Hybrid Cars vs. Plug-in Hybrid Cars

By Colin Jones

Hybrid cars are on everyone's minds these days. $20, $30, $40 or even $50 for a tank of fuel? Who really wants to pay that sort of money? But, frustrated, the fuel consumer sighs, but pays up. However, hybrid vehicles are being richly applauded for the small amount of gas they need to operate, and they are flying off the lots of car dealerships each and everyday in ever increasing numbers.

So, what about a plug-in hybrid? Most users have heard that these vehicles are great as well. So, a person might be asking him or herself, what exactly a plug-in hybrid is? How they work, and what the difference between a plug-in hybrid and a regular hybrid is?

Plug-in hybrids are able to run solely on batteries, but they use gas also. These sorts of hybrid cars share some of the characteristics of hybrid vehicles. They are also are very similar to electric vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles must be charged externally by plugging them into an electrical power source. The combustion engine of plug-in hybrid vehicles is used only as a back up. These cars can run only on batteries if desired, but it is expected that these kinds of hybrid cars are recharged daily.

Hybrid cars can go just as many miles as a conventional car. Designed to go the extra mile where fuel-mileage is concerned, hybrids can be driven on the highway, in cities, or wherever else a person needs to travel.

On the other hand, plug-in hybrids are designed to handle commuter-length distances, meaning between twenty and sixty miles between destinations. This way, the plug-in hybrid does not have to use its back up combustion engine, but plug-in hybrids can go further using fuel as well.

Hybrids help to minimize pollution, but they still pollute the air. Compared with plug-in hybrids, hybrid cars still have a long way to go where pollution is concerned. Since plug-in hybrid cars can run solely on their battery power, they don't have to emit waste fuel emissions. That means that plug-in hybrids don't need to pollute the atmosphere.

Plug-in hybrids actually do cut total greenhouse gas emissions and plug-in hybrids use practically no oil at all, imported or not. Studies have shown that electric hybrids emit at least 67% less greenhouse gases than diesel cars. Since the product used to power plug-in hybrids is completely renewable, the difference in greenhouse gas emissions may be even greater than the study determined.

There you have it - the main differences between plug-in hybrids and regular hybrid cars. It could make a big difference, but you would be surprised at how little it actually matters at the moment, but that's only because plug-in hybrids are not being marketed to consumers yet! But this article should make you enthusiastic about the fantastic plug-in hybrid car, which will be featuring soon on a forecourt near you.

And it's going to be a great debut too, since people already like the regular hybrid car models, but they haven't seen anything yet until they see the new plug-in hybrid cars. However, for now, maybe we should just be happy with what we already have, because who knows? Before plug-in hybrid cars are brought out onto the forecourts, something even better might be introduced onto the market. - 30554

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Renting A Vehicle At An Affordable Price

By Jason Hall

Although many feel that renting a car is a very straight forward process, these individuals are often taken back once they get their final bill. There are many surcharges and fees that are added to the per day rental cost, and often times renters are unaware that these cost even exist. It is important that a renter is aware of these fees and additional costs, this way they can be prepared. Knowing these additional cost will also allow the renter to better research a rental to find one that is affordable to them.

When you are looking for a rental the first thing that you should do is research deals and special offers. Once you have found some deals and offers you should then contact each individual company to get a true cost for your rental. The true cost you receive should include any additional fees and taxes that you will be required to pay. You should also check on the Internet for customer satisfaction rates to ensure that you are dealing with an honest and reputable company.

Utilize bidding Web sites There are several sites on the Internet that allow consumers to pick their price for rental cars. These services can help save a bunch of cash, or at the very least, one may be able to rent a luxury car for an economy price.

Having a knowledge of what additional services are going to be offered to you will also help you reduce the price of your rental. For instance all rental companies encourage the renter to take out an additional rental insurance in case of accident or damage. This coverage, however, is not always necessary as you may already be covered under your personal car insurance plan. Be sure to find out if you will be covered prior to renting your vehicle as you can save around $25 a day by not needing to purchase the additional rental insurance. Also, although a rental company will not willingly give you this information, anyone under the age of 25 will pay a higher rental fee. Therefore if you are traveling in a group the rental contract should go under the person who is the oldest, as this too will save you a large sum of money.

Comparison shop and ask for discounts Be sure to compare the rates of several different companies, as prices for renting the same vehicle can vary by up to 25%. Check online prices versus over-the-phone prices, and it never hurts to beg for a discount. Many types of credit, store, and service company cards offer rental car discounts to their card-holders. - 30554

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7 Seater Cars For that Household

By Bill C. Sheers

I remember when I was a kid Did you parents of your friends parents have one of those old school Station Wagon's? You know, the one's that had wood paneling on the outside and 3 rows of seats on the inside? 3 rows of seats was amazing. Other than a van, no other vehicle could accommodate this many people.

The wagons even had that cool tailgate that went down like a pickup truck, but also swung open side ways. (Check out the Honda Ridgeline truck for the only vehicle I've seen with that feature in the last 20 years) But the station wagon went away in favor of the SUV and the Minivan.

