Tag Archives: Review

When Did You Last Review Your Insurance Coverage?

When is the last time you compared rates on your home and auto insurance policies? Unfortunately, policies held for a long period of time accompanying a stellar safety record don’t always translate into lower insurance rates. Even if you think you have a good rate, shopping around periodically is smart.

After receiving my April newsletter and attempting to follow my advice of maintaining an umbrella insurance policy, one of my readers contacted his insurer to add coverage. This reader was shocked when his insurer informed him that he didn’t qualify for an umbrella policy because he didn’t carry sufficient liability insurance on his auto policy. (Minimum auto liability insurance – frequently $500,000 – is required in order to purchase umbrella coverage.) Although this individual had owned his policy for eight years, he was unaware that the policy only provided $50,000 of liability coverage. This amount was clearly insufficient for an individual approaching and preparing for retirement.

In addition to realizing that he was severely underinsured, this individual discovered he was also paying excessive premiums. For only $50,000 of auto liability coverage, this person was paying $914 per year. Moreover, the individual realized he was paying $351 per year for the $350,000 of liability coverage the individual had on his condo.

Consequently, in total, this person was paying $1,265 per year for $50,000 of auto liability and $350,000 of home liability coverage.

This individual then spoke with an independent insurance agent to increase auto liability coverage to an amount that enabled him to obtain an umbrella policy. This was critical, as it dramatically decreased the individual’s liability exposure, a risk an individual with accumulated assets clearly shouldn’t have. Even better, the individual was able to obtain dramatically improved rates on his policies. For a total of $1,207 (less than he was previously paying!), the individual was able to secure $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage, $350,000 of home liability, and an additional $1,000,000 umbrella policy.

Clearly, it can be beneficial to occasionally review and compare rates on your insurance policies. People tend to believe that policies that have been owned for extended periods of time are efficiently priced, but it may be the opposite. If you haven’t verified that you are adequately insured and conducted a cost comparison recently, speak to an independent insurance agent and minimize your exposure with cost-effective policies.

The Thule 605 Ascent 1700 Rooftop Cargo Box – A Review

The Thule 605 Ascent 1700 rooftop cargo box is capable of carrying most types of cargo, particularly vacation cargo and the items you would need for day trips.

Looks-wise, this box is styled so as to compliment the shape of most modern vehicles and it does, although it obviously looks more appropriate on a bigger vehicle.

Naturally, it’s styled with aerodynamics in mind so as to minimize air resistance and ultimately fuel consumption – particularly important on longer journeys.

With its color black, it will universally suit any color vehicle, and it should keep its smooth finish for as long as you use it because of the scratch proof material it’s made of, it is also waterproof, so no need to worry about driving rain getting in and spoiling your possessions.

Getting the Thule 605 Ascent 1700 rooftop cargo box on top of your vehicle is easy, I found between 5 and 10 minutes should be enough time – and that’s first time after getting it out of its delivery box. By the way, you’ll need either a built-in rack or one that you installed to fix it to.

After you’ve installed your box, you’ll obviously want to get your cargo in. You can do this via the sides of the box, either side, in fact. In practical terms this is the easiest access route for adding and removing any items. This is standard with all of Thule’s Ascent boxes.

For when you have to leave your vehicle unattended, security is paramount, and while there’s obviously a high chance there are desirable items within for less scrupulous hands to carry away, they won’t be able to see what’s inside. The box itself is very securely fitted to the vehicle and the central locking, Thule’s own system, will keep unwanted hands away from your possessions.

All said, the Thule 605 Ascent 1700 rooftop cargo box is a very useful accessory to have on your vehicle, it creates more space for you and your cargo, it’s secure, easy to install and use and can be used to carry most things; skis, backpacks and so on.

Pioneer AVIC-X940BT Review

The navigation covers all the states in USA including Alaska and Hawaii states, Canada and Puerto Rico are also included and with over 12 million points of interest in the database this must be one of the most comprehensive navigation systems developed. The pioneer AVIC-X940BThas a state of the art in built Bluetooth wireless technology which synchronizes with your phone to allow you to make hands-free phone calls allowing you to drive more safely and obey the traffic regulation the blue tooth technology also allows you to stream music from your smart phone.

