5 Fuel Efficient Rides Perfect for the Austin Commute

Image via Flickr by M 93: „Dein Nordrhein-Westfalen”

The best way to save money on your commute is to invest a little in a fuel-efficient car. Nowadays the top vehicles on the EPA’s fuel economy ranking are all-electric vehicles and hybrids. The newest electric vehicles (EVs) can go roughly 80 miles on a charge, which is plenty to get you to work in Austin and back again, plus errand running, before plugging in for the night. Here are some of the newest models to choose from.

BMW i3

The BMW i3 has the best fuel economy of any car rated by the EPA. It is also the only fully electric vehicle that offers an optional gasoline engine, basically turning it into a plug-in hybrid. With the electric motor alone, the i3 can run for 80-100 miles on a full charge. After that, the gas engine, A.K.A. “range extender,” takes over. The impressive numbers for this car are 137/111 e-mpg city/highway. Its MSRP is $41,350. continue reading…

Ways to Upgrade Your Car

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Is your car feeling a little rough around the edges? You’ll be glad to know that there are ways to spruce up your current ride without spending a fortune. You don’t need any mechanical expertise, just the willingness to put some time and energy toward a vehicular makeover. Ready to get to it? Here are five ways to beautify your baby on a budget.

Give It a DIY Detailing

A thorough detailing is an easy way to quickly improve your car’s appearance, but it can be pricey. Skip the middleman and do it yourself. We’re talking about more than a car wash. Take it to the next level by vacuuming and shampooing the carpet and upholstery. Don’t just clean the exterior; clean the engine too. If normal wear and tear has resulted in minor dents and scratches, invest in touch-up paint and a dent repair kit. continue reading…

Louis Muellers BBQ in Taylor TX.

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Taylor is a small town about 35 miles northeast of Austin, Texas. It’s a quaint, little town with a rich history. It makes an excellent pit stop on a road trip or a fun day trip with the family. Here are four features Taylor has to offer:

1. Attractions:

Former Home of Gov. Dan Moody

Also known as the Moody Museum, this fully restored home of Texas Governor Dan Moody is full of history. Since Moody became the youngest governor in Texas history in 1927 at age 33, Taylor has been proud to call itself his hometown. After being restored over the years, the house still has many of the original heirloom pieces from Moody’s family. continue reading…

Used Cars Austin Taylor Auto Credit

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Who hasn’t panicked when a dash light switched on? When you’re on a road trip and an icon lights up, how do you know if it’s time to pull over or make your way to the nearest mechanic? Although many of today’s cars come with written warnings, most of us drive cars with old-fashioned icons. If your dashboard lights up, here’s how to distinguish between a real emergency and a minor inconvenience.

Know Your Colors

Your dashboard lights are color-coded to help you recognize a crisis. Green or blue icons convey information; they tell you if your lights are on or you are driving with cruise control. Orange icons, however, indicate that something is amiss and needs attention soon, such as the low tire pressure icon. Never ignore a red icon; they signify an acute safety issue that requires immediate intervention, like an overheated engine, continue reading…

Fuel Efficient Rides to Get You Around Austin

Image via Flickr by M 93: „Dein Nordrhein-Westfalen”

Traffic around the Austin area is unbearable at times. One thing that may help you cope is knowing that your car is getting the proper bang for its gasoline buck. New electric and hybrid cars offer excellent gas mileage for fairly reasonable prices off the lot, so you can start saving money on gas without putting a ton of money down. Here are five fuel-friendly vehicles that can get you through Round Rock’s heat and traffic for less.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is one of the most trusted and affordable hybrids on the market; the 2015 models start at just $24,200 MSRP. The adaptable hybrid system has a large battery, offering many opportunities for EV-only operation, including when the vehicle comes to a stop and the gas engine shuts off. This means the Prius can still provide much-needed air conditioning without having to burn gas while you’re stuck in traffic. The Prius gets 51 MPG city and 48 MPG highway. continue reading…

Most Important Car Features

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According to a recent study, car buyers are more concerned with safety features than any other auto technologies. With so many recent innovations, it can be difficult to know which safety features are the most important. Read on to discover which four safety features your next car should offer.

