those of you who have changed a tire in extremely cold weather, you'll understand why we recommend these as a must-have. If you haven't - take our advice and pick up a pair! Working around your vehicle in the biting cold without hand warmers can be an extremely uncomfortable experience.
7. Duct Tape
As the saying goes, "Duct tape can fix anything". While that may not be entirely true, having a role of duct tape handy is always a good idea, providing a quick, temporary fix to an unforeseen problem.
8. Hazard Triangles or Flares
These items are for the safety of both yourself and oncoming motorists. If you break down on the side of the road, placing hazard triangles or flares behind your vehicle will alert other drivers that there is a vehicle in distress up ahead. Without these items, other drivers may not see you in inclement weather, resulting in a near-miss or even a collision. Place these items at 50, 75, and 100 feet to the rear of your vehicle, and on the side of your vehicle facing traffic.
9. Tow Rope
Ensure the rope you buy is capable of towing your vehicle's gross weight (see the owner's manual to determine this figure). Keep in mind this rope is not for extended trips and regular towing, but only to get out of harm's way.
10. Small Shovel
Many of us at some point have found ourselves stuck in some type of mud or snow. Having a small shovel handy will allow you to dig out around your tires if needed. Also, you can use the shovel to pack material in front of your tires for better traction when trying to free your vehicle.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

BMW Driving Experience. 35 Years of Training.

Race driver Claudia Hürtgen gives an overview over 35 years of BMW Driving Experience. BWM instructs people how to handle a car and how to react in extreme situations -- to guarantee safety when driving a BMW and even increase driving pleasure.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Most Common Signs You Need Brake Repair

Brake repair is not something that happens out of nowhere. In fact, most vehicles will show signs of needing repairs months or longer before there is a failure of the system. Yet, treatment of these concerns is vitally important. Do not put it off. The reason for this is simple. Putting it off could lead to significant risk to you and your family. A braking system that is not functioning properly can fail at any time. More so, the longer you wait to get help, the more likely it will be that this process will cost you more.

Check It Out

The first step you can take when it comes to monitoring for brake repair needs is simply to visually inspect the system. Look at the pads themselves. You can see them through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. You will see the outside of the pad pressed against the rotor. There should be at least a ¼ of an inch pad here. If there is less than this, it is time for replacement.

What You Hear Matters

It is also important to listen to your vehicle. Often, these repairs provide a clear sound when there is a problem. Think metal-on-metal rubbing together. Often, you will hear a high-pitched screeching sound when you touch the brakes in the vehicle to slow it down. This is usually a good indicator of a problem. It is a warning that your pads need replacement. The more frequent this gets, the more important it is to get the vehicle in to a tech.

The Way It Feels

While you are driving, you may notice changes in the function of your vehicle. These are also good indications that the brakes need attention. For example, if you notice that it takes longer to stop, this indicates a problem with responsiveness and fading. Get it taken care of soon. If you notice the vehicle is pulling to one side when you are applying pressure to the brakes, this also indicates a key problem that needs attention. Vibration, grinding and even a growling sound are all instances where repairs are necessary. The sooner you get these serviced, the better it will be for your vehicle.

Brake repair does not have to be expensive. Though it can be more expensive the longer you put it off, the safety it provides far outweighs the monetary investment you make. In fact, the longer you wait to get repairs, the more likely it is that your system will begin to damage to the rotors and other components of the car. That will be expensive to fix. If you have any of these warning signs, make an appointment with a technician to get the system checked.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

SARTRE project | Autonomous Driving | Volvo Cars

The SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) road train includes a manually driven lead truck followed by three Volvo cars (S60, V60 and XC60). All the following vehicles are driven autonomously thanks to a blend of present and new technology.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Car Care Check Up: What to Inspect

