Hybrid vehicles represent the wave of the future. For those of us who are still unclear as to what a hybrid is, the concept is fairly simple: it uses two or more power or fuel sources to drive an engine. In most of the vehicles presently being marketed the mix of power sources is electricity and standard gasoline.
Benefits of this combination include greater fuel efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gasses and emissions. Presently, most major car companies offer at least one version of a hybrid vehicle. Among the most popular on the market today are the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic. However, due to the popularity of SUVs in the United States, hybrid SUVs such as the Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander and the Chevy Tahoe are also currently available.
While hybrid cars represent a number of environmental benefits for their earth conscious buyers, they are not without drawbacks. Many hybrid cars run with significantly reduced horse power making them seem less responsive or powerful on the road. Additionally, the technologies that make hybrid automobiles eco-friendly can also cost their owners significantly more in routine maintenance than traditional gas-only vehicles. As hybrid technologies improve the issues surrounding the performance of hybrid cars should also improve, making hybrid vehicles an even more appealing option for the general public.
Presently, car companies are working hard to expand their offerings of hybrid vehicles. Several technologies and green energy solutions are presently being developed, (including fuel cells, hydra fuel cells, and bio-fuels), to help improve the efficiency of hybrid vehicles. Toyota Motor Corporation, for example, plans to have plug-in electric hybrid cars ready to market by 2012. These plug-in hybrid vehicles could improve fuel economy by as much as sixty percent and will further improve both the marketability and efficiency of hybrid vehicles.
As we move into the future, more and more car companies are developing technology to help reduce our nation’s reliance on oil through hybrid, alternative and green energy vehicles. Although hybrid cars are still in their fledgling state, their development, marketability, and popularity represent a promising future for the hybrid automobile market.
While a majority of families are satisfied with the usual five seated car for their spouse and children, there are a few families out there who simply need more room in their vehicle. Certain car manufacturers are aware of this increasing problem and have taken the initiative to make cars with a couple more seats for those extra family members.
There are a few
The SUV lookalike Ford Taurus X seats seven passengers as well. Unfortunately, it ended production less than a year ago due to not selling well against the Ford Flex, which also seats seven people. However, they may still be available at used car lots without worries of the car breaking down; after all, the car is still fairly young!
For those who are looking for a more truck-like vehicle instead of a sedan, there are a few options available to you as well. There is the Chrysler Town and Country All-Wheel Drive, Suzuki XL7, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey and Volvo XC90. To go one step farther, should you happen to need an eighth seat, Honda also makes a Pilot, which is based on the Odyssey but with that extra seat.
To reiterate, there are many options available to families who need those extra couple of seats.
“Oh no, now I’ve done it.” You have just applied to much paint and created huge sagging paint globs to your once perfect model. That perfect contest winning finish you were hoping for is now a disaster.
All is not lost however. You can fix just about any paint mistake that you have made on your contest model with just a bit of work. With a careful paint sanding technique, you can create a perfect finish.
Using four techniques; paint standing, re-spray, paint polish and wax, you can fix just about any mistake you make. I will show you how to use these techniques to fix your model and bring it back to contest level.
Paint standing is the first technique we will use to correct and over spray or orange peel situation you have created on your model. Orange peel is just extra paint that is applied to thickly and ends up making the surface of your model looked like the outside of an orange. The easiest technique I’ve found to correct this kind of situation is just to use sandpaper to grind off the extra paint. The hardest part of doing this is not to stand into the details sticking out of the surface of your model.
There are many different grades or grits of sandpaper. I basically classify sandpaper into two types, rough and fine. Rough sandpaper comes in grit numbers from 100 to 1000. The lower the number the more course it is. For heavy paint removal I typically use number 320 grit. Fine sandpaper runs from 2000 through 12000 grit. This fine grit is one secret to getting to a perfect finish.
Sandpaper comes with different kinds of backing. I prefer cloth backing over the cheaper paper backing because generally I use only a wet sanding technique. Wet sanding is where you use water to help lubricate the surface of the model and generally works better for my model paints.
Your first task is to let your paint mistake dry completely. Then start the uneven paint removal with a rough grit sanding being very careful not to sand into any plastic detail of your model. I will cut the sandpaper into very small pieces and hold them or glue them to wooden “tools” to get into small places. I will also use paint thinner to soften paint buildup around detailed areas keeping in mind that you do not want to ruin the plastic.
