Facebook, taken as a whole, is like having some pushy friend who has to give you advice on everything. Lately, that pushy friend has been telling you not to bother warming up your car in winter, and posting many articles explaining why. Should you believe him? Absolutely not. It seems that most of these anti-warming up articles are missing some huge points, and could be giving a potentially damaging message to most people… The main thrust of these articles saying there’s no need to warm up your car is that it’s wasteful of fuel, creates needless pollution, and modern, fuel-injected cars just don’t need to be warmed up to run well like old carbureted cars did. And, generally, these statements are all true — modern car engine control computers are vastly better at managing the engine to run well even when cold, and, sure, if you idle the car for 20 minutes, you’re not really accomplishing anything beyond turning gas into pollution. But that’s only a part of what’s going on with your car when it’s really cold. Even though these articles headlines proclaim there’s no need to warm up your car, in the stories you can usually find that they say a short warm up of 30 seconds or so is “okay”. In reality, when it’s really cold out, you’d be crazy not to warm up your engine for at least a minute or two. The reason has nothing to do with fuel or a latent desire to pollute your driveways — it has to do with oil. When your car has been sitting out overnight, all the lubricating oil that’s coating all of the crucial, moving metal bits of the car has settled down to the bottom of the oil pan. When the temperatures are really cold, not only is that oil not near the areas it needs to be, its viscosity — ability to flow — has been severely impaired by the cold. You’ve seen how differently, say, refrigerated maple syrup flows compared to hot syrup — your engine oil is the same way. So, when you start that cold engine, it’s essentially running without lubrication. If you start up and immediately put a load on the engine, things could get damaged. It’s just not ready to go. Take a minute or two to get that oil pumping around before putting any load on the engine, and your pistons, camshafts, turbos and other spinning, moving bits will be much, much happier.
At a time in his life when he’s seeking less hassle, Jack Correa derived a lot of pleasure out of leasing, rather than buying, a pearl-white Lexus RX 350 crossover. “This way we always got a new car, and I didn’t have to worry about any expense on it,” says Correa, 58, who retired to Palm Coast, Fla., two years ago. He has leased cars since 2005. Correa is an example of how leasing isn’t just for business people seeking to simplify their expense reporting or playboys marking time with one sports car bauble before they switch to the next latest, greatest thing. Experts say it can also make sense for retirees. “Leasing takes all the guesswork and surprises out of your cost,” says Scot Hall, executive vice president for Swapalease, a company that helps motorists get out of their leases early. “All the benefits of leasing apply even more to that older demographic.” Leasing allows lower upfront costs, allowing seniors to keep more of their money in their accounts. They don’t have to worry about repair costs: virtually all are covered under the car’s warranty in the early years. At the end of the term, leasees just hand the car back. “Maybe you want the simplicity factor,” says Justin Leach, spokesman for Toyota Credit. It’s as easy as driving the car back — “take it in and have them do it.” By holding onto cars only a few years, retirees will be able to take advantages of the latest safety and convenience breakthroughs in cars, which are coming at a faster pace. With fewer years left behind the wheel, seniors can try out the latest and greatest before they finally hang up the keys. With many seniors living on fixed incomes, having the predictable payment of a lease all the way through the term — and knowing that about the only other costs are fuel and insurance — makes budgeting a lot easier, says Mike Money, owner of a Subaru dealership, Money Automotive Group in Salina, Kan. And then, when the lease term is up, typically 36 months, seniors don’t have to worry about how much their now-used car will fetch in trade for a used car or go through the pain of trying to find a private buyer for it. There’s no guesswork about depreciation. Rather, it is built in as soon as they sign the lease. Original article posted on USA Today
Over time a car’s exterior can fade or suffer some dings and dents. Before owners sell or trade in their rides for something new, investing in a new color may be all that’s necessary to revitalize the look of the vehicle.
Changing the color of a car is not something every driver should try on their own. Such a task can be time-consuming, and it requires a good deal of skill to turn out looking good. Furthermore, painting a car involves a variety of different tools and equipment, from a spray gun, sander and buffer to specific types of enamel or acrylic paints.
After considering the work involved and the expense of investing in the equipment to get the job done right, many vehicle owners opt to hire a professional to change the color of their vehicles. Many service centers offer two options to change the look of a car or truck: painting and car wraps.
Paint JobA professional paint job will yield an impressive result. A skilled auto painter can recommend the right type of automotive paint for your make and model and guide you in color selections. While there are hundreds of different color choices available, professionals also may be able to mix colors to create the custom look you desire.
Paint work may be done to match the existing color of the vehicle after accident repairs have been made. Or you may be tired with the color of your car and simply desire a change. Experienced service shops can offer these services and more. Other shops may specialize in custom paint jobs that may entail graphics, detail work or the blending of multiple colors to give the vehicle an airbrushed effect.
