Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Best in Its Class?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is probably the vehicle that launched the whole concept of luxury SUVs. When the first of these SUVs was launched in the early 90s, Jeep ceased to be the sole province of outdoor enthusiasts, building contractors and other rough-and-ready types. Instead, it became a mainstream vehicle for discerning drivers who wanted the perfect combination of ruggedness and practicality with luxury and style. Unlike the Jeeps of old, most of these vehicles never saw the rough terrain that it was designed to handle, and when it did, it was more likely to encounter difficult driving conditions at a ski resort than at a cattle ranch.

This heritage continues today, with the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the first release of this storied model under the present Chrysler-Jeep management and ownership team. Not only is it the best in its class, but its affordable price puts it in a class of its very own, much in the way that the first models occupied their own niche while simultaneously leading the pack of other vehicles that might have been similar in some ways but just could not compete against the true original.

The Grand Cherokee was always the best in its class as far as design is concerned. The design of the 2010 model retains the winning edge of its predecessors but adds a few distinguishing touches that update the basic exterior design. Inside, the image is one of comfort combined with practicality; the dashboard is arranged in a user-friendly linear fashion and does not include extraneous displays and the seats are comfortable but not adorned with superfluous trim or extremely soft cushioning.

As far as performance is concerned, the 2010 Grand Cherokee is a clear leader. The standard 3.7-liter V-6 puts out 210 horsepower and is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. This standard powertrain is more than adequate for most drivers, but performance seekers are best served by the optional HEMI V-8, with its 357 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque that puts it on the same level as many a performance sedan. Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options are available, and the top model, the SRT-8, is a four-wheel drive performance machine that is based on the HEMI V-8 engine. The other two trim packages available for the 2010 model are the basic Laredo package, that is more than sufficient for those who plan to use their Grand Cherokees as family vehicles, and the Limited package which adds more of a luxury feel to the basic model.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been a reliable choice for drivers who want the power and performance of an SUV with the luxury and handling of a sedan. The 2010 model continues to follow in the tradition that Jeep established for this luxury SUV at its inception, as it continues to lead the SUV pack as far as design, quality and value are concerned. The vehicle that created its class retains its position at the top of the class.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Choosing The Correct Windshield Wiper Improves Winter Driving Safety

With winter looming many drivers prepare their vehicles for winter by installing a set of winter tires. While these are essential for safe driving, many fail to recognize windshield wiper blades are just as important.

There are hundreds of brands and types on the market. Which ones are the best for winter driving?

There is no easy answer to this question. There are a number of factors that come to play when deciding. The wiper blades you select must match your vehicle and be suitable for the climate in which you are driving.

Most vehicles come with all-purpose blades installed from factory. These are adequate for clearing the windshield in most mild climates but are rarely suitable for winter driving. With snow, ice and salt a reality of winter driving, having the correct wiper blade is essential for safe winter driving.

You can choose from winter, silicone, shaker, standard or heated wiper blades. Each has its own unique use. Some are better suited for mild climates while others are designed exclusively for harsh winter conditions.

When winter approaches it is advisable for drivers to choose winter wiper blades. These are designed to handle snow and ice and survive the harsh conditions typically associated with winter driving.

Most winter wiper blades will prevent snow and ice from accumulating and clear the windshield's surface during driving.

However, it is recommended you choose a blade with a tough rubber surface and a body made of a heavy gauge steel. This will allow it to resist severe winter conditions and changes in temperature that cause other blades to freeze and become ineffective at clearing the snow from the windshield.

Some manufacturers have improved on the standard winter wiper blade by making the surface of silicone instead of rubber. This allows it to last longer than rubber ones and provides better clearing capability.

Other manufacturers offer a vibrating wiper blade known as a shaker blade. These help dislodge snow and ice from the wiping surface and helps prevent any accumulation of debris while driving. These types of wiper blades are effective in many different driving climates not just winter.

Shaker blades are typically more expensive to purchase and more complex to install. However, they offer superior visibility for the driver when compared to standard winter or silicone blades.

Drivers can also opt to install heated winter windshield wiper blades on their vehicles. These have small heating elements inside the rubber cleaning surface and melt both the snow and ice during operation.

