Looking for a New Domain Name

I thought I would put the word out that I am looking for a new domain name for this auto blog.  You might have seen that yesterday I have been online for 3 years, which is a big milestone for me.  Since this is such a big milestone I thought I would consider another buying another domain name so I can expand this blog.  Like a lot of people I choose a domain name because;

  1. It was available
  2. I thought it made sense
  3. It seemed catchy

While I still like the name “Adam’s Auto Advice” I think that it doesn’t reflect where I wan to take this blog as a site and it doesn’t make sense.  Since it was available for the $10 registration fee it didn’t seem like a big deal to me.  I think the name is catchy at least.  

So if you have a domian name that is auto related and would be ideal for this blog let me know.  I am mainly looking for these keywords in a domain;

  • Car / Cars
  • Auto / Autos
  • Motor / Motors

Preferably the domain should be two words and no longer than 15 letters long.  My budgets is $50 but I might go higher for the right domain name.  If you think you have something to offer please visit my contact page and let me know via email.  I am glad to take offers from domainers and any web entrepreneurs.

Changing to a new domain can be a challenging and exciting experience, but hopefully I am making the right choice.

County in Ireland Legalizes Drunk Driving

GravityTap
SilkTork / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Lots of advocates and politicians want to put a stop to drunk driving, but in Ireland they are taking a bit of a different approach to drunk driving at least in Kerry County, which is located in the South Western part of the Ireland.  Councilman Danny Healy-Rae actually put forward a motion to legalize drunk driving.  His reasoning behind this is that in rural areas people don’t have an easy way to get to and from their home without using a car.  Public transportation isn’t easy to use for these people, so it makes sense to let them drive drunk.

“A lot of these people are living in isolated rural areas where there’s no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don’t want to take the risk of losing their licence,” said Councilman Danny Healy-Rae.  “The pub is invariably the only social outlet left in rural Ireland and they’re getting scarce now – just one or two in every village.”

The current maximum blood-alcohol level is 50mg per 100ml of blood for most drivers and 20mg for learner and professional drivers. Although it varies depending on driver, this is roughly equivalent to less than one pint of beer. The level of fatalities on Irish roads dropped significantly over the past five years with the introduction of lower alcohol limits for drivers and alcohol checkpoints.

The motion passed put forward by Councilman Dan Healey-Rae passed the  council vote 5 votes to 3.  Healey-Rae understands the opposition and it still requires Government approval.  If passed the people of Kerry County would be given special permits to drive drunk.  It seems this is an important issue for Healey-Rae. I think we probably know why though.

I guess to a certain degree this makes sense.  Living in Baltimore city it is much easier to get around if you are tipsy.  Still… legalizing drunk driving?  Guinness is my favorite beer so maybe I could just move to Ireland along with a bunch of bros! 🙂

Leave your thoughts and opinions about this below.  I am sure people will have a lot to share regarding this story.

*Join Adam’s Auto Advice on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Journal.ie

Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

Tropical Storm Katia (NASA, International Space Station, 08/31/11)
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC

Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, bearing down upon the entire Eastern seaboard and many states getting slammed by heavy rain and wind, I am sure lots of people are wondering what they could have done to prepare for a hurricane better.  An important consideration is that your vehicle can be damaged easily during hurricanes, it’s important to try to do all you can to protect this valuable asset.

I recommend parking your car as close to your house as possible and in the driveway.  The reason is if a lot of home insurance policies will cover damage to a vehicle from trees or debris if it close to a house.  This varies on what type of policy you have though.  If you have a garage, carport, or some other structure you can park your can that would be the most ideal place to park it.  That is certainly not guarantee but is a safe bet.

Obviously though your car is not the only consideration for preparing for a hurricane during hurricane season.  Here are some tips to get hurricane ready;

  1. Food: Make sure to have enough food for your whole family. This includes any pets you might have in your family.  We have dry dog food and canned dog food that will last our dogs, Cody and Sierra, awhile.
  2. Water: You also need to have clean drinking water too.  It is recommend to have 1 gallon of clean water per day.  If you are not sure if you have enough, at least have a teapot and heat source so that you can boil and sanitize drinking water if necessary.
  3. First Aid:  It’s always good to have a First Aid Kit in case of an emergency.  You never know when you might need it.  I recommend having hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting wounds), bandages and gauze, cloth tape, needles, gloves, ointment, and a blanket.  It is also a good idea to have a first aid booklet handy as well.
  4. Medications: Make sure to get any medications for your family filled before you need to hunker down at your house or go to a shelter.
  5. Emergency Contacts: Keep an emergency contact list.  This includes, relatives, doctors, veterinarians,(if you have pets), or friends.  Make sure to know about the nearest nearest shelter if you need to evacute your area due to flooding.  If you have pets, be sure to find a pet-friendly shelter.
  6. Rain Gear, Towels, & Clothes: Try not to go outside if you can help it, but it’s always good to have a poncho and rain gear in case you do.  It’s a good idea to have as much clean clothes as you can too.
  7. Cash: Cash, and I mean the real green stuff, is good to have in case power is going to be out for awhile.
  8. Flashlights, Batteries, and Candles:  It’s good to have flashlights and batteries if you are going to be without power for a long time.   I would also recommend having short stubby candles since they are less likely to tip over and cause a fire.  Matches are a good idea to have too!
  9. Full Tank of Gas:  If gas stations don’t have power, they can’t sell gas.  It’s a good idea to fill up your car’s gas tank if you need to go somewhere with your family.

