(93)Common myths about car insurance debunked!

There are many myths about car insurance that have been floating around for years, and some of them may affect your buying decision. Educate yourself--or un-educate yourself, in this case--and you can make the smartest decision about your car insurance.

Myth: The day you turn 25 (or 18, or 35,) your car insurance rates go down.

It is true that most insurance companies lower rates as drivers get more experience, often at age 25. But it won't do any good to call your car insurance company on your twenty-fifth birthday, because you won't be re-rated that day. An insurance company generally is commiting itself to a rate when it sends you your renewal bill, and unless you make a change in the middle of your policy period, you won't be rated again until your next insurance renewal.

The good news about this is that accidents and tickets work the same way. If you get a ticket after you have already received your renewal, you normally won't be charged any points on your car insurance until it renews again or until you make a change to your policy.

Myth: Red cars cost more to insure.

This is a common misconception, probably started somewhere as a car insurance urban legend. Your full coverage insurance cost is decided by the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of your car, and there is no indicator in the VIN as to what color your car is. Incidentally, though, red auto paint does cost more to repair facilities, so a car insurance company could have to pay out more in the case of an accident.

Myth: One claim can get you canceled.

It is certainly possible to have your car insurance canceled after only what claim. But car insurance companies have an underwriting process that takes a lot of factors into consideration. They will look at the number--and the dollar amount--of claims you have had over a period of time. The amount of time you have been with that insurance company is also a factor. Frivolous claims entered repeatedly by customers could be a reason for cancellation or nonrenewal, but there is no reason to avoid turning in claims on your car insurance policy if you stand to suffer significant financial loss.

Myth: As my car gets older, my insurance should go down every year.

It is true that the newest of cars cost the most to insure, but often the fact that your car is a year older doesn't mean your car insurance rate will go down. If the vehicle is old enough so that you don't feel like you need to carry full coverage on it anymore, that will lower your rate significantly. But as long as you carry full coverage on a car--even an older one--you probably won't see your rate decrease.

This is because the majority of accidents are not "total losses"--when the vehicle is damaged beyond repair and the insurance company pays out the value of the car to replace it. Most claims involve the repair of a vehicle, and the cost of car parts does not decrease significantly just because the car is older. In addition, labor costs for repair do not change at all, no matter how old the car is. The insurance company risks losing as much money on repairing an older car as they do a newer one.

When you are shopping online to buy your new insurance policy, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible. Don't fall victim to myths that could affect your buying decision!
About the Author

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Written by: Codrut Turcanu

(94)Consider Fuel Efficiency When Buying a Car


When you need to buy your next automobile make sure that fuel economy doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Buying a compact car with good gas mileage is both friendly to the environment and your pocket book. You will enjoy the savings throughout the life of the vehicle.

There is a lot to consider when buying a car. If you are buying a used car the condition of the clutch, brakes, engine and transmission will play a huge role in how much that car will cost to operate. Even minor problems can result in $300 repairs.

With new cars you need to find the make and model that has a proven track record and fits your needs. Make sure that fuel efficiency plays a role in your decision making. If you emerge from the car buying process with a fuel efficient car you will burn up less cash in your tank and have more money to spend on things that matter.

Take advantage of what is known.

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, the one thing you can easily and accurately predict is how much gas you are going to use. Gas prices may fluctuate but most people can spend a week or two logging their gas consumption and get a good idea of how many gallons they use. If you don't already, track your gas consumption so you can use this information when purchasing a car.

Make it the #1 priority.

One way to make sure that fuel efficiency is considered is to start by looking at cars that get good gas mileage. Make it the #1 priority and see where that leads you. The problem with today's car market is car manufacturers know that gas mileage is not a major consideration when purchasing a new vehicle for many U.S. customers.

Crunching the numbers.

When you are evaluating a car's fuel efficiency, ask yourself how long you think you will be driving the car and determine how much gas will cost.

Let's say you want to get a used car for $5,000 and hope to drive it for 5 years. Below are some 5 year gas cost estimates based on driving 15,000 miles per year and buying gas for $1.40 per gallon. If gasoline is more expensive than $1.40, the costs will be even higher.


