Category Archives: Automotive Review

Important Steps For Selecting An Auto Repair Shop

When a car breaks down, most customers just want to get back on the road soon without paying an extreme price. However, a little research and patience can go a long way in finding an auto repair shop. In fact, doing the due diligence now means that the next trip to the mechanic won’t be anytime soon.

Find the Best Local Options

There are a few advantages to finding an auto shop in the neighborhood. First, you can ask neighbors and friends for their personal recommendations and experiences. Local shops will value customer loyalty and trustworthiness because they depend on word of mouth to create new customers. Secondly, the car can be dropped off and picked up easily, hopefully avoiding the process of arranging rides to and from the store. Lastly, a strong connection to a neighborhood shop can result in fair pricing to keep the customer coming back.

Check Customer Reviews

Even if the auto repair services aren’t close by, or there are no referrals from friends and family, there are a variety of internet reviews sites worth checking. A lack of reviews online may suggest inexperience. Of course, most stores will have a range of good and bad reviews, but the overall trends about price, customer service, and quality work are worth reading about.

Compare More Than Prices

Shop around and don’t always go with the cheapest option. Some auto repair shops will use a customer’s impatience against them and raise the price when they sense a lack of negotiating skill. Remember that they need the customer and not vice versa. It is hard to wait when your primary mode of transportation needs fixing, but patience can pay off both now and in the future if it results in a good business relationship.

Prepare a List of Questions

In a similar vein, don’t be afraid to ask questions. General questions about their experience, certifications, warranties, and work timeline let a mechanic know that you take this exchange seriously. Of course, getting an estimate on the price is the best way to ensure you’re not getting ripped off, and it helps to do some amount of previous research to understand what a fair price might be. Shopping around and comparing prices can assure the best possible deals.

Get to Know the Mechanic

Establish a good working relationship with the shop to get peace of mind for future auto repairs. Rarely will this be the last visit to a mechanic. Fair pricing, communication, and a serious disposition will result in a good deal for all parties. Furthermore, if you leave a good review online or promise to come back, the relationship will find solid footing.

No matter how the search plays out, remember to trust your instincts and do what feels comfortable. No one wants to deal with a tense or strained business deal. Be patient, have confidence, and rely on those who have been through it before.

Flowmaster Super 40 Series Muffler Review

There are many that are considering buying an aftermarket muffler for their vehicle. There is a lot to choose from out there, all with their unique benefits and sound. I purchased the Flowmaster Super 40 Series Muffler. Flowmaster claims it to be one of their loudest, high flow mufflers. According to Flowmastermufflers.com “The Super 40 has that “deep powerful” sound of the original 40 series but with all the benefits of performance and low interior resonance from the “Delta Flow technology.” I have to say that I agree with the fact that it has a deep powerful sound, however, the interior resonance is significant. I have not heard the interior resonance of a delta flow, but the Super 40 Series still has quite a bit of interior resonance.

I put this muffler on a 2001 Toyota Tundra 4.7 Liter V8. I ordered the muffler online, and when it came I took it and the truck to a local muffler shop and had it installed. The shop simply cut out the stock muffler and installed the new one. The resonator was left alone. I also added a stainless steel tip. From day 1, I have been very impressed with the sound of it.

Between.5 & 2 RPM’s the sound is very throaty and deep, especially when I an really on it, however as my RPM’s increase above 2.5, the sound from the cab get a little quieter and the rev of the engine takes over the sound from the tail pipe. It still sounds really great in my opinion, it’s just not quite what I expected.

As far as performance is concerned, I feel that I have lost a little low end power. With high flow mufflers like this one, this can be common. The horsepower gains that are claimed are true, however, the increased horsepower is found at the higher RPMs. The loss in low end power is enough for me to notice, but not enough to make much of a difference. (I’m picky)

I have not noticed an increase in MPGs. I was hoping that I would, but it remained unchanged. (even with a K&N drop in air filter). I continue to get between 16 and 18 MPG.

Pros:

* Deep throaty sound in the cab and out.

* Great price.

* Increased power (high RPMs).

Cons:

* Not a stainless steel construction, instead it is painted. After several months of use, the lovely black paint has almost all burnt off.

* Around 65 – 70 mph, there is interior resonance that I just don’t like. It goes away at about 72 mph, so not a big deal. I liked it at first, but gets annoying after a while.

Overall, the Flowmaster Super 40 is a great product. I really like the sound of this muffler. It is deep, and smooth. It’s not raspy and “rackety”. It produces a powerful sound and really lets you hear the beast that the 4.7 Liter i-force is. It’s one of the best Toyota aftermarket parts I’ve purchased.