Once this is done, re-spray paint the damaged area.
Continue this process of sanding and re-spraying until you are satisfied with the finish. At this stage you are now ready to fine sand the paint.
Fine sanding is really the true secret to a perfect paint finish. I work the paint finish by sanding the paint using these grits in order.
The sandpaper I like to use is sandwiched between foam so that it conforms to the surface of the model more easily. Each step uses the wet sanding technique with water. Change your sanding strokes in different directions and try not to use a lot of pressure. At the end of this paint sanding sequence the surface of your model should be very even and smooth. This will bring us to the next step which is polishing the paint.
Paint polish is the next secret to that near perfect paint finish for your contest winning model. I prefer Novus plastic paint polish. I work the paint to a fine mirror finish by using No. 3, No.2, and then No.1 in sequence. This sets you up for the final step which is wax protection.
Wax protection is the final step in and creating your contest winning the model finish.
I use Meguiar’s mirror glaze #26 professional high tech yellow wax. You can find this at any automotive parts store. I apply it with a soft cloth and buff the paint to a showroom finish.
Well there you have it. It is a lot of work but it is well worth the effort. In the end you have fixed your pain problem and come out with a model that has a complete showroom and contest winning finish.
Vehicle safety is one of the most important aspects that new car finders are focusing on when they search for vehicles. They could purchase or finance these new cars using the available auto financing deals offered by car dealerships and lenders. The primary reason for this attitude is that buying a safe car ensures the safety of the driver and the cars occupants, in the event of collision.
However, identifying the vehicles with the best safety features might not always be that easy. This is because almost all car makers introduce new
Given this fact, it would be easiest for you to consider the vehicles included on the Top 10 Safest Cars for this year, when you are planning to buy your own car.By doing this, you will not only help ensure your safety while driving, but this would also help you make the search easier. In order to help you, this article provides the safety highlights of the safest cars for this year and this included the following.
1. Acura RL
The Acura RL takes the top spot of the Top Ten Safest Cars for this year, since the model has an extensive line of safety features that does not only help reduce the risk of injuries incurred from an accident, but is also equipped with an advanced driving mechanism that enables the vehicle to avoid collisions as much as possible.
To ensure that the driver and the cars occupants would incur less severe injuries in the event of collision, the RL has installed an advanced airbag system, seat-belts, and head restraints.
What Acura has used for the RL is the so-called “Sophisticated six-airbag system” that includes two airbags in front, two front-side, and two curtain airbags on the side. These airbags cover the seats in front and rear wherein the driver and other car occupants are situated when they are inside the car. These airbags are also designed with advanced sensors that would allow them to launch with the appropriate force at the right time.
In addition to this, the RL is also equipped with three-point seat-belts that are installed on all 5 seating positions inside the car. These belts are also equipped with load-limiting pretensioners as well as head restraints that help provide better protection.
What’s more exciting with the seatbelts used in the RL is that these belts could react within the first milliseconds after an impact. During this period, the seatbelts automatically tightens and holds the passenger or driver in position against the seat’s back.
The load limiters would automatically relieve the needed tension and soften the force exerted on the chest to prevent possible injuries. The head restraints on the other hand help reduce the occurrence of whiplash by reducing the force of impact on the driver or the occupants neck and spine.
Aside from these, the RL has other safety driving mechanisms that help avoid possible collisions. One of these is the Collision Mitigation Braking System. This makes use of a radar transmitter into the vehicle’s grille and the radar’s primary purpose is to determine the distance as well as the closing speed of the vehicles ahead. The radar would then provide an audio warming to the driver when collision is eminent.
In case the driver fails to respond to the warning, the CMBS will automatically tighten the seatbelts and apply light braking. This safety mechanism works every time the vehicle runs. Given these examples, as well as the other safety features installed on the vehicle, the Acura remains to be one of the best choices in buying a safe car.
2. Volvo S80
The collision warning with auto brake system makes use of a radar sensor that monitors the distance of an S80 to the vehicles. The sensor is supported by a camera that detects even stationary vehicles. As soon as the sensor and the camera determine that the S80’s distance from the vehicle ahead decreases, the system would send a warning to the driver.
