Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hyundai Sonata

Has any other automaker gone from imitator to innovator this quickly? That's what the 2013 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan has us wondering. It was only a few years ago that Hyundais came across as Korean-flavored interpretations of more established cars, but now every new family sedan seems to be taking cues from Korea's finest. Let's start with the Sonata's bold "fluidic sculpture" design language, which truly looks like nothing else on the road. It was revolutionary when the Sonata debuted in 2010, a breath of fresh air in a segment notorious for stale styling. Since then, we've seen the Nissan Altima get all swoopy for its latest redesign, and the new Ford Fusion's physique has likewise been streamlined. Yes, that's right: Hyundai set the trend, and the others followed suit. Even fiercely independent Honda pays homage to Hyundai these days, as the new Accord's taillights look like they were lifted straight off the Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan. The Sonata is also a leader under the hood, where the base 2.4-liter engine offers up to 200 horsepower, and the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine marshals a whopping 274 horses. We can remember when only high-strung performance machines like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution made that kind of power with a 2.0-liter inline-4. Fuel economy is stellar as well, reaching in the mid-30 mpg range with either engine. Naturally, Hyundai hasn't gotten everything about the Sonata right overnight. But when you take all of the Sonata's strong points and add Hyundai's traditional value advantage to the mix, it's no wonder other automakers are suddenly scrambling to keep up.


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Automotive School

What are the perks of going to automotive school, and why are people attending automotive school in higher numbers than ever before? The answers are surprisingly random in the fact that people have many different reasons for attending automotive school. The common bond between the students is they all made the leap to take these classes, and get a degree, or certification that will help them in the future. Obviously most people attend automotive school in order to earn a certification that will help them find work. The major point of any technical school is to offer its student body a way to get certified in any number of jobs, or trades worldwide. Most people that attend are involved in the school for this reason. Gaining a certification will lead to a better chance to get the job that works for you. Earning an automotive school degree, or certification will provide valuable training for one to use both personally, and professionally. Personally there won't be a thing wrong with your car that you won't at least have some idea how to fix. The school of your choice will teach you how to identify most any problem, and further provide instruction on how to fix the problem. This alone can save you thousands of dollars in service, and repair costs at a local shop. Further, automotive school can prepare you for a career doing what you love to do, repairing cars, and trucks. The great thing about this type of education is that it is created to meet the working persons time constraints. This means that you can take classes in the evenings, or even on the weekend. Some schools are now online, and this adds another way that people can take courses in automotive school. The technology used is as up to date as possible, and provides state of the art training on how to diagnose, and fix vehicles of all kinds. With the sophistication of automobiles today, it is important to attend an automotive school that is up to date in it's courses, and material they use for instructing students. Another important thing to look for when searching for an automotive school is the experience of the instructors. Do the instructors have a lot of experience fixing cars? Or are the instructors new to the trade? The answer to this question will certainly help in any search for a quality automotive school. The instructors should have vast experience fixing cars, and working with students as well. The most effective instructors are those that can both instruct, and relate to students as they take on the tasks that automotive school presents to them. Finally it is important to look for a training program where other students have successfully found jobs after completing their courses. Most automotive schools will offer some type of career assistance, which is imperative for this type of program. The entire point of automotive school is to obtain a career in the industry, and thus career services in an integral part to the mix. Make sure that the program of your choice provides career services, and job placement if at all possible. Once a job is in place, and the money starts to come in, life becomes a lot easier and fulfilling. For those students with families who will need to work during training to support the household, look for a automotive school that will work around your schedule. There should be plenty of programs that will offer this service. If you have a burning desire to repair automobiles, it's time to take a look at what automotive school can do for you.

Automotive Batteries

Think of the battery as the heart of your car. You need a battery you can count on to get your motor running and keep it pumping all day long. The car battery is an essential element of the intricate network that makes your car start and keeps the engine running. The battery powers most of the car's electrical components and accessory structures, such as the headlights, turn signals, fans, etc. While the alternator provides most of the electrical needs of the entire car system, the battery can keep them going in the event of an alternator malfunction. There are many batteries available at automotive supply stores, and it's important to know exactly which model is the right choice for your car. The wrong battery won't work in your car, and it may even cause damage to the vehicle. Knowing which battery is right for your particular vehicle is extremely important, and it can also help to learn about the various battery manufacturers and automotive supply companies. You should only have to buy a battery every few years, so make sure you're buying the right one. * Size Matters: Buying a battery for your car is like choosing a pair of shoes for you. One size does not fit all. The size of the battery itself is important, as it needs to fit snugly into the space allotted under the engine's hood. If the battery is too small there is the risk of it becoming dismantled and causing vibrations or damage. Further, the battery will either be a top post or side post model, which will determine how it fits and operates. * Power Up: You need to know your car's specific power requirements before purchasing a car battery. Some cars need an 8-volt battery, while others require a 12-volt. There are a number of considerations to take into account, such as the size of the car and the number of accessories that must be powered. A huge sound system, for example, can easily suck the life out of an average car battery. A 12-volt battery should be able to maintain at least 7.2 volts when the vehicle is starting and while it is operational. * Chill Out: If you live in a cold-climate area, it's important to check the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) before you buy. CCA is a measurement used to determine a battery's ability to start an engine at 0° Fahrenheit, within a 30 second period. A higher CCA rating means the battery will start your vehicle faster and more effectively in freezing weather. * Get it in Writing: No matter how well known the manufacturer is, you need to get a written manufacturers warranty with your battery. Make sure that the battery is in original condition, and is not a recharged model. The quality and dependability of the battery you choose should be indicative of the warranty you're offered. Make sure that battery is guaranteed for the duration of the battery's life (ie: if you plan on using the battery for five years, look for a five-year warranty). * Keep it Fresh: Whether you're buying bananas or batteries, you need to make sure they're fresh and damage-free. Just because it's a piece of car equipment, it's not OK for your battery to waste away on a stockroom shelf. Make sure that the battery you buy is produced by a known and respected manufacturer, and that it's fully charged and ready to start your car. If you're not careful, you can run the risk of purchasing a fake or recharged battery. Look on the side of a battery casing for a special label or decal. You'll find the month and year that the battery was shipped from the manufacturer's plant. The letters 'A' through 'M' represent months of the year. For example, 'A' is January and 'M' is December. The letter 'I' is not used. The numbers 1 through 9 denotes the year of manufacture. Therefore, if the sticker on your batter reads L4, you know that it was manufactured in November 2004. A car battery provides starting power to your vehicle, so make sure it's dependable. Understand your car's requirements and know how to verify the quality of the battery before you make the final purchase.