Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Choose the Right Tires for Your Car - Know the Basics

Choose the Right Tires for Your CarBy Ken Geers

The tires on vehicles are one of the most important safety factors, yet we tend to take them for granted more than any other feature. Your car tires keep you and your loved ones safe, give you a comfortable ride and also contribute to more efficient gas mileage. With value like that it's important to give them special attention. The first thing you want to do is to check your auto tires for wear to confirm that you need new ones. An easy method for this is to take a penny and insert it into the tread. If Lincoln's head can be seen you need new tires. Other signals are wear bars, breaks, slashes and evidence of uneven wear.

Once you have determined that you need new tires you need to consider the type of driving you do. This includes the weather, distance and speeds that you normally drive. Car tires are designed for specific results. Many people are the most comfortable with an all-season tire because it is a good compromise for all conditions. Take a look at your current tire size to know what size your new ones should be. On the side of your auto tires you'll see a number such as P275/75/R15. The P represents passenger followed by the width and then a number that represents the height which is a ratio of the height to width. An R should follow which stands for radial and then the final number is the diameter of the wheel.

Now that you know the type of car tires you need and the size that fits your car it's time to go shopping. Car dealerships, tire specialty stores, discount stores and the Internet are all good options for getting a good deal on the price of new auto tires. Competition on the Internet is very high so good deals are found everyday. Regardless of where you buy your tires it's important to have them installed by a professional. They have all the special machines and tools needed for proper and safe installation. They will also do the necessary balancing and aligning.

Once you have your new car tires installed it is important to perform proper maintenance to keep them at their best for as long as possible. This includes regularly rotating them to keep the wear even, regularly checking the air pressure to assure that you get the best gas mileage and they are at a safe level. Taking proper care of you auto tires will not only keep you and your family safe but will save you money by extending their lifespan.

Ken Geers the writer can be found at Sporto Motoring Accessories Sporto Motoring offers automotive interior and exterior accessories to enhance and protect your vehicle investment.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Car Review - 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Car Review - 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MRBy Matt Straub

This is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR. It's quite literally the best blend of performance on the track while giving you a excellent ride for everyday driving, and it definitely proves itself every time you step on the gas. Can I get 5 of these to go please?

The new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is offered in two different versions, one being the GSR which only has a five speed manual transmission, Recaro Sports Seats and Enkei Wheels. You can also get the optional spoiler, the HID headlights and the upgraded sound system. These are all nice and everything, but if you had that extra thousand available, spend on it on what i'm driving today.

The new MR model is sublime in every way possible. It comes with Mitsubishi's new Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) which makes driving this car so great. It shifts smooth and very quick. I don't think I lost any torque at all between shifts which is fantastic. You can also use the three different modes: Normal, Sport and S-Sport, depending on how aggressive and fast you want to shift. It also comes with Eibach springs, Bilstein shock absorbers, lightweight brake rotors, and BBS forged-alloy wheels. And at only $38,990 it's a great price. Of course, you could go with the Touring version which has a few little extra perks to it for $40,990.

As always, the Lancer Evolution's come with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder MIVEC4 motor producing 295 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque and the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) drive system.

Taking this thing on the main city roads is very comfortable. Although, when you hit bumps I will have to say you feel them right away. It's not exactly comfortable and you find yourself every now and then dodging bumps and holes in the roads much to the displeasure of people around you. However, that is one thing that I didn't let bother me. On good roads it feels great, and to smoke some dumb hillbilly in a pickup truck off the stoplights was great as well (no lie, he got his ass kicked).

Taking it to the highway, it was fantastic. Stepping on the gas you get instant power, and extremely smooth shifting thanks to the new gearbox. It was just unbelievably good. Sorry to the local law enforcement, but I got the car up to 130mph before I decided to slow down. Guess you would have had to be there to catch me. I then pulled off to the country roads, set the mode to S-Sport, and took it to the corners. It goes around them really fast, but it just feels so smooth. It's almost perfection at it's best. If I could, I would drive 45 minutes away from here to the nearest road course and beat the hell out of this car, but I guess that's not for me to do.