In addition to this, the system takes control of the car’s braking system to help avoid collision. In the event that the driver has no response on the warning and collision is eminent, the system applies the auto brake and this reduces the forces involved on the collision.
The lane departure warning on the other hand helps ensure that the vehicle stays in its lane by alerting the driver in case the car deviates from its lane. This safety system could be activated by pressing the activation button on the car’s center console.
This makes use of a camera that monitors the lane marking on the road. In the event that the vehicle changes its course without any manoeuvre, the system provides and audible warning until the car is driven back to its appropriate lane. The lane departure warning starts to operate when the vehicle runs at a minimum speed 40 miles per hour.
Due to these safety systems, as well as the standard airbags and seat-belts found on the S80, car drivers as well as its passengers would probably avoid collision or any accident due to distracted driving.
3. Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey is also one of the vehicle models that a car finder should not dare to ignore when they are looking for the best safety features. This is because the Odyssey garnered the 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) particularly in all of the seating positions as well as in all of the crash-safety tests.
The Odyssey obtained this rating since Honda has placed a lot of safety tools in this model. A good example of this is the anti-lock braking system (ABS) with a built-in Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). These safety features allow driver to retain the control in steering in the event of braking hard. To correct and detect an over steering or under steering, the Odyssey has the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with an enhanced traction control to handle any errors on the steering.
This car is also equipped with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that monitors the pressure of each tire. In case one of the car’s tires is under pressure, the system would notify the driver and the warning is transmitted through an icon that illuminates within the cluster.
Aside from these, the Odyssey is also equipped with the advanced safety airbag system and seat-belts thatt keep the driver and passenger safe in the event of collision or accident.
Due to the safety features included in these three
So, how did this epidemic start? When
Polystyrene has been around since its discovery in 1839 but its commercial application did not follow until the 1930’s. Polystyrene is made from styrene which is a man made liquid hydrocarbon that is made from petroleum. The properties of polystyrene keep it solid when it is room temperature. When it is heated to a certain point it will readily melt and flow and once it cools off it returns to a solid state once more. This aspect of polystyrene made it perfect for the model building industry. Manufacturers were now able to produce cheap
These models continued to grow in popularity for several different reasons. With the low manufacturing cost consumers were able to save a good deal of money buying these plastic models. They were also very easy to assemble and could be highly modified with a bit of work and ingenuity. Model building clubs began to grow worldwide. Many countries saw people come together with a common hobby and begin to reach out to others in other countries who shared their love of model building. Soon, however petroleum costs began to rise.
While they have admittedly been rising for quite some time, the cost has been slow to outstrip the relatively cheap process of producing the polystyrene. Now however, with gas prices at a worldwide all time high, the end of cheap model building through the use of plastic may be near. With the cost of much sought after rare
When it is cooling resin can set up air bubbles that will have to be filled by model builders. It can also turn out a bit more fragile than polystyrene as well. Excessive flash can set up that will have to be trimmed off and some parts may turn out a bit thicker than it was meant to. The cost currently overrides the issues however but in the long run will most probably exceed the typical consumer budget as well. Now that the end of cheap plastics is in sight what will the future of
Either today or tomorrow, you might get stuck behind the wheel of your dreary old car and perhaps consider that how inconceivable it would be to break free from this responsibility and buy an attractive brand new car. Well, the time is not far behind when you can really cruise the way as the Australian automobile market is ready to hit the top gear with the launch of vast range of reasonably priced and dynamic looking new cars in the auto market in the coming month of August, 2010.
The best brand new cars for sale in August, 2010 that you may consider to buy are:
For all those who love performance, speed and sports car looks that can make heads turn, Audi TT is the car to choose!
Adding to the dynamic attitude of this automotive are the extremely flared wheel arches. Under the lid of Audi TT coupe lies a strong 3.2L Quattro engine that generates the power of 250 PS @ 6300 rpm. The car accelerates from “0” to “100” km/h in 5.7 seconds and guarantees to deliver a top speed of 250 km/h. The engine is connected to the “6” gears automatic transmission. The standard security equipments, safeguarding the occupants, dual stage airbags for the front seat passengers, include Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Antilock Braking System (ABS), radio remote-controlled central locking, anti-theft device and tyre mobility system.
