AskPatty Certified Female Friendly Logo

« August 2012 | Main | October 2012 »

20 posts from September 2012

September 28, 2012

Follow These Simple Care Tips To Make Your Car Last

HappyCarGirl2319862Even if you know nothing about cars, you can easily perform basic enough car care to keep your vehicle rolling seamlessly down the road for years. Hands-on learning is always an option and you can do a bunch of it at the upcoming International Auto Show. The show tours the country, stopping in towns from Orlando to Phoenix and offers a lineup of showcase-worthy vehicles you can bet are well maintained. The show hits the Phoenix Convention Center Nov. 22 to 25.

You may also be able to glean additional car care tips from used auto spots. Places like used Nissan dealerships in AZ can show you how to care for older vehicles that can work like new if they’ve been properly treated. Used car dealerships may also be a place to make a nifty profit if you want to sell your own used car and you’ve been treating it with the attention it deserves. Giving your car proper attention means paying attention to some simple car care tips.

Continue reading "Follow These Simple Care Tips To Make Your Car Last" »

September 27, 2012

First Drive: Chevy's New Spark Ignites Fun

119_3761Funky, youthful Venice Beach is not a usual destination for an automotive event. But that is where Chevrolet's marketing team chose to introduce the latest addition to their line of small vehicles: the Chevy Spark.

The location was chosen to reflect the young, urban city dwellers the company is targeting for the new mini car. Its dimunitive size, aerodynamic design and array of zingy colors make a statement: that the Spark is not your mother's Chevrolet.

The Chevy Spark is based on the Beat concept car that was introduced at the 2007 New York Auto Show

119_3762Most of all, the folks at Chevy really want you to know that the Spark is FUN -- like "We Are Young," the hit anthem that was featured in the company's advertising earlier this year. (And as if to underline the theme, that song is by a band called -- FUN.)

Best of all, the Spark rounds out Chevrolet's portfolio of small cars that start for under $20,000 (the other two are the Sonic and the Cruze). Chevy Spark Marketing Manager Michael Weidman noted that the new mini car is in a segment with just a few competitors, including the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Smartfortwo.

Continue reading "First Drive: Chevy's New Spark Ignites Fun" »

September 26, 2012

Infographic: Ticket? Uh-Oh. Now what?

TIcketAnother great infographic emerged this week on, this time about a subject we may not like to think about, but one that we all have to face sooner or later:  Getting a traffic ticket.  This graphic (which has a super-cool design, by the way) shows us all of the many, many offenses for which we may find ourselves the proud owner of a new citation, and what's more - lets you know what you can expect to happen to your insurance premium as a result.  Not a popular subject, but take a look, and hopefully this lovely graphic will help you keep yourself (and others) safe on the road - and your premiums at a minimum.

Hit the jump to see the whole graphic.

Continue reading "Infographic: Ticket? Uh-Oh. Now what?" »

September 25, 2012

Bridgestone Hosts Inaugural Event for Female Journalists

AcademyWhen I received an invitation to attend Bridgestone’s Indy Racing Academy (Driver Development Center) in Toronto Canada I felt electric excitement (and a little disbelief) that I had been invited (along with nine other female journalists) to attend what to me, was  my ultimate dream come true.

After receiving the invitation the first two people I would have loved to share this exciting news with was my father and my grandfather – unfortunately both had passed within the last year.  My dad and grandpa loved cars, were pilots, and both would be really proud (and just as excited as I was) to have heard about my invitation.  My dad would have been especially stoked because he loved to race cars – more specifically drag race.

So in an effort to honor my dad I decided to put on a special piece of jewelry and call my step mom.  I not only wanted to tell her the news about my racing school (dream) invitation but to also inspire her.   “In honor of dad I am going to wear my butterfly (pendant) necklace (he gave me a few Christmas ago) while driving the Indy car,” I told her.  “That way (when I’m driving) it will be like dad is flying around the track with me,” I added.  Of course an emotional female moment ensued -  but it was all good..

Continue reading "Bridgestone Hosts Inaugural Event for Female Journalists" »

September 24, 2012

Car Trouble? Get More Than One Opinion!

Shady-mechanicsCar trouble can strike anytime and anywhere. Whether you have an older vehicle or one that was purchased just a short time ago, you’ll find that problems crop up when you are least prepared for them. Chances are good that your first instinct is going to be to take your car to a mechanic shop to have the problem repaired or diagnosed. While that’s fine, you shouldn’t stop there. When you go to a doctor for a serious health problem, you get a second opinion. The same should be done for your car’s health. Why should you worry about getting more than one opinion?

Are They Telling You the Truth?

While it would be nice to assume that all mechanics are honest and trustworthy, that’s not the case (it’s not the case in any industry). When car trouble strikes, getting a second opinion from another expert will help ensure that you’re not being taken for a ride, so to speak. While your original mechanic might not be outright lying to you, they might be adding on extra things that don’t necessarily need to be done right away. Getting a second opinion allows you to get at the truth of the situation.

Continue reading "Car Trouble? Get More Than One Opinion!" »

September 21, 2012

Playing It Safe at over 100 MPH in the Seat Time Media Challenge

SeattimeSeat Time had its Inaugural Sim-Driving: Seat Time Media Challenge this August. They are Southern California's premier simulator center and offer both driving and flying simulator experiences.

