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14 posts from February 2013

February 27, 2013

Ford Brings National Teen Safe Driving Tour to Los Angeles

4397Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has launched the California portion of its national tour, a teen-safe driving initiative designed to engage teens and parents and provide hands-on training to high school students in San Diego and Los Angeles.

The program – aimed at combating the driver inexperience that leads to the number one killer of teens, vehicle crashes – also includes Web-based training and educational materials. Nearly 3,000 teens, ages 15-19, are killed on American roads each year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The number of motor vehicle fatalities among teens in California age 16 to 20 has decreased 56.5 percent, from 563 in 2006 to 245 in 2010.  While these numbers were on the decline, officials worry that the increase in overall traffic fatalities in 2011 may eventually be seen in teen deaths.

“The Office of Traffic Safety recognizes the importance of continued safety messaging, as each year more teens receive both driving permits and licenses in California,” said Chris Murphy, Director of OTS.

In Los Angeles, the tour will offer safety assemblies at Fremont Magnet High School, Marquez High School, St. Mary’s Preparatory High School, Ribet Academy, Lou Dantzler Preparatory High School, St. Matthias High School and Narbonne High School as well as three days of hands-on driving experience at Hollywood Park on March 1-3, 2013.

Participants can register for this free, hands-on training event by visiting www.drivingskillsforlife.com.

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February 25, 2013

Kia Shows off Two Updated Models with More for Your Money

Sorento-1For its fourth birthday as a unibody crossover SUV, the Kia Sorento is getting the equivalent of a pony, a piñata party and a wardrobe of amazing new clothes all at once. Among its gifts: a completely new chassis, a new V6 engine, a redesigned interior and some vamped-up, top-of-the-line features including an entirely new high-end trim line. Kia wants to be known for design, safety and value.

  The Sorento’s facelift freshens its design, while inside you’ll find improved conveniences, upgraded materials and more amenities. A top IIHS safety pick, Sorento seats five or seven (there are 2-row and 3-row versions), and comes in front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models that start at $24,950, including destination charges. In case you have not noticed, there are a lot of vehicles in the competitive compact and medium-sized utility vehicle (CUV) segment – and they start to all look alike after awhile. Although Sorento doesn’t look radically different from its contemporaries, it has a few distinctive features that help it stand apart. Among them: a beefy grille and deep front air dam with black hexagonal grille inset behind chrome trim. Vertically set rectangular fog lamps offset sleek, slanted headlamps.

The rear end sits high and is capped at the bottom by a kickplate with a sweet-looking oval tailpipe.

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February 22, 2013

Car Care Council Tips Help Save Money as Gas Prices Near $4

500x166xBCCA_Color_0.jpg.pagespeed.ic.MKZ1_oepCfConsumers’ pain at the pump is back with gas prices rising for 33 consecutive days according to the Washington Post and the average price of gas moving closer to $4 per gallon. No need to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips can help alleviate the pain.

“You can’t control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by performing proper maintenance and how you drive. Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 per year in gas costs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council offers these gas-saving maintenance tips:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
  • Improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency. The council offers these gas saving driving tips:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 50 mph. Each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy up to 2 percent.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

February 20, 2013

The 2013 Chicago Auto Show: The Windy City’s Annual Show is Top for Consumers

CAS_2013_LOGO_330Auto shows have a personality and the Chicago Auto Show is described by automakers and autowriters as a “down-home” show—and they love it! There’s even an event sponsored by all the automakers for the press and other early attendees called “Sweet Home Chicago”! But, don’t let its slower pace and more comfortable setting make you think it’s small. In fact, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and this year’s show marked the 105th annual event, which makes it the longest-running and one of the best-attended shows in the world. Sponsored by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association dealers, the show is held at the McCormick Place Convention Complex where the enormous amount of space on hand brings an ease for car makers to offer free concerts and set up experiential test tracks. There’s also a ‘social media day’ now held annually that draws a wide variety of presenters and consumers to come together to evaluate and promote this new landscape and its effect on the automotive industry. AskPatty.com was one of the presenters this year, helping to showcase the exciting and rapidly-growing arena of Marketing to Women.

But, at the end of the day, an auto show is really about new sheet metal and the introductions of new models soon to hit the streets along with the unveiling of concept vehicles that are experiments in design and technology and are meant to take the temperature of the audience, plus help automakers make decisions about whether to move forward with a particular model or technology. There were a number of both-new models that will be in dealerships soon and a few hot concepts. My personal favorites were the 2014 Toyota Tundra, the 2014 Ram Promaster, the 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO and Nissan NV200, and the Kia Crossover CUT Concept.

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February 18, 2013

Costco Auto Buying Program offers big deals on GM products

CostcoThe Costco Auto Program today announced the outcome of its most-recent offer with General Motors. Preliminary sales results for the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer indicate the number of eligible vehicles sold is more than 15,000 – nearly triple the final sales results of last winter’s promotional offer from the Costco Auto Program and GM. The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer took place Oct. 2, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013.

