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What are Smart Motorways?

Smart motorway schemes are increasingly becoming common throughout England. Previously called ‘managed motorways’ and developed by the Highways Agency, Smart motorways aim to reduce congestion and increase motorway capacity in a way that lessens construction time and cost and environmental impact by avoiding the need to build more lanes.

In England, there are three schemes that are classified as Smart motorways: Controlled Motorway, All-Lane Running, and Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running.

Controlled Motorway

The controlled motorways consist of three or even more lanes with speed limits that are variable. The Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running scheme must only be utilized in an actual emergency.

All-Lane Running

These motorways permanently utilize the hard shoulder as a traffic running lane. On April 14, 2014, eight miles of the M25 became the country’s first Smart section with traffic permanently running on a lane that had been used as a hard shoulder. A few days later, another section of the M25 opened.

Under the new running schemes, lane one is closed via verge-mounted and overhead signs like the ones provided by Ennis-Flint during an incident. On such sections, white lines (broken) between the lanes signify that every lane has the same status.

Gantry signs (overhead) show the required speed limit that varies depending on the conditions of traffic. Speed cameras are also utilized to enforce the speed limit. The overhead signs can also be utilized to close lanes, if needed. CCTV is widely used to monitor traffic. If drivers are involved in accidents or if their vehicles break down, there are emergency areas for their use.

Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running

To ease traffic congestion, the schemes entail the opening up of the hard shoulder to traffic during busy times. Developed initially in the Midlands, the scheme is now operating on various sections.

The stretches of these motorways contain white lines (solid) that make the hard shoulder different from the usual carriageway. Gantry overhead signs indicate if vehicles can pass through the hard shoulder, or not. The signs also show the required speed limit that can vary depending on the state of traffic. Speed cameras are also being utilized to enforce the varying speed limits.

In Case of Accidents

When a motorist’s car breaks down or if he is involved in a traffic incident, he must use the emergency area for refuge if the driver can safely get to one. If not possible, the driver should attempt to transfer to the verge if it is safe and if a safety barrier is not present.

In any case, one should flick on the hazard lights and get in touch with the Highways Agency through an emergency phone. If the driver’s only option is to stop in a moving traffic lane, he should switch on right away the hazard lights. If the driver is in the left and he feels he can do it, he should exit the car through the left doors and get away from the vehicle. If possible, the driver should get behind the barrier.

If the driver cannot get out of the vehicle because of the rush of traffic, he should just stay in the vehicle and dial ‘999.’ This is possible if the driver has an operating mobile phone. In any case, it is always best keep safe, maintain vehicles properly, and follow road rules in order to avoid traffic mishaps on Smart motorways.

How to Mix an Automotive Enamel Reducer for a Gallon of Acrylic Enamel Paint

Most cars are painted with an air-powered paint gun.

Automotive acrylic enamel paint must be mixed with a reducer and hardener before application with a paint gun. The reducer allows the paint to flow from the paint gun smoothly. The hardener, sometimes called the catalyst, is what cures the paint giving it a hard, glossy finish. Ensuring the right ratios of both of these chemicals in your paint mixture is essential to a great looking, long lasting paint job. Some brands of paint may vary slightly in their ratios, so be sure to check all labels before you begin.

Instructions

1.  Pour 1 gallon of acrylic enamel paint into a 5-gallon bucket.

2.  Add reducer in a ratio of four parts paint to every one part reducer. With 1 gallon of paint, 1 quart of reducer will be required.

3.  Use a stir stick to mix the paint and reducer well.

4.   Add one part hardener for every eight parts paint, or 1 pint to 1 gallon. Mix well with a stir stick.

How to Service a Harley-Davidson

Properly service your Harley for safety and reliability.

Harley-Davidson publishes well-defined maintenance schedules and service intervals in every service manual. The maintenance schedule is based on years of experience with the product and is designed to keep the bike operating at peak efficiency while maintaining the safety of the rider. Properly following the service intervals and performing the maintenance will help prevent costly engine damage and unsafe riding conditions. The maintenance schedule is the same across the recent model families and years, although the actual procedures will vary depending on year, model and engine family.

5,000-Mile Service

1. Remove the engine oil drain plug and drain the oil. Replace the drain plug gasket and install the drain plug. Twist the engine oil filter off the filter base and discard the filter. Lubricate the filter gasket with a light coat of fresh engine oil. Spin the filter onto the base until the gasket makes contact, and then turn it an additional one-quarter turn. Refill the engine oil. Perform the oil change every 5,000 miles.

2. Remove the air cleaner filter and inspect it for damage or clogging. Gently blow the filter out using compressed air to remove excess dirt and replace it if damaged. Do not bang the filter against a hard object to dislodge debris.

 

 

 

3. Inspect the tires for damage or tread wear and replace as necessary. Check the tire pressure and adjust as necessary.

4. Readjust the clutch every 5,000 miles according to the procedures for the year and model of your Harley.

5. Inspect, adjust and lubricate the throttle, clutch and brake controls every 5,000 miles. Remove tension from the cables and remove the cables from the throttle grip and clutch lever. Install a cable lubricator tool on the end of the cables and then spray lubricant into the cables. Reinstall and adjust the cables according to specification for your year and model of Harley.

6. Check the level and condition of the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoirs. The type of brake fluid required for your Harley is embossed on top of the master cylinder reservoir cap.

7. Inspect the brake pads for wear. Replace the brake pads if the friction material reaches 0.04 inch. Look for damage, such as scoring, on the brake discs and replace the discs as necessary. Harley-Davidson does not allow turning the discs on late-model bikes. Check with an authorized service center to determine whether your discs can be turned on a lathe.

8. Remove and inspect the spark plugs for damage, wear and fouling, and replace as necessary.

9. Inspect the exhaust system for damage, leaks and missing fasteners and heat shields. Leaks usually develop at the exhaust gasket where the exhaust pipes meet the heads. Carbon appears on the chrome pipes when leaks are present.

10. Inspect the rear drive belt and pulleys for wear or damage and replace as necessary. Locate the debris deflector viewing window on the rear drive belt guard. Place the belt tensioner gauge against the underside of the belt next to the window and press the gauge upward until it reads “15 pounds.” Look through the debris deflector viewing window and note the amount of belt deflection as indicated by the graduations marked on the sight glass. Check the belt tension and alignment and adjust as necessary according to the specifications for your year and model of Harley.

11. Strike each spoke on the wheels with a spoke wrench and listen to the resulting tone. A low or dull tone indicates a loose spoke. Tighten the spoke with the wrench until it rings with the same tone as the rest of the spokes. Check the wheel spokes for tightness at the first 5,000 miles, and every 15,000 miles thereafter. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends spoke adjustment be performed by an authorized service center if more than one or two spokes require tightening.

12. Check all electrical switches and devices for proper operation. In basic terms, this is a light and horn check.

13. Check the oil lines, brake hoses and associated fittings, as well as the fuel lines and fittings for cracks or leaks. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends these checks be performed by an authorized service center.

10,000-Mile Service

  • 1

    Drain the primary chaincase and replace the chaincase drain plug gasket. Refill the primary chaincase with primary chaincase lubricant.

  • 2

    Inspect the jiffy stand for cracks or damage and lubricate it. Cracks can develop on the stand itself rather than on the stand’s swivel mount. This damage is usually caused by resting the bike on the jiffy stand and then sitting on the bike. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends jiffy stand inspection be performed by an authorized service center. If a damaged jiffy stand breaks under load, personal injury and damage to the bike can be severe.

  • 3

    Check the tightness of the critical fasteners, such as the motor mounts, transmission mounts and stabilizer links. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends this check be performed by an authorized service center.

