Sep 30, 2010

The Housing Market

Everyone is interested in the housing market for one reason or another. Some are looking to sell homes, others are looking to buy, and many people are looking for information on apartments and condos as well. Deciding on where you want to move is one of the major factors in choosing a home and making the best of what the housing market has to offer. If you’re moving to a major U.S. city like Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, or the state of Florida, you’ll want to find out as much about the real estate market and home buying suggestions for each area. Here is some information that will definitely help.

First of all, figuring out what you’ll be able to afford when it comes to a home will help you to customize your real estate search. Take a detailed look at your finances, and compare your financial state with the areas you plan on moving to. Each city will have different economic requirements, and there are different features in homes depending on the part of the country they are located in. For instance, you’ll probably find smaller but conveniently located apartments in New York, but these apartments will be slightly more expensive than an apartment in Florida; there are a number of loft-style apartments in Chicago, but the same style of apartment in Los Angeles may cost a little more. So, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the real estate market while you’re planning your move so that you’ll know exactly what to expect once you arrive in your new area.

Next, you should look at the specific types of homes that each geographical location has to offer. Search the Internet for real estate listings in each area, and take notes on the things that interest you in each home, apartment, or condo. You can also find out which real estate agents in the area will be able to give you the assistance that you need. If you don’t yet live in the city you plan on moving to, contacting a real estate agent online, as well as browsing real estate listings on the web will be very beneficial in helping you to decide on the perfect home.

Look for all the details you’ll need in a home, no matter how small. For instance, if you want wall-to-wall carpeting, or prefer a home with a balcony or spacious yard, be sure to make this plain when you talk to your real estate agent. The ads should be descriptive enough to let you know whether or not you want to look into seriously purchasing the home, but if you have questions, be sure to let the agent or seller know. For instance, there are several apartment ads in Chicago detailing apartments and town homes with garages, but if you need a two-car garage, you should contact the real estate agent to see if this is a possibility; there are a number of real estate ads for penthouses in New York, but you may not be able to see a picture, so you should contact the agent for more details. Many real estate listings will allow you to take a tour of the property to determine if the square footage is to your liking; if not, you may be able to request more details.

You should also take a look at the number of homes, condos, and apartments that are available in each area. If you’re moving because of a job or school transfer, you’ll want to make sure that there is enough opportunity for you to get the home you’ll want in the time frame you need it in. Sites like will let you know how many homes of every type you can expect to find in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and the state of Florida. Places like New York and Chicago usually have the most apartments for rent and for sale, and if you’re looking to purchase a home, town home, or condo, Las Vegas is a good place to begin your search.

If you’re selling a home in either of these areas, you’ll want to make a checklist of all the things that should be done to make sure that your home looks its best and is as marketable as possible. It’s a good idea to do minor repairs to the home, such as painting the fence, fixing small electrical problems and even doing a few painting jobs in certain rooms in your home will make your home more attractive and appealing to potential buyers. It’s also a great idea to look at other homes in your area that are for sale—this will give you an idea of how to price your home, and will let you know which home features are popular in your neighborhood; this way you’ll appeal to buyers that are natives to the city, and those moving to the are for the first time. You’ll also need to do a home evaluation with your real estate agent to see if the home’s value has increased or not. You’ll also want to make your home more enticing to buyers by using the area you live in to make the home more sensible for buying. For example, if you’re selling a home in Florida and live relatively close to a beach or two, make sure that you mention this when potential buyers arrive for open house. You may also want to fix up the landscape around your home, such as trimming palm trees, making sure that lawn is manicured, and even adding a fountain or bird bath. If you live in a big metropolitan area like New York City or Chicago, you’ll want to point out how convenient the area is, and become aware of neighborhood attractions—even the ones you don’t go to that often.

For more information on the home market, real estate agents, and housing information on the above-mention cities, check out sites like, and click on the city of your choice.

by: Mathtaus

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Some Useful Tips for Improving your Dodge's Fuel Economy

As global oil prices continue to rise meteorically to record levels, we have to find ways to improve our cars' fuel economy and save money. Especially now that drivers are doing a lot more traveling than ever, the importance of fuel economy cannot be over emphasized. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that vehicle miles traveled by the average American has increased by over 115%. This increase in miles traveled and the present dilemma of rising fuel prices means that we are spending more on our fuel than ever before. Thus, we have to find ways to save money on gas and improve fuel efficiency, especially if our vehicles are not really known for their excellent gas mileage.

There are many ways you can significantly improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. Managing your vehicle by minimizing operating costs on gas as well as minimizing emissions is our goal. Here are some helpful tips you can use to help you achieve a fuel-efficient and environmentally conscious vehicle. Start by determining your car's actual gas mileage or your car's miles per gallon. If your car has poor gas mileage then it is more important than ever to start improving your fuel economy. You can do this by changing your driving habits. Take your time and drive slower, instead of 60mph, try driving at 70mph. Although it may take you longer to reach your destination, what is important is you can save up to $5 in gas costs because of the reduction in speed. This is because aerodynamic drag increases as you drive faster and gas mileage deteriorates at speeds of over 60mph.

Regular maintenance is a very effective way to improve and keep up your car's fuel economy. The simple reason is that a poorly maintained car works harder; and a car that has to work harder will definitely use up more fuel. Thus, maintenance issues such as under inflated tires, dirty and clogged air filters, spark plugs and fuel injectors must be resolved. Make sure that your tires are inflated to their proper pressures. Tires that are in good condition and properly inflated provide less road resistance thus improving fuel. You should also check tire pressure regularly and look out for signs of uneven wear or gas leaks that could compromise your tire's performance.

Another excellent way to cut your fuel costs is by planning your vehicle use in such a way that you can combine, streamline and consolidate your trips and reduce unnecessary travel. You should also avoid excess idling, which is a waste of fuel. Stop your engine if you think your car will be idle for more than 30 seconds. You can also minimize air conditioning and use your car's flow-through ventilation. You should also check which gas you use, stick with the right octane gas indicated in your car's manual.