Fuel Legacy and EEFuel Review – Scam Or Miracle Fuel Additive?

Fuel Legacy, or Nonotech Fuel Technology Inc., is based out of Livermore, California. The company manufactures eeFuel, which is a fuel additive which they distribute through network marketing channels. The company claims that eeFuel can improve gas mileage,engine performance, extend the life of an engine, decrease engine knocks, and, who knows, leap over tall buildings with a single bound!!

“Night Rider” would be proud!

The company co-founder is Simon Procopenko. He is a well known entrepreneur in the northern part of California. Simon primarily learned his entrepreneurial “ropes” in the lumber industry, where he transformed a tiny retail operation in to a 20 million dollar a year business. His network marketing experience began in 2001 with NuSkin. He achieved executive distributor status, and built a large international team. He had previous experience with fuel additives as a major “player” with 4E Company. His vision has been to expand on his success with 4E Company by ramping up Nanotech Fuel Technology. Simon has always been an ardent environmentalist and he has passed that philosophy on to Fuel legacy.

The company features a binary compensation plan, which has unlimited width and pays 7 levels deep. The plan also features fast start and mentoring bonuses, and a unique leadership check matching bonus. In addition to a car bonus program, distributors are given free personalized websites. Distributors have the opportunity to purchase the product at wholesale, and sell it at retail. eeFuel is sold in small individual quantities of 4 ounces, and the retail cost is 26.99. Distributors purchase the product for 19.99, so the commission is about 35%.

4 ounces?

Yep, this is some MEGA concentrated stuff. They suggest 8 ml per 10 gallons of gas. The company offers a handy measuring bottle for determining the right amount of eeFuel. Fuel Legacy claims that eeFuel can save consumers between 2 and 3 dollars for every dollar spent on the product.

The company website provides testimonials and some independent research proving the effectiveness of the product. The research I looked at stated that eeFuel improved gas mileage for users between 5%-8%. Certainly worthwhile, but not life changing!

In conclusion, I do not know a thing about Nano Technolgy, and I won’t bore you with the science. The claims made by the company seem a little hard to believe. I also discovered that some cars do not respond to the fuel additive at all! Another factor to be considered is competition. The major automobile manufacturers such as Toyota and G.M. spend millions on product research and development. In a relatively short time, a product could be developed that has all the benefits that eeFuel contains. And, probably at a lower cost. Short term, Fuel Legacy may be a good opportunity. Long term, the opportunity is suspect at best.

Review of the 2017 VW Tiguan for Palm Springs Volkswagen Dealers

So every parent that considers a new vehicle usually has just one important question before all others questions, and that is this…

Just How Safe is VW’s Tiguan for 2017?

There is 7 Stability-Enhancing Technologies designed to increase the safety rating on the all new 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan.

– Electronic Brake-Pressure Distribution (EBD) which helps appropriate stopping power needed when in a hard braking scenario.

– Electronic Stability Control can calibrate the energy from the vehicle to use the appropriate amount of power and rotation to each wheel.

– Intelligent Crash Response System which inside the occasion of an accident the airbags will deploy and the ICRS will switch off the fuel pump, open your doors and activate your emergency lights immediately.

– Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, in the occasion of a collision sometimes your vehicle will not stop. That’s why these vehicles include Automatic Post-Collision Braking System to assist bringing your vehicle to a stop after a collision helping reduce the additional chances of another impact.

– Brake Disc Drying – In the rainfall, your brakes will be dried by applying the windshield wipers to switch on the system for more confident braking power in the rain.

VW’s Tiguan provides daily adventure

If you are searching for an everyday adventurous turbocharged high performing and tech-savvy car full of latest features…

Well then you really want to have a look at the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Sport Utility Vehicle.

A sophisticated vehicle that doesn’t just look terrific but it is extremely versatile too. Other tech option on the VW Tiguan for 2017.

– A Touchscreen sound system.

– Rear view camera system.

– Wireless technology with music streaming for compatible devices like your BlackBerry or iPod.

– Sirius satellite radio with 3-month trial subscription at zero cost to you.

– Touchscreen Navigation system.

– Fender premium stereo.

Starting at price of $24,995 this specific SUV gets 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the freeways of United States of America.

Like I stated earlier that when you get behind the steering wheel is when the magic happens… Now you’ll experience the power of the 4 Cyl 2.0L TSI engine with 200 hp plus 207 pound-feet of torque.

Include the offered 4MOTION all-wheel-drive for extra traction control to enhance the agility and handling.

Engine Specs for the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan.

