Pickup trucks are gaining in popularity with many entries into the class from a mydrid of different manufacturers. Each year Motor Trend judges test entries in several different classes to see what truck rises to the top of the class, worthy to be crowned the Truck of the Year. 2014 was no different.
The competition is only open to new trucks or significantly changed designs and there were thirteen different trucks and heavy vans that qualified across four different classes. Each truck and heavy van was tested against a gauntlet of tests like fuel economy, quarter mile track time, 200 foot skid pad (braking) and carrying capacity. The new and innovative technology used in each truck was considered by a panel of expert judges. All of this was used to come to one conclusion: the Ram 1500 is Motor Trend’s truck of the year.
This is the second year running that the Ram 1500 has taken the award, with the 2012 truck of the Year title going to the Ford f-150.
Fitting out your garage with a few essential tools will make working on your car less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Whether you are restoring a classic car or performing routine car maintenance, these picks will make your task a little easier:
While you may not have thought of a compressor as a garage essential, once you have one you will wonder how you ever managed without it. A compressor provides air to all your pneumatic tools, and also comes in very handy when blow-cleaning and -drying car parts.
- Air Wrench
Undoing wheel nuts is a time-consuming job, and an air wrench makes the job much easier and quicker.
- Torque Wrench Mechanics know that it is no use tightening everything as far as possible, many bolts are intolerant of being over-tightened. A torque wrench is calibrated to allow you to tighten bolts accurately and securely.
- Good lighting
Every garage needs good lighting, and it is best to have several different sources of diffused light to avoid casting too many shadows. An LED rechargeable magnetic lamp is handy for throwing a bright white light into hard-to reach places.
- Trolley Jack
A versatile trolley jack is useful for all inspection jobs, both indoors and outside.
- Axle Stands
Many jobs require you to raise your car, and axle stands are very useful if you are going to leave your car standing without wheels for any length of time. Get some with safety pins; they are a great addition to your garage equipment.
Are you interested in repairing your car in a “do-it-yourself” fashion as opposed to taking it to a garage? If so, there are a few suggestions to keep in mind. As this can be a complicated process, some steps need to be taken ahead of time. Still, at-home car repair can be both fun and rewarding. Let’s take a glimpse at some top tips for repairing your vehicle.
Purchase a Car Mover
Keep in mind that working around a vehicle can sometimes be difficult if you have limited space. To access hard-to-reach areas, it is a great idea to purchase a car mover. These are safe devices which can handle a great deal of weight while adding levels of safety that would be impossible with a jack alone.
One Step at a Time
Another essential habit to embrace is taking even the smallest of repairs one step at a time. As you may or may not already be aware, vehicles are quite complicated and undertaking a major task such as changing a transmission or installing a new exhaust system can prove to be confusing. So, be patient and never rush through the project. Also, procure trusted manuals before beginning any such task. Otherwise, you may actually risk causing damage to your vehicle.
Never Be Ashamed to Ask for Help
Some repairs are more difficult than others (an example could be changing and bleeding your brakes). Unless you are an expert or you can enjoy the help of a trained professional, it may indeed be better to visit a local garage. If you find that you are becoming overwhelmed with a certain task, the chances are that you are in a bit over your head.
At-home car repair is a hobby enjoyed by countless enthusiasts. Following these simple steps will enable you to tackle even the most challenging of jobs.
Mid-sized sedans have always been popular among car buyers mainly because they are ideal for everyday use. The following is an outline of the best four:
The Honda Accord
While the Honda Accord may not have the most outstanding of exterior designs, it is still decent and has great build quality. The latest version features interior upholstery that is a bit more upmarket, when compared to that in the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo, and comes with cruise control and alloy wheels as standard. On the safety and reliability side, it has a five star safety rating, following Euro NCAP safety tests. The petrol and diesel engine versions return 40.9 mpg and 38.7mpg respectively.
The Toyota Camry
The Camry is a car with a great reputation for safety, comfort, fuel economy, and dependability. It offers passengers a roomy interior and can comfortably seat five adults. The 2014 non-hybrid version returns 35 miles to the gallon on the highway and 25mpg while cruising around the city. On safety, the car comes with a whooping ten airbags, and when it comes to speed, it can do 0-60mph in just 5.8 seconds.
The Subaru Legacy
The Subaru Legacy is a unique mid-sized sedan largely due to its standard all wheel drive feature and roomy interior. Its 2.5 litre engine version produces 175 horses, and the 3.6 litre some 256 horsepowers – meaning that rocky cliffs will not be so menacing in the face of good four-wheel traction and power.
The Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is one of the best sedans in its category, and features a clean, sleek exterior design. It comes with 16 inch alloy wheels as standard and two engine choices, the 2.5 -litre, which is the base and the 3.5-litre.
The process of buying a new car is always exciting, especially for first time buyers, but can also be confusing at times if you don’t know what to look for. If you are in this dilemma, the following tips will help you find out which is best for your needs:
Start with your budget
The budget is usually one of the first things to consider as it determines what you can afford. For starters, it is important to note that the price of the car is just the starting point, as there are other ongoing expenses attached to this asset such as fuel, maintenance, and tax. The aforementioned will help narrow the scope of what you should be looking for.
The fuel economy
Most buyers today usually prefer a car that is dependable and does not need refuelling every few miles. The upside is that manufacturers are currently striving to produce the most fuel-efficient cars possible so you are likely to easily find one fits the bill. The most frugal are those with diesel engines, which can return over seventy miles per gallon. Models such as the Ford Fiesta Econetic, and the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion guarantee great fuel economy.
What it will be used for
The purpose of the car you are looking to buy is an important aspect. For example, if you want one for taking the kids to school and you to work, a family saloon that offers a smooth ride, safety, and decent looks would be ideal, and if you prefer a vehicle to go on off-road expeditions, look for an SUV with good ground clearance, and locking diffs.
This entertainment website is modelled after the popular television programme and the Top Gear team regularly put all of the latest cars through their paces to present unbiased reviews that are fun to read. One of the great things about Top Gear is that you do not have to be an expert on cars to understand the reviews, while the team regularly race similar models of cars against each over to discover which ones come out on top.
Car and Driver
This site features detailed reviews of a wide range of vehicles from all around the world. The team at Car and Driver are not afraid to say exactly what they think and the reviews feature a breakdown of all of the elements of each of the vehicles they review including value for money, the amount of space inside the vehicle and the drivability. Visitors to the site can also watch videos of test drives, which really put them in the heart of the action and presents the feeling of actually test driving vehicles from the comfort of your own home.
This modern website presents itself at the world’s best car magazine and there are lots of fun and informative reviews to be found here. In addition to easy to follow reviews of the latest cars, the site also presents test drivers of vehicles and special videos that present the cars in their full glory. Reviews are organised into categories to make them easy to find, while you can also search for the specific review you want to find.
Although this site appears to be a little basic at first glance, the reviews are very detailed and provide automobile enthusiasts with everything they need to make an informed decision. The site is updated regularly and offered a large number of reviews as well as car news, news of the latest auto shows and a wide range of other exciting features.