postheadericon Car Crushers Are Awesome

car cursherLove your car? Well unless there’s an apocalypse sometime soon, it’s more than likely that one day it will end up flat as a pancake in a pile of similarly flattened cars.

That’s just the way of the world; all cars must someday meet the crusher, a huge machine built to compress a car’s enter body into a tiny cube or a flattened slab.

Once a car is worth less than the metal its made out of, junkyards see fit to compress them so that they’re more easily stored and potentially more readily transported to a recycling facility.

And cars aren’t the only gadget that gets compressed; there are all kinds of metal appliances that are compressed before they are disposed of; everything from old kitchen appliances to large combines.

Crushers themselves are either portable or stationary, generally depending on their age (newer ones tend to be portable so that they can be towed from place to place as needed). Portable ones are less expensive for salvage yards to use because they can be shared by many different companies instead of purchased for a pretty penny and then used only every so often.

Car crushers generally make use of a hydraulic system to press down on cars. A large motor powers a pump that pushes hydraulic fluid which in turn drives large cylinders, all in such a way that utilizes the principles of force-multiplication.

Some crushers, called “bale” crushers, are aptly named because they crush not only from the top but also from the side, creating a cube of car that reminds people of a hay bale.

car crusher2There’s also an oil reclamation system that sits below the crushing bed and collects motor oil and other fluids that might flow out of the car when it’s being squished. They’re stored in a large tank and collected to be recycled when the tank is sufficiently full to merit the effort.

But how does the car get into the crusher in the first place? You can’t drive them up, seeing as most of these cars generally don’t even work. This is where one of the coolest part happens: the giant electromagnet comes into play.

A lot of junk yards use huge electromagnets to pick up cars and drop them into crushers. These junk yards utilize the interrelated nature of electricity and magnetism to turn the magnetism of a giant piece of iron on and off; when they turn it on, the metal is a strong enough magnet to pull a car off the ground by its roof. When they turn it off, the magnetic properties of the metal cease to exist and the car drops, generally right into the crusher (if the technician has any idea what he or she is doing).

Just to give you a feel for how much car crushing will set a junkyard back, old ones cost around $30,000 while newer, cushier and portable ones cost between $120,000 and $150,000. That said, the newer ones are usually rented out by junkyards for less than the older ones ever cost.

postheadericon Apple is Making an Electric Car

electric car appleApple has not formally announced it, but according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, it’s an “open secret” that Apple is currently working on its own electric car to rival the Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and other contenders in the electronic vehicle market.

Apple has already registered several automobile-related internet domains including apple.car and apple.auto.

Musk also claimed that cars that could not drive themselves would be deemed strange and outdated sooner than we’d ever imagine.

Tesla, Nissan, and BMW are the only all-electric car brands currently on the market. Tesla actually runs at a loss for now, but its cars are expected to be financially viable soon.

That said, it has its own challenges on its road from red to green; apparently many of its engineers have been hired by rival tech giants like China-backed Farady Future and, of course, Apple.

Mr. Musk believed that Apple’s interest in the electric car market was an “obvious” development:

“It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” Musk laughed. He does not believe that Apple will be a huge threat to Tesla, but rather will expand the industry.

“Tesla wil aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well.”

elon muskMusk believes that cars of the future will be electric and autonomous, and driving manually will be more of a hobbyist’s activity than a necessity. His Model S, ironically, is more of a hobbyist’s electric car, but it has become one of the best-selling electric cars of all times. Its recent Autopilot update allowed for the car to manage its own speed adjustments in response to outside traffic, lane changing, and lane following.

It also recently released a “beta” feature that allows owners to summon their cars from their smartphones.

“With the current version of Summon, the car will come and find you if you’re on private property,” explained Musk. “The car will exit the garage, close the garage behind it and come over to you… This is the first baby step- ultimately you’ll be able to summon the car from New York if you’re living in LA, and it will drive across the country, charge itself at the various locations and come to you.”