Have your Dodge regularly checked by your trusted auto mechanic. Give more attention to those auto parts that are connected to the fuel consumption of your car such as Dodge fuel tanks, Dodge catalytic converters, Dodge gas tanks, Dodge radiators and others. If your Dodge's parts are either defective or is not functioning properly then it is necessary and wise to replace these auto parts as soon as possible. You can save more money in the end by replacing dysfunctional parts and ensuring that everything in your car is in tiptop shape.

However, make sure that you purchase the best Dodge Parts only from a trusted and reliable auto parts store. Pick an auto parts supplier with an excellent reputation in the auto parts industry. Inner Auto Parts is one of the many auto parts wholesalers today, but stands out from the rest because it is a reliable source of useful and relevant automotive information and a known expert in the field of auto parts. They now have an excellent auto parts store that offers top quality Dodge Parts including Dodge A/C Condensers, Dodge Lights, Dodge Weatherstripping, Dodge wheels and other major product categories. With excellent quality, replacement Dodge auto parts from Inner Auto Parts, you can be sure that your car is maintained in excellent condition thereby improving its fuel economy and helping you save money on gas.

by: Terry Brown

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The Guide To Better Car Buying Deals

Buying a car is like making a journey into the unknown especially if you do not know the meaning of mileage and the only seats you have sat on inside a car are the ones for the passengers. Without a map, one can get lost, confused by several choices and generally duped into accepting a less than great a deal.

Still like any journey, with the right guide to buying a car, one can breeze through the experience with flying colors. Below is a guide to getting better car buying deals not only in terms of getting high quality cars but also in being aware of rebates and discounts. Both online and offline transactions were mentioned and discussed as some people are already doing their shopping online.

Read on and see for yourself which car buying guide you already know and which one you just heard for the very first time.

Car buying guide #1: List your requirements and stick to it.

Knowing what you need and what you want already takes you halfway the decision-making process. List your requirements and search for a perfect match out of the hundreds of car models available. You can do this in the old fashion way by visiting the car dealers near your area or the new age way through the wonders of the World Wide Web. One car buying guide which you should remember is to never go to dealers without having a car in mind. Websites like has a handy research tool that can help you refine your search

Car buying guide #2: Have a budget and stick to it.

When you have already decided on your car model, you can now look into the prices being offered by various car dealers. One car buying guide that is really important is to do price comparisons, which are available online at or CarsDirect. You can also ask advice from people who have bought cars in the last five years. Chances are, car dealers still have the same practices.

Car buying guide #3: Be on the look out for special sales and promos

Most car dealers and even websites will always come up with a promo or a special deal guaranteed to outsell the competition. You can also leave your contact details and ask the car dealers that you have visited to inform you of upcoming promos. That way, you will stay up to date and would be able to compare different deals offered by different companies. One can also try looking for great deals over the Internet.

Car buying guide #4: Buy at the right season

One car buying guide that is a sure hit is perfecting the timing of buying a car. Usually, car dealers go on sale by the end of December as there is low demand for expensive gadgets. Because of the Christmas shopping rush, few actually buy a car at this period of time. Another great time is on July to October where new models have to replace the new. Sometimes, car manufacturers even offer big discounts just to be rid of the stock.

Car buying guide #5: Beware of Add-ons

Some dealers would put add-on services that you do not really need until the price skyrockets. Beware of these add-ons and really determine if that is something that you would like for your car.

by: John G. Nuble

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Sep 28, 2010

Transporting Your Exotic Car -

Exotic car transport is a growing branch of the car transport industry, a specialized field that includes auto transporters of custom-built automobiles, luxury cars, antique autos, exotic cars, and prototypes. Exotic car transport companies utilize state of the art satellite tracking and mobile phones to keep track of your vehicle every mile of the way. Secure and safe loading on custom built covered trailers with full lift gates and unique tie-down systems provide security without damage to your vehicle. Airtight sanitary environments and full air equipment for smooth and even travel are just some of the many special options available for shipping an exotic or special car.

Custom equipment designed to meet your specific needs is a standard in the exotic car transport business. When investigating exotic car transport companies check to see whether they maintain fleet of opened and enclosed transports at their facility, and whether they employ a professional crew of mechanics and maintenance people to serve your needs. To protect your interests, also make sure they carry the finest insurance coverage available.

Some popular trailer options for secure exotic car transport are: six-car enclosed trailers, four-car enclosed trailers, and two-car non-stacking enclosed trailers. Most auto transporters of exotic vehicles will offer delivery from door to door or delivery to the customer wherever they choose. Most exotic car companies will accept non-running vehicles. Many exotic car transport companies will design an itinerary according, solely, to your car transport requirements.

When you are searching for a exotic car transport company ask if exotic and vehicle shipping is their main focus or a sideline of another business, further find out if they contract out shipping jobs to third parties. Be certain when you are investigating exotic car transport companies that exotic and custom-made cars are their specialty and they are experts.

Many exotic car transport companies will offer worldwide vehicle transportation solutions to individuals. These car transport companies specialize in dependable, efficient service with numerous departures from major U.S. ports. Usually you will be assigned a very knowledgeable customer service person to insure the safe convey of your exotic car.

Exotic car transport companies use various methods and vehicles to move your car long distances, such as custom designed flatbed trucks, enclosed single and double non-stacking trailers and enclosed rail service. Your car will probably travel flat without being tied down by chains.

