Thursday, 29 November 2007

Why You Should Go for a USED CAR Instead of a Brand New One

For first time car owners, newly-weds, parents giving a gift to their son/daughter for graduation and people on a tight budget, a used car would prove to be much more appropriate and much more practical than spending thousands of dollars for a brand new car, provided that the used-car bought is still in tip-top shape and in good running condition- a lot of people are more or less contended with one.

Reliability and durability can be a question, but if you bought a used-car from a trusted dealer who not only “sells” a car but also cares about the customer thru the addition of security checks and inspection services to insure that the vehicle sold is truly worth the customer’s money, then you’re just better off the same as buying a brand new one!

Cheap and definitely out of a lemon’s league. These are just two of the traits to look for in buying a used car and a lot of dealers out there would be offering customers with empty promises and sometimes fraud just to lure them, much to the dismay of customers after the purchase.

Perhaps the best place to buy used cars would be to source them from Japan- As most of the popular car brands and makes came from that country and the durability of their vehicles are at par or sometimes exceed that of their more popular western counterparts.

With the emergence of the internet and online transactions, ordering and shipping for used cars is now made even easier, that’s why dealers are sprouting like mushrooms from everywhere these days; but beware as only a few are true to their words and services.

Dealers like IBC Japan I would say, meets the standard of a dealer that truly cares for their customers, with the best prices and superb services you can never go wrong, you’ll not only have the peace of mind, but the best deals to boot for your budget as well.

ECM recalibration kit for easy Saturn tuning

The electronic control module (ECM) installed on every Saturn is composed of a network of processors and signal inputs and outputs that collectively control a component of the vehicle. They control chief car parts critical in engine operation, ranging from the engine control unit that manages the power train system of the Saturn, to the antilock braking system that monitors the vehicle's speed and brake fluid flow, and to the simple body modules that control the automatic door locks and power windows.

The Saturn ECM is largely dependent on the MAP sensor, throttle position sensor, air temperature sensor, oxygen sensor, and many other sensors that feed it with information on the engine's performance. This network of sensors are scattered throughout the vehicle system, and communicates with the Saturn ECM through a set protocol installed on the car during its assembly. But, because the sensors of the Saturn ECM are made of sensitive sensing elements, their reliability often decrease over time. They can lose their precision, and without an accurate read of the Saturn parts operations, the ECM stands to operate the Saturn incorrectly and has to recalibrated. A Saturn ECM recalibration kit is typically a plug and play chip that brings back the settings of the sensors and the processors to their original form. It is inserted on the car's central control unit, allows driver to input the required setting, and corrects the sensors and the processor.

In addition, a Saturn ECM recalibration kit is similarly used in powertuning the car. In a module that handles the power train system of the car, for example, a Saturn recalibration kit can up the quantity of fuel injected into each cylinder in every engine cycle. More advanced Saturn modules that also control the ignition timing, variable valve timing, and the level of boost maintained by the turbocharger in a turbocharged Saturn are likewise optimized through the Saturn ECM recalibration kit. It typically tweaks engine system operations toward performance by calibrating the power train maps of the Saturn. These car setting changes done through the Saturn ECM recalibration kit are reversible, enabling the driver to suit the car's power train and system performance to varying drive applications.

The Red-Ribbon Campaign for 2008 Lexus models

Lexus, the luxury car division of Toyota Motor Corp., has launched its yearly red-ribbon campaign. It is a year-end clearance push to boost the 2008 models.

The campaign is aiming to give the buyers the idea that a Lexus is a gift, complete with a big red bow. The new effort, Lexus said, will be keeping the gifting campaign, but with a twist. It will be more of the person getting the Lexus being the person giving it.

According to Lexus, almost 10 percent of Lexus vehicles sold during the holidays are bought as gifts. Thus, they had the thought of Lexus dealers extending the creative element of the ads. There will be enormous red bows for people who purchase the cars as presents.

The campaign has been launched through three TV ads, two print ads and three radio spots. The TV spots will be viewed through network television, cable news, and entertainment and sports channels.

One of the ads feature a 30s man opening odd gifts such as reindeer made of Christmas tree bulbs and cuckoo clock. The voiceover says, “If you didn’t get everything you wanted this holiday season, just remember, there’s no law that says you can’t get yourself a little something.” At the end, the man gets himself into a new IS that has a big red bow.

Another ad shows Lexus’ three SUVS: the LX, GX and RX. The cars are dancing in the snow to the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. The voiceover was an encouragement for shoppers to come in from the cold for the December sales event.

As with the print ads, the headlines include “Bet nobody re-gifts these” and “New Year’s Resolution”, which were handwritten provided with resolutions such as “eat better”, “learn to skydive”, and “treat myself to something nice”.