Valet and Tai drivers may have more than Uber to worry about, as Musk says that this cross-country Summon feature may actually be ready for production in the next “couple of years.”

Musk says that electrification and autonomy are the two biggest innovations to hit the auto industry since the moving production line, and it’s hard to argue with him; even Hummer-churning industry leader GM has seen the electrical light; their new Chevy Bolt is set to beat out Tesla for the first affordable all-electric car model (It should move up to 200 miles in one charge an cost only $30,000).

“Owning a car that is not self-driving in the long term will be like owning a horse- you would own it and sue it for sentimental reasons but not for daily use,” Musk concluded. Only time will tell if the far-seeing engineer is right.

 

postheadericon Can Your Car Get Hacked?

Cars are becoming increasingly computer reliant, and generally that’s a good thing. Everything from your GPS to your engine is made safer and more efficient with the help of computers. The rise of autopilot technology and Tesla’s use of in-car software upgrades are more examples of the way that computers can be used to improve the on-road experience and society’s relationship with cars as a whole.

This movement towards in-car computing technology shows no signs of stopping; Audi is making augmented reality glasses to better assist their mechanics in the replacement and repair of in-car computers, Google is making self-driving cars, and Volvo is working on kangaroo-identifying software to assist and protect Australian drivers.

Charlie Miller (right) a security researcher at Twitter,  and Chris Valasek (left), director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, have exposed the security vulnerabilities in automobiles by hacking into cars remotely, controlling the cars' various controls from the radio volume to the brakes. Photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Ladue, Mo. (Photo © Whitney Curtis for WIRED.com)

Unfortunately, the movement towards the incorporation of computing technology into the automotive industry is not always a movement towards increased security; take for example the widespread issue suffered by customers of Texas Auto Center in 2010. Over 100 drivers found that they couldn’t turn their car on and that their car alarm wouldn’t turn off unless they removed the battery from their vehicle. Eventually the mechanical issue was revealed to be the work of a disgruntled-Texas-Auto-Center-employee-turned-hacker named Omar Ramos-Lopez. Ramos-Lopez had hacked into Texas Auto Center’s vehicle immobilization system (generally used for people who had

Ramos-Lopez’s hack was more of an inconvenient prank than a malicious cyberattack, but the fact that he pulled it off displays the vulnerability that comes with using cars with computers and internet connections. Analysts at the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego uncovered that there are a variety of ways that hackers could hack and monitor vehicles. Terrifyingly, the analysts were able to hack into automotive control systems and control anything from the heat and radio of a vehicle to the brakes. Researchers from Rutgers university and the University of South Carolina additionally found a way to hijack the wireless signals used for a car’s tire pressure monitoring system which, once intercepted, could allow for a hacker to monitor the movements of a vehicle.

Director of forensic and information security services at Chartstone Consulting Damon Petraglia had this to say about the matter:

“If your car is infected, then anything that the infected computer is responsible for is infected. So, if the computer controls the windows and locks, then the virus or malicious code can control the windows and locks… Same goes for steering and braking.”

car softwareThe computers commonly used in vehicles today are different from your PC; they use hardware, software, a processor and memory, but they are much simpler because they  have been developed to serve a simpler and more specialized purpose. In these circumstances, users don’t need to worry about being infected by a virus unless a hacker actually gains physical access to their car.

However, as cars become more connected to the internet, that vulnerability increases:

“As more and more cars are getting interfaces with internet sites such as Pandora and even Facebook, cars get two-way communication and are therefore by definition more vulnerable,” explained Cas Mollien, an information and communication technology strategist with Bazic Blue.

 

 

postheadericon How Does Towing Affect Gas Mileage?

towingTowing is not as straightforward as it may seem; not only do you have to learn how to navigate a much longer car, but you also have to consider logistical factors like tongue weight, gross trailer weight and hitch strength. Looming over all of these potential issues is maybe the most relevant issue of all to tiny-homers and outdoor adventurers: gas mileage.

