Manual Or Automatic

By Raul Pop

Now, for those of you who don’t know the difference, let me give you a quick summary:
– Automatic transmission means the car has only two pedals (acceleration and break), and the gear is shifted automatically, based on the speed it’s traveling at. This is the kind normally found in cars in America and Mexico.
– Manual transmission implies a third pedal, called a clutch, being present in the car. With this system, the driver manually changes gears, the system being more commonly used around the world than its automatic counterpart.

As with any two approaches to the same system, both have pros and both have cons, so I will try to point them out as clearly as possible and try not to shed any bad light on either one of these marvelous inventions. After all, none of them is flawed, they’re just made for different kinds of situations.

First of all, let’s take a look at automatic transmission. This is lovely for beginners to learn driving on, because you don’t need to change gears yourself, except between Reverse, Neutral and Forward, thus allowing you to focus on the road better than you would with a manual gearbox. Also, there’s no way you can skip a gear, which can sometimes happen with manuals, especially if you’re a beginner, so automatics help extend the engine’s lifespan. Another plus would be fuel efficiency, because there is no chance for the car to reach too high of a speed in too low of a gear.

On the other hand, though, being able to shift your gears manually gives you the ability to get a better acceleration in key situations, by simply switching gears downward before you accelerate. Also, switching to a lower gear creates a phenomenon called an “engine brake”, which is very useful during the winter and during rainfall because it keeps the car from skidding, while still slowing it down. Neither of these is possible with automatics, hence the large number of traffic accidents that could’ve been avoided if the gearbox was manual. Still, a manual gearbox is a bit harder to use than an automatic, because you always have to know which gear you’re in, where the one you want to shift to is located, and most importantly, make sure you’ve got an appropriate speed for the gear you’re in.

All in all, manuals are slightly more professional than automatics, because you can customize your power/speed ratio yourself, but are harder to learn and require more attention. Although automatics are a lot easier to use, there are times when they’re not up to the challenge they’re being put through and cause a crash that could’ve been avoided. As I’ve said before, they’re designed for different kinds of situations, but both have their own advantages and disadvantages. The only real way to see which one suits you best is to try both, and pick the one you feel most comfortable around.

Read more articles about Auto and Trucks.

Born 1988, I have devoted my time to studying languages even as a toddler. The result of my work is a literature career that never started and a desire to perfect oneself that never ends. Although poetry is my first choice, having a collection of unpublished poems to account for that, I now write quality articles.

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After The Sale

By Kevin Schappell

Enjoy your car… that’s simple huh? Well it’s not really that simple. Here is a list of things to think about after the sale.

  • Notify your insurance agent about the new car.
  • Read the entire owners manual. Familiarize yourself with the service requirements. Understand when you need to change oil, filters, and other major things like timing belt and driveline fluids.
  • Get used to operating the heating/AC controls and the radio so you do not have to fumble around and risk an accident while on the highway.
  • Pop the hood and find the oil filler cap, the oil dipstick. If you bought a car with an automotive transmission there will be a dipstick for the transmission fluid also.
  • Find the spare tire and jack. Make sure you know where to jack the car when changing a tire and how to remove the spare when you need it. There is nothing worse than getting a flat tire in a new car and having to struggle to change it the first time.
  • Accessorize! It’s your car and it should make a statement about you. There are plenty of aftermarket items to make your new car unique like yourself. Wheels, bug guards, window visors and more are all available at part houses like

About The Author

Kevin Schappell maintains where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.

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7 Myths About The Color of Your Car

By Connie Ragen Green

You may have heard that if you drive a red car you are more likely to get a speeding or other traffic ticket. This is just one of the myths and urban legends that are believed about what effect the color of your car may have.

  1. Red cars get more tickets. There is no proof that people who drive red cars are any more likely to receive a traffic citation. Now if your car is a red corvette or mustang it might be that the driver is doing something that attracts attention, like speeding or driving recklessly. Someone driving a red pickup truck may go for years without getting a ticket or even being pulled over by the police.
  2. Black cars are stolen more often. Black is popular with high performance cars and more manufacturers make their top selling models black. Thieves tend to steal cars that are a particular make and model, not a specific color.
  3. Green cars are traded in or resold more quickly than any other color. This has not been observed by car dealers. Cars are generally traded in because the owner is purchasing a newer car or a car of another make and model.
  4. Yellow cars are more easily seen by other drivers, resulting in fewer accidents. Again, this is just an urban legend. Other drivers should be on the lookout for cars of all colors.
  5. Blue cars have the best resale value. This is not true. Cars with low miles and in good condition will sell for more.
  6. Brown cars are driven by people who are set in their ways and are very inflexible with their dealings with others. Stubborn people drive cars of all colors.
  7. White cars are the safest ones to own. There is no evidence to support this idea.

