Why Men Love Cars so Darned Much

Lots of men (and women too) just love their cars. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are an excellent driver; it doesn’t mean that they enjoy rolling up their sleeves and getting greasy under the hood (although plenty of them do) and it doesn’t mean that they instinctively recognize the sound of a Hemi V8 purring at the lights – it just means that they love them.
There are, in fact only two types of people – those who love their cars and those who see them as nothing more than a means of transport for getting them from A to B and back again. Let’s try to shed a little light on this often misunderstood love affair and the differences between how men love their cars in an entirely different way to most women.
Ask a woman about her first car and she’ll tell you – she probably named it something like Betsy or Nancy, drove around it for many years and shed a tear when they eventually parted company and replaced her with a newer model. She probably rarely cleaned it, never polished it and the only time she emptied out the rubbish was when she sold it or was picking up her mother in law. It was probably a bit smelly (dogs, half-eaten burgers) and full of stuff on the way to the dry cleaners, kids’ toys and a spare pair of shoes.

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Ask a woman about when she borrows her partners’ car and she’ll probably tell you that she has been forewarned about scratches, spilt drink, litter (even in the ash tray) and crumbs on the floor mat – failing to meet his exacting standards will mean that all future permission will be revoked – and I’m not joking.
To a man his car is often his pride and joy, it’s all about image – it’s his companion, his friend and his helper. He would rather jump on a bus than be seen dead in her grubby sedan – as she negotiates his gleaming Dodge along the road for the school pick up her heart is firmly in her mouth.
One definite difference is that men don’t get sentimental about their cars in the same way that women do. You’re very unlikely to see a man weeping as he picks up his new motor at Downey Dodge as his old wheels are left behind – the King is dead, long live the King, without an ounce of sentimentality at all. He then bestows all of his new passion onto this motor without a thought for the old one he just traded in.

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The majority of car advertisements show a man driving alone in his motor on the open highway – they rarely include a partner or family squawking in the back seat unless it is particularly aimed towards a family car. It’s just the man and the car on the open road driving to who knows where and doing whatever he likes when he gets there.
Most men are never satisfied with the car they have – although they’ve chosen it with much care and deliberation, no matter how shiny, fast or sleek it looks they are always keeping an eye out for a better make or model (there are some great ones at http://www.mcpeeksdodge.com/ by the way). They scour auto magazines and deliberate over which model would suit them the best even though to a woman they all look exactly the same except for the color.
Why do men love their cars so much? Who knows, you’ll just have to ask them.

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How To Manage Your Car For The Winter

OCFiat-10-2Would be the winters warm where you live? Then, you’re one of the lucky few, because many of us have to deal with freezing temperatures, snowstorms, salted roads and the rest of it. That’s why it seems sensible for snow-belt residents to store nonessential vehicles for the winter. It’s best to never tackle winter roads within your weekend cruiser, whether it’s a classic convertible or a contemporary sports car, though you’ll still need your everyday driver to obtain around, naturally.

So when you’re ready to place your pride and joy away till spring, have a look at my five essential strategies for winter car storage. Your ride should fire right up when you’re reunited early in the year, as long as you follow these five steps. Did I forget anything? If you think I left out a significant step, go ahead and tell me in a comment.

1. Fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer

This may seem counter-intuitive, since the car won’t be going anywhere for months. However, if you store a car for that winter by using a partially or mostly empty gas tank, condensation can form inside the tank, and you run the chance of drying out of the seals. So fill up that tank prior to deciding to park it, and here’s another winter car care tip: don’t forget to add a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil so that the gas will stay fresh.

2. Connect your battery to some trickle charger

Should you just leave it the way it is, and cold temperatures might knock it out for good, so you’ll need to take preemptive action, your battery will inevitably go dead during winter car storage. Some mechanics suggest getting the battery out altogether, but I’m not a fan of that; you lose all your electronic settings, for one thing, and for another, who knows what computer system you might mess up if it’s a contemporary car? A Few Things I recommend for winter car battery maintenance is getting a “trickle charger” and making sure you operate it at regular intervals to keep battery charged. This enables you to keep the battery hooked up in the car without any risk that it’ll wear itself out.