If you’re towing, your mileage is undoubtedly going to take a hit. After all, force equals mass times acceleration i.e. the heavier the load, the more force you need to tow it. That force comes from your engine, so if it has to work harder, you have to spend more time at the pump.

How much more time depends on exactly what you’re towing and how. The mileage listed for any vehicle is the miles per gallon a car is expected to travel given that the car is carrying 300 pounds of cargo (including the passengers). This is pretty scummy considering that 300 pounds doesn’t even cover two average sized grown men.

Regardless, if you take that into consideration, you can deduce that for every 100 pounds of extra weight in your vehicle, the fuel efficiency decreases by around 2 percent. This is bad news for people with trailers chalk full of kitchen appliances, washing machines, etc. This isn’t the worst possible news, however, for an athletic couple driving a 2011 Rav4 that recently bought a teardrop camper that weighs about 300 pounds tops.

towing teardropLet’s do the math for that somewhat random situation: The couple together weighs about 300 pounds and most of their cargo consists of clothing, so let’s say that the car’s listed mileage applies to them and all their non-trailer stuff. That means they’re getting up to 22 mpg in the city and up to 28 on the highway. Add a 300 pound teardrop trailer to the mix and you’ve got an expected 6% loss in mileage on both counts. 0.94 X 22 equals 20.68, so the 2011 Rav4 gets around 20.5 miles to the gallon in the city. 0.94 X 28 = 26.32, so it gets just over 26 miles to the gallon on the highway.

Not a bad price to pay considering this couple no longer has to pay for hotel rooms. Or is it? Let’s do the math. Say the trailer cost $1000 and the couple plans to go on an 8,000 mile road trip around the United States. For the purposes of keeping things simple, let’s assume the couple drives entirely on the highway. 8000 miles divided by 28 mpg equals 285 gallons of gas. 8000 divided by 26.32 is equal to around 302 miles to the gallon. Let’s say the average American gas prices this summer end up around 2.25. Without the trailer, the couple would pay 285 X 2.25 = $641 in gas. With the trailer, they pay $679, or around $38 more in gas over the course of $8000 miles. Add the price of the trailer and the couple pays $1038. The cheapest hotels advertized on Priceline are around $35 a night, so the trailer would take a little less than 30 nights to pay for itself (given that there is always an extremely cheap hotel around where the couple wants to stay, which is unlikely).

postheadericon VW Scandal Just Keeps Growing

vw scandalAt this point, everyone with a car radio is following along. Since September, the initial investigation commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation that discovered that Volkswagon programmed its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests has prompted investigations that just keep prompting more VW scandals and investigations. Here’s a timeline of the VW press gift that keeps on giving:

September 18- the United States Environmental Protection Agency publically announces that VW programmed its turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to activate particular emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing. The cheat allowed for the engines’ NOx outputs to seem to be 40 times less than what they actually were. Accordingly, the EPA ordered the recall of 2009-2015 VW vehicles.

September 20- VW admits having deceived the public and apologizes.

September 21- VW’s stock falls by 20%.

September 22- VW announces that around 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with the deceptive software. It prepares to spend $7.4 billion to cover the scandal, including expected recalls. so Stock drops another 17%.winterkorn

September 23- CEO Winterkorn resigns. He takes responsibility for the deceptive software, but also insists that he personally did nothing wrong.

September 25- VW appoints Mathias Mueller as the new CEO.

September 28- German lawyers open an investigation to figure out whether Winkerkorn was personally involved in the scandalous activity. Winkerton is not charged or suspected of having truly been a part of the scandal, but German law does not allow for charges to be brought against a company so it must name an individual to move forward with questioning.

September 29- Volkswagen announces that it has commissioned a third party investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day.

October 1- Hans Dieter Poetsch becomes VW’s new chief financial officer. VW announces that factory workers are losing one shift a week and that its financial series division has ceased all hiring processes.

