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.

Get to Know the Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat is a class of mid-large size family cars. The term Passat in German means “trade winds.” Here’s what you should know about the Volkswagen Passat.

History of the Passat

The first generation of the Volkswagen Passat (known as the Volkswagen Dasher in North America) was launched in 1973. The first Passat was developed partly from the Audi80/Fox. Originally offered were two and four-door sedans as well as three and five-door versions, which looked similar.

The five-door station wagon was introduced in 1975 and sold in North America as the Audi Fox.

The Passat originally used the four-cylinder OHC 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines. In 1978 the Dasher received a complete facelift similar to the one done in Europe the year prior. The Dasher only differed slightly from the Passat in the areas of bumper, safety, and emissions modifications.

How the Passat Has Developed Over Time

The second generation of the Passat launched in 1981 as the Passat B2. The B2 was bigger and faster than the first generation. The B2 also introduced four-wheel drive se tup dubbed Syncro, which was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The third generation of the Passat, the B3, launched in 1990 in North America. This generation was sold as a four-door saloon or five-door estate.

It was at this time that the Passat ceased to be sold as a hatchback and would be known as the Passat in all markets including North America. The B4 Passat was basically just a facelifted B3 (1993). The grille was introduced to give the car’s front end a more aggressive look.

The newer generations (B5, B5.5, 6, 7) of Passat models have included upgrades such as projector-optic headlights, tail lights, and chrome trim. The non-turbo 1.8 was discontinued and the eight-valve 1.6 liter became the least powerful petrol engine.

A new base “GL” model was added to the 2003 Passat range that would offer a W8 six-speed manual transmission. The B6 Passat was first on display at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The B6 no longer shared a platform with Audi at this point.

2018 Volkswagen Passat

The current generation of the Passat is available as a sedan and a wagon. The Volkswagen Passat is packed with the latest technology and safety systems. Features include forward collision warning with automatic rigging, turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder standard, front-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. The cabin is quiet and there is plenty of space for all passengers, even tall ones won’t feel cramped. The infotainment system is user-friendly and wellorganized.

Higher-level trims also include lane-keep assist, parking assist, and a rear cross-traffic alert. The 2018 Passat comes in six trim levels: S (standard), R-Line, SE, SE with Technology, SEL Premium, and V6 SEL Premium. Each trim level (standard aside) comes with its own added features. The R-line includes VW Car-Net App-Connect, the SE includes a power tilting and sliding sunroof, and the SEL premium includes leather seating surfaces and LED headlights just to name a few.

The Volkswagen Passat has been in production for some time and the car improves with each generation. Get used Volkswagen parts by visiting this link.

Decorate Your Vehicle for the 4th of July

Are you looking for a great way to show your American pride? Consider dressing up your car for the 4th of July! This day is typically celebrated with family, friends, concerts, BBQs, picnics, baseball games, and fireworks but it can also be fun to display your patriotism for the world to see. Whether you’re going to be driving around or staying home, your vehicle can help express your pride for the holiday. Here’s more information:

Dress Up the Windows

Vinyl window clings are a good way to decorate the windows of your vehicle for the 4th of July. Just make sure they don’t impede your line of sight in any way. You can even use these window clings on the plastic panels of your vehicle. Just make sure they’re clean first. Use flags, stars, fireworks, “USA,” and of course, the red, white, and blue colors.

Use Temporary Paints

Temporary paints, such as Duplicolor’s Car Art Paint, are a great way to decorate your vehicle for the 4th of July. Use paints to write messages such as, “Happy 4th of July” or “Happy Independence Day” on the side of your vehicle. You can also paint stars, stripes, fireworks, the American Flag, and other Independence Day symbols on your car using patriotic colors such as red, white, and blue. These paints are made for this purpose, so they will withstand wind and rain, but are easily removed with soap and water.

