Monday, August 30, 2010

Buying a Car? Top 5 Negotiating Tips

In today's world, you do not get anything unless you ask for it. If you've decided to buy a new or used car, be sure you're not getting a discount or offer unless you ask for it and negotiate. Here are the top 5 negotiating tips and dealer scams that you need to be aware of while going for your car purchase.

Your Negotiation Strategy
Go online. The very first step of negotiation involves online research to find out how much the dealer must have paid for the new car you are looking to buy. Once you've got it, leave around 5 per cent profit for the car dealer and start your negotiation.

Secondly, get familiar with the car buyer forms. By itself, the paperwork can be extremely confusing and dealers in India love to add more to the confusion. If you know of someone who's recently bought a car, just have a look at it and get familiar, lest the dealers and papers will turn out very confusing at the dealership.

How Long Should You Negotiate
If the auto dealer quotes a very low amount, which does not happen most of the time, don't give him a second chance to re-think the amount and hike the price. Finish off the deal quickly. However, if you've tried to convince a dealer to lower the car prices for half an hour and there's no sign of any changes happening any time soon, just leave. You may just be wasting your time.

Always have the half an hour deadline. If you haven't convinced the dealer by then, you probably will never be able to convince him even after spending hours together. Don't haggle when you know there are other dealerships out there ready to give you your dream car at the price you want. Also, you never know, walking out of the dealership may work the magic and the dealer may reduce the price instantly.

Thorough Preparation is the Key
Eat well and sleep well before going to the car dealership, and dress well while you are going there. Do not go very casually in shorts, lest they'll take you lightly. You have your research data ready with prices of all models that you have shortlisted. Have it tucked neatly in a folder. The dealer is going to dread that folder knowing that you've done your homework pretty well.

However, carry the data of all variants of a particular model just in case you change your mind about purchasing the variant you earlier had in mind. You must have requested for quotes from dealers while researching on the Internet; have that data too in the folder. Most car dealer web sites offer free quotes. If you haven't got them, get the quotes right away.

Don't discuss auto loans with the dealer unless you are very sure that the dealer offers loans at very low rates. Find out online details on loan agents that offer car loans at the best rate. You may then shortlist a few, negotiate in a similar manner as you're doing for your new car and go for the final deal.

Single = Danger; Many = Danger for Dealer
You go alone to the auto dealership and you are going to get tortured. Take your friend along. It will then be difficult for the dealer to convince two people instead of one. Your friend can be of great help by identifying the dealer's tricks that you may not have noticed, and that's going to drive the dealer mad explaining. If he tries to separate the two of you with two salesmen coming in, that's a trick that you shouldn't oblige to. Also, there are mind games that the dealer can play.

Don't get convinced when he says, "Sir/Madam, this offer is available only today. You may lose out on such a great deal if you wait for tomorrow", or, "This model sells like hot cakes. So many have bought it very recently and customers are very delighted. Why will I give it to you for a lower price when so many people are buying it at a much higher price?"

If many cars have already been sold very recently, he must have received a huge profit. So, what will he lose if he gives you new car for a little lesser price? If the dealer's offer holds good only for that day, let him know that so does yours. There are many dealers out there and you're not going back for the same price tomorrow.

Stay Stubborn with Your Offer
Since you've browsed on the Internet and you know what price to get down to, explain that to the dealer. Let him not interrupt you until you finish the explanation. In case he does so, raise your hand a little which will be an indication for him to stop. Explain to the dealer that it's not just you who's getting a profit. He too is getting it when you come back in future for warranty repairs, services or parts. Give him the bigger picture. Let him get your point, or you leave. If he points out explaining he would have no profit with that deal, show him your research data.

Hybrid Cars Advantages and Disadvantages

Hybrid cars are considered as the car of the future. It is able to effectively conserve fuel and at the same time, it only produces low levels of toxic fumes. Because of these benefits, hybrid cars are now growing in popularity every single day. Many people are now considering getting rid of their conventional cars and purchase a hybrid car to help in cutting fuel consumption cost.

Hybrid cars have two engines for it to effectively conserve fuel consumption. It has the traditional gasoline engine and it also has an electric motor and batteries. The two engines work together in order to cut fuel consumption. With this technology, you will be able to cut fuel usage by more than half. Just imagine, with a hybrid car, you will be able to go more than 60 miles to the gallon. With this kind of savings, hybrid cars are definitely the car of the future.

Hybrid car owners virtually do not feel the increasing cost in fuel prices. This is the main advantage of the hybrid car. There are other advantages that a hybrid car can give you. Recently, the President of the United States has signed an agreement that hybrid car buyers will be able to enjoy tax incentives. This means that by owning a hybrid car, you will be able to save money on taxes.

There are other benefits that the government imposes on hybrid car owners, such as free parking, and free entry to car pool lanes. Some even offer discounted fees on toll gates.

The braking in hybrid cars is also configured to capture the energy released and uses it to charge the batteries inside the hybrid car. This means that unlike electric cars, hybrid cars do not actually need to be charged from your home electric outlet.

However, with all the advantages that a hybrid car can give you, there are also disadvantages. The main disadvantage of hybrid cars is that the retail price is quite expensive. Only people who have enough money can purchase hybrid cars. However, the twist in all this is that hybrid cars are actually cheaper when compared to conventional cars in the long run. If you compute the total fuel consumption of both cars, you will actually see that you can save a lot more money on hybrid cars.

The only thing is that hybrid cars are expensive right from the car lot.

