There are numerous gadgets on today’s market that can keep you prepared for whatever the road has to surprise you, regardless whether you’re battling your way through rush hour or just want a pleasant leisure drive outside of the city streets. Being caught off guard by a flat tire or getting stranded with a dead car battery is potentially dangerous and stressful. With these gadgets, you’ll be ready for the unexpected, and make your drivers more enjoyable and easier. Let’s dive in and take a better look.
The progress in the automotive industry was seen in making the next car model better than the last one. Today, car manufacturers are trying something completely different, and Volvo is succeeding at it with their new Volvo XC60.
Volvos were traditionally cars of people who were independent-minded and iconoclastic enough to drive something different than the cars from Germany and Japan. Known as cars for smart people, they were vehicles for those who maybe had odd reasons for buying them.
The Volvo XC60 has been the company’s best-selling vehicle in Europe and the US. Now, when the era of partnership with Ford is gone, the new XC60 is built on the new Scalable Product Architecture Product. The new platform is somewhat longer and wider than the old one, but it makes much better use of the interior space, and doesn’t weigh more.
The XC60 is capable to compete with BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, and other car giants. Of course, it has its own flaws, but the overall result is a well-suited, well-crafted and capable vehicle.
The new XC60 has new suspension, with a double-wishbone rear and at the front. The car is built for primarily and that definitely shows. Volvo’s cars are promoted as full of confidence and dynamism (safe cars), with good (not exciting) roadholding and handling. You can adjust the power steering setup, but it won’t make any big difference. You can opt for an optional air suspension system which lets you lower and raise the car by about 2 inches.
Under the hood
The set of engines in the XC60 are the same as in the heavier and larger XC90. Mounted transversely, the engines are inline four-cylinders, driving all wheels with either an electric motor on the rear axle or an AWD system. All engines are turbo with a small supercharger, connected to 8-speed automatics. The acceleration is strong, and the car is quick enough (not race-quick, but enough for a city drive).
The exterior design of the new XC60 fits into Volvo’s philosophy – neither striking nor showy. This means that it can be pretty anonymous-looking from a distance and in profile. On the front, there are Thor’s Hammer headlights that are dramatic and arresting in the right way. The taillights are vertical and massive, as they used since the 700 series and remained committed to them. There is a horizontal element here as well which describes a pattern when the taillights are on.
Volvo has produced a car with a satisfying hood-to-body ratio, refining and developing their design since the earlier XC60.
The interior is, according to many, the best part of the XC60. The choice of a driftwood-like porous wood in light grey for the dash and trim is excellent, just like the rest of material used. The interior is two-tone, dark and light, and the use of space is great as well, with a panoramic sunroof that helps out with the feeling of air interior (every XC60 actually comes with these).
There are two little cubicles under the rear seat for holding phones, tables, and other electronics; the rear seats can be dropped from controls, extending the already well-sized cargo area. Along with LCD screens, diamond-pattern knobs, clever storage and massaging seats, this car really breathes comfort.
Volvo is still committed to their safe car designs, with XC60 being full of different safety features. A collision avoidance system, mixture of selected metals of varying strengths for the platform, and a semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system (intended for steering during long, boring, and straight highway driving) all do quite well, protecting the passengers getting injured.
There are 3 trim levels of the XC60:
· Momentum (basic model)
· R-Design (more sporty)
· Insignia (luxury model)
If you have the money to spend, you’re getting good design and equipment, with a high-quality material and build. It great to see that Volvo is still making good, innovative, different, and well-priced cars.
Taking proper care of your car should be your own responsibility, but a lot of people are not taking it seriously. It doesn’t matter if you are going to DIY or take your car to the mechanic, regular oil changes, tyre inspections, and some other checkups are absolutely necessary.
Back in the day, all these inspections could be done by yourself, but today`s cars are a lot more sophisticated and there are things you shouldn’t mess with if you don’t have a right set of skills. To make things easier to understand, we have gathered the most common car fixes and explained why you should or shouldn’t attempt fixing them alone.
