Tuesday November 15th, 2011 12:49 Car Insurance Tips for Geeks

Geeky girl

Auto insurance is something you must understand before you can effectively cover your insurance needs. Most people can satisfy their needs with a basic full coverage auto insurance policy that has liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Car rental, emergency road service and uninsured motorist are worth considering depending on individual circumstances.

  1. Liability Insurance covers the other vehicle and passengers if you have an at fault accident.
  2. Collision covers your vehicle and passengers if you have an at fault accident.
  3. Comprehensive covers your vehicle against most other types of incidents including damage caused by hit and run, weather related damage and theft.
  4. Car rental pays for you a rental car while yours is out of commission because of a claimable accident.
  5. Emergency road service pays for car repairs made on the roadside or for tow charges to the nearest garage or dealer.
  6. Uninsured motorist covers your vehicle and passenger if an uninsured driver causes an accident.

In most cases, the law requires liability insurance coverage and if a financial institution has an outstanding loan on the vehicle, they usually require full coverage. Insurance companies collect statistical data on a daily basis. These statistics are contributing factors to the premium you will pay. This information consists of data that tells the insurance company what areas of the country have the most claims and those that have the largest number of serious accidents.

Geek woman

Data shows the age group and sex that have a higher number of accidents and the areas with the highest number of weather related claims as well as much more collected data. You have no control over these premium-setting circumstances. There are circumstances directly related to the amount of premium you pay that you do have some control over. The following tips will help you get the best discounted insurance rates possible.

  1. Multi-vehicle discount- Insuring all your vehicles with the same company will discount the premium.
  2. Multi-insurance discount- Purchasing all your insurance needs from the same company nets a discount.
  3. Deductibles- The higher the deductibles are the cheaper auto insurance rates will be.
  4. Driving record- The best discount given is for a good driving record with no tickets or chargeable claims.
  5. Vehicle type- Some vehicles are more costly to insure than others because of theft, involvement in accidents, safety features and other factors.
  6. Credit history- Good credit indicates a responsible driver and results in better rates.
  7. Miles driven- The more miles you drive the higher insurance rates will be.
  8. Driver training- Any safety drivers course will result in a discount.
  9. Memberships- Ask about membership in organizations because many will provide a discount for you.

When you understand auto insurance terms and what they mean it is easier to calculate your needs. You can buy insurance direct, through an agent or a broker. Direct is cheaper, but you eliminate the expert that can help with questions and claims at any time. Most people find that having an agent or broker at their disposal is worth the cost. Go online to an insurance comparison site and find companies that fit your needs at an affordable price. Research any company you are interested in doing business with to make sure they are solvent and pay claims fairly and quickly.

In: General, Tips and TricksNo Comments

Monday November 14th, 2011 19:21 Keep your Tyres in Top Condition

As any car enthusiast will know, the hardest parts of a car to keep bright and shining are the wheels. This stands to reason as they are continually being coated with road grime and dust from the brakes.

Brake dust can corrode alloy wheels and is difficult to remove. It’s caused by the friction between brake pads and discs. This happens with all cars, whether they are conventional or hybrid cars, it’s not something that can be avoided. As you brake, the brake pad surface gradually wears away, producing the dust that lands on any nearby surface – your wheel rims being first in line.

As the different compounds used to make brake pads contain different amounts of metal content, different brake pads can create varying levels of brake dust. The dust is a mix of metal filings, carbon fibres and adhesive residues. The adhesive helps the dust stick firmly to every surface in comes in contact with, and as the adhesive is acidic, it will cause corrosion, too.

Erosion of the wheel rims doesn’t look pretty, and if left too long it will eventually begin to affect the structure of the wheel.

Fortunately there are ways to combat brake dust. Firstly, you can change your brake pads for low dust-generating brake pads. Choose some that have a high metal content or contain Kevlar-based compounds. Alternatively, or as well, you can fit dust shields. These sit between the rim and the bub, but some people don’t like the way they look. Finally, and perhaps most effectively, you can establish a good wheel care routine.

This isn’t as burdensome as it sounds – at a minimum you can wash the wheels once a week and apply sealant every quarter. This relatively simple procedure will prevent corrosion from taking place. Make sure that you don’t let the weeks slip to months during the winter. Even though it may seem a little pointless as the wheels get dirty again immediately, it’s a better policy than letting salt and brake dust build up.

Whether you’re driving one of the latest eco cars UK showrooms have to offer, or your car has been a faithful part of your household for the last decade or more, all cars will benefit from this kind of regular maintenance.

