Thursday, December 31, 2015

GPS Vehicle Tracking - Sorting the Systems

I have been getting several requests for information about automotive GPS tracking systems.  While we have an article by Steve Armstrong that talks about a couple older GPS Navigation Systems, in recent years Vehicle GPS Tracking gadgets have become popular, affordable, and plentiful.  But which ones are not junk and more importantly - what do they do?  They offer not only different features but there are some major differences in deployment and how they are used, ie. how you interact with them.

I'm going to tell you right here that this article is still in the works, I am still doing more research but I wanted to get this started and out for you.  So check back often for updates.  As long as this notice is still here this is a work in progress and changing.

The old classic GPS tracker system installs permanently in the vehicle or equipment and is accessed via satellite.  It requires a monthly fee to access the satellite data.  This is what companies will use to track their fleets or off road equipment with the ability to locate them if stolen.

While the prices of the trackers and the access fees have been rapidly dropping, many consumers today are not needing such a tracking system but still want data on vehicle location and speed.

It's now possible to have this without spending thousands of dollars or pounds.  Still, it comes at the cost of knowledge because the market has been flooded with these small portable GPS tracking devices.

Decisions Decisions

First, we need to consider how we plan on using a GPS Tracker.  Is it for personal occasional use?  Occasional vehicle tracking or permeant?  Pets, recreation, hobby, automotive, spying?

Pets - with pets you are likely looking for a permeant solution that will have to be water proof and battery powered.  Pets would be best with satellite tracking (with a fee) if you will ever need to find them if they run away or are stolen.  This will give you what the VET Chip implant will not do - find your pet without someone finding it for you.

Other GPS tracking uses could be:
    Auto, Pets, Children, Camping, luggage, ...
    and the obscure - Spying, package tracking, model aircraft, ...

Let’s Help Clear the Clutter

Once we realize what we want to keep track of we can narrow down what type of GPS tracking technology to use.

[to be continued]

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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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Monday, December 14, 2015

Don’t Crash The Car, Well Even If You Do The Car Will Save You

by Anil

Have you been drinking and driving? Or perhaps chatting on your mobile while driving? If you are a little careless while you drive and are prone to having a bump here and there you are better off getting your hands on a new set of wheels with active safety technologies. Car manufacturers such as Mercedes are incorporating space age technology into their cars to save lives or rather save us from crashing our buggies when we are simply too careless with our own lives.  This might sound science fiction to you but these are some of the technologies Mercedes’s latest S Class has:

Auto cruise control warns you if you are getting too close to the car in front and if you don’t react it applies brakes on its own to maintain a safe driving distance.

Traction control sense when you steer too sharply or lose traction in the wet and cuts engine power and limits the power individually to each wheel to bring you back on track.

Anti Lock Braking System, this has been around for quite some time now.  ABS helps in achieving best possible braking performance, it prevent jamming of the wheel which results in skids and loss of vehicle control.  The computer senses when the wheels are about to lock and releases the brakes momentarily and then applies them again.

Airbags, as many as 8 airbags protect you in the unlikely event of a crash.  Airbags exist for all passengers and are inflated in milliseconds when the care ‘senses’ a crash.  Airbags can protect the occupant even at 100mph crashes.

Space Age Safety Technology
Now this is the most impressive of them all, the Mercedes S Class can sense when the car is going to meet with a crash using its 360 degree radar and braces for impact.  It rolls up windows if they are down, inflates the seat cushions to protect occupants and lowers the steering to save the driver from chest injuries and lowers pedals to prevent foot injuries.

Now that’s some technology, all to save our lives when we loose control.  Maybe if Diana was riding this S Class she would have been amongst us.  So lets not crash it, for if you do the car will save you but repairing the high tech car will burn your pockets for technology doesn’t come cheap.  The fully loaded Mercedes S500 with all the safety features retails at over $125,000!