Drivers activate the heating element with a switch installed inside their vehicle. These heated blades offer superior clearing capability over any other blade on the market. These are also the most expensive to purchase and the most complex to install.

No matter which type of wiper blade you choose, you can improve the effectiveness of your choice by using a washer solution designed for winter use. This will help prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the windshield and allow the blades to work better.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things to Watch Out for When You Rent an Exotic Car

Many people ask themselves why they should rent an exotic car. The first reason should be - everyone wants some form of luxury in their life; an exotic car fulfills that desire. Yeah, when you are going to buy a car, you can opt to buy a normal, cheap and affordable car. But you keep a rental car for a short period of time. So why not experience the thrill of driving an exotic car when you can? Just try to picture it - you are driving an exotic car along the highway, roof down, your hair flying in the wind. Do you not want to feel that?

There are some things you should be careful about when renting an exotic car. First, you need to choose your rental car company sensibly. Research a little on the internet before you choose your company. Try to read comments by customers who rented a car from those companies. While you are searching, you might stumble upon some great offers which will get you your car in a very low price.

After you choose a few companies, you need to contact them and ask them which cars they have in their lot. Be clear about everything you want in the car. Make sure your desired car have them. Try to book the car quite a few days before you actually need it. This will ensure the availability of the car. Always remember that more things you will ask for in your car, the more costly it will be. If you do it ahead of time, at least you will have a clear idea about the budget.

Once you are done choosing the company and the car, enquire about the car's health. Check every inch of the car very carefully because they will charge you for any damage you did not point out when you rented it. Do not expect the rental agency sales executives to be helpful with pointing out damages; you have to do it on your own. Check everything, even the trunk.

The last thing you should be careful about it the insurance policy. Your own insurance may cover any vehicle you drive but make sure you run it by your insurance company first. Rental companies will want you to do rental insurance. Do not fall into the trap. Do not spend extra on rental insurance when you do not have to.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Which Exotic Car You Should Choose in 2012

Buying or renting an exotic car is not an easy thing to do. It costs a lot of money and most of the time; it is very common for people not be able to afford an exotic car. It is almost impossible to find a pedestrian who does not turn his head to check out such cars cruising by. Everyone dreams about driving one of these cars.

But unless you are really rich, your experience of driving an exotic car gets trapped only in those dreams. If we are really lucky, at times we find ourselves sitting in one of these cars as a passenger. We cannot see the look of respect and admiration of a pedestrian they give to the owner of such cars.

An exotic car not only gives you respect and admiration, it also gives you a feel of power, speed and comfort. It gives you a feeling of uniqueness. The models of these cars are really uncommon. The companies do not produce a lot of models of their luxury cars. Therefore, you will hardly be able to see two luxury cars of the same model in the same road.

If there is an auto show going on in your locality, you will notice that the crowd is thickest around these cars. They hurdle around the car just to see it up close and be able to touch it. Various companies have been producing these cars for a long time. Such cars came to public when Enzo Ferrari developed an exotic car for the public back in 1929. It became big after 1945 when industrial development hit the world.

There are several exotic car models being advertised due to be released in the upcoming months. They have been released from the beginning of 2011 and will continue all the down to the New Year's Eve. Here are some of the models:

• Porsche Cayman R and Porsche Boxster S Black Edition. The latter has a brake horse power of 340.

• Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster with brake horse power up to 563 and Mclaren MP4-12C with full formula 1 features.

• Lexus LFA Nurburging. It can run with a horse power of 526.

• Jaguar XKR-S has a V8 engine that can run with a horse power of 550. The company claimed that this is the fastest Jaguar ever.

• Fisker Karma S.

• Ferrari FF. It is said that this model will feature a lot of firsts.

• Audi R8 GT.

• Ashton Martin Virage. It has a dependable v12 engine.

All of these cars come with a lot of promises. Let's hope they can keep up to it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Importance of an HID KIT Warehouse

Good news for those who are thinking of switching over to cost effective and efficient lighting system. HIDs have largely taken over the conventional lighting system. With increasing demand, the wholesalers and even retailers have begun opted for an HID KIT warehouse to ensure that sufficient stock is in hand to meet the demand.