  • 4

    Drain and replace the front fork oil and replace the drain plug gasket. This procedure requires the use of a fork holding tool. This is a specialized tool that most bike owners will not have and are not qualified to operate. Do not attempt to drain and replace the front fork oil if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Adjust the steering head bearings for fall-away. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to assess or adjust fall-away if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

20,000-Mile and Over Service

  • 1

    Drain the transmission and replace the transmission drain plug gasket. Refill the transmission with transmission lubricant every 20,000 miles.

  • 2

    Replace the spark plugs every 20,000 miles. Do not overtighten the plugs. Damage to the aluminum engine can result if the plugs are overtightened.

  • 3

    Replace the fuel filter every 25,000 miles. The filter is located inside the fuel tank. On recent year, fuel-injected models, the filter mounts on the fuel pump. On earlier, models with carburetors, the filter mounts on the petcock at the bottom of the tank. If you are uncomfortable performing fuel system procedures, Harley-Davidson recommends the fuel filter replacement be performed by an authorized service center for safety reasons.

  • 4

    Inspect the rear fork bearings every 30,000 miles for signs of damage or cracking. Most bike owners are not qualified to replace the rear fork bearings. Do not attempt to replace the bearings if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Disassemble, inspect and lubricate the steering head bearings every 30,000 miles. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to disassemble or lubricant the steering head if you are not qualified.

  • 6

    Inspect the battery for cracks or damage and clean the battery and battery cable terminals once a year. Clean the battery with a solution of 5 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water.

  • 7

    Perform a road test to check the operation of all systems after every service. Perform a low-speed test in a controlled environment, such as a parking lot, before taking the bike into traffic.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Procedures and parts needed for required and suggested maintenance may vary slightly among years and models. Refer to model-specific service information for relevant service procedure details and fluid requirements.
  • If you are uncomfortable performing any of these procedures, take the bike to an authorized Harley-Davidson service center for service. Improperly performed service on a motorcycle can result in an unsafe riding condition, severe personal injury and death.

Car Maintenance Checklist

All automotive manufacturers have their own maintenance procedures and schedules, which vary based on the brand of vehicle, types of drivetrain and engine construction, as well as the year model. Advances in metallurgy and the chemicals used in the fluids and lubricants drive many of the variations in maintenance. Due to these changes, refer to your owner’s manual or other factory service literature for your model- and year-specific procedures and fluids. In spite of these differences, though, there are general maintenance points and procedures that have more or less remained constant across the industry and the years

Engine and Drivetrain Fluids

  • Your engine oil and transmission fluid are the primary concerns here, but there are a host of other fluids that are also critical to the drivetrain. Regularly check the level and condition of the power-steering fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant and hydraulic clutch fluid, where applicable. Inspect the rear differential fluid on rear-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as the front differential and transfer case on four-wheel-drive vehicles. Replace these fluids at the intervals specified by your owner’s manual.

Engine Wear Points

  • In addition to the fluids, there are mechanical components on the engine which will wear and fail over time. Among these are the air filter, PCV valve, breather element, drive belts, spark plugs and plug wires. Check all of these components regularly, and adjust them if needed and replace them when they display signs of excessive wear.

    Chassis Maintenance

    • The body and frame of your vehicle has a number of crucial maintenance points. Chief among these are the tires and brake calipers, pads, shoes, rotors and drums. These are especially important for safe driving, and in many states are included in annual inspections. Regular tire rotations will maximize tread life. All of these components must be within their service wear limits and in good operational condition. If you have an older car, your undercarriage may have a number of grease points called Zerk fittings that you will need to grease occasionally. These Zerks will be mounted in points that allow relative motion of suspension components, such as ball joints and tie-rod ends, as well as in the U-joints in the driveshaft. Many newer vehicles do not have Zerk fittings, and require no grease service.

    Service Intervals

    • General service intervals would have you changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles on older vehicles, with a longer interval on newer vehicles. Using synthetic or semi-synthetic engine oil can also extend the interval beyond what would normally be appropriate if you were to use conventional oil. Many modern vehicles use an oil-life monitor to dictate the interval on your engine oil changes. Automatic transmissions generally need a drain and fill and filter change every 30,000 miles, but it is important that you do not allow the automatic transmission fluid to go more than around 100,000 miles without being changed, or you will cause significant damage when you do change the fluid. You never need a flush — just a drain and fill. If you let someone flush a transmission that is running very old fluid, it can destroy the transmission within the next few thousand miles. Check all of the other service and wear points whenever you perform a full oil and filter change.

How to Finish Acrylic Enamel

Finish Acrylic Enamel

Before polyurethane paint became standard for auto bodywork, many cars had coats of acrylic enamel. This means that many older cars that need paint touchups need new coats of this enamel, as mixing different kinds of paint on one car is unwise. Although acrylic enamel is ultimately not as durable as polyurethane paint, it can be protected with a clear coat finish added on over the top. This finish adds a professional looking sheen and seals up the new paint job.

Instructions

1.

 

Mask off any part of the car on which you do not wish to apply the finish, including windows, mirrors and a wide swath around the car if you are simply doing a touchup job. Plaster the car with newspaper, holding it down with masking tape. If you are touching up the original paint job, include a buffer zone of about three times the size of the patch of paint before you start to mask. The clear coat will be over a much larger area than the added paint.

2.

 

Add a coat of grease remover over the exposed surface of your vehicle to remove any dirt and dust that may have settled since you painted it. Wipe it clean with a cloth.

 

3.

 

Attach your spray gun’s hose to the air compressor and don your protective gear. Fill the spray gun’s canister with the clear coat.

4.

 

Spray the clear coat over your paint job. If you did a touch up job, spray the clear coat over a much larger area, all the way to the masking. Give the vehicle three coats of the clear coat.

5.

 

Allow the clear coat to cure for a week.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Clear coat is extremely toxic and can lead to neurological damage if you are exposed to it. Take extreme precautions when using it, including wearing a professional full face mask with a separate air supply and a suit.

 

Make Sure Your Side by Side is Ready to Roll

There’s nothing like heading out in your Yamaha Rhino or any other model of UTV that is on the market. They bring ATV riding up a notch, helping you to get more out of the riding experience when you have someone by your side. Side by sides are built to handle the toughest conditions and they provide you with additional safety measures, such as a roll cage, seatbelts, doors, and a windshield. While there’s no doubt that UTVs bring a lot to the table, there are still improvements that you can make. Whether you are looking for Yamaha Rhino parts or you stick with a Polaris, parts and accessories are waiting for you to tweak your machine. That includes tires.

Choose Tires that Can Handle the Conditions
Whether you are taking a spin in the woods, riding through the desert, climbing rocky hills, or putting your UTV through its paces on the farm, you need to pay attention to your tires. They are going to give you the traction you need to take you where you want to go. If you are planning on traveling over smooth, flat conditions, your stock tires should do the trick. However, you’ll want to explore your alternatives if you know that your machine is going to be taking on tough trails. Sedona Rock-A-Billy Radial Tires are one example of a tire that is built to last. As an 8 ply radial, it will live up to your expectations. Your main goal is to come home with your tires intact. The last thing you want to deal with is a blowout when you are far from anyone who can give you a hand. You don’t want to be towed out. With the right kind of tires, you’ll be set from start to finish.

Give Your Machine More Protection
Your UTV is a substantial investment. You don’t want to throw more money at it with costly repairs. Choosing the right tires can spare you repairs to your rims, replacement tires, and a substantial bill. When you make the right choice in the first place, you’ll get your money’s worth. Replace your tires when there is wear and tear for optimal results. Your side by side is your partner when it comes to taking on any type of ride. Give it the attention it deserves with the right parts and accessories.

