Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IAA 2011. Frankfurt Motor Show. BMW

An all time low fuel consumption of the current model fleet and revolutionary concepts - this is BMW at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Common Car Problems Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Unless you have an avid interest in automobiles and know everything there is to know about vehicles, the average driver is not aware of common car issues. Just a hint of something being "off" with your car can be alarming. Here are five car problems you should be aware of, just in case of an emergency.

Engine Knock - Most of the noise coming from the engine is probably road debris that is lodged in between the trends of one of your car's tires or too great clearance between the components located in the valve train. If there is a persistent engine knock though, take your car to a qualified mechanic.

Squeaky Brakes - There can be many reasons why the brakes from your car squeaks-vibrations between the pads and the rotors, pads and the calipers, or calipers and the mounts. The squeal from the brakes could even be made with your shoes and the drums or shoes and backing plates. Again though if it persists, take it to the shop.

Check Engine Light - The check engine light is a service reminder built into your vehicle that illuminates whenever your car's computer thinks there is a problem with the emission control system. Usually, it is nothing major, but if the light color is red, your car may need immediate attention.

Vehicle Pulls to One Side - This problem simply means that your car's alignment is off, which can be easily fixed by taking the vehicle in for realignment. Just be aware when your car starts to veer off to one specific side.

Rough Ride - If your once smooth car suddenly turns rough, it may be your shock absorbers and struts. If this problem is fixed early on, it won't become a major issue, but if not, it might require an entirely new shocks or struts to get your car ride back to being smooth again.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3773246

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Check Engine Light - What It Could Mean

If your check engine light has come on, there is no need to panic. It is unlikely anything is going to explode. However, this does not mean you should ignore it.

The check engine light or engine diagnosis light, also called the idiot light, means that the electronic gadgetry in the car have detected a problem. Modern day cars have electronics controlling or monitoring virtually everything in your vehicle. This includes braking systems, lights, engine performance, emissions and so on. It is a long list of possible items.

In the good old days, so to speak, car electronics were much simpler and fewer things were managed by computer. Sometimes it was possible just to disconnect the battery and the check engine light would switch off. Not only will that not work now, but you risk damaging the more sensitive electronic appliances by fiddling unnecessarily with your battery. Other annoying hassles include your car radio going into safety mode and requiring a pin code before operating. Do you remember where you put it? The long and short of it is that you are not going to get this light off unless you go to a mechanic. This is actually a good thing.

Regulations force manufacturers to adhere to certain safety checks. When one of these checks fails, the check engine light comes on.

Common Causes It takes only a few minutes for a mechanic to hook your car up to their diagnostic tool, sometimes called an OBD (On Board Diagnostic). This watchamagoodjit then talks to your car's computer. Brace yourself, here comes another three letter acronym. The car's main computer is called an ECM (Electronic Control Module). The ECM does all sorts of clever things to get the best balance of performance, fuel economy and emissions from your car. Retrieving the error code is quick and some mechanics will even do the check for free. There are hundreds of codes and this will narrow down what the issue is, but not necessarily the actual defect. For example, if the computer is getting a faulty reading from the sensor in the exhaust, it may be because the sensor is dirty, faulty or there is a bad connection somewhere. While the list is long, the likely culprits for the check engine light coming on are: The electronic fuel system i.e. a valve, sensor or even something to do with the spark plugs is not functioning correctly There is a vacuum leak. In English, this translates to a loose or damaged hose if you are lucky and a cracked manifold if your luck has run out. A manifold is the top bit (normally) of the engine that bolts onto the main 'block' of the engine. To create a perfect seal between the engine block and the manifold, something called a gasket is used. A blown head gasket is when that seal has deteriorated or overheated and is no longer functional. This is unfortunately more serious than it sounds because although the gasket is relatively cheap, it means disassembling the engine i.e. an average of 8 hours labor. Don't be fooled into using wonder products that will fix the gasket for a super low, friends only special price of $20 - you will almost certainly crack the block or in simpler terms destroy your engine. Most cars today use a fuel injection system. This is much more efficient than carburetors which basically just pour fuel into the motor. The injection system does mean that there are more things that can go wrong. Fuel injectors can get clogged, the o-rings which help them seal properly can wear out etc. These items are not going to send you to the bank for a loan but will cost more than a few dollars.

