Monday, October 31, 2011

A New BMW M1 In The Works?

BMW is now floating rumors that they might take another shot at the iconic M1. In 2008 they created the BMW M1 Hommage. Several design studies have been produced, but now the M division wants another crack at it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The History of Automobile Airbags

Even though airbags were both designed and patented for safe usage in the early 1950s, they would not come into any sort of widespread use until almost thirty years later. John W. Hetrick, a former Navy engineer, created the first airbag prototype in 1952. He combined his knowledge of the mechanics of compressed air, which he had gained from working extensively with torpedoes in the Navy, together with a strong desire to keep his family and other motorists safe while driving. The year after their invention, airbags were patented as a safe way to help prevent injuries in automobile accidents. When John tried to market his new device to the auto industry, however, he found most automobile manufacturers were more interested in profits than safety.

Airbags were first incorporated as a safety device for a passenger vehicle in the early 1970s. Studies showed that many passengers weren't interested in using their seatbelts when driving, so safety watchdogs decided to look for a device that wouldn't involve customer compliance. Ford and General Motors constructed fleets of experimental cars with airbags in order to fine tune the technology. It was soon found that, although airbags were not a viable alternative to seatbelts, they were an excellent supplemental safety system. Besides laws mandating the use of seatbelts, legislation encouraging car manufacturers to include airbags in their vehicles began to appear around the early 1980s. The 1980s saw a huge rise in the amount of airbags available in the car market.

Mercedes Benz and Honda made them available as options and Porsche offered them as standard equipment in its 944 model. In 1990, Chrysler, an industry leader at the time, integrated airbags into its entire array of vehicles, and this inspired many others to do the same. Audi had finally caught up by 1994 when it introduced airbags into many of its best selling models. Airbag development continued in the 1990s with many new variations being invented and tested. The side airbag developed and then evolved into two different types, the side curtain and the side torso. These side airbags, which inflated between the body and the door of the vehicle, were found to be highly successful in preventing head and torso injury. They also helped to diminish the chance of being ejected from the car should it roll over.

Today, the standard types of airbags are joined by rear curtain airbags, knee airbags, center airbags, and even seatbelt airbags, each with its own specialized safety function. Some motorcycles even come equipped with airbags to help diminish injury in a direct frontal collision. There are also airbag suits for motorcycle drivers, which help protect the driver's back if he is thrown from his bike.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Original 1886 Mercedes Benz

SuperCars Exposed co host, Louise Brady, takes you on a ride in the first super car. We have definitely come a long way!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New BMW 3 Series Introduced, February Delivery

The new BMW 3 Series is a direct evolution of the entire 3 Series line. It's slightly bigger, longer, has more headroom and has a very minor facelift, but it's still a 3 Series. BMW keeps rolling out a winner with this car and it has a devoted following.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Driving In The Elements

It is a rather unfortunate thing that the sky is not always clear and the wind not always calm and the extreme forces of nature leave our highways and roadways alone to the cars and those driving the cars. Instead, Nature is fickle and acts out at random often unprovoked in the violence that it brings caring not for when or where and we are left to deal with this attitude even if it does not find us safely in our homes. Often times the forces of nature find us in our cars driving to and from our little points completely unaware of what is about to be unleashed. Driving in ideal weather is a simple task; follow the rules and be on the look out, but when the fury of nature rears up different strategies are required.

The elements of rain, fog, and wind are among the most dangerous of Nature's wrath and if not treated with care result in crashes that take a devastating toll on car and driver. Extra care and extra attention are the tools drivers need in order to combat these problems. Defeating nature may be impossible but surviving it is a matter of precaution.


It is an easy thing to say; "Don't drive in the rain if you don't have to" but when you have to this advice is useless. If you must go forth into that rain storm keep your safety and the safety of those sharing the roads in mind. Your duty does not end when you turn on your windshield wipers.

During rain your visibility will be cut if not dramatically then just enough to make conditions dangerous. Driving with your headlights in even the slightest of drizzle will make your car noticeable to other drivers and the road noticeable to you.

