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Rallying for a Cause
Is it possible for gear heads to do something good with their obsession of all things automotive?
With the holiday season kicking off, hitting the road and taking long trips could leave you stranded. AAA estimates that 1.2 million motorists will get stranded between December 19 through January 2, so it’s released a check list to help make sure you’re not one of those 1.2 million.
It’s officially winter and it’s also the holiday season – is your car ready for all those road trips?
Before heading out to visit family and friends long distance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you check your vehicle before heading out and to drive with extra caution this season. Here is a list to go over before you hit the roads and make merry with loved ones.
Routine Car Service:
• To ensure your car is running in tip-top condition, drop by your mechanic for a tune-up and routine maintenance.
• Your car’s battery doesn’t like the cold. Battery power tends to drop when it gets colder, so be sure your battery is ready for the chilly months ahead.
• While you’re at the garage, check your battery for sufficient voltage, have the charging system and belts inspected and tighten the battery cable connections.
• If you drive an electric car with a gasoline backup system, make sure you’ve got a supply in the vehicle, in case you run out.
• Make sure your coolant can stand up to cold winter temperatures and make sure you have enough at all times.
• Check the cooling system for leaks.
• Your coolant system should be flushed every couple of years. If it’s been awhile, now’s the time to do it.
Windshield Wipers and Defrosters:
• Fill up on high-quality, no-freeze fluid and keep an extra bottle in the car – you’ll go through plenty of it in the winter.
• Replace worn blades with heavy-duty winter wipers.
• Check that front and rear window defrosters are working properly.
• Because tire pressure drops when it gets colder, check tire pressure frequently and make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested PSI of air pressure.
• Take a close look at your tire treads and replace ones that have uneven wear or insufficient tread.
Who is going to let a little thing like high gas prices stand in the way of a summer vacation? According to a new Gallup poll, about four out of 10 Americans are. The other six are going to pack up the family, fill up the tank and travel the roads in search of adventure and great memories.
71 percent of those surveyed said they would pay more than last summer to travel. Last year, when average gas prices were around $2.80 a gallon, about 39 percent said they would spend more on transportation when it was time to travel.
When asked about gas prices in the poll, 8 percent said that gas prices were the most important problem facing the country now. Last year, 25 percent of Americans said it was the top problem in the country (at a time when gas prices reached past $4 a gallon), so the latest numbers show that we aren’t as concerned as we were back then.
What about you? Are you still going to travel even with rising gas prices or are you going to enjoy a “stay-cation” this year? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
In classic car circles, especially across the pond, the annual MSA Euroclassic has become known as one of the ‘must-do’ events on the calendar. And the 2011 event, slated to run from 4-11 September, promises to be the most spectacular yet.
In a nutshell, the Euroclassic is an eight-day road trip, which covers some 1480 miles between Troyes, (south east of Paris, France) and Parma (Italy) along some of the most spectacular driving roads in Europe. Along the way, participants stop off at such celebrated towns and cities as St Moritz, in the Swiss Alps, as well as San Marino, Rome, Venice, Verona and Pisa, as well as visiting the Mile Miglia and Ferrari museums.
In addition, drivers are also invited to give their cars a good workout on the track, thanks to sessions at the Anneau du Rhin, Autodromo d’Franciacorta, Adria, Autodromo Dell’Umbria Magione and Varano circuits.
As its name suggests, the EuroClassic has strict entry criteria, for vehicles 20 years or older, however, for the 2011 event, the organizers will be accepting a very small number of what are deemed ’contemporary classic’ vehicles, largely due to popular demand.
The price for taking part is £2,250 (approximately $3600 US) per car plus a two-person crew – £2,100 ($3360) if booked before April 28.
However that does include detailed maps of the route, track time, medical and mechanical assistance, lunches and a special Celebration Dinner, plus the chance to embark on a road trip of a lifetime. For more information, click on the link below.
Ever wanted to travel through the wine region of France with your friends in a gaggle of rare, expensive Ferraris? If you day dream about such stuff, not to worry, you are not alone, and now thanks to two companies combining their resources, it can come true.