Here was the problem: the Minivan had a lot more room than the wagon and was easier to load passengers in and out of. The SUV was higher off the ground, which more and more people were beginning to like. They also really looked good and gave the people the preservation that they were safer in the SUV. Given those issues, the wagon got pushed out.

Both of these will carry at least 7 passengers. Here are 6 of the most popular.

The emergence of the SUV -- It was awesome. You could have this huge vehicle and think you own the road. Gas was, what, .9 cents for crying out load? Well, things have changed, but people really do still need the room, so an SUV is a practical form of transportation.

Chevy Traverse -- This 7 passenger vehicle, not quite as big as the Honda Pilot, gets high marks. Its V-6 is powerful and very fuel efficient.

The Pilot from Honda -- In 2003, Honda dove into the larger SUV market with the Pilot. It has been well received ever since. It seats 8 passengers and is available in both 2WD or 4WD.

Highlander by Toyota -- The Highlander seats 7 and comes with a 4 and 6 cylinder option. You can also get yourself a hybrid version of the Highlander, but with a cost. It will get you 5-6 miles per gallon than a non-hybrid version, but will set you back about $7000 more.

The Minivan -- The Dodge Caravan takes credit for the first Minivan to hit the streets back in the 1980's. They were hugely popular form the beginning and have not slowed down a bit. Though they jokingly have the "Soccer Mom" stigma, many people of all ages drive these very useful and practical vehicles.

2010 Honda Odyssey -- With 8 passenger seating and a V-6 engine with 250hp, the Odyssey is usually regarded as one of the top 3 Minivans that you can buy.

Town and Country from Chrysler -- Great concept of being able to fold all 7 seats flat into the floor without having to take them out. You do give up a little comfort in those seats, but it is pretty cool none the less, especially if you tend to do a lot of hauling.

Sienna -- Toyota's minivan offers 4WD and is always rated toward the top. It is going to be redesigned for 2011 so look for the most recent info on their website.

If you've got a couple of kids, a 7 seater is almost a must. It's not the kids that take up all the reoom. it's the stuff.

Check out the cars/trucks above. It will be a good start for you. - 30554

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Find out All About Repossessed Car Auctions

By Yvette Munro

People who find themselves in need of a vehicle usually are looking at a dreadful economy and other factors that make purchasing a brand new car difficult. But, with the terrible economy, there have been some good things take place for people who have the spare money to take advantage of opportunities. Repossessed car auctions have grown in popularity over the last few years as people have had to utilize their resources for other needs.

Previously, a person might be restricted on the kind of vehicles they would discover at a car auction. The auctions were frequently held in a location that was tricky to find and had few cars on hand that looked like they would meet any persons needs. Nevertheless, just in the last year over 1.6 million vehicles have been repossessed by banks, credit unions, and lenders.

Cars that are repossessed, usually are taken because there has been a hardship or financial crisis that makes it impossible for a person to keep up the payments on their vehicle. The vehicles are often newer models and several have not been driven further than a few thousand miles.

Prior to the economic downturn a good number of people were buying new vehicles frequently. As soon as a new fad car was brought onto the market, people in certain cliches had to acquire the car. Even if the payments were very high, they felt sure that they would be able to make the payment. When the economy tanked a large number of these same people found themselves making a great deal less money than previously and the high vehicle loan could not be paid. Instead of driving the vehicle, a large number of these people gave their cars back to the lender. These cars are in fantastic shape, possess little if any wear, and have very low mileage.

Other people had their vehicles for a longer period of time and may have driven on a few trips before they experienced economic setbacks that made paying their loan payment impossible. These vehicles are newer model vehicles in average condition and with average mileage.

Now and then, when a person gets a personal loan from a bank, credit union, or lender, they will use their vehicle as security on the loan. When they are unable to make the payments, their vehicle is repossessed. These vehicles are generally older, have high mileage, and have some issues because of their age and use.

When you attend car auctions you will discover that there may be thousands of vehicles available for bidding. There will be a wide range of choices of models, makes, and styles. A number of the cars will have every option available for that vehicle whereas others will be simple and basic models. The cars cannot be driven, but if you come early you are able to check the cars and switch them on to hear the engine.

Cars sold at the auctions are sold "as is." A few auctions give a 90 day warranty though this is uncommon. When purchasing a vehicle at an auction it is vital to take into account that if there is damage or repairs needed, you will need to take care of that yourself. After winning a bid you will need to arrange for cash or financing available to pay for the vehicle. On the whole auctions will accept cash, a certified check, otherwise in place financing. They will not allow credit cards.

Before going to the auction it is a good idea to get a hold of an inventory of the cars you are interested in. By making the investment in a car history report you can establish if the vehicle has been in an accident or has some other type of major damage. When a person purchases a car through the repossessed car auctions they frequently save up to sixty percent of what they would pay for the same vehicle at a car dealer. - 30554

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What to Look for When Purchasing a New Diesel Exhaust System

By Jordan Hunter

A high-end exhaust system is a great way to improve the look and performance of your vehicle. I recently got a new truck and adding a high performance diesel exhaust systems was the first step to improving my truck. This should always be the first improvement if you're looking to soup up your vehicle!

