BMW Car Buying Guide

BMW is a German luxury automobile and motorcycle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1916 and now produces vehicles all over the world. Here’s what you should know before buying a BMW.  Here’s more information:

Know What You Can Afford

Your first step in deciding on a BMW is to know what you can afford. While the latest model with the most up-do-date technology might be appealing, if you can’t afford it, you can look at a different model year. Don’t fret though, there are many options and you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.

Research What You Want

You can do your important research online and compare the different BMW vehicles. When you’ve narrowed your options down to a few, that’s when you head to a dealership for test drives. Make a list of what’s important to you in the BMW you intend to buy. Here are some things to think about:

Safety Features

If you have a family, you might want the latest safety features. BMW offers BMW Assist, which will send an SOS in the event of a collision and you’ll never have to worry about being stranded again, even if your phone dies.

Another safety feature is Intuitive Technology, which will reduce the risk of getting into an accident as you won’t be fiddling with your phone. The voice command system uses top-of-the-line recognition software so you can communicate hands-free. The rearview camera and park distance assistance will help you get into any tight space and back out of places safely. Compare the latest generation with the prior one and see if it offers similar safety features. Buying a previous generation can save you money.

Sports Cars

If you’re into sports cars, the space-age looking BMW i8 roadster might be right up your alley. The all-electric mode reaches top speed of 75 mph. The i series is BMWs electric series. The Sport Package (or M Sport Package) is one you can’t go wrong with. If you want a trim with a more powerful engine, expect to pay a bit more. If you’re just looking to have that BMW logo and don’t have preferences when it comes to performance, luxury, and handling, you should choose the most base trim for the model you’re interested in. If you want a made-to-order BMW, this is an option, but you can expect little in the way of price negotiation. BMW offers luxury sedans, sports cars, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, SUVs, and compact cars.

Used BMW’s

If you decide to buy a used BMW, there are some things you should consider. Whoever you are buying a used car from should be able to provide all important documentation regarding the car. This includes dates of maintenance and any parts that have been replaced. Also find out if the car has been in any accidents and what the nature of the damage was. Consult the Kelley Blue book to know what the vehicle is worth. 

Whatever you’re looking for, BMW has something for you. Do you homework and shop around until you find something that’s perfect for you.

What to Know About Anti-Lock Brakes

Do you have anti-lock brakes? If you have a newer car, chances are pretty good that you do. It is a fairly common feature in modern cars. Here’s a look at what anti-lock brakes are and why they’re a preferred choice:

What Are Anti-Lock Brakes?

Anti-lock brakes are a safety braking system found on cars, trucks, motorcycles, and busses. Anti-lock brakes help to prevent skidding. Anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking-up during braking, which helps them maintain traction with the road. This is especially helpful when the conditions on the road are wet and slippery. Anti-lock brakes benefit you in two ways: you will be able to stop faster and you’ll be able to steer while you brake.

How Do Anti-Lock Brakes Work?

There are four components in an anti-lock braking system: speed sensors, valves, pump, and controller. Speed sensors are located at each wheel and will let the anti-lock brakes know when a wheel is about to lock up. In the brake line of each brake controlled by the ABS, there is a valve. Some anti-lock brake systems have three valve positions: open position is when pressure is passed from the master cylinder to the brake, position two is when the valve blocks the line preventing pressure from rising if the driver pressed the brake harder, and third position releases some pressure from the brake.

The pump is able to put pressure back that was released by the valve. The controller is a computer that watches the speed sensors and controls the valves. The controller looks for decelerations in the wheels that aren’t normal. When this deceleration happens, the anti-lock braking system will reduce pressure until there is an acceleration, and then increase pressure again for deceleration. This is a rapid process, which causes the valves to open and close very quickly. That is the pulsing you feel in the brake pedal. Some anti-lock braking systems can cycle up to 15 times per second.

