The Tail Lights You Have to See to Believe

It’s not a secret that tail lights are one of the most important features of a car. Not only does it alert traffic to the fact that you’ve stepped on the brake, but it also shows when you are turning and in what direction. (Though there are plenty of jokes about how no one uses that feature.) So it’s no surprise that companies would want to try and create new and innovative tail lights to put them at the head of the car sales game.
One company that is doing just that is Audi. They recently unveiled a new type of tail light that they could begin to put into production. It’s only a prototype for now, but who knows? Maybe this will become the standard of tail lights. Or it could at least set off a chain of creative thinking to re-imagine classic, vital car features. And I think the car industry needs more creative thinkers who will break the mold and bring us into the next era of cars.

Introducing: The Swarm
Audi has decided to name this new creation the Swarm. And once you take a look at it, it’s clear to see why. Simply type in “Audi the Swarm” to any search engine and click on one of the many videos that pops up. The footage is spectacular. It’s a one piece tail light that displays a live swarm of red flecks that come to life to show what you’re doing. They react to when you touch the brake and when you turn on your turn signal, so other drivers can get the message in a new, creative way. It’s safe to say there’s nothing like this on the road right now and Audi is making their name important once again.

Show Road Changes
One of the most unique features is that whenever the Swarm is active and running, it will actually shift slightly to show changes in the direction of the road. It actually appears to create a little picture of a road. And if the road ahead curves left, the Swarm will change its shape to show the driver behind you that it curves left as well. While it’s not entirely apparent what the use for that is quite yet, it wouldn’t be hard to believe it’d have its uses. Any time a driver can have more information about the ride he or she is driving, it’s usually better for everyone.

Better Convey Brake Usage
This is probably my favorite feature of the Swarm. They glow red when you’re stepping on the brake. But what I like is that they glow brighter and move more violently and sporadically the harder you’re pressing on the brake pedal. So if you’re making a gentle stop at a red light, they’re pretty calm. But if you slam on the brake because of an emergency, they’re pretty hard to miss. I think this is one of the best features because it alerts the drivers behind you to how sudden your stop is about to be. I’m sure this could save lives in many scenarios.

Why It Is Only an Idea…For Now
Sadly, we will probably not see the Swarm on an Audi car for quite some time yet. And why would that be? Because it’s not legal, actually. The design conflicts with the idea that cars shouldn’t be too distracting because otherwise it could cause an accident on the road. And the Swarm could most definitely be distracting. But maybe that’s because it’s the first of its kind. If more car companies create equivalents and it becomes a norm, then maybe laws can be changed and we can be driving our own personal Audi Swarms around. One can dream, right?

Are you feeling inspired now? Or are you not a fan of this rather interesting design concept? Comment below to share your thoughts on the Swarm and Audi’s creative path. And then please consider sharing this article on Twitter, Facebook, and all those other social sharing sites. Amaze your friends with this design of the future and get them to share their thoughts on it too! What do you think is next in store for the car industry? I have my fingers crossed for hover cars someday!

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

With gas prices steadily rising, and environmental concerns coming to the forefront, everyone’s looking for a new source of car fuel. And out of this discussion has come the newest trend: electric cars. Cars that you can plug in at home and then drive to work without stopping at the gas station? Sounds pretty great. But what are the cons of this type of vehicle? And what are some other benefits? Let’s take a look!

It doesn’t get much better than this. You come home from a long day out and simply plug your car in while it sits in your garage. It takes you only a couple seconds and then you can go inside and relax for the evening. While you sleep, your car charges all on its own. So, when you wake up, it’s recharged and ready and waiting for you so you can tackle another full day. It’s a small adjustment to your routine to avoid the gas stations.

If you recharge your car completely overnight at your house, most models can drive out about 100 miles before needing to charge again. That’s quite a distance, but if you’re on a road trip, you may encounter some problems. Charging stations for electric cars are still sparse. So if you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself stranded. Hopefully, however, this problem will lessen as popularity grows.

The great thing about electric cars is that electricity is fairly cheap when compared to gasoline. In fact, in most places across the US, the cost to fuel an electric vehicle per mile is a third of the cost of a gasoline vehicle. And maintenance is less expensive as well. Running on electricity means no oil changes! You’ll be amazed how much longer you can wait between mechanic checks in an electric car.

