Step back in time with me if you would, about 20 years to be precise, to an era when automaker General Motors was busy making plans for their all new company, Saturn. This wasnt to be just another GM division mind you as Saturn was created as a separate import fighting company meant to take on the likes of Toyota and Honda. By 1990, the first Saturn cars rolled off a bucolic Tennessee countryside assembly line signaling a new cooperation between workers and management. Immediately, the funky little S Series of sedans, wagons, and coupes were a hit and GM was soon lauded for taking a bold initiative.Today, Saturn is much different from the brand that took on Japans top automakers. Instead of being a separate, wholly owned car company the make is now one of General Motors many automotive divisions. The S Series sold well and the introduction of subsequent models helped the brand, but ultimately parent GM decided to pull the company within the Generals fold as it chose to close down Oldsmobile instead. Current models being sold by Saturn are much different from what was originally offered, but the company has managed to keep one huge attribute that originally propelled the brand forward: people are first. Lets take a look at Saturns current line up and the vehicles soon to be introduced.ION After a decade of service, the S Series was retired in favor of the comparably sized ION. Unlike the S Series, the ION does not include a wagon, but it does include a four door coupe and sedan. Unfortunately, the car is not very competitive with similar models and GM is looking at an Opel-inspired car to take its place by the end of this decade.VUE A recent makeover has kept the VUE, Saturns small SUV, competitive. In addition, a pending hybrid model is expected to strengthen the line and talk of an all new compact model showing up in 2009 has the auto world abuzz.RELAY Saturns first minivan is a clone to models sold by Chevrolet and Buick. Unlike earlier Saturn models which featured polymer side impact panels [to limit dents], the RELAY is all sheet metal and simply a copy of other divisions vehicles. Still, the RELAY has filled an important hole in the Saturn line up by offering a larger vehicle for loyal Saturn owners.SKY Forget what you might have thought about Saturn previously. The SKY roadster is a hit for one big reason: it is absolutely sexy. Sharing components with the Pontiac Solstice, the SKY has radically transformed the brands image all by itself. Priced under $25,000, the SKY is competitive with the Mazda Miata and is a low cost alternative to the BMW Z4.AURA Another vehicle built to battle the divisions bland image, the AURA steps in to the midsize category replacing the L Series which was discontinued two years earlier. Based on GMs Epsilon platform, the AURA borrows heavily from GMs German division -- Opel while incorporating a style and design that favors the Saturn SKY.OUTLOOK To be introduced before the end of 2006, the OUTLOOK will be Saturns first bigger SUV. Although considered to be a crossover by many, the OUTLOOK is a 7 passenger SUV meant to complement the smaller VUE. With the addition of the OUTLOOK in the Saturn fold, GM will take a break before tinkering with the Saturn line up.Truly, Saturn of 2007 will look much different from Saturn of the 1990s. For years, Saturn dealers were content to sell only one model the S Series but todays Saturn is going well beyond all of that. With a hybrid VUE in the line up and other variations of existing models also being planned, the once spartan Saturn line up is nearly filled to capacity. This is great news for Saturn loyalists looking for choices beyond the base models and a promise that GM is investing money in its import fighting division.
Power, speed and performance those are the three major traits of a muscle car. When first produced, muscle cars were just pretty darn amazing because they combined the efficiency of a lightweight, mid-sized body with the performance of a high-power V8 engine and special design features that further increased the cars acceleration capabilities. Because muscle cars topped all other vehicles in terms of power, speed and performance, they were ideal for racing. Muscle cars were produced from the mid-1960s into the early 1970s, but the production of such beasts fell drastically due to a number of factors. First was the controversy over whether it was wise and responsible to make such powerful vehicles available to the general public, primarily due to road racing. Because muscle cars were often used irresponsibly, liability relating to them was pretty high which forced insurance companies to increase rates for insuring muscle cars. Emission control requirements intended to curb pollution also played into the picture making it near impossible for automakers to produce muscle cars that met the standards they had to adhere to. Needless to say, the muscle car industry changed quickly due to these influences. Demand decreased because many would-be buyers of muscle cars couldnt fathom paying the enormous insurance rates for a high-power vehicle and automakers had to meet the challenges presented by pollution control standards. Since muscle cars were produced for a limited number of years, they are valuable items for collectors and are still highly desirable to those who enjoy racing or desire a quick, powerful, mid-sized car. Since the decline in the production of muscle cars, some automakers have attempted to bring the muscle car era back to life by producing powerful vehicles that resemble the legendary muscle cars, but in my opinion, they dont hold a candle to classic muscle cars like the GTO, the Road Runner or the Chevelle SS. It will be interesting to see how the history of muscle cars plays out. Will present day automakers renew production of true muscle cars that are fast and powerful? Will there be enough demand to make muscle car production worth it to them? Or, will muscle cars continue to be limited to those classic models that were produced in the 60s and 70s? Classic muscle cars are pretty amazing pieces of machinery. One that is restored and in cherry condition is really worth a lot of money. As time goes on, there are fewer muscle cars available which makes them even more valuable to classic car collectors and muscle car enthusiasts.
