Top Rated Cars To Own

There are so many types of cars out there to choose from when looking to upgrade or buy a new car.  Many with top of the line ratings in different areas as well as great consumer feedback.  So how exactly do you narrow it down to find the best performing car with the best safety ratings?  We were wondering the same thing and thus did our research and have the stats to share with you!

2017 Chevy Volt- Fully complies to new headlight standards and is among the top rated hybrid cars.  The great thing about this vehicle is that the gas powered engine works to recharge the battery so that you don’t have to stop at a hybrid plug in.  It gets 53 miles on full electric usage and 367 miles combined with electric/gas usage.

Honda Ridgeline- This automobile comes with top rated crash protection as well as perfect headlight compliance.  It offers interior comfort to all passengers along with a list of tech features.  IT also ranks number 1 among compact trucks.

Hyundai Elantra- This comfortable and roomy compact car offers an extensive array of technology.  It has great fuel mileage with 26 MPG in the city.  At a great price point this car is one of the top rated cars to buy out there. We also have the Hyundai Santa Fe is also up there among the top picks for its powerful V6 engine for a mid size SUV.

Subaru Legacy- The 2016 model was rated among the top picks for it’s high safety rating.  It offers all wheel drive with good fuel efficiency.  Some however feel the engine is a bit underpowered.

Toyota Prius V- This is Toyota’s bigger version of the Prius and takes the top spot for best fuel economy rating. It also boasts a roomy cargo area and is also electric/hybrid.  The downfall is that some say it has a lethargic acceleration.

Volvo XC60- The Volvo is well known for it’s amazing safety reputation and the fact that it has a feature that detects pedestrians and applies the brakes gently.  It is top rated in headlight excellence and many drivers praise the powerful engine.  

Although there are more cars to choose from on the top rated list we thought these were the most outstanding.  Although a lot of the decision when buying a car comes from the drivers preference of features and body style it is safe to say that we all want a well performing car that will take ourselves and our passengers safely from one place to another.  Add in a sound long lasting car with a few great tech features thats good on gas and it’s the perfect car to own.  Although perfect is hard to completely accomplish we do know that these top cars listed above come close to being the perfect car buying choices.

 

Vinyl Wraps VS. Traditiona Paint

As technology continues to change and become more and more in depth, so does a lot of other techniques and applications used in everyday life.  One very impressive and great alternative to painting your vehicle has in fact began to spread like wildfire.  Vinyl vehicle wraps for your car are taking over the traditional ways of painting your car and has allowed for less of a color commitment as well as a price break.

Vinyl wraps not only can change the color and finish of your car’s exterior paint it can also aid in advertising and marketing your business.  More and more larger scale companies and those on a smaller scale as well have turned to vinyl wrapping their company’s cars or fleets with the company logo and brand embolized.  

For those just looking to change the color or appearance of their vehicle others are using these wraps to create a matte finish or showcase other intricate art and design.  Looking around at the different types of wraps out there I came across #201Wrap vinyl wraps and they are incredible!! From patterns and colors to chrome finishes and simple accents added to cars it’s a new form of artwork that is amazing to see!!  Curious to learn a bit more about this interesting technique I started gathering more information and definitely see why choosing to wrap your car is probably the better option over traditional paint.  

The first pro is that you can create a one of a kind look that no one else will have.  It allows you to really be unique and show some individuality.  Another great thing about vinyl wraps is that it doesn’t lower the resale value of your car like that of a paint job can.  Why?  Because vinyl wraps are 100% removable allowing your car to be restored to it’s original color with no harm done.  It thus also protects the OEM paint  as well as does not void the warranties and lease agreements in place that permanently altering your car with paint can.  Probably one of the greatest advantages of vinyl wraps is also the cost.  Wraps are considerably less expense than that of a paint job.  So much so they are generally about half the cost once everything is said and done.  So not only are you saving money but you are also freshen your car’s appearance and hiding any dings or scratches you may have acquired over the months or years.  The fact that any graphic you pretty much want can be done is even better. It allows for you to be creative and get more in depth with your design.  The fact that you can use it as a marketing tool for your business and customize your fleet of cars is a great option as well.