A Sampling of Used Cars:
1994 Ford Explorer SUV (2WD)
5 year gas estimate = $5525
1994 Honda Accord Sedan
5 year gas estimate = $3885
1994 Honda Civic DX Sedan
5 year gas estimate = $2385
A Sampling of New Cars:
2009 Ford Explorer 2WD
5 year gas estimate = $6175
2009 Honda Accord
5 year gas estimate = $3750
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid
5 year gas estimate = $2235
2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid
5 year gas estimate = $1910

This is a small sampling of cars but you get the picture. Unless you really need an SUV or large truck, you can save a lot of money by buying a fuel efficient compact car. You will sacrifice size and sometimes luxury when choosing fuel economy first. Part of this is because bigger cars and trucks are heavier and will naturally get worse gas mileage. But it is also a function of consumers not worrying about gas mileage when they make a decision on purchasing a new or used car.

Spray Paint Secrets Video BannerA great site for comparing cars fuel economy is At you can compare numerous makes and models of both new and used cars and set the default gas costs to reflect the current prices. The numbers above are based on a $1.40 regular gas price which is really hard to find right now. In the case of the 1994 Ford Explorer you likely pay as much in gas over a 5 year span as you payed for the vehicle in the first place.

Put fuel economy first and you will find yourself with more money in your pocket.
Fisher Swanson is a regular contributer to The News. ThriftyFun publishes information about thrifty living. Send an email to to subscribe to The News.

Written by: Fisher Swanson

(95)Coolest Technology for Your Car: A Geek Guide


Car manufacturers are incorporating an inordinate amount of technology into their vehicles nowadays. Despite their best efforts, however, there are a number of things you can do to geek your ride. From one little gadget to a full-fledged car mod, there's always something else that makes your car one step closer to the batmobile.

GPS, OnStar and navigation Systems

Hate being lost? GPS is the answer. The latest in-car navigation systems feature voice recognition and touchscreen technology. GM's OnStar provides peace-of-mind in the case of an accident, but some say that the system enables Big Brother to track your every move. More advanced navigation systems can direct you to the nearest gas station or pizza joint instead of requiring a specific address. Some can even provide you with other data like stock quotes, news and sports scores.

War driving

If you haven't heard of war driving, it is the practice of driving around, locating wireless networks, and "sharing" other people's bandwidth. Black-hat hackers sometimes use war driving simply to find vulnerable networks or as a method of anonymity. This practice obviously requires a portable computer which leads to our next tip...

Put a computer (or two) inside

How cool would it be to have a computer at your disposal in the car? Many police departments now outfit their cars with a laptop computer mounted at an angle over the passenger seat. Hardcore geeks will do the same. Once you put one computer in your car, why not add a file server for music and storage? You can fit it under the seat or in the trunk and connect it to other devices in the car via a wireless network.

What do you do with a computer in your car? Bring your collection of music and movies along. Connect it to OBD (see below). Get online from anywhere. I can hear you now: "Anywhere?" well, anywhere with a cell phone signal. Verizon has a service that enables you to get online as much as you want for $60 a month (on top of your regular cell phone bill).

Hold still

Here's a simple one. Get a grip pad to set on the dash or the center console. This gives you a place to set your cell phone within easy reach. You can also set your iPod or sunglasses down. The great thing is, you can usually take a corner fairly fast and your stuff won't move an inch.

Radar and laser detectors; jammers

If you have a lead foot, it's worth investing in a radar detector. There are many models available from $40 to $400. Make sure to get a model that can detect K, Ka, and laser. If your chosen detector picks up on X band, so much the better, but make sure you can disable it. X band is a common source of false alarms (especially near traffic lights).


OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics. This system is built in to nearly all vehicles sold after 1996. If you have a laptop in your car, you can usually purchase a special cable that will allow you to view a real-time stream of data from nearly every sensor in the car. Want to know the left front wheel speed in real-time? You got it. OBD II provides many different data streams. You can view the horsepower and torque at any RPM, see how fast you can do 0-60mph, or find the actual gas mileage at any given speed and save some money at the pump.

OBD technology also helps to diagnose problems with your vehicle. When the "check engine" light comes on, you'll be able to tell whether it's a real problem or just a faulty circuit, and you can even reset it yourself without having to take the car in (make sure you know what you're doing).