I went in and had training by a professional Seat Time instructor who guided me through the course a couple of times before leaving me to try for the best time I could get on the simulated track. Being in a Mazda Miata was a lot of fun because it allowed me to go fast through curves and pull out of them quickly and swiftly.

SimulatorI was worried about my time, thinking that it was awful! But, after I had finished my seat time (30 minutes) I spoke with the professional instructor and he was impressed with my fastest time around the track, in fact, I was in first place (because no one else had made it yet to their seat time.) My fastest time around the track was 2 minutes 27 seconds.

The atmosphere there is specifically geared toward the serious gamer or the serious trainer. The seats move, there are three screens built into each chair so that it seems like you are really on the track, and there are even five point seatbelts integrated into the seats. The steering wheel responds stiffly, similar to really driving a car (as opposed to playing a racing video game.)

I got to Sim-drive a 2012 race spec Mazda Miata on the world renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I went over 100MPH to get my quick time and stayed safe doing it!


Sherice Bellefueille

September 20, 2012

Collision Repair and the Careful Owner

Car-accident-ford-fiesta-truecar-pricingMy car was sandwiched in a freeway accident last year that caused about $7000 worth of damage to the front and rear of my practically brand-new Ford Fiesta. My car was in the shop for six weeks and received three paint jobs while they desperately tried to match its Blaze Yellow tricoat. They repaired it without that annoying paint "flop" that makes some body parts appear darker than others from different angles, but a year later, I still can't walk up to my car without noticing one particular flaw: a chip in the paint at the edge of the bumper that didn't seem like it was worth worrying about when I picked up the car from the repair shop, but has bugged me ever since.

Continue reading "Collision Repair and the Careful Owner " »

September 19, 2012

The New Hybrid Buzz: Priced Low, the 2013 Ford C-MAX Gets High Fuel Economy

P1010261“We have a million leaves,” yelled my driving partner, Linda Water-Nelson, of Austin, Texas. It was a slight exaggeration about the number (it was a lot, but not a million!), however, there was no exaggeration about seeing the appealing graphic of bunches of falling leaves in the gauge cluster of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. We felt as if we had hit the jackpot during a 19.7 mile test drive loop of this all-new compact gas/electric vehicle from the Blue Oval automaker. We had been told to expect approximately 47 miles to the gallon and, yet, with thoughtful driving and no air conditioning on (we powered the windows down at every stop to let the breeze blow through!), we achieved 60 mpg! (see photo).
Malibu BeachFord’s 2013 C-MAX Hybrid boasts more room, more horsepower, better fuel economy and more than a dozen class-exclusive features than its Japanese rival—the Toyota Prius v. Positioned as head-to-head competitors, the “v” is a small-sized, minivan-like auto that was added to Toyota’s highly-regarded hybrid lineup this year. Ford claims a 570-mile range, almost two cubic feet more interior space, and a $1,300 lower price tag than this Prius model. C-Max is on sale now and is priced starting at $25, 995; Ford calls it a 5-door Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV).

Continue reading "The New Hybrid Buzz: Priced Low, the 2013 Ford C-MAX Gets High Fuel Economy" »

September 18, 2012

First Drive: Ford's New CMAX Hybrid

CMAX_400This fall, Ford is debuting their new hybrid vehicle, the CMAX - and we had our first opportunity to drive it at an event in Los Angeles last month.

Personally, I had been dying to get behind the wheel of this thing since I saw its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show in 2011

The first thing you notice about CMAX is its unusual shape. I wasn't sure how to describe it. When it was unveiled last year in Detroit, Ford called it a "people mover," which struck me as a very British designation (these are the same people who refer to strollers as "push chairs" and elevators as "lifts"). So I was not surprised that the American version is being marketed as a "multi-purpose vehicle"(or MPV), although I have also seen it categorized as a "crossover utility vehicle" (CUV).

Ford is positioning the CMAX hybrid to compete tire-to-tire with Toyota's Prius V. There is a lot of similarity between the vehicles: both are hybrids (with CMAX boasting 46 mpg in both city AND highway driving), both seat five comfortably with plenty of configurable cargo space and both feature some of their manufacturers' most advanced technology.

Continue reading "First Drive: Ford's New CMAX Hybrid" »

September 17, 2012

This Malibu Mom's No Crash Test Dummy

Moms-of-malibuForgive me for the wacky title, I just couldn't resist.  I follow the "Faces of GM" videos fairly regularly, and whenever they feature an employee I think you'll get a kick out of, I always try to share.  This one's about Julie Kleinert, one of the Malibu Moms: she helped develop the 2013 Malibu and proudly points to little things making child safety simpler for parents, and big things, like advanced crash dummies, that make child passengers safer.

It's no secret that the crash test side of GM has long been a fascination of mine.  I've written about it here on several occasions, and this time is no exception.  I think these engineers - both male and female, mind you - have pretty much the coolest job in the world.  Julie and the rest of the Malibu Moms:  You go, girls!

Check out the video past the jump.

Continue reading "This Malibu Mom's No Crash Test Dummy" »

comments powered by Disqus

Find Cars For Sale

Car Advice

Ask The Experts!

Help Our Charities