Reduce your speed as your drive in the rain. Just because the speed limit is a certain number does not mean that you must, above all else, reach this number. Speed limits are really a guideline, a recommended speed that will keep traffic moving at a safe and even flow. During a rain shower the roads will be more dangerous so it will be important to drive at a safe speed even if it does not match the numbers on the sign. This is especially vital if the rain follows a dry spell. The collected oil and grease from cars will make the roads slick and make it difficult for the tires to get enough traction. This can result in your car skidding off the road and hydroplaning. Hydroplaning will cause the car to drift until the tires can once again gain traction. If this should happen, it is not advisable to slam on the brakes. Keep the wheel straight and decrease speed until control is regained.

If you find yourself in rain that is excessive then pull to the side of the road at a safe distance and wait it out. It is never a good idea to speed through a puddle as the water may cause severe damages to your car's engine and you may even become stuck. Use your common sense when driving in the rain and keep alert. This will be a valuable commodity as you travel down the road and through life.


Driving in the fog is an especially dangerous task as the visibility can be non-existent. Though when this happens it is wiser to pull over and wait instead of risking your life and the lives of others in an accident that could have been avoided. However, if you find yourself surrounded by fog and with no other option then to keep driving, do so carefully and slowly.

Use the equipment at your disposal, notably your lights. Never use high beams in the fog as the light will be dispersed in the fog and become useless. Your low beams are best combined with any fog lamps you may have. Often times other drivers will not be able to see your car until they are passing you so your lights will let them know where you are.

Keep your speed slow and steady. Do not brake suddenly and certainly do not reverse. Signal early and brake slowly allowing those behind you time to react accordingly.

Concentration and focus are great allies when driving in fog. You can not be distracted by cell phones, music, or anything else as you navigate the quagmire. Most accidents that occur in fog are fatal. Fog can happen suddenly or slowly so keep aware of your surroundings and any changes in the weather or traffic as it can be an indicator that fog is up ahead.


Wind can make for some pretty dangerous driving conditions. Oftentimes, high winds are accompanied by other dangerous weather so the risks created by the winds may be overshadowed by the rain or the snow. Larger vehicles like trucks and RVs have the greatest difficulty in high winds as their greater size is more open to the battering effects. However, small cars and light weight vehicles will also need to take precaution.

High winds can kick up at a moment's notice so it may be tricky gauging when that next burst will come but if you already find yourself in conditions that favor extreme wind then drive at reduced speeds. Be especially mindful of the larger vehicles on the road and give them as much space as possible.

Do not treat high winds lightly; it is just as dangerous of a problem as rain and fog. Take bridges with extra caution and listen out for any weather updates. Those high winds just may signal a severe storm or worse.

Driving in the elements such as rain, fog, or high winds, can be a dangerous task. If done with caution and common sense your trip through these battering elements can be a safe one.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Volvo Cars' History - Since 1927

A review showing Volvo Cars' history since 1927 when the first car - Jacob - was made in Gothenburg, Sweden. Containing uniques footage from the Volvo film archives.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mercedes Million Kilometer Test

Mobil 1 put 1 million kilometers on a Mercedes-Benz engine then broke it down to see how the fully synthetic motor oil did in leaving minimal deposits and minimal wear on the engine, demonstrating how Mobil 1 will allow an engine to operate in like new conditions through an extended test length.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Regular Maintenance is Great For Your Car's Wealth and Warranty

If you're like most people, your vehicle represents one of the largest investments you will ever make. You take great pride in your ride: you insure, wash and service it. So nothing upsets you more than the car you have worked so hard for, and saved so long for breaks down.

Your car not only gets you places safely, efficiently, and comfortably, but it has come to symbolize your personal independence, illustrating a freedom to choose where you drive, how you drive, and when you drive there. When your car is "in the shop" you begin to realize how dependent you are on your vehicle.

Knowing some basics about your vehicle and scheduling regular maintenance can help save money on repairs and help keep it out the shop for major repairs. We've put together some commonly asked car care questions and answers for your convenience.

Are my tires properly inflated?

The correct auto-car tire pressure for a vehicle is determined by the size and weight of the automotive vehicle, the type of auto-car tires it uses, load hauled, and the type of automotive driving the vehicle is intended for. The auto vehicle manufacturer places a tire inflation placard in each vehicle that gives the proper car tire inflation pressures for that auto vehicle. This placard is located on the inside of the glove box door, inside the fuel-filler door, or on the car driver?s side doorpost (depending upon manufacturer). Most auto manufacturers also list tire inflation levels in the owners manual.

How often should I have my engine oil/filter changed?

