Crucial Tips for New Drivers

carl-turnley-drivingThere are over 200 million people in the United States who regularly get behind the wheel of an automobile. Earning your license is certainly a major accomplishment, but it comes with a lot of responsibility; you need to make sure you are driving both safely and responsibly, so consider these crucial tips.

Keep Practicing

Just because you’ve earned your license doesn’t mean that you are suddenly an expert driver. In fact, you’re probably far from it. No matter how much you think you know about driving or how good you may be, you can always improve. Pay attention to how others drive, stay on top of changing traffic laws, and keep practicing.

Slow Down

This tip really cannot be stressed enough. Not only will speeding get you in trouble with the police, but it will kill you or someone else if you’re not careful. The faster you drive, the harder it will be to control your car or stop, especially if the weather is less than perfect. As much as you may want to drive fast, you should keep your speed down to a manageable level if you don’t want to crash.

Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving has become a serious problem throughout the country, and it will almost certainly get worse as time goes by. When you drive, cut out as many distractions as you can. This means no texting, no talking on your phone unless you have to, and no changing your radio station unless you’re stopped. Keep an eye on the road ahead of you at all times, no matter how much you want to read the text you just received.

Obey All Traffic Laws

Traffic laws are there for a reason. Even the ones that seem arbitrary or too much of a hassle are in place to keep you and other drivers safe. Stop at every stop sign and red light, keep your speed manageable, signal whenever you turn or switch lanes, and avoid tailgating the vehicle ahead of you.

Drive Defensively

You have no control over what anybody else is doing on the road, but you do have control over your own vehicle. Keep a close eye on all of the other vehicles on the road, and stay away from drivers who are speeding or weaving in and out of traffic. As long as you keep your distance from them, they can’t crash into you.

The Impact of Data Analytics on the Auto Industry

carl-turnley-dataThere’s been a big impact in the automotive industry that involves data analytics. As of today, there’s vehicles that are capable of collecting massive amounts of data for their analysis. Vehicles contain around 50 sensors that are used to collect information of the driver’s pattern. For example, it can collect the speed, emissions, distance, resource usage, style of driving, and fuel usage. When this information is combined with predictive analytics, data scientists are able to utilize the information for the private and public sector.

Data Analysis is currently and going to have a major role in the auto industry. The data science is going to be utilized across the board. It will be used to build smarter vehicles for the consumer, auto racing, smart cities, and the insurance industry. For the consumer it means smarter vehicles. The data analysis can be used to predict potential issues before they become problems. This will benefit the consumer for negating the need of a costly repair. In F1 Racing, the team is using the analysis to collect information on the vehicle’s performance.

This technology has its pros and cons. For example, some may view it as big brother because insurance industries will have access to the information as well. The insurance industry point of view is it will lower the driver’s costs based on their safety record and safe driving habits.

Since 5G is right around the corner, big data is going to be able to take advantage of the technology. It’ll have the ability to update the vehicle’s software remotely, monitor and respond to engine performance. When it comes to interconnected highways, the data can inform the driver of incoming construction, accidents and intersections. This lead data will benefit the driver to effectively navigate the vehicle seamlessly through expected traffic congestion. The end result is traffic flow will be efficient and safer.

Data analytics is also sparking the connected cars. Connected cars will be able to provide local information to the driver from gas stations to retail outlets. Essentially, the automobiles will be using localized data to concoct customized suggestions based on the driver’s preference. For example, it’ll suggest a flower shop offering a 20% discount on your nearby route for your upcoming anniversary.

Five of the Best-selling Cars of All Time

carl-turnley-corollaHow does a car become so popular that people want to buy it again and again? It needs a reputation of being reliable year after year.

Just a few cars have been able to pull this off. Here are five of the best-selling cars of all time along with facts about what makes them so great.