One thing that you want to be sure of before proceeding to get your car or truck vinyl wrapped is that the business or person doing the job is EXPERIENCED.  Ever heard of the term you get what you pay for?  Well it is definitely true in the vinyl wrap world.  You want to make sure that the printing done for the wrap is done in high quality and with a well maintained printing machine.  You also want to make sure the technician doing the wrap is tuned into detail and is experienced.  Air bubbles and uneven wrapping can really be an eyesore and can be expensive to have to fix.  Make sure you are thoroughly happy with the job done prior to leaving the shop.  It’s also advised to look at the person or company’s previous work to kind of get an idea of what to expect for your vehicle.

I definitely think that vinyl wraps will continue to prosper and grow to an even bigger and bigger industry.  Boats are able to wrapped as well as mopeds, and trailers etc.  With the pros outweighing any of the cons if there are really any to begin with, this is a lucrative industry that is arising and  a great and affordable option for all vehicle owners.

High Mileage Maintenance For Older Vehicles

As with preserving the quality and life of just about anything in this world, it’s all about maintenance.  Whether it be your own health, your home or your car, properly maintaining something can help go along way in terms of lifespan and quality.  We know that maintaining our cars and keeping up with regular care will help our car run and perform more efficiently.  That is even more true for our older high mileage vehicles.  In fact the maintenance and care on these high mileage vehicles may even be more important and beneficial to us than on that done to newer vehicles.  

You can help to extend the life of your high mileage vehicle even more and with less issues when you follow these basic guidelines for the upkeep of older cars.

First experts recommend that monthly you check tire pressure, oil levels(using high mileage special oil helps) coolant levels, and if you have a back up camera make sure the lense is clean.  Older cars have had more wear and tear in general and thus may lose coolant or oil faster.  Staying aware and up to date on these levels will help to combat any engine issues from lack of fluids.

Every 3,000 miles it is recommended to change the oil and replace the oil filter.  It is also suggested that you add a fuel injector cleaner to fuel as to help maintain build up or deposits from chemicals. Every 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles you  should be adjusting the clutch for those of you that have manual transmissions and not self adjusting clutches.   Every 6 months it is recommended to check power steering fluids as to make sure that your steering column stays properly lubricated.  It is also suggested that you wax your car twice a year to help protect the paint and to win the fight against rust.

On a yearly basis it is important to inspect brakes, clear battery connections, check brake fluid levels, check manual transmission fluid, coolant strength,and back flush the radiator with the help of a garden hose..  It is also important to rinse off the AC condenser and to buff plastic headlights as to keep them free of fog and cloudiness that will exclude the sharpness of your headlights light projection.

Lastly it is important every two years to flush the coolant system completely and check your battery electrolyte levels.

While there are many other maintenance tips and suggestions that can be followed to help with the longevity of your high mileage vehicle, we feel that these are some of the most important.  We want our vehicles to last us and also be a safe ride for those we put in our cars including ourselves.

 

Car Washing Do’s & Dont’s

Most times people will take their automobiles through drive through car washes or even to a professional detailer.  While both save you time they don’t necessarily save you money, especially the professional detailer.  Not only that but it has been found that washing our own cars/trucks by hand in our own driveways is therapeutic and benefits the person’s state of mind.  You are doing something productive out doors and will have a clean automobile when done!  However, there are Do’s and Dont’s that come with washing our own cars.

First thing’s first most people reach for dish soap or laundry detergent to wash their automobiles.  They figure it’s soap it cleans my dishes or clothes so it has to work for my car too right?  Wrong household soaps and cleaners are incredibly harsh on your car’s finish and paint.  When used it can strip your car of it’s protective wax .  It is best to use a soap dedicated to cleaning your car’s exterior.  These are made with milder chemicals as to not strip your car’s finish or harm it’s paint.