While an electric vehicle may be cheaper to operate, they’re quite an investment to start with. Some low end models can easily break $40,000. And if you’re looking to get your hands on a coveted Tesla electric vehicle, expect anywhere from $90,000 to $140,000. That’s quite a dent in your pocket book. However, if that’s within your price range, it’s a great choice. Another difficult part of buying an electric car is that very few are on the pre-owned market as they are still quite new.

As you can see, there are both some positives and negatives with electric cars. Just as there are with any other type of vehicle. I expect that the future will be filled with electric vehicles, but only time will tell. After reading this article, do you think electric is the way to go for you? Comment below and tell us why or why not. And then share this article with friends or family on Facebook, Twitter, or more. Who knows? Maybe they’ll decide it’s time to make the switch.

The 5 Fastest Street Legal Cars in the World

Cars have been around a couple hundred years, and they sure have evolved over the decades and decades. We’ve gone from horseless carriages to supercars that go beyond the imagination. More importantly, there are five street legal cars that you’ll hardly believe. So here they are!

5. SSC Ultimate Aero – this product of SSC North America, which was previously Shelby SuperCars, may have clocked in at number five on our list, but it held the Guinness Book of World Records title of fastest car in the world for three years! It was a star at 256 miles per hour, and then something strange happened. It was replaced by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport until the Bugatti’s record was disqualified from the book for reasons never specified. The Ultimate Aero reclaimed its title….for five whole days. Then it was replaced by the new record holder that stuck around for much longer.

4. 9FF GT9-R – the GT9 is created by a German company called 9FF. It can create a top speed of 257 miles per hour. More impressively, it can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just under three seconds. The design is pretty similar to a Porsche 911, from the body to the finest details. The only main difference is the inside of 9FF GT9 which is fairly minimalist compared to everything else. That’s because the German designers from 9FF wanted to strip away anything not absolutely necessary on the inside to make the car run faster. I suppose it worked.

3. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport – ah, the stories behind this vehicle. The original model, simply titled the Bugatti Veyron, beat the SSC Ultimate Aero for the title of fastest car ever in the Guinness Book of World Records. However, the car then experience unknown difficulties that were never exactly released. So it lost the record. That’s when the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was released, new and improved. The only thing that’ll take your breath away more than its 268 miles per hour speed is its 1.6 million pound price tag. Shockingly, it’s still selling extremely well and demand only seems to grow more and more.

2. Hennessey Venom GT – talk about a beautiful and strikingly powerful car. It’s sleek and packed with 1,244 horsepower. The company is not well known as of now, but that’s not stopping it from racing into the second slot on the list of fastest street cars in the world. With a clocked top speed of 270 miles per hour, it’s no surprise that it’s generating major buzz all over. It won’t be long before they’re just as big a name in supercars as any of the other historic brands.

1. Koenigsegg Agera R – and here it is folks. This is the entry on the list that you’ve been waiting for. The fastest street legal supercar out there today anywhere in the world. It comes from a little known company named Koenigsegg that has over and over proved that it is not a force to be reckoned with, coming out with faster and more powerful cars. And the Agera R is currently sitting on the top of the hill, as the creme de la creme, clocking in at an astounding 273 miles per hour. Ready for the best part? It actually costs less than some of its lesser competitors at only 1.1 million pounds. So maybe owning one someday is not too far out of the question?

So there you have it! The top five fastest street legal cars in the world today. Will the Koenigsegg Agera R stay on top for long? Or will a new car come out hot to knock it down a peg? I suppose we will have to wait and see. Needless to say, the future of cars is looking fast.
If you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any of those other social media sites with your friends and fellow car lovers. When you inspire a friend to purchase one of the supercars, you can tell them they owe you a test drive. Also, comment below about which insanely fast car is your favorite and what your future car predictions are. Until next time, safe driving!

Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

Yesterday I had the fun (aka annoying) experience of my check engine light turning on during my commute. I had to drive it over to the mechanic to figure out what was wrong with it. Turns out my fix was quick and easy, but I learned a lot in the process. I found out the three most common reasons that pesky light pops on, so maybe you can be prepared when it happens to you.

