Innovative Design For Those Who Are Driven The 2006 Bmw 3 Series After Market Parts Explained Keep Away From Tickets Timing Belt Automotive Repair Tips Cold Weather S Coming Is Your Car Ready Honda Sneak Peek The Fit

BMW will tell you it isn’t so, but the new 3 Series is the start of a softening of Chris Bangle’s most angular design language. The car you see is not an evolution of an existing car but a ground up model, an energetic attempt to re-invent the most popular BMW model with unarguably good looks that match its top class driving dynamics.

The first thing you notice is that the car has dropped the current teardrop headlamps and done away with the aircraft carrier trunk lid.

Next to go are the cut lines and the aggressive mix of concave and convex panels. It’s still recognizably a BMW though. The big news underneath is the new multitude independent suspension (borrowed from the 5 series) is designed to combine unrivalled ride comfort, with taut handling. On top of that you can expect Dynamic Drive (that’s adjustable anti-roll bars), Active Steering
For a passive buyer, these things are but ordinary terms used in the automotive market but for someone meticulous and who wants the best for his auto, these things matter considerably. Deciding which among these to purchase is just like deciding what car to buy.

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufactured. This means that OEM Ford parts are manufactured by Ford itself, Chevrolet parts are manufactured by Chevrolet, Toyota parts by Toyota, BMW parts by BMW and so on. The terms O.E.S. and OE are also used; these mean Original Equipment Supplied and Original Equipment, respectively. While in many cases, OEM and OES mean the same, OE is more general referring to any part that came as original equipment on the car. Some of OE car parts and components are not actually made by the car manufacturer but are purchased and assembled by the automakers to create a vehicle.

Those referred to as “aftermarket auto parts” are not made by the original car manufacturer; furthermore, they are bought and added to the vehicle only at the dealership or after the vehicle left the dealership. In terms of design and function, aftermarket products are almost the same as the stock auto parts since they are primarily used to replace a damaged original part so that the vehicle can continue to run. If you need replacement parts for your car, however, you can either buy O.E.M. or aftermarket auto parts. There are numerous sources of aftermarket auto parts. Stores like Auto Parts Discount give you a great variety of parts for almost all makes and models.

Some cars, especially the base models are not completely equipped so users just add aftermarket parts later on. For example if you have purchased an old Toyota Corolla, you can add aftermarket Toyota fog lights, Toyota spoiler, Toyota turn signal light or Toyota mirrors. Aftermarket products can also help you give your car a fresh new look. Even if your original parts are not yet damaged or worn out, you can replace them with or add specially designed aftermarket auto parts like Honda taillights, Ford center cap, Chevrolet chrome bumper, and Mercedes Benz Front Cover Towing Eye found at Auto Parts Discount.

Enthusiasts, on the other hand would opt for custom parts and specialty equipments. Compared to a universal fit auto part, which can be installed to any vehicle make, year and model, custom aftermarket products are designed to fit only a particular application. Examples of custom parts are your Ford hood, Ford fender and Ford doors. Specialty equipments on the other hand, are intended to make the vehicle more stylish, comfortable, convenient and more up-to-date.

Most auto users prefer aftermarket products because they are less expensive than OEM replacements. While it is true that there may be some aftermarket auto parts that do not meet high standards of original equipments, it is not right to say that aftermarket products are generally inferior in terms of quality and style. Replacement parts sold at Auto Parts Discount, for example are made by car parts manufacturers that are mandated by high international standards.

Which is better, OEM or aftermarket replacement part? It depends on the product. Some OEM parts are not durable enough while the aftermarket parts you use to replace them could last for many years. If you want to give your car a different look and also, if you want to save, aftermarket products are worth a try. However, make sure to get these replacement parts from trusted sources.

Speeding is only one way to getting a ticket from those traffic enforcers and traffic authority personnel. That is why it is important that you do know how to follow rules and regulations when you are out driving on the highway or on the streets. You see, tickets could cost you much and could also be added in your records.

Remember that you can only proceed through an intersection if and only if the front part of your vehicle has already entered the area before the stoplight actually turns red. When people say entered the area, it means that the front end of your vehicle has already crossed the limit line, the marked or the unmarked crosswalk line. Most states actually have this ordinance and rule that if the red light changes and your front bumper is already in the intersection, chances are that you would not be getting any ticket for running a red light.

To avoid U-turn violations, you should try turning left somewhere else instead of making this move in a business district or across a traffic island. You should U-turn in a residential area and some highways even allow it. However, you should be cautious to see and check if there is no other car approaching within some 200 feet of your car. If you do not know 200 feet, it could be approximated to around 12 car lengths.

When driving on roads or streets, make sure that you maintain a distance behind that one in front of you. Do not attempt to tailgate. Make sure that the distance between your vehicle and that one in front of you should be equal to around a car length, which is for every 10 miles per hour that you are driving. Not only are you avoiding any kind of ticket, you also are saving yourself and other people from harm.

You should pass another vehicle only in designated areas. This does not mean that you should pass only when there is a solid line in your lane. You should follow this rule for you are in more ways than one not interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle that is traveling in your direction.

