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    White Remains Most Popular Car Color

    This shouldn’t be much of surprise: White is the most popular exterior paint color worldwide for another year, according to PPG Industries, a global paint supplier.

    Overall, 21% of the world’s 2011 model-year vehicles were painted white, PPG says. It has been the most popular color worldwide for a few years running.

    White is also the most popular color in the United States, making up 20% of the market. Silver, once the pre-eminent color in the U.S., isn’t too far behind at 19%.  Black and gray have 18% and 15% shares, respectively.

    Natural colors — browns, tans, golds, oranges and yellows — make up 7%, and green makes up 2%. Brown has resurged in the U.S. over the past few years after losing a lot of popularity in the 1980s. It seems to be a favorite press color choice for Fiat, Buick, Acura and Mini.

    Color is an important buying decision for a large number of car shoppers. PPG says 48% of car buyers generally pick a car based on color. Also, owners of large luxury cars, sports cars and large SUVs are more willing to pay extra for the color of their choice, PPG says.


    9 10.11.11
    1959 – Definitive DeVille

    1959 – Definitive DeVille

    GM Develops Auto Industry’s First Front Center Air Bag

    General Motors will be offering the industry’s first front center air bag in select vehicles. This inflatable restraint will help to protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.

    You’re going to have to wait a bit for the new front center air bag – it will be introduced on the 2013 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevrolet Traverse midsize crossovers (it will come standard on Acadia and Traverse with power seats and all Enclaves).

    Here’s how it works: found in between the front row seats near the center of the vehicle, the tethered, tubular air bag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat. It protects the driver when they are the only occupant in the event of a passenger-side crash. When there is a driver and a front passenger, it acts as energy absorbing cushion in both driver- and passenger-side crashes. As well, it will offer protection if your vehicle is involved in a rollover accident.

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System database, far-side impact crashes account 11 percent of the belted front occupant fatalities in non-rollover impacts between 2004 and 2009 involving 1999 model year or newer vehicles. The stats go on to show that in these far-side fatalities, where the occupant is on the non-struck side of the vehicle, also represent 29 percent of all the belted front occupant fatalities in side impact crashes.

    Partnering with technology supplier Takata, GM’s front center air bag took three years to develop. It went through a series of designs to address packaging, cushioning, and restraint issues that could occur in different crash and occupant position scenarios.

    Even though the front center air bag is not required by federal regulation, it will add to the vehicles’ third-party crash test performance results. “The front center airbag has real potential to save lives in side crashes,” said Adrian Lund, president of the insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  “GM and Takata are to be commended for taking the lead in this important area.”


    9 10.03.11
    Vintage Cadillac

    Vintage Cadillac

    1 09.30.11

    Close Your Garage Door Via A Smartphone

    Ever been out to the mall or on a trip out of town and wondered if you had closed your garage door?

    Well if you have the new Craftsman garage door with AssureLink, you can close your door using your smart phone, laptop or tablet.

    The system works similarly to that used by some car companies to remotely unlock doors or start the car. This system will allow you to close your garage door as long as you have a working smart device.

    What if someone is in the way as the door closes? The system has you covered, as it makes plenty of audible sounds, plus will re-open if its obstructed by an object, so no worries about crushing anyone.

    This system will appeal to many, but it does come with a price. Craftsman will require you to register for this app and it has an annual user fee of $19.99. Not bad if you are in California, wondering if your garage door is open in Kansas.

    13 09.29.11

    Cost2Drive App Estimates Fuel Costs For Road Trips


    Ever wonder how much that road trip is going to cost you in gas? Before you pack up the car, download the Cost2Drive app to see if you’ve got enough cash for gas to make it to your destination.

