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Surveys reveal that dead or flat batteries are at the top of the list of vehicle-related call-outs. Drivers caught unaware that their car battery has recharged usually pay for the neglect. They lose precious hours just waiting for a vehicle to pass by and provide the needed boost.
Car batteries discharge because a light may have been left on. This is definitely not intentional, but it could happen. A sensible car owner must be ready with a tool at hand. When a driver is unprepared for such an occurrence a great disruption in routine results and for this reason, it is important to own a car battery booster. In our opinion, the best tool to carry around is a portable jump starter.
How a jump starter works
Before we enumerate a few of the advantages of owning a portable jump starter, we shall discuss the functions of such a device first.
A boost or jump start is a means of starting a motor vehicle which is unable to start by itself due to insufficient motor power caused by a battery discharge. This boost is made possible by a tool called the jump starter or car battery booster. The boost may come from an external power source or from another vehicle.
Car battery boosters are easy to use. Once a secure connection is made, the current can be directed to the electrical system of the stalled car. With a few electrical jolts the starter motor will spurt into life and start operating once again. When the car is running by itself the discharged battery will be recharged via the alternator of the vehicle. Battery charging could take anywhere from half an hour to three hours.
Advantages of owning a portable booster
The latest versions of portable jump starters available in the market today are safe to use, very convenient to lug around, and 100% reliable. With a proper car booster at hand, you won’t have to arrive late at work again. Should a car battery discharge threaten to ruin your day, all you need to do is to bring the portable jump starter from out of the luggage compartment and use it as directed by the manufacturer.
Investing on something that is guaranteed to work is a very smart move. If your car battery is drained of charge and is unable to run the starter car motor, then you will have a solution at hand. The most effective boosters in the market today can provide the necessary kick start quite effectively. High performance boosters are not that expensive.
With this essential equipment you’ll be rolling out in no time at all ready to seize the day. There’s no need to knock on the neighbor’s door with your jumper cables and ask for their assistance. There is also no need to wait for a complete stranger to come by and hope that he or she is willing to assist, if the battery dies on you while you are on the road.
When a motor vehicle refuses to run due to a discharged battery, the immediate solution is a tool called a jump starter or car battery booster. Here are some of the existing options for car drivers to consider when choosing a jump starter that is appropriate to their needs.
Jump starter cables are the traditional devices used. This method requires the stalled car to be connected to another motor vehicle which provides the boost. A feasible alternative to this method is a portable or self-contained car booster that has its very own power source. This device provides the current needed to fire up the stalled vehicle. Aside from the fact that there is need to hook jumper cables to another car, some portable jumps starters also have sensors which detect polarity. With this feature there is no damage done to the connected vehicles if the placement of the cables is reversed.
Another option comes in the form of cigarette lighter outlets that provide a means to slowly recharge the battery. These devices run on 12 volts. In a roadside stalled car situation, this will not provide enough current to crank up the car engine. But it is an alternative to jumper cables and eliminates the need to wait for a friendly Samaritan to cruise by. Using this tool also eliminates the worry about arc generation within the proximity of battery terminals. This method removes the risk of damage due to incorrect connections between terminals.
There are also closed hood car jump starters that do not require popping up the car hood to connect the dead battery with a live one. The stalled battery is effectively given a healthy boost. No-fuss outlets serve to provide the engine a jolt. These devices usually come with cables that can reach up to 18 feet, which lessens the worry of what might happen if the cars are parked too close together. The charging time for these devices takes about five to ten minutes.
The power required by the ignition system of the stalled car may also be provided by what is known as “push starting.” Traditionally, a car that runs on manual transmission can be pushed. What this entails is a few able-bodied persons pushing the vehicle with all of their strength combined in order to resuscitate the battery. This primitive but effective method does not apply to vehicles with automatic transmission because of an existing mechanism that prevents the wheels from driving the engine.
Finally, here is an important tip for people who are new to the world of jump starters. An important factor to consider is the voltage of the starting motor. Different car types have varied electrical systems. For instance large trucks and other heavy motor vehicles are fitted with a 24-volt electrical system. The same is true for vehicles that run on diesel. Meanwhile, passenger vehicles usually have a 42-volt electrical system, while vintage cars usually have a six-volt electrical system. The new hybrid cars are usually equipped with a 12-volt system. Connecting a vehicle it to another vehicle with a non-compatible electrical system may only lead to more harm than good.
According to a recent study by The Telegraph newspaper, nearly seventy per cent of the British drivers are clueless about the very basic maintenance of their cars, such as topping up their screen wash. Ten per cent can not even open the bonnet of their vehicle.