One of the most overlooked parts of a vehicle, and one of the most common automotive repairs is the timing belt. Your car’s timing belt may look like an accessory, but the fact is that if it fails, your car will suddenly stop, and, if you’re lucky, you will find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

Timing belts are typically made of nylon reinforced rubber, with square teeth located on the inside surface. While you drive, the belt transfers the rotation of the crankshaft the camshaft, which in turn activates the valves that provide air and fuel to the cylinders and expel combustion gases to the exhaust system.

Inside your car, the valves and pistons move up and down rapidly, and most engines are not built to allow clearance between a valve that is down and a piston that is up and this is where the timing belt comes in, since it is what keeps the valves and pistons for colliding.

If your timing belt fails, and a collision occurs, the damage to the cylinder head, cylinder walls, valves, and pistons can be extensive, and expensive, as well.

During an automotive repair, the timing belt is often overlooked, since they are typically protected by a cover, and a quick visual inspection isn’t a possibility. Over the past several years, cars have been built to rely on a timing chain as opposed to a belt.

While these are typically longer lasting, they operate on essentially the same principal, and require replacement and maintenance, which varies by car. Typically, you can expect to have to replace your timing belt or chain every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Replacing a timing belt or chain requires the removal of the engine drive belt, the component responsible for operating the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air conditioner.

When you visit your mechanic, be sure to ask them about how often the timing belt or chain on your car should be replaced. Your vehicle’s owners manual will also be able to provide guidelines as to timing belt replacement and maintenance.

Remember, the care you take of your car today ensures its continued health, and your safety while on the road. Automotive repair problems, if caught early, are less expensive and require less time to repair than those that are overlooked in the initial stages. Doing a good job with preliminary care and maintenance can really help your automobile to go along way.

Pretty soon, the frost will be on the pumpkin and that should signal it’s time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for the colder weather ahead.

Here are some fall car care tips from the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), who warn motorists that winter is a dangerous time for an automotive breakdown.

* Begin with the basics. Review your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s service intervals.

* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid on hand. Check that all lights and bulbs are working.

* If you’re not a dedicated do-it-yourselfer, find a repair shop with a courteous staff, ASE-certified technicians and modern equipment.

* Replace worn tires with all-season radials or snow tires, as conditions warrant; don’t forget to check the spare tire and jack. This is a good time to have alignment problems corrected.

* Correct engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration or hard starts) before cold weather sets in.

* Have a qualified auto

technician check the condition of your battery and cables, plus the radiator, and all hoses and belts.

* Make certain the heater and defroster are in good working condition; have the exhaust system examined for leaks, a potentially deadly condition in closed vehicles.

* Carry emergency gear: flares, boots, gloves, ice scraper, high-energy snacks, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, tire chains, a few tools and a cell phone.

For a free brochure with winter maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped business-sized envelope to: ASE Winter Brochure, Dept. NUW-304, 101 Blue Seal Drive, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175.

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.

Credit Honda with not giving up easily in what will certainly become a big fight: the sub $15,000 price range category of new automobiles. Currently, only a stripped down Civic competes in this area and I mean stripped: no a/c, basic tranny, no radio! With Toyota’s Scion brand catching on Honda is looking to fight back. A tiny car now on sale in Japan may soon find its way to a dealership in your neighborhood helping to turn the tide for the revered automaker.

So, why the big push in this “cheap” category? Chiefly because automakers know that if young and first time buyers have a very good experience with their entry level cars then more than likely they will stay with the brand as their lives change, i.e., get married, start a family, make more money, etc. This practice has been in place for years, although not as widely emphasized by all manufacturers and to their detriment.

Honda’s long time low price leader has always been the Civic. Introduced to the North American market in 1971, the Civic was the original Honda for the western hemisphere and has been a value leader in its class for some time. However, like the Toyota Corolla, the Civic has been gradually creeping up market becoming better equipped and more expensive. At least Toyota slipped in a new entry level car a few years back, the Echo, but Honda has been without one. In addition, Toyota launched an all new brand, Scion, in 2003 to capture a bigger chunk of the youth market. So far, Scion has been a runaway success story.

Enter the Fit. Say, what?! Yes, a tiny Scion-like car sporting a 1.5L engine is already navigating Japanese streets. Unfortunately, the name isn’t catchy and likely will have to be changed once the car is imported to the US and Canada. Let’s just say that some of the names that rhyme with Fit are not exactly favorable. At least it isn’t as obvious as Daewoo’s Charade a car that really lived up to its name!

We don’t know a lot yet about the Fit other than to say that Honda knows that they need to respond to Toyota and soon. Honda doesn’t appear willing to create a separate brand to take on Scion, but a car in the class of the Fit will help Honda capture a bigger chunk of the all important youth market. With styling cues reportedly similar to the Scion xA, the “Fit” will likely be fitted into the bottom of the Honda line up. Paired with the Element, both vehicles will be perceived as true Scion fighters. At least Honda hopes that you do.

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