Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Windscreen Maintenances During Winter

Your vehicle is one among many things you should look after. Many people neglect the importance of cleaning their own car. What they do not realise is that a small accumulation of dirt or other elements can cause problems. Throughout the year, your car can take serious damage from cold weather, rain, gravel, dust, and other debris. Failing to give proper maintenance can cause accidents and expensive repairs to certain car parts in the future. Read on to know how to clean and maintain your car's windshield during the cold season.
How to Keep Your Windshield in Good Condition during winter
It is important to ensure that your windshield is clean on both sides of the glass. Many people just clean the exteriors leaving the inner part untidy. The sun and other natural elements like snow can cause significant visibility problems. This will make it difficult for the driver to see and may create optical illusions such as light trails or sudden headlight flashes. This can be very dangerous and normally results in many vehicle accidents.
Winter can be the most annoying time of the year to keep your car clean. Many people pour boiling water onto their window screen to clear and melt the snow. This is a bad idea because even if the ice easily melts away, the sudden change of temperature can cause the glass to expand and contract. This can cause the glass to crack or shatter into pieces. Try using regular tap water with normal room temperature to melt the ice. It will help to keep a can of de-icer spray and a window scraper for icy mornings.
Never try using your car's windscreen wipers to clean the ice. It is only suitable to wipe off raindrops and small debris. Extreme cold temperatures can cause the wipers to freeze and stick to the glass. Activating your wipers can cause them to rip or cause significant damage to your windscreen. If this happens, you can order new windscreens for replacement. Another important thing to remember is to set your wipers to their correct positions after using the car. Activating your car in the morning can trigger your wipers to return to their normal position and cause damage.
Some people use engine antifreeze for their windscreens. This is actually a bad idea as it can cause terrible damage to the glass and your car's paintwork. It is also one of the most dangerous chemicals you can throw onto the road behind you. This substance is more slippery than oil and may cause serious accidents for motorists or motorcyclists following you. Use bespoke washer fluid that has anti-freezing additives and is safe to use when you are on the road.
Heavy snowfall can cause many problems on the road. It is important to get as much snow off your vehicle's roof before driving. If not, the snow may slip forward onto your windscreen the moment you hit the brakes. This can obscure and block your view and cause terrible accidents. Even if you do manage to brake safely, vehicles behind you may not be able to stop in time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Becoming a Motorist, Plus Expenses

Driving lessons can be a massive pain, considering the expense of hiring a driving instructor on top of the initial cost of a test, which is split into theory and practical, both with different costs of around £31 for theory and £62 for practical. The cost of theory and practical combined is already a huge expense, but on top of that you have to purchase your car; of which is an enormous cost and varies depending on the vehicle you desire, however it is the most important asset to driving. On top of this you have to scout around for a decent insurance company that covers you and isn't overly expensive. With consideration that the majority of learner drivers are under 21, which means they pay more as they aren't in a reliable age group of motorists. You also need a provisional licence which costs around £50; then there's tax, mot, petrol, all the extra costs etc. All together becoming a motorist costs an estimated amount of £2.5k+, however this varies depending on: gender, age, the quality of your car plus many smaller variables. Obviously this is a huge dilemma for any starter as generally most new car owners are usually around the age of 17 - 21, most of which will be on further learning and not have a brilliant income. This is a huge problem considering the fact that they can barely afford to be taught and become a vehicle owner, even with the help of parents; a lot of people won't be lucky enough to have parental coverage.
This is a considerably difficult problem and cutting any amount of costs is extremely important as you want the cheapest possible price you can come by. Looking into second hand cars; bought privately or through auction is a brilliant way to decrease costs plus a car with a previous owner may be a tiny bit less reliable but you will have in exchange a more quality vehicle. Searching in the right places is important and you should look around a lot before making your decision as it is stuck with you for a major amount of time, and with an unreliable vehicle you are more likely for it to break down and need repairs which could end up costing you a ton more than searching that extra bit and finding a much more reliable car.
Another brilliant way to cut down costs is to consider an intensive driving course; it's a lot cheaper to experience driving in bulk plus, it's faster and you have it out the way in a matter of days. This would be suitable for anyone who wants learning out of the way as quick as possible, whilst cutting prices and having a better learning experience. It is an amazing way to short cut your way through lessons plus it is much easier to assign a lesson, depending on where you go; whereas any normal driving instructor may take up to six months to have an appointment booked.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2013 Volkswagen Passat CC Car Review

