Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Tips To Help You Find Quality BMW Parts And Accessories

By: Gregg Hall

If you ask a soccer mom if the car she always desired was the mini van that she's currently driving, the answer would probably be a resounding no. Everyone has a car that they have dreamed of owning their whole lives. Some people like old classics, like a '57 Chevy or a '69 Ford Mustang. Other people, such as those with high aspirations, dream of owning a Maserati or Jaguar. Another luxury car at the top of the list for those who want to tool around in style is the BMW. These cars represent status and those who are fortunate enough to own one, drive it proudly, smiling at all of the admiring glances that they get while on the road. Owning one of these cars can symbolize a dream come true, but sometimes that dream can become a nightmare if the car breaks down and the owner has to find parts for it.

If you are in search of quality parts for your BMW, you want to know where to find the best parts for your model of car. It doesn't matter what you need to replace, whether its engine parts, alternator, transmission, exhaust, or mirrors, you will want to know where to find them at economical prices.

Without a doubt, the best place to get BMW parts is through a certified dealer. You can count on them having the part you need in stock, or they will order the appropriate ones for your car. Despite the quality of service and selection, the prices are a little steep for the average consumer. Still some people choose to purchase their parts directly from the dealer so that they know the parts are really BMW parts and not knock-offs. Nothing is worse than paying top dollar for bargain basement parts. In this case, knowing that they are genuine is definitely worth the price.

If you decide to buy your BMW parts from the dealer, you can count on the knowledge and expertise they can provide you. It goes without saying that the mechanics at the dealership will know more about your car part needs than you, and can even assist you with your replacement needs.

If the out-of-pocket cost is more than you want to pay then maybe you should try purchasing your parts online. The internet has thousands of auto part dealers online who offer BMW parts without the BMW costs. The downside to purchasing online is that you run the risk of buying from a dealer who knows less about BMW parts than you. While you are cruising around on the information super highway, you might want to look around for the "how-to" guide for your vehicle. These guides, while not offering you BMW parts, will let you know how to install them when you get them.

While you are tooling around looking for your BMW parts, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for great deals on fabulous accessories for your BMW. Looking online for your parts and accessories is probably the easiest way to go about it. Take some time to do the research and find the best prices for the necessary parts, you won't regret it. Your BMW and your pocketbook will thank you for all your hard work.

Author Resource:->  Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as auto parts at http://www.car-parts-plus.com/

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Monday, July 19, 2010

How To Save Big Money On Repairs And Auto Parts

By: David Maillie

We all know it is cheaper to fix things yourself. It is the same with a car or truck. The biggest expense with any repair is not the parts, but the labor. It is not uncommon for repair and service shops to be charging $60 to $70 per hour of labor. And they round to the next half hour or hour for any repair. Just go to any new car dealer and ask to have your windshield wiper blades replaced. They will charge you 10 times the price of replacements at your local auto parts store. So anything you can do yourself to save will be a big help. The purpose of this article is to show you some things you can do on your own and how to get the lowest prices on parts so you can save big and put your money towards something better than fattening your local auto dealers pockets.

First off is routine maintenance. Routine maintenance consists of items like oil changes, tire rotations, and similar. Oil changes are a must at every 4000 to 5000 miles for most every car. Do not go by what your dealer says. They want to rev up your maintenance plan and have you doing more than is required. Instead, use your owners manual. If your car did not come with one, than buy one off of Ebay. The owners manual will give you exact recommendations for every service and when and what should be done. For oil changes use Walmart. They charge around $15 for a oil and filter change and will lube your chassis at the same time. They will also check your tires and change your air filter if you desire or need it. They have the best service for the lowest price and at $15 its better to have them do it than do it yourself. Expect to pay twice this at a new car dealer.

It is also a good idea to check your tire pressure at every gas fill up. A tire pressure gauge can be purchased at Walmart or any auto parts store for a few dollars. Proper tire pressure will prolong the usefulness of your tires and help ensure better fuel economy. To most people a under inflated tire is pretty obvious, but a over inflated tire can be just as dangerous as it can lead to blowouts and loss of traction especially in wet conditions (hydroplaning). Also, check your tires for nails, punctures, slashes, anything that could be wrong with it. If you need new tires, be sure to shop around and avoid the new car dealer as they will have a huge markup on them. For instance, 1 ZR Goodyear tire for a 2002 Ford Mustang GT was $289. The same ZR tire with a different make (Kumho) was $100 installed and balanced (the $289 at the dealer did not include installation or balancing. Shop around and look at discount stores. Also look at Costco, Sams club and BJs for tires. If you have an older car and do not care about matching the exact style you can always go to your local junk yard and buy an entire set for dirt cheap. You would be amavzed at what you might find there. A friend of mine picked up 4 tires for a 1999 corvette for $150 and the tires only had maybe 10,000 miles on them if that.

