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Love the look of your new car? Your new car can keep its condition and near-mind shape a lot longer if you follow a few tips that are shown below. Good maintenance is essential with any major machine or electronic. For instance, alignment and balancing is required on each tire change, or when there is attrition in the structure of uneven tires.

 

Oil, air and fuel filters must be replaced according to the expiration date of your owner’s manual. Batteries should be checked every 3 months, even though they usually last two years. Lights need to be checked every 6 months. The oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles and brake pads need to be checked every 10,000 km to see if there is a sign of wear on the pad. Windshield wipers should be checked and replaced every 12 months in case of dryness or the deformation of rubber.

 

As you can see there are plenty of things you should keep up with concerning your car, but here are 10 tips that will help you avoid expensive car bills and keep up your vehicle’s dashing appearance:

 

1.     Rainproof the windshield.

2.     Use commercial car washes instead of doing it at home.

3.     Eliminate distractions while on the road.

4.     Lower your seat.

5.     Make sure your lights are on, even during the day.

6.     Make sure your review mirror is in a certain spot so it makes you sit straight.

7.     Never anticipate shifting.

8.     Make sure your hands are in the right position on the steering wheel.

9.     Never anticipate a green light.

10.  Look both ways before driving across or turning down a street.

 

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07
December

The Toyota RAV4 made its premiere in 1994 as the actual founder of the compact SUV. The numerous imitators in the past decades, however have made it difficult for Toyota to build a strong fan base.

Sales were down this year by 15% and, in October, sales were 38% less than September 2012. With a completely new model set for the 2013 year, the Japanese now want to build on previous successes. Blair Stover has more on the story below.

The new RAV4, which stands for Recreational Active Vehicle has 4-wheel drive, is 4.57 meters which is about 20 centimeters longer than its predecessor. Also, the width was increased by three centimeters. The design has been adapted to the meet Toyota’s current design language and now resembles the new Auris.

The vehicle is a two-liter diesel with 124 hp and start-stop system, which comes only with front-wheel drive. A two-liter gas engine with 151 hp and a diesel engine with 2.2 liter displacement is also available. Both are sold only in conjunction with all-wheel drive. Toyota also offers a six-speed transmission/six-speed automatic version as well.

The driving force is automatically adjusted depending on road conditions and traction. For off-road driving, the new RAV4 has a 4WD lock switch. Another new feature is the Sport mode: It influences the accelerator characteristics, the steering and the switching behavior of the automatic version.

The cabin is oriented towards the driver and the positioning is ergonomic. These include an enlarged Toyota adjustment of seat height and a steep standing steering wheel. The boot holds 547 liters of luggage. An additional storage compartment under the load floor offers extra storage as well.

What do you think of the new design? Share your thoughts, hopes, and hates for the new RAV4 here at Blair Stover Car Fanatic.

 

Driving on wet roads can be really dangerous if you are not used to doing so. In fact, even experienced drivers have problems when the rain is coming down hard. Driving safe means knowing a few tips for driving in wet conditions, including these tips gathered by Blair Stover Car Fanatic below.

 

If it rains too heavily to where you cannot see, pull off safely from the highway or rural roads and wait until the rain starts to slow down. You should never drive faster than the posted speed limit and in most cases you should drive a little slower.

 

If you come across an area where you know there are puddles or pools of water on the roadway you run the risk of hydroplaning. This means that when the tire hit the water it will start to “float” across the water, which means you will lose traction with the road and you could lose control of the car. If you happen to experience this, depress the clutch (for manual drivers) and never brake. Wait until the tires regain contact with the road.

 

Another very important point is the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. In the rain, you should choose to be at least twice the distance behind the vehicle that you would normally be because the braking distance is extended.

 

If pedestrians or cyclists are in the vicinity, you have to make sure there is adequate side clearance for them and you pass them with moderate speed. There is nothing worse than hitting a pedestrian by accident or spraying one with a puddle when you are too close.

 

Be careful as you drive through the weather this year to get to your holiday destinations! Where are you headed this month?

The future of automotive technology is here, or so the automotive manufacturers want us to think.  Toyota, Nissan and Chevy are battling over people who are buying entry-level cars while Tesla, Porsche and Fisker are making a statement on the higher end of things. Blair Stover has more on this story below.

 

Even in today’s recession-filled market, some automotive giants feel the need to show their dominance by producing cars that only 0.02% of the world could afford. These expensive sports cars are combining the highest in performance with an even higher price tag.