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Sunday November 13th, 2011 13:57 Subaru Set to Unveil Advanced Tourer Concept Hybrid

Subaru has revealed that it will showcase the Advanced Tourer Concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan.

The Advanced Tourer Concept is a hybrid car, and is seen as a potential replacement for the Subaru Legacy.

Through the use of a single electric motor, the ATC will have a silent electric mode when travelling at low speeds. The lithium-ion batteries are recharged by a regenerative braking system which kicks in under deceleration.

The Tourer Concept is fitted with a horizontally opposed 1.6-litre turbo boxer engine mated to an electric motor. It may not be as big as the 2.0 and 2.5-litre boxer turbos of the past, but Subaru believe that the 1.6-litre turbo engine is both cleaner and more efficient. Although there are no official statistics for this yet, the word is that the Tourer Concept’s power output will match the 262bhp of the 2.5-litre boxer unit, while both emitting less CO2 and using less fuel at the same time.

Performance figures for the Tourer Concept should be an improvement on those of the current Legacy model, as the engine drives through a Lineartronic CVT transmission. This sends power to all four wheels.

The styling of the car uses Subaru’s “confidence in motion” design language. Visually, the Tourer Concept resembles a cross between a Jaguar XF and an Audi A6. The signature Subaru grille and angular headlights have been restyled to give the car a more aggressive appearance at the front.

The car’s interior features Art Deco style wood and polished aluminium surfaces with leather surfaces. In a fairly strange move, the steering wheel features a built-in digital monitor that displays maps, TV and internet. This is not exactly the safest feature in the world, but it is a concept car after all.

Perhaps with that digital monitor in mind, Subaru’s EyeSight crash avoidance system is incorporated into the design of the Tourer Concept. This system uses two mounted cameras above the rear-view mirror to monitor pedestrians and cyclists.

The Tokyo Motor Show – which runs from the 30th of November to the 11th of December – is a big event for Subaru, as the new BRZ sports car will also allow be on display.

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Saturday November 12th, 2011 20:19 All-Electric Car In the Works for SEAT

 

SEAT has revealed that it is currently working on prototypes of a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid car. The Spanish car manufacturer anticipates that the plug-in hybrid car will be launched in 2015, followed by the all-electric car in 2016.

In the mean time, units of the all-electric Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive will both be made available to Spanish government institutions in Catalonia and Madrid. This should enable SEAT to assess the usage of these cars, giving the car manufacturer an idea about the potential for mass production in the future.

Talking about the reasoning behind SEAT’s strategy, SEAT President James Muir said: “Customers demand a more sustainable form of mobility, but their needs are diverse. Therefore, we believe that a parallel strategy of developing two different technologies will put SEAT in the best position to meet their needs.”

So what about some actual information about the two forthcoming green models? Well, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive plug-in hybrid has a range of 52 kilometres when full electric mode is engaged. Its top speed in this mode is 120 kph. When it is in its combined mode, it should have a top speed of 170 kph, and an impressive emissions rate of 39g/km of CO2.

In comparison, the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive will have a top speed of 135 kph. The electric engine will produce 115 hp as well as 270 Nm of torque. A climate control system whereby rooftop photovoltaic cells recirculate fresh air inside the passenger compartment will reduce energy needs. Impressive stuff.

It is not just these two new green cars that the Spanish firm has in the pipeline, as in the next year, four new models will be launched next year. The first of these models is the SEAT Mii, set for a European release in spring.

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Thursday November 10th, 2011 01:53 Nissan Announce Details of 2012 GT-R

Nissan has finally released official details of its 2012 edition of the GT-R. The car, set for release in the UK next month, looks to be an improvement on its predecessor.

Fitted with a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the GT-R has improved horsepower and torque. Horsepower is up by 20bhp to 542bhp, while the engine’s torque now stands an improved 632Nm. Nissan put these improvements down to better airflow in the engine. This increase in power has resulted in the GT-R being capable of going from 0-62mph in an impressive 2.7 seconds.

It is not just the engine’s power that has been improved either, as it also has more favourable fuel economy now. This has risen from 23.5mpg to 24mpg.

Apparently, the Nissan GT-R is still in the later stages of testing right now, so there are no numbers in terms of the car’s CO2 emissions.

The car’s suspension system has also received an upgrade. Its asymmetric suspension system works by balancing out the weight of the driver by firming up the front left spring rate, and lowering the right hand rear suspension arms.

The interior of the new Nissan GT-R has also been souped up. It features an upgraded Bose sound system, as well as a rear view camera. The car’s instrument panel now can boast blue lighting on the tachometer.