Next we have sponges.  The best sponge to use on your car is either a soft natural sponge or a lamb’s wool mitt.  These help to reduce small hairline scratches that can be created from too harsh of sponges. Often sand dirt, and brake dust can be spread around as well creating more visible scratches.  That is why for cleaning wheels, and the lower portion of our cars where grease, tar, rubber and bugs seem to accumulate it is suggested to use a different sponge than the one you use on the body of your car.  Using a different sponge will help you from spreading this gunk onto your car and creating scratches.  

In that light it is also suggested to use a bug and tar removal cleaning product made for cars or a wheel cleaner.  It is important still yet to make sure that the wheel cleaner is compatible with the finish on your wheels, paint, chrome etc.  To reduce the risk of ruining these finishes or creating any other scratches it is suggested to use a wheel cleaner that is marked as ok for ALL wheels!

Another important factor when it comes to washing your car is to never wash it when the body is hot.  This means right after driving it or when it has been sitting in the sun for a period of time. Why is this a don’t when it comes to car washing?  Heat speeds up the drying process which means soap and water can dry leaving spots and allowing deposits to form.

When scrubbing your car it is also suggested to not use a circular motion.  Circular motion scrubbing can cause small noticeable scratches and swirl marks.  Nobody wants patches or  circular scratches on their car’s finish!!! Instead move sponge lengthwise across the body of your vehicle.  

Make sure to also rinse car thoroughly with water before starting the washing process.  This allows for excess dirt and debris to be removed from your car prior to scrubbing it which again reduces the risk of scratching your car’s paint.

As with drying your car it is suggested to stay away from coarse towels.  It is best to use a chamois and blot the car dry rather than trying to scrub off excess water!

 

Winter Care for Your Vehicle

Winter is fast approaching and for some of us that means cool to extreme weather conditions.  Just like we need to be bundled up during these  months to protect ourselves from these elements and to keep us healthy, so do our vehicles.

With Winter weather being extremely hard on cars and weather conditions making driving a little less safe it is best to keep your vehicle in tip top shape!  For starters keeping your fluids full to their recommended capacity is always recommended, but more so in winter months.  When fluids become low your car does not run as efficiently which can lead to engine problems.  Keeping them full helps to ensure optimal performance creating a safer car ride.

Regular car washes are also recommended to help your automobile from rusting.  Salt used on slick roads can lead to corrosion and cause rust.  Regularly washing your car helps to diminish salt deposits thus keeping your car rust free.

Changing your air filter is a low cost, semi easy task and can definitely go a long way for your automobile.  A clean air filter maintains gas efficiency as well as protects dust and debris from entering the inside of your engine.  When your engine is free of these materials it can run smoother and with less force on the engine.  It is recommended that you replace your air filter every 12,000 miles or every year depending on which comes first.

An important thing to maintain on your car especially in the winter months when driving conditions and roads can be hazardous is the wear on your tires.  Tires should be rotated with every oil change done to ensure there is even wear on the tires creating a better balance.  Balanced tires can handle road conditions better and help prevent tire blow outs as well as help reduce the strain on your vehicle’s suspension.

Probably the simplest of all to maintain is regular oil changes.  Although making time may be an issue when you have a packed schedule it will go a long way.  Keeping your oil clean and full will protect your car’s engine for years to come.  The lubricants in oil help to protect and coat the internal parts of your engine that are subjected to heat, friction and other types of combustion.   

Lastly it is important to monitor and maintain that your battery cables are connected properly.  Engine debris and battery corrosion can interfere with your battery’s connection making it hard on the engine when starting and hard to start at all!  The last thing anyone needs is to have a dead battery in any weather extremes!

Take a little time this Winter season to give your car a little TLC. These quick easy maintenance techniques will leave your vehicle running and performing in tip top shape.  Besides we all know the Holidays can be expensive why add another cost in with the repair of your car!