 

Skeptics are looking at this as a new reason to complain over cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness but some automakers, like Porsche and Fisker, just want to bring luxury and expensiveness back to America. It seems they have done that and then some. Check out these three sports cars that are hitting the American auto market hard:

 

Tesla Roadster

 

Elon Musk founded Tesla in California back in 2003 and he has been selling a wide variety of plug-in vehicles for years. His Roadster will hit 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds is already sold out in the United States even though its sticker price is set at $130,000. The great thing about the car is that it will travel 245 miles before it needs to be recharged.

 

Fisker Karma

 

The legendary Henrik Fisker designed the BMW Z8 Roadster and the Aston Martin. Now that he has his own business, he has invented the most beautiful thing ever- the Fisker Karma. The price tag is at $120,000 but is a gas and electric powered vehicle. It will get 66 miles to the gallon and you can drive it well over 200 miles before recharging.

 

Porsche 918 Spyder

 

If you have deep pockets and love fast cars, then the Porsche 918 Spyder is for you. At $845,000, it is the highest electric car on the market but it is worth it. It goes 0-60 in 2.8 seconds and will get up to 124 mph in 8.85 seconds.

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Safety is always a major concern when buying a vehicle these days, especially when you have a family to look after. Children are a particular concern when safety is in play and car manufacturers are designing minivans to be safer every year. Blair Stover Car Fanatic aims to help consumers make the best choice when it comes to buying a car, so let’s take a look at the three safest minivans on the market.

 

Chrysler’s 2012 Town and Country

 

This vehicle has been one of the safest on the market for years and it probably will be for years to come. It has over 40 safety features ranging from the seven airbags that come standard to the rear backup camera. This van was made with the driver’s safety in mind and Chrysler is ensuring that all of its passengers are safe as well. The great thing about it is the price will not break the bank – $29,995.

 

Dodge’s 2012 Grand Caravan

 

One more excellent option for drivers is the Dodge Caravan which has standard features ranging from stability control to standard airbags throughout the vehicle. The van is almost $10,000 cheaper than the Town and Country and is just as safe. Even though it may not have the elegance of the T&C, it certainly has the safety.

 

Honda’s 2012 Odyssey

 

This vehicle got a ranking of 9.8 out of 10. You really can’t do much better than that in the car world when it comes to safety. Brake assist, air bags, traction control… you just can’t go wrong especially when the price is under $30,000.

 

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From the traditional Bugatti Veyron, which has been out for five years with an output of 1001 hp, 407 km/h- so far little more than 250 have been sold. Because a total of only 300 of the closed two-seater are to be built, the remaining will probably consist of the Super Sport models. Blair Stover has more on this story below.

Financially, this means some extra work because the Super Sport costs a minimum of 1.65 million Euros. This is because Bugatti ordered the car completely in visible carbon fiber and the black/orange paint is going to cost even more.

Four petrol pumps are needed to procure enough fuel

200 hp more and a few km/h faster- it sounds almost silly when you look at these numbers. But the maximum performance and the speed screw even further into the level and that is why significant changes had to be made on the car. The engineers could explain for hours on the details about how and why things were modified. The ultimate aim was to find out how to get more clean air into the engine faster and get it back out of the car just as fast.

Some of the major modifications at a glance: The Bugatti Super Sport features new vents in the roof and the boost pressure of the four turbochargers has been raised to 1.5. There’s a new exhaust system with four large tailpipes and an even more sophisticated cooling system. There are four instead of two petrol pumps to create sufficient fuel in the eight-liter 16-cylinder engine and the braking system has been modified and the car is lighter by a total of 50 kilograms. The latter was achieved by a new, lighter carbon fiber structure.

The part of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport that is so exceptional on the tech side of things is that it has all the above features but on the other hand, it is easy to drive as any other car.

From zero to 300 in less than 15 seconds

You can drive the car normal, fast, very fast or too decadent. You can hit from 0 to 100 in 2.5 seconds, and 200 in just under 7 seconds and 300 in just over 14 seconds.

Did you know that your hood ornament could be a collectable one day? It’s true. The ones of old start out as decorations for older cars but then they eventually became ornamental when people decided they were obsolete. But then collectors decided that luxury carmakers had to have ornaments once again and since then hood ornament designs have grown into a hobby.

These days car ornaments are pretty much out of fashion because people just don’t view them like they use to. Still, some ornaments remain collectable, and Blair Stover takes a look at the five most sought after hood ornaments.

