Friday, June 28, 2013

Volvo Cars - Autonomous Parking Concept

Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car finds and parks in an open space by itself, without the driver inside. The smart, driverless car also interacts safely and smoothly with other cars and pedestrians in the parking lot, just as you'd expect a Volvo to behave. Valet parking, reimagined.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How to Save Gas Money - Save On Gas Eight Easy Ways

Over the past ten years, Americans have watched their gas money shrink year after year. The economy still not anywhere near being where it should be is making it more difficult for many Americans to save on gas money. I thought that it might be helpful to share some not so obvious things you can do to save gas money. Here are eight ways to save on gas money.

If you think you know every trick there is to saving gas money? Here are some strategies to save on gas that aren't common knowledge. (You will need Overdrive Cruise control Shaded parking spots and radial tires to save on gas.)

Step 1. Go on -- enjoy your air conditioner on the highway. Consumer Reports says that AC's gas-guzzling reputation is undeserved. And, at higher speeds, opening the windows or sunroof can hurt on gas miles by increasing drag.

Step 2. Don't fill up your tank until you're practically on empty; the less fuel you're toting, the lighter your car, and the more you will save on gas.

Step 3. After filling up your car, turn the nozzle upside down before you remove it from your tank. You'll get another half a cup of gas that's stuck in the hose that will save on gas.

Step 4. Tighten your gas cap after filling up so you don't let any precious fuel evaporate. Try to park in the shade. This will also help save on gas by preventing evaporation.

Step 5. Put your car in overdrive for highway driving. It lowers your RPM, or revolutions per minute, which saves you gas money. Check your owner's manual for the recommended speed at which you may use overdrive. If you're due for new tires, get radials; they improve gas miles by two or three percent saving you gas money.

Step 6. Stay in one lane as much as possible; weaving uses up more gas miles.

Step 7. Use cruise control when you're on a flat highway, where it can increase gas miles by 7%. But don't use it on uneven roads, where it's not efficient.

Step 8. Turn off all electronics and climate controls before you cut the engine. With the extras off, your engine won't have to strain so hard to restart, leading to better gas miles.

Did you know - The Model T got 15 miles per gallon, just three mpg less than the average SUV.

I hope these eight gas saving ideas will help you to stretch your hard earned money.

Eric C Sternz - Home Survival Training
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The BMW 4 Series Coupé.

Power, sportiness and a breathtaking design. Have a look at the BMW 4 Series Coupé. Find out more about the exterior and interior design.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Keep The Anti-Freeze Flowing With An Engine Coolant Flush

Preventive maintenance is important for your car or truck just like regular checkups at the doctor's office are important for you to make sure all the systems of your body are working the way they're supposed to. Keeping all vehicle systems and components in prime condition can save you big money by preventing costly repairs down the road. One system that breaks down more than any other, usually due to neglect, is the cooling system. When was the last time you brought your vehicle in for a coolant flush?

The cooling system on your automobile has big responsibilities. As you know, vehicle engines run at extremely high temperatures. The coolant mixture also known as anti-freeze, flows throughout the engine, absorbing excess engine heat and maintains a comfortable operating temperature. Once the coolant flows into the radiator, it is re-cooled and sent back into the engine to start the cooling process all over again.

So, what is a coolant flush and why would your vehicle ever need a service like this? The presence of water in the engine can cause corrosion over time. Luckily, anti-freeze contains anti-corrosive chemicals that help prevent the breakdown of essential cooling system components. Nevertheless, as time passes, the protective agents contained in the coolant begin to wear down and lose their effectiveness. A radiator flush, also known as a coolant flush, replenishes the cooling system with fresh anti-freeze. Additionally, a coolant flush removes debris and other harmful deposits that have built up in the engine. Fresh coolant plays another important role by lubricating water pump seals which helps to prevent coolant leaks.

The most common cause of vehicle breakdown is overheating. When your vehicle overheats, it can cause serious damage which means expensive repairs. Therefore, it's important to have a coolant flush performed on your car or truck at suggested mileage intervals. If grease, oil, and other deposits are allowed to build up in the cooling system, they can actually disrupt the free flow of coolant throughout the engine. While it is best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for a radiator flush, the current advice from experts is every 30,000 miles or at least once every two years.

In addition to preventive maintenance for the cooling system, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your temperature gauge located on the instrument panel. If you notice that the needle is higher or lower than it should be, have a certified mechanic check it out. There are a number of important parts contained in the cooling system including the water pump, thermostat, radiator, freeze plugs, cooling lines, and more. You should also check underneath your vehicle to make sure there are no drops or puddles of coolant on the ground. This would likely indicate a leak.

