How to Buy New Tires

Having to buy new tires for your car might seem like an overwhelming experience. Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car. No matter how good your brakes are and no matter how good you steer, it all comes down to the condition of the tires. Here’s what you need to consider when purchasing new tires.

How to Know if You Need New Tires

All tires are going to need to be replaced eventually due to normal wear and tear. Because tires are so important to your car’s safety, you don’t want to wait too long to replace them. Signs that your tires need to be replaced include: The tread on your tires should never be below 1/16 of an inch, but it’s recommended that if you regularly drive on slick, wet roads, to have it twice as much. If you notice bulges or blisters on any of the tires, you want to have them looked at immediately because these weakened areas can result in a blowout. When you notice too much vibration when you drive, this could signal that your tires are misaligned or unbalanced and may need replacing.

What to Consider When Buying New Tires

When you buy new tires, you want to buy all four. You don’t want to have two old tires and two new tires on the same car. Before you replace your tires, it’s a good idea to make sure your car is in good shape. Any alignment, suspension, or shock issues will cause uneven wear on new tires. You want to refer to your car’s manual and tire code in order to pick the perfect tires for your car.

The tire code is made up of numbers and letters that refer to different aspects of the tire. For example, the first letter you see will refer to the tires purpose. “P” means passenger car and “LT” means light truck. The numbers will refer to things such as tire diameter, height, width, etc. It’s important to consider the climate you live in when buying tires. You may opt for all-season tires or three-season tires depending on the temperature and if you swap for winter tires come the snow and ice. When buying new tires, it’s also a good time to check the condition of your spare tire and replace it if it’s no longer in good shape.

Where to Buy New Tires

There’s no shortage of places to buy new tires. You can go to a local dealer that might offer you a deal when you buy all four tires at the same time. If you’re looking to save more money while still getting the best quality, you might consider buying tires online or through a catalog. You can have these tires installed at a local tire center. A warehouse club is another option you may consider for buying your tires. If cost is an issue, shopping around is a good idea.

Buying new tires might seem like a big task, but if you know what you’re looking for and create a checklist, this will make your tire buying experience more pleasant.

What Are Gear Ratios?

A vehicle’s gear ratio plays an important role in how fast your car will be able and how hard it will have to work to get there. Car manufacturers work to figure out the most efficient way to get speed while also focusing on the benefit of fuel economy for you. Here’s what you should know about gear ratios.

What Are Gear Ratios?

In general, a vehicle’s engine and transmission contain a lot of gears. Gears are sets of toothed wheels that work together to alter the relation between the speed of a vehicle’s engine and the speed of the tires. The teeth in the gears make it possible to determine gear ratio. A vehicle’s gear ratios are what determine its top speed, how fast the vehicle can reach that speed, and how much work it will take to get there.

How Do Gear Ratios Work?

Large gear ratios, such as in vehicles, are called gear trains. There are two sets of gear ratios in cars: the transmission gear ratio and the rear end/differential gear ratio. The transmission uses gear ratios to keep your engine running at a safe and economical RPM (revolutions per minute) range. At the same time your vehicle will be able to accelerate and maintain speed safely. Adding an additional gear to the transmission would allow it to keep accelerating and maintain speed at a lower and more efficient RPM.

Differential gear ratio determines the number of times the drive shaft will rotate for each turn of the wheels. When you change gear ratios, the RPM and the torque will change, but horsepower will not change. Torque is the amount of turning power. Torque is what will determine the acceleration of your car. When the large gears drive the small gears, this results in an increase in torque. When the small gears drive the large gears, torque will be decreased. Different vehicle manufacturers have different gear ratios.

Gear Ratios by the Numbers

If you understand the circumference of a circle, you can begin to understand gear ratios. The circumference of a circle is equal to the diameter of the circle multiplied by Pi. If a gear has a diameter of one inch, the circumference of the gear is 3.14159.

To calculate torque gear ratio, you would divide the second gear’s ratio by the first gear’s ratio. If a driven gear has 56 teeth and a driver gear has 15 teeth. Dividing the driven gear by the driver gear gives you 3.73 and this means that the drive shaft turns 3.73 times for every turn of the wheel.

