Things To Consider When Shopping For A New Car

Kia

When you’re shopping for a new vehicle, keep in mind what it is your trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself:

If you have kids do they typically like to bring a friend along on a family excursion, and could this new vehicle safely accommodate an extra person in the back. Are you looking for a new vehicle that’s better on gas, or perhaps a vehicle that has all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive to get you through the winter months when commuting to work.

When looking at a new car do you have a family of four or greater, is there room in the cargo area to fit groceries. I did find this to be an issue while looking at some of the crossovers and compact SUVs on the market.

Also what type of a warranty does the new vehicle come with, and what are the crash test ratings and customer reviews of that vehicle.

The Issue :

My wife and I both commute about 50 miles to work each day round trip, in opposite directions. We own two SUV’s and found ourselves spending so much money on gas and repairs each month, that it made sense to find a vehicle that was newer than ten years old and better on gas. Living in New England, the winter months can get downright treacherous while commuting during snow storms and blizzards.

The Hunt:

Armed with dealer invoice figures ( I used the TruCar app for your IPhone), along with some automotive review and crash test rating knowledge, it was time to hit the new car lots.  My first thought was to find an economical crossover or a compact SUV that had decent gas mileage, which would also satisfy our goals including the amount of money that I wanted to spend.

We had to have a vehicle that was low cost and four-wheel-drive because we had to sell one of the SUVs that we own… or so we thought….

Regroup:

After some major sticker shock it was time to hop back into old reliable, and to head back home to do a little more research. On my way home I couldn’t help but think, what is it that we’re trying to accomplish and what do we own. These are questions to ask yourself. After all, buying a new vehicle is a huge investment, but do it right and it may make a lot of sense.

We own a two SUVS, both very good in inclement weather (they just tend to gobble up parts once in a while, and use a ton of gas). However, it also never hurts to have an extra vehicle on-hand, in-case one of them breaks down you now have a backup vehicle to commute to work in while making repairs on the vehicle that’s down for the moment.

Owning one SUV that’s seventeen years old, and another that’s ten years old, at this point in the game it doesn’t cost much to register them every year and keep them on the road. I decided to  keep the two SUVs, cycle in a new economy car to commute in that is awesome on gas, it had to have a killer warranty and more importantly it has to be low cost!

Smart Shopping:

If you’re shopping for an economy car, that has great gas mileage you don’t have to spend a ton of money. While weighing the options I quickly noticed that you can find economy cars starting at around twelve thousand dollars that have fuel economy ratings at over 30 city and 40 miles per gallon highway.

Technology has come such a long way over the years, that some of the new fuel economy ratings are where the hybrid vehicles used to be at.  That’s enough to make anyone smile.

While shopping around and making decisions I ended up purchasing the new 2014 KIA RIO, which gets around 27 city and 37 highway for gas mileage and also comes with all kinds of fun gadgets that make the ride to work a little more enjoyable. This allowed me to cycle in a new vehicle, and to also keep costs low.

 

 

 

Austin Dillon Sets The #3 On The Pole For Daytona 500!

When the command is given to “Fire Em Up” during this years 56th annual Daytona 500; Austin Dillon will be behind the wheel of a number that his grandfather ran, but was also made famous by Dale Earnhardt. It’s a number that since Dale’s death had unofficially been retired until the right driver came along to carry on the legacy of the #3.

As the grandson of Richard Childress,  the time seemed right to  bring the number back to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and to place Austin behind the wheel. With a blessing from Dale Jr. and his sister Kelly, Austin had received a green light to run the number for the first time in over twelve years.

Someone may have been smiling down from the heavens, because during the time trials on Sunday, Austin Dillon went around Daytona International Speedway at a speed of 196.019 MPH which was landed the Dow sponsored Chevrolet smack dab on the Pole for Sunday’s race.

At the drop of the green flag on Sunday, there will certainly be cheers and tears from many race fans as they watch the number 3 lead the pack across the start/finish line for the “Great American Race”.

Spotlight: Eastern Michigan Camaro Club

Today, we are inaugurating a new feature here on the 1A Auto blog. Periodically, we will be spotlighting some really great resources out there in the automotive world, such as car clubs, owners groups, enthusiast communities, shows / events, and more that we think our devoted 1A Auto readers and fans might find interesting and useful. If you have a great automotive website or resource you would like us to share with the rest of the 1A Auto community, like and message us with suggestions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/1AAuto.

Our first spotlight is on the Eastern Michigan Camaro Club. The Camaro was introduced to the world in 1966 and the rest is history as it has become one of the most famous cars ever made. This non-profit club was formed in 1991 to bring together Camaro owners and those who just plain love Camaros from the local area to gather at club meetings, exchange some laughs and experiences about their Camaros, do some cruising, and just have some fun. The club is also dedicated to sharing their love and passion from one of America’s greatest Muscle cars with others in order to further awareness and loyalty of the car. If you own a Camaro and happen to live nearby, check out their website for details about membership and more at http://www.emcamaro.org/Home.html.

The club also holds the longest running all-Camaro event in the United States each year – the CAMARO SUPERFEST. The show draws a few hundred Camaros each year and is also one of the biggest Camaro events in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, the show had over 400 participants! This year’s show will be held on July 4th, 5th, and 6th at the Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Michigan and some of the proceeds go to charity; they are looking to raise $5,000 this year! One of the cool things about the show is that on Friday, they will be heading out to the Michigan International Speedway and allow participants to drive their Camaros on the rack for a few laps, with a picture at the start-finish line. How cool is that? Registration for the event will be open soon, so visit their dedicated website for the show at http://www.camarosuperfest.com/Home.html.

