Its Time to Prep Your Car For Winter

Winter Driving PrepWinter is on the way, so the time is now to make sure your have your vehicle prepared for the cold weather and slippery road conditions. The first step is to make sure your car is in top shape. Have a mechanic check all fluid levels in the car the following items on your car such as antifreeze levels – to ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing, and oil. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well. The battery and ignition system should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean. Brakes should be checked for wear and fluid levels. The heater and defroster should be tested to ensure they work properly. Lights and flashing hazard lights should be checked as well. Windshield wiper equipment should be in top working order, and make sure there is plenty of windshield fluid. Tires are also very important, and in areas where the roads do get slippery, winter tires are the best option. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. Also, a good rule of thumb is to maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.

Once you know your vehicle is in top shape and all aspects of it are in working order and ready to go, you should have one last backup in case of a break down or other emergency. A winter emergency kit is easy to put together, and could be crucial in a winter situation.
Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes: a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom, a flashlight, a battery powered radio, water, snack food, matches, extra hats, socks and mittens, a First aid kit with pocket knife, Necessary medications, blankets, a tow chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables, and emergency flares and/or a fluorescent distress flag. It may seem like a lot, but when you are stranded or stuck in your vehicle in the cold of winter, you will be glad you took the time to be prepared.

Posted by reedman on Nov 30 2010 in Driving Tips

Mazda Shinari Concept introduced at LA Auto Show

While there were many concepts introduced at the LA Auto Show this year, Mazda brought to the stage a vehicle that may never see production, but whose design basis will. The Sinari is more of a design concept utilizing what Mazda calls the Kodo (“Soul of Motion”) theme. According to Mazda, Shinari is a Japanese word that “describes the powerful yet supple appearance of great resilient force when objects of high tensile strength, such as steel or bamboo, are twisted or bent.” Its sheet metal curves and twists that give the illusion of movement and speed.

Described by Mazda with terms such as speed, tension and alluring, the KODO design language shows us a future filled with much more stoically aggressive vehicles. Gone is the Mazda happy face, and in its place is a visage that appears ready to tackle the road while the wind flows over the swoops, creases and curves. The Shinari won’t see production, but its design elements, lines and style hint at what Mazda has planned for future vehicles.

Posted by reedman on Nov 21 2010 in Mazda News

Jaguar C-X75 Concept Set to Make US Debut

While many exciting new vehicles will be exhibited at the upcoming 2010 LA Auto Show, Jaguar is set to be one of the stars of the show. Jaguar’s highly acclaimed new concept car, the C-X75, will make its US debut at the LA Auto Show between 19th and 28th November. The stunning range-extended electric supercar concept is revealed to celebrate 75 years of the marque. The C-X75 has been designed to provide a glimpse into the future of Jaguar and its commitment to producing beautiful, fast cars powered by sustainable means.

The C-X75 will offer breath-taking performance. When it was launched at the Paris Motor Show in September, the C-X75 caused a sensation, with its stunning looks and innovative technology. A two-seat range-extended electric supercar, it has four motors powered by micro-turbines, giving it a potential top speed of 205mph and breath-taking acceleration of 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Posted by reedman on Nov 14 2010 in Jaguar News

Chevy Teams with IBM for Volt Technology

chevy-voltLooking for the latest Chevy Volt news? GM and IBM have partnered to develop the software which GM used to develop and perfect the Chevy Volt. This includes the sophisticated battery simulation software that allowed the car to be developed in only 29 months from the point of greenlight. GM had to project and simulate how the battery would function and operate over a ten year/150,000 mile lifetime in that compressed period, a feat IBMs software helped to achieve. Both IBM supercomputers and software development tools were utilized in the process. IBM software and supercomputers were also used to design and develop the multitude of electronic controls systems within the the Volt and to determine the optimal way for them to interact, creating an ideal “system of systems” configuration. The Volt contains and relies on 10 million lines of computer code that controls its 100 electronic components. In comparison, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner has just 8 million lines of code. The Volt is 40% electronic, up from the 5% electronic rate of the typical car in the 1980s.

In particular, it was IBM’s so-called Rational software that GM used to design and test the Volt. IBM acquired the company Teleologic in 2007 and as a result expanded its Rational Software line into automotive applications. The software enabled engineers to quickly make changes in the system and predict the results on-the-fly as development progressed. It was GM’s goal to design this incredibly complex car so that its orchestra of computerized electronic processes operate seamlessly below the surface to simply create a fun and pleasant user experience.

Posted by reedman on Nov 5 2010 in Chevrolet News