It should not be difficult to find an exotic car transport company with a crew of certified professionals who maintain an exceptional fleet of opened and enclosed transports to fit your needs and budget. Just knowing the some basic information about the nuances and services of moving exotic cars will make finding the best exotic car transport company an assured success.

by: Thomas Morva

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Tough and Durable Replacement Land Rover Parts: Defying Severe Off-Road Conditions

Land Rover is an unbeatable name in the all-terrain utility vehicle market. This marque sports not only the toughest performance auto parts from Land Rover electrical parts [] to Land Rover fuel injection parts, Land Rover transmission parts, Land Rover suspension and Land Rover accessories; but rugged looks and excellent luxury features as well, being a part of the Premier Automotive Group of Ford.
Several Land Rover vehicles have made it to the top of the auto market through the years; the most popular is the Land Rover Discovery. This luxury SUV successfully vies in the auto industry’s luxury off-road vehicle segment. Powered by a 4.0 L V8, and equipped with heavy duty Land Rover mechanical engine parts, and highly efficient Land Rover fuel system parts, there’s no doubt this vehicle is ready to take you anywhere you desire.
Although less popular the than the Discovery, Land Rover’s top model, the Range Rover still heads the Land Rover line of SUVs. It comes with a permanent 4WD and disc brakes all around. Land Rover Range Rover auto parts are made with the highest standards in order to meet the meticulous demands of the luxury market. Since this vehicle was launched in 1970, no other sport utility vehicle has equaled or surpassed the Range Rover in terms of luxurious features. With its technologically advanced interior Land Rover Parts, excellent safety features and impressive line of performance auto parts, it is by far the Best Luxury SUV in the market.
Best as it may seem to be, Land Rover SUVs are still subject to common car problems and its tried and tested Land Rover Parts, subject to wear and tear. Hence, proper and frequent maintenance is needed to keep its driving potentials intact. If some of your Rover Range Rover parts have been damaged, perhaps due to a collision, make sure to replace them with equally dependable Land Rover Parts and Range Rover Parts []. Replacing your stock auto parts with high quality, tough and reliable replacement performance parts, aftermarket parts and auto accessories is the best way to ensure your safety and driving satisfaction.
Among the thousands of auto parts store online that offer OEM-quality parts, only one store affords the most comprehensive and the most dependable line of Land Rover Parts and Land Rover Body Parts, Land Rover Parts for Discovery and other Land Rover vehicles, Land Rover Parts and Car Parts. All parts offered in this store are guaranteed tough and durable and are designed to defy severe off-road driving conditions.
Knowing that only the most reliable auto parts can give you ultimate driving satisfaction, Land Rover Parts and Car Parts delivers only the finest Land Rover Parts and Rover Parts, Land Rover Parts for Discovery, Land Rover Range Rover Parts [] and Land Rover Defender Parts that meet your vehicle's specifications. The best way to prove these replacement parts' toughness and dependability is to take your SUV off-road. This Land Rover Parts and Rover Parts store is ready to take the challenge.

by: Carol

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Top 9 Used Car Salesmen Tricks, and How to Avoid Them

Every BMW vehicle is truly a source of pride and of sheer driving satisfaction. Through the years, this German vehicle has lived up to the standards of its own catchphrase “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Performance—this clearly sets a BMW car from the rest of the autos within its class. The moment you rev up the engine, you would already know how your drive’s going to be. The longer you drive it, the more you get convinced it is designed and engineered to give you an One of the biggest moments in many people’s lives is driving off in their brand-spanking-new automobile. It’s an exhilarating feeling. It’s also a big moment because in that very instant, that brand-spanking-new car loses a big chunk of its value—the difference between the retail price you paid and the car’s wholesale value. That’s typically thousands gone in an instant.

That’s why some car buyers choose to shop around for a used car. You save yourself that steep initial drop-off in value. More importantly, you get a car that runs just as well, is just as dependable, and looks and feels as good as that new car—that is, if you play your cards right.

For if there is one pitfall of buying a used car, it’s the risk of buying a lemon, a junker—call it what you want, you get the point: the wrong car. Used car dealers, after all, have nearly as bad a reputation, if not worse, than lawyers do. This holds true for individual people selling their cars through newspapers, Web auctions and classified sites, or with the old-fashioned signs in their car windows. The saying, “Buyer Beware,” no where has more meaning than with cars.

The opposite to that, of course, is that there are some real steals out there in used cars. We’re talking about quality vehicles that will perform beyond your expectations at a low price. Here’s how to find these perfect used vehicles, and avoid the top 10 scams that used car dealers everywhere try to pull on you.

1. Get a second opinion for the hype. Used car dealers will bombard you with every adjective under the book to sell you on a car—sporty, thrifty, fast, and etc. Don’t take their word for it. Instead, find someone you know, whether a neighbor, a colleague, a family member, or a friend, who owns the same make and model of the vehicle, and ask them for their opinion.

2. Do a background check. One of the most unethical, but legal, things someone can do to you is sell you a used car that’s been in a flood (and sort of repaired), or one that’s had 10 previous owners (none of whom repaired it). To be sure you don’t fall victim to this, track down a history report, including a clearance check on the vehicle title. You can even get some of this information from the seller, simply by asking why they are selling it. You’d be surprised what beans people may spill.

3. Examine for past damage. Used car dealers may also try to peddle a vehicle that was wrecked in a major accident. It’s amazing what autobody experts can do to repair a car’s exterior. So don’t go by the outer appearances of a vehicle. Before you buy it, make sure that it does not have serious damage to its frame, which it would have if it was involved in a crash.

4. Call up your trusted mechanic. Used car dealers, especially the big lots, will say they put their used cars through a “100 point inspection,” or something like that. Once again, a second opinion is in order. Get this one from your own mechanic. He’ll be able to tell how good a shape the car actually is in. Also be sure to ask him or her how often the car had been serviced. A good mechanic can even gauge that.

5. Research for recalls. Needless to say, a used car dealer may sell you a car that’s actually under recall in his mad rush to get the car off his lot. So be sure to call the car manufacturer, or visit their Web site, to see if the vehicle has any active recalls.