“Wild” 360 Degree Barrel Roll In A Truck

The other day, we shared with you the amazing video of Jean Claude Van Damme performing an epic split between two Volvo Trucks driving in reverse. Well, if you didn’t think that was wild, we have another amazing video that has also gone viral in the past few days. We feel obligated to share it since, well, it’s just plain awesome to watch.

In the video, TORC Series racer Adrian “The Wildman” Cenni is driving a bright orange, modified four wheel drive truck. The truck speeds up the ramp that is positioned on the dirt track, hitting its target and then flying through the air, then does a barrel roll before landing on the ground upright and in one piece. A barrel roll is usually reserved for planes (or James Bond flicks), as shown below, not trucks.

James Bond Car Jump2.jpg

The stunt, which was performed at the 2013 Tecate Score Baja 1000 in Mexico last Friday, apparently was the world’s first barrel roll in a truck. Check it out below, pretty amazing stuff. Oh, and don’t try this at home.

Volvo Trucks, Jean Claude Van Damme, and an Epic Split

The Internet is going nuts over a new online commercial that has gone viral since it debuted this past week. It stars martial arts and action movie legend Jean Claude Van Damme (his friends call him JCVD) and a pair of Volvo Trucks. The video, and the stunt performed in it, is, in a word, epic. Mind-blowing would also be a good way to describe it.

The video begins with a close-up of 53 year-old (!!) Van Damme, and then the camera pans out to show that Van Damme has a foot on one of each truck’s side view mirrors as the trucks are driving in reverse. A small platform was built on each of the trucks’ side view mirrors. While this is happening, Van Damme provides a voice-over that lets us know that “what you see is a body that has been crafted to perfection, a pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics, and a mindset to master the most epic of splits. Then the two trucks he is standing on begin to slowly drift further and further apart – while Enya’s Only Time plays in the background – forcing Van Damme to perform one of his classic splits. This one however, is beyond any you may have seen in Bloodsport, Kickboxer, or any other of JCVD’s great films.

Volvo is saying that what you see is completely legit, with the exception that he was hooked to safety wires that were digitally removed. His feet though were not secured to the mirrors whatsoever; he just had the safety harness attached just in case so that if he did fall off, he wouldn’t be seriously injured, or worse. Volvo didn’t want to be responsible obviously for the death of the legendary movie tough guy. Volvo also says that the stunt was done in one take (though they rehearsed the stunt for a few days prior), and that “the ad is designed to show off the trucks’ Volvo Dynamic Steering.”

If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and hit the play button on the video below. You may end up watching it over and over again, like I have.

Exhaust Manifolds vs. Headers

Many people ask us here at 1A Auto what the difference is between an exhaust manifold and a header. Well, today is your lucky day because we are going to tell you….and then you can go tell all of your friends and look all smart and whatnot. It will be our little secret but hey, that’s what we are here for.

While exhaust manifolds and headers play the same role in engines, namely channeling exhaust away from the cylinder head to the exhaust pipe and eventually out the back of the vehicle, there are important differences between them. Essentially, headers are upgrade parts designed for performance applications, while exhaust manifolds are more utilitarian. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and which one you choose will be influenced by your needs.

Exhaust manifolds are frequently formed of cast iron in a block-like configuration. This gives them sturdiness and longevity. Because the cast iron material is thick, it holds on to heat well, which is good for emissions and keeps heat from leaking to other nearby parts. The thick walls do, however, mean there is a small space for exhaust gases to pass through, and the iron casting makes the interior rough which can slow the flow of exhaust gases. This creates back pressure which keeps the exhaust from being cleared as efficiently as possible. This reduces the efficiency and ultimately the power of the engine because exhaust must go out to allow fresh fuel and air in.

This is the problem that headers are intended to solve. Headers are aftermarket upgrade exhaust manifolds that use an individual steel tube for each cylinder. These tubes all connect to a collector pipe.  The tubes are smooth and equal in length. This ensures that the gases from each cylinder reach the collector separately, avoiding back pressure. This benefit can be lost if other exhaust components are not also upgraded. If the exhaust pipe that follows the headers is too restrictive it can introduce back pressure to the exhaust system and diminish the power advantage of headers. Another disadvantage of headers is that due to their thinner walls, they do not absorb as much sound as cast iron exhaust manifolds, making them louder (although some may see this an advantage). Some vehicles do come with stock tubular steel manifolds. Primarily these are for performance vehicles, such as sports cars. Jeep also notably uses tubular steel exhaust manifolds.

That my friends, is all there is to it when it comes to exhaust manifolds and headers. Hopefully we were able to clear things up for you!

Finally, a Repair Video on a Clown Head Antenna Ball!

Do you find yourself staring at your faceless, beat up, and weathered antenna ball, wondering how in the world you will ever be able to replace it? Of course! Everyone does! Luckily for us, 1A Auto has finally created the video that we have all been waiting for. It shows exactly how to replace your old, faceless, disheveled antenna ball with a fresh new clown-head antenna ball. We’re making dreams come true, one clown-head antenna ball at a time.

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