Anil Tandon is a reputed automotive journalist based in India.  Anil has written columns for numerous Indian dailies and auto magazines.  He is currently working as a consultant to the Indian automotive industry.  Anil is also involved with India’s Leading Auto Classifieds Site which is also India’s First Carpool Site.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

How To Avoid Speeding Tickets

by Tom Bailey

Speeding tickets could cost you much money and additional points on your record.  That is why it is encouraged that you do try to keep your speed within the limit.  This not only decreases your chances of getting pulled over by a traffic enforcer.  This also helps you out in decreasing your chances of meeting accidents, crashes, or collisions that could be the result of driving beyond the given speed.  You should first learn the three types of speed limits which are the absolute, the presumed, and the basic.  The absolute speed limit means that if you drive a mile over the posted limit, you are speeding.  If you can legally exceed the posted limit as long as you drive safely pertains to the presumed speed limit law.  As per the basic limit, it actually allows you and other drivers to drive only as fast as conditions allow, no matter what the limit is posted.

You should also be cautious for you should always be on the alert.  You should also be able to note that all states have a basic speed limit.  Study your state laws.  You see, in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Connecticut, the speed limits are absolute either on highways and everywhere else.

In general, the most basic thing to keep in mind is that you should always drive at or below the posted limit on interstates and state highways.  This is generally just to be on the safe side.

Here are the speed limits in the states in the US as of 2006:
Alabama – 70, Alaska – 65, Arizona – 75, Arkansas – 70, California – 70, Colorado – 75, Connecticut – 65, Delaware – 65, District of Columbia – 50, Florida – 70, Georgia – 70, Hawaii – 60, Idaho – 75, Illinois – 65, Indiana – 70, Iowa – 70, Kansas – 70, Kentucky – 65, Louisiana – 70, Maine – 65, Maryland – 65, Massachusetts – 65, Michigan – 70, Minnesota – 70, Mississippi – 70, Missouri – 70, Montana – 75, Nebraska – 75, Nevada – 75, New Hampshire – 65, New Jersey – 65, New Mexico – 75, New York – 65, North Carolina – 70, North Dakota – 75, Ohio – 65, Oklahoma – 75, Oregon – 65, Pennsylvania – 65, Rhode Island – 65, South Carolina – 70, South Dakota – 75, Tennessee – 70, Texas – 70, Utah – 75, Vermont – 65, Virginia – 65, Washington – 70, West Virginia – 70, Wisconsin – 65, and Wyoming – 75.

For your Mercedes Benz accessories and Mercedes Benz interior parts needs, you can simply visit Same Day Car Parts.  From this site, you can actually access a wide collection of parts for Mercedes Benz vehicles and parts for other vehicle makes and models as well.
Tom Bailey is a consultant for one of the country’s leading auto parts stores.  He is also an editor of a reputable publishing company in his area.  He is currently based in Atlantic City, New Jersey with his wife and 3 children.
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Online Auto Insurance Quotes

Author: Andrew Daigle
Are you searching for better auto insurance rates?  Are you tired of feeling as though you're overpaying despite your spotless driving record?  If so, it's about time you started shopping around for the best auto insurance rates from a new auto insurance company.  Thanks to the web, motorists are no longer limited to dealing exclusively with local agents and hoping for the best deal.  Instead, the internet has opened a new door for those who are looking to compare auto insurance rates and get the best value for their money.

When shopping for auto insurance online, the process of choosing a company is a bit more involved than simply asking your neighbor which local agent they work with.  When shopping for auto insurance online, you may be required to do a bit more footwork while researching the auto insurance company, but in the end, it can pay off in a very big way.  The best way to find a respectable auto insurance company is to research their history, learn about their policies and how long they have been in business, check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau and request a free auto insurance quote.

What is the most common way that an auto insurance company could compete for your business?  By offering the lowest auto insurance rates, correct?  If you said yes, then getting auto insurance online may be the way to go.  Because there's so much more competition online, companies must work harder to get your business.   In most cases, you can complete a request for a free auto insurance quote online in a matter of minutes.  Depending on the specific auto insurance company, the number of requests, the day of the week, and other factors, it may take many hours or even several days to receive a response.  The best part, however, is that you can shop from a nation of auto insurance companies with the click of a button and never even have to step out your front door.