How To Fix Hail Damage

There are many things out there that can damage our automobiles or cause scratches, dents, dings and knicks.  Most times these types of damages occur from a stray shopping cart hitting your car in the grocery store parking lot.  Or perhaps it is from the rude person who parked way to close to you and opened their door right into the side of your car.  Or still maybe it’s from a minor fender bender in the intersection near work or scratches from falling branches etc. However what most of us never think about is the damage that severe weather like hail storms can do to our car.  Infact there are probably more insurance claims for dent removal due to hail damage then you would ever really expect.  Hail in fact is one of the leading causes of dents and one cause that we unfortunately can’t guard ourselves against.  Afterall Mother Nature has a mind of her own and does what she pleases!

So what is to be done in the event you suffer dents and damage from a hail storm?  Does your insurance make you jump through loopholes to get it fixed, and how spendy of a process is dent removal when you can’t use a DIY hack?

First let’s start with the fact that there is traditional dent removal and then there is paintless dent removal. Our pick between the two is paintless dent removal.  Not only is it a fast growing alternative to traditional dent removal but it often is more affordable choice while also taking a fraction of the time.  You need to first find a reputable Paintless Dent Repair Company that will not only guarantee their work but also be proactive in having your insurance cover the small cost.

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Money Saving Car Hacks

There are a lot of different issues and nuisances that can occur involving your automobile.  Instead of going to the extreme or even paying money to have certain issues fixed or taken care of, first you may want to try these completely credible and convenient car hacks.  Where do we even start!!!

Ever woke up to a car that wouldn’t start, looked under the hood and saw your battery was full of corrosion?  If so you may want to try sprinkling baking soda and water over the corroded area.  Let it fizz like an erupting volcano in the 4th grade and rinse away the corrosion with water!  If you don’t have baking soda try using a can of coke or any other carbonated beverage like club soda.  The corrosion will be eaten away by the carbonation.

How about those cloudy headlights.  Not only do they dim your car’s headlight but they also are an eyesore.  Take some good old tooth paste from your medicine cabinet and rub in in circular motions over the cloudy headlight.  Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse with a clean wet rag.  Suddenly things have become a lot clearer!

It’s time to replace your registration sticker but you can’t get the old one off!  It’s literally stuck to your car.  Take a piece of newspaper soaked with warm water and put it over the old sticker.  Wait 10 minutes and the sticker will wipe off with the crumbling newspaper!

Have a few small dents that you really want to get rid of but you don’t want to spend the time or money on taking it somewhere?  Buy a toilet plunger and plunge the dents out yourself!!  Fast, easy, and a definite money and time saver.

How about when the sun is shining into your car just right and your visor doesn’t seem to cover the particular area you need to be shaded.  Heck even your sunglasses are not working!!! Removable tinted plastic sheets that use surface static to stick are a literal life saver! They block that annoying sun and also make for a safer drive home!

These are just a few of the incredible tricks that can be used to save both time and money. Feel free to come up with ones of your own that work just as well!  Like turning on that seat warmer to keep the pizza warm on the drive home!

Saving Gas & Money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is one thing that most driver’s can agree on, it is that gas prices are continuously on the rise.  In 2009 the average price of gas was $1.83 per gallon.  Fast forward to 2012 and in some demographics the price was up to an average of $4.00 per gallon.  Five years later in 2017 gas prices continue to fluctuate and in doing so most generally stay on the higher end of the dollar spectrum.  Although we as consumers may not be able to have any influence on the cost of gas prices, one thing that we can do is conserve as much gas as possible when driving our automobiles.  In doing so not only will our pocketbooks thank us but so will the environment.  

I have compiled a shortlist of a few gas saving techniques that will keep your tank fuller longer and the air we breathe just a little cleaner.