Types of Anti-Lock Brakes

The four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock brake system consists of a sensor on each wheel and a separate valve for each wheel. This setup ensures each wheel is monitored individually and brakes to the best of its ability. The three-channel, three-sensor anti-lock brake system consists of a sensor and valve for each of the front wheels and one sensor and valve for the back two wheels. Because the back wheels don’t have individual sensors and valves, it is possible for one of the wheels to lock up during braking. Most commonly seen on pickup trucks with rear-wheel ABS, the one-channel, one-sensor anti-lock brake system operates the same as the three-channel system, but only with the rear wheels. Again, this means that a rear wheel can lock up. The most effective anti-lock brake system is the four-channel. But they all work better than no ABS system at all.

Studies have shown that cars equipped with anti-lock brakes are less likely to be involved in fatal accidents. If you live in where the weather conditions are often wet and slippery (rain and ice), you will have more control over your car while braking. They are a good choice because it is an enhanced safety feature for your car.

you have more control over your car.

History of the Audi Company

Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer. They design, engineer, produce, market, and distribute luxury vehicles. These cars are popular throughout the world and the manufacturer’s fans really enjoy  the ride the cars give. Here’s a look at the history of this company:

Early History

August Horch & Cie. Was founded in 1899 in Cologne. Engineer August Horch was one of the pioneering figures in automobile engineering. Around 1909, Horch left this company that he founded. In 1909, Horch established the Audi AG. He couldn’t use his name for this company, so Horch was translated from its German meaning of “listen” into Latin, which is Audi. Audi became the first German automaker to introduce left-hand drive in 1921.

In 1932 August Horch and two other manufacturers (DKW and Wanderer) founded the Auto Union in 1932. The four rings of the Audi logo represent the four car manufacturers that came together to create Audi’s predecessor company (Auto Union).

These four companies are: Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer. Each of the four brands was retained and given their own specific market within the company. DKW made small cars and motorcycles; Horch was top end luxury cars; Wanderer made midsize cars; and Audi produced deluxe, midsize cars. In 1938 Auto Union produced a racecar, called the Auto Union Type C, which went 268 mph!

New Era for Audi

In 1965, a new Auto Union model was introduced. It was the company’s first post-war vehicle with a four-stroke engine, DKW’s F 102. It was at this time they decided it was time for a new name as well and settled on Audi. Also in 1965, the Volkswagen Group would acquire Audi. The company has conducted crash tests for more than 75 years.

There was none of the modern crash test technologies or even dummies used, so they would roll an Audi down a hill and let it crash as a group of people would watch. Audi was the first car manufacturer to win Le Mans with both a diesel and hybrid powered car.

Top-selling Models and Awards

Audi has had a number of best-selling models. The Audi A3 Convertible is a four-seater sedan with a responsive 1.8-turbocharged four-cylinder engine and attractive look. The Audi R8 V10 is a true work of art and packed with technology as well as formidable engine. The Audi TT is a sports coupe that gives the competition a run for its money with a 2.0L engine and front wheel drive.

The Audi Q5 is an elegant SUV with pioneering technology, 252 horsepower, and a 7-speed S tronic transmission. Audi has won awards including: “2018 Best Cars For Families” for their Audi Q5 and A6 by U.S. News & World Report, “World Luxury Car 2018” in the World Car Awards, “Best New Car” for the Audi A7 in the luxury midsize SUV category by Good Housekeeping in 2018, and “Best Luxury Small Car for the Money” for the Audi A3 by U.S. News & World Report in 2018.

Audi is a company with a long history. To this day they continue to produce cars that challenge the competition.

Get Your Car Ready For a Road Trip

Are you heading out for a road trip soon? If so, you’ll want to take the extra time to make sure that your car is running at its best. The last thing you want is car trouble when you’re away from home! Here are some things you need to do to prepare your car for a road trip:

Check Tires 

When your tires are in good shape, it helps your car run better. Make sure all four have good pressure and tread. Tire pressure is crucial for safe driving. Incorrect pressure can affect your car’s handling, braking, fuel consumption, and even your comfort during the drive. Driving on bald tires is especially dangerous on slick roads. Bald tires also cause tires to lose air pressure more quickly.

In addition to checking the tires on your car, you’ll want to make sure your spare tire is in good condition. If you get a flat while on the road, do you know how to fix it? Make sure you have the tools necessary. Tools required to replace a flat tire include a jack and cranking mechanism, tire wrench, and gauge.