The Differences between over the Road Truck Driving and Driving a Passenger Vehicle

Driving across country in a personal vehicle is not that complicated. There are a lot of services online that make getting from one part of the country to another easy. A person can simply put in their start destination, where they want to end up, and then choose from various routes to help them arrive at their destination. In addition to showing the person how to get there, online services also tell people where there are restaurants along the way, where there are gas stations along the way, how much gas is going to cost, the estimated time of arrival, any traffic hiccups, and a list of hotels that people can stay in as they are making their journey.

The logistics for doing over the road trucking are a lot more challenging. It’s not just a matter of hopping in the vehicle and getting from one spot to another. In part this is because over the road truck drivers must follow an elevated standard when it comes to how they drive. There are limitations that are placed on the hours that they drive. There are limitations that are placed on how fast they can drive. There are even limitations that are placed on the roads that they can use when they drive. The federal government puts these limitations on trucks because they realize that an over the road truck with a fully loaded trailer can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds.

That is a lot more than a common passenger vehicle. For this reason, if they are not driven in a safe and precise way, an over the road truck can cause an accident that is a lot more serious than what any passenger vehicle can cause. Thankfully, over the road truck drivers are safe, conscientious, and understand the important role that they have in keeping the roads safe.

Trucking logistics are also a challenge because the truck driver must be able to arrive and depart from certain locations based on the schedule set by the individuals receiving the products as well as by those who are sending the products. This puts a little bit of a time constraint on the truck driver, but with proper planning, a trucking company can see to it that their drivers get to the locations on time and can monitor where their trucks are on the road. This guarantees the truck drivers are driving safely.

How to Paint Rims Black with DupliColor Wheel Paint

It’s amazing what a little Duplicolor touch up paint can do! But why not learn how to paint rims black? Here’s a few simple steps to create that new hyper black look for your car wheels.

Step #1: What is the Condition of Your Rims?

Your paint is only as good as the surface it is on. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure you assess the condition of your rims, then correct any issues before using your DupliColor spray paint. Generally, most issues occur from ill-treated rust or wheel imperfections.

Rusty Rims: How to Paint Rims Black

Rust on Rims

Painting over rust is a huge mistake! Rust will continue to bloom through coatings that are ill-equipped to inhibit growth. This includes your sleek new black rim finish.

Use a product like Dupli-Color Rust Fix, which is a product designed to kill your wheel rust, converting it into a sand-able surface. Once sanded, your rust problem should be solved as long as your wheel is painted with a sealer.

Advice: For about $8, Rust Fix can treat any rust issues that you may have. Before you use the product, sand or scrape off any heavy rust areas. If there are any large imperfections, use a metal filler to create a smooth surface. Then, use the spray paint!

Another product that kills rust on the spot is Permatex Rust Treatment. With a chemically induced PH change, the rust on your rims will blacken and turn into a sand-able surface.

Rust Treatment

 

Step #2: Sand & Prime the Surface

Once you’ve corrected the issues, it’s time to make sure the surface is 100% consistent and ready for coatings. To do so, it is strongly recommended to sand the rims. The goal of sanding is to make sure a new surface profile is created. A new profile will give the primer and finish a substrate to bite onto. If your rims are glossy, they need to be deglossed! Sanding or chemically deglossing are the most effective ways to prepare the rims for a wheel coating. Here is a sanding chart to help you choose the right grit for the job:

Sandpaper Grit Chart

Advice: Unless you have some serious imperfections or surface contaminants, a grit of 220-600 will do gently dull the metal substrate.

Time to Prime!

If you are getting ready to apply that sharp-looking black rim paint, STOP! Don’t think about using that car touch up paint over bare metal! Sure, the coating might hold for a few weeks – even a few months. However, you’ll have to touch up your rims again. Why not maximize the efficiency of your black wheel paint? To do so, it is strongly recommend to prime the surface with a rust-preventative, metal adhesion primer.

Before you spray, always make sure you have proper ventilation and are spraying away from fire or flammable objects. Use tape and masking paper to keep over spray from dusting other surfaces. 

Dupli-Color offers the following primers:

Dupli-Color Self-Etching Primers

 

 

  • Dupli-Color: Adhesion Promoter: You may have experienced coatings that did not “grab” onto the surface you are painting. Adhesion Promoter is a primer that strongly latches on to wheel surfaces that may be slick like, promoting a bond coat. Use this product if dulling the surface is hard to do.
  • Dupli-Color: Primer Sealer: After sanding your wheels to a smooth finish, Dupli-Color offers a general-purpose primer that will promote adhesion, fill-in hairline cracks, and create a consistent surface for your finish coat.
  • Dupli-Color: Rust Fix: Dupli-Color Rust Fix is a product designed to kill your wheel rust, converting it into a sand-able surface.

 

Advice: For about $6-10, you can buy Dupli-Color primers from big box stores, like Walmart, or retail auto stores. To help the coverage of your finish and to make the finish more aestically pleasing, use a Gray metal primer.

Step #3: Finish the Job by Applying a Black Wheel Coating to Your Rims

With a rust-free, primed surface your rims should be ready for the finish coat paint job. Get ready to do at least two coats of the top coat. Most products recommend at least two coats to create a paint film to product specification.

Before you can do anything, you need to buy the product. Dupli-Color offers the following paint for your wheels:

Dupli-Color Premium Enamel

  • Dupli-Color Premium Gloss Black Enamel: An excellent high-solids enamel that will cover great and dry to touch within 30 minutes. Be ready to spend about $6-10 for each can and it will take one can to do two coats, per rim. Get the Gloss Black Color #DA1600 to achieve that hyper gloss black look!
  • Dupli-Color Wheel Coating: Finish your wheels with a track-tested Satin Black Enamel #HWP104 to make a sharp look, while getting optimal durability. This is Duplicolor’s premier wheel paint.
  • Dupli-Color Shadow Chrome Black-Out Kit: Create an awesome black chrome finish by using Dupli-Color Shadow. This black-out chrome effect is created with a two-part system. One part is a translucent black base to create the desired shadow look, then a second clear gloss finish adds durability and dimension. This kit will cost about $15-20. You may need to have a few kits to complete a set of four wheels.

Dupli-Color Shadow

Black Chrome Finish for Any Rim!

You Can Paint Your Rims Black, Too!

The Dupli-Color TV video is inspirational. It shows how to paint your rims black, inexpensively using awesome products. The key is in your prep work. With the knowledge provided, you can use a wide variety of products to enhance the look of your wheels without spending a ton of money for an automotive paint shop to do it.

 

What to Wear During a DIY Auto Repair

Whether restoring cars is your hobby or you simply prefer to make do-it-yourself auto repairs, it is important to dress appropriately in order to stay safe. The best kind of clothes to wear are form fitting and comfortable. You should not wear anything too heavy to avoid overheating during your repairs. Avoid wearing anything loose and baggy because you runs the risk of getting caught on something while you’re working.

Likewise, you should not wear any jewelry, and long hair needs to be tied back, so it doesn’t get caught in any moving parts or machinery.

In terms of footwear you are going to want to opt for something leather or anything material that is strong and durable.  Work boots are your best option, particularly those that have steel toes for extra protection. It is also best to choose something that has non-slip soles. Casual shoes or sneakers are not good options because they lack enough protection or support for your feet. You may also want to invest in a pair of utility gloves to protect your hands while you make your repairs. You may need more than one kind of glove depending on what project you are doing. Fitted heavy work gloves, for example, are perfect for handling hot part while polyurethane gloves can protect your skin from harmful chemicals.

What You Should Wear

Overalls

Fitted Cargo Pants

Relaxed Fit Jeans

Fitted Long Sleeve T-shirts or Sweatshirts

Polo Shirts

Relaxed Khakis

Work Coats to Protect Your Clothes

Utility Gloves

Work Boots with Non-slip Soles and Steel Toes

Safety Goggles

Now that you know what you should wear during any do-it-yourself auto repairs, be sure to safeguard yourself the next time you work on your car. Remember it is of utmost importance to follow these safety rules in order to protect yourself from serious injury and even death. And to find a wide selection of clothes that are suitable to wear during auto repairs be sure to visit aerie.com.  And for all the latest coupons and deals, be sure to visit Groupon.com.