You should also consider having a spare flashlight with batteries, blanket, and first aid kit in your car if you need to venture out.  It’s best to not drive during a hurricane, and you have been told not to, you shouldn’t.

I hope these tips will help you prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, or any other hurricane in the future.  If you have any recommendations, tips, or advice about hurricane preparedness you would like to add, please leave a comment below.

Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee Picture Gallery

Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee attracts a wide range of vehicles every Saturday.  This includes exotics, classic, tuners, motorcycles, race cars, and anything else you can think of.

Here is a great picture gallery kindly provided by Jack Moschetto of Gypsy Jack Racing.  You can usually find him at Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee with his beautiful and very customized blue Yamaha R1.  I would have used some of my pictures, but his photography skills are much better then mine!

Where: Hunt Valley Towne Centre, 118 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley MD, 21030

When: Saturdays, 7:30 am – 10:30 am

Why: Because you like talking with other gearheads!

2012 WAPA Rally was a Blast!

Last Friday I attended the 2012 WAPA (Washington Automotive Press Association) Rally at Indigo Landing.   The WAPA Rally was quite a lot of fun and I got to test drive a lot of cool cars, all on the same day! The vehicles I got to drive at the 2012 WAPA Rally included the Lexus GS350, Mecedes-Benz GLK, Ford Escape, Hyundai Veloster, Jaguar XF, Kia Optima, and the Subaru BRZ.  I probably would have driven more cars if I had gotten to the WAPA Rally on time.  I got held-up on the I-83 on ramp heading South, due to this.

honda accord

Not sure how this Honda Accord got into an accident, just glad I didn’t get into an accident getting on the freeway.  Anyway I drove about 1/4 of the vehicles there that were available to drive.  I wanted to drive the BMW 640i, Audi A8L, Dodge Dart, and VW Golf but most of these were being driven by other auto journalists.  I just didn’t have time to test drive them all but hopefully I will be have a chance in the future.

By far my favorite car that I drove at the WAPA Rally was the Subaru BRZ.  The handling is tight, acceleration amazing, and the car seemed to fit me like a glove.  I joked with a guy who came back from driving the Subaru BRZ, “I was almost tempted to drive it home!” his reply “Oh yeah! Me too!”  I only wish it was a stick shift.  The PR rep from ESI, the company that was handling the fleet vehicles, said they have a Scion FR-S (same car as the Subaru BRZ) that is a stick shift but most are automatics.

subaru brz 1
Subaru BRZ- Beautiful!
subaru brz
Subaru BRZ – Beautiful Behind!

The car I was most impressed would have to be the Kia Optima.  Compared to other Kias I have driven the Optima I was drove actually felt like a car and not a toy car.   Kia has definitely stepped up their game and it showed.  The Optima wasn’t fast, but was agile and responsive and the interior was quite nice.  My only gripe would be the audio and navigation controls are a little confusing.  Still I am sure the other PR reps were looking over at the Kia and thinking, “How did Kia get that good so fast?”  That is something everyone is wondering.

The Ford Escape Titanium I drove was also much better then any other Ford SUV I have driven in the past.  The interior felt plush and well-appointed and the handling wasn’t bad either.  It still felt like an SUV but a capable small SUV which is exactly what Ford was aiming for.  At $33,000 for the Ford Escape Titanium model I drove, I guess you get what you pay for.

My favorite luxury car at the WAPA Rally was definitely the Jaguar XF.  I mean it just looks sooo pretty and when you get in you feel great about yourself.  In my opinion this is just what luxury car should do.  The Jaguar XF also felt fast and responsive compared to some of the other luxury cars I drove at the WAPA Rally.  It’s not a driver’s car, but it sure fools you.  Like most people, I don’t like the dial shifter for changing gears.  Seems cool at first until you use it.  If I owned a Jaguar XF I feel I would go into the wrong gear by accident a lot.

After the driving the cars there was a nice catered lunch.  Jessica Anderson, President of WAPA, handed out awards for Best Tweet, Best Picture, and a few other awards I can’t remember.  You got points for filling out a questionnaire and driving as many cars as you could.  As well you were supposed to spot WAPA signs that were set out on the 3 different driving routes.  Apparently there were 10 but I only noticed 3.  Also I hardly took any pictures or tweeted since I was focused on driving as many vehicles as possible.  I guess I was having too much fun!

hyundai veloster
Hyundai Veloster
WAPA Rally
WAPA Rally

I love my Toyota Camry since it is a great and reliable car.  However, it is a bit disappointing when you get back into your own car after having driven so many other cars you want to own, all on the same day!