– 4 cylinder 2.0L TS! 200 hp engine.

– 6-speed automatic transmission.

– 20 city mpg and 24 freeway mpg.

– 207 pound-feet of torque.

– A Tuned-Sports Suspension as an offered option for remarkable drive control.

Exterior Attributes of the 2017 Tiguan by Volkswagen.

For a sportier look, you can go with the 16-inch alloy rims or select a bigger rim and tires set like the 17-inch, 18-inch or perhaps even 19-inch wheels.

Other options include power-operated heated outside mirrors within an integrated turn-signal and available roof rack.

HID headlamps with LED daytime-running lights for a more vibrant range of light to help improve the visibility in the middle of night time driving. This way your eyes will have a lot less straining to see the roadway. Additionally, corner illuminated fog lights for more improved visibility in reduced light circumstances.

Additional highlights like the GPS turn by turn navigation system can also be displayed within the speedometer cluster to keep your eyes focused on the road. Connectivity of your Bluetooth enabled devices do not just stop at iPhone and Androids…

You can also connect a wireless camera as well, like the Go Pro Hero 4 and Hero 4 Sessions. Which come in handy for those trips to the beach, or mountains. Whether you surf, ski or snowboard, capture every moment of the road trip.

Electric Mopeds, Scooters, Bikes And Mobility Scooters Review

In these days of high fuel costs and environmental issues people are looking at ways to save money and help the planet. One way they are doing this is by turning to electric vehicles such as bikes, scooters, mopeds and mobility scooters. They are finding there are many advantages over fueled powered vehicles, mainly cost, environmental factors and parking just to name a few. Another plus is the pure fun of riding these things as you zip through the traffic, taking short cuts, all with the due care, of course.

As I was writing these articles the one thing that struck me is the difference this type of vehicle can make to people’s lives, especially if a car is not viable option. Let’s look at the people who have some physical problem that restricts their mobility, with an electric motor scooter they can gain a tremendous amount of independence in their lives by doing those ordinary day to day things we take for granted. It also means that they do not have to rely on other people to do these things for them.

As the popularity of these vehicles grow the options they now have is enormous and they are so cost effective you can have than one type for different usage and also backup if there is a breakdown in one machine. What I mean is you can have a fold-away machine for convenience and storage or a full blown machine that will take you almost anywhere with ease. Also the batteries and chargers are much more sophisticated allowing less monitoring coupled with better power storage. For the bikes there are also after market kits that can be fixed to a normal machine without going to the expense of buying a specialty machine.

It will pay to check your local rules and regulations for your area in regards to licensing and insurance. You find in most areas that you will not need a special license and in some cases children as young as 12 years old will be able to take these machines on the road. Also, in a lot of cases, your current automobile, household and/or health insurance will cover for most mishaps.

I have written a separate article for each group that I have mentioned here and you find the links on the left hand side of this page. Please enjoy them

A Viper 5902 Review and Finding the Best Price on This Car Alarm System

Have you been looking for a good alarm system for your vehicle? Perhaps, you’d also like to enjoy the benefits of having a remote start system for your vehicle too? Well, in this Viper 5902 review you will learn if this is the system for you. You will read about all of the advantages this system has as well as where you can find it for less.

Viper 5902 Review: The Advantages

The first thing you need to know about this system is that it has everything you’ve been looking for and more. It is a quality car alarm and it also offers remote start up. There are many people who think that a remote start up is a little extravagant and a waste of money. However, a remote start up system will allow you to start your vehicle from the house which is especially important during the colder months. This prevents you from having to sit in your idling car while you warm it up and can help you feel much more comfortable as opposed to sitting there shivering in a cold car.

While the car alarm and remote start up features are the main advantages you’ll find that there are still more exciting features. With this system, you should be able to control your vehicle from up to a mile away. However, some people have stated in their Viper 5902 review that these results aren’t typical, but the range is excellent nonetheless. In addition, the remote features an HD screen that displays a ton of useful information. You can instantly know what the interior temperature of your vehicle is, whether any sensors have been bypassed, the approximate run time before your vehicle will shut off, the remaining time on your parking meter. The system comes with two remotes – one remote has the HD screen and the other has the typical button controls.

Where to Get the System for Less

There are a number of places where you can find this particular alarm/remote start up system. However, if you want to find it for the best price, then you need to start shopping around a little. More than likely, after you’ve explored all of your options, you’ll find that the best deals are on-line. Some vendors will offer free shipping in addition to the already low price for the system. So, take the advice in this Viper 5902 review and purchase your new Viper alarm/remote start up system on-line – you’ll save money!