  • A Loose or Even Missing Gas Cap
    Believe it or not, your check engine light will actually light up if your gas cap is loose. So check that first since it won’t cost you anything to do so. The light will also turn on if the gas cap is missing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve left my gas cap on the hood of the car after pumping gas before. Then I pull away and it rolls right off. Thankfully, you can pick up a new one at almost any auto shop for around $10.
    Do you know why your gas cap is important? Fumes from the gas tank can actually escape through the uncapped hole. It can cause a very slight decrease in gas efficiently. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but, with the price so low, you might as well get it fixed to save you in the long run.
  • Your Oxygen Sensor Needs to Be Replaced
    If you don’t know cars well, your mind is probably drawing a blank on this one. It’s a little sensor that alerts your vehicle to when changes need to be made to the air and fuel ratio. If the car’s oxygen sensor breaks down or even malfunctions, it doesn’t mix the fuel and the air properly. This leads to an up to 40% decrease in fuel efficiency, which is no small amount.
    When your car isn’t maximizing its fuel use, it costs you big money. So, while the sensor is a whopping $250, it is important to get it fixed. A survey done year after year shows that this sensor is the number one reason your check engine light may turn on.
  • The Spark Plugs are Broken
    You might look over this option if your car is currently running. The spark plugs are what ignite the fuel to get your vehicle up and going right? So if your car is operating just fine when the check engine light turns on, this can’t be the option. But the spark plugs can be slowly going bad over time and finally break while the car is running. So, if the check engine light turns on, your vehicle may just not turn on the next time you get up for work.
    And that’s why, in my unprofessional opinion, you should go to a mechanic when you see that little red light turn on. You can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle. And if you let it go, it could damage your car even further which isn’t good by any standards.

My car is now back up and running and it was, thankfully, a minor issue. But you never know. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Your mechanic is your friend! They know way more than I could ever write in this one article. So stay safe out on the road.

How to Change More Than Just Oil In Your Car

I’ve already written previously about to change motor oil, so you should be an expert on that! But there’s still many more car fluids that a vehicle owner has to check and replace on a regular basis. I’ve listed the most common ones below that you’ll probably find in just about any car. But also check your owner’s manual to learn what your individual vehicle may need.

  • Power Steering Fluid
    If you’ve gone for a U turn, you know getting that wheel to turn all the way can be a challenge. Power steering fluid helps with this issue and makes it easy peasy to control your steering wheel without pulling a muscle. To help avoid a stiff wheel, open up the hood of your car once a month and find the reservoir that should be labeled on the cap. Open it up and take a peek at the maximum and minimum lines. If your power steering fluid isn’t between these two lines, fill it until it is and save any leftover fluid for next month.
  • Coolant
    Touching a car hood right after it’s been out in traffic shows you just how hot an engine can run. If it overheats, the car might not only break down, but be permanently damaged. That’s why cars come equipped with a supply of coolant or, as people call it, antifreeze. It keeps your engine at the optimal temperature to get the job done without going into the red zone of heat. To refill your coolant, open the hood of your vehicle and locate the radiator cap. There should be a small line that marks the necessary level of your coolant. Fill it up to there about three times a year. But here’s the important part: never mix brands of coolant. You can get some strange reactions and side effects if you do. Find a brand you like and stick to it!
  • Brake Fluid
    There’s no denying the importance of brakes on any vehicle. But do you know how valuable your brake fluid is? It keeps the brakes lubricated, so they can do their job without corroding or squeaking. It also stops vapor bubbles from building up in the brake system. Without brake fluid, the brakes could malfunction, putting you in serious risk of an accident. So open up the hood of your car and see where there is usually a clear container with a golden brown liquid. This is your brake fluid and it’s easy to check without uncapping anything. You don’t necessarily run out of brake fluid, but it does get dirty over time, making it less effective. If it’s dark brown, instead of gold, it’s time for a change. My recommendation is to simply take it to your local mechanic for a quick change whenever you do your next motor oil change. It’s a lot easier and quicker than doing it yourself, it’s not too expensive, and it’s only really needed about every two years.

You’re all set to hit the road again! Go enjoy a nice afternoon ride around town, knowing that your car’s fluid levels are in top shape. As I said before, you might find your car has other fluids to worry about, but this is a great start. Happy riding!