Replace Air Filters

You’re going to be on the road where there’s going to be a lot of dirt, dust, and other debris flying around. Air filters prevent this gunk from entering the engine and interior and impacting the performance of your car. They’re inexpensive to change, so it’s worth doing before your road trip. This is a good time to make sure your air conditioner is running well. If it’s not cold, have it checked to see what the problem could be.

Check Fluid Levels

Before you hit the road, you want to make sure fluid levels are optimal. If they need to be changed soon, get them done before your road trip instead of waiting. Engine oil keeps parts moving smoothly and without friction. If levels are low or the oil looks black and gritty, it’s time to change it. Other fluids you must check include: radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. You can have a professional check for all of these if you prefer along with a general maintenance check of your car.

Ensure All Lights Are Working

It’s important to make sure all headlights are working properly. Also check each blinker, the emergency lights, and the brake lights. Don’t forget to make sure inside lights are working as well. Lights are important for safety during your road trip. You also don’t want to get pulled over during your vacation because one is burned out.

Check Belts and Hoses

Drive belts and hoses can deteriorate with age and heat. Check the tension of the belts and look for fluid leaks and cracks or frays in the hoses, which indicate they need to be replaced. If a belt or hose should fail during your road trip, it could mean disaster for your engine.

Start your road trip off on the right foot by making sure your car is in its best condition possible.

5 All Time Best Mercedes-Benz Cars

Mercedes-Benz is well known for its three-pointed star logo and it’s one of the most recognizable emblems in the car industry. People love to own both the classic models and the company’s current releases. Mercedes-Benz was founded in June of 1926. Here is the top 5 best Mercedes-Benz of all time.

1954 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull-Wing Coup

In 1954 the 300SL was introduced as the first iteration of the SL-Class (Sport Light). It was the world’s first production fuel-injected model supplying a 3.0L overhead cam straight-6 that produced 215 horsepower and a top speed of 161 miles per hour. It was the fastest car of its time. The car featured distinctive gull-wing doors and is still coveted by collectors today.

1967 – 1971 280SL “Pagoda”

The second generation of the SL-Class was a hit as well. It would become the best selling of the Pagodas. It featured a 2.8L inline six-cylinder, which put out 170 horsepower. Top speed would reach 124 miles per hour. Suspension in the 280SL was retuned slightly to afford more comfort ability, so it didn’t have the same handling as previous SLs. The hubcaps matched the body color giving the cars a unique look.

1979 – Present G-Class

The G-Class, also known as the G-Wagen, is a four-wheel drive luxury SUV. First developed as a military vehicle, it started offering a civilian version in 1979. It’s off-road capability means it faces very little competition. While the Land Rover can go off-road, it’s more tailored for on-road. The G-Class also has a unique look with its boxy shape and flashy colors. The vehicle is popular with movie stars and rappers. The G-Class has stood the test of time, selling for almost 40 years.

2010 – 2015 GLK

The GLK is Mercedes-Ben best-selling mid-size SUV. It would go from 0 – 60 in 5.7 seconds and could reach a top speed of 132 miles per hour. Safety features included 11-way air bags and Attention Assist. With 19-inch wheels, a luxurious cabin, and a rear spoiler and dual exhaust system, the GLK was the perfect balance of precision and passion. In 2016 the GLK was given a new look, new engine, and a new name. It would be known now as the GLC-Class, which is based on the same platform as the C-Class sedan.

2010 – 2015 SLS AMG

Car buffs like Jay Leno have found this car to be worth collecting, so it’s not surprising it makes the list. The SLS AMG was a limited production supercar featuring gull-wing doors and aluminum chassis and body shell. The gull-wing version of the SLS AMG has won design awards including the 2010 red dot “best of the best” award. It is also the only car to have won the Gold Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mercedes-Benz has a long history that has featured impressive cars from the start. Mercedes-Benz has won awards such as: “World Luxury Car” in 2014 with the S-Class, in 2012 the S 250 CDI BlueEFFIECIENCY was the winner in the “World Green Car” category, and in 2015 the C-Class was awarded the “World Car of the Year.” They definitely live up to their slogan “The best or nothing.”