During the promotional period, Costco members were able to purchase select 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models at GM Preferred Pricing, in addition to receiving all publicly available rebates and incentives. Moreover, Costco members who made an eligible purchase qualified to receive a $500 Costco Cash Card after completing a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey. “The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer exceeded our expectations but we’re not surprised by it,” said John Gleason, Costco Services Manager. “Costco makes every effort to ensure members receive a great value and exceptional service".

The results clearly show our members recognize the great values the Costco Auto Program delivers.” The Costco Auto Program attributes the offer’s overall success to several factors; including, the diverse selection and popularity of eligible vehicles, comprehensive messaging to Costco members, national public relations efforts and word-of-mouth.

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February 15, 2013

Video: AskPatty Social Media panel at the Chicago Auto Show

Women mean business!  AskPatty's Sue Mead speaking at the M2W Social Media Panel at the Chicago Auto Show:

 

A Tire Adventure in N’awlins

Amy and bibThis past December I received an email that at first I thought was a hoax. It was an invitation from Michelin Tire to be part of their ‘Influencer Community’. They wanted to send me to the NOLA Motorsport Park in New Orleans where I would test drive their new ‘Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3’ ultra-high performance all-season tires that will be available May 2013. Without even looking at my schedule I replied: “YES!” and immediately started packing my suitcase.

I always enjoy driving cars on test tracks under extreme driving conditions. Experience has taught me that tires are the most important part of a vehicle that keeps you safely on the road. If tires are worn, warped, not balanced, or are the wrong type of tire for current driving conditions, you are taking a huge risk. Think about this: you can be driving a car with a fresh tune-up, new brakes, four wheel drive, traction control, and every other automotive widget known to mankind, but if your tires are inferior, you could get into an accident. If you are lucky your fender bender would only damage your vehicle, but there is the possibility you could wreck someone else’s car or worse yet hurt yourself or another person.

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February 14, 2013

Happily Ever After With Your Car

CarcareorgIf you want to add more years to the relationship between you and your car, give it a little extra attention this Valentine’s Day in the form of an oil change, tune-up or other loving service to make sure it runs happily ever after. Just a little extra care can lead to a longer life for your car, says the Car Care Council.

“There’s no debating the value of preventive maintenance to keep your car running efficiently.By giving your vehicle a little more attention now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unexpected expense of car trouble down the road,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends you treat your car to regular care this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.
  • Change the oil and filter per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.
  • Check the tire pressure monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.
  • Have the alignment checked annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.
  • Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

February 13, 2013

AskPatty's Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Car Lovers

TrueCar_Valentines-day-gift-guide

Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift? We've assembled a fun assortment of automotive-focused products sure to make your Valentine's Day fun and special -- and some of them even offer special discounts for AskPatty readers! Whether you're looking for Valentine's Day gifts for him or her, we've selected a variety of items that are perfect for the car lover you love to love. If you want to express your Valentine's Day love in an automotive way, there's something in here for everyone! Valentine's day is just around the corner, so shop now to get your gifts in time.

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February 11, 2013

Chicago Auto Show Brings the Bling

The Nation's longest running auto show in Chicago opened it's doors for a media preview of this year's latest and upcoming redesigned and brand new models.  Here is  a sneak peek at what we saw at this years show:

Jaguar introduced their latest XJ and XF models which will feature AWD 3.0 Liter V6 engines. The XF will also be available in RWD and XFR-S. The XFR-S is 550 hp and, "is one serious motorcar," said Jaguar and Land Rover President, Andy Goss. Meanwhile the manufacturer also introduced their fourth generation Range Rover which will feature an all aluminum body. "Everything about this Range Rover is new except the engine," Goss added. They will also be releasing a two seater F-type sports car, "which is our most important new car we have released in many years." 

KiaAlso in the new car mix is Kia who introduced a very svelte concept crossover and their new Superhero, DC Comics inspired line.  Michael Sprague Executive VP of Kia's Marketing and Communications gave a glimpse of models with superhero paint, logos, and trims. The Optima Hybrid and Sorento will be available in this line and Kia's  'hero' theme ties in with their  Builtforjustice.com program which helps those located in the Horn of Africa. Kia will also have, "seven all new significantly redesigned vehicles to go on sale this year," Sprague said. The Kia Forte is one of those redesigns which will be available in March. The Forte will offer two trims and will be a turbo charged compact which features 201 hp. 

Nissan's VP Joe Castelli introduced the manufacturer's expansion of their Nismo option which now includes a Juke Nismo and 370 Z Nismo. There will also be a Nissan GTR track edition which will sell 150 units.  This highly anticipated GTR track edition will feature an even greater level of high performance components. 

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