Having scheduled preventive maintenance procedures such as a cooling flush performed on your vehicle will give you peace of mind, and will likely prevent expensive breakdowns from occurring. There are a number of certified auto repair and auto care facilities that provide preventive maintenance services. Take care of your vehicle's cooling system by having it flushed and maintained properly. You'll be happy that you did.
Main Street Shell Service is a full service auto repair shop and STAR certified smog check station in Santa Maria, California. We also provide a full line of preventive maintenance services. For more information on the engine coolant flush, please visit us at

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

2014 Volvo Model Production Begins -- Watch The Factory Changeover

The changeover from Model Year 2013 to 2014 was one of the biggest in Volvo's history. Taking place during full production, the changeover of Volvo models took precise planning. Watch to see how this was achieved, and interruption was minimized, ensuring that a new model year of cars meeting Volvo's high standards of safety and luxury could roll off the assembly line and into a showroom near you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5 Car Issues That Should Be Left For Experts To Handle

Car owners usually enjoy fixing their own cars. This is good, but keep in mind that not all car problems can be fixed by you. There may be a need for auto mechanics who are very knowledgeable on fixing these problems. These are 5 car problems that require expert's opinion from car repair shops.

5. Drivability Issues. If you can feel that there is something wrong with your vehicle while it is running or notice your warning lights blinking in an unusual way, don't try handling these issues on your own. Today's vehicles are manufactured with a more complex system; hence, it is unwise to think that it's that simple. You may know a lot about cars, no doubt about that, but there are people who are trained to do these things. Thinking it is easy, doing it yourself may just lead you to help mechanics earn more money. For instance, wrong approach to the issue at hand may create greater issues. This may have occurred while fiddling with your car's components and got the system all mixed up instead, thus causing more damage.

4. Transmission maintenance or repair. Let transmission specializing shops handle automatic transmission issues. Improper cleaning of the connectors and gaskets during transmission flushes may cost you more than having it seen by your usual auto repair shop.

3. Suspension Component Replacement. Replacing the suspension components such as the struts, shocks, control arms and bushings may seem easy to do. This kind of fixing actually needs the aid of a wheel alignment rack along with other special tools which don't have at home. So you might as well leave it to the pros to get the job done right.

2. Timing-Belt Replacement. Timing belt replacement is where expenses regularly obtained normally... Timing belts should be changed every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. With this, car owners would like to try doing it themselves. It is not suggested to be done on your own because it is situated behind some parts of the car that can be damage in the process. Simple mistakes may cost you more that the service charge at a repair shop.

1. Overheating. For skilled car owners, cooling system maintenance can be easy. However, if the engine is already overheated, don't you dare to still do it by yourself. You need a mechanic to properly diagnose the issue and address the damage accordingly.

With computers that are attached to most everything in your complex machine, don't second guess your talent only to find the simple repair is now going to cost more than you expected. It will be an intelligent decision to let the experts do these things for you to be sure that your car stays in its terrific condition. Always remember that these mechanics are skilled and well-train and car repair shops have the complete facilities, tool and equipment to ensure a job well done.. So for risky and complicated car issues, seek the help of a skilled car mechanic.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

2014 TDI® Clean Diesel Models Introduction

The TDI® lineup has expanded with 2014 Audi A6, A7, and Q5 TDI models, joining the newly-introduced A8 L TDI and highly successful Q7 TDI.

EPA estimated fuel economy figures for the new clean diesel introductions are as follows:

• 2014 Audi A6 TDI -- 24 city/ 38 highway/ 29 combined MPG
• 2014 Audi A7 TDI -- 24 city/ 38 highway/ 29 combined MPG
• 2014 Audi Q5 TDI -- 24 city/ 31 highway/ 27 combined MPG

"Audi has been at the forefront of clean diesel since the introduction of Audi TDI technology in the U.S. in 2009," said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. "As drivers increasingly look for high fuel efficiency and low-emissions output, demand for diesel is on the rise. The introduction of the highly-efficient Audi A6, A7 and Q5 TDIs continue Audi's commitment to clean diesel technology and further the brand's focus on balanced performance solutions that improve efficiency and driving dynamics."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Does Your Car Need an Air Conditioning Tune-Up?

Can you imagine going on a long drive in the middle of a hot summer day without your air conditioning system properly working? What if you were on the way to an important meeting or interview and the AC went out? Nobody wants to spend a miserable car ride sweating or getting blown around by open windows. Avoid having your car's air conditioning fail by performing preventative maintenance at the first sign of trouble.