6. Avoid the leftover lemon. Along with recalled vehicles, dealers may even perpetrate something much worse on you—sell you a lemon. (By definition, a lemon is a car that’s still under warranty, which has such major problems that, warranty or not, it still cannot be fixed in a reasonable way.) The best way to avoid this is to research in Consumer Reports or the various automobile magazines, which all have yearly reviews of every make and model on the market. They’ll tell you whether a kind of car is known for being a lemon and prone to breakdowns.

7. See through the old paint and bait. Along with performing their “100 point inspection,” car dealers may shine and wax a used car—even repaint it—to hide dents, dings, and rust spots. A keen eye, though, can see right through this.

8. Take the test drive. Once you’ve done all your research, homework, extra credit, and everything else called for in the first seven steps, then comes the fun—the test drive. Drive the car for as long as its owner or dealer will allow you. Then you’ll get a better feel for how the vehicle handles, accelerates, brakes, and otherwise suits your tastes (or doesn’t).

9. Be wary of the pushy seller. At any stage of the game—from the moment you first talk to the seller to the test drive—be careful if the seller gets pushy. Any dealer or seller who is in a rush to move a vehicle should set off bells and whistles. Why the rush? Are they hiding something? In some cases the seller may just be excited to sell you the car—and actually happy for you—but in many other cases, they may be up to something. Better be safe than sorry.

Follow these 9 simple steps to avoid the scams and pitfalls of used car deals, and you could get the car of your dreams—for far less than you’d pay if it was brand-new. Plus, you get that same high when you drive your new used car home, without losing thousands of dollars.

by: Donald Lee

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Sep 27, 2010

To Lease Or Not To Lease?

Thinking of leasing a car? It’s pretty awesome to always have a new looking car sitting in your driveway! But, you may want to take a few things into consideration before jumping in to a lease head first.

When you lease a vehicle, you’re given the right to use it for a specific number of months and miles. Yes, the monthly payments are lower than if you bought the car outright. And that’s pretty attractive! A low monthly offer definitely captures your attention during car commercials. But at the end of a lease, you’re empty-handed. The lease might allow you to buy the car under certain terms – make sure those terms are stated, if that’s something you think you’re going to be interested in.

It depends on your needs. You may not want to keep a vehicle very long, in which case, leasing could be a valuable option.

Either way, check the beginning, middle, and end of lease costs. Are there mileage limits? Most likely. What upkeep is required? You usually have to abide by manufacturer’s recommendations on servicing the vehicle (changing oil, rotating tires, etc.).

Usually if you end a lease early, you end up having to pay a pretty hefty termination charge. Check out all the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Many times you have to agree on a specific number of miles you’d drive a year. (normally 12,000 to 15,000 annually). If you go above that, there’d be additional charges. Take that into consideration of you’re planning a family vacation by car.

Damage, excess wear to the vehicle, and any missing parts incur additional charges, as would be expected.

Naturally, the leasing company requires you to have car insurance.

There might be extra upfront costs, like a down payment, a security deposit, taxes and other fees. So your initial payment might be higher than you first thought. Check it all out before signing on the dotted line.

I have several friends who would only lease, and would never consider buying a car. If you’re the type of person who wants to trade your car in every two years or so, and you take good care of your vehicles, leasing may be for you. On the other hand, if you’re the type to drive a car into the dust and hold onto it forever, leasing would be a more expensive option than an outright purchase.

by: Jeff Slokum

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Tips On Car Leasing.

Leasing a car isn't for everyone. If you're like me and keep your car for many, many years then leasing isn't for you. If however, you don't get "attached" to a vehicle as some of us do, and you like having a new car every few years then leasing may be for you.

Today's cars are built very well and you can expect to get a good amount of mileage from your car. You can expect at least 100,000 miles. If you purchase a car you may have five years of payments, but your car may last eight to ten years. This means three to five years of no monthly car payments. However, as you car ages, the need for upkeep goes up too. With more mileage on you car things start to break down and costs to keep your car up mechanically may go up. It's doubtful though that what you pay out for maintenance and car repair will ever be as much as monthly payments would be.

When you lease a car you make monthly payments as you would if you purchased a car outright. But, when a lease is up you have nothing to show for it. These monthly payments may be somewhat less than if you were buying the car. Leasing a car usually requires large down payments and security deposits, taxes and fees. It isn't necessarily cheaper up front than buying a car. Also, when you lease a car you have mileage restrictions. A lease generally allows between 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually. If you go over that amount you pay for each mile. This can really add up.

Leasing doesn't mean you don't have to pay for upkeep. You are held to the manufacturers specified servicing schedule for your vehicle. If you don't have the required maintenance performed this can void your lease.
If you want to end the lease early there are generally large termination fees. At the end of your lease if there is damage to the car, or if there are missing parts you will be charged for them.

Make sure if you are considering leasing a vehicle that you understand all the fine print in the contact and all possible extra costs before signing on the dotted line.

by: Jeff Slokum

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Tips in Preventing Motorcycle Injuries