How to Check Oil Level of a Motor Vehicle

Check Oil – Car Care

Checking Your Car’s Oil Level And Tire Pressure

Check Engine Light

It’s important for you to know how to check the air pressure in your car’s tires as well as your vehicle’s oil level. Doing this will make it possible for you to know when maintenance is necessary. It can also help you notice any undetected problems that could become a concern in the future.

If you are ever concerned that you car is unsafe to drive please call a local tow truck company to take it to a mechanic for inspections. Do not take the risk of causing damage to your car, yourself, someone else or someone else’s car. If your located in Las Vegas give my Jorge at Down on The Corning Towing Company a call. He’s great at what he does and always goes the extra mile.

Under-Inflated Tires

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving on tires that are under-inflated is dangerous. At any given time, a third of the vehicles on the road have one or more under-inflated tires. If the pressure in a tire is too low, there is an unsafe amount of the tire’s surface touching the road. This will increase the amount of friction being created. This higher amount of friction could result in a tire overheating. This could cause a tire to experience tread separation, premature wear as well as an increased chance of a blowout.

Checking Tire Pressure


There are places that permit you to put air in your tires. These stations may supply their own tire pressure gauge. Not all of these gauges are accurate. Getting a dependable air pressure gauge is not expensive, and you will know that it’s accurate. A tire pressure gauge is designed to measure pounds per square inch (PSI). An air pressure gauge can provide a digital PSI reading as well as by notches. This will depend on the gauge. There is a valve stem on the tire of your car. It appears to be an air nozzle. Place the gauge evenly on the valve stem. Once it is put firmly put down on the valve stem, air will flow up into the tire pressure gauge. This is when the gauge will provide an accurate reading. The correct PSI for your tires will be listed in your owner’s manual. There may also be a sticker on the driver’s side door indicating the recommended tire PSI. Put air in the tire if needed but be certain to not over inflate them. This could cause faster wear and also lead to a blowout.

Importance Of Checking Oil Level

You should check the oil in your car at least one time each month. This will let you know if there is enough oil in your vehicle. It will also let you know the oil is not contaminated. The oil in a vehicle acts as a lubricant. Over time, oil breaks down and will lose its lubricating properties. This is a natural occurrence. Oil’s ability to lubricate an engine will decrease friction. This removes heat from the parts of an engine that are moving. Some newer engines will have an oil cooler. This is designed to pump cooled oil back into the engine to decrease its temperature. The oil in an engine is also able to filter out debris from its oil galleys and crankcase.

Checking Oil


It’s important for you to check the owner’s manual for your vehicle to locate where the oil dipstick is located. Make certain your vehicle is cold. This should not be done until a vehicle is off for fifteen minutes or longer. Start the process out by pulling out the oil dipstick and wiping it on a rag that is clean and free of lint. Once the dipstick is clean, it’s time to put it back. Should the dipstick get stuck doing this, you should turn it around. The pipe holding the dipstick in curved. The metal dip stick will bend in the direction of the curve. Pull the dipstick out again and carefully look at the film at the end of it. Notice the condition of the oil. This will tell you if the oil is contaminated and if more oil needs to be added.

How to Change a Flat Tire

Repair Flat Tire – Car Care

How to Repair a Flat Tire and What You Need to Know

Everyone gets a flat tire now and then. It’s important to know how to change it because you might be stuck in a location where you have no or little access to help. The following is a step-by-step guide to changing a flat tire. You will find that it is easy to do and requires little technical competence.

Flat Tire

1) Make Sure the Vehicle Is not on an Incline – It’s very important that you make sure that your vehicle is not on a hill or incline. The last thing that you want is for your car to move from its position while you are changing a tire. You should use objects such as bricks to make sure that the car won’t roll. You should also turn on your hazard lights to alert other cars that you are changing a tire.

2) Put Your Parking Brake on – This will further prevent your car from moving or rolling.

3) Place the Jack in Position – You need to get a hold of the jack and place it underneath your car’s frame near the tire that needs to be changed. It might be a good idea to look at the owner’s manual to find the precise best spot to locate the jack.

Car Jack

6) Raise the Car – You should raise the jack so that it is supporting the car. This doesn’t mean that you should lift the car with the jack. Make sure that the jack is firmly supporting the car.

7) Remove the Wheel Cover or Hubcap – You may need to pry it off with a screwdriver. You may also need to pry it off in a couple of spots to loosen it.

