Archive for November, 2011

Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter

 Winter is fast approaching, and while your mind might be on Thanksgiving dinner or holiday shopping, it’s important not to forget about preparing your car for the winter season.  Following a few easy steps in advance can help keep your car safe and reliable in the face of the harsh conditions up ahead.

1.    Pre-winter Maintenance:  A quick check of your vehicle’s basic systems can go a long way in the wintertime.  Get your oil changed, top off fluids, check your coolant system, and make sure all exterior lights are functioning.  Attention to regular maintenance is a good idea for your car any time of year, but is especially important for seasons with more extreme conditions and temperatures. 

2.    Check Your Battery:  A car battery can die without any notice, and extremely cold temperatures can reduce a car battery’s life by up to 50 percent. Get your battery tested, and replace it if recommended.  When it comes to your car starting, you don’t want to take any chances.

3.    Inspect Your Tires:  Make sure your tires have adequate tread and replace them if necessary.  Follow your manufacturer or mechanic’s recommendations for tire rotation, balancing, and tire pressure. You’ll want your tires at optimum performance level when it comes to navigating over slushy, icy roads. Be sure to check the pressure in your spare tire as well.

4.    Check Your Wipers and Washer Fluid:  Your windshield wipers and washer fluid are one of your first lines of defense when driving through snow, sleet and other wintry precipitation. Be sure your wipers are in good condition, and consider upgrading to blades made for the winter season. Also ensure your washer fluid reservoir is kept full at all times, and keep a jug in your trunk as a backup.

5.    Pack an Emergency Kit:  In the event that you do get stuck out in the elements, having essential supplies on hand could make a huge difference. Keep the following items in your trunk in case of an emergency:  Blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, matches, flares, jumper cables, bottled water, energy bars, and a small shovel. You never know when you may need them!

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Hyundai Confirms Veloster Turbo

Exciting developments are on the horizon for the Hyundai Veloster, the sporty new compact car that just hit dealerships this fall.  Hyundai just announced this week via its Twitter page that a turbocharged version of the Veloster is in the works:  “It’s official,” tweets Hyundai CEO Joe Krafcik. “Veloster Turbo is coming. More details in January at the Detroit Auto Show.”

Specifications are unconfirmed, but the Veloster Turbo is expected to be powered by Hyundai’s new 1.6-liter Gamma inline four-cylinder engine, generating 204 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.  This is 66 more horsepower than the current Veloster, and it also bests the Mini Cooper S (181 hp), the Volkswagen GTI (200 hp), and the Honda Civic Si (201 hp).  Pairing this kind of power upgrade with the Veloster’s already nice package of desirable features could definitely make the turbocharged version a force to be reckoned with on all accounts.

The Veloster Turbo is also predicted to have the same front wheel drive as its current version, with either a six-speed manual transmission or Hyundai’s all-new six-speed dual-clutch. Rumored changes aside from the peppy new engine include a larger and more aggressive front air intake, round fog lights, and more chiseled body lines.  Pricing speculations put the Veloster Turbo starting at around $20,000.  More details will be confirmed as we get closer to its January 2012 launch at the Detroit Auto Show.

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