Safety in riding motorcycles in order to prevent injuries is a very critical issue especially during the peak of motorcycle season. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons are very much concerned about this issue since there are almost always a lot of motorcycle accidents happening at least one every few days. Most injuries noted from the people brought in the Level One Trauma Units range from serious musculoskeletal injuries, open fractures and head traumas from motorcycle accidents.
The increasing accidents are linked to the increased number of motorcycles on the road. Records show that since 1997, motorcycles sales increased to more than 90%. Last 2001, motorcycles represented only 2.2 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States and accounted for 0.34 percent of vehicle miles traveled. However, crashes involving motorcycles accounted for 7.6 percent of total traffic fatalities on America's roadways. As recently reported by the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2002 there were 42,815 fatalities from motorcycle accidents. What’s alarming is this is the highest level of fatality report since 1990.
While some accidents cause injuries or lifetime paralysis, some result to fatalities. Thus, these incidents should be a constant reminder for motorcyclists to protect themselves.
According to Maureen Finnegan, MD, professor at the University of Texas and orthopaedic surgeon at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, most motorcycle injuries involve the extremities and the spinal cord. Majority of fatalities are results of head injuries. Thus, she said that the most important tip for motorcycle safety is to wear a helmet. Wearing helmets are estimated to be 29 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries for motorcyclists. Another thing is the wearing of proper clothing in riding and of course, really learning how to ride a motorcycle and handle certain situations throughout the ride.
Here are other helpful tips in preventing motorcycle injuries:
• Get professionally trained in motorcycle riding. Research shows that more than 90 percent of all riders that were involved in crashes are just self-taught or taught by friends.
• Secure your license to drive. Nearly 27 percent or one out of four motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2001 was not properly licensed.
• Do not drink and ride. Those most at risk in getting into accidents are inebriated motorcyclists.
• Use helmets that meet the DOT (Department of Transportation) standards.
• Wear protective clothing – this includes goggles or sun shades for eye protection, jacket, full- fingered gloves, long pants and over-the-ankle boots.
• Make sure that your motorcycle clothing and gears are made of abrasion-resistant material, such as leather. Avoid loose, flailing clothing that could impair your vision.
• Wearing brightly colored garments may help other vehicles see/notice you.
• Proper maintenance and monitoring of your bike is of high importance. Observe proper lane positioning of your bike to further increase your visibility to drivers. Keeping a "space cushion" between your bike and other traffic should also be kept in mind.
• Avoid sharing a lane with a car since its driver may not expect you to be there or may not become aware of your presence. Most drivers look out for other bigger vehicles that they may fail to notice you instantly unless something has happened already.
• Ride according to your skill level. Never overestimate yourself. -30-

by: Kay Zetkin

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Sep 23, 2010

5 Tips to Buying BMW Auto Parts

If you are looking for parts for your BMW M3, X5 or Z4, you want the best. Whether you are needing to replace the brakes, hoses, lights or even the tell tale emblem you need to know where to look for factory direct parts at affordable prices.

1- The best place to find any type of part for your BMW is, of course through a BMW dealer. They will either have the parts needed in stock or be able to order them for you with short delivery times. They will be more expensive than other outlets, but you will know that the parts they are selling you are genuine BMW auto parts, not something that is generic.

2- If you choose to purchase your BMW parts via a dealership, be sure to take advantage of the knowledge they can provide. The mechanics at a dealership can be the best people to ask basic questions of. They will be able to give you insight as to what your vehicle actually needs and may even tell you how to go about replacing it.

3- If paying dealership prices is not what you had in mind, the next best place to look for BMW parts is online. There is a vast array of online stores, which specialize in genuine, generic, new and used parts for your BMW. The prices are usually less than purchasing through a dealer, however, keep in mind that these stores may lack in knowledgeable sales staff.

4- While you are surfing the web for the best prices on the parts you need, whether they be side mirrors or tail light covers, you might also be wise to look up the "how-to guides" that tell you how to install them. There is a lot of information on the web in regards to BMW and BMW auto parts, their uses and their replacement.

5- As long as you are looking for parts for your BMW, you may want to check out the selection of accessories that are also available. These include items such as shift knob replacements and custom door handle parts, to name a few. The best way to begin a search for accessories is online or through catalogues. 

by: Dan Ford

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Top 10 Tips You Must Know When Buying a Car

1. You should purchase your new car at or around Christmas time because with everybody buying their Christmas presents, not many of them are looking to buy a new car, and it forces dealerships to up their sales strategies. Salesmen are more willing to haggle down to your prices to close the deal.

2. You can also get a good deal from July to October because that is the time of year when dealerships are trying to get rid of their inventory to make way for the new models.

3. Purchasing a car online is becoming a great way to get a new car. Just wait for good rebates and incentives online and shop around. Print out your information from the best quotes and bring it to the dealer that you are most willing to work with. Bringing in lower quotes from another company might be your best bet in getting a good deal.

4. You should visit if you are hoping to find new car prices, dealer incentives, and the best rebate offers. This site is the first place that you should go for great advice on buying a car. It’s even more informative than the Kelley Blue book. This program for buying new cars can literally save you thousands of dollars.

5. A good place to start when going into a dealership is to bring a copy of your credit score with you. It can lower your interest rates on your car loan. Your car dealer should not know more about you than you do.

6. You can avoid a common scam that dealerships pull. You will often hear that your financing fell through and that you have to respond by paying more money on your loan. Don’t believe it. It’s another reason for you to get a copy of your credit score.

7. Another common scam by dealership salesmen is for them to tell you that they have found you a lower rate, but that they want you to re-sign your loan papers. Usually, that is a downright lie. Once they pull up your financing information, they have the upper hand if you don’t know the details about your credit information. You can get a copy of your credit information online at for about $10-$15. It’s better to pay $15 now than thousands later.

8. Don’t bring in a car for trade in if you still owe money on it. The dealership rarely pays the rest of the loan on time which will result in you having to pay a great deal of late fees to the bank. If you do decide to bring a car in that you owe money on, get it in writing from the dealership that they will pay the balance on the car within 10 days.

9. Sometimes a dealership may not have all of your options and must order the car directly from the dealership. If this happens they will often ask you to pay $500-$1000 for a deposit on the car. Try not to pay more than $500 and be sure to pay with a credit card because sometimes the dealership will tell you that there was a price increase on the vehicle and will want more money. If you pay with a credit card you have room to dispute the amount being taken from you. If you pay by check, you can just consider the money gone.

10. You should never buy a car when you are in desperate need for one because a dealer will see that and take advantage. You should never wait until an old car is dead before searching for a new one because you should give yourself time to shop around for one and get the best deal possible. Desperation often clouds your judgment. 

by: Alex Fir

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Tips for maintaining your Snowblower

If you don't want to be standing out in the cold arguing with a snowblower that doesn't want to run, then do the annual maintenance before the snow starts flying. Regular maintenance will give you years of hassle free use, and less attitude from your blower. Don't forget the safety aspect, because without proper maintenance your snowblower could become a hazard.