First, let’s talk about car`s suspensions. At the first glance, they seem pretty easy to fix. There are no electronics involved and in most cases, all you need to do is replace a part. Everybody knows how to take a thing apart and put it back together the same way. Right? Well, that rule does not when it comes to car`s suspensions.
Sure, you can take it apart, but putting it back together requires a certain knowledge. You need to know in which order things go and on top of that, you need a specialised set of tools. We strongly recommend you to hire a professional, otherwise, you are risking causing a lot more damage to your suspension and potentially completely destroying them. So repairing a car`s suspension is definitely not a DIY job.
Tyres require an inspection at least once a year, but it all depends on how much you travel. The more miles you cover, the more worn out your tyres will become. As the time passes your tyres will lose their tread, which results in less traction and ultimately less control of the car. With tyres like this, you can really endanger other cars and yourself. That is why it is very important to do regular inspections. Luckily, this is nothing too difficult.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer Continental tyres or any other manufacturer’s, the procedure is the same. Carefully check the tread of each tyre and make sure it has an appropriate depth. Each country has its own regulations and standards, so make sure you check what are in yours. Cracks, bulges, etc. are all potential bursting points, so if you spot any on your tyres consider replacing them. Additionally, replacing a tyre is easy. There is no need to go to a mechanic, just watch a tutorial online and you will surely get it on a first try.
Changing the oil
The oil change is a messy task, but it is not a hard one. This is something that most people fear to do by themselves. They think that somehow they can mess up the car`s engine and wreck the car completely, but the reality is completely different. To change the oil in your car you will a wrench, a new bottle of oil, and a bucket.
The procedure goes like this. First, open an oil cap that is under your hood. Then go under your car and find an oil pan and unscrew its bolt. Have a bucket placed beneath it so the oil drains straight into the bucket. Screw back the bolt and fill the oil tank with the new oil for about four quarters of its size. And that’s it, nothing scary, right? Just make sure all the bolts are tightly screwed and that you get the right oil for your engine.
Let’s close with that. These three car fixes are the most common ones by far and now you know what you can mess with and what you should leave to the professionals. Sure, there are some common small fixes like replacing your wiper blades and changing your air filters, but these are easily done without any instructions.
We live in the early days of online shopping which holds the potential to replace the more traditional shopping altogether at one point in the future. When it comes to car parts and vehicle equipment, people are definitely going online for their needs. And they are making the right choice. Today, we’ll take a look at a couple of reasons why going online for car parts and equipment is the only sensible choice.
You Get the Best Prices
When running a shop of any kind, the costs of operating an actual physical store make for much of the operational costs. Even if you own the space (which is rarely the case), you still have to pay the bills and all kinds of legal and tax fees. Because of this, brick and mortar car parts shops will never be able to offer the same prices online stores can. It is pure mathematics. It costs less to operate an online car parts store and it is therefore possible to lower one’s prices. For a buyer, this can make the savings quite substantial, especially in the long run.
You Get More Choice
Before online car parts stores, you were limited to the shops you had in your area. If you had only one, then you really had no choice. They dictated the prices and the terms and there was nothing you could do. In case no one near you had the part you needed, you were forced to either take a trip or order the parts and wait for days and weeks before they are delivered. With online shops, it does not matter where they are headquartered; if they deliver to your area, you are golden. This allows you to shop around and find the exact parts at the best prices possible.
There is No Need to "Try On" the Parts
One of the biggest issues for some ecommerce shops is that they sell products that people want to see, touch, smell and perhaps even try on (in the case of clothing shops). The technology has not yet reached the point where this is possible. With car parts, however, there is no need for anything like this. You know the serial number of the part, you know the manufacturer, you know the dimensions. There is no chance that a part will not fit or anything like that.
You Can Learn Stuff
One of the best things about a great car parts store is that it will feature a blog that is run by the owners/employees and where you will be able to find plenty of valuable content. This content will sometimes be purely informative and give you the best solutions for the problems you have. At other times, you might even get new ideas on such blogs or learn from guest posters who have had certain experiences with the things you are thinking of purchasing.
