Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How To Clean Your Car Bodywork, Properly

by Mark Stephens

As well as spoiling the look of your car, dirty bodywork also reduces the value of your car. Chemicals in rain and corrosive winter salt mixed with extremes of temperatures really test the paintwork of your pride and joy.

The grime has to be shifted if you don't want to have problems down the line when you want to sell your car.

It's also good practice to wash your car as it gives you a chance to take a look at the bodywork and see if you have accumulated any chips or dings that need attention. You can also look at wheels, tyres, etc and make sure that they are in good order as well. So apart from treating your paint work to the wash that it needs, a bucket and sponge is a great opportunity for a quick check-up.

In order to get off to a good start you need to make sure you have some basic kit.

A hose (providing you aren't breaking any hose-pipe bans in the UK), a good bucket (with no grit inside it; give it a good wash out beforehand), a clean sponge, chamois leather and a squeegee blade (Turtle make one that Halford’s sell).

When you are buying a chamois leather a good indicator of its quality is a strong smell of fish oil. Don't bother with the synthetic cloths - they just aren't as good - if they were, real chamois wouldn't exist anymore!

The first step is to hose the car and shift the heavy mud or grime - if it's on there badly just let the water soak for 10 mins. Use a good car wash formula (your local Halfords will have some good deals - pick a good name like Turtle or Simoniz).

Starts with the suds at the top of the car and work down, doing one side at a time (and rinsing with water in-between) this will prevent streaking and difficult to remove marks.

Repeat this for the other side. Rinse again and squeegee off the excess water. Finally finish with the leather to get a squeaky clean finish to the body.

Brought to you by Mark Asset Tags. Co written by Imogen Thomas Sponsored by Low Rate Credit Card

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Driving And Yawning: Not Good

by Kevin Anderson

You can be driving while you are drowsy. And when you are drowsy, your concentration could get quite lessened. You would be yawning and you just feel like you would like to rest. For some people, they could even be driving while asleep with their eyes open, and thus the phrase falling asleep behind the wheel. This kind of situation could lead to accidents.

Fatigue and drowsiness is considered and counted as one of the major factors in crashes. It goes along with driving with excess speed, driving while on alcohol and drugs, as well as driving while ignoring other vehicles’ right of way. Other major factors of crashes include tailgating, improper passing, improper driving to the left of the center, and reckless driving.
So how do you know when you are drowsy and you have fatigue? One sure sign is that you are yawning a lot. You have trouble keeping your eyes open. Also, you are not able to concentrate much on the road ahead. Sometimes, you do not even remember what happened during the last few seconds or even the last few minutes. You may find yourself in crashes if you notice that you are jerking your head or your body because you already are in the brink of falling asleep. And the worst part of fatigue and drowsiness is that your car starts to wander off from the road or starts to cross into other lanes.

When you start to feel these signs, it would be best if you started to slow down. Then, make sure that you pull off in a place where there is a safe parking space. You can call your home if you want to so that other people may come and get you there or if someone is expecting you, inform them that you may be most probably be late or would not be able to make it for that day.

If you have a passenger, try talking to him or her. That should keep you awake. You can also opt to turn on the radio to a station that plays music that would keep you awake. Sing if you can. If you simply cannot just take it, make a pit stop. Go get a soda or some coffee first before you start out back again.

These tips are given and shared so as to help out in preserving and saving lives. Volvo Parts and Used Volvo Parts is also aimed at helping out in preserving lives through its updated stock of Volvo parts like Volvo 850 parts. Their website has all the Volvo parts you may need to keep your vehicle working fine and keeping you safe from accidents.
As a former news correspondents for an auto-related websites, Kevin has gathered extensive knowledge and experience in the automotive inddustry. This 34 year old father of three from Pennsylvania is a genuine car lover.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Pontiac Solstice:’s Most Significant Vehicle of the Year

by Joe Ratzkin

The Pontiac Solstice has bagged an award just recently. It was named the Most Significant Vehicle of the Year for 2006. This award was given by is one of the premier online resources for information about autos and vehicles and other things related to the automotive industry. This award is also part of the fifth annual Consumers’ Most Wanted vehicle awards.

Last November, the Pontiac Solstice already received the same award. Now this time around, when the consumers judged vehicles, it again bagged that same title. This exemplary vehicle has gained and took almost half of the consumers’ votes. It was followed by the Honda Civic, and the Chevrolet Corvette.

According to Karl Brauer, the editor in chief of, “It’s always interesting to tap into the minds of consumers. These annual awards provide insight into consumers’ collective impressions while the Forums and our social networking web site CarSpace give glimpses into individual opinions every day of the year.” Brauer also added, “The domestic automakers made some real traction this year among the consumers who voted. Domestic vehicles won twice as many awards as they did last year – a good sign for Chrysler, Ford, and GM.”

The Pontiac Solstice is a creation of General Motors and has been in production starting this year. It is a sports car and holds only one body style – a roadster that holds two doors. It has been built using the FR Kappa platform and its power comes from a 2.4 liter Ecotec I4 engine. Its competitors include the Nissan 350Z, the Honda S2000, the Mazda MX-5, and the Chrysler Crossfire. This vehicle has been designed by Wayne Cherry.

For all your needs for Pontiac parts, you can browse through one of the largest Pontiac parts and GM parts suppliers in the US which is Car Parts Rush. You can search online for the latest Pontiac parts, accessories and products at this store and you are certainly on your way to satisfying your Pontiac car parts needs.
Joe Ratzkin is an avid fan of anything automotive. This 34-year old bachelor wanted to be a mechanic when he was a kid but changed his mind and became a freelance writer and researcher instead. He is currently based in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Alonso and Schumi battle it out in Barcelona

[Sunday, Formula One Spanish GP] Alonso delights the home crowd as he beats Schumacher by 18.5 seconds after dominating the race from start to finish.

Alonso took pole at 1:14.648, and Schumacher trailed in third with just over 3 tenths of a second behind.

Next up - Monaco, Monte Carlo. 28 May.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Buying Your European Car

by Jenny McLane

Sometimes, just as luck would have it, the vehicle and the dream machine that you are looking for is entirely perfect. Except for one thing: you can only buy it in Europe. Of course, to do that, you still would have to import it back to the United States. And doing such an act could be quite complicated.

Now, before important a European vehicle, try to ask first the Department of Motor Vehicles about any specific requirements. These requirements could include emissions, temporary plates, and special documentation from customs. Also, it would help if you made sure that the sales contract you have verifies that the car has been built so as to match vehicle standards in the US. This manufacturer’s certification label could be actually found attached to the vehicle near the driver’s door.

Traveling your car to the US would require you to first clean it with any kind of foreign soil. The reason for this is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would like to keep any harmful pests away from US soil.

Upon arriving at customs, show them the shipper’s original bill of lading, your bill of sale, foreign registration, and other needed documents. You also would have to complete the EPA Form 3520-1 and the DOT Form HS-7.

In a nutshell, if you are buying or thinking of importing a European vehicle, you should keep in mind that the vehicle must comply with the requirements of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If they do not comply, they must be modified. You should also see if the vehicle complies with the vehicle standards in the United States. It should also have a thorough cleaning. You should also have a title and bill of sale. These pieces of information are actually proof that you do own the vehicle. Make sure that you do have a foreign registration as well as other vehicle documents. Do not forget to fill out the EPA and the DOT forms.

If you are worrying though about finding parts for your vehicle, there are auto parts stores that offer such products. Auto Parts Online is one of those and it offers parts for foreign-manufactured vehicles like Kia parts.

Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.

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