Taking into account the high fuel prices and the mortgage crisis, other automakers, such as Ford and Chrysler, are looking forward on offering year-end deals. Considering the fourth-quarter sales being squeezed by gasoline costs, Gorrell Group (California-based consultancy) President Dan Gorrell said, “That’s the biggest influence… Consumers are shifting to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles because they have not seen gasoline shift back to historically low levels. And I think the fact that the industry is not going to fleet sales as much as they did is impinging on sales.”

General Motors, as well, is running its year-end campaign – Red Tag Event. It was first launched as an incentive program in 2005. The program covers discounts on several 2008 vehicles. It also offer zero percent financing for 60 months on several 2007 vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Pontiac and Saturn brands.

Gorrell said, “Luxury brands don’t feel the pinch as much, and they do typically run incentives and programs to capitalize on the fact that people buy such vehicles at year-end for spouses, for instance, but also for accounting reasons; a lot of luxury cars are business expenses.”

With such program, people take the end of the year as the best time to buy a new car, perhaps a new Lexus with quality Lexus radiator, or even other brands that are having the same campaign.


Before thinking about Driving Theory Test, Practical Test

Minimum ages and rules You can take your theory test once your provisional licence becomes valid.

Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday, however you can apply for the licence up to three months before your 17th birthday.

So, if you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17 you will still have to wait until your birthday before you can take your theory test.

Disability living allowance If you are receiving disability living allowance at the higher rate your provisional licence will come into effect when you are 16, but you can apply for it within three months of your 16th birthday.

Motorcyclists Direct access scheme Direct access is a scheme, which allows a person over the age of 21 to avoid the two year/25 kW restriction by taking a test on a machine of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. Any instruction given on a machine that exceeds the normal learner motorcycle specification must be supervised at all times by a certified motorcycle instructor who should be in radio contact. You should also wear fluorescent or reflective clothing and follow all other provisional licence restrictions.

Accelerated access Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kW (33 bhp) machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). They may practise on bikes over 25 kW (33 bhp) under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practising (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kW (33 bhp) although test failure will not affect your existing licence.

Mopeds and tractors If you want to ride a moped you can take your theory test when you are 16, but again you must make sure you have a valid provisional licence. If you are 16 and already have a provisional licence for an agricultural vehicle or a moped, this will give you provisional entitlement to drive a car when you are 17.

Rules for learner drivers

Before you start to drive, you must:

• Hold a valid, provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland

• Make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured

• If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full licence for three years.

• As a learner driver, you must display 'L' plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.

• You're limited to less powerful motorbikes.

Apply for provisional license

If you have never held a driving licence before you will need to apply for a provisional licence. You cannot start to drive a car until your provisional driving licence has been accepted and in your possession.

About driving theory test

Preparing for your theory test is essential if you want to become a safe, responsible driver or rider. If you are a learner driver, you must take and pass your theory test before you book your practical test. The theory test is a computer based test and can be taken at various tests centres around the country.

Passing your driving theory test is your first step towards being a safe driver on the road.

DSA driving theory test consists of two elements:

A. Multiple choice questions This section is designed to tests your understanding of the theory behind driving. There is a 15-minute practice session you can work through before starting the tests. There are 50 randomly selected, multiple-choice questions and you need to get at least 43 answers right to pass.

B. Hazard Perception Test This is the second section of the theory test and must be passed at the same time. Hazard perception test is conducted to test the ability of learner drivers how they will respond to hazards on the road while driving. There are 14 videos, each about a minute long.

This section is designed to tests your awareness of potential hazards whilst driving.

The videos feature various types of hazard, such as road conditions, vehicles and pedestrians. The earlier you spot a hazard developing that may require the driver to take some action, the higher the score.

There are 15 scoreable hazards in the tests and candidates can score up to 5 points on each hazard. The pass mark is 44 out of 75.

Preparing for your theory test We recommend you to study following -

? The Highway Code - The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone. Its rules apply to all road users: drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians as well as horse riders. It contains most up to date advice on road safety and the laws, which apply to all road users.

? Traffic signs - It is important to know road signs and markings that you are most likely to encounter.

? Driving Theory test questions - Is a set of latest questions published by DSA from which the exam questions are taken. DSA may change questions time to time it is important that you study the books where latest questions are published.

Preparing for hazard perception test - It is best to practice hazard perception skills on the computer if you have access to one. There are many websites and PC-CD ROMs in the market, using which you can practice your hazard perceptions skills.

About car practical test

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day.

Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday.

The driving part of your test lasts about 40 minutes. Throughout the test, your examiner will be looking for overall safe standards of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test.