Take Your Side by Side to the Next Level

If you haven’t ever explored the world of side by sides, now is a good time to start. Instead of opting for an ATV, you can have more versatility with a UTV and find out what everyone is talking about. Hit the trails and you’ll soon discover that side by sides is taking the world by storm and there’s a good reason. You can go anywhere you want with your UTV, whether you are headed for a rocky hill climb, off for a trek through the wilderness, or burning your way through the desert. Side by sides is built to be tough, but they give you more comfort as well. You get to sit in an enclosed area, your belted in, and someone can sit by your side, instead of hanging over the back. Once you decide to go with a UTV, there’s a good chance you’ll never switch.

Make it Fit You
All of the major manufacturers that have brought you your favorite four wheeler can offer you a UTV. When you make your purchase, it will be stock. It will be up to you to customize your ride. If you want to protect yourself from the elements, you’ll want to invest in a windshield, a roof, and doors. You can winterize your machine and completely enclose it, adding a heater to make it comfortable. You can even go with tracks if you plan on riding in the snow. Lights and stereo accessories are a few of the extras that can give you everything you want when you are out on a ride. You can add a winch to get yourself out of sticky situations or really aggressive tires when you are ready to take on challenging territory.

Shop Now
Take the opportunity to browse the selection at Side by Side Stuff to find accessories and parts that will enhance your riding experience. Whether you want to change the look of your machine or you are thinking about practical matters, you’ll find a comprehensive selection is available. It doesn’t matter what kind of UTV you have, there is something out there for you. You can enjoy the ride and stand out in a crowd when you have the right accessories. Side by Side Stuff is here for you to help you get the most out of the UTV experience.

Dupli-Color: The Best Car Wheel Paint

Are you tired of looking at your worn out hub caps? Are your wheel rims old, rusty, or scratched? The body of your car still looks good, but your wheels are embarrassing. Let’s be honest. It happens. It is extremely hard to keep every inch of your vehicle clean, waxed, and polished. Eventually, everything will wear out and age. There is no exception to the rule when it comes to the look of your wheels. Fortunately, you can do something about it without buying expensive new rims or caps. Wheel paint!

Dupli-Color: Wheel Paint

With the help of Sherwin-Williams Paint Company, Dupli-Color introduced touch-up paint for automobiles in the late 1930’s. With formulas matching the OEM spectrum, Dupli-Color quickly became an instant success offering customers a perfect match to their vehicles. To this day, Dupli-Color continues to offer customers that same perfect match in addition to an awesome selection of performance products for every need. Without a doubt, you will be able to find a wheel paint that will restore your wheels back to their original look or a coating that will bring them up-to-speed! Once you’ve done the necessary prep work, Dupli-Color offers the following products to refining your wheels the right way.

Primers

Much like your interior wood or drywall, your wheels must beclean, dry, and dull! A primer for your rims is strongly recommended to enhance and optimize the performance of your finish coat. Dupli-Color offers many different types of primers.

  • Dupli-Color: Adhesion Promoter: You may have experienced coatings that did not “grab” onto the surface you are painting. Adhesion Promoter is a primer that strongly latches on to wheel surfaces that may be slick like, chrome or plastic, promoting a bond coat. Use this product if dulling the surface is hard to do.
  • Dupli-Color: Primer Sealer: After sanding your wheels to a smooth finish, Dupli-Color offers a general-purpose primer that will promote adhesion, fill-in hairline cracks, and create a consistent surface for your finish coat.
  • Dupli-Color: Rust Fix: Painting over rust is a big mistake! Rust will continue to bloom through coatings that are ill-equipped to inhibit growth. Dupli-Color Rust Fix is a product designed to kill your wheel rust, converting it into a sand-able surface. Once sanded, your rust problem should be solved as long as your wheel is re-coated with a sealer!

Dupli-Color: Wheel Coating

Wheel paint needs to be highly durable to the elements, while also maintaining a beautiful finished appearance. For such occasions, Dupli-Color offers a product called Wheel Coating. Wheel Coating offers the following benefits:

  • Hard Reflective Finish: A hard, durable finish will keep chemicals and dust from settling on the rim surface. Glossy, reflective finishes create a very slick surface. Slick paint film does not have pits or texture for dirt, moisture, or chemicals to lay in. Therefore, a hard reflective wheel paint will offer you an ideal finish that will last longer.
  • Appearance Restoration: Dupli-Color Wheel Coating will give you the ability to restore your old,weather wheels to their original color and look. Dupli-Color offers the OEM spectrum of color that will match your automotive color.
  • Dry Time: Wheel Coating will dry to touch in 30 minutes and can be handles in 1 hour. If an extra coat is required, the quick dry time will allow you to re-coat within a couple hours.
  • Durability: Your new wheel finish should resist peeling, flaking, and cracking. It will also resist chemicals, brake dust, and weather.
  • Color Options: Dupli-Color offers several wheel paint colors, including: white, black, silver, clear, graphite, and bronze. If you are interested in a more bold blend of colors, check out Dupli-Color Spray Enamels which will also offer exceptional durability and finished appearance.

Takeaway

Remember that prep work is key to the best finish. Make sure you sand your rims well using coarser sand paper to begin with and finishing with a very fine grit to smooth out the surface. Rust must be removed. Old, peeling paint must also be removed. Use a paint stripper if sanding or scrapping does not remove the old finish. Use a good primer to promote adhesion and fill in minor hairline cracks. Finish with a couple of coats of Dupli-Color Wheel Coating to optimize the performance and finished appearance of your wheel paint.

Do’s and Don’ts in Wiper Maintenance

Wipers, though very important to your vehicle, have been receiving less attention from people who don’t know why and how they are maintained. Windshield wipers are not often cleaned and maintained until they wear off or worse, until an accident brought by dirty windshield or broken wipers occur. To make it easier for you, here are the simple do’s and don’ts in taking care of your windshield and wipers.

Do’s

  1. Clean the blades of your wipers often.

Frequent cleaning of your wiper blades is important because unclean blades will cause smudges and marks on your windshield. When you clean a dirty windshield with a dirty wiper, expect that there will be no cleaning at all. Instead, there will be more marks on your windshield brought by dirt, which will make it harder for you to see the road while driving. You can clean the wiper blades by running through a towel soaked in water with soap on the blade then wipe it with a dry towel to dry. You also need to finish it by wiping with a rubbing alcohol.

  1. Change wiper blades every six months.

The change of wiper blades is actually dependent on the weather conditions and how often you use them. It is recommended that wipers or their blades be replaced with a new one every 6,000 miles. If you often use your wipers, replace them twice a year. The rubber part of your wipers is cheaper but you can get better results if you change the whole blade (the metal arm and the rubber portion), which it is more expensive.

  1. Flip your wipers away from the windshield during winter.

If you think that there will be snow, positioning your wipers upward will avoid freezing your wipers on your windshield.

Don’ts

  1. Brushing or scraping the snow on the windshield and wiper blades.

Removing the snow from your windshield using this step is not recommended because it can cause scratch on your windshield. Scraping the snow off your wiper blade can also tear the rubber.

  1. Thawing using hot water.

This is not recommended because it can crack your windshield. If the temperature is negative, hot water is no use because it will freeze immediately. Doing this to thaw your wiper blades is not recommended because if the hot water freezes immediately, your wiper blades will be covered with ice.

There you have it – a few tips to make sure you don’t incur unnecessary expenses when maintaining your wiper and windshield. Feel free to share your own tips to other practical car owners out there!

Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited has the best auto repair Columbia MO has to offer, where their expert staff can get your car back on the road in no time.

 

Macro-environmental Factors Affecting Today’s Auto Industry

Today marketers face an increased challenge in analyzing the marketing environment as more and more external forces are shaping and changing the buying and spending habits of consumers. Some variables are uncontrollable such as the distribution of income in a country or a law that a government has passed, where the best approach is analyzing and understanding these shifts, and then adapting marketing strategies based on the data found. Other external forces can be controlled, for instance, a company can stay on top of the newest technology or create a marketing strategy that is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Thus a company’s marketing opportunities versus a company’s marketing threats is dependent upon how proactive a company is in researching the macroenviornemnt, and how well they implement these changes into their marketing strategy.

The macroenvironment consists of larger societal forces that affect the microenvironment (the company, suppliers, market intermediaries, customer markets, competitors and publics) demographically, economically, naturally, technologically, politically and culturally. We can zero in on the auto industry, because, although it has always been a affected by external forces. Today, more than ever, marketers for this industry must adapt to the increasingly nontraditional American “family” dynamics, tight budgets, the rising price of crude oil, regulations in regards to safety standards set by lawmakers and government officials, a wave of new technology that seems to come just as quickly as they go, and even culturally as people rethink their values in regards to the environment

The changing demographics, or the study of human population in terms of size, density, location, age, gender race, and occupation, of the United States has spawned some interesting data for market research in the auto industry. As the American family becomes increasingly unconventional due to divorce rates, couples who don’t want children, and people who just see the costs of marriage outweighing the benefits; marketers can no longer assume that if a 40 year old women walks into an establishment that she will want a minivan for her kids. Instead, she may be working and might not have children and is keen to buying a sports car. Another interesting shifting demographic of today’s American society is that more women than ever are working and more men than ever are staying home. Could a father possibly drive a minivan? Well, if you ask Toyota about it’s Sienna SE, they will smile and say absolutely; they won’t call it a minivan; but a “swagger wagon.” Seriously, just look at this commercial- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N3F1FhW4. Although I am not quite sure how I feel about a father rapping in a minivan, it just goes to show that our changing demographics affects the way dealers relate to their consumers changing tastes and lifestyle situations.

Another change that has had a grave impact on the auto industry is the country’s current economic environment, or economic factors that affect consumer purchasing power and spending habits. In lieu of the Great Recession, people are spending less and demanding more value; which generally does not bode well considering how large of a purchase a car can be. However, dealers and automakers can minimize this threat by increasing their market offerings. The textbook states, Ford, has expanded its line of cars to include a price for every budget, however each car still delivers great value. When one logs onto Ford.com they see that Ford also offers environmentally friendly, or hybrid cars, and at a somewhat reasonable price; with the Ford Fusion SE starting at around $28,000 for those who are more environmentally conscious. Ford even offers consumers a build and price model, where the consumer can add or take away features and determine the type of car and its features based on their budgets. By allowing consumers to pick a car, choose the car’s features and even dictate the car’s price they are more apt to check out Ford when purchasing a car. Brands like Ford, truly understand the impact of the recession on consumer wallets, and have responded favorably in this uncertain economic time, which ultimately, reduces the threat of limited consumer resources, or money. However if a firm ignores this challenge, they can expect to see their demise.

The natural environment or natural resources that are needed as inputs by marketers or that are affected by marketing activities; too has an effect on the auto industry. With tensions rising in the Middle East and a finite amount of crude oil; gas prices have gone up dramatically, to about $90 a barrel. Besides the fact this is scary, it has completely altered the way cars are manufactured and built. While, in the free age of spending, consumers were interested in buying the biggest cars possible like the hummer, once crude oil rose; there were a lot more hummers on the market at some pretty low price points. The buyer’s reaction to rising gas prices was simple; “I want a car that gives me more mileage per gallon.” In turn, companies completely changed their business models to focus on offering consumers more fuel efficient cars. Today, marketers for almost any auto company focus on fuel efficiency  and value when promoting their cars to their target markets. This along with tight economic budgets of consumers is probably the biggest obstacle for the auto-industry; however if they are responded to properly companies and marketers can reduce their risk and create opportunity.

Safety standards and regulations are passed through the political environment; or laws, government agencies, and pressure groups that influence and limit various organizations and individuals in a given society. The United States is notorious for implementing laws that may limit production efficiency because by meeting every standard perfectly takes time. Cars are recalled in the US much more than in other countries because of these regulations, making it extremely costly if a regulation is ignored- even worse if the regulation is ignored and a lawsuit arises. This is good for the consumer because it ensures companies are only allowing the safest and most reliable cars on the road; however it can pose a serious challenge, and even shut down a firm if this isn’t followed. Thus, marketers often promote the safety of the cars in their market offerings; sometimes they even use technology to make safety regulations an opportunity rather than a threat.
Technological changes, or forces that create new technologies, creating new product and market opportunities has the biggest positive impact on the auto industry. As mentioned before auto companies are using technology to increase the safety and performance of their vehicles, for instance, Ford offers consumers advanced safety protection; and it does a whole lot more than a seatbelt. With Ford’s technology a Ford Escape, that is going too fast around a curve will automatically slow down. Auto makers also offer live camera feed on a GPS monitor screen when a car is in reverse. GPS’s, Bluetooth and XM radio are other features that consumers pay for, especially the millennium generation, as it is the most technologically advanced generation in the US- and no doubt will hold a big stake in the auto industry one day. Marketers, today, focus on upselling these high tech gadgets; but they also need to be aware that these gadgets are replaced by higher tech gadgets and new innovations come, just as quickly as they go.

Lastly, the cultural environment, or institutions and other forces that affect society’s basic values, perception, preferences, and behaviors, too has affected the auto industry, specifically consumer shift toward more environmentally friendly vehicles. Although the cost is very high at the moment for hybrid and electronic cars, many people will consider buying them in the future as prices depreciate. This is not only due to the high price of crude oil, but because people want to affect the earth positively. This could be a great opportunity for marketers in the future, and many companies, are already offering hybrid cars anticipating their increased demand.

Overall, external factors can positively affect the auto industry in many ways, but they can also pose serious threats. The most successful automobile makers are aware that these macroeconomic shifts and changes affect their products and consumers directly; and proactively create marketing strategies and companywide strategies to best position themselves in a volatile and increasingly challenging marketplace.

2008 And The Future Of Automotive Industry

Car Industry In 2008

The Concept For Future

Nowadays, the inflation prices do not allow us to use our cars. Increase in prices of fuel, unstable financial markets and increase in taxation are the main reasons behind this. These issues and problems have affected the automotive industries in the last 12 months. This article is about the usage of cars in the year 2008.

The economy of US and its value of currency are falling very fast. It has observed and said that if a price of crude oil comes closer to $100, fuel prices will also continues to rise.

Is that really meant that if fuel prices will increase, we will use our cars, Lorries and vans less in the year 2008? Although fuel prices are increasing at the boosting rates, a huge 79% of motorists questioned and said that they had not any mood to change their habit of buying petrol and fuel. In fact they said that petrol prices would have to increase more in the upcoming days to stop them from filling up their motors.

Government seems to be more important than the environmental issues all over the world as 1 over 3 motorists had confirmed that they will not replace their vehicles for more environmentally friendly cars before 2010.

If motorists are unchanged-minded for the increase in fuel prices and are ready to continue driving with their fuel by accepting the road tax and the impact on the environment surely positive times are ahead for the industry in 2008.

Manufacturers have to give advice before doing cartwheels even as general motors’ can seen a promising performance in up-and-coming markets they have seen big losses in both American and European markets.

According to the doubtful economy of the world, it has observed that new cars sales are decreasing by the increase in used car sales. All types of cars sales are also increasing via internet in the year 2008 so it is important for the dealers (new and used) without having internet presence to do something for this issue and set up them in this up-and-coming market.