DrivingXllence a supercar adventure touring company, and Risi Competizione which races Ferrari competition cars in the American LeMans Series are pooling their vast resources together to offer customers the ultimate road trip, featuring five Ferrari’s, namely the 458 Italia, 599GTB, F430 Scuderia, California Spider, and even the rare and out-of-production 575 SuperAmerica.
The program will involve driving through five French cities on the way to this years Le Mans 24-hour race. You will stay in five-star hotels, get special VIP grandstands for the race, plus available helicopter rides over the historic race track.
So if you tempted by this adventure, call DrivingXllence at 1.855.XLLENCE or visit their website for more information.
If you’re looking to get more out of your road trip we’ve got an app for you – the Mobil 1 Open Road app. A great free app that let’s you explore great roads and attractions, it will also provide helpful car care advice.
Let’s just say you are planning a road trip. The Mobil 1 Open Road app makes it easy to plan the whole trip, from start to finish. Just pick a category from the drop-down list (like kids’ day out, museums and restaurants) and enter how far you want to drive. This app will show you how to get there and what attractions you should stop at along the way.
Unfortunately, right now Mobil 1 only offers the App in jolly old Great Britain. That being said, if you’re from the UK, or taking a trip to do some driving on the wrong side of the road, the Mobil 1 App will give you the Top 10 Great British Drives to explore, based on what users have been saying about them. It really takes the stress out of planning a road trip, and isn’t the purpose of a trip supposed to be about relaxation?
But the good times don’t stop there. The Mobil 1 Open Road app also has a car care section that tells you when to check your oil, how to check your oil and why to check your oil.
Watch the video after the jump to see it in action, and if you live in the UK, you can download it for free at the iTunes store.
Here’s hoping they’ll make the Mobil 1 Open Road App available in North America soon. Continue Reading…
Car trips with the kids can be painful – especially the long ones. So we guess that the Replacement Headrest DVD Player and NES/SNES Emulator system was invented by parents who had just had enough (or by this guy here).
This cool in-car AV entertainment system trades out the headrests on the front seats for a pair of DVD-player-equipped replacements. Complete with an LCD display, an FM transmitter and an NES/SNES emulator, it may not be as technologically advanced as their fancy-schmancy game systems at home, but when they’re forced to choose between sing-a-longs with the parents or this, we’re going to place our bets on the fact that they’re going to choose the latter.
Both of these units can be hooked up together, so they can watch the same movie across both screens, and it also has a built-in FM transmitter that works with your car’s speaker system. This system even pulls double duty as a NES/SNES emulator when you plug in a set of generic gamepads, and it even comes with a CD full of 550+ classic ROMS.
Other features that come with this sanity-saving device include DIVX compatibility, headphone jacks, a wireless remote, composite AV inputs, SD card reader and even a USB port for accessing multimedia content. You can buy it for $175.
[Source: Coolest Gadgets]
It’s time to hit the road, but you don’t have anything keep the kids entertained for the long drive. You don’t have to worry about buying a expensive DVD player – all you need is your iPhone or iTouch and the ingenious SeatBuddy.
The ideal travel companion (it works great on airplanes too), the SeatBuddy can hang from the glovebox or it hooks to your cars headrests with the Velcro. It doesn’t come with any fancy extras, like a built-in backup battery, or a solar charger, but it does give you everything you do need. Made from a safe rubber silicone that is manufactured in the USA, the SeatBuddy is thick enough to protect your phone from getting scratched and bumped, yet is flexible enough to be easily installed.
Invented by an airline pilot who could never find the perfect position for watching movies on his iPhone, SeatBuddy is durable, tough and can be used pretty much anywhere (when you’re not traveling, use it on the treadmill). It also comes with a set Velcro pieces so they can be attached to each other, which comes in handy when you have to use it in a place where the straps are clamped down. You can buy the SeatBuddy on their website, where they go for about $24 – money well spent when you think about the hours trapped in the car with occupied children.
[Source: Oh Gizmo!]