Although Nissan has not revealed an official price for the GT-R MY12, expect it to be in the region of £76,000 when it goes on sale in the UK next month. It might be a bit much to expect that for a Christmas present, but what’s the harm in asking?

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Sunday November 6th, 2011 21:49 SEAT Look to the Future with the IBX Concept Car

Earlier this year, at the Geneva Motor Show, SEAT unveiled its latest concept car – the IBX hybrid car. The concept car has been described by SEAT as a cross between a sports utility vehicle and a sports coupe, and represents the company’s vision for an urban SUV.

In terms of its appearance, the two-door concept car has an understated, minimalist feel to it. A crisp and clean exterior, devoid of any flashy design features, gives the SEAT IBX a confident and sporty look. The IBX bears no ornamentation, and SEAT representatives say this is because “perfect design requires no decoration.”

SEAT’s Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke said of the IBX: “We are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.”

This uniqueness among SUVs may come from the fact that the IBX is both agile and compact enough to meet the demands of urban streets and parking spaces.

SEAT say that the IBX has an electric range of 50 kilometres, something that will no doubt appeal to those living in city areas. This electric range should be more than enough to cover local everyday journeys, while having an emission rate of zero. The car can be charged from a domestic power point, but the IBX’s internal combustion engine means that the concept car will be able to handle longer journeys just as easily.

Although there has been no official confirmation, there have been reports that the IBX concept car will go into production in the near future. If it does, then SEAT’s hybrid car is sure to create a stir with in the SUV market with its sports coupe sensibilities.

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Tuesday November 1st, 2011 20:15 Car Leasing – It really is simple!

Now, more than ever, the process of leasing a car is increasingly becoming the most common way of acquiring a vehicle. It’s simple, cheap and comes with a tonne of benefits that make it stand out from simply purchasing a car outright.

One of the most obvious reasons people are drawn to car leasing now is the fact that vehicles you once desired, but didn’t have the necessary funds to purchase, can now be easily acquired. The leasing company retains ownership of the vehicle but it’s yours to drive so long as you make the monthly payments.

If you really grow attached to the car you can opt to make a final payment and take ownership. A lot of people prefer to let the leasing company take it back though, meaning they can move on to a new car. Another advantage to leasing is the fact that you can get a brand new vehicle often.

Car leasing really is an amazing opportunity and that’s why more people are opting to go for it when they need a new vehicle. It’s not hard to see why it’s surpassing outright purchases when you take a look at all the benefits associated with it.

There’s a lot more to car leasing than is outlined here however, it pays to do some extra research and take a look at the large amount of options and research car leasing deals available. Making sure that you get the right contract for you is important, knowing everything about it before making your final decision is vital. Good luck, and ensure you find your dream car!

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Sunday October 30th, 2011 18:00 Audi Release First Official Details of New A4

Audi has released the first official details of the latest version of the A4 saloon car. Set for release in February of next year, the new A4 has not been given a radical redesign, but it has been given a few stylistic and mechanical tweaks which should keep it competitive.

At the front of the car, changes include a tapered grille, sharper air-intakes and reshaped LED headlights. The new A4 model will feature twin-exhaust as standard across the range. The fact that the car is wider and lower than previous versions would suggest that their will be increased space inside the car.

All cars in the A4 range will have new engines, and these engines will come with stop-start, brake energy regeneration and electronic power steering as standard. Audi expects these features to reduce fuel consumption by around 10%, something that should entice buyers worried about the amount of money they are spending on fuel.

One of the versions of the A4 which should appeal to company car buyers is the 134bhp, 2.0-litre TDI. The saloon version is expected to have an emissions rate of just 112g/km of CO2.

Inside, the new version of the A4 will feature chrome and gloss inlays on the steering wheel and door panels, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and a starter button that is brushed aluminium. It will also have a new MMI infotainment system.

Perhaps more importantly for families, the A4′s boot space remains at 480 litres – a level that is similar to the rival BMW 3 Series.

Although there is no official price for the new Audi A4 yet, expect it to be only marginally more expensive than the current A4. A February 2012 release for the car means that it will be going up against BMW’s new 3 Series, also released that month.

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Friday October 28th, 2011 11:41 Trident Iceni: A Supercar running on Biodiesel

Trident Iceni Supercar

 

Trident Iceni, the latest name in the segment of supercars is making waves for a lot of reasons. The car comes with a V-8 diesel engine and runs on the eco friendly bio – diesel. Being run on bio – diesel does not mean that the car’s efficiency is lesser than any other super car. The car gets to 60 mph in 4 seconds and can push up to 200 mph, which is a good enough speed for any bio – diesel run car. The question that arises is, is Trident Iceni a next generation car? Well, the answer is, yes, it could be since there are many sources of bio- diesel that come from non food category and hence do not inflict any damage on food sources and their consumption and hence can be grown for the specific purpose of fuel, creating a sustainable alternative.