Review of the Sumitomo HTR ZIII For Porsche

When I purchased my 1997 Porsche 993 C4S the odometer read 24,000 miles. From the service history I could see that it had four new tires installed (Continental ContiSportContact 2s) less than 4,000 miles ago. This basically matched up with the information from my PPI and with my visual inspection upon receipt of the car.

Enjoying the car as much as I do, I clocked more than 6000 miles last season (including a great trip to Prince Edward Island). This meant the tires now had 10,000 miles on them and the rear tires were starting to feel a little worn. It was very subtle at first, a little chirp around a tight corner or a quick spin on a fast start. Given these signs I decided to start shopping for new tires.

The first place I started was the 993 forum on Rennlist (RL). As a quick aside, if you haven’t been to Rennlist, and you own a Porsche (any type of Porsche), you owe it to yourself to check it out. The recommendations and opinions on RL were varied, to say the least. Like me, a lot of people felt strongly that you get what you pay for and therefore the more expensive tires must be the best. Thankfully, especially grateful was my bank account, I/they were wrong.

Tire Choices for a Porsche 993

Back in January I posted this article “Tire Choices for a Porsche 993.” As you can see I had listed the following tires as my choices:

1. Bridgestone Potenza S-02

2. Continental ContiSportContact 2

3. Pirelli PZero Rosso

4. Michelin Pilot Sport Rib

I even went on to mention the following two tires as cheaper alternatives but I was going to shy away from them as I felt “you get what you pay for.”

5. Sumitomo HTR Z II

6. BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW 2

As I said, turns out I was wrong. When push came to shove and it was time to pull the trigger to purchase the new tires for my Porsche, I did one last round of research. What I found was this thread which pushed me over the edge.

Sumitomo HTR Z III for Porsche

You see, when I was researching, the Sumitomo HTR Z III wasn’t on the list (just the HTR Z II). It seems that with the HTR Z III, Sumitomo made some significant improvements. So, without wasting any more time, I went online to The Tire Rack and ordered four (4) new tires all for $700 delivered. That’s a cost savings of almost 45% to my original choice of the Michelin Pilot Sport Rib.

My 993 was scheduled to visit the shop for a spring check-up, 30k service and brake bleed so I opted to have the tires delivered directly to them. After seeing the wear pattern on my old tires I decided to do a four-wheel alignment (they were cupping a little on the interior front edges) along with a hi-speed balance. This way, not only am I starting with a matched set of four new shoes, but I know they alignment and balance is correct. Assuming I keep the proper air-pressure and don’t play too hard, I should get some significant wear from these tires. First Impressions

Since picking the car up I have turned almost 1500 miles on the new tires, each one with a huge smile on my face. The Sumitomo HTR Z IIIsare as advertised. They are very sticky, with a firm/stiff sidewall that handle great for daily driving (spirited or otherwise). I have not yet used them on the track or in the rain so I can’t comment on that aspect. However, for driving on back roads, highways and anywhere else, I am most pleased. They stick as good, if not better, than any tire I have driven in the past. They seem to blend well with my stock suspension and absorb the bumps and pot holes quite well. I can’t comment on road noise as I usually have the windows open or the revs too high to hear.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with these tires and would recommend them highly to anyone, for any modern Porsche, regardless of budget. We all know that there are lots and lots of modifications to do to our Porsches. So, if you can get a great bang for the buck with this tire, why not turn around and roll the money into another mod!! Keep sliding down that slippery slope.

Limited Edition Fiat Stilo Review – The Most Elegant Italian Coupe Money Can Buy

Fiat has always built fast and engaging enthusiasts cars, whether it is the petite 127 from the 70s, or the stylish Punto Turbo in the 90s, the combination of chic Italian styling and eager rev-happy engines has made the brand popular with drivers everywhere for as long as one can remember. Combine this intrinsic driveability with sleek coupe styling and you have some of the most enigmatic and unforgettable coupes in recent memory. The elegant 124 Coupe was the car to have in the 70s, with its lusty twin-cam 1.8-litre engine and clean seductive lines. By comparison, Volkswagen at the time was still building the air-cooled Beetle, and finalising development of the Mk 1 Golf.

This tradition continues with the Fiat Stilo 2.4, particularly the limited edition ‘Michael Schumacher’s version. What makes this car so special is that it once again brings together Italian good looks with a powerful engine under the bonnet, and a sense of style that most other carmakers are desperately trying to imitate. Worldwide, the number of ‘Schumacher’ Stilos is capped at 3500 units, each of them bearing a numbered plaque on the dashboard. Singapore has been allotted 50 units that are available from now until the middle of next year.

