Monday, December 6, 2010

5 Automotive Tools Every Auto Owner Needs

by: Mike Scurria
Automobiles are sizeable investments. As a car becomes older, its maintenance becomes increasingly important. There are many tools that every auto owner should have. Auto shops can sometimes charge exurbanite amounts for a simple fix that could have been done at home for much cheaper. Having the proper tools and knowledge will allow any auto owner to save money, learn more about their automobile, and maintain their car.

1. Every auto owner should have a jack and jack stands. When working on a car, more often than not, the car must be elevated. Simple procedures like rotating tires can be done at home with the help of a Jack. Additionally, all car owners should have a jack in their car with them wherever they go. In the unfortunate event of a flat tire, having a jack and a spare tire can lead to a simple tire replacement. In a garage, having a powerful jack and strong jack stands makes it possible for an auto owner to reach every point underneath the car and thus solve problems more efficiently.

2. One of the most important car maintenance practices is the oil change. To maintain an automobile, the oil should be changed once every 3,000 miles. Quintessential to a successful oil change is having an Oil Wrench that takes the oil filter off and allows the oil to be changed expediently. Without an oil wrench, an auto owner may be forced to take their car to an auto shop and overpay for a simple oil change.

3. Often when dealing with parts of the engine, or the hard-to-reach spots under the hood, proper tools are required. A 3/8-inch Socket Set can allow an automobile owner to loosen and subsequently tighten a wide variety of bolts. Different extensions allow the auto owner to obtain the best angles for torque and therefore make auto jobs quite a bit easier.

4. When changing oil, having a funnel, some rags, and a bucket is very helpful. Once again, the oil change is one of the most important maintenances for a car, and it can be done easily by anyone. However, many people do not have the proper tools or knowledge for a successful oil change. Having a funnel can also be useful when refilling any other fluids in one’s car. The funnel serves to make sure that fluids do not get over filled, which can lead to significant problems.

5. Finally, every auto owner should have a pair of solid vice grips. Some times a part will just not come loose. Other times, a car part may not seem to be tight enough despite one’s best efforts. Vice grips can hold a wide variety of car parts and allow the user to obtain more leverage for either tightening or loosening a part. When encountering a part that will simply not come loose, many auto owners will give up and take their car to a shop. Having vice grips can help one to avoid this problem.

Unfortunately, there is no car in existence that doesn’t require constant maintenance. However, with the right tools, anyone can fix minor problems and maintain his or her automobile without the assistance of an auto mechanic. The right tools can lead to a longer last vehicle, and large cost savings.


Tips To Saving A Bundle At Your Next Car Auction

Many of us have been at the car dealership and have been drained by a salesperson during price negotiations for the purchase of a new car. Most people give in too easily or do not negotiate at all to avoid the dreadful act. This only means more money in the car dealers’ pocket, while you are out of several thousand dollars! Yes, they make that much in profit per car.

This article unveils the dealer’s selling tactics and how you can get around them. But before we dive into the new car buying tips, we need to understand what makes up the dealer’s profits.

In addition to the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price), which is the dealer’s cost for the car plus an additional 20-25% profit, a dealer also gets financial incentives from the manufacturer when a new car is sold. This is called Holdback.

Depending on the car, dealers can make hundreds on each car through holdbacks. Dealers also get additional incentives and bonuses on selling a car before the end of the month and/or quarter.

A shrewd dealer can make several thousand on a new car even by selling it at invoice price. This is how new car buying can become tricky for the consumer.

Ready to learn how not to put a dent in your wallet on your next car purchase? Here are four tips to get you started. Each one is a dealer tactic to watch out for.

1. The Guilt Trip

As you may have noticed, every desk in a dealership has photos of the salesperson’s family, instead of photos of cars. Midway in the negotiation, the sales person will bring them up and make it look like his little commission check can hardly pay for his daughters college and little Bradley’s braces.

A seasoned salesperson will soon have you feeling guilty for driving the price down and hurting his commission. Watch out not to fall for this tactic, since you already know about holdbacks and incentive programs from manufacturers.

2. Wearing You Down

Come prepared to spend half a day at the dealership or pay whatever the dealer asks for. Car Dealers are trained to delay and tire you out to the point where you give in and accept their price just to get out of there.

After you make your offer, sales people typically claim they would have to run it by their manager. You may then have to re-start negotiating with the manager, who is also a seasoned salesperson. This dance goes on for a while until you give in.

Remember, there are multiple dealerships in a city, so they need you more than you need them. Demand to speak to the manager after a certain time period or threaten to leave.
Because you are devoting a lot of time to bargain with the dealer, they know you are a serious buyer, so they will not let you leave. The earlier you can speak with the manager, the faster you can leave.

3. The Test Drive

We all enjoy a good test drive and look forward to it. Although it is essential to test drive a car before you buy it, remember to not show your absolute love for the car to the salesperson. Their goal is to get you emotionally attached to the car, so it becomes a must have for you. I have learned it the hard way.

To hide your emotional tears from the salesperson, mention the features of a competing car in the same class, like the new shape, light, leg room, resale value etc. This will make the salesperson a little vulnerable.

4. Monthly Payments

This one is to confuse you. Dealers will start talking about monthly payments rather than the total price of the car. They will start by asking how much you are willing to pay per month and how much of a down payment you are willing to pay. Since people don’t want to look like they cannot afford a certain car, they will usually give a higher number. Big Mistake!

You have left little room for negotiation when this happens. Always steer the conversation to the total price of the car and do NOT mention any trade-ins at this point. Only after the total price of the vehicle is completely negotiated then talk about interest, monthly payment and trade-ins.

General Rule;

As a general rule, remember to only focus and negotiate on the Total Price of the vehicle. Everything else is pretty much the car dealer’s trough.

If the above new car buying tips seem like a lot of hassle, yet you still want to get the best price in town, there are some websites that do this for you. for example is a great website for this because you can collect price quotes from multiple local dealers for a particular car as well as its competing car models (like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Taurus) and compare them.

The website then allows you to send back the lowest quotes received for each car make to all participating dealers in your area through the website itself.

Dealers view this price and continue to submit new lower prices over a 3 day period. By putting local car dealers in such a price competition allows you to avoid the dreadful face to face negotiation and yet gets you the lowest price in town for up to 3 competing car makes.

The best part about is that it is absolutely free for you and there is no obligation to buy after the new car auction is over.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Toyota Yaris Specification


  • Engine 1.5-Liter DOHC 16-Valve Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) 4-Cylinder; 106 hp @ 6000 rpm; 103 lb.-ft. @ 4200 rpm
  • Ignition Electronic, with Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI)
  • Emission rating Ultra Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV-II)
  • Transmission 5-speed manual 4-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission (ECT)
  • Drivetrain Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • Body construction Unitized body
  • Suspension Independent MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear suspension and front stabilizer bar
  • Steering Electric Power Steering (EPS); power-assisted rack-and-pinion
  • Turning circle diameter, curb to curb (ft.) 30.8
  • Brakes Power-assisted ventilated front disc/rear drum with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS),
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)

  • Height 60.0
  • Width 66.7
  • Length 150.6
  • Wheelbase 96.9
  • Track (front/rear) 58.3/57.9
  • Ground clearance 5.5

  • Head room 39.4/37.9
  • Shoulder room 51.4/50.4
  • Hip room 50.0/46.7
  • Leg room 40.3/33.8
  • Seating capacity 5

  • Size P175/65R14 P185/60R15


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