Archive for May, 2006

Big 3 still going down?

If the Dow Jones Newswires is to be believed, Detroit’s Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler — are expected to post reduced sales for May. The agency is citing figures from consumer research firm

According to auto analyst Jesse Toprak, May sales should be “healthy,” but domestic automakers’ sales will continue to slide while Toyota and Honda will continue to take more market share.

GM’s sales are expected to plunge 10% compared with the similar period in 2005, while sales at Ford and Chrysler are seen falling 8%, the story said.

Toyota and Honda, thanks to renewed demand for small cars due to high gasoline prices and strong reception of new models, are seen posting stronger sales; Honda is forecast to see an increase of 13.5% and Toyota’s sales are expected to climb 8.6%.

Whether or not your vehicle is a Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM or DMX, you can keep it in shape with the best auto parts like wheels, windshield wiper blades, fender, spoiler, or mirrors from trusted online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Corner.

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Prius to be more efficient, affordable

Toyota Prius: Efficient,Affordable - Toyota PartsJust when you thought the Prius couldn’t get any better, it does.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, giant Japanese automaker Toyota is determined to significantly improve the efficiency of the very popular Prius gasoline-electric hybrid car and produce it in the U.S.

Toyota is reportedly exploring to upgrade the Prius by shrinking major hybrid parts such as batteries, inverters and electric motors to make them as small as one-quarter their current size. This would reduce weight and will make the redesigned Prius, expected to hit the market within the next few years, more affordable and with better fuel economy.

Well this new Prius will surely be worth the wait. In the meantime, Prius lovers, why not update your car’s look with a new grille, bumper, or spoiler? Check out Auto Parts Corner for the best Toyota auto parts.

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Hyundai is AutoPacific’s Best Car

Hyundai Azera - AutoPacific’s Best Car

Automobile consultants AutoPacific have just released the results of their 2006 model year vehicle satisfaction survey. The company’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) earmarks segment winners by assigning numeric values to the satisfaction ratings of owners it surveyed in 44 areas related to a vehicle’s ownership experience.

Best Car went to the Hyundai Azera, Best Truck went to the Lincoln’ Navigator, and Toyota’s upscale brand, Lexus, took top spot among brands.

Here is the complete list of segment winners.

BRAND: Lexus

Premium Luxury Car: Lexus LS
Entry Luxury Car: Cadillac CTS
Luxury/Large Car: Hyundai Azera
Premium Mid-Size Car: Volkswagen Passat
Mid-Size Car: Mercury Milan
Image Compact Car: MINI Cooper
Compact Car: Honda Civic
Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette
Sporty Car: Acura RSX

Large Light-Duty Pickup: Nissan Titan
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
Sport Utility Truck: Honda Ridgeline
Compact Pickup: Mitsubishi Raider
Luxury Sport Utility: Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility: Nissan Armada
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility: Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mid-Size Sport Utility: Hyundai Santa Fe
Compact Sport Utility: Suzuki Grand Vitara
Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Keep your beloved Hyundais, Toyotas, Fords and Hondas in shape with quality auto parts like Ford fender flares, Honda tail lights, Toyota radiator, or Volvo wheels from Auto Parts Corner.

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Lotus offers fragrance for men

Lotus offers fragrance for menHow would you like to smell as if you were driving a Lotus instead of your trusty Honda Civic?

Maybe you’d like a spray of the new Lotus fragrance for men – launched in New York last week with the aid of Playboy Playmate Joanna Krupa. The fragrance, which is targeted at men ages 20 to 45, goes on sale for $42 a bottle in the United States in September, joining the ranks of such auto-inspired scents as Hummer cologne. And wait, there’s also the Lotus shower gel and deodorant to look forward to, which will also go on the market, at $14 each. No final decisions have been made about stores where the fragrance will be available.

Just in case you’d want a preview of what the Lotus fragrance feels like, here’s Michael Albert, its developer, for you: “…it gives you a feeling of driving through the Mediterranean in an Elise — the open top of the car, the smell of the fresh flowers and the water.” Whoa. How do you like that?

Not too bad? But before you spray on that Lotus fragrance make sure that your Honda is in good running condition. Would be a shame if you smelled as good as if you’re driving a Lotus but your car is sputtering like a dying man on the highway. Visit trusted auto parts like Auto Parts Corner should you need top of the line wheel covers, speed sensors or engine parts.

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After Market Fiber Glass Parts

A customer brought in a car this week that needed a little work repairing a set of fiber glass after market bumpers on a 2000 Nissan Sentra. These bumpers were trashed. There were cracks everywhere and chunks were missing.

Once I started working on it, one by one I kept finding new cracks. More and more, they are everywhere. These bumpers needed to be thrown away. This being a used car lot car, I had to do what they want me to do, even when it is crap work. So I used fiber glass resin to fill all the cracks and this turned out to be a bigger job then I expected. Next time I’ll look closer, do a better inspection before bidding a job.

These after market bumpers were secured with 4 screws each. They were flimsy just hanging there. I can only imagine what happened when this car was on the freeway or hit a bump.

When installing an after market bumper that has no holes or attachment points on it, the best way to secure it is going to be matching the attachment points on the original bumper. Drill holes in the same places. Install any brackets that were on the OEM bumper onto the aftermarket one. It will need all the support it can get. I would even go further if you want it to stay on permanently and last longer then a week.

Once all the brackets and screws are in, see if the bumper is still flimsy in some spots. Since this bumper is shaped differently than the original, you may need to fabricate some extra brackets to secure the areas that are not supported. 

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One “Hybrid” team-up: GM, BMW and DCX

What does competition do sometimes?

It creates unexpected alliances.

An unprecedented alliance of three famous automakers — GM, BMW and DCX — will bring a new breed of hybrid vehicles to your doorstep within the next year.

Inside Line reports that General Motors and partners BMW and DaimlerChrysler have recently unveiled a state-of-the-art full hybrid system that integrates electric motors with a fixed-gear transmission.

According to the partners, the two-mode system, which employs low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes, should be ready for production in 2007.

The system features four fixed gear ratios in addition to the two ECVT modes, and it can use electric motors during all modes for boosting power and regenerative braking. The partners say the new technology provides superior fuel economy, performance and towing capability.

The three partners will also be able to mate the new hybrid system to a wide variety of engines with few alterations to each one’s powertrain portfolio because it imposes no significant limitation on the size or type of engine. That means the hybrid technology also can be used across a broader range of vehicles, including passenger cars and light trucks. Initially, it will be employed in rear- and four-wheel-drive applications, but the partners say they are working on future front-wheel-drive applications as well.

With competition continuing to heat up, we can only expect for more alliances like this. And while waiting for this new hybrid system to be used in GM, BMW and DCX cars, find quality Toyota Prius hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid and Ford Escape auto parts like catalytic converters, radiators, and engine parts from trusted auto parts stores like Auto Parts Corner.

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