According to the British Automobile Association, regular car servicing and maintenance could prevent nearly half of all vehicle break downs.
Do keep in mind that if you do not get your car regularly serviced, it can not only prove to be very expensive, but your vehicle can suffer a break down as well.
Here are some simple and straightforward checks you can carry out yourself.
Open the car’s bonnet as instructed in your car’s handbook. You should be able to spot the oil dipstick very easily.
Pull the dipstick all the way out and wipe it down with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. After cleaning, push it all the way back into the tube.
Pull it back out again to examine the mark left by the oil. Ideally, it should be mid-way between the minimum and maximum indicators.
Your oil level should never be above the maximum mark!
If it is, however, below the minimum level for prolonged periods, it may seriously damage your engine. You must add a small amount of the engine oil. Please refer to your handbook for the correct type of oil to use. After you have topped it up, ensure to wait a few minutes before checking its level again. Repeat this as required.
In most cars, the coolant expansion tank tends to be a transparent plastic bottle. Once you have opened up your car’s bonnet, you should be able to spot it very easily.
Through the transparent plastic, you should be able to see the coloured liquid inside the coolant tank. The colour of the liquid may be orange, pink, purple or green. Similar to the oil levels, the coolant level should be between the maximum and minimum level markers. But, unlike the oil level checking steps, you can check the coolant levels visually.
The coolant level should not go down. If you notice that it is lower than expected, this may point to the start of a major issue. Please use the correct coolant to top it up by checking your owner’s manual, and get in touch with us to check it over as soon as possible.
The most important element to consider while buying a car is obviously how it drives. Let us go through some possible tips to remember. However, if you feel that there is a problem, than have a mechanic inspect the vehicle for more testing. Here are some basics that can be done by almost any car buyer.
When you get the keys and start driving, first from stopping position, if allowed and safe, increase speed to see if it vibrates and to test the acceleration speed. If it is too slow to accelerate or produces loud sounds, you need a mechanic to check it out. Next feel how the brakes function. Accelerate and then perform a sudden stop when safe; pedal should feel firm and car should stop smoothly. If you find a hill, see if the car’s hand breaks can stop the car from sliding when you put it on neutral.
Notice if the car drifts to its sides, it could be wheel-alignment or body frame damage. However, it is sometimes due to bad, worn-out, tires or even bad steering linkage. Try to notice if the steering wheel is the one vibrating or is it the actual car. If it is just the wheel, remember to try another additional test later to see how well you can turn the steering wheel to the extreme right or left while it is parked.
To check for possible engine overheating, start the car’s test drive with highest level of air-conditioning and turn on all the lights and electrical equipment to see if the charging system can keep up the drain while looking at the temperature gauge.
Check to see if you hear any sounds or feel that the transition is not smooth when switching between forward and backwards driving (or if you switch between other gears in standard transmission). You should not feel like you are slamming into gear. This can be a sign of transmission problems.
If the car has cruise control and you like using it, then it would be a good idea to test it. Make sure to test the acceleration and deceleration buttons and that the cruise control disengages when you brake.
After the test drive and before leaving the car, which would have allowed the engine to be running for some time, look at the temperature gauge again. Then turn off the engine and wait like two minutes, and then restart the vehicle. This test is a good tool to check for cars that have a hard time re-starting after being hot. After this, open the hood and check the engine. Look for any sign of fluid leaks on the ground or in the engine compartment of the car.
Nissan GTR is the latest car from the Nissan stable, which had originally made its début in Japan in the year 2007. The Japanese automaker has redesigned this expensive and fast sports car for feisty performance and agile handling. It is widely speculated that Nissan GTR will be on Indian roads by the end of 2014, though there has been no official announcement by the company about the launch of GTR in the Indian markets.
Nissan GTR is a two-door coupé, which can comfortably accommodate four people. The huge black coloured front grille with sweptback headlights, aluminum hood, trunk lid, huge wheels, the LED fog lights, air inlets, and the large outer doors with narrow windows all add to the masculine look of this car. Its look will appeal to the youth.
The black colour inside the GTR is complemented well with red colour leather works. The seats are well cushioned and offer proper support at the right places along with adequate leg space. There is enough storage space at the rear in addition to the glove box, front door pockets and cubbyholes.
Other features like electric windows, adjustable steering, ORVMs, seats with height adjuster, climate control, speed limiter, air conditioning, dual zone automatic temperature control, cruise control, map lights and Home link Universal Transceiver makes the car quite comfortable. The Brembo brakes with ventilated discs on all wheels, anti lock braking system with electronic force distribution, brake aid, eight air bags, collapsible steering column, traction control system and multiple suspension system are some of the safety measures provided in the GTR. It has an audio system with 11 speakers and radio/CD/DVD/MP3 player with USB, AUX-in and iPod compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity.