So drive any color car that you like. If you speed you will probably get a ticket. Trade it in when you like. Take care of your car and the resale value will be the highest it can be. Stay out of other driver’s blind spots so they can see you. Be flexible when dealing with others. Always drive safely and courteously and obey all laws. And most of all, enjoy your car, whatever color it is, and the time you spend driving it. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Be kind to other drivers and you will enjoy this privilege even more.

Connie Ragen Green is a Real Estate Broker and State Certified Residential Appraiser in California and has bought and sold over 100 properties since 1983. She has driven over 1 million miles since she got her license in 1971. Visit her at for more information about buying and selling real estate. Connie drives a blue car during the week and a white one on the weekends.

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Shopping For a Fuel-Efficient Car

Great info below about Shopping For a Fuel-Efficient Car.
By Philip Reed

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When you shop for your next car one of your top questions
should be, “What kind of fuel economy does it get?” Gas prices are rising and
many experts feel they will continue the upward trend indefinitely. Be prepared
by making fuel economy your top priority.Of course you will want to get
a car that meets your other needs. Still, you may be surprised at how many
different models are available that will provide good fuel economy and a
long list of attractive features.Selecting a Fuel-Efficient

One of your first stops should be to visit where you can quickly see the mileage and
emissions ratings of all the cars currently for sale.

Four-Cylinder vs. V6 and V8: In most cases, the smaller the engine the better the fuel economy. This means that instead of buying a car with a V6 or V8 engine, consider getting the four-cylinder engine for that car. The initial purchase price will be lower and you will save money on gas. Many four-cylinder engines these days are very lively and will provide plenty of power for merging and passing.

Standard vs. Automatic Transmission: A manual transmission comes standard on most cars; getting an automatic transmission often adds about $700 to the purchase price. Not only that, but the manual-shift car gets better gas mileage. If you don’t live in the city and don’t get stuck in traffic a lot, this is a money-saving alternative for you.

Hybrids: A number of different hybrid vehicles are on the market now. In some hybrids (the Honda Insight and Civic and the Toyota Prius), the gas mileage was top of the class. The more recently introduced hybrids (the Ford Escape and the Lexus RX 400h) provide respectable fuel economy but have put an added emphasis on performance.

Diesels: In the past, diesels have had a bad rap because they were thought to be slow, smelly and noisy. Recently, technology has improved and you can barely tell you are driving a diesel. Furthermore, the fuel economy provided by diesels rivals hybrid cars. Currently Volkswagen is offering several models with a diesel engine. Look for more diesels to arrive soon. Keep in mind, though, that diesels are not permitted in all states.

Electric Cars: Sadly, there are no real-world electric cars currently on the market capable of commuting at highway speeds. Manufacturers cite a lack of interest from the buying public. It remains to be seen, however, whether they ever really tried to effectively market electric cars.

Natural Gas Cars: A very small number of cars running on natural gas are available for purchase. The biggest drawback is obtaining the natural gas to power these vehicles. However, Honda is now selling a device called Phill that can be installed in a home to refill its natural gas-powered Civic GX.

How to Shop for a Fuel-Efficient Car
If you decide to buy a hybrid car, you will find that you are trying to buy a popular car and competing against other buyers. It’s not unusual to pay more than the sticker price when hybrid vehicles are first introduced. Here are some guidelines to help you through the buying process.