There is good news at one side for some motorists that the government is looking to penalize the motorists, insurance premium which includes car insurance and van insurance. By doing this, cost of insurances like combined motor trade insurance could fall and savings could be made.

And those motor traders who want to save on their motor trade insurance premiums in 2008 by using a specialist insurance broker has to make sure that they gets the protections at a price that is right.

Outdated Car Features We All Miss

Modern cars are becoming more and more advanced as time goes on, and the list of features and “bells and whistles” that you can find in them continues to grow and grow.  I love technology, and think that modern engineering is fantastic.  Nothing against new vehicles.

That being said, everyone has a bit of nostalgia within them, and especially so when it’s something you spend as much time in as your car.  These are a few features that you won’t find on new vehicles but are readily available on the older, used market.

Hand Crank Windows

Nowadays we have power windows which are great for an assortment of reasons.  All can be controlled at once with the flick of the button, and you don’t have to walk around to each door and roll them up when you want to go park somewhere and lock your car.

Hand Crank Windows

That being said, power windows break.  Often.  It’s pretty unheard of for a car to go its entire life and never have an issue with one of the windows failing to perform its intended function of moving up and down.  This was never an issue with hand cranks!  Even on the off chance that your handle broke, auto parts stores would sell you universal replacements with all sorts of interesting designs.

Power windows are definitely the superior technology, but you can’t help but miss a hand crank when you are forced to cover your open window with a garbage bag to avoid rain and mold damage during a thunderstorm.

Physical Knobs and Buttons

Have a look inside most new modern cars, base models excluded.  What do you see?  Touch screens.  And also a notable lack of any buttons.  Functions such as climate control, music volume and radio station, are all controlled by this one screen in the center console.

This is a situation where personally, I feel the old way was better.  And there are a few reasons why:

  • Touchscreens are more complicated and expensive to fix when they break.
  • Knobs can be adjusted without taking your eyes off the road.  Assuming you are familiar with the vehicle, you can change the volume or the heat/air conditioning without looking.  This is nearly impossible with a touch screen.
  • Touchscreens become outdated fast.  Have a look at GPS or center console units in a Mercedes S Class or Audi A8 from around 2007.  These are less than 10 years old and already look horrible in comparison to modern units.  Two years after buying a new car, your phone’s GPS will blow the doors off of whatever was included from the factory, so you’ll want to use that instead.

And just think about it… when the knob broke on your old car in high school, you could still adjust it, albeit with greater difficulty.  Try doing that with a bad screen.

Bench Seats

While some new base model pickups may still have bench seats, for the most part they are now a thing of the past.  And that’s a bit sad.  While bucket seats are of course better for sports cars, and offer greater grip when cornering, bench seats were pretty cool.

Anyone who went to the drive-in theater (also quickly becoming a thing of the past) as a child probably remembers front row bench seats.  And while I recognize the safety concerns of having them in modern cars, it’s hard to miss them in vehicles that are really meant for long stretches of highway cruising.  After all, who doesn’t want a couch on wheels for the long cruises?  Sure beats being crammed next to the sweaty guy with heavy breathing when flying coach.

Pop Up Headlights

Here’s a feature that is impractical and less efficient… but we all still miss.  Everyone who grew up in the 1980s probably either had a car with pop up headlights, or knew somebody who did.  And they were cool, really cool.

Headlight

All of the classic 80s sports cars had lights like these- the C4 Chevy Corvette, the Porsche 944, the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota MR2, and the coveted Ferrari F355.  And while not everyone owned one of these sports cars, the feature expanded to even little economy cars of the time, like the Honda Accord.

Nowadays, we don’t have pop up headlights for an assortment of reasons.  First, they are considered to dangerous for pedestrian safety standards, with many 80s cars having a “piercing” effect on impact.  Second, they were worse for fuel economy and speed as they were not exactly aerodynamic.  And lastly, they had a tendency to always fail, or at least one of the two lights would, which created a winking effect.  The winking was cute for about 7 seconds, at which point you realized you were now driving around with only 1 single 1980s headlight which was very ineffective in terms of actually seeing down the road.

Electronic Dashboards

This feels like a great way to round off the list, because it’s actually coming back now!  Many new cars come equipped with electronic dashboards, but this is by no means a new technology.  Back in the good old days of the late 80s, you could buy a cheap car like an Oldsmobile Cutlass, and it would come equipped with a dashboard with text resembling a microwave.

Electronic Dashboard

Of course, these screens were considered cutting edge when they came out, but soon began to age poorly.  For one, auto manufacturers decided they really had no need to make these more expensive dashboards.  Consumers on the other hand, found them more difficult to read and also unreliable.

At the time, the technology didn’t exist to make these types of dashes viable.  Nowadays though, auto makers are back to making them, but this time they actually have a reason.  New cars offer all sorts of different information from computers and sensors, and the car needs a way of communicating it.  A static dashboard cannot deliver this, so electronic is used such that information can by cycled through.  Also, in some high end sports cars, such as the Lexus LFA, electronic dashes are necessary because the car accelerates so fast, traditional needles on a speedometer just can’t keep up!  And while new electronic dashboards are very different from the 1980s ones they are succeeding, it’s still interesting to think that a feature often lauded as new was actually around 30+ years ago.

5 Cars to Drive Before You Die

There have been thousands of different cars produced over the past 100+ years.  However, only a select few are ever remembered and collected.  And beyond that, there are some which have achieved a legendary status, to the point where everyone who calls themselves an auto enthusiast is aware of their existence, even if they have never seen one in person.

As people who love cars, these 10 are ones you should never turn down the key to.  When given the chance, these need to be driven.

Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1)

As sad as it may seem, some younger generations idea of the VW Beetle is the atrocious looking blue car driven by Aunt Marie on Breaking Bad.  While that car deserves its reputation for not being very good, the Type 1 Bug is a legendary automobile.  It seems like everyone owned one of these, or knew somebody that did.

Beetle

This air-cooled, ever-reliable, “drop the engine in 20 minutes”, rear-engined, snap oversteer prone people’s car is unlikely to ever be forgotten.  Perhaps the most astonishing part of the Beetle is how long it stayed relevant, remaining pretty much the same in some parts of the world from 1938 to 2003!  That means if someone was born in the midst of World War II, when the Beetle was first created from a demand by Hitler, they may have been retired at age 65 when the last model rolled off the line.  Think about your cell phone, computer, or even your clothing.  Much of it begins to look outdated after just 5 years.  Multiply that by 13 and you have an astonishing engineering feat.  Why fix what ain’t broken?

Ford Mustang (first generation)

Everybody loves a Mustang.  Seriously, go pull random people off the streets back in the ’60s, and do the same now.  This is one of those vehicles that transcends the line between enthusiasts and people who see vehicles as a “point A to point B” transportation device.  No matter who you are, you have to appreciate the timeless design of a ‘Stang.

Bullitt Mustang

American car lovers will angrily rant and point out that the Mustang is not a muscle car, although it is often attributed as being one.  It is in fact a pony car, but regardless of how technical you want to be about it, we can all agree that it had a major influence on the engineering of both American cars, and how they became perceived around the world.  There’s a very good reason that each new generation of the Mustang is still lauded today.

Ferrari F40

Ferrari is a company that doesn’t mess around.  They have a reputation to keep.  They constantly have to be the best.  The best lap time around a track, the best top speed in a straight line, and the best driving experience.  Anything less than that is considered a failure, whether by company standards or by the general public.

F40

The Ferrari F40 is not a failure, in any way.  This is the supercar which all supercars are compared to… even today.  While most older performance cars struggle to hold up in the electronic wave of modern vehicles, the F40 remains an incredible vehicle, particularly on its home turf, the race track.  0-60 came in a blistering 3.8 seconds.  It was also the first road legal production car to ever reach 200 miles per hour.  It is, in many senses of the word, the automotive definition of pure.