The most frugal version of Volkswagen's Passat CC might just take the title of "the sleek sedan with a coupe-like styling" from the Hyundai Sonata with its innocuous, slab-sided exterior which is undeniably elegant. However apart from a new styling on the grille and additional electronic whizz bangs, the 2013 Volkswagen CC might not be largely different from its predecessors. The car still holds its economical position with even lower pricing for American models without compromising on comfort, reliability and the desire for adventure that arises in enthusiastic drivers sometimes.
Excess baggage
No longer referred to as the "Passat," the Volkswagen Group decided to drop the name and go with "CC" alone. This is not a wonder if you are living in the Eurozone where everything is being cut off to deal with the economic crisis, but a name drop wouldn't offer much reprieve - maybe they would have replaced the leather with the remains of the California wildfire that managed to take up much of Fisker Karma's interior. However if you have much "real baggage" fear not, for the car's boot size is large enough as well as the interior which is elucidated below.
If you have been inside a Volkswagen Group vehicle before, then you understand the instant inviting attitude of the dashboard even before you start the car - the VW Passat CC is no different. The leather seats are comfortable and seemingly luxurious, with handsome appointments here and there for a more "touchy" feel in its competition against the highly priced Mercedes CLS. The plastics are soft to the touch, the typefaces admirably concise and the entire cabin simple but distinctly attractive to the simple but attractive man. Head-room might not rival that of the Mercedes CLS but there is enough leg-room for a dwarf's party. The driver's legs are offset towards the centre and the power seats configure in 12 different dimensions, but the party doesn't end there. There are drinks for those going for the intermediate trims and desserts for those getting the upscale trims. If you feel lost, this is what I'm talking about:
Five different trims are available for the VW Passat CC: Sport, Sport plus, Lux, V6 Lux and VR6 Executive. The car's 12-way power seats and climatic control begin with "Sport" while "Sport plus" adds DSG transmission and a satellite-navigation system. "Lux" boasts of an aluminium trim, ambient lighting and a sunroof, "V6 Lux" bakes a back-up camera, bigger screen and memory seats all into one package while the show-stopping "VR6 Executive" combines a rear sunshade, parking sensors, all-wheel-drive and front seats that heat, cool and massage.
I have always been on the front seats for VW Passat's support but when it comes to entertainment I can only hung my head. Bad resolution on the 5-inch touch-screen (400 by 200 pixels), no voice command anywhere in this car, no USB plug for non Apple devices and the audio player is the very basic CD player with AM/FM Sirius radio only spiced up with iDevice integration. The only commendable component is Bluetooth audio streaming and the 600-watt 10-speaker Dynaudio system in the VR6. The navigation system is low end with minute improvement on screen size in the Lux and V6 trims from 5.0 to 6.5-inches and a colour LCD in the VR6.
Road performance
The Volkswagen Passat CC's 2.0L TDI engine with 139 horsepower and a combined economy of 60 mpg will leave you almost fully satisfied if you are not going for a road race. The good mileage is as a result of VW's BlueMotion fuel saving technology using an intelligent alternator that makes Prius' ETCS-i yesterday's news. The gearbox is a 6-speed manual that transmits with nicely spaced ratios for driving efficiency but again, not for road racing! The steering wheel though is well weighted and the ride is very quiet but higher-powered versions of 158 bhp and 207 bhp are a bit noisier. The ride height is a bit lower than in the standard Passat but most parts can be interchanged. The Sport trim however lacks DSG transmission that begins with the Sport plus trim and is more ideal in traffic but a bit high on the fuel bills. Driver engagement is not offered as the ride remains housed in traditional austerity and it will take a lot of hard work to achieve a chassis balance as accorded by BMW. Jagged surfaces are a bit responsive making it non ideal for off-road and this is worsened by the 18-inch wheels which "The Telegraph" describes as "deleterious." The car's lane departure system also does not always pick up on road markings and the boot switch activated by feet movement beneath the bumper is highly inefficient. It is yet to be understood what VW was thinking to suggest opening the boot by flipping your feet under the rear bumper, what is known as "air kicking" but if this is the direction innovations are taking us I bet we are yet to see more.
  • Price: £24200 - £30100
  • Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel
  • Power: 138 horsepower @4200 rpm / 236lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
  • Drivetrain: 6-speed manual, FWD
  • Top speed: 133 mph
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 9.8 seconds
  • Fuel economy: 60 mpg