Free auto insurance quotes online are very valuable for any number of reasons, including the obvious fact that they cost you absolutely nothing.  Not to mention, the option is very convenient for someone who lives in a rural location and perhaps isn't close enough to visit several auto insurance companies or doesn't have the access to a great number of companies because of the fact that they reside in a small town.  Where there's less competition, the prices are higher.  But the internet has certainly changed the face of competition by bringing a multitude of options to those who either enjoy the convenience that the internet can offer or those who need the competitive pricing that simply can't be found in their area.  Whether you are shopping for Pennsylvania auto insurance, New York auto insurance, Florida auto insurance, Arizona auto insurance, California auto insurance or anywhere in between, you can search for discount auto insurance rates from the comfort of your favorite recliner.

The information in this article is provided for reference purposes only.  It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional financial or insurance advice relating to auto insurance quotes, discount auto insurance or auto insurance rates.  For additional information or to receive an auto insurance quote, contact a local auto insurance company.

About the Author:
Andrew Daigle is the owner, creator and author of many successful websites including Free Auto Insurance Quotes, an auto insurance company research site and a Low Loan Rates site for finding the best personal loan, payday loans, student loans and more for your financial needs.
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Saturday, December 05, 2015

GPS Vehicle Tracking - A Guide To The Tools Available

by Steve Armstrong

[If you are looking for information on GPS Trackers rather than navigation systems, check out this article]

GPS – What does it stand for?

Global Positioning System – Now, it is mainly used for navigation, both terrestrial and marine.  Initially it was used by the U.S. military for locating and identifying friends as well as foes.  The system uses military and commercial satellites for tracking anything that moves and has an emitter with or on it.  Error margins, for GPS, are nowadays within 100 meters, and this can be narrowed down by using differential base stations (DBS).  However, they are hard to use since their range is quite limited.

A new substitute for the American satellites will be the Galileo Satellite System, developed and realized in Europe.  The first satellite, called Glove, was launched in late 2005 from Baikonur, Russian Federation.

GPS – What can I do with it?

Here are just a few of this wonderful piece of equipment.  For instance, if you get lost, your GPS unit can pinpoint you your current position, or, it can make a breeze from an awful task such as planning a trip.  However, its main uses are in vehicle tracking.  Most trucking companies have GPS units on all of their trucks.  This way it is very easy to finding out where a trucker has been to, or where he currently is.  Since the first GPS units were installed on trucks and cars, specialized companies and sites appeared.

Lets look at a two GPS units and their characteristics.

Garmin StreetPilot 2730

This is one of the latest products available on the market.  Its producer presents it as being a “great utility, even when drivers know exactly where they are.”  Some of its features include access to the XM NavTraffic (a data-traffic information service, based on low orbit satellites, covering all of the USA), allowing it to suggest faster routes, before traffic-jam.  The navigation map on StreetPilot 2730, graphically represents any incident affecting the road, including man-made, like road-construction, or accidents.  Weather forecasts are also shown on the GPS unit, for as many as 162 cities.  The StreetPilot 2730, also reads MP3s, and the music can be sent to the car’s stereo through its stereo jack or through a FM transmitter.  The unit is equipped with an antenna, Garmin GXM 30, which can be placed on the roof of the car, or on the dashboard.  It is waterproof and has a magnetic end, for easier placement.

Initial GD-70X

This “little” gizmo has a 7” color LCD, the obvious GPS navigational system, as well as a DVD player, thus making it ideal for family vacations.  It can pinpoint your location on the map, as well as playback your favorite movie or tracks.  It has a set of maps which includes both Canada ant the US. Its map database includes over two million points of interest and it has a 250MB internal memory, large enough for downloading maps and POIs.  An interesting feature are the voice directions, which will help you focus on the road, an still know where you are, and what kind of conditions you are facing out there.  Also, it includes a day/night mode, making it easier to read according to the time of use.  The incorporated CD/DVD player can keep the passengers entertained as well, and if you don’t have a car stereo (who doesn’t), you can always listen to its built-in stereo speakers.

