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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…
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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.
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…
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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…
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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.
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…
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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:
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…
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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…
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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…
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When you’re looking for a vehicle, it’s not always the best option to buy new. In some cases, considering used cars is the best option. However, not every used car is made equal. You need to make sure that you find a car that is worth the money you put into it. Take a look at some of the best used cars for the amount of money you put into them.
2011 Ford Focus
The 2011 Ford Focus is known as one of the best options for used cars. The car has a Blue Book value of approximately $11,000, depending on the condition of the car and where you purchase it. This car is dependable, and will last for years to come. It offers a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder, 140 horsepower engine. On top of the great price, the car gets approximately 25 miles per gallon city and 34 miles per gallon highway. The Ford Focus offers traction control, engine immobilizer, and stability control. continue reading…
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When buying a car, few things matter more than the transmission. Some people swear that they’ll only drive cars with manual transmissions. Before you agree with them, learn more about these four reasons to buy and drive an automatic car.
1. It’s Easier to Learn How to Drive an Automatic
If you’re learning how to drive a car, you’ll almost certainly have an easier experience with an automatic. New drivers have a lot of things to learn. They have to watch for obstacles, figure out how much pressure to use on the gas and brake pedals, and remember to follow the rules of the road.
After driving for several years, these things become so ingrained that drivers don’t think about them. When you’re just starting out, though, a manual transmission adds complications that interfere with safe driving.
Considering that distractions cause most vehicle accidents, it’s best to learn on an automatic so you don’t have to fiddle with a clutch and gear shift. continue reading…
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Taylor, Texas is one of those small Texan towns that you’ll rarely find in a guidebook. Located less than 30 miles from Austin, Taylor is an often overlooked gem. The town was established in 1879 when the Texas Land Company auctioned off land in anticipation of the International and Great Northern Railroad. Once the railroad was finished, immigrants from Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Austria began settling there, and quickly a booming town was born.
By the middle of the 1980s, Taylor was a hub of cotton, maize, and cattle production. Still, it held on to its small town roots. Today, a visit to Taylor is like taking a step back in time to a quieter, slower-paced life. Although the local economy has struggled recently, city-weary people from Austin are looking at Taylor as an attractive option due to its small town atmosphere, great schools, low crime rate, and low cost of living.
Here are four reasons to load the car and visit this Texan town. continue reading…