As a general rule of thumb, if nothing is smoking and there is no obvious sign of damage such as lack of performance, unusual engine noises or vibrations, you might be lucky. Either way, don't risk causing further damage to your car by delaying the visit to your mechanic. It may cost you a lot more if you do and possibly render your car unsafe to drive.

Fixes Excluding an obvious and possibly easy to replace item like a visibly broken hose, most of these problems are best left to a mechanic to sort out. The diagnostic tools used can be bought but are not cheap and even if you had them, obtaining the error code is only the first step in the process. Other specialized tools are needed and you may spend hours fiddling about with the wrong thing, possibly doing even further damage or concealing the original problem.

Modern day cars are more and more complicated which means that it is less and less possible for the man, or woman, on the street to open the hood and wiggle something here and bash something there to get the car to go again. Your mechanic probably has a lot more training than you might think and at the very least, more experience than you, fixing motor cars.

Costs Like I said, it could be one of a hundred things and costs could range from $20 to $1600 for something more serious like a blown head gasket. Just a smoke test, to check for leaks in the engine due to cracks will cost around $60. Of course, the make and model of the car will influence the price. The figures above are an average guide. If you drive a Lamborghini, make sure you can afford the repair bills. Replacing the clutch on a super car like that may cost more than the new price of a small car.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6349091

Star Tech European in Vacaville specializes in European Automotive service and reapirs. 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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Classic European Cars of the 1950s

1950 Lancia Aurelia
The 1950s saw European car manufacturers turn out some of their most celebrated and memorable models, particularly from those car builders located in Germany, France and Italy.

The cars built in Germany of this period were a sign of the economic miracle the country was enjoying as it built itself up following the end of the Second World War.

Two companies which built classic European cars of the 1950s in Germany were Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen. Having launched the W186 and W189 at the beginning of the decade, Mercedes Benz went onto produce what has been described as the greatest car they ever built - the 300S.

Launched in 1952 this wonderful car was followed up by the limited edition 300SC, complete with fuel injection and also featured independent rear suspension. By the end of the 1950s Mercedes produced the ultimate in luxury models with the Fintail, which incorporated a crumple zone, disc brakes and air suspension.

Another German car manufacturer to survive the ravages of war and become part of the countries economic miracle was Volkswagen. The Volkswagen Type 1 or "Beetle" was destined to become hugely popular during the 1950s and well beyond. Production of the VW Beetle reached one million in 1955 and it was to be a top seller in the United States.

In France a classic European car of the 1950s was the Citroen 2CV. Sold mainly in France and within Europe the 2CV was by no means the most majestic of cars, but it was to become one of the most loved and iconic cars ever built by a French manufacturer.

High import taxes and the fact the 2CV, to some, looked ugly, meant the model never enjoyed big sales in the UK or United States. It took a futuristic style of Citroen - the DS designed by Flaminio Bertoni - for the French company to makes its name on the American market.

In Italy Lancia is a famous name for the production of classic cars during the 1950s. In 1950 Lancia launched the Aurelia, famed for its success in motor sport, at the Turin motor show. By 1953 Lancia had added the Appia to its range.

Lancia's great Italian rivals were Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo were to start the 50s with the production of such classics as its 1900 Saloon, the company's first assembly line model. Later models which were to become Alfa Romeo classics were the Giulietta, rolled out in 1954, and a year later the Berlina - four door saloon- and the Spider Cabriolet.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2583251

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Volvo Concept You - Luxurious Scandinavian Design with Smart Pad Technology

The Volvo Car Corporation takes the next step in the evolution of the company's upcoming large luxury sedan.The Concept You, revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, combines a coupe-like exterior with a luxurious high-tech interior that keeps the driver in command via intuitive smart pad technology. The Concept You picks up where the Concept Universe, revealed at Auto Shanghai earlier this year, left off. It gives the global car buying public another exciting glimpse of the Volvo Car Corporation's future.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jaguar C-X16 Concept: Frankfurt Motor Show