You may not notice it but the carpets in your cars interior seem to be one of the dirtiest parts of your vehicle. Just imagine how many pairs of feet trudge on it everyday. Just count how many times they did become the location of food bits and food wrappers. Also keep in mind how many times did these carpets become the target of spilled drinks. It is not surprising if you would find your carpet all dirty. Dirty is not quite an issue. The difficult thing to attend to would be if your cars carpets have become stained because of everything that has come in contact with it. If you consider this to be quite a difficult task, remember that the more you keep the task of cleaning them aside, the more difficult it would be to take the stains out. All it takes are a couple of easy steps to clean your carpets and make them stain-free. You should first remove the floor mat of your vehicle. Sometimes, stains also dwell here. Blot and scrape away any residue of whatever is staining your carpet. You can use a hard plastic spatula or plastic knife to remove any residue still left hanging on the carpet and on the floor mat. The rule of the thumb is to try the most gentle of all solutions first in cleaning these mats and carpets. If you can do away with warm water, then go ahead. However, if this does not do the trick, you can try using mild soap. Just let your solutions sit on the stain first for a couple of minutes to let the stain soften up and then wipe it away after. Keep in mind though that there still are stains that are hard to remove. If after trying everything out and the stain still remains, it is not wrong to
For many consumers, the costs associated with owning and operating a car continue to rise. Fuel prices, insurance rates and car maintenance expenses have all gone up in recent years. Thankfully, you don't have to alter your driving habits or buy a new car to get some relief. Here are some quick, inexpensive, easy ways to save money:• Mind the air to save money on fuel--The U.S. Energy Department reports that underinflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 percent. One study estimates that 50 to 80 percent of the tires rolling on U.S. roads are underinflated. Astonishingly, Americans could save up to two billion gallons of gas each year simply by properly inflating their tires.Secondly, a clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so replacing dirty filters will save gas and protect your engine. More tips to save money on fuel are available at www.fueleconomy. gov.• Get slick to reduce maintenance costs--There are high-performance motor oils that can make meaningful improvements to a car's fuel economy and engine life. For instance, numerous independent studies have found that Royal Purple motor oil can improve fuel economy by 5 percent or more. Find out more at their Web site, www.royalpurple.com.Using a high-performance synthetic motor oil, as opposed to conventional oil, also allows for more miles between oil changes. This reduces maintenance costs and the amount of time spent on maintenance. You'll pay a little more for premium motor oil, but the savings in fuel and reduced maintenance costs more than make up for the higher price. • Reduce your insurance costs by doing your homework--One of the simplest ways to reduce insurance costs is to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. The state insurance regulator may also provide price comparisons. Other ways to reduce insurance costs can be found by visiting the U.S. Insurance Information Institute's Web site at www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/cars/autoinsu/autoinsu.htm.An astute consumer can save hundreds of dollars a year on automotive expenses without buying a new car or changing lifestyle. All it takes is a little time, research and the choice of better-performing products.There are a number of ways to reduce the costs associated with owning a car.
Want to squeeze every bit of power out of your vehicle's engine? Grabbing a high-performance air intake is the quick and easy route to several benefits, including:An instant increase in horsepower A noticeable boost to your throttle response Improved fuel economy A long-life, washable performance air filter Specialized engineering that's fine-tuned to your specific vehicle Straightforward, simple installation virtually anyone can complete Horsepower increase from a performance air intakeAs your new performance intake draws in a higher volume of air which may be much cooler, your engine can breathe easier than with a limiting stock system. With your combustion chamber filled by cooler, oxygen-rich air, fuel burns at a more efficient mixture. You get more power out of every drop of fuel when it's combined with the right amount of air.With more air in the chamber, you can also burn more fuel than before. That's how a performance intake puts power at the pedal for you: reducing air temperatures, balancing fuel mixtures and providing more air for combustion.Performance air intakes and boosted throttle responseWith more air and cooler air ready and waiting for combustion, your engine's response at stoplights and freeway onramps quickens. Stock intakes often deliver warmer, fuel-rich combustion mixtures that cause your engine to lose power and responsiveness while running hotter and more sluggishly.The difference in responsiveness isn't just noticeable; you can literally feel it in the seat of your pants. With a free-breathing intake system attached to your throttle body, your engine is literally inviting you to punch it.Fuel economy with a performance air intakeYou're probably guessing that extra power, cooler temperatures and improved gas mileage can't all come from the same product. Guess again! Performance air intakes can help your fuel economy in this wallet-gouging, price-per-gallon era by helping your air to fuel ratio get in line. Because you're getting more power from every drop by burning more efficiently, your engine uses less fuel at all times - city or highway. On average, drivers will see a 1-2mpg improvement.There's a catch, though. Many drivers trade their limiting air intake for a performance air intake and can't resist using every bit of the horsepower and throttle gains. They'll drive like mad to the grocery store. They might peel-out at stoplights. Or even race the cops. It's called hard driving, and it's the fastest way to burn-up the gas mileage improvements provided by a performance air intake. Your best bet is to keep your driving habits relatively unchanged, enjoy the extra power at the pedal, and collect on the gas mileage savings.Expert engineering of an air intake systemThis isn't a piece of drainage pipe with a filter on the end. Air intake systems employ specially-shaped intake tubes designed to straighten airflow as much as possible while looking great in your engine compartment. These pipes are typically mandrel-bent, a process that doesn't crimp the pipe diameter at the bend.Special care is given to locating the intake tube, air box and filter in the position that best fosters maximum performance. The materials used are also selected with optimum engine conditions in mind.The fundamentals of installing a performance air intake on your vehicleNot only is a performance air intake one of the most essential upgrades to your vehicle, it happens to be one of the easiest additions to install. With little more than a common socket set, a couple of screwdrivers and half an hour's time, you can have your new air intake in place and ready to roar.Detailed instructions are included with every intake kit. These instructions go through the simple process of removing your stock intake system (including the tube and air box), and installing the new air intake in just a few minutes to stock mounting positions. No cutting, drilling or other modifications are required. What you do with your limiting stock intake next is, well, up to you.