8) Loosen the Nuts – You need to loosen the nuts by turning them counterclockwise. You shouldn’t take them off. Just loosen them. When you first loosen the nuts, the wheel should be still on the ground. This will help you gain traction on the nuts.

9) Raise the Car Off of the Ground – You need to do this so that you can get the tire off of the car. When you do this, you must make sure that the car is stable on the jack. If there is an issue, lower the jack and fix it before you lift the car again.

10) Take the Tire off of the Vehicle – You should do this by first removing the nuts and then pulling the tire from the car.

Tire Iron

11) Put the Spare Tire on – You must align the rim of the spare with the wheel bolts and then put on the lug nuts. After you have them in, it’s necessary to tighten them. Also, you should make sure not to use so much force when tightening the nuts. You might disturb the jack.

12) Lower the Jack – You should lower the car while letting the jack support some of the weight of the tire. Then tighten the nuts one by one. At that point, you can fully lower the jack and take it out. Finish tightening the nuts and put the hubcap back on.

13) Put the flat tire in your trunk and drive the car to your chosen mechanic. They will fix the tire if it’s fixable or sell you a new one if it’s not repairable.

As you can see, changing a flat tire is not very difficult and requires very little technical skill. By following the steps above, you can make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive back to your mechanic. You need to always make sure that you are carrying a spare tire, a jack, and the proper tools to take off and install a tire.


How Check a Car Battery

I wanted to begin with providing you all value in a unique way. I have put together a 3 part post for a ‘how-to’ guide for basic car care.

How to Check Your Car Battery and Signals to be Aware of.

Car Battery

Little in life is more frustrating than that moment when you turn the key in your car’s ignition and….nothing happens. What is wrong? Is it the battery? How can you tell?

What many drivers do not realize is that a battery continues to age even when it is not in use. So whether you drive your car frequently or rarely, your battery will typically need to be tested every two to four years and replaced every three to six years.

In this post, learn how to check your car battery to see if it needs replacing. Also learn about early warning signals to be aware of so you can replace your car battery before it dies on you.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Battery Checking

Jumper Cables
If your battery has become covered in debris or corroded, the first thing you need to do is clean it off and inspect it. A clean battery is more likely to last longer than one that is poorly maintained, and sometimes a simple cleaning and inspection can restore weak connections and give your battery new life.

Here is what to do:

– Turn your car off, remove the cover and disconnect the two cables.
– Use baking soda, water and a soft scrub or toothbrush to clean battery acid deposits away from the two battery terminals (positive, negative).
– Blow away any debris with a hair dryer or leaf blower.
– Dry everything with a soft lint-free rag or allow to air dry.
– Reconnect the positive cable and then the negative cable.
– Add a coating of petroleum jelly or auto grease to prevent future corrosion.
– Replace any corroded, frayed or cracked clamps/cables.
– Check the battery casing itself for cracks or excess wear and tear.

After you do this cleaning and visual inspection, you are ready to perform the battery tests.

3 Ways to Check Your Car Battery

Depending on which test(s) you do, you will need a voltmeter or a power probe (you should be able to find each of these at any auto parts store or online).

Method #1Take a Voltmeter Reading.
Touch the positive voltmeter lead to the positive terminal on your car battery while touching the negative voltmeter lead to the negative terminal on your car battery.

The voltmeter will give you a voltage reading. If the reading is lower than 12.4 volts, your battery needs charging. If it is higher than 12.9 volts, your battery is receiving excess charge that needs to be discharged for safety.

Method #2Take a Power Probe Reading.

Jump Start

A power probe is similar to a voltmeter. With the power probe, you want to attach positive to positive and negative to negative on your car battery, exactly the same way you did with the voltmeter. Use Method #1’s voltage readings to determine what to do next.

Method #3Crank the Engine.
The third and final way to check your car battery is by cranking the engine. You may need an assistant to do this test. Turn the key in the ignition and hold it for two seconds.

While you do this, have your assistant hold the power probe as described in Method #2 here. A reading of below 9.6 volts indicates the battery isn’t able to hold the charge.

By knowing how to test your own car battery, you can keep yourself from being stranded when the battery dies suddenly. You can also get your battery serviced when tests indicate to do so and prolong its useful life.