3. Over-inflate your tires or remove the wheels altogether

When you let your vehicle sit in the same location for three or four months without preparing the tires, you’re certain to get flat spots. So, here’s the deal: If you’ve got old-school bias ply tires, put the car on jack stands, go ahead and take wheels off and stack them in the corner, if you’ve got modern radial tires, add an extra 5-10psi of air for the winter-and. For full protection, consider doing the identical with radials, too. Hey, you’ll thank me come spring when you’re the only person who doesn’t need a replacement set of tires.

4. Keep the parking brake off

Here’s a little thing that a lot of people forget about. Should you park an auto for months with the emergency brake engaged, the e-brake could get stuck to the rotors and warp them, wreaking havoc on the braking performance. Just get some wheel chocks instead and stick one behind each wheel-problem solved.

5. Drive it ASAP!

Seriously, don’t wait one minute longer than you will need to, though i am aware I’m getting ahead of myself here. Cars like to be driven, and months of solitary confinement isn’t their thought of a good time. I’m not talking about a little trip around the block, either; when you drive a car that’s experienced winter car storage, you’ll want to blend plenty of highway driving to obtain the operating temperature up and circulate those fluids from the engine. I’ll convey more to say about that when I revisit this topic in the spring, although speaking of fluids, you’ll definitely want to get an oil change as soon as you take your car from hibernation.

Then why not you-what are you planning to do when you store your car for the winter? Tell me; I always prefer to hear about what other mechanics nearby are around.

Collecting Fiat—Italian Style at Everyman Prices

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Fiat has been a major European car maker for over a hundred years, and the biggest one in Italy for much of that time. Today Fiat owns the new Chrysler Group and has re-entered the US market after a long hiatus with the Fiat 500. You can check out a great selection of the stylish, fun Fiat 500s at www.ocfiat.com. Although new Fiats were absent from the US market for many years, some collectors would argue they never left the brand, the brand simply left them for a while. These devoted vintage Fiat collectors have long known something others are just now discovering: Fiats offer classic Italian style and charm at bargain prices. Here’s a few more reasons why collectors love them.

It’s an Italian Thing

Walk down the average Italian street and you will immediately recognize something about the people there. They have a sense of style that is unmistakable, unique, and highly developed. Nobody is strolling around in sweats and sneakers on their way to the mall. They may be wearing jeans and tee shirts, but they are probably pairing them with Italian loafers and maybe a scarf for a touch of dash. In other words, they look incredible and incredibly stylish by American standards. The same goes for Italian cars. Fiat and Ferrari shared design firms (and ownership) for many years. Styling houses like Pininfarina and Bertone created classic Ferraris like the 275 GTS and the 308 GT/4—and the beautiful Fiat 124 Spider and X 1/9, too. It’s no accident these Fiats look so much like the pricier Ferraris.

It’s Not All About the Looks

The less expensive Fiats still enjoyed cutting-edge technology in the 1960s and 70s that was light years ahead of, say, the equivalent British cars in their price range. The aforementioned Fiat 124 Spider featured an alloy twin-cam engine, four-wheel disc brakes, five-speed transmission, and a work-of-art convertible top. The British MGs and their ilk by comparison had push-rod cast iron engines, four-speed trannies, drum brakes, and tops that looked (and leaked) like left over WWII surplus tenting material. Fiat also made some truly landmark designs with innovative engineering that collectors dote on. The immortal Fiat 500 in its first iteration (1957-75) was recently nominated as one of the greatest car designs ever by the wildly popular British TV show TopGear. Comedian Jay Leno has a bunch of Fiats in his personal collection (17 and counting) including a neat 1959 Fiat Millecento. That car is a 1950s Italian family car that gets the same MPG as a Prius. Jay can afford any automobile he wants, yet he has almost 20 Fiats and only three Ferraris. That says a lot about the collectibility of Fiat.

You can find plenty of great Fiats at great prices simply by going to http://www.ocfiat.com. Check them out today.

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Purchasing A Coda Sedan Electric Car: Would It Be Worth It?

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For each and every success story in the electric car world, there’s another less than successful endeavor.

Coda would find itself within the latter category. Years of hype deflated such as a burst balloon when the company went bankrupt in May 2013.

The company’s cars are still available though, via a firm called Coda Cars and several are discovering their way onto eBay with healthy discounts.