Decorate the Roof Rack

If you have a roof rack, you can attach ribbons to it, which will wave as you drive. Just make sure you the ribbons aren’t too long. You can also wrap colored streamers around the roof rack to give it some 4th of July spirit. If you’re going to be in a parade for the holiday, you might consider attaching balloons to the roof rack. You can either have them lie flat or have them raised slightly so they bounce around a little. You can also attach small flags to your roof rack.

Decorate With Colored Tape

Consider using colored painters tape to attach signs to your vehicle for the 4th of July. If your sign is white with red writing, blue tape will be perfect. You may even be able to find Duct Tape with a 4th of July theme! If you don’t want duct tape directly on your vehicle, you can use it as a boarder on your sign. You can even create stars and stripes out of duct tape to decorate signs with. Don’t leave any kind of tape on your vehicle too long though as it may become more difficult to remove. It might be a good idea to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area of the car to see how it handles tape.

More Ideas to Consider:

  • If your vehicle has an antenna, you can attach some red, white, and blue colored ribbons.
  • Use a 4th of July themed license plate frame.
  • Pom-poms in red, white, and blue colors attached to the vehicle.
  • Attach red, white, and blue fringes or banner pennant to the bumper or sides of your vehicle.

Make sure that anything you’re attaching to your vehicle is securely fastened and won’t come fly off while you’re driving. You can find everything that you’ll need at most party supply stores. This is a fun way to show pride for your country!

Getting to Know the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an executive range of cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. These cars are luxurious, stylish, and incredibly popular. They are high performers and fun to drive, but they are also very safe. Here’s what you should know about the E-Class:

About the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was first produced in 1993. The first E-class was a face lifted W124, which was first introduced in 1984. The E-Class is in its fifth generation. In European countries, it has also served as taxis and police cars due to its size and durability. E-Class Mercedes-Benz cars are a top-selling model having sold 13 million by 2015.

E-Class Features

As the most advanced E-class to date, this car features technology never offered before. It sets itself apart from the competition. Imagine a car that could protect your ears in the event of an accident. The E-Class can do that with the use of pink sound. Pink sound technology pre-triggers your ears to protect themselves when your car senses an impending accident. The E-Class also features “Car-to-X,” which is a system that lets you know of driving conditions before you can even see them.

You’ll be able to change your route to avoid poor conditions. Pre-Safe Impulse Side is a safety measure that will reduce forces of impact by taking you further from the point of impact. Touch-sensitive control buttons on the steering wheel allows drivers to control navigation and entertainment without having to take their hands off the wheel. Just another safety feature the E-Class has to offer.

Not only is the E-Class technologically advanced and safe, it’s also aesthetic.

E-Class Design

The E-Class is elegant both on the outside and the inside. It features a large screen (12.3”), sharp graphics, and clear menus. The seats in the E-Class are designed to fit the body, which creates comfort. A wide selection of colors to choose from for the exterior of the E-Class include: Black, white, Lunar Blue Metallic, Dakota Brown Metallic, Cardinal Red Metallic, Selenite Grey Metallic, and more. Models include the E 300 Sedan, E 300 4MATIC Sedan, and E 400 $MATIC Sedan.

Performance

The E-Class was built to perform. They are front engine, rear-wheel and optional four-wheel drive. The 9-speed transmission responds quickly and efficiently to changing driving conditions and needs. The turbo engine allows less fuel usage, but more power as it self-tunes every few milliseconds. Air Body Control is an air suspension feature that coordinates two electronic systems that allows the E-Class to handle in a balanced and polished manner.

With DYNAMIC SELECT, you can switch to whatever mode you’re in the mood for and the conditions you’re driving in. If you’re driving windy mountain roads, you might choose sport mode. Other modes include ECO, Comfort, and Race Mode. The great thing about the E-class is that you can create your own mode as well. This is called Individual Mode. These different modes will give you access to better gas mileage when you need it and less when that’s not a concern.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a car with style and safety.