Each fall before winter arrives, you should check all bolts, belts, and moving parts, to ensure they are not frayed, loose, or worn. Belts are best checked by removing and checking for cracks. Replace any worn parts, and tighten any loose bolts.

Turn your snowblower on its side and check the scraper bar. This is the bar that rubs against the ground and scrapes the snow off. This item wears, so check to see if it need replacement. If you neglect to replace the bar when it is worn, it will lead to damage on the snowblower's housing, and that's will hurt your pocket book. In fact, if your snowblower gets a lot of use through out the season, check it regularly.

Check the rubber paddles and the rubber on the auger. If your finger fits between the rubber and the housing it's time to replace the rubber. A new rubber will help your snowblower operate at its optimum performance levels.

Check tires for wear and proper inflation. Adjust as needed. If you have tire chains for your snowblower, have them handy or put them on in advance. There's nothing worse than searching in the freezing cold, while trying to remember where you put the chains.

There are only two types of snow blower engines: The two cylinder engine which uses mixed gas and oil. You'll just need to replace the spark plug on this style of engine.

If you have a four cylinder engine which uses straight gas, with the oil in the crank case just like your vehicle, you'll need to change the oil, spark plug, and filter. You should also check the oil each time before you start it. Most four cylinders use 5W30 oil, and hold approx 20 ounces. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct oil weight, and replacement part numbers.

Lube the drive and chassis. If you have two stage blower, make sure you check the lube in the gear box. Check with your owners manual whether you have a one stage or two stage. It will also tell you the type of lubricant to use.

If there was fuel left from the previous year, you'll need to siphon it off, and fill the gas tank with fresh gasoline. It doesn't hurt to add some methanol in with the fuel, once or twice a season, to avoid condensation from building up in the tank, or the carburetor icing up. 

 by: Keith Kingston

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Sep 21, 2010

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Car Cover

If you own a collector car, the purchase of a quality car cover can be an important investment. Before making this purchase, there should be ample consideration given to the quality of the car cover itself. Follow these tips while searching for the perfect cover for your perfect car.

1- While looking for a car cover for your vehicle, keep in mind that quality is a factor in this purchase. The better the quality, the better the cover will protect your investment. Look for a cover that is made specifically for your type of car. Many car cover manufacturers offer a variety of pre-made covers for most types of cars. The cover does not need to be custom made for your vehicle, just made for your specific kind of car.

2- If purchase price is not an issue, then it be might be wise to consider a custom-made car cover. This will ensure that the cover doesn't blow away in a strong wind, will have elastic in all the right spots, can have extra layers of protection built in. The custom cover can even be made in a color to match your car or with some custom embroidery that is just for you.

3- The material that the cover is made from is important also. It needs to be breathable, if the cover holds in moisture it will have dire consequences on your paint. The cover is not supposed to be waterproof, it should, however, dry out quickly after a rain, so that the rain spots are minimal on the paint finish.

4- A cover that has several layers of padding is best for the protection of your vehicle. These added layers will protect your car against such tragedies as limbs falling from trees, the neighbors' cats, stray baseballs and the like.

5- Before you place the perfect cover that you have found on your car, make sure it is clean. A dirty car will be scratched and scuffed no matter what quality cover you put on it. However, having a clean car to start with will help to ensure a well-protected car through the long months in storage. 

by: John Mancini

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5 Things to Look for when Buying a Truck Cover

Specialty trucks can be a large investment and may not be used very often; for these reasons, they should be protected from the elements when not in use. The purchase and use of a high quality truck cover should be considered to shield them from dirt and dust, animals and even people.

1- One of the first things to consider before actually purchasing a truck cover is quality. This is a case where it is wise to buy the best that you can afford, do not cheap out on a truck cover. A high quality cover will protect your truck from UV rays, rain, dust even falling objects and animals.

2- Look for a cover that is made of a breathable material. The cover should be lightweight and although not waterproof, it needs to dry out quickly after getting wet. If the cover is not breathable and holds in moisture, it can be detrimental to the paint job and increase the chance of creating rust.

3- Padding is very important when searching for the perfect truck cover. More is better here. The more padding that a cover has, the more protection it can offer your truck from all sorts of falling objects, from golf ball sized hail to golf balls whacked by the neighborhood kids. Padding is too important to overlook, be sure that the cover you choose has several layers for adequate protection at all times.

4- If you can afford it, get a custom cover for your truck. A custom cover is made to your trucks specific size and shape, while a generic cover will more than likely do the job, a custom cover will stay in place and not shift because of strong winds and time. Another advantage of getting a custom cover made is that it can have the extra padding added, be made in a color or pattern that you prefer it can even be customized with a name or picture.

5- The most important thing to remember when getting a cover for your truck really has nothing at all to do with the cover. The most important tip is to make absolutely sure that the truck is clean. It needs to be as free of dirt and dust as possible when the cover is put on, this will help to avoid scratches and scuffs in the paint. 

by: John Mancini

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5 Steps To Buying Your Car

Most people do not enjoy buying a car. A survey conducted by CNN revealed that 75% of people would rather visit a dentist than face visiting a car dealership. It's not that people don't want a car - it's just that there are so many pitfalls to negotiate and not everyone can be sure of the right steps to take. Here are a few points to keep in mind to make the process easier.

1. Ask questions, lots of questions. Try to ask sensible questions that will enable you to base your decisions on solid ground. But don't be afraid to just ask and only stop when all your concerns have been properly addressed.

2. Do not let emotion drive you. Pretty cars with all the bells and whistles can blind you to the truth. More often than not you will end up paying more than you need to if you buy with emotion. Be impartial and see the car for what it is and not what you may have fallen in love with.

3. Know exactly what you want before you put a single foot inside the dealership door. An open mind can be easily manipulated, and usually not in your favor. Use brochures, etc, beforehand to determine exactly what you want within your budget, and don't be swayed by smooth talk.