Signs you may have a problem

Your car will typically display warning signs before your air conditioning goes out, but these signs are typically only seen when you pop the hood. Here are several things to watch out for:

• Your car AC is blowing hot or warm air instead of cold.

• You have a disconnected or damaged drive belt.

• There are damages on the refrigerant hoses.

• There is oil on some of the AC components. This is a sign that you are experiencing refrigerant loss.

• The compressor shows signs of failure such as a paint damage, rust, or off-center drive hub.

• The drive belt seems to be squealing or slipping while the A/C controls are on maximum.

• The air conditioning system does not seem to stay on steadily for a long time, and may show on and off cycles every few minutes.

• The condenser fan seems to work with varying and unstable speed and volume.

• Since 2000, most vehicles have a cabin air filter (sometimes known as Pollen Filter). It should be replaced once a year, after all it filters the air you breathe inside your vehicle.

These are all indications that there may be a problem with some of your car's air conditioning components. Because your mechanic is typically going to notice these signs before you do, it is important to take your car in for regularly scheduled maintenance.

The Tune-Up

It's recommended that you have your car's air conditioning system checked once a year, preferably before you will need to use the AC. Prevention is definitely the best way to go, but you can also drop by your neighborhood mechanic at any time if you notice something going wrong.

When you take your car in for your annual air conditioning check, your mechanic will perform a system check and inspection. He or she will thoroughly examine the components for leaks, cracks, damages, and temperature readings. Most car service centers and mechanics can conduct such inspections quickly and then give you a full report, including an estimate. This way, you'll have some idea of what, if any, repairs or replacements will be necessary to keep you cool all summer long!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Southern Wörthersee 2013, Volkswagen Auto Show | VW USA

Volkswagen enthusiasts got together again this year in Helen, GA to celebrate one of the most awaited car shows of the year: Southern Wörthersee 2013.

For three days in May VW drivers and lovers exhibited their cars and celebrated their passion for VW in the atmosphere of a place that resembled a small Germany village.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Your Dirty Transmission Needs To Be Flushed

How long have you owned your vehicle? Does it still shift through to each gear smoothly and quietly? Has your car or truck been making strange noises, slipping gears, or surging unexpectedly? If any of this sounds familiar to you, it may be time to have the automatic transmission cleaned and flushed to restore performance and help protect it from costly repairs. Transmission repairs can be some of the most expensive you will ever encounter, especially if the entire transmission has to be replaced. Repairs of this nature could potentially cost thousands of dollars. Why not give your vehicle's transmission the best chance for a long life by maintaining it properly and having an automatic transmission flush performed at the suggested maintenance intervals.

A clean transmission with clean fluid is a beautiful thing. Transmission fluid is the life blood of the system which runs through all the essential parts of an automatic transmission including the torque converter, transmission pump, ATF cooler, and the cooler lines. Like many other systems, the automatic transmission produces an extraordinary amount of heat which causes the fluid to break down over time. There is also the added problem of debris, gunk, and varnish which can all contribute to shifting problems and overall poor performance. Too much debris can actually block the free flow of fluid which can definitely cause performance problems. It's important that a transmission be able to sustain enough pressure to stay in gear. A dirty transmission that blocks the flow of fluid can cause a loss of hydraulic pressure which may result in gear slippage. Problems such as these can be cleared away with a full service transmission flush.

A transmission flush isn't a very lengthy process and won't put too much of a hurt on your pocket book. Having this preventive maintenance procedure performed at scheduled intervals will give you the best chance of preventing an expensive transmission breakdown. A good, full service transmission flush will include a cleaning solution and conditioner in addition to replacing the transmission fluid. As we mentioned before, a dirty transmission can cause all sorts of performance problems. The cleaning solution will break up any sludge or debris within the transmission system so it can be flushed out. The conditioner is a great addition because it helps to restore pliability of the seals to help prevent any leakage. Finally, brand new transmission fluid will be added to the system until all the old contaminated fluid is gone.

As a general rule of thumb, it is suggested that an automatic transmission flush be performed every 2 years or every 30,000 miles. Of course you should always check your owner's manual for maintenance recommendations specific to your vehicle. When dealing with a system like the transmission with so many moving parts that depend on good quality fluid for proper lubrication, it's important to take preventive maintenance seriously. If your vehicle's transmission is shifting smoothly and quietly, don't take it for granted. Make sure it stays that way by investing in a transmission flush from time to time.

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