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

Car buying is on a new upswing.  Reuters recently reported that overall car buying (new and used) has risen drastically in the past 4 years.  Car sales rose 13 percent to 1,188,865 cars and light trucks sold during the month of September at U.S. auto dealerships.  That was the best month since March 2008, just after the start of the recession and this shows promise for the auto industry.

The upswing is mainly due to rising consumer confidence, making people feel safer to open their wallets on car purchases.  However, many Americans are still feeling the tight with their money in this economy as it is still moving at a snail’s pace.  That’s why more people are considering used cars over new cars these days.  If you are one of these people here are “5 Tips for Buying a Used Car.”

Preparation is Key

Preparation is crucial in a used car buying search. Spending time researching different models and trims can help you get a better price and know what car fits your needs. The internet offers a wealth of information about used cars – learn about the different models, options, reliability, prices, etc.  The more you know the better, the better prepared you are to find the car you want and get a good deal.

Check Your Credit

If you’re a used car buyer with potential credit issues who might find it difficult in getting approved for a loan, again turn to the internet to better educate yourself. Better yet, you should probably know your credit rating in advance, so the entire discussion about financing and credit isn’t a surprise to you.

I recommend you look for a reputable credit union that will offer great financing for pre-owned and used vehicles at reasonable rates.  Credit unions offer much better financing than what you will find at a bank all with personalized service.  Credit unions actually offer the same loan rates on new cars as used cars, making them straightforward and easy to understand.  They can also help you improve your credit and some even offer classes on financial literary.

Do the Numbers

When seeking a used car, know what your budget is and where it will be a year from now. Don’t shop for a cool luxury convertible car if you’re living on a shoestring budget, try to find a reasonable and sensible small car that will be easy and not expensive to maintain and insure.

Most used car buyers try to manage a down payment of about 20 percent, while financing the rest. But don’t let that get away from you either.  I don’t recommending financing a car for more than four years (48 months), and it is a good idea to keep your monthly payment lower than 10 percent of your total income.

You can find great tools online to figure out what a reasonable monthly car payment is for you.  It’s best to pay for the car as much upfront as you can but most will need to borrow a little money.

Get the Car Checked

You NEED to get any used car you are considering buying checked and inspected by a reputable independent mechanic BEFORE you buy it.  Unless you are a gearhead, like me, and know what to look for in used cars it’s not a good idea to just take a dealership or individuals word on the history of a car.

Did you know that there is no law requiring body shops to report work they have done on vehicles they work on?  A friend’s dad is master painter and bodyman and he can make any vehicle that has been in a serious accident look new again.  Meaning Carfax reports can be completely clean, but not tell the whole story about the car.

Eyes that know what to look for will be able to see if a car has been in an accident or if it needs any mechanical fixed to be road-worthy.  Having a used car checked out before you buy it is very important.

Watch for Trade Ins

Most used car dealers will ask if you’re trading in a car for the new/used car you’ve got your eye on.  You want to be careful about talking with the dealership about this.  Trade-in talk shouldn’t enter into the negotiation process in my opinion.  Smart used car buyers consider trade-in cars as a separate transaction, and as such don’t mention a trade-in factor into the conversation until the end.  Also you will likely get more for your used car if you sold it online via Craigslist or other local ad listing service or website.  Did you know that dealerships typically make a killing on used car trade-ins and not much on selling new cars?  One of dealerships dirty little secrets!  To be sure you are getting a good deal utilize sites like ClearBook.com which assess the value of your used car for the approximate trade-in value.  You will find you typically won’t get a good deal.

So don’t fret if you are a first-time used car buyer or don’t have the best credit rating in the world.  There are plenty of great tools to help you and you should always be looking for opportunities to buy if you are in the market for a new car.  Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know of any good used cars for sale.  If you have any questions about buying a used car please leave a comment below.

 

Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee

Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee is having it’s 6-month anniversary tomorrow morning.  My friend Gypsy Jack has told me it’s turned into quite a big and fun “gearhead” meetup for people from around Maryland and Pennsylvania.  People will even drive up from Virginia for Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee to my understanding.

The Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee not only attracts a wide range of people, but cars and vehicles are diverse too.  Classics, tuners, exotics, sportbikes, cruisers, lowriders, hot rods, etc.  You name it, someone is going to come by with it, probably has, or eventually will.  Check out some pictures from Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee.

Where: Hunt Valley Towne Centre, 118 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley MD, 21030

When: Saturdays, 7:30 am – 10:30 am

Why: Because you like talking with other gearheads!

People usually gather in front of the closed Best Buy, since that is where the most parking is.  Most people go over to Caribou Coffee to get coffee.  Some people stay until 10:30 but I believe most are out of there by 9:30.

FYI after or before) Cars and Coffee I would recommend going to the Pennsylvania Dutch Market on York Rd.  All you do is take a right on York Rd and go for about half a mile and then turn left onto Ashland Rd.  The baked goods, donuts, and food there is AMAZING and it’s run by Amish.  Also the coffee here will be better in my opinion.  It’s a great thing to do if you have out-of-town guests or want to treat yourself.  The Amish have me hooked on their apple fritters and cookies!