Archive for October, 2005

And then the automakers debate in Tokyo

October 25, 2005 Leave a comment
Though the automakers’ executives are supposedly debating over the best medium-term solution for cleaner cars in Tokyo this week, many wonder what good news will come out that will have a significant impact in people’s lives and the environment. Is it hybrids, synthetic fuels or hydrogen fuel cell technology?

The folks at Cars! Cars! Cars! aren’t holding their breath that The Great Big Change In Cars will be happening soon. Here’s what they have to say about a CNN/Money report: Debate over clean car technology:

Apparently there was a real debate over in Japanduring some car show thing. Here’s the run down: Most automakers agree that fuel-cell cars powered by hydrogen produced with renewable energy sources are the end game since they would rely on no fossil fuels and emit only pure water. But most said the technology was at least a decade away.

“At least a decade away. If these dinosaurs are willing to admit stuff is at least a decade away we all know what they’re really saying, “Hydrogen cars will come after I retire. So if I can continue down the same road and get my fancy retirement package I’ll be happy.”

On the other hand, the Japanese automakers can’t restrain themselves from developing more and more environment friendly technology. Toyota is adamant in developing more hybrids, and will just be adding the powertrain option on more models. To exemplify this is their Lexus LS flagship sedan, a hybrid concept unveiled at the Tokyo auto show on Thursday. In addition to working on hybrid and fuel-cell technology, the other Japanese automakers such as Honda and Nissan are now working feverishly to improve control systems on internal combustion engines to achieve better fuel economy.

“You can see that the Japanese don’t really make a habit of listening to what others have to say about their business. The others being: Despite the big public debate right now, it will just be a niche technology,” BMW AG Chief Executive Helmut Panke said, forecasting hybrids to account for no more than 5 percent of all cars in the long term.” (excerpt from CNN/Money news article)

And what brighter ideas have the Europeans? Clean diesel systems, my friends – which, according to them, cost less and got better mileage compared to gasoline electric hybrids depending on driving habits. Volkswagen AG suggests developing synthetic fuels instead, which they say, could prove more effective in cleaning tail-pipe emissions, especially when used to power diesel engines. “We need alternative energy sources, not just improvement in powertrain,” they declared.
Meanwhile, for the part of the Americans – GM is set to develop a functional and affordable fuel-cell propulsion system by 2010. At the Tokyo show, the word’s biggest carmaker is displaying its Sequel concept, the only fuel-cell car in the world that can run 300 miles (483 km) between refueling.

“It’s going to take collaboration to transform the industry,”
Larry Burns, VP of GM’s research and development said.

You can say that again, Larry. It’s really going to take a lot of helping each other out to make things better. While most of us here worry about where our dwindling gas money will take us and make do with keeping our old cars working properly, clicking over to Auto Parts Online to replace our worn wheels so we could have better fuel economy on our three year old cars, you guys there sip your expensive coffee and think about how to make things better for us.

Personally, I don’t understand why these automakers cannot move fast enough to get their bright ideas done – instead they dump more and more and bigger SUVs in our shores. What are they doing with their resources?

Oh. Right. I remember. What’s that news about 3rd Q loss again?
Categories: Uncategorized

Rx for Gas prices-related stress

October 18, 2005 Leave a comment
If the simple act of pumping gas to your car is sending your blood pressure up another level, these simple fuel-saving driving tips from the Car Care Council may just be the perfect Rx for your gas prices-related stress:
  • Don’t be an aggressive driver – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling – Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limitGas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
  • Combining errands into one trip saves gas and time. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.
  • Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the truck. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by a percent or two.

Keep in mind that one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep your head above the skyrocketing gas prices is to make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained. A lot of people don’t realize that even by simply paying attention to the little ‘problems’ – loose or missing gas caps, under inflated tires, worn spark plugs, dirty air filters –can save money at the pump and improve your car’s fuel economy. If you need to replace your Toyota Camry’s wheels, or your Jeep Wrangler’s engine parts, just visit trusted online auto parts like Auto Parts Corner where you can get premium quality Isuzu parts, Kia parts, Dodge parts and VW parts at the most affordable prices.

Categories: Uncategorized

2006’s Most Fuel Efficient Cars

October 15, 2005 Leave a comment
CNN/Money reports: Most fuel-efficient cars for 2006.