Nissan GTR is powered by a 3.8-liter twin turbo charged V6 cylinder petrol engine, which generates a maximum power output of 530 bhp and a torque of 612 Nm at 3200 to 6000 rpm. The engine is equipped with an enhanced six-speed semi-automatic transmission gearbox. It may give a mileage of 6 to 7 km per liter. The highest speed of the car is 311 km per hour and it reaches a speed of 0-100 km per hour in just three seconds. It is easy to handle the car at high speeds due to its low ground clearance and aerodynamic design.
Nissan GTR is expected to be in the price range of Rs.69 to Rs. 72 lakh. It is doubtful that this car can attract customary Indian car buyers due its high price and huge maintenance cost. However, it is a suitable choice for the super rich who can afford this price and for those who are particularly looking out for great driving dynamics.
A BMW driver believes no other car on the road is like the one he or she drives. Owners fall in love with the car during the first test drive. When someone mentions ‘German engineering’ the BMW is the model they are describing. Did you know that all of these cars are required to maintain a balance of 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear of the vehicle without more than a 2% differential? Can you imagine trusting just any repair shop to ensuring that this important criterion is met? It takes someone who has been trained to interpret and analyze BMW repairs.
Owners praise their cars for the stability control system which never allows them to overcompensate when they are driving. Only a technician with expertise in this area should be able to touch your car if there is an issue with this process.
A BMW owner would never think of getting brakes repaired at a chain brake service company. Only an authorized BMW repair and service shop should take on this responsibility. While most model cars have the brakes engage once you begin to press on the pedal, BMW’s begin the braking process once you have taken your foot off the gas.
And do you recall all the times after a heavy rain when you know your brakes are wet and are less effective. This doesn’t happen on a Beemer. The German engineering has built in sensors that detect when brakes are wet and automatically go about drying them. Do you think the cookie cutter brake shops have any idea how this works?
Again, BMW owners who suspect brake problems should take their cards to a shop that can repair anything that goes wrong with their model.
When an ‘outsider’ looks at a person driving a Beemer they form an immediate opinion. They assume just because the owner spent a small fortune on the car that money doesn’t matter. If the BMW owner can afford the best, certainly he isn’t going to quibble about the cost of repairs.
A BMW owner is just like the rest of us. He wants the best repairs at the best repair cost. The owner didn’t come by his large bank account by throwing away money. Some may think that owners only take their vehicles to the dealerships with the high mark-ups and price tags. The savvy owner has found a trusted, reliable BMW repair shop that has all the amenities of a dealership but costs less. The BMW repair shop does not have to pay a portion of their gross sales to BMW so this cuts down on the overhead.
Have you ever seen the hourly charge for service that is charged by the dealers? Do you think that the actual mechanics receive even half of that hourly rate? Those high charges also go toward paying the BMW fees. A BMW repair shop will have lower hourly rates than the dealers because they do not have to pay a portion in a revenue sharing plan.
BMW owners are smart with their money and understand the economics of having their cars serviced at an expert BMW repair shop rather than at a high-priced dealer.
Shopping for new cars can be an overwhelming experience. There are a myriad of options available, and if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for it can be tough to stay on track. Getting sucked into special offers, falling in love with unnecessary features, and being sweet talked into a deal by a salesman can all play a role in the vehicle you end up with.
But you probably won’t be satisfied with your decision if you let any one of these factors make an impact during the decision making process. The idea is to invest in a vehicle that offers all the features you personally need and want, without overpaying for it. The following tips and tricks will help you to make sure that’s exactly what you get:
Know What You Need Beforehand
It is important to make sure that you know exactly what features you need in a vehicle before you start your search. There are many things to consider like whether or not you want a sunroof, you need lots of storage space, or you need four doors because of the kids. Coming to terms with specifics before you start shopping will help you avoid getting sidetracked when you’re looking at potential cars in person.
Create a Checklist to Stick With
Sit down and make a checklist of specific questions and concerns you have that need to be addressed at the dealerships you visit. This will ensure that nothing important is overlooked that could make an impact on the type of vehicle you ultimately decide to invest in.
Do Some Homework
Before deciding which option you want to purchase, it is a good idea to do some homework on the make and model first. Find out about the track record of things such as safety ratings. Taking the time to do this will help to ensure that your purchase keeps paying for itself for many years to come.