These are just two of the many products on the market that can help you with GPS vehicle tracking.

Steve Armstrong use to produce a site which was full of information on GPS vehicle tracking.

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[Liam's note:  I prefer TomTom GPS devices over all the others I've used.  While all GPS's do not have the same bells and whistle, understanding what you need is what is important when shopping for an in vehicle GPS device.  Most times simple is best.  KISS!]

Friday, December 04, 2015

The Search For That Elusive Classic Car

by Sarah McBride

There are some people who do love to collect cars especially those classics.  One of the more famous celebrities who do own a great deal of vehicles – classic or not – is Jay Leno and he has around hundreds of these vehicles in his garage, or collection.  You, too, can have and start your own collection of vehicles if you do have that much money to spare.  After all, you would want to have a vehicle in your collection that not only looks good but also performs and runs well too.

Classic cars are one of the most famous units that are included in car collections.  If you would like to have a classic car, it is best if you know how to choose a classic that is worth buying.  Knowledge could be taken from a value guide which you can buy in auto stores and some book stores.  These value guides actually provide you in clear terms what various cars in various conditions are really worth.  You see, two models which are similar could be worth different values.

While looking at a possible buy, consider the condition of the vehicle.  Generally, these cars are rated with the scale of 1 to 5. 1 is the best condition and is includes vehicles that are the ideal car show entrants.  Those that are in condition 2 could be those at car shows.  As per conditions 3 and 4, they are mostly those that are constantly pampered and taken cared of.  A car in condition 5 may not be drivable at all.  It is important that you know these terms.

Remember that the more original parts that your vehicle has, the higher the price it will be.  If the car has gone through customization like paint, carpet, wheels, engines, and grilles, the value of that car is much less compared to a car of the same model which has not yet felt any kind of customization.  Rarity is also to be considered.  Another factor is the color of the vehicle.  You see, a red Ferrari would always sell higher compared to a brown Ferrari.  So think about that.

Auto Parts Deal comes in when you do need to replace some parts of your vehicle.  The store holds various auto parts like tailgates, fog lights and spoilers available at its online store.
As a manager of one of the largest auto store in Springfield,Massachussets, Sarah has extensive expertise on auto parts and automotives in general.  This 42 year old is a certified car enthusiast.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Modern Day Car: A Sophisticated High Tech Gadget

by Anil

Little did Mr. Ford know that the little black buggy he was making back in the early 90’s would a 100 years later be as sophisticated as the cars of today. Modern day cars are extremely complicated and high tech with some having the computing power greater than the first space shuttle which carried Neil Armstrong to the Moon! Cars today incorporate the latest in silicon technology and it’s the advent of Information Technology which has really given the automobile industry a giant technological leap. As computer chips become cheaper car manufacturers find news ways of integrating them into various functions of the car. Some of the primary technological advancements which have been made in car technology over the past few years are: on board chips in MPFI cars for controlling fuel supply and combustion, safety technologies like airbags, anti lock brakes and seat belt pre tensioners, high tech CVT transmissions, navigation through GPS systems, radar gun scanners, key less entry & theft protection systems & many more.

Some of the most recent technologies which have been introduced include Mercedes active safety technologies which sense when the car is about to have a crash and automatically rolls up the windows tightens the seat belts and inflates the seat cushions to protect the occupants. Then there are automatic headlights which turn on themselves when it gets dark and wipers which turn on automatically when it starts to rain. The list just goes on with seat back massagers, tv and dvd entertainment systems, in car refrigerators, telephone, laptop, sunroofs, heated seats & much much more. There are more gadgets in a car today than there were in an house in the 70’s. Even drivability and handling of a car is controlled by computers, many cars have active air suspensions, traction control systems and active four wheel drive systems.

So when we buy a car today is it just a mode of transport which we are buying? Not really, it’s a mobile relaxation spa for some, a mobile office for others or simply a lifestyle accessory for the rich. One thing is clear, technology is never constant and will continue to amaze us with faster, more sexy and more advanced cars in the future lets keep our eyes on the road.