Lights and lighting on your car are an item that is routinely overlooked. If your lights are dim you could have a battery charge, alternator or dim, cloudy lenses. These are all easy to fix. A battery should be checked for its ability to hold charge at least once a year (more in extremely cold climates). An alternator can be replaced very easily, or if you do not feel comfortable a local mechanic can do it. Do not do this at a new car dealer as they will charge at least 300% more. A good tip is to go and buy the part at your local auto parts store and then inquire with the counter clerk as to a mechanic that they recommend to install it. You will save a lot and it will be professionally done. They will probably even come to your house to do it. As to your headlights, turn on your lights. If they are dim, is it the bulb or cloudy lenses? If it is the bulb, the cheapest replacements can be found at Walmart or on Ebay. It is recommended you go with brighter Xeon bulbs as they are only a few dollars more and increase brightness and night visibility by over 20 percent. If it is cloudy headlights there is a new headlight repair and restoration kit that will restore the lenses to new. This will save you big over replacement as the average plastic automotive lens costs $250 to replace.

Checking your fluid levels routinely is a good idea. A lot of cars now will do this for you and will even alert you to when it is time to perform a certain service. It takes 2 minutes to unscrew the oil cap and pull out the dipstick. On older cars you should also look under the cap. Is the oil really dirty, sludge like, or have white in it? These all indicate something needs to be done. The first two mean it is in dire need of an oil change. The latter with the whiteness or light chocolate look means you have a blown head gasket and coolant is leaking into the engine. That is really bad and requires major repairs and can be the result of running a car too hot. Fill all fluids to the fuel full line or indicator. By routinely checking your cars fluid levels you will be ahead of the game and keep your car running better and for much longer.

Another great idea to keep service costs to a minimum and save you big at the same time is to buy 1 to 3 year old used cars with around 30,000 miles on them. Then drive them until you get 100,000 miles on it and replace it. Most major repairs rarely occur before 100,000 miles with proper routine maintenance. Use and follow your owners manual. It was written by the ultimate expert, the people who built, designed and tested your car.

Author Resource:->  For more great information, tips, safety and money saving products please visit: Save Big On Auto Parts, Headlight Repair And Restoration

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Great Tips on Lowering Auto Insurance Costs

By: David Maillie

With car sales prices continuously increasing, recent hikes in gas prices, and ever present sales and state taxes on our cars it has become vitally important to find ways to save money and keep costs down.

One way to save money is to monitor your auto insurance and make sure you are getting the best deal possible. This may sound trivial, but can easily add up to savings of hundreds and possibly even thousands of dollars over the next few years.

First make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts available to you through your insurance provider. Many insurance companies have good driver history discounts. If you haven't been in an accident or made a claim in several years make sure your agent adds this deduction - typical savings are 5-15% (easily $100-$400+ in savings per year).

For an additional discount some insurance companies like Progressive and Geico offer discounts for sponsored driving classes. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see which ones it accepts. Many of these classes are free or offered at minimal cost by your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or DOT (Department of Transportation). For a listing, contact your insurance company and then your state departments (DMV and DOT). These classes also work great for reducing points on your license from minor infractions (speeding, running a red light, etc...). Definitely get as many points taken off as possible. These points can increase your insurance rates 50-100% or more in some cases.

Some insurance companies like Geico, Allstate, and Progressive have recently come out with good student discounts. The requirements can vary so be sure to check with your insurance company. This could amount to an additional savings of 5-10% on your annual premium. Keep in mind traffic offenses can and will nullify this and most other discounts, so drive safely.

Shop around for the best rate. I can't stress this enough. Every few years just check and see what other insurers are offering. You could see huge savings here and it may have nothing to do with your driving record. Some insurers just have lower claims for a particular model car and therefore will have a lower rate for that car. Just to see the difference call several insurance companies for quotes. You will see a huge range.

When I had a 2000 Ford Mustang GT convertible I was paying over $4000 per year in insurance with Allstate then I checked and found Progressive offered the same coverage for only $1400 (a 75% difference in my premium). Now, that's not to say that Allstate is a bad insurer, they just have higher claim costs associated with that vehicle and a driver of my age. So, make sure you shop around and definitely check the online insurers like Progressive and Geico as they tend to have lower premiums. Also see what impact raising your deductible will have on lowering your premium.

These items might also seem trivial, but will save you money. Pick a car with lower theft rates and lower premiums. A 4 door 4 cylinder car (Toyota Corolla) will almost always have a much lower premium than the latest 8 cylinder 2 seater sports car (Mustang GT (2+ 2 seating)). It will also get you better gas mileage which in a year could amount to a savings of hundreds of dollars in it self. Stay away from convertibles as they always have higher insurance premiums. Drop unnecessary coverage like collision on an older car. Also stay away from cars with high theft rates (Honda Civics and Accords tend to have some of the highest theft rates and unfortunately you will pay for that with higher premiums and don't think you won't.)

One more thing, don't speed, don't drive drunk (I don't need to tell you what that will cost you (it could even cost you your life), stop for all school buses, wear your seat belt and obey the rules of the road. You will be glad you did.