What is HID?

HID is an abbreviation used for denoting High Intensity Discharge which is the method used nowadays for the different lights especially in vehicles. Apart from this they are used in warehouses, outdoor and greenhouse lighting.

Where do we get these HID lights?

The HID comes in a kit and is commonly called the HID Kit and is available both in stores and online. There are retailers, distributors and wholesalers, both online and having physical presence, from whom one can get this kit. Most of them have an HID KIT warehouse which means faster supply that would be complimenting the demand.

What are the points to note when ordering online?

First of all, comes the reliability. Ensure that the site that offers is a genuine one. Go for reputed online stores.

Check pricing. Compare the prices offered by different sites and compare them. There are many who provide attractive discounts.

But at the same time, you should not ignore the shipping cost offers. While some sites may give discount but can charge you higher for shipping while some may offer no discount but a free shipping and as a total the price of the latter could be lesser than the former. So calculate this aspect too before calculating on the final price.

Fast Shipping. A seller with an HID KIT warehouse is sure to deliver you your HID Kit faster than those who order from the manufacturer directly.

Check for efficient customer service. While most of the sites make all promises, if you send even a simple enquiry or clarification, you would notice that there is either a delayed response or totally no revert back. Such sites are sure to put you in trouble. And there are those who revert back in such a language that you would get completely confused. Such would be their English. Such sites are surely to be avoided completely. Always go for a site that maintains a decent level of professionalism and there would be no miscommunication due to misspelling or wrong wording that can change the entire meaning.

Easy tracking. Those with an HID KIT warehouse would not only mean fast shipping but efficient tracking in case of delayed shipping and also avoid many customs check.

Latest Technology - As the HID technology is continuously evolving, ensure that the product that you are choosing is having the latest technology. Eg. Earlier the ballasts was big in size and today the slim Ballasts are the latest trend. They not only save space but are also durable and highly efficient.

While most of them use the HID lighting for vehicles only, it has been proved that use of HID is not only quite cost effective but provides a sense of soothing and relieves the strain on the eyes. So consider converting to HID KIT warehouse lighting for your warehouse, greenhouse or even outdoor lighting.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2012 Brabus 800 Coupe - 800 Hp, 1,047 Lb-Ft of Torque - Need I Say More?

Brabus does it again! They took an already powerful Mercedes Benz CL and put it on a Swedish steroid diet, locked it in a gym and took an already beautiful face and gave it a facelift! The result of all this trickery is the 2012 Brabus 800 Coupe, which is similar to the 2012 Brabus Rocket 800 which we wrote about earlier.

You will note that all of the pictures of this model were taken at the Brabus Middle East branch, which is located in Dubai, UAE. There is a good reason for that, and it's probably because you need Middle Eastern oil money to buy one of these. To be specific, this Brabus will set you back... well there was no stated price for the car, but because it's not disclosed we believe it's expensive, at least a quarter-million.

And once you purchase one of these, you will know that your not-so-hard-earned oil money was well spent. I say that because you will get what is hands down the fastest and most powerful luxury coupe at the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show.

Like the previously mentioned Brabus Rocket 800, the Brabus 800 Coupe pushes close to 800 hp (788 hp) at 5,500 rpms and a whopping 1,047 ft-lb of torque (electronically limited to 811 lb-ft) which is available early on at 2,100 rpms. With all of that, you can go 0-60 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds and 0-124 mph in 10.3 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 217 mph. To be sure, these extremely high speeds place high demands on the aerodynamic components of the 800 Coupe. That's why Brabus took special care to develop these components in a wind tunnel.

The above performance figures brings me to what drives all this power. Like the Brabus Rocket 800, the Brabus 800 Coupe is powered by the signature Brabus V12 Biturbo. Brabus took the 12-cylinder engine from the Mercedes Benz CL 600 and increased displacement from 5.5 to 6.3 liters, installed a special Brabus crankshaft with longer stroke and larger forged pistons. Additionally, Brabus machined the two cylinder heads for optimized mixture flow and installed four "special" camshafts.