Beyond everything else, purchasing car parts online is convenient. You do not have to drive to the shop and deal with salespeople who are often condescending in car parts shops (for some reason). It really is as simple as clicking a few times and typing in your credit card details.
Holden Colorado 7 – Super SUV
The super new Holden Colorado is a proper off tack built vehicle this means that although it’s a sports focused utility vehicle for the city it’s is also build to take on the off road challenge and take your family along for the journey. This Super SUV is no so called “soft roader”.
The Colorado 7 is based on Holden’s UTE of the same name, but adds a boot and a third row of seats. That makes it a direct rival for the Mitsubishi Challenger, which is based on the Triton ute.
This Holden 7 is based around the UTE and with a nice size boot and an extra row of seats it’s a bang on rival to the well know famous Mitsubishi Challenger.
As you can see the range is pretty simple with a single engine and transmission and only two trim levels. The series starts at $46k for the LT the more armed LTZ starts at $50k metallic you can add lots off extras such as metallic paint jobs for $500 though.
Both are driven by the matching 2.8-litre 4 cylinder turbo diesel same as the UTE, which yields a very respectable 132kW and 470Nm. This coupled with 6 speed automatic is customary on both variants this pegs the fuel use back to at an affordable (if not economic) 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
Basic gear on the LT includes nice sized 16-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera, back parking sensors, fog lights on the front, leather steering wheel, cloth seat trim, Bluetooth connectivity and a stereo with a booming six speakers in furnished with with USB and auxiliary ports.
Stepping up to the LTZ adds 18-inch alloys, LED tail lights, leather seat trim, six-way electric adjustable driver’s seat, climate-control air conditioning, chrome door handles and an eight-speaker stereo.
Although the Colorado shares most of its underpinnings with the UTE, Holden has developed a unique rear suspension for a more comfortable ride. The leaf springs of the UTE are replaced with a multi-link live-axle set-up. Holden claims this hasn’t hurt off-road performance.
Both the LT and LTZ get low range, a limited-slip differential and Hill Descent Control as standard. Both also boast a 3000-kilogram towing capacity.
The Colorado 7 has earned a five-star ANCAP rating. Stability control is standard and there are dual front airbags and curtain airbags that extend to the third row.
Good news for Peugeot as the company collected two category wins at the recent Auto Express New Car Awards 2012.
The ceremony was held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, with the Peugeot 208 picking up the ‘Best Supermini Class’ and the RCZ winning ‘Best Coupé class’ for the third year in a row.
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Auto Express, commented, “Peugeot is back on top of the small car class. The 208 has got it all: style, quality, space and kit, while it’s good to drive and super-efficient, too. “The RCZ continues to reign supreme as the best coupé on the road thanks to its winning blend of great styling and agile handling. Even better, it’s much more affordable than its looks suggest.” Managing Director at Peugeot UK, Tim Zimmerman, was delighted with the win, saying, “This is a great week for Peugeot.
In the first week that the new 208 goes on sale in the UK, we are especially pleased to receive this key award. “The Auto Express Best Supermini award is the 208’s first international product accolade and recognises its lead position in the highly competitive small car sector. We are confident it is a stylish product of true regeneration, and hopefully this will be the first of many awards to come. “That the RCZ Sports Coupé has again – for the third year running – been awarded the Auto Express Best Coupé prize serves to demonstrate our improved product desirability, which increases with every new car we launch".
The Peugeot 208 has been available to buy in the UK since June 26, starting from £9,99 with a huge choice of engines. Peugeot is no stranger to awards success – the Peugeot 107 was named BusinessCar’s favourite city car in 2008 while the Peugeot 308 VTi was crowned ‘Best Hatchback’ at the Get A Car and CIMB Preferred Best Cars of 2009 awards. The Peugeot 208 is incredible energy-efficient and eco-coscious. Its diesel engines have CO2 from just 87g/km, and all are below 99g/km. Its petrol engines, with an all-new three-cylinder, start from 99g/km. Other winners at the Auto Express New Car Awards 2012 included the Skoda Citigo, which was named as ‘Best City Car’ and ‘Car of the Year’.