Hybrid cars are relatively heavy because of the heavy batteries installed inside the car. This is why hybrid car manufacturers integrates smaller internal combustion engines and are constructed with light materials and should be aerodynamic in order to maximize efficiency. This means that hybrid cars can never really go fast.

Another issue about hybrid cars is that it is very risky in accidents. What makes a hybrid car work effectively is also what makes it risky if it ever gets involved in an accident. This is because hybrid cars stores high amount of voltage in its batteries. This means that there is a high chance of getting electrocuted when you get involved in an accident. This also means that it is relatively difficult for rescuers to get the drivers and passengers out of the hybrid cars because of the dangers of high voltage in the car.

These are the advantages and the disadvantages of hybrid cars. Car manufacturers today are now looking for ways to get rid of the disadvantages of hybrid cars. In the near future, you will see that hybrid cars will be lighter and also contains less risk due to high voltage dangers.

BMW "No Reverse" Transmission Problem


An automatic transmission is just that- automatic, consequently most people tend to pay very little attention to it until a major problem rears its ugly head.

Picture the scenario- you are driving along in the lap of luxury, the satellite radio blaring and the heated seats on. You have become accustomed to the comfort level and great driving experience brought to you by BMW.

You decide to stop at the local convenience store on your way home to grab some ice cream for the kids and a bottle of water for yourself. Upon returning to your car, you start it up, check your rear view mirror, put the shifter in reverse and then the unthinkable happens- the engine just revs as if it is in neutral and the car goes nowhere!

This article deals with the reasons behind an unexpected loss of reverse in certain BMW automatic transmission equipped vehicles, specifically the 3 series and 5 series vehicles that use the ZF5HP19 or steptronic transmission. This includes the popular 323i, 323ci, 325i, 328i, 330i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3 and X5 models well as some others built in the 1999 to present model years.

To eliminate confusion, this does not apply to vehicles equipped with the GM 5L40 E transmission, just the ones with the sometimes problematic ZF5HP19. The 5L40 E has some issues of its own that are beyond the scope of this article but are certainly going to be the subject of another.

The failure rate for these transmissions seems to be very high and is expected to become much more of a problem as time goes by.

Typically, the vehicle is working perfectly while driving forward but when it is put in reverse there is a complete and permanent loss of movement to back up.

Reverse is typically a major feat for any transmission to accomplish- imagine the demands that are placed on a gearbox as it is asked to reverse the torque of your engine so that you can back up your nearly 4000 pound vehicle.

By far, the most common cause of the reverse problem in BMW's is the failure of the D-G clutch drum. Specifically, the snap ring that retains the D or reverse clutch breaks out of the clutch drum resulting in an inability for the clutch pack to apply.

The good news is that there is hope in regards to a proper repair. The factory has released an updated part that so far appears to be a permanent fix for this problem.

In our testing and in conjunction with several hundred successful repairs at our facilities, the new part seems to be metallurgically superior in several ways. 

We have found that there is an improved radius area as well as slightly thicker casting. In addition to this, the grove that retains the snap ring is also relocated further away from the edge of the drum.

With this issue addressed and attention to detail in several other areas of the ZF5HP19 unit, the transmission can be repaired to "better than new" condition by a competent transmission rebuilder / remanufacturer. In fact, when properly repaired, the ZF gearbox becomes quite robust and can provide an almost indefinite service life.

2010 Honda Insight Twelve Month Test - Month 4

Hybrid owners tell me that fuel economy tends to go up after the first few thousand miles -- but with nearly 9,000 miles on the clock, our long-term Insight's MPG has been dropping, not rising. This month, I think I've figured out why.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My 100 Post......

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2010 Audi S5 by Sportec..



When we discuss tuning kits provided by Sportec, we are usually talking about Porsche models. However, the British tuner actually tunes many different brands including Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, and even Fiat models, among others. Their latest package sees them tweaking the power on the Audi S5, both coupe quattro and cabriolet.

The package is called the "Stage One" and it uses the Audi’s 3.0-liter supercharged, V6, TFSI powerplant, a free flowing air filter element, and ECU remapping to completely revamp the car’s output. The result of this hard work is an output of 425 HP at 6640 rpm (an increase of 97 HP over the standard model) and a peak torque of 520 Nm at 4250 rpm (up from the standard 440 Nm). And as an impressive little touch, the maximum torque output is available from 2750 to 6250 rpm. With the new amount of power, the S5 makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in to 4.6 seconds, while top speed is limited at 155 mph for safety reasons.

The Sportec Stage One upgrade is priced at £1950.00.

Prestige Cars Abu Dhabi Lists Plethora Of Supercars On Jameslist..



To be honest, none of these cars are in our price range. We’ll get that out of the way just in case somebody starts dreaming of owning one of these bad boys someday.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there’s a nice collection of some of the world’s most luxurious – and expensive – supercars on Jameslist courtesy of Prestige Cars Abu Dhabi’s extensive collection of Mansory-tuned machines. The fact that there’s ‘prestige’ and ‘Abu Dhabi’ in the name should give you an indication of what type of cars are included in the collection.

The price tags of these cars are not being disclosed because, quite frankly, none of us can afford to buy any of them. Maybe we can buy a grille or a door panel, but even those would probably cost us an arm-and-a-half.

But if your curiosity is getting the better of you, we’ll s----the beans on what cars are included. There’s a blue and gold Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Bentley Vitesse, an Aston Martin Cyrus, a G-Wagen Couture, a Porsche Cayenne Chopster, and a Bugatti Veyron Vincero.

Not exactly cars that you’d call affordable, huh?