The turbo system was upgraded to a high-end turbocharging system designed by Brabus engine specialists. The system features two custom exhaust manifolds with integrated turbine housings and high-performance turbochargers as well as four water-to-air intercoolers. The combustion air is supplied by a carbon-fiber ram-air intake which is integrated into the hood. In addition to the above, Brabus fitted the 800 Coupe with a stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system with free-flow metal catalysts.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a reinforced five-speed automatic transmission and the Brabus high-performance limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40%. Keep in mind that the Brabus 800 Coupe has all of the necessary traction control and stability systems and you have the option of turning them off, but be very careful because once you do the probability of wrapping around a tree increases significantly.

To properly handle all of this trickery, the Brabus 800 Coupe is fitted with high-performance 265/30 ZR 21 tires in front and 295/25 ZR 21 in the rear. And to keep you from getting speeding tickets, the Brabus is fitted with six-piston aluminum fixed calipers and vented and cross-drilled discs measuring 405 x 34 millimeters (16 x 1.3 inches) in the front and 380 x 34 millimeter (15.0 x 1.34 in.) discs and 4-piston fixed aluminum calipers in the rear axle. To be sure, this Brabus braking system delivers outstanding stopping power and endurance.

In addition to the 800 Coupe's solid performance figures, the car has a very impressive exclusive sporty-elegant interior. The interior received a high-class upgrade to match the car's diamond-white metallic paint finish. The interior is a combination of white leather and black Alcantara with contrasting seams and diamond-pattern topstitching. There are also nice carbon-fiber elements in the cockpit which add a nice sport element.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Iconic Tractor Brands Everybody Knows

Tractors were created from basic farm equipment that farmers used to till their soil in the early 19th century. This handy farm vehicle was invented after the first traction engine was created around 1850. At the time, they were a much needed farm tool and helped farmers produce larger yields. Several tractor manufacturers have gained a reputation for quality in the industry. The top 4 are:

John Deere
In 1918, John Deere made the decision to extend his product line to include tractors. The company purchased the maker of the Waterloo Boy and subsequently tractors became their main product line.

During the 1960s, the company introduced the most powerful two-wheel drive tractor. Later, in the 1970s, the company created an integrated cab while the 80s produced 38 new tractors for consumer selection, which included increased fuel efficiency and greater maneuverability. The 1990s gave farmers a comfortable cab along with an electronic power device that would automatically activate during complicated field use.

In the 2000s, John Deere added the most fuel-efficient row crop tractor and included new technology benefits such as ActiveCommand Steering along with a Variable Transmission. John Deere's consistent approach to improvement has kept them a top choice for tractor owners.

International Harvester
The company's roots began in agricultural, construction and commercial equipment supplies. During 1902, a merger took place between McCormick Harvesting Machine and Deering Harvester in addition to three smaller farming firms to create International Harvester or IH.

In 1985, IH sold their farming equipment division and rebranded the company to Navistar International Corporation. The company's good years began in 1926, and by 1930 IH had constructed its 100,000th tractor named the Farmall. Their goal was to manufacture a tractor that could be used for multiple purposes making them the most popular brand during the 1940s and 50s. Unfortunately, IH struggled after adding multiple business lines that were unrelated to their farm beginning. However, IH is known for constructing a quality tractor for which collectors are constantly on the lookout.

Henry Ford & Son produced a tractor line named Fordson beginning in 1917 and later, in 1920, it united with the Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford began experimenting with tractor construction out of automobile parts in the early part of the 20th century and by 1915 he had created the Model B. They continued to manufacture Fordson tractors until 1964.

Initial Fordson tractors suffered from several design problems including engine failure and overheating, but the vehicles were still a huge help to overwhelmed farmers, and the Ford Company found their place in the tractor market. They were powerful and could pull heavy items that normally took at least four mules to tow. Furthermore, they were able to work all day without a break giving farmers an opportunity for larger harvests.