About motorcycle practical test

Minimum test vehicle requirements Any vehicle presented for use in a driving test must meet minimum test vehicle standards. These standards are part of European Community legislation on driver licensing. Great Britain as a member of the European Union is obliged to comply with these requirements. Below are the minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds and motorcycles. Minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds A moped must have an engine capacity not exceeding 50 cc, and a maximum speed of 50 kilometres per hour (km/h), which is approximately equivalent to 31 miles per hour (mph). If first used before 1 August 1977, it must be equipped with pedals by which it can be propelled. Minimum test vehicle requirements for motorcycles

If your motorcycle is less than 75 cc it is not acceptable for the practical motorcycle test. If you pass your practical test on a motorcycle with automatic or semi-automatic transmission, this will be recorded on your licence. Your full licence entitlement will be restricted to motorcycles in this category. A light motorcycle (category A1) is defined as a solo motorcycle between 75 and 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kilowatts (kW) (maximum 14.6 brake horse power (bhp)). Please see note 1. A standard motorcycle (category A) is defined as a solo motorcycle between 121 and 125 cc, capable of exceeding 100 km/h (62.5 mph). Please note that the BMW C1 motorcycle is not a suitable machine for a practical test. Please see note 2. Vehicles used for the accelerated access and direct access scheme can have an unspecified engine capacity of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp), with an unspecified speed. Please see note 3. The minimum test vehicle requirements for a motorcycle and side-car are the same, as the solo machines, but categories A and A1 must not exceed a power to weight ratio of 0.16 kW/kg. Passengers are not allowed to ride in the sidecar during the test. Only candidates with certain disabilities can use a motorcycle and side-car combination for the test. The licence obtained as a result of this test will be restricted to this combination of vehicle.

Notes: A light motorcycle licence (category A1) will give you full licence entitlement to ride machines up to 125 cc with a power output of up to 11 kW. A standard motorcycle licence (category A) will restrict you for a period of two years to riding machines with a power output not exceeding 25 kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. After the two year period you may ride any motorcycle. If you are aged 21 or over you can take the test on a motorcycle with a power output of at least 35 kW (46.6 bhp). If successful you can then ride any motorcycle. The practical motorcycle test is made up of lots of different elements, an eyesight test, vehicle safety questions, a test of driving ability, a test of specific manoeuvre and a question about riding with a passenger. At the test centre you must present a valid certificate DL196 unless the test is being conducted on one of the exempted islands. A rider who is upgrading a full moped licence obtained by passing a two part test since December 1990 is exempt. Vehicle safety check questions and eyesight test Before you actually start your practical riding test you will be asked to read a number plate to prove you can meet the eyesight requirements. You will also be asked two machine safety check questions before moving away. The practical test After the usual pre-test preliminaries e.g. licence and identification check the examiner will help the candidate with the fitting of the radio and earpiece. While accompanying the candidate to the machine the examiner will explain how the test will be conducted and how the radio equipment works. The law requires anyone riding a motorcycle, scooter or moped, with or without sidecar, to wear protective headgear securely fastened. The test cannot therefore be conducted unless the candidate is wearing properly secured protective headgear. Note: An exemption to this requirement exists for followers of the Sikh religion if they are wearing a turban.

At the end of the test When the practical testis over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test. If you pass... If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March 2004, the examiner will ask you,if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically. If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within three weeks of you passing your practical test. If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner. On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence. Once you pass your standard motorcycle test you are restricted to machines of 25 kW (33 bhp) with a power to weight ratio of 0.16 kW/kg for two years. If you fail... If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You must wait 10 clear working days after your practical test before you can book another one.


Best Car Lease Deal: A Beetle Or A Mini Cooper?

When it comes to buying cars, the very first thing that comes to mind is brand. What makes a car reliable? Brand name? Form factor? Or the way it functions? In the case of the Beetle and Mini Cooper, this can actually turn out to be a tough debate. The best car lease deal after all is neither one nor the other. Why? Because of the fan base that each of these cars has managed to collect over the decades.

An economy car first built in 1938 by the German automaker Volkswagen, it seems that the Beetle (or the “Bug” as some others might refer to it) really has stuck it out over the many years as a best car lease deal. Think about it; production of the beetle went on until the year 2003 (give or take a few years when newer models weren’t introduced). Dubbed “The People’s Car” (Volks-Wagen), this basic vehicle can seat about two adults and three children, probably one more in its more recent form. Perhaps the most famous of Beetles were the ones that came out in the late 60s to the early 1970s. These Super Beetles sported large rear windows, large front brakes, and a few rows of vents on the engine. In 2000, the Beetle took another form of bug. It clearly is different but the traditional form factor can’t be mistaken since it really only is an update. But a sweet update it is and that makes it one of the best car lease deal options until today. The reason? It’s fun to look at and it’s fun to drive.

