Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Experience Buying a BorgWarner Turbo from Buyautoparts.com

A couple of months ago the turbo went out on my 2002 Audi A4 and I had no idea what to do. I knew that if I took it to the dealership that they were going to gouge me by charging some ridiculous price for a brand new turbo. I told my mechanic I wanted to do some research before I decided to buy a new turbo for my Audi. I went online and found that the Turbo in my car was a BorgWarner. For those of you that don’t know, BorgWarner is an extremely reputable manufacturer of Turbos. I did some research on their company, and as it turns out they are a Fortune 500 company and they make not only turbos, but a wide variety of parts for powertrains.

BorgWarner is a HUGE company, so I was afraid that I would be stuck going to the dealership to get a Turbo from them. I didn’t think there was any way that BorgWarner would sell a turbo directly to me. However, when I did a little more research I found that BorgWarner just recently started selling turbos to consumers. I was so relieved I was not going to be at the mercy of the dealership to get my car fixed. I’ve had to go through the dealership before and even though I knew I was getting ripped off, there was nothing I could do about it because they were the only ones who could get the parts to fix my car.
I was able to buy a brand new BorgWarner turbo for my A4, from buyautoparts for an amaaazing price! They really hooked me up—even my mechanic was a little upset because he couldn’t find a BorgWarner for that cheap. Also, I think my mechanic was going to try and make a little money off of me by selling me a replacement turbo for more than he paid for it. I did the smart thing and went straight to the source and got myself a great deal. Buyautoparts is a great place to get your parts. I was a little worried because I know there are a lot of aftermarket parts out there, and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if I had been sent the wrong thing. When my mechanic inspected the turbo he assured me that this was the REAL DEAL—a genuine OEM BorgWarner. I’ve had this new BorgWarner turbo in my car for 3 months now and I haven’t had a single issue. If you are looking for a replacement BorgWarner, check these guys out!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Time Car Maintenance

When it comes to cars and hot weather, most times people only worry about their ac compressors or ac condensers. This is understandable because these parts allow you to drive without the vehicle feeling like a sauna.  Yes, these parts are important but there are many other car components you need to check on when the thermostat starts climbing up towards 90 degrees. Car engines are designed to run at 200 degrees Fahrenheit but anything over that can cause major problems.
Before you go on a road trip in the sweltering heat you must check your tires.  Some people believe that tires are the most important part of the vehicle, because they are the only parts that actually touch the road.  Tire pressures change with rising temperatures.  You lose 1 to 2 pounds per square inch with every 10 degree increase.  Make sure you check the tires for worn out or weak spots.  You don’t want to be on an Arizona highway and have your tire blow because it can’t handle the heat.
The toughest time for your car is when you are sitting at a dead stop in the heat.  Your car can easily overheat because no air is flowing over the engine.  You need to check to make sure your coolant system is working properly to avoid overheating when idling.    Double check all your coolant levels and fan belts.  Remember, all engine fluids break down much faster in hot weather.
Another part in your vehicle that gets overlooked during the summer is your car battery.  Yes, the cold winter kills your car battery, but fact is hot weather does even more damage.  Scorching weather can act as a catalyst and cause the chemical reaction in your battery to speed up and overcharge.  This shortens your batteries life.  Make sure there are no leaks, and keep your battery clean by detaching the cables and wiping off the terminals.

Yes, hot weather does damage to your car, but you can combat severe damage by doing these simple inspections.  Have fun on those long summer road trips, but stay safe.

Friday, May 25, 2012

BMW Zagato Coupe

I probably couldn't find Lake Como even if I had a car naviagtion system or an in dash navigation system, but after dicsovering a car show they hold there I am sure gonig to try.
This Northen Italian Lake is where one of the most luxurious auto shows on the planet occurs, The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.  The name by itself sounds like a car worth a million dollars.  BMW chose this prestigious event to unveil is Zagato Coupe.  They probably decided to introduce this eye catching beast in Italy because their partner in designing the car was Italian manufacturer Zagato.

Zagato has been styling sports cars since 1919. The company has designed cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Bugati, Bently and many more.  The combination of Italian styling and German engineering has hit a home run with the Zagato Coupe. I guess since this is Italy and Germany I should say they scored a goal, instead of a home run.  But don’t take my word for it, check out the pictures yourself.