1. Airbags Cushion the Impact

Airbags can ensure a bad crash doesn’t become fatal. Front airbags prevent the driver and front-seat passenger from hitting the hard dashboard, steering wheel, and windshield, while side airbags can prevent impacts with the doors or objects that pierce through them.

Despite their life-saving benefits, airbags have courted controversy. They can be dangerous when used incorrectly, so it’s important to be educated on safe usage. For example, it’s vital that passengers are strapped in and sitting back in their seat. Staying belted and keeping at least 10 inches of space between your breastbone and the airbag dramatically reduces the risk of airbag injuries. continue reading…

Best Cars for Commuting

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Of the 90 metropolitan areas ranked in a 2010 study on commute times, Dallas, Texas, brought up the rear as the worst in the bunch. The commute from Addison, Texas to Dallas, for example, is about 20 miles, and the total time on the road is often extended by traffic and inclement weather. A reliable radio is an asset during the long trek between home and work, but the following five cars lead the pack in fuel efficiency and comfort for commuters.

Chevy Impala

Though its highway gas mileage of 31 miles per gallon (mpg) isn’t the most impressive on this list, the Chevy Impala scored the top spot on Kelley Blue Book’s list of the 10 most comfortable cars under $30,000. This sedan also offers plenty of technological upgrades to make long commutes less taxing, such as satellite radio, adaptive cruise control, and Bluetooth functionality. The 2014 redesign introduced both cosmetic and mechanical improvements, garnering heavy praise from critics. continue reading…

3-D Printed Cars To Be Available

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3-D printers have been used, to much acclaim, to manufacture everything from musical instruments to prosthetic limbs. Now it’s time to add “cars” to the list of things a 3-D printer can make. The first 3-D printed cars could become available to the public as early as 2015. Here’s what you need to know if you want to buy one:

Debut

Local Motors debuted the Strati, the first ever completely 3-D printed car (pictured above), at the Chicago International Manufacturing Technology Show in September. The product was met with a stunned fanbase who weren’t sure how to react.

“People are like, this blows my mind, I don’t know where to go with this,” said Rick Neff of Cincinnati Inc.

During its first test drive in Chicago, the Local Motors employee who tested it said it was a smooth, quiet ride due to the lack of joints and use of lightweight materials.  continue reading…

How to Prepare Your Car for a Texas Roadtrip

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Planning a road trip through Texas and not sure if your car will survive the ride? These five tips will help get you through.

Prepare Your Car for a 500 Mile Plus Trip

Don’t underestimate the size of the Lone Star State. The drive from El Paso to Orange will see you cover more than 760 miles. Make sure your car is in good condition before you set off by performing basic safety checks on components such as windshield wipers and fluid levels. Remember when you check your tires to also check that your spare is in good condition. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these checks yourself, it’s worth popping your car into your local garage.   continue reading…

Why The Spurs are Worth The Trip

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Despite their recent championship, the San Antonio Spurs play style remains contentious. Detractors say the Spurs’s “no frills” style of basketball puts them to sleep, while fans describe them as “efficient” or even “ruthless.” Either way, the question that’s floating around your mind — and the one that made you click on this article — is, are the Spurs worth going to see?

Yes, unequivocally yes.

Want to know why? Here are four solid reasons the Spurs are absolutely worth a roadtrip.

1) They Brought Back Their Entire Roster

This is a rare and interesting move. An NBA championship team hasn’t brought their entire roster back since the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls.

At first this might seem surprising, as it runs against “if it ain’t broke” logic. However, there are many reasons this almost never happens. For example, after a championship run, players tend to want more money, which the team may or may not be willing or able to pay. Players get old, injured, or poached by another team. continue reading…