  1. Plan ahead. If you hear of a hybrid car that will soon be introduced, order your car through a dealership. You will likely be placed on a waiting list of cars to be built. In most cases you will have to make a deposit and pay the full MSRP price of the car. However, this is better than waiting until later and possibly paying dealer markup.
  2. Get on a list even if it is long. If you don’t hear about a hybrid car until it is already in the marketplace, you can still get on a waiting list. Often, people decide they don’t want to buy a car after they order it. Dealers then call the next person on the waiting list. Whoever answers the phone, and gets to the dealership with the money, gets the car.
  3. Take a good look at the price. tracks the point at which cars are selling and posts a True Market Value (TMV) price. In some cases, TMV is actually above MSRP or “sticker price.” However, since hybrids are in such demand, you are likely to find a wide range in the pricing at the dealers you contact.
  4. Consider alternatives to hybrids. While hybrids steal the headlines, there are many other fuel-efficient cars for sale. See the list mentioned above for specifics. These cars will not be selling for inflated prices. You will save on the purchase and save gas at the same time.
  5. Shop a wide area. Don’t believe the urban legends you hear about $5,000-over-sticker prices. People love to swap stories without even testing the market. Using the Internet you can easily test the market using dealer locator. Keep in mind that the popularity of cars is very regional. What might have waiting lists in Los Angeles could be sitting on a lot in Louisville.
  6. Don’t be afraid to test the price. If you absolutely have to have a car and you are willing to pay more than sticker price, don’t assume you have to accept the first price named by the salesman. A car salesman might tell you, “These cars are going for $10,000 over sticker.” In actuality, they might take $2,000 over.
  7. Let the market cool off. Why pay an exorbitant amount for a hybrid to “save money on gas”? If you pay too much it will take years to recoup the savings. Give the market six months to cool off and try again.
  8. Test-drive your salesman. You should feel comfortable with your salesman and have confidence in his or her abilities. Don’t commit to a sale until you feel sure you are dealing with someone who you trust. The right salesman, or woman, can provide valuable guidance and make the whole experience a pleasure.
  9. Finalize before you travel. If you make a deal on a car over the phone, but have to fly to a distant city to pick it up, make sure you have the final price in writing. If incentives are figured into the price, be sure to include them and get an out-the-door price. You can ask to have the final contract prepared and faxed to you for review so there are no last-minute questions.
  10. Shop the used market. Fuel-efficient cars aren’t a new thing. You can find bargain-basement prices on thrifty cars made years ago and pocket an additional savings. And if you have to have a hybrid, you might even find one of those in the classified pages.


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CV Boots and CV Joints What Do They Look Like?

That clicking sound you hear when you turn left or right just might be your CV joints on your front wheel drive car.
Below is more info:

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Inner CV Boot/Joint — The inner cv boot
(where my finger is point to) is connected to the cv (constant velocity) shaft
which on the other end at the bottom of the picture is the out cv boot and
joint. The purpose of the soft rubber boot is to protect the joint from road
debris and keep the special lubricating grease inside the boot to lubricate the
joint. The boot has to be soft and flexible because as you turn the wheels the
boot stretches.
When the boot breaks the grease drips out and water and dirt
get inside the joint causing damage. A bad cv joint will usually make a clacking
noise on hard turns. it can sometimes be more economical to replace the entire
cv shaft (comes with inner and out cv joints and boots) with a rebuild unit than
it is to replace 1 bad cv joint.

CV boot closest to the

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What is a Serpentine Fan Belt?

Most cars today use serpentine fan belts. Be sure to check the condition of this belt when considering purchasing a used car.

Here’s more info:

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Serpentine Fan BeltsCars
these days usually only have one or two very large belts that drive multiple
accessories…i.e. power steering pump, a/c compressor etc. These belts are very
long and very strong. The rule of thumb is if you can see two or more cracks
within an inch of belt space you should replace the belt. When inspecting your
fan belt you should do so on the back side of a pulley where the belt is being
laid back. As you can see (or not see) there are tons of cracks in this belt
when inspected from the back side of a pulley but you can hardly see any visible
cracks on the same belt to the left of the picture when it is not bent

Small cracks in the rubber can lead to belt

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Could a car run on compressed air?

Wouldn’t this be a great way to beat the high cost of gasoline…?

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Could a car run on compressed air?

Yes, it could. You could compress the air at your house using an air
compressor, fill a compressed-air tank in the car, and the car could run off of
it. You could use an engine very similar to a steam engine (using
pressurized air instead of pressurized steam) to convert the compressed air to
rotational energy.

The main problem you would have is the size of the “gas tank” you would need
to get any kind of reasonable range. You would need a LOT of compressed air to
take a car very far.

An alternative would be to use a liquefied gas like liquid nitrogen.
You can think of liquid nitrogen as air that has been compressed so much it has
liquefied. Liquid nitrogen is much denser than compressed air, so you could
store enough in a car to give it reasonable range. You could then fill up at the
liquid-nitrogen station

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