Author Resource:->  David Maillie is an alumni of Cornell University and specializes in automotive safety products and information. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more information please visit MDWholesale.com

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

How To Decide If You Need An Extended Warranty For Your Car

By: Gregg Hall

Your vehicle dreams have come true. You are now the proud owner of a brand new Ford Mustang, but as you sign the last remaining forms, the car salesman asks you if you are interested in purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle. Initially, you think that the cost is a little too high for you, and that you will never need it. Your vehicle is brand new, and the technological and engineering marvel of the market today. What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, your lofty ideas of vehicle invulnerability are flawed. There is more risk to owning a vehicle than you think. Somewhere out there in that world of automobile chaos, is a vehicle door waiting to ding your vehicle in a parking lot. You should consider buying the extended warranty, because the cost of the warranty now is considerably less than the cost of a whole new transmission, should it decide to malfunction.

Before you make a final decision regarding the extended warranty, you should consider whether or not you will have the money in the future to pay for any eventuality that isn't covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Not having a warranty for your vehicle is like being a stuntman without health insurance, it isn't a smart move. In order to get a grasp of the severity of your need for a warranty, take a gander at the list of parts that your vehicle needs to function. Thousands! If any one of them fails, the system that particular part is a part of can fail and leave you high and dry. That extended warranty is looking a little better now, isn't it?

Part Repair is Cheaper than Vehicle Replacement

Take my advice; I'm the CEO of a small business with a fleet of vehicles. I have personally bought over 18 vehicles in the past 2 years. With all the vehicle buying I do, I realize that buying the extended warranty is a good deal, so I do. It doesn't matter if the vehicle is new or used; I know that the cost of the warranty is substantially cheaper than replacing a vital part when it breaks. Consider, not only the cost of the repair, but also the time needed to do it. This means that your vehicle is out of service for weeks, and you have to go through the hassle of bumming a ride everywhere.

I was lucky. Purchasing extended warranties on my vehicles has saved me tons of money. Fortunately, I haven't had to use my warranty for more than a few repairs, but those are repairs that I didn't have to pay for out of pocket. In the long run, the extended warranties have saved my company from capital loss, over and over again. I can tell you, it's nice to know that my vehicles are covered if the unfortunate should happen.

Author Resource:->  Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as a custom car accessories at http://www.caraccessoriesetc.com/

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Muscle Cars: Cars With An Attitude

By: Alex Baumm

Eleanor is not a person but a muscle car. This Gone in 60 Seconds 1967 Mustang is the complete embodiment of what muscle cars are all about.

Usually powered by a V8 engine, muscle cars were monsters of drag racing world back in the 1960 s until early portion of 1980 s. With extremely powerful torque, these cars are really going to give you a jaw dropping ride. Muscle cars are no doubt fast cars with high horse power capability.

The moment you look at such cars, the first things you will see are their bulky curves and high performance z rated tires which are true affirmation of the reputation that muscle autos are very much known of.

Muscle cars are different from sports cars we have today though some models are inspired by cars like the Ford Mustang. Though sports cars are fast cars like muscle autos, they surely won t last a minute with the supreme torque that muscle autos have which perhaps makes Eleanor the perfect Gone in 60 Seconds car.

The interiors of muscle cars are real statement of high performance, road warrior type of vehicle. The almost nil sign of elegance and the all heart pumping design of muscle autos interiors match their rock and revving integrity that many a cars today try to copy but all in futility.

The moment you turn it on, you can t help but notice the fiery breathing of muscle car s engine. The hissing and guzzling is like that of a dragon sleeping always ready to get the tracks burning.

When you hit the gas, the dragon s V8 engine charges in an instant ready to devour all things that block its way... just like when vin Diesel of The Fast and The Furious rages against the wall and hits the road with such awesome roar.

If what you are looking for is the car with an attitude that never allows being a second rater, muscle autos are the right choice. But prepare to be awestruck with the price because as of now it s of a collector s item kind of thing since you can not easily find one in the market.

However, there are companies and groups that want to bring back muscle cars on the road and these groups are actually buying old muscle autos and reconditioning them to make them roadworthy again.

There are a number of reconditioned muscle cars that can still be found nowadays. There is the all time favorite 1966 GT 40, 1970 Superbird, 1968 Shelby GT500KR Fastback or 1969 Barracuda Convertible. These models of cars were once kings of the road in the 1960 s up to early part of 1980 s.

Although muscle autos are now rare species, there are a number of clubs that relive the greatness of muscle cars. These groups stage races and events all with the purpose of having some fun and reminiscing those days when muscle autos ruled the streets.

And thanks to the Internet, people around the world who share common interest in muscle cars now have a dependable means to showcase the glory of muscle autos and allow the younger generation to see the real muscle in high performance driving via muscle cars.

Author Resource:->  Alex Baumm. Find much more about anything related to muscle cars at our car forum http://www.carclubtalk.com/

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