Know traffic conditions online before driving off

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 31.03.2011

Know Traffic Conditions Online Before Driving Off

Many people often get headaches and become hot-headed during times when they would leave to go to some destination. You see, the traffic in their areas might be okay but once they get downtown and to busy areas, that is when they get stuck in traffic.

But it looks like the times are indeed changing. There is actually a new kind of online site that allows drivers to actually do check the driving time before they actually get to start towards their destinations. This new site is made available by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, or the MTC and it is part of their 511 traveler information service and system which has already gained much accolades and awards because of being quite so helpful to motorists. They call the new site the Predict-a-Trip.

When you go check out Predict-a-Trip, you would not have a hard time finding your way through. In fact, those who have tried it out has said that it would be just as easy as finding that Borla exhaust part that you need for your vehicle online. Since the information that is given to you is mainly based on the information of previous days and months, the website allows you to know about traffic speeds and driving times. That way, you would know what to anticipate and how you would condition yourself for such.

However, not all motorists and drivers can find this web site useful. You see, since it is fairly new and is still quite fresh online, the people behind Predict-a-Trip is strictly giving out information for only about the majority, or some 90 percent of the freeway roads and streets in the Bay Area. As per the rest of the country, the MTC has yet to create one.

But if you are from the Bay Area or if you would be driving your way through this place, you would be benefiting much from this Predict-a-Trip. After all, it is free of charge and you would be able to learn significant information about your drive, especially if you are the kind of person who really gives much importance to his/her time.

John McLemore is one of the former MTC Vice Chairpersons and he shares, “We’re constantly getting feedback from travelers who use the 511 phone and Web services. Since we added 511 Driving Times(SM) in 2004, the most requested enhancement by far from users of the 511 Traffic Web page has been a trip forecasting tool. Now with Predict-a-Trip(SM), all you have to do is select a Driving Times route on the Web and then choose the day of the week and the time of the day you plan to travel.”

The cheapest cars to insure

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 30.03.2011

The Cheapest Cars to Insure

Insurance companies have spent millions of dollars in research to determine which types of drivers and cars pose the most financial risks. Based on these results, they have come up with a formula that determines how much a particular driver is charged in premiums. While this formula is only fully known to insurance companies, it’s quite obvious that some cars and people are less expensive to insure than others. In this article, we will discuss the particular attributes of car which make it more expensive then another, to insure. Premium amounts are typically based on how expensive the car is, the size of the car, whether or not it is targeted by thieves and whether or not it can do extensive damage to another car.

Cars that have less value (cost), will be cheaper to insure than cars that are more expensive. This is because it will cost the insurance companies less money to replace parts or to replace the entire car if it is totaled or stolen.

The size of the car is also an important part of the insurance cost equation. If a car is too small or too big, then the insurance will be higher. This is because bigger cars can do more damage to other cars in crashes. If the crash it is the driver’s fault with the bigger car, then the insurance will likely have to shell out quite a bit of cash. Cars that are too small have the opposite problem. They are often damaged more and the occupants more likely to suffer from crash related injuries. The least expensive cars to insure are those that are mid-sized. Therefore, if long term costs are an issue for you, be sure to purchase a mid-sized automobile.

Whether or not a car is typically targeted by thieves is another component to calculating your insurance rates. If your car is likely to be stolen, then insurance companies assume more risk in insuring you and subsequently, force you to pay more in premiums. Keep this is mind, when you are looking for your next car.

Insurance companies have a pretty elaborate formula when it comes to deciding who will pay what, for their policies. Owners of cars that have to pay the least amount of money for insurance are typically those that have mid sized cars and have vehicles that are not targeted by thieves. If an individual is interested in cutting back on how much they pay for insurance, they will need to consider these things when it is time to make a purchase.

Insurance companies are all about assessing risk. If they view you as a financial risk, they will make sure that you pay more. This may seem unfair, however, insurance companies have done numerous studies and have come up with a profile on what types of drivers and cars get into the most accidents and will likely cost them more money. These individuals will end up paying more then someone that does not exhibit these characteristics. Therefore, try to stay away form high powered cars, cars that are extremely large and that can do major damage to other cars on the road, cars that are too small and that are likely to be damaged greatly if in a crash. Also, remember, the less expensive the car is, the less you will probably have to pay for insurance, unless of course, the car is small.

If you have any questions, be sure to contact your insurance sales person and they will be able to help you get the best priced policy available.

Keep it striking while its hot

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 29.03.2011

Keep it Striking While It’s Hot!

Once your new car is delivered in your garage, you would want to see it always new, damage free, and clean. Of course you definitely would also want to always experience excellent driving with it. So why not maintain your car as striking as always while it is still new?

