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!

PRO: CHARGE IT UP AT HOME
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.

CON: THERE’S A LIMIT ON HOW FAR YOU CAN GO
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.

PRO: CHEAPER TO RUN
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.

CON: THEY’RE EXPENSIVE TO PURCHASE
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!