All About the Porsche Boxster

The Porsche Boxster is considered by many to be one of Porsche’s best cars. First introduced at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show, the Porsche Boxster entered the market just in time to help Porsche out of a financial bind. When Wendelin Wiedeking took over as Porsche CEO in 1992, he developed the idea for the Boxster. Since 1996 Porsche has sold these two-seater sports cars. The name “Boxster” is a conjunction of boxer, which is the engine configuration, and roadster, as it is a two-seat convertible. To date there have been four generations of this car. Here’s more information:

Generations 1-3

Grant Larson designed the first generation of the Porsche Boxster. The design was inspired by 356 Cabriolet, the Speedster, and the 550 Spyder. Released in 1996, the Porsche Boxster 986 stimulated a commercial turnaround for Porsche. From the beginning Porsche Boxsters came with a water-cooled engine. It was also Porsche’s first water-cooled non-front engine as in the Boxster was mid-engine. In the Porsche 911 it would be placed rear-engine.

In 2000, the first upgrades responded to a need for more power. Engine displacement was increased to 2.7 liters, delivering 217 horses and the torque output was increased to 192-pounds-ft. In 2002 a facelift included an added glove compartment, plastic rear windows were replaced with smaller glass windows, and reworked exhaust pipe and air intake.

The second generation (987) was released in 2005 after its 2004 début at the Paris Auto Show along with the new 911 (997). The style remained mostly the same except for a change in the appearance of the headlights (they would now resemble the Carrera GT), enlarged wheels (19 inches in diameter), and a more prominent circular design on the interior.

In 2006 the Cayman S (Boxster Coupe) was introduced. The Porsche Cayman was developed alongside the Boxster 987 and shared approximately 40% of its components. The Porsche Cayman was designed with rear fascia and an exclusive two-piece rear spoiler. It also featured 3.4-liter boxster six engine, 295 horsepower, and 250 ft-lbs of torque. Going from 0 – 60 in 5 seconds, the Cayman reached a top speed of 171 mph. A face-lifted version was released in early 2009. The new engines would no longer have an intermediate shaft.

The third generation (Boxster/Cayman 981) improvements included less weight, better fuel economy, and revised suspension systems. There was also updated styling for both the inside and outside. And for the first time it had a six-speed manual transmission.

Fourth/Current Generation

The 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster puts out 300 horsepower and 280-lb-ft of torque from 2.0 litres. The 718 Boxster goes from 0 – 60 in 4.9 seconds. The 718 Boxster S puts out 350 horsepower and 309-lb-ft of torque from 2.5 litres. The flat-sixes were replaced with horizontally opposed fours. Convertible top disappears and reappears in ten seconds. Porsche Boxsters are available in a variety of colors for the body as well as the convertible top and interior. The wheel rims also have a number of styles to choose from. Innovative infotainment includes: a smartphone tray, Porsche Connect apps, wireless Internet access, and online navigation. Since 2016 the Porsche 718 Boxster and the Porsche 718 Cayman have been marketed jointly.

Awards

In 2006 the Porsche Boxster won an award for best car exterior given by Wheels Automotive Design Awards. In 2006, 2013, and 2017 World Car of the Year awarded the Porsche Boxster with World Performance Car. And in 2005 and 2016 Top Gear named it Sports Car of the Year.

It’s easy to see why the Boxster is one of Porsche’s most popular cars!. It’s got style, it handles well, and is up-to-date with the latest technology.

Audi A4 Car Buying Guide

The Audi A4 is a line of compact executive cars that have been produced since 1994. Before jumping into buying a car, you want to know what each generation has to offer and what your needs are. Here’s what you should consider before choosing an Audi A4.

Know Your Price Range

The best place to begin when purchasing a new car is figuring out what you can afford. If you don’t have good credit or are looking to save money, you may opt for a previous year Audi A4 rather than a brand new one. Purchasing a used, but well taken care of Audi A4 can be a great option. Used cars can be in great condition, but all cars depreciate in value, so you’ll save money. The Audi A4 is also fuel-efficient, which will help to save you money in the long-run.