In short, Audi TT is exactly the car every speed enthusiast must have!
The first ever SUV from the Audi group, Audi Q7 is said to have finest cargo space as compared to any other 7 seater car. The inflexible power of the New AudiQ7 is outfitted with a “6” liter engine that includes Quattro all wheel drive. The new Audi Q7 comes prepared with various safety features including top quality fusion body construction and a state-of- the- art factory mounted anti-theft system. There is a side impact protection system ready with rear airbags to guard passengers’ in-case of any side impact. The new AudiQ7 also has an additional crash censor trait to give you a secure driving experience. With the looks and the features that can attract almost anyone Audi Q7 is all set for car sales in Australia!
The blend of style and class, Fiat RITMO is an outstanding vehicle to choose in almost every respect. The RITMO rides well and provides a complete balance amid compliance and handling. The cabins are much better as compared to old Fiats with an 110kW diesel that contentedly swathes all the bases in terms of economy and grunt. With its improved features and affordable price, Fiat RITMO is a perfect automotive for a long distance drive without having to give up on a bit of dexterity whenever you want.
Porsche 911 is a two-seater luxurious car for sale in Australia that has an ideal blend of performance and style. The Porsche 911 model is powered by 3.6L 6-cylinder boxer engine that generates a power of 480 hp @ 6000 rpm and a torque of 620 Nm @ 1950 rpm, it delivers the speed of 310 km/h and accelerates from rest to 100 km/h within 4 seconds. An automotive that is designed to make you fall in love with it, Porsche 911 is the dream car of every sports car lover.
Car brands come and go, but more so with individual models. American car manufacturers are often “disloyal” to certain models as evidenced by GM’s constant name changing when it comes to compact cars. The compact Vega gave way to the Cavalier which later became the Cobalt and is now sold as the Cruze worldwide.
Several models on the market as of 2011 will likely be pulled from the market in 2012 or 2013, some of which may be a big surprise to you. Let’s take a look at five
Buick Lucerne — This full size, front-wheel-drive five or six passenger sedan is based on a GM platform that dates back to the late 1980s. That in itself signals why the Buick Lucerne won’t be around much longer. Moreover, the brand has been given a new lease on life and is targeting up and coming professionals as its customers. That means the Lucerne just doesn’t fit the image of the new Buick. Look for the current Buick LaCrosse, a larger midsize model to take over the brand’s flagship sedan status and newer, smaller models such as the compact Verano to enter the line up.
Dodge Caliber — Following the eleven year run of the Neon, Chrysler decided to build this compact crossover-like vehicle. Although a capable performer, the Caliber never has stood out in a class of small cars. The most fuel efficient model is rated at 32 mpg which is far below the 40 mpg offered by the Hyundai Elantra. Chrysler will remedy the problem in 2012 when a Fiat-derived model replaces the Caliber. Much improved mpg is expected too, perhaps reaching 40 mpg.
Mazda 6 — Who would have thought that the sedan which spawned the popular Ford Fusion would go away? But, that’s something Mazda appears ready to do according to Automotive News. The Mazda6 is a slow seller and has been outflanked in a highly competitive segment dominated by the Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord and featuring new cars such as the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Mazda hasn’t signaled that the Mazda6’s plans are definitive, but the Japanese automaker reportedly would like to give up its Flat Rock, Mich. plant that it co-owns with the Ford Motor Company, quite possibly moving production to Mexico instead.
Mitsubishi Galant — Another midsize sedan that is vulnerable is the Mitsubishi Galant, a model that hasn’t been updated since 2004. Mitsubishi sales, which has fallen sharply in recent years are on the rebound, but the dated Galant is not leading the charge. This Japanese car manufacturer has a manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., but will be introducing new models in 2012 before sealing the Galant’s fate. An updated Galant is possible, but likely will carry a new name if and when that vehicle debuts.
Subaru Tribeca — Originally called the B9 Tribeca, when this medium sized crossover made its debut in 2006, it featured a grille that was every bit as ugly as the Ford Edsel. Subaru eventually remedied the problem, but the Tribeca has never been a big seller for this Japanese automaker. In April 2011, Subaru recorded its best sales month ever in America, with 24,762 units sold, but only 241 Tribecas were included. Expect Subaru to concentrate on its Forester, Impreza, Legacy and Outback once it kills off the Tribeca.