Some of the basic features include: Built in 50w x 4 amplifier, 8-Band graphic equalizer, rear camera input, advanced touch slide operation

To get the full picture of the pioneer AVIC-X940BT lets have a look in details on the new features which make it stand out in the market and a number one choice for consumers.

AHA RADIO

The aha radio is your browsing companions in the car keeping you updated on the latest Facebook updates, tweets and other social media sites and it is operated by a convenient touch screen. In addition the Aha radio enables you to listen to thousands of radio stations which include the local stations, internet radio, podcasts and audio books.

The pioneer AVIC-X940BT aha radio is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices that are supported by the Bluetooth serial ports, all you need to do is download a free pioneer AVIC-X940BT Aha Radio app to the iPhone or Android device and you can personalize you car entertainment.

PANDORA INTERNET RADIO

The pioneer AVIC-X940BT has the Pandora internet radio feature which is designed to help you find new music online as well as your favorite music that you already know. The pioneer AVIC-X940BT allows you to enjoy excellent sound quality and full control of the internet radio via a touch screen display allowing you to give song a thumps up or a thumps down this is very convenient especially when you are driving. A new feature included is the “song book mark” feature which allows you to book mark songs and purchase them later.

BLUETOOTH.

The pioneer AVIC-X940BThas the latest Bluetooth features which allows you to easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone without going through some cumbersome and complicated settings. This feature will enable you to make hands free calls making you stay safe and obey local hands-free laws. An interesting feature of the pioneer AVIC-X940BT Bluetooth is the ability to automatically pair two units which are in close proximity to the receiver. The Bluetooth feature also enables one to wirelessly stream music from a portable device as well as control the device once it is paired.

ADVANCED APPLICATION MODE

The pioneer AVIC-X940BTadvanced application mode has revolutionalized the way we work and live by making the car a part of your life. The advanced application mode enables you to control compatible application directly from the dash for instance when connected to an iPhone 4/4s or a fourth generation iPod touch you can get all your contacts, calendars, maps and many more applications directly on the touch screen which has an interface designed for safe in-vehicle operation.

TOTAL TRAFFIC NETWORK.

The pioneer AVIC-X940BT provides real time traffic data covering over 90 major cities in North America and Canada, this enables you to check your commute route before you depart and it provides information on traffic and alternative routes enabling you to re route and avoid traffic congestion. The pioneer AVIC-X940BT total traffic network has no subscription costs or annoying adverts.

Poor Man’s BMW: 2014 Mazda 6 Review and Road Test

Over the last five years it seems that the companies that make midsize sedans are in a race to top. Every year one brand seems to leap-frog another in the competition to build a reasonably priced car that looks and feels like a premium entry from BMW or Lexus. The latest escalation of this conflict takes the shape of the 2014 Mazda 6 sedan. While the Mazda 6 has been around since 2004, the last generation was off the radar for most buyers. With radical, sporty styling and impressive quality this Mazda may be poised to upset the status quo in the segment much the way the Mazda 3 did for compacts 10 years ago.

On the inside the Mazda 6 has a germanic look about it which is a common trend in midsize sedans. What is special about this interior is the materials are comparable in appearance and feel to a 3 series BMW. Everything from the door handles, to the dash padding,steering wheel and shifter feels solid and well crafted. The infotainment and navigation are controlled with a wheel behind the shifter, much like BMW’s iDrive. As well as looking expensive the infotainment system is well equipped, even on the base model. All models have bluetooth audio streaming and USB interface. Dual zone climate control is offered on most models which is a welcome feature. Overall the Mazda 6 has the nicest interior of any midsize sedan on sale today.

On the road the Mazda 6 suffers slightly from it less than powerful 189hp 4 cylinder engine. While the car can accelerate fast enough for most day to day driving it lacks an extra punch to match the sporty styling of the car. The transmission is excellent and shifts quickly and smoothly.

The ride of the car is firm but still very comfortable in the tradition of the best sporting sedans. What comes as a disappointment with the Mazda 6 is the steering. It feels much more like something from one its far stodgier rivals like the Toyota Camry. While the car corners very well it lacks steering feel and does not feel responsive. That would be a let down on any car, but it’s worse with the Mazda 6 because our expectations are so high.

The bottom line:A beautiful interior and expressive styling all at a reasonable price. This is as close to premium sports sedan quality as the midsize segment gets.

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.