Toyota Corolla

How Many Sold: Over 43 million

What Makes It Great:

A practical, economical car, the Corolla was launched in 1966. Since then, it’s become the best-selling auto of all time. No matter how many millions of Corollas are already on the road, buyers still show up for new models.

Options run from bare-bones staples to advanced safety and comfort features.

Ford F-Series

How Many Sold: Over 40 million

What Makes It Great: The F-150 and its larger cousins are true workhorses that last and hold their value. The only pickup on the list, this model has grown from a simple work truck to a more stylish, luxurious ride.

Today’s F-Series appeals to everyone from families to handymen to corporations.

Volkswagen Beetle

How Many Sold: Over 23 million

What Makes It Great:

The odd little car with the bug-eyed headlights and the engine in the rear spoke for a generation of young Americans in the sixties. It stood out from the other cars and was a perfect fit for the times.

A relaunch and design changes removed some of the quirkiness. Still, it retains a loyal following.

Lada Riva

How Many Sold: Over 19 Million

What Makes It Great:

The boxy, sturdy design tells the story: this is a tough little car. It lacks charm and comfort, but it’s a reliable and affordable means of transportation.

Also known as the VAZ 2101, this car was last produced in 2012 but is still a common sight on the road.

Honda Accord

How Many Sold: Over 17 million

What Makes It Great:

This mid-sized sedan popped up in the mid-seventies and has been in production ever since. This is a popular family car with remarkable economy, safety and reliability.

Redesigns have taken the vehicle from basic to sleek and back again several times, but it’s remained a top seller for decades.

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

carl-turnley-winterCar maintenance is an important aspect of ensuring a vehicle runs smoothly. Executing such action bears even greater significance3 during the wintertime. This brief blog highlights several suggestions car owners can employ to keep their cars functioning at an optimal level during these cold, potentially harsh weather months.

Check and Change The Oil

Oil is vital to the operation of a vehicle’s engine. Many mechanics recommend changing oil every three months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles traveled regardless of the season of year. However, during the wintertime, oil might thicken, which could threaten proper engine flow. Therefore, during colder periods, it is suggested that car owners check their oil content on a more frequent basis.

Install Snow Tires

Vehicle owners residing in regions prone to receiving significant quantities of snow and ice might wish to consider installing snow tires. Unlike typical tires, snow tires are designed to tread through adverse weather conditions and give drivers better traction, which may lead to maintaining better control of their vehicles during harsh weather.

Practice Battery Maintenance

During the summer months, a car’s battery expends much power. Unfortunately, this occurrence often precipitates a gradual weakening that is exacerbated by cold temperatures. Should the weakening become pronounced, car owners may experience a dead battery will require recharging or possibly replacing. Either situation could present a major hassle and expense to a driver. To avoid this pitfall, mechanics recommend drivers have their car batteries tested in advance of the winter season.

Ensure Proper Antifreeze Levels

As the substance’s name would indicate, antifreeze ensures the liquids that flow through a vehicle’s working parts do not freeze, which enables said structures to operate efficiently during cold durations. Drivers are encouraged to ask their mechanics to test the potency of and measure antifreeze levels.

Preserve Visibility

Few issues carry more importance than a driver’s ability to see during adverse weather conditions. Preserving visibility can be accomplished by executing actions such as installing winter windshield wipers, placing fresh bulbs in headlights and ensuring the windshield wiper tank is filled with deicing fluid.

Have The Radiator Cap And Thermostat Inspected

The radiator cap plays an integral role in preventing antifreeze leaks and ensuring the radiator functions properly. A vehicle’s thermostat regulates systemic internal temperature. Mechanics highly recommend having both parts examined and, if need be replaced prior to the winter driving season.

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

carl-turnley-winterCar maintenance is an important aspect of ensuring a vehicle runs smoothly. Executing such action bears even greater significance during the wintertime. This brief blog highlights several suggestions car owners can employ to keep their cars functioning at an optimal level during these cold, potentially harsh weather months.