This would be known as 3.73:1. The lower the number, the faster the car will go with the same number of engine revolutions. The higher the number, the accelerate. A gear ratio that is numerically high is actually called a low gear. And a low gear ratio would be called high gear.

Gear ratios are a crucial part of your car’s performance. You want to be able to drive at whatever speed suits your environment while being as economical as possible, which leads to money savings for you. Car manufacturers do their best to make this happen.

What is an ABS Pump?

Within the anti-lock braking system, there are ABS pumps. Anti-lock brakes prevent your wheels from locking up during breaking. ABS pumps play an important role in the system. Here’s what you should know about what ABS pumps are, how they work, and what happens if they go bad.

What is an ABS pump?

An anti-lock braking system is made up of a few components: a controller, speed sensor, valve, and pump. The ABS pump is considered to be the heart of the anti-lock braking system. The ABS pump helps to boost braking performance and is what will help you to avoid losing control of your vehicle on slippery roads, such as when you’re driving on icy, snowy, or rainy roads.

What is the role of the ABS pump?

The ABS pump is used to restore pressure to the hydraulic brakes after the valves have released them. Signals from the wheel speed sensors are processed by the ABS module. If a wheel slip is detected, a valve will be released to avoid this. When the valve is released and pressure is lost, the ABS pump will restore the lost pressure. In vehicles that are not equipped with an anti-lock braking system, the driver has to manually pump the breaks in order to prevent wheel lockup. With an ABS system, there is a four-chambered pump that feeds each brake individually and as needed.

Signs of ABS Pumps Going Bad

There are a few ways an ABS pump may go bad. If the pump leaks brake fluid, it means it’s not able to do its job effectively. Brake fluid plays a crucial role in the braking system as it transfers the force created directly onto the wheel hub when the brake is pressed. Another symptom of an ABS pump going bad is that the brake pads will require more force to push. The brakes may also lock up or be completely unresponsive if the ABS pump is going bad or already in need of repair or replacement. Of course, if your ABS light is on, you’ll want to check to see which part might be malfunctioning.

How to Deal with Bad ABS Pumps

If the ABS pump is leaking, you will likely need to replace the seals and/or o-rings. You can get these replacement parts at a local parts shop. If you have to replace the entire pump, that’s an option as well and can be found new or used at a parts shop. If you purchase used parts, make sure to inspect them carefully and buy from a trusted seller. Buying used parts that are in good condition will save you money. If you’re handy with car repairs, an ABS pump is something you can do yourself to save more money.

The pump plays an important role in the anti-lock braking system and overall performance and safety of your car. If you notice any of the warning signs that your ABS pump is going bad, it’s a good idea to have it checked and repaired as soon as possible.

Spotlight on Mercedes’ New EQ Electric Car

Mercedes is a company that is committed to innovation and their new electric car, the EQ, represents that. EQ is the new generation of electric vehicles that promises the safety, connectivity, functionality, and comfort that you know and expect from Mercedes-Benz. Here’s what you need to know about this car:

About the EQ

EQ stands for “electric intelligence.” Mercedes has a whole line of cars planned for this brand starting with the EQC, an electric crossover. This new generation of electric cars is based on an architecture developed for battery-electric models. And because it’s scalable, it can be used across all models no matter the wheelbase and track width. These components are all variable due to the modular building-block system. The goal with EQ is to have an emission-free future.

The Mercedes EQC SUV

The Mercedes-Benz EQC400 4MATCIC, or the EQC for short, has a clear distinguishing feature, which is on the front end’s black panel. This panel is framed by fibre-optic lighting that surrounds the grille from headlight to headlight. The headlights themselves are blue LEDs. You can choose the wheel size you prefer: 19, 20, or 21 inches. Two of the wheel sizes also come with the option of blue highlights.

These unique features make the ECQ easily recognizable day or night. Instead of a roof rack on the EQC, there are attachment points integrated into the roof to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Other unique style features to the EQC are found on the inside. Rectangular air vents have been swapped for turbine-style vents. The widescreen infotainment system catches the eye with its bold colors. The EQC will feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, which offers voice recognition, gesture recognition, and gets to know more about you and your habits every time you drive.

