It’s Not Too Late: A Resolution That Can Save Money and So Much More

The New Year has just begun, and already people are ditching their New Year’s resolutions and revisiting their old ways. But what if you had picked a resolution that could help save you money or even your life? Maybe then you wouldn’t be so quick to break it.

Maintaining your vehicle could do both: save money and keep you safer on the road. All you need to do is follow — and keep following — these important steps from Firestone Complete Auto Care:

Hybrid Cars: The Performance Cars of the Future

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When most people think of hybrid cars, they imagine practical, mild-mannered vehicles. But could we someday see hybrid racecars burning up the tracks?
In March of 2010, Porsche (www.porsche.com/usa/) unveiled three hybrids at the Geneva Auto Show: one for the road; one for the race track; and one that is a genuine Porsche supercar. These innovative new Porsches — the Cayenne S Hybrid, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Spyder — show that hybrids can be sporty, fast and powerful.
The Cayenne S, Porsche’s first production hybrid car, features a sophisticated parallel full hybrid system with the combined power of a 380 horsepower V6 combustion engine and an electric motor. The car has the potential to significantly enhance fuel economy at high speeds — when the driver lifts off the accelerator at cruising or highway speeds, the gasoline engine can be switched off and disengaged from the drivetrain. This enables the vehicle to move without combustion or electric power.
The GT3 R’s innovative hybrid technology has been developed especially for racing. The front axle features two powerful electric motors that supplement the car’s 480 horsepower, naturally aspirated four-liter flat-six that drives the rear wheels. Instead of the heavy batteries found in hybrid road cars, an electrical flywheel power generator resides next to the driver to deliver energy to the electric motors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid competed in the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring in May 2010, leading for eight hours before retiring after 22 hours and 15 minutes for mechanical reasons. In the 2010 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta it finished 18th out of a starting field of 41 cars.
With the 918 Spyder high-performance mid-engine concept hybrid sports car, Porsche is displaying its expertise in the field of highly efficient and low-emission drive technology. The 918 Spyder prototype with plug-in hybrid technology combines high-tech performance features with electric mobility to produce a fascinating range of qualities. It has an ultra-compact car’s emission levels of 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer, and it consumes just three liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, but can go from 0 to 62 mph in just under 3.2 seconds and reach a top track speed over 198 mph.

Hybrid Cars Get New, Racier Image

When most people think of hybrid vehicles, they imagine practical, mild-mannered vehicles. But could we soon see hybrid race cars burning up the tracks?

In March of 2010, Porsche unveiled three hybrids at the Geneva Auto Show – one for the road, one for the race track and one that is a genuine Porsche supercar. These innovative new Porsches – the Cayenne S Hybrid, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Spyder – show that hybrids can be sporty, fast and powerful.

Every Car Needs a Little TLC ? How to Maximize Vehicle Life

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – During the winter months, cold weather gives way to the warm, fuzzy feelings brought on by the presence of that certain special someone. But it’s not just your significant other that deserves attention — your hard-working vehicle needs some extra TLC as well. Tires Plus offers a few tips to keep your vehicle running strong:
* Listen to each other. Keep your engine properly tuned. A vehicle that has a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can decrease gas mileage by as much as 40 percent. A single misfiring spark plug can cut fuel economy by up to 4 percent.
* Keep your vehicle refreshed. Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your vehicle, and change it according to your vehicle owner’s manual, which usually says every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage. Regularly check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant.
* Keep in constant contact. Maintain your tires. Check inflation pressure monthly, and make sure your tires are properly balanced. Don’t forget to rotate your tires according to the maintenance schedule and have the alignment checked at least once a year.
* Be considerate. Use good driving habits. Accelerating quickly and stopping abruptly can prematurely wear your vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires and brakes. Aggressive driving also wastes gas.
* Protect it from the elements. Keep the exterior washed and waxed to preserve the paint finish and protect your vehicle from the environment. Salt, water, sand and even de-icing chemicals on the road can cause rust or other damage to a vehicle.
Every relationship takes work, even the one you have with your car. Never underestimate how far a little tender loving care toward your vehicle can go!

Earth-Friendly Tips for Motorists

Motorists who want to go “green” don’t have to change vehicles to help the environment. Changing a few habits can make a big difference, say the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals.