Check and Change The Oil

Oil is vital to the operation of a vehicle’s engine. Many mechanics recommend changing oil every three months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles traveled regardless of the season of year. However, during the wintertime, oil might thicken, which could threaten proper engine flow. Therefore, during colder periods, it is suggested that car owners check their oil content on a more frequent basis.

Install Snow Tires

Vehicle owners residing in regions prone to receiving significant quantities of snow and ice might wish to consider installing snow tires. Unlike typical tires, snow tires are designed to tread through adverse weather conditions and give drivers better traction, which may lead to maintaining better control of their vehicles during harsh weather.

Practice Battery Maintenance

During the summer months, a car’s battery expends much power. Unfortunately, this occurrence often precipitates a gradual weakening that is exacerbated by cold temperatures. Should the weakening become pronounced, car owners may experience a dead battery will require recharging or possibly replacing. Either situation could present a major hassle and expense to a driver. To avoid this pitfall, mechanics recommend drivers have their car batteries tested in advance of the winter season.

Ensure Proper Antifreeze Levels

As the substance’s name would indicate, antifreeze ensures the liquids that flow through a vehicle’s working parts do not freeze, which enables said structures to operate efficiently during cold durations. Drivers are encouraged to ask their mechanics to test the potency of and measure antifreeze levels.

Preserve Visibility

Few issues carry more importance than a driver’s ability to see during adverse weather conditions. Preserving visibility can be accomplished by executing actions such as installing winter windshield wipers, placing fresh bulbs in headlights and ensuring the windshield wiper tank is filled with deicing fluid.

Have The Radiator Cap And Thermostat Inspected

The radiator cap plays an integral role in preventing antifreeze leaks and ensuring the radiator functions properly. A vehicle’s thermostat regulates systemic internal temperature. Mechanics highly recommend having both parts examined and, if need be replaced prior to the winter driving season.

The Best Car Maintenance Apps

1_OxSMFGm6zxt3hpWhjCFu1ARegular car maintenance can not only avert potentially expensive repairs and unexpected mechanical shutdown but also improve gas mileage and the longevity of the vehicle. Fortunately, there are a huge array of apps designed to make it easier to stay on top of a car maintenance schedule, track fuel efficiency, and more. The following are the best car maintenance apps currently available.

AUTOsist

AUTOsist is an essential maintenance app that offers everything from gas logs and fuel trackers to repair logs and service histories. AUTOsist is designed to be an all-in-one vehicle care app that even allows users to download and share a vehicle’s full service history as a PDF, a useful feature during resale. It also includes custom alerts for upcoming tasks like registration renewal, oil changes, insurance renewals, and tire rotations.

Fuelly

Fuelly is a comprehensive app that focuses on tracking a vehicle’s fuel economy and gas expenses but it’s also helpful for tracking service tasks and expenses. Fuelly keeps an accurate vehicle maintenance record with a home screen that displays average MPG, total fuel cost, and miles driven. Custom reminders can be set up for maintenance tasks like tire rotations and multiple cars are supported.

Garmin Mechanic

For drivers who enjoy tracking everything, Garmin Mechanic offers something unique. The app uses data from a recent Garmin device and a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port to provide incredibly accurate fuel economy data and engine operating parameters as well as trouble codes. The app has four tabs: Trip with information about current speed, time stopped, and distance; Gauges with up to 10 parameters like engine RPM; Economy with average fuel economy and fuel used for the trip; and Vehicles with profiles for each vehicle.

Mobile Mechanic

The Mobile Mechanic app is designed for drivers who can handle basic car repairs and maintenance tasks. The app is used to diagnose simple issues that can be corrected by the user or for greater insight before going to a mechanic.

OBD Car Doctor

OBD Car Doctor is an advanced maintenance app that works with an OBD-II scanner. When the vehicle experiences an issue, the scanner tool can be used to display an error message by communicating with the car’s On-Board Diagnostic system. The OBD Car Doctor is used to quickly interpret the findings from the scanner tool. The app makes it easy to determine why the check engine light keeps coming on, for example, so the car can be repaired by the user or a qualified mechanic.