The intuitive operating experience allows for a less distracted driver. The highlight of the MBUX system is its touch operation concept. The piano-black surfaces and rose gold accents also add to the interior of the EQC. The variety of colors and finishes in the cabin will be a pleasant surprise.

How the EQ Works

Two electric motors will power the four-wheel drive EQC, one for each set of wheels. Together they will produce 402 brake horsepower and 564lb ft of torque. You’ll be able to go 60mph in just 4.0 seconds with a top speed of 112mph. The EQC will give you approximately 280 miles between charges. You will be able to charge the EQC at home via a wall-box or wall socket and there are plenty of charging stations on the road. The slow-charging process can take hours, but with a fast-charger will get an 80% charge in about 40 minutes. The battery pack features a water-cooled charger. The EQC will offer several driving modes.

This new line of cars from Mercedes is sure to be a hit. The EQC has been designed so that people will instantly know it’s a Mercedes. If you’re in the market for an electric car that offers everything that Mercedes is known for, you should really consider the EQC!

Best Tips for Buying Your Next Toyota

When buying a Toyota there are many things to factor in, such as how much you are willing to spend, the safety features that you want, and entertainment and technology features.

Toyota makes sedans, hatchbacks, pick-up trucks, SUVs, and minivans, which means you will also need to determine the model that will be best for your needs. Here are tips to help you decide whether you should buy a new or used Toyota:

Know Your Price Range

If money isn’t an issue, your vehicle choices are unlimited. You can buy based on your preferences and needs. Toyota offers a range of vehicles at different prices. The Corolla is an economic choice while the luxury models such as the Avalon or or Avalon Hybrid will cost a bit more. If you have a budget or general desire to save money, you probably want to look at used cars. Used cars, especially recent models, can offer much of what you’re looking for a lower price, so it’s important to not overlook this option when shopping for a Toyota.

Determine Your Needs

There are many options to consider when shopping for a car. When you’re looking at Toyota listings, keep a running list of features you want. You will likely come across things you hadn’t thought of as you explore your options. Things to consider when looking for your next Toyota include: how much seating you need, engine, transmission, horsepower, infotainment features (think USB, Bluetooth, touch screen, etc.), safety features (do you require a backup camera?), and storage and cargo. Other things that may or may not matter to your purchase include things such as cup holders, chargers for phones, and cruise control.

Know the Advantages of a New Toyota

The biggest advantage to buying a new car is probably that it comes with a warranty. The bumper-to-bumper warranty, for example, covers repair on all parts except “wear items.” Wear items are things such as windshield wipers, brake pads, and tires. You can also have a new car made to order. If you have specific colors or optional features in mind, it’s all up to you. New Toyota vehicles come with free maintenance for two years (or 25,000 miles). And as mentioned previously, buying a new Toyota means you will have all the latest gizmos and safety systems. And of course, if you buy new, it will have no miles on it yet.

Understand the Advantages of a Used Toyota

The greatest advantage to buying a used Toyota is the money you will save. You may also save money on insurance having a slightly older car. You won’t experience your used car purchase depreciating significantly as soon as you drive off the lot as you would with a new car. If you decide on a late used model, you can still get many of the bells and whistles that come with a new car. Sometimes the differences between one model year and the next are minimal.

Buying your next Toyota is something you want to put thought and research into. Whether you choose to buy new or used, it’s still a big purchase and important decision.

History of Porsche

Porsche cars are known for their luxury and speed. Many consider them to be the ultimate sports cars! Porsche AG is a German automobile manufacturer that specializes in high-performance sports cars, sedans, and SUVs. Here’s what you should know about Porsche and its history:

How It All Began

The Porsche company was founded by Ferdinand Porsche who was the chief engineer at Mercedes-Benz. In 1931 he incorporated a company in his own name. Back in 1900 he designed the first electric/gasoline hybrid. He would also work with Daimler, Volkswagen, Auto Union, and more throughout his 50-year career. The first Porsche was manufactured using machinery used to make the VW Bug.