Bugatti Veyron

While the F40 may always reign supreme in terms of being a spiritual masterpiece, the Veyron is a product of unmatched engineering.  This is, technically speaking, one of the greatest automotive achievements the world has ever seen.

For those that live under a rock, the Veyron is the world’s fastest car.  The Super Sport is capable of reaching 267 miles per hour.  Most cars that are capable of hitting anything close to 250, or even 200 mph are very different from the Veyron.  They’re loud and raw, and uncomfortable to drive for the select few old men who have the money to purchase them.  The Veyron on the other hand, is a supercar that is capable of being pushed completely to the limit with apparent ease.  Check out this video to really see the engineering achievement that is this car.  267 miles per hour… in a car that’s quiet, rides nice, has climate control, and a CD player for your tune

Ford Model T

As amazing and influential as the other vehicles on this list, few appreciate them outside of the circles of car enthusiasts.  The Ford Model T breaks that trend.  This is a car that has made into the history books.  Not the automotive history books, mind you, but the “normal” history books, with George Washington.  The American Revolution, the Civil War… and the Model T.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not the first car.  Vehicles existed before this.  None of the engineering or design that went into the Model T was something that was completely new to the world.  However, Henry Ford did something even more special- he made these affordable for everyone.

Model T

Prior to the building of this car, most people never traveled more than 5-10 miles from the place they were born.  Travel was reserved for the rich and the famous.  For the everyday person, all of life consisted in living one place.  Think about where you born.  Imagine growing up entirely in that place, living your adult life entirely in that place, and one day dying there.

The Model T completely shattered this whole image of existence.  It shrunk the world.  And not just for a select few, but for everybody.  Travel that would have taken hours now took minutes.  Weeks of travel across states and between cities could now be achieved in just a few days.  Entire industries came into existence, worldwide commerce grew like never before, and it all comes back to this car.  Whether or not you are a car enthusiast, you could easily make the argument that this was one, if not the greatest, inventions ever created by man.

Difference between Generic Auto Parts and Big Name Auto Parts

Gear Motor

Credit: www.ClickAutomation.com

When shopping at a grocery store for canned goods, do you buy generic brands or well-known brands? When it comes to shampoo, do you buy generic shampoo or a branded one? If a customer needs new shock absorbers, would you recommend generic ones or the branded ones?

Although it might not make a big difference if you buy generic canned goods or shampoo, you could jeopardize your company’s reputation, your customer, and everybody else he might encounter on the road. Yes, believe it or not, generic auto parts and big name auto parts are very different from one another.

Parts Aren’t All the Same

Although canned goods and shampoo come with clearly identified ingredients on their covers, auto parts don’t. There aren’t any government rules on the majority of auto partsout there, either. In fact, only a handful of auto components have safety regulations imposed by the government. While lights, tires and safety restraints are regulated, for example, brake pads — which are very frequently used and replaced — aren’t.

Unfortunately, as with other consumer products out there, practically every kind of auto part has knock-offs available in today’s market. Even worse: a lot of people buy them because they are incredibly cheap. Well, guess what? Auto parts aren’t all the same, so you have to be very careful when choosing yours.

Choosing Your Parts

If you want to save money while shopping for auto parts, likeservo controls or a brushless servo motor, here are several tips for you to follow:

1. Ask someone that you trust for brand referrals.

Don’t be too shy to ask for advice or admit when you don’t know certain things.

2. Call up the manufacturer.

Most manufacturers are more than happy to help out, so just call their toll-free website, or visit their website, if you need to. If your manufacturer of choice doesn’t have a number or a website, then it probably isn’t the right place for you to shop.

3. Do some research.

The World Wide Web is incredibly easy to access and there are a ton of resources on it for you to go through, to find the parts that you need.

4. Don’t make assumptions.

Not all auto parts are equal. And, since car safety is of the utmost importance, you shouldn’t take this bit of information lightly.

5. Go to trade fairs, trade shows and distributor shows.

Don’t turn down the chance to go to events where you could meet important factory representatives.

6. Read car magazines.

Don’t always trust advertisements, though.

7. Trust your instincts, instead.

If something seems too good to be true, then it is all right to become suspicious and walk away.

8. Use trusted brands.

Do not risk your life on generic brands. Remember: your safety depends on it.

Chinese Autos Outpace Michigan Auto Parts Makers

Made In China World

 

China Auto World

While China remains the largest automotive industry globally, they have the potential to become dominant with the influx of more advanced technology and energy efficient cars.   Some issues surrounding the Chinese autos industry are certain grievances with other countries concerning WTO violations and NAFTA agreements, the need for more advanced technology and cleaner cars, and maintaining the position as the largest auto manufacture in the world. These topics of concern are most applicable to the major players in the Chinese auto industry consisting of the Chinese government, and car manufactures who are either, state owned entities (SOEs) or privately owned entities (POEs)

Historically, the Chinese Automobile market was developed under significant communist regimes, including the former Soviet Union and has been resistant to global economic change.  Presently, the Chinese Automobile firms are a combination of state-owned and privately owned companies. However, the advent of globalization and technology transformed the conduct of business for the automobile industry.  The ascension of China into the WTO in 2001 has facilitated increased participation from China, but not without concerns from other nations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) needs to strengthen and enforce policies in regards to the automobile industry in order to further enhance multilateral trade between China and the rest of the global auto industry trade.  If the Chinese government can orchestrate the task of settling WTO & NAFTA issues while utilizing both SOE and POE resources they will be able to transform its auto industry into the dominant force it can potentially become.

Newsworthy Issues

China’s auto industry has made strides to become one of the leading nations within the auto market, having aggressive plans to become market leaders in auto parts and vehicles. Some of the most noteworthy issues regarding Chinese autos are how they have overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market, with emphasis on exporting to international markets. Chinese auto makers also realize there is room for improvement; they are looking into producing energy efficient cars with better technology, while expanding sales and production globally. There also have been claims that China is using unfair competitive advantages within the auto industry.

Just Autos reported According to the China Association of Automobile that by 2020 North America and Europe may drop to 35%Manufactures there was a 46% increase in cars sold 2009  compared to the U.S. that was down 21 %. It is estimated and China will have 65% of the market (2010). The Economic Times stated in an interview of Michael Dunne, president of Dunne & Company Ltd investments (a firm specializing in Asian car markets) by 2015 China will  have produced 40 million cars and trucks and China’s demand will only take up 25-30 million (2003). This leaves approximately 10 -15 million available exports and the majority of these exports are done by private companies.

Despite China’s large market there is still a need to produce energy efficient cars and to obtain greater technology.  China Business News reported Chinese auto manufacturers are bringing in Japanese engineers due to their project management experience, innovative strides in technology and knowledge of environmentally friendly cars. They hope this will help them be more competitive with other global brands. The Chinese prefer Japanese engineers because of East Asian connection fits better with their culture.

Some nations accuse China of using unfair competitive advantages that directly violate WTO agreements and NAFTA agreements. China does have U.S. restrictions on operations in China and being the largest market for auto sales in the world this gives China an unfair competitive advantage. Ironically the three large U.S. manufactures (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) are not speaking up since the majority of their plants are in China.  GM actually sells more cars in China than in the U.S.

Major Players

Chinese Car Symbols

The major players in the Chinese auto industry that have the most interest in these issues consist of the Chinese government along with corporations such as; Shanghai Automotive Corporation (SAIC) and China First Automotive Works Group (FAW). These companies are state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) that are run and backed by the Chinese government and have partnerships with Western firms. SOE’s have the majority of Chin’s automotive market share and are known to look abroad for engineers (such as the Japanese) to share their expertise and technology with China.  In addition, privately owned enterprises (POE’s) consisting of Geeley Holding Group and BYD also have concern with these issues. POE’s while having the smaller market share have been known to show more innovation threw harnessing domestic talent and being heavily weighted in exporting.