Anil Tandon is a reputed automotive journalist based in India. Anil has written columns for numerous Indian dailies and auto magazines. He is currently working as a consultant to the Indian automotive industry. Anil is also involved with India’s Leading Auto Classifieds Site which is also India’s First Carpool Site.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Top Must-Have Items To Have In Your Car

By: Jamie Hanson

Most of us have experienced an automobile-related emergency. There are essentials that you should keep in your car to protect yourselves and your loved one(s) during such events. The following list includes recommended items for having in your car that may save you time and headache:

Get Top Must-Have Items to Have In Your Car as a printable PDF specially designed and formatted for your vehicle's glovebox!

1. First-Aid Kit
The kit should include a first aid guide;
bandages; gauze; cold packs; antiseptic; cleanser; ointment packets; scissors; latex gloves.

2. Flashlight
A flashlight serves a dual purpose. It can be used as a light source. And, it can serve a handy weapon should you ever find yourself in a compromising situation. Make sure to get a heavy metal flashlight to keep in your car, in addition to spare batteries. Or, you can purchase a wind-up flashlight so that you won't have to worry about dead batteries.

3. Jumper Cables
Make sure you have jumper cables in the car for when you experience a dead battery.

4. Blanket
Use it to stay warm should you get stranded in the winter.

5. Auto Escape Tool
If your car is submerged in water, this tool is designed to break a window with a couple of blows. In addition, it has a sharp blade to cut through seatbelts.

6. Cell Phone Charger
Purchase a cell phone charger that works in a car lighter.

7. Maps
Purchase the most recent map. They are relatively inexpensive and can keep you from wasting gas if you are lost. Many cell phones come equipped with GPS features (Additional costs may apply).

8. Waterproof Matches
If you are forced to stay overnight in your car and have to make a campfire somewhere beside it, the last thing you want to worry about is how to start a fire.

9. Road Flares
Road flares will make yourself more visible to rescue personnel and other drivers if you are in need of help.

10. Disposable Camera
Purchase a disposable camera and store it in your glove box so that you can take photographic evidence if you are ever in an accident. Cell phone pictures may not provide enough clarity for photographic evidence.

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Having these must-have items in your car is crucial. Find extensive accident resources at

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Anti-Theft Devices For Vehicles

by Kenneth McKinley

Cars are expensive. That is why people do try to go out of their way to keep their vehicle safe, secure, and free from thieves and robbers. It is a good thing that some people have been able to create and design anti-theft devices. For most people, these devices are considered as blessings to those protecting their vehicles.
If you are interested in purchasing an anti-theft device for your vehicle, you should first take into consideration where you park your car. You see, if you are parking it somewhere far from where you are staying, even if the alarm goes off, you would not be able to hear it. Also, you would have to consider if people would be willing to rush towards your car or would they simply be ignoring it.

You can try to give thieves the feeling that they could not take your car. You can discourage them with the use of indicator lights. You can also use window decals which costs around $2 to $5. Or, for $80 to $200, you can purchase and use large and heavy-gauge steel objects like steering wheel locks or tire locks. Through this, you are telling thieves to stay off for they would have to put up a hard and tiring fight before they can get their hands on your car.

Look through various anti-theft devices. Remember that seasoned thieves can actually go through complication devices in around a minute or two only. Some anti-theft devices you can usually purchase in the market include audible alarms, a concierge system, cellular alarms that notify the police, locking steering wheel covers, locking steering wheel column covers, locking steering wheel bars, electronic immobilizers, engine system locks, fuel-system locks, tracking devices, and delay devices.

While looking for anti-theft devices for your vehicle, you can also try to locate good and quality auto parts for your vehicles. You can try Volvo Parts and Used Volvo Parts which includes Volvo 160 parts in their stock. Aside from that, the store also has engine parts, brakes, and accessories in store for customers.
Kenneth McKinley is a 35-year old marketing specialist of, a leading Volvo parts dealer in the country today. Working in the car parts industry for a long time now and being a car enthusiast himself gives him a wealth of knowledge on anything automotive.

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