4. Talk to the dealer about the price and not the payments. Dealers who keep referring to the "easy" payments could be avoiding the issue of overall price, and you need to know why. Do your homework and you will know exactly what price fits into a payment plan to fit your budget. But if you focus on payment, you may end up paying more than you bargained for.

5. Know when the time has come to make a decision. That decision could be to walk away, or it could be to close the deal. You should constantly monitor how you feel about the offer being made to you. If it all feels right, then stay with it and see it through. But if you get even just a tiny twinge of something not quite right, be prepared to walk away.

Buying a car is not always easy. It's not something most of us do very often and we all want to make the best use of our money. But with sensible and careful planning, and an awareness of the five points above, you can buy the exact right car for you at the exact right price for you. Happy motoring! 

by: Jack Hill

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Sep 19, 2010

Tips In Buying The Ultimate Car At Low Cost

You don’t really need to be the ultimate car geek to figure out the ins and outs of savings when buying a new car. You just need some car buying tips, a calculator, a notepad and pen and mental savvy to play the cost game with a couple of car dealers.

To set you on the road to the car that you’ve always wanted without the burden of high costs, here are some car buying tips guaranteed to lighten your path.

Car buying tip #1: Do your price homework.

In order to get the best deal, you have to first determine what the fair price is for the car that you want and what the car costs in various car dealers. Researching for the fair price can be a bit tricky as all dealers would have different prices. One way to do this is to log on to websites such as,,, AutoWeb,, and AutoUSA and see what their prices are. After comparing, you will have a fairly good idea how it costs.

Car buying tip #2: Price is not everything

While price is the motor that would keep your car buying running, it is not the only thing that you should consider. Most car dealers would have a promo of some sort whether it be a free service, free parts or lower interest rates in financing. Look at this also along with the price. One may have lower prices but may not offer the same package.

Car buying tip #3: Compare and tell

Having done your price homework, you can now use the data to haggle with car dealers. Tell each of them that you are looking at the prices of several dealers. Quote some prices to make them believe you. Knowing this, they will give you their lowest possible price and may even offer some good deals just to prevent you from buying your car at their competitor.

Car buying tip #4: Budget. Budget. Budget

Knowing how much you can shell out and sticking to it can help you in negotiating for a better price. This is one car buying tip that most buyers forget. Remember, dealers can sense your indecision and may not give you the best price that they have in the house.

Car buying tip #5: Secure your finances

Car dealers are not the only ones who can offer great financial deals. You can get a loan from your bank or even from online lenders like Capital One Auto Finance and E-loan.

Car buying tip #6: Consider trade-in

When you have an old car and you will not be using it anymore, consider trading it in to lessen the costs of the other car. Figure its trade-in value and start from there. Some dealers accept trade in but oftentimes, you can get a better deal selling your old car privately.

Car buying tip #7: Allow for a time leeway

Buying a car at the last minute will not only cut off the possibilities of doing research and waiting for better deals but it will also make you quite desperate to buy one. Desperation in any car dealers’ book equals high costs.

Car buying tip #8: Ask for rebates and rewards

When you pay in cash, car dealers offer special discounts, rebates or rewards. Make sure that you ask your car dealer about them as some can “conveniently” forget about them until after you are out the door. 

by: John G. Nuble

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Tips for maintaining your Snowblower

If you don't want to be standing out in the cold arguing with a snowblower that doesn't want to run, then do the annual maintenance before the snow starts flying. Regular maintenance will give you years of hassle free use, and less attitude from your blower. Don't forget the safety aspect, because without proper maintenance your snowblower could become a hazard.

Each fall before winter arrives, you should check all bolts, belts, and moving parts, to ensure they are not frayed, loose, or worn. Belts are best checked by removing and checking for cracks. Replace any worn parts, and tighten any loose bolts.

Turn your snowblower on its side and check the scraper bar. This is the bar that rubs against the ground and scrapes the snow off. This item wears, so check to see if it need replacement. If you neglect to replace the bar when it is worn, it will lead to damage on the snowblower's housing, and that's will hurt your pocket book. In fact, if your snowblower gets a lot of use through out the season, check it regularly.

Check the rubber paddles and the rubber on the auger. If your finger fits between the rubber and the housing it's time to replace the rubber. A new rubber will help your snowblower operate at its optimum performance levels.

Check tires for wear and proper inflation. Adjust as needed. If you have tire chains for your snowblower, have them handy or put them on in advance. There's nothing worse than searching in the freezing cold, while trying to remember where you put the chains.

There are only two types of snow blower engines: The two cylinder engine which uses mixed gas and oil. You'll just need to replace the spark plug on this style of engine.

If you have a four cylinder engine which uses straight gas, with the oil in the crank case just like your vehicle, you'll need to change the oil, spark plug, and filter. You should also check the oil each time before you start it. Most four cylinders use 5W30 oil, and hold approx 20 ounces. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct oil weight, and replacement part numbers.

Lube the drive and chassis. If you have two stage blower, make sure you check the lube in the gear box. Check with your owners manual whether you have a one stage or two stage. It will also tell you the type of lubricant to use.

If there was fuel left from the previous year, you'll need to siphon it off, and fill the gas tank with fresh gasoline. It doesn't hurt to add some methanol in with the fuel, once or twice a season, to avoid condensation from building up in the tank, or the carburetor icing up.

by: Keith Kingston

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5 Automotive Tools Every Auto Owner Needs.

Automobiles are sizeable investments. As a car becomes older, its maintenance becomes increasingly important. There are many tools that every auto owner should have. Auto shops can sometimes charge exurbanite amounts for a simple fix that could have been done at home for much cheaper. Having the proper tools and knowledge will allow any auto owner to save money, learn more about their automobile, and maintain their car.