Jaguar has knocked one out of the park with their Frankfurt Motor Show bound C-x16 Concept. We will bet money that this will see production and fairly soon. This could be the star of the show.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Common Car Maintenance Mistakes

When it comes to vehicle maintenance and upkeep, it's important to be proactive, to take the initiative necessary to ensure proper functioning of your car or truck, but of course, it's also important to be wise and discerning, and ultimately to act not just out of good intentions, but also out of real knowledge. There is perhaps no car maintenance mistake more common than simple neglect, but even among those who strive to take care of their cars, there are certain pratfalls and common blunders that should and can be avoided.

One common mistake is to think that the only important thing under the hood of your car is the oil tank. Indeed, anybody who knows anything about car maintenance knows that regularly checking oil levels is important, and indeed it is, but there are plenty of other fluids located in the same neighborhood, and it's vital that you check and maintain all of them including brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant.

A related mistake is to fill your oil tank with the wrong kind of oil or, more specifically, oil with the wrong viscosity. Again, it is admirable when anyone takes the initiative to keep the oil tank filled properly, but it's crucial to make sure you're using the proper weight of oil, the one recommended in your owner's manual. Using the wrong kind of oil can ultimately lead to a lot of wear and tear in your engine.

Some of the most common car maintenance mistakes can happen while you're actually driving the vehicle. For example, slamming the brakes is a great way to ensure that your brakes fizzle out on you early. Of course we all encounter those emergency situations when slamming on the brakes is really the only option but making every stop an emergency stop is ultimately going to mean a much shorter life for your brakes, and possibly some very real danger to you, the driver.

And here's another, particularly major mistake that is far too often made by auto owners: Avoiding taking a trip to the mechanic. Of course, keeping your vehicle kept up to date on its routine maintenance will largely eliminate the need for a mechanic, but still, things happen, and the single best way to see your car fall apart on you is to skip out on the mechanic. If there is a problem you can't fix on your own or if your engine service light comes on you need to have it worked on by a professional. Delaying this will only make the repair more costly and major.

But again, this warrants repeating: The biggest car maintenance mistake of all is to avoid it altogether. Your car is an investment of both your money and your time, and neglecting the proper upkeep of your automobile is basically like squandering that investment. Stay on top of routine maintenance, and ensure that, when it comes to taking care of your car, you are both vigilant and well-informed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6397718

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Easy Ways to Get More Performance From Your Volkswagen

So you you want to give your VW a bit more get up and go, well there are some very easy and inexpensive ways to get a bit more performance out of your car. To start with it all depends on which Volkswagen you have, as this will affect the selection of performance parts that are available to you. For example there will be loads of go performance goodies out there for tuning your Golf/GTI hatchback but sadly a lot less of a selection when it comes to finding VW performance parts for say a VW Passat or Polo.

One bonus with owning a VW is the large following this marquee has, so with a very large community of VW tuners worldwide, the first essential place to check is the VW forums where many of these people will have tried out the VW performance parts you may be interested in and will be able to give you some great feedback of what you can expect from the various performance parts available. If a performance part exists someone on one of the VW forums will have tried it out..

The first easy step to improving your VW's performance, is to make sure the car is running properly and ensure your VW has had a tune up and an oil change. OK I know this may sound simple and silly but you'd be surprised how many people overlook this basic step. Adding performance parts to a car that's not running properly to start with, is going to be a waste of your time and money and ultimately will not improve your VW's performance at all.

The second step is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Again sounds simple and basic, but tyres are probably the most neglected, but essential items on your car. How often do you check the pressure of your tyres?, every day, every week I don't think so!

Surprisingly correct tyre pressure not only improves the handling of your VW it also helps to make sure you're getting the best fuel consumption possible. Once you have gone through these basic steps, then you can move onto other ways below to improve the performance of your VW and even still save fuel.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2305771

Thursday, September 1, 2011