October 2- VW offers customers a way to check to see if their cars are affected online.

October 7- Mueller announces that the recall of cars with the emissions-cheating software will commence in January with the aims that all cars be fixed by the following year.

hornOctober 8- VW top US executive Michael Horn apologizes to US congress for the scandal.

October 15- German government requires that all VW cars with emissions-cheating software be recalled. In accordance with EU sanctions, 8 million vehicles are recalled across 28 countries.

October 28- VW reports a third quarter loss of $1.83 billion.

November 2- The EPA announces that it found similar emission test-cheating software on additional VW vehicles along with some Audi models and a Porsche model.

So there you have it; right when the recalls and the apologizing seemed to be wrapping up the ugly circumstances, Audi and Porsche get implicated.

How do all of these car companies get away with cheating on these tests? One theory is that copyright law allows for companies to prohibit research on their automotive software. This keeps their cheating habits away from prying eyes unless the EPA sees any reason to get involved. Now that the scandal has implicated multiple car manufacturers, more software testing is sure to take place.

postheadericon SIGNIFICANCE OF AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

Automobile Evolution:

Having a vehicle for transportation and travel is no longer considered as a luxury in today’s world. Every family has a car these days, thanks to the revolution in motor industry as well as to the enormous transformation of technology and mechanisms needed to build them. The automobile industry primarily started to function in the late 18th century for the main purpose of manufacturing horse-free carriages, as people used them in olden days to move around and for travel. To get rid of horses which were used to pull carriages in those days, need came to manufacture motors that would drive the vehicle just like horses used to pull them. It all began in the end of 18th century in the United States of America which was the main producer of locomotives, say almost 90% of the total world production.

Vastness of Automobile Industry:

The current automotive industry is very vast with lot of companies coming up with so many different types of vehicles under the categories called passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The passenger vehicles compromise of cars, vans, jeeps, buses, coaches, shuttles which are mainly used to transport passengers from one location to the other. The commercial vehicles are the light commercial as well as heavy commercial vehicles like trucks, tractors-trailers, semi-trucks, lorry and mini commercial vans that are mainly used to transport goods within different places.

Automobiles – An everyday need:

In today’s highly advanced world, we have become so much dependent on the vehicles for even day-to-day use. Without a vehicle at home or work, nothing seems to move and hence we can never stay away from it. Be it for personal use, business, travel or fun, we all need a vehicle or a good automobile to move around that will take us from one place to the other real fast without any hassles. With so much of supply as well as the competition in the automobile industry, the cost has really become affordable for people coming from all backgrounds and classes. It is hence really hard to imagine ourselves without vehicles as we would be left handicapped.

Automobile – A dream come true for many:

Having an automobile or to be able to buy and keep it is indeed a dream come true for many people who hail from completely simple and humble backgrounds. Many thanks to the automotive industry for evolving so tremendously and rapidly over the centuries. Only USA was the main producer of automobiles but then later on after the 2nd world war, many major players started to emerge in this highly competitive field of business. Some of the major countries like France, Germany, China, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Italy, India and Switzerland rose up to the expectations in manufacturing and exporting many different types of automobiles. The automobile industry is a real huge industry that not only deals with the manufacture and production but also the maintenance and services of the various related components as well. To be more precise, the automobile industry never sleeps and this rapid growth is what keeps it unique amongst its other piers.

postheadericon Buy a car within your budget by Car leasing company

bmw3A car is the best one to make your journey more comfortable and happy manner. There are different types of car model available in the market with different varieties of features which makes the journey happier. Many of the people like to buy the car to show their status high. Lot of youngsters likes to buy BMW 3 series car which is introduced by BMW. The BMW 3 series car is mostly like by sports person. The BMW 3 series is a stylish car which provides a unique feature like consumption of low fuel and impressive dynamics. Everyone like to buy the car but their financial situation act as a barrier for many people restrict to buy the cars in order to overcome this trouble you can buy the car by leasing.