The first Porsche released was the “Porsche 64” in 1939. During WWII, Porsche developed designs for heavy tanks, but was the chassis that was designed for the Tiger I that was used as the base for the Elefant tank destroyer. In 1948, Porsche’s son Ferry built the first Porsche sports car, the 356. It went into regular production in 1950 and had a rear-mounted, souped-up 40-horsepower Volkswagen engine and other parts sourced from random places. In 1954 a speedster version was introduced. In 1956 the 10,000th 356 rolled off the assembly line. Following the 356 would come the Porsche 911. The original 911 was based on the 356, but has come a long way since then.

Today the maximum power of the engine is 540-horsepower with 486-lb-foot torque. The Porsche 912 was a cheaper version of the 911 and was only in production from 1965 – 1969. In 1970 the 911 was replaced by the 912, a lower-priced, mid-engine sports car. During the mid-1950s Porsche would introduce its own engine The Porsche logo is based on the “Coat of Arms of the Free People State.” When Ferdinand Porsche died in 1951, the company was taken over by his son Ferry.

The Modern Years

In 1977, Porsche production surpassed the 300,000 mark. In 1982 Porsche Cars North America was established with its headquarters in Reno, Nevada. The 911 Cabriolet is introduced in 1983 and outsells the Targa. In 1986, the Porsche 944 is the first car to be sold in the US with both driver’s side and passenger side airbags as a standard feature. 1990 brought the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4 and rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera 2. In 1995 Porsche discontinued its front-engine models and the next year the one-millionth Porsche would be built.

Top-selling Models and Awards

Porsche automobiles have won numerous awards over the years. In 2018 just some of the awards won include: the Kelley Blue Book Resale Value: Luxury Brand, Automobile All-Star: 911 GTS, N.Y. Daily News Best Luxury Performance Car (911), Car and Driver Best 10 Cars (718 Cayman and 718 Boxster), and J.D. Power Total Ownership Experience Award. Some of the best-selling Porsche models of all-time include: the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster (a collectible today), 2002 Porsche Boxster 986, and the 911. The one-millionth 911 was built in May of 2017.

Porsche has built automobiles that are popular year after year and only get better with time. They are fun to drive and fans of the cars remain loyal with each new release!

How to Safely Wash Your Car’s Exterior

Whether you buy a car new or used, buying a car represents a considerable expense. It stands to reason that you will want to take good care of it so that it will last as long as possible! Any damage to your car, cosmetic or otherwise, will cost you money. When you wash the exterior of your car, you want to take care to not damage it. Here are some tips to help you wash your car’s exterior safely:

Car Wash Mitts

There are a variety of car wash mitts on the market. They can be made of sponge material, microfiber, or sheepskin. You want to choose a mitt that is soft and holds a lot of water and car wash soap. You also want it to rinse well as you don’t want spots left on your car when you wash off the soap. Avoid using rags, old t-shirts, and towels to wash your car as they are more likely to leave little scratches in your paint. Wash mitts made specifically for washing your car are your best bet. Don’t try to save a few dollars by using something you find under the sink or in the garage. You’ll spend more money having your paint job repaired.

Car Wash Shampoo

Just like with car wash mitts, you want to make sure the car wash shampoo you use is made to be used on the paint of a car. You don’t want to grab just anything from the house because all soaps have their individual purposes. Dish soap, for example, is designed to eat away at grease on your dishes. Those same ingredients will eat away at your car wax and dry out plastic and rubber parts on the exterior of your car. Always choose a shampoo that is made specifically for washing the exterior of your car. Don’t reach for the cheapest product. Not all car wash shampoos are created equally, so do your research and ask family and friends what they recommend.

Car Wax

You might be tempted to skip the car wax if you don’t care much about having a shiny and smooth looking car, but car wax is much more important than that. Car wax protects your car’s paint from dirt and other contaminants that will eat away at it. Consider wax the layer that will take abuse while protecting your paint job. By applying wax, you will be able to wash it less because debris will stick to it less. Wax is also UV protection for the paint on your car, so it won’t fade or peel too quickly.

Washing the Windows

You might be inclined to reach for the bottle of window cleaner you use around the house. After all, windows are windows, right? Wrong. Household window cleaners contain ammonia, which can damage the tint on your car’s windows, so only use a window cleaner made for cars.

Washing the exterior of your car is something that requires care and attention. It’s not something you want to rush or use inferior products with. Pick the best products and learn the proper techniques for washing your car and the exterior will look just like new for a long time!

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.