 

The Biggest Changes Coming to the Automotive Industry in 2019

carl-turnley-automotiveUntil recently, the automotive industry has been in a slump. It seems the early 2000s brought design changes that would move the industry forward; however, it was simply a new standard was set. Only a few innovative companies have been pushing the industry forward. Even a few newcomers – like Google and Tesla – have brought new technology to the automotive world in recent years. 2018 saw some interesting changes, and 2019 seems to have a lot in store as well. Below are some of the trends – some carrying over from last year and some new – for the automotive industry in 2019.

Electric Cars

Electric cars aren’t going anywhere. They may not be ideal for all areas of the world, but they are great in the cities. You won’t see many electric cars on the planes of Kansas or the mountains of Colorado, where you’ll often have to travel 100 mile round trips to visit certain points of interest; however, they are perfect for short commutes.

Ferrari’s New CEO

One of the many predictions for 2019 relates to Ferarri being under new leadership. We know that Ferrari has announced 15 new models to be released in the coming years, but they may not be what we expect. If the upcoming Ferrari Purosangue is anything to go by, Ferrari could be transitioning heavily into the crossover world. It all depends on how successful the Purosangue is. We could even see a low-cost crossover from Ferrari.

Subscription Services

Leasing or buying? This has been the question for anyone looking for a new car up until now. BMW and Porsche already have projects like these, but considering the cost, they will remain exclusive clubs for the wealthier citizens. However, if other companies hop on the trend, we could see subscription services like these that will rival the cost of leasing or buying.

Self Driving Vehicles

The innovative self driving car has met some speed bumps in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t pushing forward. Only available in certain cities, like San Francisco and Phoenix, self driving cars could really be the future. Ideally and under perfect conditions, self driving cars would be the safest way ever invented to travel.

Top Cars Arriving in the New Year

carl-turnley-2019carIn time for the start of 2019, a number of auto manufacturers are getting ready to introduce their new lineups. In the mix, will be a number of new models in addition to upgrades of popular models and a few that are being resurrected from the past.

The popularity of the crossover and SUV inventories will see a number of new models for the New Year. Subaru plans on introducing the larger Ascent SUV. The vehicle is designed to include three rows of seats. Fuel economy conscious consumers can expect a number of new hybrids that include the Honda Insight, the Jaguar I-Pace and the Lexus UX. Tesla will offer the all-electric Model X.

Upgraded vehicles include the RDX by Acura. The Ford Ranger boasts an all-new design as does the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the GMC Sierra 1500 and the Ram 1500. Ford brought about a few changes in the company’s latest Mustang.

The Mustang GT coupes feature the Performance Package Two. The PP2 includes “MagneRide” adaptive dampers. The anti-roll bars on the front and rear of the vehicles are designed to be up to 67 percent stronger. The springs on the front and the rear are also reportedly up to 20 percent stiffer. The changes enable the GT to take corners better and provide more stability on the back roads.

Powerful muscle car fans will love the Ford Mustang Bullitt. The impressive engine in the Bullitt delivers 480 horsepower without forced induction. The sound alone of the engine revving provides an adrenaline rush. Add the blast from the exhaust and you have an exceptional muscle car that performs.

Jeep has long been synonymous with making quality off-road vehicles. However, for 2019, the company introduces the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The vehicle shows us a totally different side to the Jeep name. The SUV features a 6.2 supercharged V8 engine capable of delivering more than 700 horses. The new Jeep goes from zero to 60mph in a mere 3.3 seconds. On a quarter-mile track, the Trackhawk easily accomplished the task in 11.6 seconds.

Although many believe that turbocharged four-cylinder engines are somewhat run of the mill, the engine in the new Mazda MX-5 Miata models is definitely different. The engine’s design reminds some of the capabilities of an Alfa Romeo or a Lotus-Ford twin cam. As such, drivers get a vehicle that is responsive and smooth.