Talking with Autoblog Green, Rick Curtis from Coda Cars states that most of the vehicles are sold through the company’s website or through referrals.

Although the odd car ends up on eBay where bidders can select up a good deal, either on a full, working vehicle or on the occasional glider (lacking a battery but otherwise functional) or rolling chassis (the auto with no drivetrain).

After buying Coda’s stock following the company’s bankruptcy a year ago, Coda Cars is selling vehicles and components to buyers worldwide–interest has come from as far afield as Russia, India, Korea, China and Hungary, along with customers in the U.S. itself.

While the last eBay auction failed to make reserve by using a final bid of $14,000, and Coda Cars lists no prices on its website, buyers can almost definitely get a healthy discount near the original $38,145 price tag.

Some Coda dealers were already slashing prices for the sedan Coda Silicon Valley offered a dealer discount that dropped pricing to less than $25,000, as the company was experiencing its death throes early last year.

The total cars sold by Coda Cars come with all the great things about the original vehicles a 134-horsepower, 221 lb-ft electric motor, 6.6 kilowatt charging system and 125-mile range.

Additionally, they come with the negatives, naturally an uninspired design and driving lack and experience of full manufacturer support though at least the parts situation needs to be healthy.

What kind of price would tempt you into investing in a new Coda? Leave your feelings in the comments section below.

Best Movie Car Chases Ever

What do you need for the ultimate action movie – it’s simple, a fabulous car, a driver who knows no fear and plenty of car chases. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best car chases the movies have ever known – it’s just a shame that so many fabulous cars have been wrecked in the process.

Don’t worry, a lot of it is smoke, mirrors and camera trickery – but a lot of it isn’t and I really don’t want to spoil your enjoyment. Let’s look back at some of the best of the best…

The 1981 movie Cannonball Run was one big car chase. With a cast stuffed with superstars (Roger Moore, Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin to name but a few) this high action movie is also incredibly funny. If you haven’t seen it put it on your “to see” list.

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The 1969 Italian Job has one of the most iconic car chases the movies have ever seen as three classis Minis (one red, one white and one blue of course) speed around many of the famous landmarks of Turin – don’t miss the part where the car actually goes full circle in a drainage pipe (I think, or is that the smoke and mirrors part) – it really don’t’ matter – it’s awesome.

The 1978 movie The Driver has some spectacular driving and car chases – well it ought to with a name like that don’t you think? Although this movie has got plenty of different chases I reckon the first one is still the best as a young and extremely handsome Ryan O’Neal carves up the LA streets late at night.

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The 1974 movie Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is another must for petrol heads that haven’t seen it. Peter Fonda (Larry) is a Nascar driver who gets involved in some rather dodgy dealings which ends up with some splendid car chases as he attempts to lose a posse of police cars and even helicopters.

We couldn’t talk about car movies and chases without including Smokey and the Bandit – the iconic 1977 movie which starred Burt Reynolds in his prime (or was that a wig even then). The Bandit even manages to leap his iconic motor – 1977 Pontiac Transam – across a broken bridge – don’t try this at home.

The 2002 blockbuster movie The Bourne Identity is another movie which calls upon the unique charms and talents of the Mini – with the Mini Cooper of Matt Damon plunging seemingly effortlessly on a stone staircase, an incredibly steep staircase at that.

The 1980 iconic movie The Blues Brothers (have you noticed how many times I’ve said “iconic” – well this one really is) is awesome. Sharp witted Dan Ackroyd and irreplaceable John Belushi (although John Goodman didn’t do a bad job in the sequel) plough through a bustling shopping mall in their Dodge to escape the police. There are actually loads of fabulous car chases in this movie.

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The 1968 classic Bullitt stars one of the coolest dudes to ever get involved in a movie car chase, in fact one of the coolest dudes to ever walk the planet – Steve McQueen as he tries to lose some hit men in hot pursuit up hill, down dale and even along some tram lines all the while ducking and diving to avoid getting shot. The fireball ending has since been emulated in many a fine movie but the original is always the best.

Okay, the fun’s over – next time you’re in the area pop into Chevrolet Arcadia but don’t be tempted to try and emulate any of your movie heroes. They’ve also got some great cars at www.mountainviewchevrolet.com which deserve to be driven carefully and safely.