Fall is the perfect time to give your car a good look over, as summer is past and winter is soon to follow. Summer and winter are the toughest seasons on any car as extreme temperature variations can test your car. Cooler fall weather means you're in the mood to work on your car any way, something you'll want to accomplish before the first cold snap hits and winter settles in and your car is tested once again.
Let's take a look at some "must do" checks as you inspect your car this fall.
1. Tires. When was the last time your rotated your tires? As a matter of fact, when was the last time you checked them for wear and tear? If your tires are showing signs of wear, they may need replacing or at least a full rotation. Rotate your tires and adjust the air pressure to the required level.
2. Battery. Car batteries can last for as little as two or three years, or for five years or longer. Much depends on the condition of your battery, its quality and how often you drive. Check the battery connections, removing gunk build up on the terminals and securing the cables back in place. If the battery is old or low on charge, replace it before winter.
3. Fluids. If you haven't had an oil change in six months or 5,000 miles get it done now. Replace the oil and oil filter, and check other fluids including power steering, brake and transmissions fluids. Top off the washer solvent and inspect your coolant system.
4. Belts and hoses. Following a hot summer, your car's belts and hoses may be frayed or worn. Check for signs of wear and replace immediately. Cracks can soon turn into breaks, leaving you stranded if a belt gives way or a hose splits.
5. Wipers. Heat can damage wipers and your wipers should be replaced twice annually -- in spring and again in the fall. Streaking wipers or a clouded windshield are signs that your wipers need to be replaced.
6. HVAC. You ran the air-conditioner all summer and will soon be running the heater all winter. Replace the a/c filter and if heating or cooling is not adequate, it may be time for a freon replacement or heating coil change.
7. Suspension. Wear and tear on your car's suspension system can result in a rough ride. Shocks, struts and various chassis parts such as your tie rods and ball joints may need to be replaced. Check your brakes too -- pads, linings and rotors wear out.
If your car hasn't had a tune up, check the owner's manual to see when one is due. Today's cars can go much further between tune ups, but an air filter may need to be replaced or your emissions system checked.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Volvo Cars Winter Tire Test Jokkmokk, Sweden

In the northernmost part of Sweden, Volvo's experts test all the properties of the winter tyres to find a tyre that is optimal in terms of safety, Durability and comfort.

Volvo is testing: handling, comfort, noise, lane changes, over/under steer, response and handling on ice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ensure the Longevity of Your Car

Investing in a car entails a lot of money. You have to set aside funds for the purchase of the unit. There should also be separate funds for registration, insurance, gas, maintenance and occasional repairs. It is important to take care of your vehicle or else, the hard-earned cash will simply go to waste. Keep your car on the road longer by following these suggestions:

• The break-in phase is your first concern. Your driving speed should not be more than 55 miles per hour during the first 1,000 miles. Check your car owner's manual or confirm with the manufacturer. Make use of light to medium increase of velocity. Ideally, the engine's revolution-per-minutes should be under 3,000 during the initial hours of driving. The vehicle must not be immobile for a long time since oil may not be dispersed to all engine parts.

• Pay attention to the engine's lubrication. Oil and the oil filter have to be changed regularly. The blocked filter means that the engine is performing poorly. If you want to get an accurate reading of your engine oil, drive the car around for 15 minutes and park on a flat surface. Stop the engine and let the oil go back to the pan. Pull the measuring rod and wipe with a clean cloth of paper towel. Put it back and remove again. The level should be somewhere near the middle of the plunger.

• Make it a point to wash your car engine annually. The clean engine makes it less difficult for you to pinpoint leakages and overhaul components. Take good care of the sensitive parts such as electrical items, distributor and air-intake system. Scrutinize the timing belt and hoses. Remove any filth that has accumulated in these hosepipes.

• The cooling mechanism of the car is as important as the condition of the engine lubricant. The breakdown of the cooling system can ruin the entire engine. It is necessary to mix water and anti-freeze. Temper the coolant using the 50-50 proportion. The water facilitates proper transfer of heat from the coolant to the car radiator. On the other hand, cooling chemical serves as a safeguard against freezing and rust. The anti-freeze concentration should be checked every week to makes sure that it is not too low or overflow.

• Check the tires and make sure that the inflation pressure is correct. Tires that are not properly filled with air produce excess heat and strain that will lead to fast breakdown. Inspect your tires at least once every month but at more frequent intervals during the hot summer months.

• Examine the tires for irregular wear and tear. Imbalanced deterioration calls for immediate wheel repositioning. This can also be caused by defective brakes, worn-out bearings and internal damages. Rotate your tires after 6,000 to 7,500 miles of driving. Refer to your manual or dealer for the exact configuration of rotation. Incidentally, the normal requirement for replacement of tires is when it is down to 1.5 millimetres of tire deepness. These are basic tire safety issues that motorists must always be aware of.

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