When you buy the BMW 3 series lease, you can save your amount and you can get your favorite car with best rates in the auto industry. Select the experience leasing company to get your lovable in lowest price. Prefer the car lease dealers who is spending more years by staying connect with the car manufacturers company. The car dealer helps you to get the perfect vehicle for you which is completely free from hassles and makes you to enjoy your journey. If you have any queries related to leasing of car you can contact the company either by phone call or e-mail where they clear your doubt what you have and they also helps you to select the latest trendy model of car which suits you.

postheadericon 5 Buying Tips for the First Time Purchaser of a Sports Car

This article willrover1 help a lot for those people who are searching for practical tips to help them purchase a suitable Range Rover Sport. Purchasing a new car could be monetarily stressful for those guys who are on a tight budget. After all, purchasing a sports car is a largest purchase after your home. Being a first time buyer is sufficient to bring you under stress. Basically the idea of making a right purchase deal, making perfect comparisons and asking the right questions to the owner, all this and more is responsible to bring you under pressure. You have to do this in order to get the best value for your money.

What You Want?

What kind of requirements your vehicle is going to fulfill? Are you a big family and need big sitting arrangement? Do you need a 4×4 vehicle? Consider your present and your future requirements before finalizing. Suppose you are going to start a family, then purchasing a sports car may not be the right answer.

Budget

When you are talking to a salesperson, remember it is a part of their training to make you feel that you are in need of the product which they are selling. They will impress it on your mind that you cannot survive without that particular product. That is why it is essential for you to purchase it. Similarly middlemen also do the same; they are also salespersons.

But if you have finalized your budget in advance, then there are fewer chances that you will overspend. A family person must stay away from overspending in order to avoid future financial problems.

Other than this you are also advised to do a market research about the pre-owned vehicles. What are the rates as per models? How to find out the real price of a vehicle no matter what the salesperson is asking for?

rover2Research and Purchase

Suppose you don’t know who is in the business of pre-owned vehicles. No need to worry about, you can always use Google to answer your queries. Find a broker in your area or a car service to help you in your purchase deal. Remember, there is a big difference between the list price and the purchase price of an old vehicle.

Negotiate

Don’t feel bad while negotiating. I have seen many guys who feel shy while negotiating. But as a purchaser it is not only your right, it is your duty to ask for concession. If you feel yourself unable to judge the right value of the car, then you can take an expert from the from the car service center to guide you in the process. When buying a used car there is always a room for negotiations. It is on your guts as how much you can lower the price of Range Rover Sport?

Test Drive

Everyone handles his vehicle in a different manner. So when purchasing a used car it becomes imperative on your part to ask for a test drive. Do not forget to go on a test drive with your friend or a mechanic who can check the technical details of the car. Definitely you will make the right purchase deal if you follow the above tips.

postheadericon Benefits of a Motorcycle Over a Car

bikes1Chances are you need to get around and you need to do it fast. While I’m sure a large portion of people would love to do away with their gas powered mode of transportation and replace it with a bicycle. You don’t have to worry about gas, barely have to worry about maintenance costs (and even if you do, they’re so cheap it’s virtually free) and you get exercise while you do it.

Unfortunately, having a bicycle as your primary mode of transportation probably isn’t for you. However, there is an oft-overlooked alternative that can combine the best of both worlds and that is doing away with unnecessarily large cars and instead looking towards motor bikes.

Sure, it may sound impractical at first but let’s take a deeper dive into why having a motorcycle, as your primary mode of transportation may be a better bet.

Cost

Right off the bat is the cost. Cars are expensive with many newer models going for well over $20,000. Depending on which motorcycle you choose, you will be able to get a brand new bike for much closer to $10,000 immediately putting $10,000 in your pocket that would have been spent on a new car. Not only are they cheaper to buy, but they’re also cheaper to maintain as well due to the fact that motorcycles have less moving parts than vehicles. These two points combined make it obvious that a motorcycle is a much cheaper alternative and our next point reinforces that.