Are other models vulnerable? Absolutely. Any car that doesn’t sell or isn’t updated will be removed from the market as automakers concentrate on selling cars that customers want and are profitable.
You have gotten your
If you sand your model you take a huge chance on ruining your model. So, what now? The best answer to that is to wet sand your model. With the wet sand technique you can easily remove the mess without having to worry about big repairs or having to replace your model. The first thing you need to do is to prepare your model.
Wet your model with warm water. You may use a little dish soap if you wish but it is not necessary. Make sure that you DO NOT submerge your
A sanding block is a tool used to hold your sandpaper and make it conform to the area to be sanded. In this case by using foam your sandpaper will be able to conform to the shape of your model. Another thing to consider is using mesh or cloth based sandpaper. If you use a standard paper based sandpaper you chance it falling apart on you in the middle of your repair.
Once you have your sanding block ready you can begin the process. Start by rubbing circles over the part of the model to be sanded. Take your time and concentrate on accuracy not speed. While you may be looking forward to getting your model built making a mistake could cost you more time and money. As you continue to sand you should add more water. This will keep debris from building up and will also keep your sandpaper lubricated.
The best way to do this is to use a spray bottle. It will allow you to mist water on the model without having to soak it.. Keep going with this process until your
Do you love to paint your model cars? Have you been painting them by hand but now want to learn a new technique? Why not learn to airbrush? Airbrushing your model car is something that is actually very easy to learn. You can get the basics down quickly and with a little practice you will get the advanced techniques as well.
Before you begin there are several items that you will need. Most of these can be picked up at a local hobby shop. Some of the local retail stores even carry kits that come with several of these items as well. The first thing you will want is a basic airbrush kit. It should come with the nozzles, hose, jars, covers, etc. It may or may not include a small compressor but your best bet is to find one that does. Just tell the salesperson what you are looking for and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
The next thing you need is personal protective equipment. These items will protect you from accidental inhalation as well as protecting your skin from the paints and cleaners. The items you need are latex gloves, safety goggles, and respiratory protection (breath mask). Painting supplies that you will need include airbrush paints, wet and dry sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, airbrush cleaner, and drafting tape. It is a wise idea to also pick up a small cheap bathroom fan to use for ventilation. Once you get everything home you are ready to build your paint booth.
Take an old cardboard box that is big enough for you to work on your model comfortably and cut out the top and one side. On the side opposite of the one you removed cut a hole big enough for the small fan to fit in. Place the fan in backwards so that it will vent air out of the box. This will provide adequate ventilation while you are airbrushing your car. Once you begin airbrushing you might want to wear a smock or an old shirt in case over spray gets on your clothes. Also, you should do your painting outside. The over spray that vents through fan can be blown all over the place and can make quite the mess. Some of this can also be prevented by loosely wiring a piece of cardboard over the side of the fan that is outside the box. This will allow some air to blow out but most of the paint should collect on the cardboard. Once you have built your simple paint booth you should be ready to begin.
Make sure that you have properly assembled your airbrush and are using a paint that is compatible with the model’s construction. It may be that your model requires a particular type of paint. Also, you should make sure whether or not you need to use primer for your model. If it is then you will start your project by priming each piece. One thing to watch for is that most adhesives have an issue with sticking to primers. You may want to carefully scrape away the primer from the area that will receive the glue. Before you actually begin to airbrush your model car you should practice your technique. Using a piece of scrap metal or plastic try painting with the brush a couple of times. One thing you will want to remember is that if you want to get a good even finish then you have to spray with an even stroke going from one side to the other. Make sure you do not release the trigger until you have gone a bit past.
Once you have airbrushed your first few models you will be ready to try some more advanced techniques. Before you do make sure you practice whatever stroke it is that you are going to attempt. With enough practice you will have little trouble picking up these advanced techniques.
When you set out to build
If you are going to be doing a good deal of customizing on your
The next thing you must think about is whether you will be hand painting your
Some other supplies that you will find useful in building and detailing your
Gather your supplies in a small storage container or even a shoe box so that you will have them all together next time you get ready to build a