Massey Ferguson
In 1847, Daniel Massey started the Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufactory to produce farm equipment such as threshers and reapers. Later, the Massey family worked with steam engine builder Sawyer and created a line steam tractor. They were constructed in several different sizes with the 25 horsepower model selling well. However, in 1910 the company switched to oil engines when the company split into separate divisions.

Throughout its long history, Massey Ferguson created a large number of agricultural vehicles. The mass produced Massey Harris Ferguson TVO was a popular tractor that sold well in the UK, Ireland and the United States during the 1950s. Additionally, the company was known for its power and overall reliability making it a quality tractor for farmers to own.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Locked Your Keys in Your Car, Now What?

Everyone has those moments where they aren't really paying attention, or are having a bad day, or they are just forgetful and accidentally lock their keys in their car. If you have been in this situation you may know what to do to get your car open besides breaking a window or calling a lock smith, both of those are expensive tactics, but there are other ways to get back into your car. Here are some ways you can get back in your car to get your keys; hopefully all of you reading are honest people who will only use these tactics for good and justice!

The first thing you should do is check to see if any of the other doors are unlocked, or if any windows are down far enough for you to reach your arm into the car to open the door. As stated before, you can always call a locksmith to come and unlock your car for you. You can also call your insurance company to see if your policy covers locking your keys in your car and what they can do or offer to get you back in the driver seat. However, if your insurance doesn't cover lockouts, and you don't want to pay for a locksmith there are a few things you can do to get it unlocked.

You can always try the classic wire clothes hanger. To do this, you will need a long wire or hanger, a long screwdriver, and a rag or other type of cloth if you have one. You will need a long straight wire to do this, so if you are using a hanger, straighten it out as much as you can, but leave the end as a hook. Now, you will use the long screwdriver to pry the top of the door open just enough to put the hanger though. If you do have some type of cloth, you can use this to help prevent scratching the paint. Put the hook side of the wire through the gap and try to unlock the door, roll down the window, or get your keys. Hopefully this works for you. If not, don't panic, we have one more tip.

Another trick that some people are doing is using a tennis ball. Yeah, a regular tennis ball. This will work on electronic locking system. First, you will need to find a way to poke a hole through the tennis ball, about the size of your key or a screwdriver. Place the tennis ball over the lock on the car door with the key hole on the tennis ball facing the lock. Hold it there in place and then press the ball as hard as you can against the lock. The air pressure from the ball when you pressed on it should pop the lock and unlock your car. Of course this may not work with all cars, but if you find it does work, don't leave home without your lucky tennis ball, and by lucky I mean the one with a hole in it.

There are some things you can do to help you out of these situations. Most of the time, when you accidentally lock your keys in your car, you aren't in front of your home, so you may not have access to a wire hanger or a tennis ball, unless the tennis ball is still in your purse from the last time this happened. So, just in case this happens and you don't have access to these materials, you should prepare ahead of time. You can carry an extra key in your purse, you can sign up for roadside assistance programs, or make sure that your insurance policy cover's lock outs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Solar Powered Carwash - Is It Really Feasible?

Running water pumps, lighting, cash registers, vacuum systems, and robotic tunnel carwash equipment takes a lot of amperage and electrical power, even with all of the hydraulic assist in even the most state-of-the-art carwashing systems. Thus, solar powered carwashes just have not fully taken hold - yet. Okay so, this is an interesting topic and perhaps, we can hash out a few of the details here for you.

There was an interesting article in the Newark Post recently telling of a carwash in DE that is partially powered by solar. The article was titled; "New 'Solar Powered" Wash Opening in DE" and published on November 28, 2011, which stated; "the system can produce 23,695 kilo-watts per year."

Okay so, let's discuss this shall we? First, I have to admit, this is great for PR, and perhaps tax-credits too, still one has to ask if it's a worthwhile financial decision. I have mixed emotions on this really, let me explain. You see, a fully automatic robotic tunnel system uses a ton of electrical power, and there is no way a solar panel system could keep up with all of that heavy demand and 220-Volt draw on the power supply. Even if the carwash had lots of batteries to store the juice you have to remember that during the daylight hours is exactly when the carwash needs that power.