The Mercedes S-Class was crowned ‘Best Luxury Car’ with the BMW 1 Series named as ‘Best Compact Family Car’. AUTHOR BIO – Information provided by SaveOnNewCars.co.uk, the UK’s leading supplier of new car deals, vans and automotive finance plans. They can provide fantastic Peugeot 207 deals and amazing offers for other models, which are all UK-supplied vehicles with a full manufacturer warranty.
Every year brings with it a whole new batch of driving-based games, be they racing or combat based or both. Typically, we’ll see new instalments in all of the expected franchises, and 2012 is no exception. That’s not to say that some of those updates don’t look killer, and it’s certainly not to say that there isn’t a healthy dose of brand spanking new high-octane driving action for couch-based petrol-heads to sink their teeth into. Here’s a look at 2012’s vehicular prospects, featuring a mix of perennials and all-new action.
1. DiRT Showdown
This hybrid between a racing and demolition driving game has both single and multi-player gameplay. The game has intense courses with obstacles, pinch points, alternative routes, and ramps to make NASCAR look like child’s play. DiRT pushes the envelope of extreme sports racing with pyrotechnics, unique racing environments, and screeching metal demolition matches.
2. Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage
Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage is a fast paced racing game that incorporates powerful weapons, car upgrades, and challenging environments that demand that you bring your “A” game at all times. Winning races grants you money that can be used to upgrade your car with everything from speed to armor to weapons. The game is currently in open beta testing (you can get the client here) and has already been wowing gamers with an impressive amount of graphical clout. Just check out the video below to see for yourself!
3. MUM: FIM Motorcross World Championship
MUD is a game shaping up to be the definitive motorcross experience. Pulling out the sort of roster you typically expect to see in a football game, the title boasts a full and accurate repertoire of motorcross superstars, teams and bikes. Being the only game to hold the official licenses for the MX1 and MX2 championships, this game will be the only place to get your realistic, up to date motorcross action without saddling up and hitting the dirt. The game features real time terrain deformation that promises to make every race different as the pack of bikes chews up the terra firma.
4. Wrecked: Revenge Revisited
Wrecked: Revenge Revisited is a combat-based driving game with an emphasis on chaos. Players will find themselves engaged in brutal vehicular combat in a variety of different environments, and will have the option to either go it alone in a series of challenges designed to test your speed and weapons handling skills, or otherwise join three other players in competitive or co-op gameplay. The title will boast a wealth of different weapons, each with their own unique traits and will permit players to customise their ride before taking it out of the garage to take on the world. This one should be a must for anyone who was a fan of the classic Twisted Metal games on the Playstation.
5. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
The Need for Speed series has been thrilling PC gamers since 1994 and console gamers since 2002. In January this year, EA announced that a new instalment in the series, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 would be released some time in 2012. Details on the game are still a little thin on the ground at the moment, but you can guarantee one thing: it’s going to be bold, brash, and very, very fast. Definitely one to look forward to. Whet your appetite now with this gameplay from the series’ most recent entry: Need for Speed: The Run.
So there you have it, a look at the biggest upcoming driving games of 2012. If that’s not enough for you, don’t fret, there’s loads more in the pipeline besides, and you know the flow of top quality, max speed racing games isn’t going to abate any time soon.
Prefer the real thing? Check out cheap car rental in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere around the UK from Vroomvroomvroom.co.uk.
Car stereos make long commutes bearable and prevent people from killing each other during traffic jams. In the 1920s, car rides were long and quiet with just the engine and the road noise to keep drivers company. Fortunately, during the 1930s, the car stereo came along.
The first car stereo was the result of three men’s hard work. The three inventors were brothers Paul and Joseph Galvin along with William Lear. Together, they created a dashboard radio by the name of Motorola, which stood for motorized Victrola. The entrepreneurs installed their prototype into a Studebaker. Later, the Motorola Company sold millions of car radios.