Get things going

A feature typically sought after in colder climates.Wouldn't it be nice if your vehicle sat idling, heated and defrosted, in the morning? You can install a remote starter that enables you to start the car from indoors and let it warm up. This is a feature typically sought after in colder climates, but it can also be used to start the A/C and cool things down.

Creature comforts

Assuming you've got the basics covered like power locks and A/C, there are many features that you should consider when buying a new car. Heated seats, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, sunroof... A geek's ride may not have all the creature comforts, but if you're buying a new car, it only adds to the tech factor. Other cool features to look for in a new car include:

> Automatic tire pressure monitoring

> Adaptive cruise control

> Headlights that point in the direction of a turn

> Backup camera

> Adjustable suspension

> Push-button start (No actual key required)

> Bluetooth to integrate with your phone

> Side/curtain airbags

> Traction control

> Halogen/Xenon lights

If your car has all these features, well, you're probably a little too much of a geek. But I'd sure like to check out your car sometime.

About the author:

Alex Smith is the president of, providing articles, downloads and up-to-the-minute news on technology.

Written by: Alex Smith

(96)Cooling System: How It Affects Your Mazda Car’s Performance


Just like human beings, the car needs to dissipate heat in order to avoid overheating and exhaustion. During combustion, the engine produces large amount of heat—about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is too much for the engine to bear so a cooling system is needed to keep it at a normal temperature. Cars usually overheat due to a damaged part in the cooling system, especially the radiator, the heart of the cooling system. It is therefore necessary that all its auto parts must be in proper working condition to ensure that the whole system works efficiently.

Aside from the radiator, the cooling system is composed water pump, freeze plugs, head gasket, thermostat, hoses, heater core, fan clutch and radiator fan. All these auto parts have special roles to perform thus the absence of one could significantly affect the whole cooling process and of course, the engine’s performance. Take for example the hose, this may seem to be just an ordinary part but once broken, the coolant can escape and so it’s no longer possible for the system to cool the engine. Even just the cap of the radiator is important. It holds the pressure in the cooing system; thereby, affects its stability.

How does the cooling system of your Mazda work? The coolant, which is a mixture of anti-freeze and water, is the one that absorbs the heat from the engine. It is drawn by the water pump from the radiator and is pumped through engine block and the cylinder head to absorb the heat from the engine and its parts. It goes back to the receiving tank of the radiator through the radiator hose. The radiator has tubes that contain large amount of water and has fin area to allow outside air to pass through. As the coolant spreads over the top of the radiator tubes, it transfers heat to the air.

The performance of your Mazda car is greatly dependent on your cooling system. No matter how gutsy its engine is, it can’t work normally without a cooling system. The engine can even be inutile in an instant if it overheats and all other auto parts under the hood can also be damaged. They could melt as the engine burns the fuel inside the combustion chamber and the pistons in the cylinder could expand extremely that they can no longer move to complete the whole process in the engine.

Your Mazda car can possibly overheat as well. Engine overheating is one of the most common problems auto users encounter. You can avoid this by adding water to your radiator. So if you notice a problem on a particular part in your cooling system, consult the best auto mechanic in town. But if you think the problem is worst, you may as well replace it right away.

Mazda Parts are everywhere to be found. Auto parts stores like Auto Parts Inner offers you Mazda parts like Mazda radiators, Mazda radiator support, Mazda Bumpers, Mazda radiator fan and Mazda coolant tank. This incredible auto parts site also offers other replacement Mazda parts such as Mazda Tail Lights, Mazda rear view mirror, Mazda euro headlight, Mazda headlight molding, Mazda Wheels, and many other auto parts. You can find here auto parts for Mazda 323, Mazda 626, Mazda Miata, Mazda MX6, Mazda Protégé and Mazda RX7.

Auto Parts Inner is also one of the recognized auto information resources on the net. As an expert in this field, they offer simply the best auto parts with very efficient service.


About the Author

Terry Brown is a 32 year old from Houston Texas, and an enthusiast for anything auto related. He is currently employed as a market analyst by one of the top car parts company in the area. His automotive articles provide valuable source of information for auto enthusiasts like him as well as to those in need of automotive research.

Written by: Terry Brown

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