The Mini Cooper, on the other hand, is really something quite strange. It looks really nice and compact, it does look sexy at an angle and its current version does seem to make it look like it can handle an Italian job. But the sad fact is that it doesn’t perform too well. Handling is shabby, it’s not very strong at all, and you would probably need to overhaul or replace the engine just to have it boost a little quicker. Again, the mini cooper as a best car lease deal? You have to believe it. This is one of those machines that have received a cult-following in recent history like no other. It’s most popular in the UK but ever since that movie the Italian Job came out, they’ve been selling like hotcakes stateside as well. Design-wise it never really changed, unlike the Beetle. But that also seems to be the case with its performance. At least the Beetle runs a lot smoother now than ever before. You be the judge. Are you a Beetle or Mini Cooper fan? This is a best car lease deal that has no real answer on which is better.


Car Donation

If you are thinking of donating your car to some charitable organization, you are indeed helping them to administer their affairs. In the United States, you will find many organizations that are in need of a car donation. Donating a car can help the non-profit organizations in many ways and can also help them in procuring money to run their affairs. When you donate a car, it can be sold as a whole or sold off for its parts. The proceeds of the sale can be used in so many ways for instance helping the weak in the society, for disabled, for animals or for those in need. Car donations thus have become a great means to help charity. In this way, people can simply offer their unwanted vehicle to a charity. Further, the charity either has a lot where the car is sold or has an auction company take care of the sale.

In most of the states in the United States car donations are tax deductible. This reason has made car donations quite popular. The IRS even has a form just for those wishing to get the tax deduction. Also the charity you are going to donate needs to have a non profit status with the IRS so that you can be eligible for tax deductions. Hundreds of non profit organizations have started to adopt car donation programs as a way to raise funds or to provide themselves with no-cost vehicles to help operate their programs. But rather than managing the car donation programs themselves, they will often turn to fundraising organizations to actually handle the donation and auctioning of the vehicles.

In addition to using a car directly, there are car donations that go directly to those that are being helped. For example, there are a number of non-profit organizations, throughout the United States, that offer support to those living below poverty level, trying to raise a family, or trying to find a job. If the non-profit organization in question does not personally need a vehicle, they may give, sell, or loan one to the people that they provide assistance to. In this case, car donations might help someone find a new job.

As you can see, there are a number of different uses for car donations. In spite of the difference in uses, you can find that the car donations are quite important. That is why you, as well as all citizens, are insisted on to donate your old or wanted vehicles. If you are willing to donate your car, you are advised to find and contact a local car donation center or program. Working with one of these programs, opposed to finding your own charity to donate to, will save you a large amount of time and the end result is still the same; helping someone in need. Resource Box: Looking for more information on Car Donations check out www.VEHICLE-DONATION.US your guide to Car Donations.


E-learning Model for Traffic School Training in the United States

The Objective of Online Traffic School is to promote safe–driving. It helps in erasing traffic tickets off your driving license as well as in availing insurance discounts. Beyond these immediate means, a Traffic School provides a safer approach to the road –a prime concern for American highways currently.

The Online Traffic School US is a resource lounge that provides necessary information on Traffic School and Defensive Driving courses across the United States. You can select from a click-able map or choose from a list of states for state-specific schools. The courses are mostly DMV/Court approved except a few exceptions. For example, in Texas the Traffic School is TEA-approved.

These Online Traffic School courses approach the practice of safe-driving from a novel point of view. They differ according to State- specific cases regarding the details. But in general they a twin approach towards driving–focusing upon both the natural and human factors. So, these Traffic School courses focus on state-specific details on the latest changes in the traffic–safety industry as well as concentrate on traditional driving and traffic safety measures.

These Traffic School erase the time-place problems that generally plague the in-person traffic schools. Unique online features like unlimited log in and outs and auto book-marking of the course-work at every log out make these Traffic School courses absolutely user-friendly. Nicely designed and user –friendly, these Traffic School courses set an exemplary standard in both traffic safety and e-learning industries.

A host of high –quality and super –flexible services and features further enhance the advantages of these Traffic School courses. Each course is backed up by a very efficient team of customer support executives who answer to any of your queries on any of the Traffic School courses. Then, there is the certificate delivery option –both regular and rush-hour. Finally, the entire process, from beginning to end, is very quick and flexible with features like instant gradation and same-day certification included in-between all these features.

In short, the Traffic School course available at the Online Traffic School US offer convenient, click-able and cost –effective solution to every possible traffic trauma in the American highways.