Now I could also talk about the extra sound insulation, the optional navigation, upgraded audio with Sirius Satellite reception, and leather seats. But I think when you buy a car like this, you're not getting it for these little extra things. You're getting it for the overall experience of it. It's a great car for a great price.

Matt Straub is the Editor for Street Diaries, an online car news, reviews, and opinions web site designed for the everyday car enthusiast. Originally formed by a group of people who love cars in 2007, the web site has grown from a once small news web site, to a social media network, and finally now into a large information blog.

Every two weeks Matt does a review on a popular or top end vehicle on the market and gives it his opinion how how it handles not only in city driving, but highway and country roads. He also does the Car Opinions on things that "drive him nuts" about cars or what people do with them.

Visit our web site at http://street-diaries.com/

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Italians Are Coming Back to America - 2012 Fiat 500 Is Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show

By Alan Gell

It can't be much "newer" than this one - the Fiat 500 which will be a 2012 model and not available until next year. It was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat during the press conference. During the two day media frenzy, this press conference and unveiling probably received the most attention of all the events.

After some loud music and swirling spotlights, a small, red 1957 Fiat 500 drove onto the stage. A very attractive lady got out of the car. Attractive females and shiny automobiles have always been a part of car shows. But it became instantly obvious that this was not a typical female model or product specialist employee. This was Laura Soave, the Chief Executive for Fiat North America.

Soave has been with the North American Volkswagen team for several years, but Fiat recently hired her to take control of the brand in the United States. She is a first-generation Italian-American with a lot of her family still in Italy. She commented, "This is not just a job for me, it is a passion and very near and dear to my heart." She showed a photo on the large screen, of her as a small girl standing on the hood of a Fiat back in Italy.

The 2012 Fiat 500 will be called a Cinquecento and will compete directly against the Mini-Cooper and other small cars. Besides looking very cute, the anticipated price of $15,500 attracts a lot of attention. The Cinquecento will have a six speed automatic transmission for the North American market. Standard shift is all that is available in Europe. The styling and overall looks will remain true to the Fiat heritage and Soave is almost passionate about that. Her sense of duty to Fiat was obvious throughout her talk. "My job is to protect the Fiat brand and keep it consistent around the world," she said.

The Fiat 500 Cinquecento will retain the European names for the three trim levels - Pop, Sport, and Lounge. Each of these models was driven onto the stage during the press introduction. There are 14 exterior colors and 14 interior colors, and these will all have Italian names. This was Soave's idea also. "I renamed all our colors in Italian to distinguish ourselves more and have more Italian-ness in the brand," she commented. For example, red will be called "roso."

The exterior styling is basically unchanged from the past few years of the European model. Like the Mini-Cooper, it is considered "retro" and looks very similar to the little 1957 model that opened the press conference. Changes that are not obvious to the eye are abundant, however. These include a redesigned body structure that meets American regulatory requirements for crashworthiness. The cabin is quieter, in response to US customers demand for quietness. The floor, trunk, and instrument include new sound-deadening materials. There are new body and door seals as well as hydraulic powertrain mounts that help minimize engine vibrations.

Doug Betts is Chrysler Group's Senior Vice-President and very involved with the Fiat 500 introduction. He said, "The Fiat 500 is an excellent package to start with. As we enhanced it to match North American driving conditions and consumer expectations, we also made sure to preserve the world-class, fit-and-finish standards achieved by Fiat's development team."

The Fiat 500 is powered by a 1.4 liter MultiAir engine that is considered highly efficient. There are new four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a revised electronic stability control system, and a redesigned twist-beam rear suspension feature.

The Fiat 500 is creating a lot of excitement among journalists and I look forward to a test drive sometime next year. Because Fiat has been out of the American market for about 15 years, it will take some adjustments. With the purchase of Chrysler Group by Fiat, the obvious solution will be to initially merge the two. Chrysler is currently identifying major dealerships which will offer the Fiat 500 for sale. It will available early next year.

Member, Texas Press Association
Member, Texas Auto Writers Association