    Cost2Drive will estimate how much it will cost to fuel up on a road trip. All you have to do is enter a starting address, ending address, and the make, model, and year of your vehicle, and Cost2Drive will do the rest. This super smart app calculates how much money you’ll need to fuel up based on the distance between the starting and ending points, the highway fuel economy estimate for your vehicle, the size of your vehicle’s gas tank and what type of fuel it uses. It even sources gas prices along your route and factors them into your total cost

    If your travelling budget is a little on the tight side, Cost2Drive will show you the gas stations that have the lowest fuel prices along your route, and how often you should stop to fill up. Although Cost2Drive only estimates for one-way trips, it’s easy enough to either double that amount or figure out your return trip home.

    If you’re eco-conscious, Cost2Drive can help you out there, too. It also offers displays the carbon footprint for your selected trip and it has an option to purchase carbon offsets in order to make your trip as green as possible.

    Let’s just say that after you plug in all the information and the time, money and distance estimates are a little too much for you to handle. In that case, Cost2Drive also offers the Kayak trip planning service, which will show you the lowest airfare to your chosen destination. You can compare flying vs. driving and weight the pros and cons for each method of transportation.

    3 09.23.11

    GMC gets high marks for its Terrain crossover

    First impression: The GMC Terrain is a nice-looking vehicle, inside and out.

    Plus, it’s quite roomy for a crossover that slots somewhere between a compact and midsize rig. I couldn’t believe how much legroom you get up front. Yikes, I thought, the rear bench must get short shrift. But no, I found the back roomy as well.

    I also was surprised to see EPA estimates on fuel use at 22 in the city, 32 on the highway for the 4-cylinder engine.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve tested a GMC, but that first impression warmed up the Terrain very quickly. There are a few caveats — there always are — but I’ll get to those later.

    Terrain was new for the 2010 model year, with minimal changes in the 2011 and 2012 models. There are a few new standards and options, plus E85 flex-fuel capability with the standard Ecotec 2.4-liter engine.

    Prices for the 2011 models start at $26,120 for the SLE1 equipped with the 182-horsepower Ecotec. That may not sound like a lot of oomph, but it should be fine unless you’re towing a lot of gear (3,500 pounds is the max with the V-6). The V-6 ups retail price to a base of $24,920 and drops mileage to 17 city, 24 highway.

    All Terrains get a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available with both engines, tacking $1,750 onto the tab.


    28 09.21.11

    ""What it is, it turns out, is a very well tuned, near-luxury sport sedan that, in terms of sheer driving pleasure, surpasses anything else in its class made in Detroit these days, not to mention imports like the Acura TSX and the Lexus ES350."—Automobile Magazine"

The 1953-1954 Buick Skylark
    6 09.16.11

    Tips to Get Your Motor Running

    If your car has been feeling a little sluggish lately, there are some things you can do to get your motor running right again.

    First change your oil and filter. Make sure to use the grade of oil that is recommended by the car. Using the wrong grade of oil can reduce the performance of your car and its gas mileage.

    And, do not rely on the oil light in your car. By the time that light goes on, some damage to your engine may already have been done. So, check your oil often. When you do, also check the brake fluid and transmission fluid levels. You should flush the brake fluid, transmission fluid and coolant system every 2 years or 30,000 miles. Keeping fresh, clean fluids in your car will keep your motor running smoothly.

    Two other things that will are replacing your air filter and fuel filter frequently. Clean filters will help keep dirt out of your fuel injectors, fuel pump and engine. If too much dirt accumulates, it will lead to expensive repairs.

    You should also change your spark plugs every other year. Worn plugs will cause your engine to misfire and waste a lot of gas. Also, check all the belts and hoses in your car for signs of wear, especially the timing belt or timing chain. If that breaks, it can destroy your engine. When you do replace it, replace the water pump too since the procedure for each is the same.

    You can do many of these things yourself. You do not have to be an ace mechanic or have a lot of experience. You just need the desire, a how to manual and a few tools. Then, when you get your motor running right, you can head on down the highway looking for adventure and be able to handle whatever comes your way.

    If your car will no longer run on down the highway, please consider donating your car to charity. If you do, it will be picked up fast and free and you will get a tax deduction of at least $500 if you itemize on your federal tax return. The process is easy and there are many charities that can benefit from your car donation.


    3 09.14.11