It goes without saying that trendy designer labels are an Italian creation, and few cars are as innately stylish as the three-door Stilo, which by the way translates to ‘style’ in Italian; the combination of crisp, laser-cut lines at the front flow into a dynamic wedge-shaped passenger compartment and resolve neatly with the dramatic trapezoidal tail lamps. The subtle flaring of the bodywork around the rear wheels gives the Stilo strong ‘shoulders’ that evoke power and strength. And the manner in which the rear profile slopes forward gives the whole car a hold stance and an undeniable sense forward motion. For even more drama, the Schumacher version gets a lowered suspension, sporty Zender sill extensions and stylish 17-inch alloy rims.

But this limited edition Stilo is more than just eye-candy. Underneath the bonnet, there is a potent 20-valve 2.4-litre five-cylinder engine that puts out an impressive 170bhp. Just as Audi, Honda, and most recently Volvo, have discovered, an in-line five-cylinder offers the best of both worlds – it is just marginally larger and heavier than a four-pot unit, but provides similar output figures to a straight- or V6 engine. In the best Fiat tradition, this car is blisteringly quick, and feels potent and lusty, even when pressed. In fact, it just thrives on being pushed.

Falken Ziex ZE-912 Review

Everybody looks for a tire that gives the vehicle a good grip in all weather conditions. One will also look for good traction and durability and you will find all this in the Falken Ziex ZE-912. This is a well research design that gives you the confidence to take your vehicle out in all kinds of weather conditions and terrains. It comes with an asymmetric hybrid pattern which improves the performance of the tire in dry conditions. These quiet tires are best for mid sized cars as well as wagons. They work great at all speeds and the grip is still good beyond the squeal point.

To increase the hydroplaning resistance, this tire has 4 high volume grooves. This increases the control on the vehicle in wet weather conditions. Not everybody is an expert at estimating tread wear. For this reason, the Falken Ziex ZE-912 has tread wear indicators. This can help you maximize the life of your tire. The variable cross grooves on the tires decrease the noise and makes the tire quieter. The sipe sequence is of importance during the winter weather as it increases the traction and in general gives you a better grip.

The Falken Ziex ZE-912 tire comes with a warranty. If you go for the 60 or 65 series, you will get a 65,000 miles limited warranty and on the 55 series, you will get a 40,000 miles limited warranty. The different models of the tire come with differed load bearing capacities and if this feature is important to you, you should give it consideration. You can also choose between the tread widths although the tread depth remains the same in all the Falken Ziex ZE-912 tires. Whether you plan to use it on the highway or curvy mountain roads, this tire will not disappoint you.

Car Battery Brand Review – Optima Car Battery

Optima Car Batteries are a very popular car battery brand. They are known to be very reliable and pricey. Its reliability and brand comes at a price. They come in three different types: red, blue, and yellow. The batteries are manufactured specifically with the consumer in mind. All these factors combined are the reasons why they are known as the best brand out there but it comes at an expensive price.

Optima’s yellow top batteries is perfect for modern cars. It can repeatedly bounce back from deep power drains to full energy capacity. These batteries usually last up to 2x longer than regular batteries. They have deep cycling and cranking power and are completely spill proof. This means they can be mounted in many positions. Yellow top have faster recharging capabilities and starting power regardless of temperature. Best of all, they are maintenance free. They are perfect for vehicles with multiple electronics and high demanding audio systems.

Optima’s red top are known for their strong ignition power. They have high-CCA(cold cranking amps) and provide the strongest 5-second ignition power. These also last 2x longer than normal batteries. Red top batteries provide 15x more vibration resistance and are also spill proof. They are maintenance free and provide fast recharging capabilities. Ultimately, they are known for their optimal starting power regardless of temperature.

Optima’s blue top are very useful for vehicles such as boats or RVs. They get 3x more recharges and also provide 15x the vibration resistance. As with all Optima car batteries, they are completely spill proof. The extra recharging capabilities that the blue top batteries come with are particularly useful for vehicles such as RVs because RVs tend to drain batteries very quickly with their electronics.

Personally, I have found Optima car batteries to a very good choice even with the cost of them, they have lasted me for quite a few years and have proven extremely durable. They can carry a charge for a very long time and can even be placed in storage for a long time and still be ready-to-use.

In conclusion, this battery brand is only worth it if you intend to use electronically high demanding vehicles;however, if you want a very reliable battery and have the money, you may want to just purchase the optima car batteries. Otherwise, it may be the wisest choice to go with another cheaper and reliable brand.