According to Martin Lawson, editorial director at ASE, regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two strategies that virtually every vehicle owner can embrace. The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious care today:

You Don’t Need the Luck of The Irish to Make Your Car "Green"

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The Emerald Isle is known for being lush, green and teeming with stout, little leprechauns. While the latter might be just a myth, it’s no fairy tale that by taking small steps to make your car go green, not only can you make the earth a little cleaner, but you can also save yourself a pot of gold worth of expenses. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you make your vehicle a little greener:
* Perform scheduled maintenance. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule to keep your vehicle in good working order. By using fresh filters and fluids, as well as making sure your emission control system is working properly, you can minimize your vehicle’s impact on the environment.
* Slow down. Vehicles use less fuel the slower they travel. Try dropping your highway speed by 10 mph. You will use less gas and cause fewer emissions. In addition, gradually stepping on the accelerator and gently applying the brakes is more fuel-efficient than sudden stops and gunning the engine.
* Plan ahead. Consolidate several trips into one. Plot out the most efficient route to get to all of your stops. You will use less gas and produce fewer emissions.
* Roll up and remove excess. If you roll up your windows, your vehicle’s aerodynamics will be more streamlined, the drag will be reduced and you’ll get better mileage. Removing ski racks, bike racks and after-market rooftop cargo carriers can also help improve your vehicle’s aerodynamics.
* Don’t idle. Don’t idle to warm up your vehicle. Prolonged idling creates unnecessary emissions, and idling for more than thirty seconds consumes more fuel than re-starting the engine.
Going green doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it certainly doesn’t include chasing after rainbows. By taking small steps throughout the year, you can ensure that your vehicle is doing its part to help make the planet a little cleaner.

What Exactly is a Hybrid Car?

Even if you drive a hybrid car, you probably don’t know some basic facts about your car and what makes it work.

Hybrid cars use two separate engines for propulsion, usually an electric motor and a gasoline-powered engine. And while auto companies usually act as if hybrids are all the same, they come in three main forms: series hybrids, plug-ins and parallel hybrids.

Series hybrids use an electric motor to power a car’s movement – the gas engine just recharges the electric battery. In plug-in hybrids, the electric engine’s battery can be charged directly through an electric outlet. The car is propelled by the electric motor alone, and most plug-ins also include a combustion engine for battery regeneration.

Deciphering Your Car’s “Check Engine” Light

<b>Deciphering Your Car’s “Check Engine” Light</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many drivers don’t know what the “check engine” or “service engine soon” warning light on the instrument panel really means. Understanding the purpose of this light, and knowing what actions to take when it comes on, can help you nip problems in the bud — and possibly prevent major damage.

An illuminated “check engine” light is telling you the engine control computer has detected a problem that is causing the vehicle to produce excessive exhaust emissions. Sometimes the light will be accompanied by noticeable performance problems, such as an engine miss or hesitation, but other times the vehicle will appear to operate normally. Common failures that can trigger a “check engine” light include:

* Failed engine-control components such as an oxygen, coolant temperature, MAP (manifold absolute pressure) or airflow sensor.

* Engine misfires from faulty sparkplugs, sparkplug wires, ignition components, fuel injectors or other fuel system parts.

* Emission-control failures such as loose or cracked vacuum hoses, a loose or missing gas cap or a defective EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve.

How you should react to a “check engine” light depends on how the light behaves. If the light comes on for a little while and then goes out, you may have had a momentary problem in the system. The light goes out when the problem stops, but the computer could have stored a diagnostic trouble code in its memory. If the light does not recur, it can be ignored. However, if the light comes and goes intermittently, take the vehicle in for a checkup.

If the light comes on and stays on, the car has an ongoing problem. While that problem may not be severe, it will negatively impact your car’s performance, gas mileage and exhaust emissions. Take your vehicle to a repair shop as soon as possible for further diagnosis.

If the “check engine” light begins to flash on and off, a severe problem is causing the catalytic converter to overheat. This can destroy the converter and possibly even start a fire. If your repair shop is nearby, drive there immediately. If the shop is some distance away, shut off the car and call for assistance. Always have the cause of a flashing “check engine” light investigated right away to prevent damage to important components that can greatly increase the cost of repairs.

AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities can diagnose “check engine” light problems and provide a full range of vehicle maintenance and repair services. Approved Auto Repair shops meet AAA’s high standards for customer care and technical proficiency. To locate a shop near you, look for the AAA Approved Auto Repair logo or visit www.AAA.com/repair.

Deciphering Your Car’s “Check Engine” Light

div img class=”category-img” src=”http://ftper.newsusa.com/Thumbnail/CheckEngineLight.jpg” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=”http://www.newsusa.com”NewsUSA/a) – Many drivers don’t know what the “check engine” or “service engine soon” warning light on the instrument panel really means. Understanding the …/div/div

Earth-Friendly Tips for Motorists

<b>Earth-Friendly Tips for Motorists</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Some day, hydrogen-powered vehicles may be commonplace, but in the meantime, motorists who want to go “green” don’t have to change vehicles to help the environment. The experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair, say that drivers simply need to change a few habits. “Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two strategies that virtually every vehicle owner can embrace,” notes Martin Lawson, editorial director at ASE. The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious care today:

* Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the manual.

* Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Inflated tires reduce the engine’s effort and gasoline consumption.

* Find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technicians’ credentials. ASE-certified auto technicians have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign.

* Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

* Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations; both habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving.

* Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Remove that rooftop luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

* If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local government for information.

Visit www.ase.com for more seasonal car care tips and for information about the benefits of using ASE-certified technicians for auto repairs and service.