Gas

bikes2Gas may be at a somewhat low price point right now; they will inevitably climb which is something you should always take into consideration. While vehicles are getting better with gas mileage, they are no competition compared to a motorcycle. The reason for this is obvious: smaller engines means less gas. Motorcycles can get away with a smaller engine while maintaining comparable speeds due to the fact that they are much lighter than your standard car. Thus, the benefits here are extremely apparent. If gas prices stay low, you can reap the benefits of being able to get around for extremely cheap. Alternatively, once gas prices presumably rise, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank every time you fill up your tank. It’s a win with scenario.

Versatility

Finally, there is the versatility of motor bikes that comes as a sort of double-edged sword. It’s easy to see that motorcycles have a much smaller footprint than cars meaning they can get around much easier. Motorcycle owners proudly tout the fact that finding a parking spot is a breeze as you can park in even the smallest of spaces where as cars need a full parking spot. On the flip side, your standard vehicle is much easier (not to mention safer) to drive in different types of weather. Snow, for example, is probably something you’re never going to want to drive a motorcycle in, as the only thing that will give you is a one-way ticket to the hospital. Luckily, if you live in an environment that doesn’t experience snow, you won’t have to worry about this at all but it is definitely something to take into consideration before making a purchase.

postheadericon Options for Buying a New Car

buying1No matter how you slice it, buying a new car is expensive and can be quite the burden for those who are already struggling with their finances. However, if you’ve ever bought a used car you’re sure to know of the problems. Endless repairs, constantly being unable to get where you need to go on time due to breakdowns and more will do nothing but lead to headaches. This point alone is why many people strive to purchase a brand new car so they know exactly what they’re getting and exactly what’s been done to the car.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, buying a new car is an intimidating task due to the price tag. You would be hard pressed to find a brand new vehicle for much less that $17,000. When you factor in your rent or mortgage and any other bills you may have, dropping such an amount of cash may not be in the books. Luckily, dealerships offer many different ways for you to buy your automobile, one of which is surely to fit into your plans. Lets look at the pros and cons of each to make it easier to decide which is right for you.

Buying With Cash

Most obviously, there is the cash method. This involves writing a check, charging your debit card or walking into the car dealership with a load of cash. If feasible, this is undoubtedly the best way to purchase a new vehicle. You don’t have to worry about interest rates, monthly payments or making sure you don’t go over your yearly mileage. On the flip side, being able to buy a car in cash requires you to actually have that cash readily available and able to be spent. For those who don’t have such an option, dealerships offer more practical packages for purchasing a car.

Financing

buying2If you’re one who wants some of the benefits of purchasing a car in cash but don’t have the full amount to drop, financing is for you. For those not aware, financing involves taking out a loan for your new vehicle and paying it off every month. The benefits of this, quite obviously, are that you get to own the car but don’t have to pay the full amount upfront. The downside is that you’re going to have the pay your bill on time every month and you have to worry about interest rates. If you have great credit you don’t have much to worry about, as dealerships have been known to offer interest rates less than 2%.

Leasing

Finally, there is the lease option. Leasing is a much more restricted method of purchasing a vehicle as you’re not really purchasing it at all. Instead, leasing is more similar to renting a vehicle for a long period of time. The benefits of leasing an automobile include lower monthly payments than would be provided with the financing option. Not only that, but you also have the luxury of getting a brand new car every 3 years (depending on the terms of your lease) and don’t have to worry about maintenance as dealerships will take care of it. Unfortunately, leasing isn’t all daisies, as you have to watch your mileage. If you go over your yearly mileage you will be met with quite the bill at the end of your lease. But, if you’re someone who wants a brand new car, doesn’t want to pay cash and doesn’t drive much, leasing is a great alternative to financing or buying with cash.