Custom painters are artists, and their work may be very detailed. Painting may demand your vehicle be off the road for a week or more, so its best to have an alternative travel plan. Also, be sure to investigate how painting will affect the value of the vehicle.
A paint job may end up depreciating the value of a resale because its changing the original vehicle permanently.
Car WrapCar wraps are typically made of high-quality vinyls that come in a bevy of different colors and styles. Wraps also can be used for custom graphics or to advertise businesses. The vinyl wrap completely covers the paint of the vehicle.
But because car wraps can be removed, they do not permanently change the vehicle and are therefore unlikely to affect its resale value. Car wrapping can take less time than a labor-intensive paint job. Some jobs can be completed in only two or three days.
Car wraps also may be the less expensive option if you’re not selecting a complicated, custom design. Many car wraps will last between five to seven years, which is on par with the life span of a professional paint job, which lasts five to 10 years.
Original article posted on Sun Journal
The controversial Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked by the BBC. The sacking ends a week of uncertainty following a “fracas” between Clarkson and one of the producers of the top-rating show, Oisin Tymon. Speculation has been mounting for days that Clarkson, who was already on his last warning from BBC bosses, would be sacked as a result of the incident. The BBC’s director-general Tony Hall issued a statement to media, saying it was “with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract.” “It is not a decision I have taken lightly,” Hall added. “I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.” The decision effectively abandons the show’s 22nd season which had three episodes remaining. Because of Clarkson’s suspension, the production was unable to film the show’s studio links for the program, forcing them to postpone the episodes. Clarkson’s two co-hosts, Richard Hammond and James May, had indicated they would not film the programs without him. The “fracas” with one of the show’s producers, Oisin Tymon, erupted after Clarkson was unable to get hot food after a day’s filming. After a string of mishaps, Clarkson was given a “final warning” by the BBC last year. Clarkson told UK media at the time he would be sacked if he made “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time”. Hall said that the BBC’s strength was in its diversity, but that “they cannot come at any price”. “Common to all at the BBC have to be standards of decency and respect,” he said. “I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion.” Hall revealed that during the incident on March 4, “a member of staff, who is a completely innocent party, took himself to [hospital] after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature.” Hall said that incident marked a line “crossed”. “There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations,” he said. Hall also said the BBC attached no blame to Tymon, who he described as “a completely innocent party”. Original article posted on The Sydney Morning Herald
Of the 106 McLaren F1s ever made, only six have been destroyed so far, to the best of our knowledge. McLaren Special Operations boss Paul Mackenzie told me how they intend to keep it that way. The first prototype burned to the ground in the Namibian desert while XP2 was used for crash tests. According to our resident F1 expert, the four lost customer cars were damaged “beyond repair” when the values were at or below the original MSRP, which was £650,000. Today, F1s sell for $12+ million. The first time I talked to McLaren’s Paul MacKenzie, he was at the Geneva Motor Show as the leader of the P1 development program. Last week, I sat down with him to talk about how MSO keeps McLaren’s fastest alive. By looking for stuff on eBay, for example. McLaren Special Operations is busier than ever. Most P1s were customized by their buyers, and 650S owners are also willing to spend more in return for something tailored to their taste. Since the X-1 was launched, it’s clear that their engineering department is big enough to make almost anything happen, but another important part of their business is maintenance. When somebody wants a new color on their P1, the car has to be shipped back to Woking and stripped back to the bare chassis. That has happened already, but the Texan car crashed on day one also went straight back to MSO. Repairing P1s is almost easy at this point. The car is so fresh that they have all the parts right at hand to bring them back in after an accident. Doing the same with the now 23-years-old F1s is a bit more challenging. See those headlight covers? Well, they don’t have any more of those. The side windows also ran out of stock, so for these parts, they had to remake the tooling. Even with the blueprints on the shelf, that’s one expensive hobby to have, but $1.4 million repair bills keep the business more than viable. Ending up with a cracked carbon tub like Mr. Atkinson is no problem either. Paul told me they just knock on the material like wheeltappers at a railway station, listen to the sounds, cut out the ill part and glue in a new one. The chassis remains just as rigid as before. Chassis number 072 that got flipped badly last summer in Italy is currently undergoing such a full restoration. They hit a tree, crashed the roof and one side of the car completely, but MSO will take car of that. So, where is the point of no return now? That’s because while engines can be rebuilt, glass can be recut and interiors can be re-trimmed, MSO’s next big challenge is fixing the F1’s electronics. While the F1 doesn’t use as many computers as a Toyota Camry nowadays, those few chips are already almost impossible to get. The good news is that since McLaren developed its own software back in the day, the coding part is covered. For housings and other hardware though, they even have browse through Ebay. You know, “for those big laptopy things”. You don’t want to think into how hard will it be to fix a P1 in 23 years… Original article posted on Jalopnik.com