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Archive for May, 2012

Your Best Car Ever

In last month’s newsletter we asked our readers for their horror car experiences , and we  were surprised at the response. We have shown that modern cars are much more reliable than their classic counterparts (here), but, it seems, even the most dependable makes have their ‘off’ days. The best story last month  won a TomTom Live Sat/Nav, so we are offering the same prize this month for the best “Great Car’ experience.

You may recall last month that I had my own worst car experience with a Holden. Surprisingly that same make gave me my best car experience, too.

Ten years ago I bought a Holden Statesman. It was just over two years old, and had a mere 18,000kms on the clock, so I thought I was pretty safe. But it didn’t turn out that way – at least initially.

The engine had a strange knock on start up, so I took it to the dealer to investigate. The result was that they kept the car for two weeks whilst they replaced the engine. So I reluctantly thought I’d bought another lemon and was getting prepared to sell it.

And sell it I did, but 240,000kms  and six years later! It’s hard to recall if I ever kept a car that long, as I simply didn’t know what to replace it with. Its only demand on my wallet was for petrol, regular servicing and tyres. That’s it- not an extra cent to spend and not a drop of oil between services.

So Holden gets both the winners and losers guernseys in my book.

What about you?

Do you have a stunning reliability story to tell? If so we’d like to hear from you, and there’s a Tom Tom sat/nav for the best answer.

Click on comments below.

Recycle those old car batteries

We live in a recyclable world now.  Glass, plastic, metal, paper, oil… the list goes on.  I did wonder about what people could do with a corrosive, dud car battery.  But you know what?  You can recycle these too.

New Zealand’s AA Battery Service is involved with recycling used car batteries, and Bill Keane, General Manager of AA Battery Service, stated that “More than 97 % of a battery is able to be recycled.  After every replacement by our mobile battery patrols, we send the used batteries to professional battery recyclers.  Almost all the components – plastic casing, acid and lead – are recycled to reduce the environment impact.”

Recycling car batteries helps to reduce the amount of hazardous landfill waste.  There are plenty of landfill sites across Australia.  You’ve probably got one near to where you live.  It is better if we can avoid the large build up of waste over the coming decades.  At the website, you’ll find the low down on the Australian government’s plans and policies regarding waste products and landfills.  One of their aims is to help national companies and small businesses to operate effectively and efficiently and manage waste products and waste materials responsibly during and at end of their useful life.

A car’s battery is able to recharge itself so that it can power the starter motor, the lights, the electronic gadgetry and the ignition system for the engine.  These batteries are often called SLI batteries, and they have a lead and acid mix in their chemical make-up.  SLI batteries are huge environmental polluters.

Hybrid powered cars use battery power alongside fossil fuels to power their cars.  The hybrid batteries are a nickel metal hydride make-up, and their toxicity levels and environmental impact are considered to be much than SLI batteries.  However, you still have to use natural resources up to produce a car battery.

Whether you are in business or involved with doing your own maintenance on your car at home, the best way to dispose of your car batteries is to pop them at your local refuse station in the recycling section specially catered toward receiving old dud car batteries.  Another benefit of recycling a used car battery is that mining for materials to replace that car battery dumped into the landfill is stopped.  Certainly, the recycling of car batteries reduces this environmental impact.

If you’re not sure where to go with you old car battery, contact your local council so that they can point you to the closest recycling station.  Don’t put your old car battery in the household rubbish, into the general rubbish to go to the landfill or leave the old car batteries lying around the home.

What Women Want: The 2012 Evoque Named Women's World Car of the Year

Guest post contributed by Elizabeth Bailey, on behalf of Silver Star Motors.

The first Women’s World Car of the Year award was given in 2009, marking the dawn of a new and exciting period in auto development. Women have become the fastest growing consumer demographic in many areas previously dominated by men, including auto purchases. The Women’s World award is based on various criteria specifically aimed at the modern independent female driver. Safety, sex appeal and fuel efficiency are a few of the criteria used in judging a car’s drivability.

The 2012 Range Rover Evoque has been named the Women’s World Car of the Year for 2012. The Evoque offers excellent handling and braking capabilities and a powerful four cylinder engine. Stylish though it may be, the Evoque is also quite the off-road vehicle; it is capable of 240 horsepower with 250 pounds per foot of torque. This is possible because of the Evoque’s supercharged 2.0 liter engine, which provides excellent performance with easy handling. Therefore, most women who try the Evoque find it comfortable and easy to drive despite its impressive power.

One category that played a large role in the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year award was family friendliness. The interior of the Evoque is relatively average; many of its interior features are similar to those found in many other luxury SUVs. It is the exterior, however, that makes the Evoque ideal for the modern woman. The Evoque is the only two-door compact SUV available. This gives the Evoque a huge advantage over other compact SUVs, because the Evoque also comes in a four-door model. These two options make the Evoque equally ideal for both single independent woman and mothers with several children, since the four-door option is perfect for women with even large families. This versatility gives the Evoque a significant advantage over competing compact SUVs. Most of the vehicles up for the award accommodated families, but it was the Evoque alone that offered a sexier independent exterior option as well.

A major aspect of the Women’s World Car of the Year award is safety. The Evoque offers a wide variety of industry-leading safety features, including driver, passenger, side and thorax airbags. It also comes with anti-lock brakes, emergency brake lights and hill start assist.

The Women’s World Car of the Year award is separated into four categories: luxury cars, sports cars, economy cars and family cars. The vehicle rated best in all these categories combined is given the title of Women’s World Car of the Year. The Evoque achieved this title by combining style and luxury while still holding its own as an efficient family car. The well rounded Range Rover Evoque is 2012’s ideal vehicle for the independent woman, offering options other compact SUVs do not.

Female motoring writers from all over the world were brought together to judge all the vehicles released in 2012. Each car was scrupulously analyzed and criticized to find the one that offered the optimal blend of efficiency, comfort and aesthetic appeal for the woman of 2012. The Evoque impressed judges in all categories and claimed its position as 2012’s best vehicle for women worldwide.