Know Your Desired Features

If you don’t need features such as infotainment, heated seats, and keyless start, stop, and entry, you don’t need to buy the latest generation of the Audi A4. If you are safety conscious, you may choose a more modern generation with the latest safety technology. The 2014 Audi A4 offers front-impact, side-impact, and overhead airbags as well as pretensioners, which automatically tighten seatbelts to place occupants in the optimal positive during a collision.

The 2018 Audi A4 offers forward-collision warning and front automated emergency braking as standard features in addition to the many optional safety features including front parking sensors, rear cross-traffic monitor, and blind-spot monitor. If you’re tech savvy, you may want to spend more for a year that offers features such as Audi smartphone interface, 12.3” display screen, and MMI touch with handwriting recognition. Make a list of what you desire in your Audi A4 and see the one that best fits your needs.

Do Your Homework

If you choose to buy a used Audi A4, you want to do your homework. You might be enticed by a good price and a nice looking car, but there is more involved in your decision to purchase. The seller should be able to tell you the most recent dates of regular maintenance, such as oil changes, as well as determining if the car has needed any larger repairs or replacements. You want to ask if the car has ever been in an accident. This information could be important down the line should you ever have issues with the car. The seller should agree to have the car inspected before you purchase it to make sure nothing major is wrong.

Also be sure to take the car for a test drive whether you’re buying new or used. The goal is to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family. You can also do research on the year you’re interested in beforehand so you know what to look for and what to ask about specifically. For example, if the year you’re looking at has issues with its electrical, you want to know if those problems have arisen yet. You should also check the Kelley Blue Book value of your chosen car to make sure you pay what it’s worth and not more.

Purchasing an Audi A4 is money well spent no matter what year you decide on. You’ll be treated to style, high performance, and safety.

Get to Know the Different Car Sensors

Owning a car is exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility. It’s important to become familiar with car sensors, how they work, and what happens when they don’t. Here are seven sensors in your car that you should know about.

Engine Speed Sensor

The engine speed sensor is a sensor that is attached to the crankshaft to monitor the spinning speed of the crankshaft. The crankshaft controls the fuel injection and timing of the engine. When the speed sensor stops working, you may begin to have issues with cruise control, improper shifting, and your check engine light will come on.

Fuel Temperature Sensor

The fuel temperature sensor ensures the car’s fuel consumption is efficient. This sensor tells the engine control unit to adjust the amount of fuel it injects. When fuel is warm it is less dense and burns more quickly. Cold fuel is more dense and burns more slowly. If this sensor fails, your car won’t be affected, but its use of fuel will be. The check engine light will come on when this sensor isn’t working.

Spark Knock Sensor

The spark knock sensor ensures fuel is burning efficiently. Spark knock (detonation) is a form of combustion that occurs when multiple flame fronts occur simultaneously inside a combustion chamber instead of just one flame growing smoothly and expanding. A spark knock detonation can be caused by fuel being subjected to too much heat, too much pressure, or both. You may hear a pinging or knocking noise when this happens.

Oxygen Sensor

An oxygen sensor, or lambda sensor, is important to your car’s exhaust system. It’s used to measure the proportional amount of oxygen in a liquid or gas. The sensor sends data to the management computer of the car’s engine. The sensor will keep emissions in check and warn you when they are excessive. A faulty oxygen sensor can also contribute to poor idling and higher fuel consumption.

Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor is critical to the performance of the car’s engine, good gas mileage, and low emissions. The sensor calculates the volume and density of air that the engine takes in. This ensures that the correct amount of fuel is used. Should the sensor become faulty fuel usage will go up and the car may stall. As long as a mass airflow sensor is functioning well it doesn’t need to be replaced.

Tire Pressure Sensor

Tire pressure monitor sensor (TPMS) will warn you of any tires on your vehicle that are under-inflated. The indicator is yellow and shaped like a horseshoe. When this appears, don’t ignore it. An under-inflated tire can create unsafe driving conditions and accidents.

Throttle Position Sensor

The function of the throttle position sensor is to monitor the throttle position of the vehicle. This sensor is located on the butterfly spindle/shaft so that it can monitor the position. When this sensor fails, your check engine light will illuminate. Other signs of a throttle position sensor failure may include: rough or slow idle, stalling, and lack of power when accelerating.

Knowing about the various sensors in your car is important. If one needs replacing you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run by doing so.