In whatever item, the first thing that people notice about is the outside appearance. In the case of your car, it is definitely the exterior. For your new car to have an ever striking appearance, the best thing to do is to maintain its exterior.

To prevent road salt and acid rain from marking the paint and eating into the sheet metal, apply some coat of wax. Religious waxing every after six months will protect the paint of your car and will surely keep it looking new for several years. Another option is a weekly car washing. As washing a teenager’s face regularly makes her younger looking, weekly car washing also makes your car fresh looking. But see to it that your car will undergo an under car wash section every car washing. This washes away road salt and keeps the car from rusting from the inside. This will also contribute to your car’s better performance because rust free auto parts function well.

If your car happens to be one with a convertible top, make sure the top is clean by applying some convertible top conditioner every six months to maintain its good condition.

Replacing the wiper blades once a year is also a good practice. Wiper refills only cost less. But despite this fact most car owners only replaced them when they start streaking and skipping. Use the appropriate wiper blades for the season to avoid possible wear and tear.

Remember that every part of your car is important. It goes with the saying that all should be clean and in good condition. While it is true the exterior is the first thing that is seen by the people, the interior is also important because it is where you and your family will be seating and that will determine your riding and driving comfort.

Much as you keep the outside part clean, do the same on the interior. On your leather seats, apply some leather dressing once a year to keep them flexible and prevent them from cracking. Frequent vacuuming of the carpets, mats and rags prevents dirt from your interior. Putting some accessories and spraying your desired auto fragrance can also help in maintaining a nice interior.

Other important aspects of your car that go hand in hand are the fluids and the engine. Without it, your car will not run.

In addition, regularly check the fluid levels. See to it that they are up to the full marks and top off your windshield washer fluid. But if it does not reach the exact mark, no need to worry; at least make sure it is nearing the full marks. Also see to it that it will not over flow in the cylinder. And remember that an always low fluid is a sign of leakage.

Try to look around the engine and see if there are any signs of growing problems. You may not know that something is wrong but eventually, you will understand what is normal for your car, and what is not.

Also inspect the tires. Analyze if there are loose parts. The exhaust pipe might already be hanging lower than normal or a piece of body molding is already starting to come off. To know if the car has shocks or struts that are starting to go bad, bounce the corners of the car and if it bounces more than two times, then something is wrong.

By doing this maintenance, you are assured of an always new looking car. And to make sure that your “always new looking car” will really be new looking always, maintain your garage’s cleanliness. Properly store unnecessary things around your car such as the tools you used while repairing it like the carburator rebuild kit and the vacuum cleaner.

Truly, things happen when you least expect them. Before anything gets worst, better prevent the undesirable things. Always maintain your car.

Different personalities of small dog breeds

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 26.03.2011

Different Personalities Of Small Dog Breeds

Once you have decided that you are going to get a small dog, it is time to find out about the different personalities and characteristics of small breeds, so you get one that fits your home and lifestyle.

Brussels Griffon

These adorable little dogs found in two varieties, which are rough and smooth, usually weigh between eight and twelve pounds. They can be a little stubborn when it comes to housebreaking. The smooth Brussels griffon needs brushing once a week and the rough coated Brussels griffon about twice a week. These dogs are great for apartments or small homes as long as you provide them with exercise. In general, this little dog is happy, playful, friendly, but may be a little standoffish with strangers and is better with children that are older. Their average life expectancy is twelve years.

French Bulldogs

French bulldogs are perfect for smaller homes and apartments as long as they can play and romp a little and you do not force them to exercise. They are wonderful, loving, good-natured dogs that love being with the family. They should spend most of their time indoors, especially if it is warm out. The average lifespan of a French bulldog is twelve years.

Australian terriers

These small dogs are extremely energetic and do best in a home with a fenced backyard for lots of exercise. These terriers are great watchdogs that are brave and fearless. They shed very little so brushing them once a week is enough. Australian terriers love being part of the family.

Miniature schnauzer

Twelve to fourteen inches high, these wonderful dogs are salt and pepper, solid black or black and silver colored. They are happy in an apartment or large home in the country, as long as they are with their family. These great companions are intelligent, busy, friendly, and love to play. They require trimming every four to six weeks and brushing occasionally.

Italian greyhound

You need a home with a moderate amount of room to keep this active dog happy. A small dog, usually less than fifteen inches, they come in many different colors. With their very short hair, they appreciate a sweater when going outside in cooler weather. These dogs let you know when a stranger comes in, not aggressive. They are a long-lived breed with their average life span around fourteen years.


Usually weighing in at a petite six pounds or less, these cute little dogs require a fair amount of grooming and brushing because of their longer hair. Well suited for smaller places, they love being a lap dog and getting lots of attention. Good with children they grew up with, they are playful and very loyal to their owners. Their average lifespan is fifteen years.