When the Chinese government acceded to the WTO in 2001 it boosted their auto industry, but there were also some concerns involving WTO’s ability to reinforce and direct Chinese obligations.  In 2005, Noble, Ravenhill, and Doner reported China’s commitment to the WTO that is relevant to automobiles included; tariffs cuts, gradual elimination of quotas, phased in opening of various service sectors, elimination of performance requirements, and respect for patents, trademarks and other IP rights under TRIPS . Noble also stated  that at times the Chinese government has dragged its feet or simply ignored some of their WTO commitments, this has  helped spring board China to its number one spot, dethroning the U.S.  as the top auto industry in 2009. In order to maintain this dominant position China is working on its 12th five year plan (2011-2015) for an auto imports promotion strategy through taxation and trade policies to help upgrade their auto industry.

World Trade Organization Disputes

Concerns with Chinas of violations WTO agreement have been expressed by U.S. due to their effect on the U.S. auto industry. The White House Bulletin reported Chinese illegal trade practices have cost over 400,000 in U.S. auto parts jobs. Reports state that the Chinese government put $27.5 billion of subsidies into auto manufacturing and plans to put another $10.9 billion (2012). In addition, the U.S. NAFTA agreements are being affected as well.  Inside US-China Trade reported if the Chinese auto industry continues to have a regional structure run by local officials it will disrupt the automotive sector of NAFTA. Contrarily, China still has a concern with NAFTA‘s rule –of-origin for autos that requires a large pledge to use North American labor which China claims will affect their pricing strategy in North America. China’s development and ownership of advanced auto technology could split up NAFTA if the U.S. and Canada don’t come together on how to compete with China (2010).

In addition to the Chinese government interest surrounding trade agreements Chinese SOE corporations have concerns in improving their technology along with producing more energy efficient cars. SAIC Motor Corps is based in Shanghai, China; has branches in the U.S. Europe and throughout Asia. They research, develope, manufacture, and sell vehicles and auto parts including power train, chassis, and electronic parts. Just Auto reported that SAIC is working with Shanghai International Motor City (SIAC) on strategic development for new energy vehicle prototype as a top priority to participate in auto shows in China(2012).Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and components. It offers buses, heavy duty trucks, tractors, motor cycles, excavators, and dozers. The company also offers parts, including power train, chassis, and electronic and electric parts. In addition, it involves in import and export logistic services; auto repair and maintenance; auto clubs and rental; production and non-production materials trading; financing and leasing business to cater traffic and transportation, construction machinery, and production equipment; retail of vehicles; and investment activities.

Chinese Auto Plant

China FAW Group manufactures a product line that includes light, medium-duty, and heavy-duty trucks, along with cars, buses, and mini-vehicles.  FAW has more than 25 subsidiaries, operating joint ventures with Volkswagen, Mazda, and Toyota.  Just Auto reported that the FAW group main area of concentration is in the clean car segment, by focusing on hybrid cars (2010), for example the creation of Prius was a result of a JV between FAW and Toyota, which is one of the most popular hybrid cars.

Exporting has helped China become an automotive powerhouse and become the world’s largest auto market. POE’s such as Geely, and BYD have a very strong presence in the exporting market. Wheels Unplugged reported Geely Motors intends to begin selling mid range cars at end of 2012 for a very competitive price around 10,000 Euros.  BYD( partially owned by Warren Buffett) plans to export its cross-over sedan model that was present at the Detroit Auto Show.  BYD’s e6 model is all-electric car and will avoid the pitfalls of complying with American emission standards. However, Chery Automobile has also (considered a provincial SOE) set up a presence abroad in Italy, developing its own flagship car for Europe. (2010).

A Wall Street Journal article stated Greely Holding Group Corporation plans to increase sales of a Chinese produced sedan in the UK. Greeley launched the MG sedan to follow China’s state-owned SAIC Motor Corporation into the European Auto market.  By 2014, Geeley and its distributor plan to sell in the UK to support its network of 60 dealers.  Geeley Auto UK wants to repeat the success of South Korean companies such as Hyundia Motor and Kia Motors.  Chinese Autos are being steered to the Southeast Asian, Middle East, and Russian markets.

The relationship between the Chinese government, SOEs, and POEs is pivotal to the success of the Chinese auto industry. The industry is still dominated by SOE’s that are run by the Chinese government.  Chu reported that China’s government’s struggles to find a balance between the entrepreneurial spirits of the POEs, while maintaining bureaucratic control of the industry through the SOEs .

Making Your Dream Reality

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Many people think that driving their dream car isn’t an option. Believe that that dream cars are just that: something you wish for the might happen someday inside the distant future. But that doesn’t really need to be the case. Why put off something you want until a later time when you are able have it today? With a little research, it’s totally possible to try to get a good deal on a car that you’ve been wanting for a long time.

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Although you may don’t really know what your dream car is, the sales staff at Ford Burbank will help you find it. They can get you right into a car you’ll absolutely love, even when you don’t consider yourself a car person. If there’s whatever catches your interest, start your dream car search by checking out your nearby Ford dealer’s website, http://www.sunrisefordnoho.com/, and see. It could be a good idea to look at the dealership and look at the cars in person if nothing does initially. Speaking with an expert part of the staff will help you decide what you really want in the vehicle and they could possibly help you find something you’ll really love. Once you’ve found the automobile you love, the next task is figuring out tips on how to afford it. No matter how you see it, new cars are expensive. But there are always ways to make it work. You can make an application for financing through the dealership if you can’t afford the new car you want outright. While some people think that signing up to finance a vehicle can be stressful, it’s really very simple. Apply online and discover quickly if you’ve been approved. Getting your dream car is as simple as talking to an expert and applying for financing.”

How to Recover the Cost of aDamaged Windshield

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We have all been in a situation where we’ve had to get our windshield taken care of. Whether you’ve gotten in an accident or you’re in a situation where you had Arizona’s many rocks crack your windshield, you need to get it fixed and get it fixed soon. But how can you make sure that you’re actually going to get those costs back in a way that is effective? That’s what this article is going to explore in a bit more detail.

The first thing is that you need to know what is covered. You can’t really make a decision about your windshield without actually knowing what is going to be covered by it and how that’s going to make a difference for you and what you’re going to be paying. So, instead of being in a spot where it’s hard for you to pay for it, know if your insurance is going to pay ahead of time and see how much of it that you’re going to have to cover in order to get things done. Then, that way, you aren’t going to be stuck with unexpected costs that you’re going to have to try and struggle through in order to achieve your goals in the end.

Look at your deductable. How much are you going to have to pay? Is there going to be a difference based on where you go for the replacement? Do you have a different cost based on where you are getting things done and whether or not you’re going to be able to get what you need when it comes to the costs? Can you pay the deductable over time? Are the places that you’re looking at going to be able to get what you need when it comes to your payments? That’s the sort of stuff you need to worry about.

Put in a claim for your replacement. The claims process is easier than ever before with the internet, just as long as your company actually has a way for you to do it online. Even in those cases, it’s easy to file a claim. They will still have to get someone to come out to actually look at whatever it is that you’re claiming, but the most that you have to do is explain the situation and make sure that everything is in order before you go ahead and get your windshield replaced or fixed. That will make it easier to prevent loopholes in the coming months as well.

Make sure that you get a windshield replacement in Tucson from a company that has been approved from your insurance company. Look around and do some research so that you find one that is actually going to be able to do the work for you, but you will also find that you are able to find one that will take care of your needs and you. It will be worth the time you put into looking for it.