  • Warm Up Your Car For Shorter Lengths Of Time…The average time on a cold day you should warm up your car is 30 seconds to 1 minute. Anything longer just wastes gas and pumps nasty toxins into the atmosphere.  With modern cars today their warm up time is significantly less than those of older models.
  • Driving At Moderate Speed ….. It’s simple driving fast causes more acceleration therefore consuming more gas.  Frequently accelerating creates the same issue.  Driving at just below the speed limit at a smooth consistent speed is a lot more gas efficient for your car.
  •  Buying Gas Early In The Day/Evening….. Filling up your tank early in the morning or later in the evening is best for gas content.  With the rising heat during the day gas loses its density which means less actually gets in your gas tank.  Cooler gas has a lot more density and therefore leaves your car’s tank fuller.
  • Be Aware…..Driving with your windows down creates more drag for your car, thus consuming more gas.  Same goes for driving with bike, luggage, or ski racks.  If you are not putting them to use it is best to remove them from your car and store them at home.  Your gas tank will see a better result from doing so.
  • Never Leave Your Car Idling…….We all know how it is to keep the car running while you are waiting for someone to get in the car.  However leaving your car idling is one of the biggest gas wasters out there.  Not to mention not only does it suck the gas out of your car’s tank it also is a major pollutant to the environment and air around us. You will still be waiting whether the car is off or on.

 

These are just a few of gas saving tips that may help you save money on fuel every month.  Not to mention Earth will thank you too! So remember to fill up before your gas light comes on, follow these money saving tips, and you just might see your savings account go up.  I know we all wouldn’t mind that!

 

Reasons to keep up with your Auto Maintenance Services

The fact that you bought your vehicle the other day when in good condition doesn’t mean you should forget about the auto repair shop. We don’t take our vehicles to an auto mechanic when in need of repairs only. The truth is that your vehicle needs regular maintenance and service to ensure optimal performance. A well-maintained vehicle performs and runs more efficiently, but a poorly maintained vehicle often causes problems every time.

So, is there a good reason why you should keep up with your car maintenance service? Yes, there are plenty of reasons. Never assume that your vehicle is okay when you can’t even remember the last time you passed by an auto repair shop. You don’t service your vehicle when it has broken down. Regular vehicle maintenance and servicing will prevent you from getting stuck on the side of the road. It will also save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are reasons to maintain your vehicle on a regular basis.

To ensure Safety

One of the reasons to regularly service your car is to ensure your safety when driving. Remember your family’s safety is also very important. You want to keep everyone safe including those on the road. An auto mechanic can identify potential problems with your vehicle that could put your safety at risk and fix them. Critical parts of your vehicle that always need servicing include your suspension and braking system.

As stated, just because your vehicle looks okay doesn’t mean everything is in good condition. Having your vehicle serviced by a professional ensures your safety and provides you with the peace of mind that your vehicle is in good condition.

Increase Fuel Efficiency and Vehicle Performance

One of the things an auto mechanic does during your routine auto maintenance service is checking your vehicle’s oil, fluids, and internal components to make sure they are working properly. This helps to reduce the rate of internal wear thereby improving the overall performance of your vehicle. Everyone wants to have a dependable vehicle and one that ensures fuel efficiency.

Save Money

When car problems are diagnosed and identified early, it becomes easier to fix them and prevent serious damage down the line. This is only possible when you take your vehicle for regular servicing. In the long run, you’ll have saved a lot of money. Failure to service your vehicle can result in a breakdown which is both inconvenient and costly.

Prolong Your Vehicle’s Life

It’s obvious that your vehicle will have an extended life when you maintain it properly. Servicing ensures all the vehicle components and systems are functioning properly and optimally which prolongs the life of the vehicle.

Maintaining the Value of Your Vehicle

If you’ve ever sold a second-hand vehicle to another person, you understand how competitive this market can be. Most of those buying vehicles want more for their money. The buyer might want to know the service history of your vehicle before closing the deal. Having your service records well organized will help you sell your vehicle at a higher value.