Toy Poodle

A toy poodle is perfect for smaller places but is happy wherever their owners are. Weekly brushing and grooming ever four to six weeks will keep them looking their best. Poodles were born to play and should have a supply of their own toys. Extremely intelligent, you can train them easily. Poodles do not like being alone so are a poor choice for anyway that travels or is away a lot. Their average life span is eleven years.

Driving and renting a car in costa rica

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 24.03.2011

Driving And Renting A Car In Costa Rica

Driving in Costa Rica is not for everyone. So make sure you know what you’re getting into before getting behind the wheel of a car in Costa Rica. The following are the 7 most frequently asked questions about driving in Costa Rica. These questions come in from my popular podcast about Costa Rica from folks from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. 1. What type of cars are available for rent? Renting a car in Costa Rica is more expensive than in the U.S. so most people rent the smaller more compact cars that are a little cheaper. Prices vary and during the high season you will pay more. Around $20 or more per day. Renting during Christmas/New Years will add another $50 or more per week. I looked at five car rental company cars in Costa Rica and the average for renting a small car like a Toyota Yaris will cost around $205 per week. Please note this doesn’t include the required by law insurance which will add at least $10-20 per day. So you’re looking at $250-300 to rent a small car per week. You will find all the major car rental Costa Rica agencies such as Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Budget, and others. 2. Is driving a good idea? It depends. Driving in Costa Rica compared to other countries can be a very scary proposition for most. Costa Rica has one of the highest vehicle accident rates in the world. Traffic laws and speed limits are often ignored. Crazy and illegal turns across lanes of traffic are common. Turn signals are rarely used and dangerous passing is common. So you might driving on your lane when all of a sudden here comes a car in your lane going the wrong way because they’re passing on a blind spot. The roads are in poor condition, and large potholes which could cause serious damage to your car is common. Although the road conditions in the beach areas are worse the actual driving isn’t as scary since there is less traffic and since the roads aren’t the best people tend to drive a little slower. I like to have my own transportation so renting a car is something I like to do but it all depends on your comfort level. I’ve had friends and family who had never driven outside of the U.S. they found driving to be scary but a fun adventure. So just take it easy and slow and you will be fine. Don’t worry about the other drivers, just do your thing. 3. Do I need car rental insurance? By law you will need the INS (Instituto Nacional de Seguros) liability insurance regardless of your own car insurance coverage or credit card coverage. The insurance required by law is known as TPL, SLI, SLC or API. The cost ranges from $10-20 USD per day depending on the vehicle. This insurance only covers damages to other people, cars, or property. You will need to buy supplemental coverage to cover damages to the rental car or yourself. However your own car insurance policy or credit card might cover that so call your insurance agent at home before leaving for Costa Rica and ask him or her if your insurance policy covers you for damages in Costa Rica. You might also want to call your credit card issuer and ask them the same question. If your own policy covers you in Costa Rica you’re set and you don’t need the supplemental coverage. If they do not cover you, then I suggest taking out a supplemental policy offered by Costa Rica car rental agencies. Optional-CDW or LDW – collision damage waiver which covers the cost of the car’s deductible amount which varies depending on the type of car and agency. The cost will range between $10-20 USD per day. Optional-Zero Liability – This will reduce your liability to zero against theft and vandalism, for example, the cost for this insurance is between $5-20 USD per day depending on the agency and car. As you can see the supplemental insurance cost can add up fast so it’s important that you check with your insurance agent and your credit card company since you might not even need the optional/supplemental coverage. If your insurance agent gives you the thumbs up do me a favor and get it in writing! You don’t want any surprises. 4. What are car rental requirements in Costa Rica? Requirements may vary depending on the car agency you use so check with them. Most require a valid driver’s license (one from your home state or country is fine), a valid passport with your entry stamp, the Costa Rica mandated liability insurance, and you must be at least 21 years of age. 5. Is it safe to drive at night? The problem driving at night is not crime, it’s just the unsafe driving and poor road conditions which are compounded even worse when you have poor visibility. The roads are not lit up well and it gets pitch dark after 6:00 PM making it unsafe to drive for an inexperienced driver. 6. What are road conditions like? The road conditions are very poor compared to the super highways of the United States or the Autobahn in Germany. Drivers have to contend with unsafe driving habits of motorists, huge potholes, and even the highway is a two-lane road. The roads get worse during the rainy season since road washouts from the mudslides from the mountains are common. 7. What side of the road do they drive on in Costa Rica? On the right hand side, like in the U.S. and Canada. One final tip Make a copy of the profile page of your passport and your entry stamp and carry that with you along with your car rental papers. You might get stopped by police and you will need to show this to them. Do no carry your passport with you just make copies. The Costa Rican government now allows you to carry copies instead of your actual passport.