According to automotive-car experts, regularly scheduled oil/filter changes are the single most important item for prolonging auto-car engine life. Most new auto vehicles have recommended oil/filter change intervals of 7,500 miles and some new auto vehicles have recommended oil change intervals of 11,000 to 15,000 miles under normal operating conditions, with ""normal"" operation described as the operation of the vehicle for at least 20 minutes at a medium speed, with a steady throttle and in a clean driving environment.

Short hops to the store, stop-and-go rush hour driving, driving on dirt roads and inclement-weather operation are all considered severe operating conditions that can cause impurities to build up quickly in the oil, resulting in increased wear and tear on internal parts. That is why most auto-car owner's manuals and auto mechanics recommend changing the oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles (whichever comes first) to assure that maximum engine lubrication occurs while a minimum of impurities are suspended in the oil. To find out what the recommended oil change frequency is for your auto vehicle, check your car owner's manual or talk with your automotive service professional.

What can I do if my car overheats?

If you are driving at normal highway speed and the auto vehicle starts to overheat, turn off the air conditioner, turn on the heater and immediately pull over to the shoulder. Odds are if the vehicle starts to overheat at highway speed, there is a problem in the cooling system such as low coolant, a clogged radiator or a broken drive belt or burst hose. Once at the shoulder, shut off the auto-car engine, open the hood and let the car engine cool down - 20 minutes minimum. Once any overboiling stops and the car's engine has cooled, look for obvious signs of trouble. DO NOT attempt to open the auto-car radiator cap unless the car engine is off and the top of the radiator is cold. If there is no noticeable problem such as a broken drive belt or burst hose, you can then add a coolant/water mixture to the radiator or overflow reservoir, start the auto vehicle and drive slowly to a service facility.

How often should my car get a tune-up?

The term "tune-up" actually applies only to older cars without electronic ignition (before 1981). On these auto-car vehicles a tune-up would generally be required every 15,000 - 20,000 miles and consisted of replacing the spark plugs, ignition contact points, rotor and distributor cap and adjusting the ignition timing as well as the carburetor.

On modern auto-car vehicles equipped with electronic ignition, fuel injection and computer controls, the term "engine performance maintenance" is a more accurate term. A "tune-up" for these newer vehicles is an orderly process of inspection, computer diagnosis, testing and adjustment to maintain peak auto engine performance, maximum operating efficiency and low car exhaust emissions. During this process, spark plugs, plug wires, sensors, and modules may be replaced. The frequency at which a newer auto-car vehicle needs a tune-up is dependent more upon driving conditions than mileage and recommended tune-up frequencies vary between 30,000 - 100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. To learn how often your auto-car vehicle needs a tune-up, check your owner's manual or speak with your local automotive service provider.

Does my transmission ever need service?

Most auto-car care experts advise having an automatic transmission's fluid and filter changed every two years or 24,000 miles, to keep it in good working order. This is especially important if the auto vehicle is more than five years old. Many auto vehicles newer than five years old may need scheduled service less often and some new auto vehicles have transmissions that need no scheduled service for the life of the car.

By-the-book service, however, may not be adequate if your vehicle is driven hard, tows a trailer, goes off-road or carries a camper. Under these conditions, the auto-car fluid and filter may need to be changed more often -- every 12 months or 12,000 miles --because dirt and moisture buildup in the fluid can cause internal damage. Heat buildup can also be a problem. The harder the auto-car transmission works, the hotter the fluid gets and the quicker the fluid breaks down. To find out the recommended service schedule for your auto-car vehicle's transmission, check the owner's manual or talk with your local automotive service provider.

Manual transmissions generally need no regularly scheduled service, but may need service due to worn clutch and throw-out bearings and broken synchromesh gears. Check your owner's manual for specific information on manual transmission service or talk with your local automotive service provider.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Reporter's "Best of 2011"

We need your help! If you've had a great experience with Star Tech European let all of Vacaville know! Please take the time to vote for us as the Best Auto Repair Shop in the Reporter's "Best of 2011" contest! 

Voting ends October 31st, 2011 and winners will be announced December 31st, 2011. Every vote counts and is greatly appreciated!! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inspirations & Icons the Jaguar C-X75

The C-X75 perfectly combines the future and the past. Its high speeds and low emissions put it in the vanguard of modern motoring while its aestheticcues come from the golden age of British automotive design.