Take More Than One Test Drive
You might think you’ve found the perfect ride, but just because it drives like a champ around the block doesn’t mean that it will do the same when you drive it through city streets and on highways. If you enjoy the ride the first time, schedule a longer test drive with the dealer. Make it a point to drive multiple miles both in town and on the freeway. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect from day-to-day driving.
Take the Paperwork Home Before Signing It
It may be tempting to sign the paperwork as soon as you come to an agreement with the representative you are working with, but doing so will commit you to your purchase. Before making such a big commitment, take the paperwork home and carefully read every line so that you understand all of the terms. This will protect you from signing away any important buyer’s rights that you want to keep.
After putting these methods to work, you should be able to narrow down the cars on the market quickly to the ones that meet your needs the best. Before you know it, you’ll be taking your dream ride home with you.
Women know that they are as smart as men but their gentle nature can often stand in their way and cause others to think they are somehow less decisive to make important buying decisions. In fact, many salesmen, and sadly some saleswomen, make the assumption that women are just looking around and will not make the final decisions, or will have to get approval from others, it is a shame. This causes many women car shoppers to purposely leave empty-handed, feeling ill-treated and not respected. These women take their business somewhere else, looking for dealers that offer more than great deals, but a professional, respectful, shopping experience. However, women can use this for their advantage and turn a salesperson’s prejudice into more opportunity with the right steps, and can lead to eventual better deals.
Women, as well as men, seeking respectful experience should start by doing a little research on the car that they want and what price is to be expected for it. A little research on what financing options are out there will also be helpful. On the way to the dealership, if the women shoppers are going with any adult males, like a brother or husband, they need to plan how to act. For example, if they arrive at the car lot, the female shopper should be the one talking since it is her purchase. But if the salesperson starts to direct all the conversation and attention to the male companion, then that male companion should point out clearly that he is only the companion and he has nothing to do with the decision. The female should then agree to that and point out that her male companion is only being dragged along for the ride and that she wants the salesperson to respect that. This would make the salesperson shaky and apologetic for the rest of the deal which would allow the female to take control of the sale.
However, if the female shopper does not want to go through this hassle at the dealership, they can call ahead of time and make an appointment. On the phone, one can tell if the salesperson respects women as well as men by how much they take the conversation seriously. The female shopper should try not to ask too many questions and should make firm requests. If the salesperson seems to brush off the call, a firm, unemotional, statement can be made asking for another representative who can show better people’s skill. This would usually fix the salesperson’s attitude and put him on edge before the female shopper even steps into the dealership. And again, this would put the control of the sale in the customer’s hands and not the other way around.
Women need to remember that the car dealers’ need for business is their ultimate goal, so take control of the sale.
The main objective for car buyers is to get the best deal on the cars they choose. However, the main goal of the salespeople is not that! The salespeople aim to sell more cars to get their commission while giving the customers the illusion of having great deals. This almost causes a fight for dominance and control by both the customers on one end and the salespeople on the other end. However, there are many ways to avoid such conflict of interests and make the sale a success for both parties. Let us try to understand the common situations with salespeople.
Some salespeople take advantage of customers who are not ready and sell them any vehicle. To avoid this, the car buyers should think ahead of what make and model cars they are looking for. They should also research on financing options available at any given dealership before reaching that dealership. The customers should also prepare themselves mentally that they might walk out empty-handed. This makes them not push themselves into just any car, simply because it was the only option available. Customers should remember that there are many different dealerships to shop in, so if one is not good enough, the customers should simply try another location. Customers should also understand that those who know what they want are often more successful at getting what they want.
Other salespeople are the bullies who think their time is more important. They try to push customers around so that they can move on to more customers. However, if the car buyers find the cars they are looking for, they should not feel shy to ask questions. They should especially try to understand the total cost and other figures and not be rushed to make their final judgments. Customers need to understand that they should be the ones to decide when they sign for the papers and not the other way around. However, customers need to keep in mind to keep their emotions to themselves. This helps them look ready for business and keeps the salespeople from pushing them with emotional deals.
While above are the two extremes, there are many average gentle salespeople that are simply doing their job. In these cases, the customers should not try to “beat-up” the salespeople. Customers should not let their fear of being cheated, cloud their judgments. Although these workers know that they need to convince the customers to buy the vehicles, they understand the power of future referral by satisfied car buyers. However, customers need to understand that the salespeople are not there to socialize, they are in their work place to sell the vehicles and not to have their time wasted by random stories about the customers’ lives. So, customers need to respect this and not bring up other stories about their lives that is not related to the sale.