The car can safely be said a good competition for other supercars as it claims a top speed of 220 mph and very rapid acceleration. The maximum torque of the car is a massive 950 lb ft (1,288 Nm) at 1,800 rpm. Though the engine is pretty heavy due to the use of iron cylinder block, it also contains a common rail injection along with four valves in each cylinder.

Trident Iceni comes with new eight speed automatic gear box. In order to get good weight distribution in the car; the gear box is mounted at the rear side, just ahead of the axle gears and is controlled by a pair of paddles on the steering.

The car comes with wheels of 20 inch diameter wherein the front side tires are 255/35 ZR tires and the rear tires are 335/30 ZR. The rear side wheels look like rather wide for a front engine car, but may be that was the requirement for handling the huge torque.
Another striking feature of the car is that its frame is made up of stainless steel sheet. The frame is made up of folded and welded sheet. Trident claims that this frame is very rigid and is good enough for a supercar.

There is no doubt that the car’s performance is good but the question is how far it goes on the fuel consumption parameter? The company is making big claims that the car will give 68 mpg (Imperial) or 55 mpg (US) (4 liters/100 km) at a steady 70 mph. Though the car has a large engine, but still it is compact with an overall length of 165 inches and weighs 3,260 lb and this balance goes well for a supercar.

Undoubtedly, Trident Iceni is an excellent car and it is hoped that it will be good enough for driving across cities and for general day to day use.

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About the author: Amanda Kidd is a blogger who is also a technology freak. She loves blogging on automobiles and tech innovations. She also happens to be a nature lover and hence, is a big fan of the cars based on the concept of green design.

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Tuesday October 25th, 2011 22:55 How Cameras Are Revolutionising Reversing

Car reversing cameras are becoming one of the hottest high-tech gadgets in the automotive industry, and it’s not just families who are flocking to the technology. Empty nesters in their RVs and mobile homes, truckies and tradies alike are embracing the safety and cost benefits of either buying a vehicle with a factory fitted unit or purchasing an after market system. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a reversing camera, which have the potential to save lives and even save you from having to claim on your car insurance.

How they work and what they cost

Reversing cameras are quite simple in the way they work. A small camera is installed at the appropriate height at the back of a vehicle and is connected via wire – or even wireless – to an LCD screen, which is usually attached at a convenient spot on the windscreen or dash, or in the case of factory fitted units, built into the console. As with all technology, you get what you pay for. A basic after market camera with a small screen is going to cost just over $100, but top of the range models which can be fitted to the rear vision mirror can cost around $600. The screen comes in a range of sizes, clarity and perspective – the cameras can take some getting used to as they usually have a very wide angle lense. It will cost a few dollars to have a unit installed as well.

Potential life savers

It’s young families and the makers of cars aimed at this segment of the automotive market that are responsible for the boom in reversing cameras. More and more cameras are coming fitted to family cars as standard, especially as the surge in sales of SUVs shows no signs of slowing. Cameras are most often fitted to wagons and larger SUVs and 4WDs because of their height and size, meaning it is hard to see a small child behind the vehicle. Kids can dash out when drivers least expect it as well, meaning a reversing camera is going to catch them better than any rear vision mirrors. While built-in cameras are usually found in higher spec models, expect them to become more prevalent in basic models before too long.

Preventing bumps and scrapes

Despite the obvious safety benefits of a reversing camera, they can also save you embarrassment and money when it comes to backing a vehicle. Reverse parking is something we are all taught while learning to drive, but it is often a forgotten skill as drivers prefer to find a traditional parking spot which they can drive in to front on. Cameras are bringing back reverse parking, especially when they are coupled with reverse sensors. They give drivers confidence to tackle trickier parking spots by helping to eliminate the worries of hitting another car and causing damage. So it’s worth checking with an insurer if you are searching for car insurance quotes if there is any discount for a camera system.

RVs, trailers and truckies

The benefits of a reversing camera to bigger and longer vehicles far outweigh the costs of installing one. Empty nesters with their RVs, caravans and mobile homes simply couldn’t do without them as they are constantly backing into caravan sites and tight spots in town. The cameras can be mounted on trailers and caravans as well, making them invaluable for holidaymakers, truckies and tradies who are always reversing into specific spots that require precision and patience. Just remember, don’t rely only on the reversing camera. There is no substitute for a second pair of eyes outside the vehicle who can help guide you into tough spots.

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