Friday, March 29, 2013

Rev Up Your Engines!

What is the difference between a 4 and 6 cylinder engine and what are the benefits of each?

A car has an engine which converts fuel into a forward motion. In a 4-cylinder engine, a car has 4 pistons that rise and fall which, through a series of events, ultimately drives the car forward. A 6-cylinder engine has 6 of these pistons that rise and fall. In the most simple terms, the more pistons a car has, the more powerful the car is. A 6-cylinder engine, which is usually found in larger cars, small SUV’s and small trucks, is, in theory, 50% more powerful than a 4-cylinder engine. And an 8-cylinder engine, which is usually found in standard trucks and SUV’s, is, in theory, 100% more powerful than a 4-cylinder engine (We will come back to the “in theory” part after the explanation of the benefits).

The benefit of a 4-cylinder engine is that it is normally less expensive, lighter and will get better gas mileage. However, if you’re going to be going on long commutes, up a lot of hills, or want a car that has a bit more pick-up when the gas is pressed, you want an engine that is stronger than a 4-cylinder, ie. the 6-cylinder. Going back to the equation of more cylinders = more power, if you’re going to be hauling a lot of heavy things all the time, you’re going to want to buy something with 8-cylinders, like a standard truck or SUV.

Now, to touch on the “in theory” aspect. The reason why a 6-cylinder engine is “in theory” 50% more powerful than a 4-cylinder engine, and an 8-cylinder engine is “in theory” 100% more powerful is because of the advancement of technology. The advancement of technology has lead us to 4-cylinder engines that are far more powerful than they used to be, as well as 8-cylinder engines that are way more gas efficient. An 8-cylinder engine of a 2013 SUV may have better gas mileage than a 4-cylinder engine of the 1980’s, and a 6-cylinder engine of the 1980’s may be less powerful than a 4-cylinder engine of 2013.

Friday, March 22, 2013

13 Weirdest Ways to Clean Your Car


As a car owner, you want to treat your car similarly to how you would treat your own body. A car has a skeleton and an entire system of interconnecting pipes and motors that, much like your own body, you want to keep clean and running smoothly. Additionally, a car has a superficial layer that, as an owner, you want looking nice since that is generally what others will see. Besides for these two aspects, however, is a car really that much like a person? Well, according to Reader’s Digests, “13 Weird Tricks to Clean Your Car,” it might be way more like us than you would think. For instance, did you know that using hair conditioner with the ingredient lanolin to clean your car will keep it looking waxed and even repel rain water? How about the fact that a jug of cheap vodka mixed with water and liquid detergent is a way to make your own windshield wiper fluid? And we won’t even go into what they recommend you do with Maxi Pads, but you can surely check it out for yourself by clicking on the link here: 13 Weird Tricks to Clean Your Car

Friday, March 15, 2013

Car Care: Spring Maintenance Check List

It’s officially the Ides of March, so beware! You and your car may be excited to hit the road again in the nice weather, but over 9 million people break down and have to call AAA each summer. What can you do to help your car recover from the winter, and get ready for the nicer weather?

“If, like most Americans, you're not driving a fresh-from-the-showroom ride - the average age of passenger vehicles in the U.S. is just over 10 years old - it's time to give your car a little springtime TLC.
"Drivers often overlook their cars when it is spring cleaning time," says Shawn Hoelzer, master technician for CarMax, the largest U.S. chain of used car dealerships. "Following a few easy steps to spruce up your vehicle helps avoid costly repairs."
So take your car to a dealership to get checked out. Use this spring maintenance checklist to make sure your car is reliable and running efficiently.
Check the battery: You can't get where you are going if the car won't start. "Winter is tough on all the starting components like the starter and alternator. The battery works harder and can get drained," says Jimmie Swims, a specialist at the auto parts chain Auto Zone. Signs of a weak battery: dimming headlights or interior lights; power windows that take longer than usual to go up and down.”

“Check the brakes: Winter conditions and salt on the roads can lead to corrosion of brake parts; Auto Zone's Swims also points out that anti-lock braking systems get an especially hard workout in winter's slick conditions. Nothing is more crucial to your safety than your brakes, so get them checked. Trouble signs: pulling to one side when you hit the brakes, squeaking or grinding noises and a brake pedal that feels too soft.
Tire photo courtesy of Flickr user Bryan Alexander Battery photo courtesy of Flickr user Robert Hruzek”

Full article here:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Car Confessions Data Chart

We all have little bits of interesting information and odd behaviors somewhere in our relationship with our cars. Some people don’t mind if you smoke in their car, others don’t always wear a seat belt (though they should), and most people have even named their car! This infographic presents the results of a poll where more than 1000 people were asked a variety of questions about their cars, so check out this infographic for the results.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

20 Most Interesting Facts About Cars

“All of you guys have read certain interesting facts about animals, technology, or people at least once in [your] life. Right? And since [a] car is something you use every day, this time it’ll be facts about cars. These infotaining car facts might surprise everybody, from car enthusiast[s] to simply car owner[s]. So in the name of entertainment and because car[s] [are] the most popular type of transport, [here is a] list of great facts about automobiles and things regarding autos. Accompanied with pictures that will help you get a visual description, these great facts can change your attitude towards routine work or usual stuff. Get to know [these] top 20 interesting facts about cars!”

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