The best news of all is that this may not just be a concept.  BMW has put the Zagato Coupe through high speed testing, and it meets German road standards.  We may actually see this thing on the road!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

GM Puts Brakes on Facebook Advertising

It’s never a good thing when your steering rack or your steering gear box bites the dust, but try having the country’s third largest advertiser pull out two days prior to your company going public.  That is exactly what happened to Facebook, when General Motors decided to decrease its Facebook advertising budget from $10 million to $0.  Now, I am not that good at math, but I believe $0 means nothing.

GM still plans on being active on Facebook.  They will update their Facebook page, communicate with fans, and upload videos and photos.  However they will not pay for pay per click advertising. GM says that the return on investment has been insufficient.   They also feel that a car is not a type of purchase someone will make with just one click of a mouse.   GM feels the Facebook adverts are more for spontaneous shopping.

GM Dislikes Facebook
GM communicated with their Facebook Fans by posting this message on their wall yesterday
Just wanted to let our millions of Facebook fans know, we're still here, and we 'like' you back! We may not be advertising on Facebook at the moment but we'll still be talking with you all daily. If anything, we will be providing more content across our many GM Facebook pages - including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac - to keep the dialogue going.”

Some investors are now waiting to see what other big companies will also leave Facebook.  Though GM’s competitor Ford Motor Company says it is going to invest even more in its Facebook advertising.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mercedes Airmatic vs ABC Suspension

I've heard a lot of confusion about whether a Mercedes S or CL-class has Active Body Control suspension or just standard Airmatic (air ride). The biggest difference is that the standard Airmatic suspension runs on air, whereas ABC runs on power steering fluid supplied by the power steering (tandem) pump and does not run on air at all. The car will have one system or the other, not both.

A couple of ways you can identify ABC vs Airmatic:

1. ABC cars will have a button marked "ABC Sport" on the center console, whereas the standard Airmatic suspension has a button has a picture of a spring with arrows.

2. Airmatic struts will have white plastic tubes running to the top which can be seen under hood. See below.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Charging Made Easy

Although electric car owners don’t have to worry about their fuel pump and fuel injectors going bad, one of the drawbacks they face is the car charge time. A Chevy Volt takes up to 10 hours using a 120 volt outlet, and about 4 if you have access to a 240 volt supply. A Nissan LEAF takes about 7 hours to reach a full charge on a 208-240V home charging station. They say most people will charge their LEAF overnight at home “similar to a cell phone”, but in time they hope to make the process more efficient. This is one of the reasons that German and U.S. automakers are joining forces to create a faster EV charger.

What they are calling the “DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging” system, automakers are hoping to create a single plug that incorporates four different types of charging. The four types are one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-Charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations. The new ultra-fast DC-charging is aimed to recharge most electric cars in as little as 15-20 minutes.

Beyond the convenience of charging time, the unity of automakers will also create the convenience of location. Although it’s unlikely you will be driving your electric cars across many continents, the hope is that the same plug design that will charge your car in the U.S. will also be able to charge your car in Europe. Although many batteries that are currently in electric cars today may not support the ultra-fast charging stations, big automakers such as Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, FM, Porsche and VW are all making the necessary steps to turn this idea into a reality.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Auto Black Box

A car navigation system or car GPS device can record where a car is located, but there is a little device in all of our cars that tracks everything we do.  Well… not everything but close enough. This gadget is referred to as the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR).  The EDR works just like an airplanes black box and is commonly used after an accident to see what happened.  It records at minimum of 15 aspects of a crash, including pre-crash speed, engine throttle, changes in forward velocity and airbag deployment time.

All vehicles are mandated to have these black boxes by 2013, but some cars have had these since the mid-90s.  The information collected could eventually be used for insurance companies to set your insurance rates, as well as in civil and criminal cases.  Some people have said that this information should be private but others say that if you are driving on public roads than it is public information.  People very weary of this technology fear a future where a device like this can issue a speeding ticket as soon as you go over the speed limit.  Imagine a citation printing right out of your dash. OK, so that’s a big jump, but you can see how people feel these devices are a little “big brothery.”

Even though it does feel like an invasion of privacy I do feel like this device can be used for good.  It will help auto companies fix problems with their vehicles that lead to crashes.  It will prove who was actually at fault in an accident, so the wrong person doesn’t have to pay for it.