Yes, as gas prices continue to hover over the wallet-crunching $3 per gallon mark, hybrid vehicles are all in the rage – with hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight selling like hotcakes, and automakers all scrambling to develop hybrids of their own (and coming up with interesting alliances like GM-DaimlerChrysler-BMW and Porsche-VW-Audi, to name two) to catch up with the ever rising demand for conservation-minded modes of transportation.

With no apparent sign that gas prices will go down anytime soon, the trend with fuel-efficient vehicles is likely to continue well over the future. The latest EPA Fuel Economy Guide as released by CNN/Money reveals that hybrids and diesels like the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, VW Beetle and Golf diesel, Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid, and the Mazda Tribute are all top of the heap choices for the most fuel-efficient cars in 2006.

Here’s the ranking:
1. Honda Insight (hybrid) — 60/66
2. Toyota Prius (hybrid) — 60/51
3. Volkswagen New Beetle and Golf (diesel, manual) — 37/44
4. Volkswagen Jetta (diesel) — 36/41
5. Ford Escape Hybrid FWD — 36/31
6. Volkswagen New Beetle and Jetta(diesel, automatic) — 35/42
7. Volkswagen Golf (diesel, automatic) — 33/44
8. Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD (Also Mazda Tribute and Mercury Mariner 4WD hybrids) — 33/29
9. Lexus RX 400h 2WD and Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD — 33/28
10. Toyota Corolla (manual) — 32/41

Note however, that your car does not have to be new or a hybrid to achieve fuel-efficiency. Even if your car has been with you for the past five years or so, if it is well-maintained and if you use it sensibly you can save yourself from wasting too much gas money. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test for instance, can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Make sure that you get only the best for your car. When in need of replacement auto parts like radiators, exhaust manifold, wheels, or catalytic converters, look for trusted auto parts stores like Auto Parts Corner which offer premium quality yet affordable Volvo parts, Honda parts, BMW parts, Nissan parts or Ford parts.

Categories: Uncategorized

Air Freshener Today, Life Saver Tomorrow

October 11, 2005 Leave a comment

Seriously now.

That pine tree shaped air freshener hanging from your rearview mirror could save your life.

Don’t laugh now. That’s what these two guys, Ray and Dan just said.

The two cited a study conducted by the Wheeling Jesuit University saying that if you drive a pleasant smelling vehicle you are less likely to exhibit symptoms of fatigue or road rage.

More from Ray and Dan:

When you take into consideration that the N.H.T.S.A. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports more than 100,000 accidents per year are the result of drivers falling asleep and that Triple A says the number one traffic concern today is road rage, this study might not be as silly as it sounds.

The study showed that pine scent improved a driver’s awareness thus decreasing fatigue and that pine and strawberry scents decreased aggression making it less likely that a driver would experience road rage.

That makes sense – I mean, you’d be irritated too if your car smelled like your mother’s chihuahua’s piss, wouldn’t you?

Alright. And yeah, while we’re on the subject of improving your car and your safety – don’t forget to check your car regularly for worn or damaged auto parts. Get premium quality Honda mirrors, Ford headlights, Volvo spoilers and more of your car make auto parts at trusted online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Corner. After all, a good smelling, malfunctioning car ain’t going anywhere.

Categories: Uncategorized

Think “Ice Cream” and Drive Safely

October 4, 2005 Leave a comment
That is what the Driving Doctor prescribes for detecting hazards on the highway.

What’s that again?

When driving at night or during heavy rain, where vision is limited and hazards could appear at any instant, Phil Berardelli (the Driving Doctor) suggests that instead of using active search, drivers can rely on their natural visual alert system, which resides in their peripheral vision (the driver’s automatic pilot, as he calls it). Doing so he says, will keep the driver just as safe, and will also keep him alert and less fatigued.

So what is this business about ice cream and driving?

Mr. Phil continues that inconsistencies in the environment which us humans have a strong ability to recognize, such as things that contrast (either lighter or darker), things that are more reflective than their surroundings, and things that move.

All of which can be summed up as:

Inconsistencies equal contrast, reflection and movement. I = CRM. Ice Cream.
So as long as none of these categories figure anywhere as you drive, you have time to relax. At any time that something moves into your view that doesn’t quite match its surroundings, a movement for instance – focus on it, fast.

Keep in mind too, that properly working auto parts are also a must for your driving safety. If you need quality auto parts, just a few clicks to reliable online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Corner and you can find quality Jeep parts, Honda parts, BMW parts, or Nissan parts and more of your auto part’s needs.

Categories: Uncategorized