Everyone has their favorite style, their favorite brand, the sound their looking for and so on. There's a huge selection out there for you to choose from in the custom world of exhaust systems. The auto-makers leave room for us car-lovers to make these improvements with better products than their stock options.

If you're looking to improve your horsepower and you're torque, then this is the best way to start. This is the first thing you'll feel when you make the change to an improved system. Stock exhaust's are more restricted which is why there's room to create more power. The pipes are made from better materials and this allows the air to flow at a better rate, which in turn creates more power.

One of the next benefits you'll notice is the smooth sound of your engine. You're car will start to prrr as you drive! You don't want to make the engine too loud, as all states have different noise ordinances, but a nice deep tone is going to make your car shine!

Another great improvement you'll notice is you sure won't be spending as much money on gas. The emissions system starts working in your favor, so you won't burn up and waste as much gas.

Now that we've discussed the three most significant improvements to your vehicle, let's discuss a few of the different styles available. There are single exhaust systems and dual exhaust systems. Dual exhaust systems have less restriction than single exhaust systems. The gases leaving your vehicle have more room to escape, which will usually create a better sound and a bit more power.

My recent diesel exhaust system is on my truck. Since I often use a trailer, I opted to go with an opposite side dual exhaust system. This is a bit more unique and I recommend it for vehicles that may tow something, like a boat. This style has the pipes coming from under the back bumper and out the sides over the tires. With this style, the gases won't shoot all over the trailer!

Once you make the change to a high performance exhaust system, you'll never want to go back. You'll love the sound, the power, the look and of course a few extra bucks over the years in gas money! Good luck in your search! - 30554

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What Are Quick Lift Shocks?

By Greg Mortonson

Want to lift your vehicle quick? Then look no further than Rancho quickLIFT shocks. The quickLIFT kills two birds with one stone. It's a suspension lift and a high-performance shock absorber in one.

Each quickLIFT shock was designed for the vehicle it will be installed on meaning they're not a one-size-fits-all solution. They're a precision engineered product made for your vehicle and its unique needs. quickLIFT shocks offer up to 2.5-inches of lift while providing optimal driving quality and comfort.

The Rancho quickLIFT works on a simple engineering concept. It preloads the existing coil spring. Preloading the spring pushes the suspension downward (away from the chassis). This results in lift -- true suspension lift.

The quickLIFT is the newest member of the myRIDE family of Rancho shocks which means they feature the same 9-position adjustable shock absorbency as the RS9000XL line of shocks and the two work well in tandem. They can be set soft for freeway driving, firm for off-road, or anywhere in between to your liking.

All myRIDE shocks, including the quickLIFT, are compatible with the Rancho myRIDE remote control so now you can adjust your shocks at the touch of a button, even while driving.

This quickLIFT shock offers several advantages.

* They retain the factory engineered coil spring so there's no need to buy new springs. Much of the factory drive quality is preserved because the ride is still dependent on the factory spring.

* Provides up to 2.5-inches of true suspension lift. This allows the installation of larger tires without the need of a full, differential-drop or axle-drop suspension lift.

* Adjustable shock absorbency with nine levels of firmness.

* Cutting or welding is not required like some suspension lifts.

* Installation can be done by the "home mechanic" in just a few hours.

If you're looking to add some height to your truck or SUV without spending big bucks on a fully engineered suspension lift, then Rancho quickLIFT shocks may be just what you want. They allow for a quick lift with superb shock absorbency control. - 30554

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Apple to Apple New Car Comparison

By Steve Simpkins

If you are doing a new car comparison, it is important to compare apples to apples. It would be foolish to compare a SUV to a compact car as these two vehicles are meant for different markets. Instead, take one class of car and drill down to see which one is right for you.

For instance, the Volkswagen Golf, Dodge Caliber, Kia Soul Exclaim, and Mazda 3S Sport are all around the same price - $17,000 to $19,000. While they are largely similar cars, they differ in some respects. For instance, the Golf has a 2.5 liter engine while the Kia and the Mazda have only 2 liter engines. The Exclaim Soul and the Sport also have significantly lower displacement. The Kia doesn't have front side airbags while the other three vehicles do.

At the other end of the spectrum, you also see similarities between cars. For instance, the Rolls Royce Ghost, which starts at $245,000, is very similar to the Mercedes Benz S-Class which has a much lower starting price ($133,000). Yet, aside from the cache of driving a Rolls Royce, the two cars are very alike in their standard engine, horse power, etc.

The small SUV market also has similarities and differences. We'll look at four vehicles here: the Kia Sportage, Suzuki Sportback, Nissan Rogue, and Mitsubishi Outlander. These vehicles range in price from $19,000 to $22,000. Some of the differences are apparent in horsepower. The Sportage has only 140 horses while the Rogue comes in at 170. The vehicles also differ in their highway miles to the gallon with the Sportage coming in last at 25 miles to the gallon and the Sportback in first place at 30.

When you are making a new car comparison, it is important to consider cars by class rather than make judgments between different types of vehicles. Different cars are made to suit different drivers. A Mini Cooper is not the ideal vehicle for a family of six, for instance. When you compare like vehicles, you get a sense of what is the best value for you. - 30554

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