At night "the Sun notoriously, doesn't shine" and you may think that is funny, but I actually heard that statement from a Nobel Lariat at our local University while giving a speech. From an energy cost standpoint, it just doesn't make sense. However, due to subsidized solar power, and tax credits it might pencil out as a zero-cost outlay. I thinj the main benefit here would actually be for the public relations, as carwash customers will want to do business with a carwash which is environmentally and politically correct.

It makes sense that with such an investment in solar that the carwash would wish to position itself as working to reduce its carbon footprint and grab hold of the eco-craze to harness new clientele in the area. Also lots of solar panels on top of the carwash will continue to make that statement even after the goodwill marketing is over its peak. Hopefully you see that point too.

Now then, it's not that I don't believe that in the future that solar panels will become more efficient, I know they will, and thus, at that future time it will make more sense for all carwashes to "go solar or go home," it's just that such technology is not here yet, it's going to be another 10-years before it is available in abundance in the free-market. Getting an early start on solar now might make sense for reasons other than energy conservation - that's all I am saying here. So, please consider all this and think on it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7 Things You Need To Know Before Restoring Your Antique Tractor

Whether it is your first or tenth tractor restoration project, you are undoubtedly excited, enthusiastic and ready to jump into the deep end. Spend a few minutes taking "before" photos of your project from different viewpoints. Documenting the "as is" condition of your tractor before restoration work begins is something you'll appreciate when the transformation is complete.

Now take a deep breath and resist the temptation to reach for your wrenches. First, it's important to gather all of the information necessary to prepare for a streamlined, efficient restoration process.

Make, Model and Serial Number

The critical pieces of information at the beginning of any restoration process are fairly easy to gather: the tractor's make, model and serial number. Also, some tractors have an engine serial number in addition to a tractor serial number, both should be documented. Retailers of original and reproduction parts will need this information to determine if they have parts for your specific tractor.

Make, model and serial number details are usually on the paperwork that accompanies the majority of antique tractor sales. If this is not the case, you can locate the information with a quick inspection of your tractor. The location of your serial number will vary depending on the make and model. You can consult an online resource for tractor enthusiasts or the Steiner Tractor Parts catalog shows the location for many common models.

Fuel Type

The fuel type will have a huge impact on the restoration process. You will need to establish whether your tractor runs on gas, diesel or liquefied petroleum (LP). The purchase papers may include this information, or the tractor may have markings near the fuel tank. Also, diesel engines do not have carburetors normally (there are a few rare exceptions). Diesel engines also will not have spark plugs.

Carburetor Manufacturer Number

It's also very useful to get specific details about the carburetor. You will need to know the manufacturer (Zenith, Holley, Marvel Schebler and others) as well as a specific model number to the carburetor. Typically, this information is contained on a tag on the carburetor or a casting. Examine this critical part carefully and you should be able to come away with manufacturer's name and a model number. Armed with this information, you'll be able to purchase a rebuild kit, a remanufactured carb or a totally new unit.


The largest component of most tractor restoration projects is the engine. In some cases, you will have already gained some information about the engine from the tractor's previous owner. But it's risky to believe everything you hear about the tractor from the seller. If you are a knowledgeable about engines and general operation, you can inspect the engine yourself.

If you do not possess the knowledge to inspect the engine, hire a certified mechanic who specializes in tractors to inspect the engine for you. A basic engine evaluation will include a compression test, a careful visual inspection to detect cracks and oil leaks, and a check for modified and non-original parts. Whether you're doing this inspection work yourself or relying on an experienced mechanic, the process begins with a thorough cleaning.

Availability Of Parts And Cost

When you have all of the information listed above, you can take the next step in the restoration process. This step is deciding whether or not to complete the restoration or to sell your tractor to someone who is better prepared for the project. Evaluate your finances and the condition of the tractor. Consult with vendors of tractor parts to determine the availability of the parts needed to complete the restoration. Obtain a general estimate of the cost involved. Take all of this information into consideration and determine if you have the necessary budget and desire to complete the project.

Once you have all of the information and parts necessary for your restoration, go for it. Record the restoration process and any information you learned during the build. Have fun and don't forget to share your restoration knowledge and photos with fellow enthusiasts!