5.  Lincoln. Lincoln’s ‘gun sight’ has pretty much seen its last day on the auto market but the car ornament is one of the most sought after items in automotive lore. If you owned a Lincoln Continental or a Town Car of old, then you definitely would want one to complete your restoration.

4. Jaguar. Just the name brings a certain ‘air’ to the table but when you can bring the actual ornament to your hood then you know you have something. Yes, all the cars of the manufacturer still have the cat on the hood today but you never know when you might need another ‘leaping cat’.

3.  Cadillac. The most luxurious of American cars is the Cadillac and if you can grab one of the older iconic symbols that used to go on the older styles, you will have something special.

2.  Rolls Royce. Probably the most luxurious of all cars, the Rolls Royce adorns the most elaborate of all hood ornaments. The aristocratic style that exudes from the car means that you own one of the sexiest vehicles ever made.

1.  Mercedes Benz. The three pointed star is recognized anywhere in the world and this German engineered car is one of the best in engineering and luxury.

 

 

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Temperature affects the pressure load on any one tire considerably. In a warm garage, it may even be 86˚F but be only 35˚F outdoors. If the tire pressure is checked indoors it may be set too low. For example: The temperature in the garage is +20˚C and outside it is -10˚C. If the tire pressure in the heat of the garage is set higher than what it is outside, you may have a 30 kPa (0.3 bar) higher pressure than recommended discharging into the tire. Blair Stover has a few more tips about correctly keeping your tires inflated during any type of weather.

 

Temperature affects the air pressure of car tires by about 10 kPa (0.1 bar) / 10˚C. In addition to the correct pressure, you should make sure the driver is sure whether the unidirectional (or directional) tires are fitted under the car. The direction of the tire is marked by an arrow on the sidewall of the tire. To prolong the life of tires, it is worth every penny to rotate the tires from front to back and vice versa around every 5000 to 10,000km.

 

Checking the tire pressure

 

1.     To know the proper tire pressure for your tires, you can refer to the manual of your car.

2.     Temperature affects tire pressure: In cold weather, it takes more to pressurize tires than in warm weather.

3.     When driving in extreme heat, you should never blow your tires up too much or too low.

4.     Do not forget to check the tire pressure of the spare tire regularly as well.

 

 

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13
November

Pending the arrival of a potential variation, the new Audi S3 is packing a strong 300 horsepower punch. Check out the details here on Blair Stover Car Fanatic below.

After unveiling the Sportback version of its compact sedan, the German automaker displayed alongside the five-door variant, the sporty model range of its S3. A radical version that will quietly await the possible arrival of an even sportier look with the RS3, the S3 is certainly not going to disappoint.

This new generation S3 is above the standard and should allow compact sedan lovers to have fun at every turn. Transformed by the 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine, the new S3 gains in power what it may lack in luster. Equipped with a 296-horsepower and 380 Nm of torque, the new engine powering the car is nothing short of magnificent. With the S Tronic box, going from 0-100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds in manual is a breeze. The maximum may be limited to 250 km/h but that doesn’t take away from the car’s sheer beauty.

Overall, the new S3 loses 60 pounds to reach a total weight of 1,395 pounds. In spite of the increase in power, the S3 maintains a correct average consumption of 6.9 l/100 km when the engine is coupled to the S Tronic gearbox (7 l/100 km manual transmission) and carbon dioxide is estimated at 159 grams per kilometer.

As for the appearance of the new S3, Audi offers several sporting models, a more dynamic look and therefore more sporty looks with new elemental styles. We can note the presence of the grille which is a Single Frame adopting an aluminum finish. Besides the four rings, we can also see the presence of the S3 badge as with the older generations. It should be noted that 14 different body colors will be available as well.

 

Love it, hate it? Let us know!

 

See and be seen. In automobiles these two elements are essential for driving safety. Bulbs, windscreen wipers, brake lights- there are many ways to improve your visibility and earn the title of “safe driver.” Blair Stover walks through some tips below.

 

1.     When do you need to change bulbs?

 

Helpful Hints:

 

2.     When changing the wiper blades:

1.     appearance of fine lines of water

2.     areas not wiping

3.     jerking

4.     noise

5.     stripes

6.     check your wiper blades every 6 months.

 

3.     Correct your blind spot. This means fix the angle of your mirrors.

 

4.     Try backup cameras. These can help you out more than you know both in parking and preventing accidents.

 

5.     Use parking sensors. This safety helper will ensure you stay on top of everything in your path when you go to park.

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