1. Every auto owner should have a jack and jack stands. When working on a car, more often than not, the car must be elevated. Simple procedures like rotating tires can be done at home with the help of a Jack. Additionally, all car owners should have a jack in their car with them wherever they go. In the unfortunate event of a flat tire, having a jack and a spare tire can lead to a simple tire replacement. In a garage, having a powerful jack and strong jack stands makes it possible for an auto owner to reach every point underneath the car and thus solve problems more efficiently.

2. One of the most important car maintenance practices is the oil change. To maintain an automobile, the oil should be changed once every 3,000 miles. Quintessential to a successful oil change is having an Oil Wrench that takes the oil filter off and allows the oil to be changed expediently. Without an oil wrench, an auto owner may be forced to take their car to an auto shop and overpay for a simple oil change.

3. Often when dealing with parts of the engine, or the hard-to-reach spots under the hood, proper tools are required. A 3/8-inch Socket Set can allow an automobile owner to loosen and subsequently tighten a wide variety of bolts. Different extensions allow the auto owner to obtain the best angles for torque and therefore make auto jobs quite a bit easier.

4. When changing oil, having a funnel, some rags, and a bucket is very helpful. Once again, the oil change is one of the most important maintenances for a car, and it can be done easily by anyone. However, many people do not have the proper tools or knowledge for a successful oil change. Having a funnel can also be useful when refilling any other fluids in one’s car. The funnel serves to make sure that fluids do not get over filled, which can lead to significant problems.

5. Finally, every auto owner should have a pair of solid vice grips. Some times a part will just not come loose. Other times, a car part may not seem to be tight enough despite one’s best efforts. Vice grips can hold a wide variety of car parts and allow the user to obtain more leverage for either tightening or loosening a part. When encountering a part that will simply not come loose, many auto owners will give up and take their car to a shop. Having vice grips can help one to avoid this problem.

Unfortunately, there is no car in existence that doesn’t require constant maintenance. However, with the right tools, anyone can fix minor problems and maintain his or her automobile without the assistance of an auto mechanic. The right tools can lead to a longer last vehicle, and large cost savings.

by: Mike Scurria

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4 Tips To Saving A Bundle At Your Next Car Auction

Many of us have been at the car dealership and have been drained by a salesperson during price negotiations for the purchase of a new car. Most people give in too easily or do not negotiate at all to avoid the dreadful act. This only means more money in the car dealers’ pocket, while you are out of several thousand dollars! Yes, they make that much in profit per car.

This article unveils the dealer’s selling tactics and how you can get around them. But before we dive into the new car buying tips, we need to understand what makes up the dealer’s profits.

In addition to the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price), which is the dealer’s cost for the car plus an additional 20-25% profit, a dealer also gets financial incentives from the manufacturer when a new car is sold. This is called Holdback.

Depending on the car, dealers can make hundreds on each car through holdbacks. Dealers also get additional incentives and bonuses on selling a car before the end of the month and/or quarter.

A shrewd dealer can make several thousand on a new car even by selling it at invoice price. This is how new car buying can become tricky for the consumer.

Ready to learn how not to put a dent in your wallet on your next car purchase? Here are four tips to get you started. Each one is a dealer tactic to watch out for.

1. The Guilt Trip

As you may have noticed, every desk in a dealership has photos of the salesperson’s family, instead of photos of cars. Midway in the negotiation, the sales person will bring them up and make it look like his little commission check can hardly pay for his daughters college and little Bradley’s braces.

A seasoned salesperson will soon have you feeling guilty for driving the price down and hurting his commission. Watch out not to fall for this tactic, since you already know about holdbacks and incentive programs from manufacturers.

2. Wearing You Down

Come prepared to spend half a day at the dealership or pay whatever the dealer asks for. Car Dealers are trained to delay and tire you out to the point where you give in and accept their price just to get out of there.

After you make your offer, sales people typically claim they would have to run it by their manager. You may then have to re-start negotiating with the manager, who is also a seasoned salesperson. This dance goes on for a while until you give in.

Remember, there are multiple dealerships in a city, so they need you more than you need them. Demand to speak to the manager after a certain time period or threaten to leave.
Because you are devoting a lot of time to bargain with the dealer, they know you are a serious buyer, so they will not let you leave. The earlier you can speak with the manager, the faster you can leave.

3. The Test Drive

We all enjoy a good test drive and look forward to it. Although it is essential to test drive a car before you buy it, remember to not show your absolute love for the car to the salesperson. Their goal is to get you emotionally attached to the car, so it becomes a must have for you. I have learned it the hard way.

To hide your emotional tears from the salesperson, mention the features of a competing car in the same class, like the new shape, light, leg room, resale value etc. This will make the salesperson a little vulnerable.

4. Monthly Payments

This one is to confuse you. Dealers will start talking about monthly payments rather than the total price of the car. They will start by asking how much you are willing to pay per month and how much of a down payment you are willing to pay. Since people don’t want to look like they cannot afford a certain car, they will usually give a higher number. Big Mistake!

You have left little room for negotiation when this happens. Always steer the conversation to the total price of the car and do NOT mention any trade-ins at this point. Only after the total price of the vehicle is completely negotiated then talk about interest, monthly payment and trade-ins.

General Rule;

As a general rule, remember to only focus and negotiate on the Total Price of the vehicle. Everything else is pretty much the car dealer’s trough.

If the above new car buying tips seem like a lot of hassle, yet you still want to get the best price in town, there are some websites that do this for you. for example is a great website for this because you can collect price quotes from multiple local dealers for a particular car as well as its competing car models (like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Taurus) and compare them.

The website then allows you to send back the lowest quotes received for each car make to all participating dealers in your area through the website itself.

Dealers view this price and continue to submit new lower prices over a 3 day period. By putting local car dealers in such a price competition allows you to avoid the dreadful face to face negotiation and yet gets you the lowest price in town for up to 3 competing car makes.

The best part about is that it is absolutely free for you and there is no obligation to buy after the new car auction is over.

by: Chris Fox

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