During the 1950s, advertisements appeared on billboards, which displayed happy couples driving down the highway listening to the AM radio. Additionally, rock and roll was just starting to become popular.
Finally, in the 1960s, drivers gained control over song selection with the creation of eight-track tapes. Unfortunately, eight-tracks suffered from poor construction, which gave riders terrible sound quality. However, they were still popular due to the song selection opportunity they provided.
Philips introduced compact cassettes by 1964 and during the 1970s, the company offered car drivers a much better way to listen to music in their vehicles. However, many drivers held onto their eight-tracks until the 1980s.
In the early 1970s, custom stereos became available, which gave drivers the opportunity to alter the sound system in their car to suit their personal preferences. Also, companies such as Alpine, Kenwood and Pioneer began selling high-quality equipment. Unfortunately, expensive stereo equipment became the cause of numerous audio thefts, so the stereo companies began manufacturing receivers with removable faceplates.
CDs appeared on the scene in the 1980s, probably still see one on a used Volvo by the middle of the 1990s, they were a common vehicle feature. The quality sound that CDs provided was superior to prior listening systems. Drivers could select the songs they wanted to hear while on the road. In fact, the only problem was the inability to customize a playlist, which wasn’t available until the digital age with MP3 players. Once the iPod became available, drivers had complete control over what they listened to while driving.
Now, with the O series, drivers can control more than their music as the O series can assimilate the iPhone into the vehicle’s stereo system. Furthermore, drivers can safely use all of the iPhone’s technology while in their cars such as an iTunes music compilation, Bluetooth access and the iPhone’s hands-free capabilities. Today, drivers have access to so much more than just music.
Car stereo and entertainment systems have advanced in multiple ways since basic AM and FM radio tuners. Most cars now come with a number of factory installed features, while containing opportunities for upgrades. A car stereo system basically works around a head unit, and a series of speakers. The head unit will feature displays and auxiliary ports for extras like iPods, phones, and Bluetooth, as well as CD players and radio units. While most of these are integrated into the head unit by the Original Equipment Manufacturer, drivers can also add in docking stations, which can be connected to the head unit. When looking to pick the right stereo features, drivers should consider the following issues:
1 – Audio Quality
Audio quality is a crucial element in car stereos. It needs to be sufficiently high enough to stand up to engine and road noise, while not being too distracting. The quality of the audio input in any car is defined by the speakers connected to the head unit. These typically involve main speakers, bass subwoofers, and crossover filters and amplifiers for modulating the sound signal.
Given the need to locate audio equipment within the car without taking up too much space, it is often difficult to create the right sound quality, particularly for speakers that handle bass signals. Different manufacturers will provide audio systems that have preamp and booster technology, while it is possible to install separate speakers at the back of a car. When doing so, drivers need to consider balancing power, volume, and the danger of overheating.
In the same way, the quality of an audio signal will depend on a radio tuner. Older AM and FM radios typically suffer from more interference than digital radios, which often produce more consist outputs. However, these digital signals will cut out altogether if the car is out of range.
2 – Accessibility
No matter what the quality of a stereo system, it needs to be flexible enough to be easily used when driving. Most tuning and volume features are now integrated into steering wheels, and can also be activated by remotes and voice systems, as well as retaining buttons on the head unit itself. Separate screens can also be added to the back of seats, making it easier to remotely control an output. Some cars now come with dual zone technology, enabling different controls to be used in different parts of a vehicle without causing interference.
3 – Extras
Most car stereo and entertainment systems now come with options for jacking different devices into the head unit, either through Bluetooth wireless or cables. The most common option is to plug in hands free mobile phones and iPods or iPhones. The latter can be used to play music through the car stereo, and can be easily fixed to the dashboard of a car through docking stations. When looking for the right station, it is important to find one that produce an excellent sound conversion through the car speakers, while being easy to adjust through the head unit’s controls.
Guest Post – Helena Malawi – I consider myself to be an audio enthusiast; a decent audio system is a must for your hire purchase cars