Debunking five enduring myths about car maintenance

carl-turnley-maintenanceCaring for our cars and trucks can often be frustrating. There are so many myths and rumors that it’s difficult to know what is the right thing to do for your vehicle. While a specific problem may require the assistance of a mechanic, these five tips can help you keep your car in a healthier state for longer.

You Probably Don’t Need Premium Fuel

Most people go for the higher octane fuel when they gas up at the pump, because they think it’s better for their car. This is just another urban myth. Unless your owner’s manual specifies the need for a higher octane fuel, regular unleaded will be just as good.

You Don’t Need to Change All Four Tires at Once

This is another car care myth that has been passed down through generations, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to follow it. What you do need to do is ensure all four tires are of the same brand and model. Also, check to make sure you’re always using the right size tire.

Leaving Your Tailgate Down Does Nothing for Fuel Efficiency

In a research project, Popular Mechanics tested the effects of driving various pick-up trucks with the tailgate down. This was in response to a theory that driving with the tailgate down helped conserve gas. In truth, this had no effect on fuel efficiency. However, the study did find that removing the tailgate altogether did help conserve gas. This was true even when the tailgate was replaced with mesh netting.

An Oil Change Isn’t an Excuse to Change Coolant

Many mechanics recommend changing coolant fluid and air filters, during an oil change. While this certainly benefits the mechanic, it doesn’t necessarily do much for your vehicle. Instead of taking your mechanic’s word for it, consult the vehicle owner’s manual to find out exactly how long your vehicle can go without changing coolant fluid and air filters.

An Electric Car is a Fire Risk

There’s a rumor going around that the new electrically powered vehicles are more likely to catch fire. Some people actually avoid buying electric cars, because they fear a random electrical fire. According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, electric cars are no more likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles.

Since most people aren’t mechanics, it’s easy to come across a multitude of myths and rumors about proper car care. Before buying into anything that you hear, it’s a good idea to research the rumor for yourself. Often consulting your owner’s manual can help you settle questions or concerns you have about your vehicle.

Ten Crucial Car Maintenance Tips

carl-turnley-maintenance

Having a car is a tremendous privilege, but comes with great responsibility. Here are some tips to bear in mind to make sure your car’s maintenance is up to date.

  1. Check Your Air Filter

Whenever you want to pop on the air conditioner, you will want to make sure the filters in your car do not suffer much wear and tear. It is recommended that you change them every 12 months or so to prevent breathing in unhealthy air.

  1. Spark Plugs

Any issues that you may face with your engine can most likely be attributed to the spark plugs. Spark plugs are typically good for around 30,000 miles.

  1. Brakes

Cars that last longer typically have strong brakes. Every two years, ensure that your brakes are replaced. Checking your brake fluid can also be helpful.

  1. Cover It

Covering your car can ensure that the paint stays fresh and that your car remains stylish. This is more of an aesthetic tip, but it could save you money.

  1. Practice Better Driving

You could save money that you’d have to pay for damages to car by simply driving better and avoiding accidents. It reflects well on you, and saves you money in the long run.

  1. Exterior Engine Cleaning

Cleaning the exterior of your car can prevent excess debris from entering the internal compartment. Remove any debris or garbage that should not be there.

     7. Oil

Your oil should be amber in color, and you can refer to your owner’s manual in regards to when and how often your oil should be changed.

  1. Headlights

The headlights provide you with safety, allowing you to see what’s up ahead of you at night. Make sure the battery is up to date and that it is actually working before driving off.

  1. Windshield Wipers

The windshield wipers are one of the more vulnerable parts of your car that can wear out quickly. However, they can be easily replaced with a wiper blade.

  1. Tire Rotation

The general rule of thumb is to have your tires rotated and properly aligned every 5,000 miles. Doing so will also help your car’s fuel economy as well.