This vehicle is available now at our Niles Location.
Mike from our Holland stores gives us a tour of this 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. A great mid-sized SUV with a big-car ride and lots great features. Just one of dozens of amazing cars we have waiting for you.
Reggie and his family just got a new car at our Kalamazoo location. Here’s what he had to say about it.
Staying Cool & Saving Money
It’s plenty warm finally here in Southwest Michigan, signaling the official start of the summer. Need some ideas on how to make the price tag linked to hot weather burn a little less? We’ve got some tips for you.
If you’re in the market for a new air-conditioning system or appliances, look for the EnergyGuide label attached to most appliances. The label explains how much energy an appliance uses, and makes it easier to compare to similar models. Think about it this way: the more energy efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run, and the lower your utility bills might be. You also could save money by asking your local utility salesperson about cash rebates, tax breaks, or other incentives for buying energy-efficient products. Learn more at energy.gov/savings.
Of course, small savings can add up, too. Try bumping up the temperature before heading out of your home for the day. You might consider buying a programmable thermostat that changes the temperature automatically, so it’s one less thing for you to remember. Drawing the curtains and closing the blinds during the day also might keep your home from heating up as much. And remember to check your air-conditioner filters to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced.
Depending on where you live, radiant barriers could help you save money in the long run. Radiant barriers can be installed in your attic, and can help reduce air-conditioning costs in the summer by reflecting radiant heat instead of absorbing it. Check out the radiant barrier calculator and our information on home insulation to see if it makes sense for you. And remember that installing radiant barriers won’t help reduce cooling costs in all climates, and won’t reduce heating costs in the winter.
Want to know more? The Department of Energy has additional resources at energysavers.gov, and we’ve got more ideas for you at ftc.gov/green. Here’s to staying cool this summer — without breaking the bank!
Top 5 Smartphone Apps for Driving
Smartphones are changing our lives: the way we think, the way we plan (or don’t) and certainly the way we use our cars. At the intersection of the smartphone and the automobile lies a vast opportunity for increases in speed, efficiency and entertainment. That’s where the car apps come in.
Whether you want to find your car, your destination or the cheapest gas in the area, it can all be accomplished on your phone. Performance testing, of course, is easy with the right app. And now you can use your phone to diagnose problems or pacify the kids on a long trip. Of course, if you’re car shopping, Edmunds.com has a free app to help you find the best car for your particular needs, along with pricing and dealer inventory. But humility precludes us from including it on the list.
Otherwise, our favorite automotive apps are below. The list isn’t comprehensive or all-inclusive, but it’s a solid collection of the most useful and entertaining car apps available today.
GasBuddy — Free
Available for: iOS, Android and Blackberry
Why pay more for gas when you don’t have to? Driving around comparing pump prices certainly doesn’t make much sense, so that’s where gasbuddy.com comes in. The Web site posts local gas prices in an easy-to-use format and in the different grades, including diesel.
Rather than navigate to the site, you can now get all that information in a smartphone app. As an added bonus, you can even get driving directions.
Dynolicious Classic — $8.99
Available for: iOS
Here at Express Auto, we use some pretty serious equipment in our instrumented testing. But you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get performance data. Dynolicious uses the iPhone’s built-in accelerometers to gauge lateral and longitudinal acceleration and horsepower. The results are 0-60 and quarter-mile numbers.
You can graph, save and compare the results, too. There’s also Dynolicious Fusion ($12.99) that allows you to share your results online.
Repair Pal — Free
Available for: iOS and Android
Auto mechanics don’t have the best reputation for trustworthiness. Calling different mechanics around town for repair quotes can be a real pain. With Repair Pal, that legwork is done for you.
Just select your car and the type of repair needed, and it’ll spit out what you might expect to pay in your area. It’s based on the repairpal.com Web site and functions the same.
Witness Driving — $0.99
Available for: iOS and Android
Why should the Russians have all the fun? Dash cams are a great way to protect yourself from insurance fraudsters, bad drivers and perhaps even an undeserved ticket. Rather than shell out $50-$300 for a dedicated dash cam, you can simply convert your smartphone for a measly $0.99.
Besides the looping record function, Witness Driving also logs time, date, speed, location and acceleration.
There’s even an accident detection feature that can send a notification e-mail. Controls are simple and create little distraction. Of course, you’ll need a windshield mount for your phone, but we found a wide selection online for under $10.
Waze — Free
Available for: iOS and Android
How good is Waze? Good enough for Google to shell out more than a billion dollars to buy it. And that’s because Waze is more than a navigation app. It’s community driven, using user data to pinpoint traffic jams, accidents and gas prices in real time. It even warns you if law enforcement is right around the corner.
When heavy delays are shown, Waze will also route you around it as best it can. Traffic isn’t limited to highways and major arteries, either. Side streets can be included, too. Not only is Waze the best free navigation app, it is better than many pay apps, too.
We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days Michigan folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Southwest Michigan car owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.
It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Southwest Michigan drivers. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Michigan penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Southwest Michigan car owners making sure we follow the auto manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some sedan parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It is probably even more important for older sedans. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.
And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Southwest Michigan at and of our Express Auto locations, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your Friendly Express Auto service professional help you keep track of the rest.
Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Express Auto with out 36 month/36,000 mile warranty on every vehicle is cheaper than a a costly new car payment for Southwest Michigan auto owners. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
South Korea is spending about $100m on women only parking spots which are wider and longer than standard spaces.
However, authorities insist it has nothing to do with the age-old clichéd stereotype of female parking skills – but instead are designed to make women feel safer, and those with families more comfortable.
The move has come under fire on social media after Australian motoring website motoring.com.au posted a story on the initiative last week, and it was picked up by other outlets including the Daily Mail, London Independent, and Huffington Post – which branded it “staggeringly patronising”.
Only – it’s not quite a new idea, and is part of a much wider safety and security drive in Seoul.
The concept of women-only parking was covered in a 2008 report from the “Women-Friendly Seoul project”, and implemented in April 2009, according to the Korea Times. The current $100m investment reported appears to be an expansion of that five-year-old scheme.
The slightly larger size is only one aspect of the “women-friendly” spaces – they’re also often better-lit, close to exits, covered by CCTV and have nearby emergency bells – all designed, authorities say, to improve safety.
Apart from the parking spaces, the project also worked on things like footpaths that would not develop cracks where high-heels could get stuck, and small touches like changing overhead straps on public transport to a height where women could more easily reach them.
It also added security features like emergency bells to public restrooms, a taxi service that sends family members journey information (including the taxi driver’s plate) late at night, and transparent elevators in residential complexes.
Nonetheless, the existence of these parking spaces has sparked a massive international storm, with most media reports comparing it to the 2012 controversy in Germany, when Triberg’s mayor designated parking spaces as men only if they were tricky to navigate.
So – what do we think? Are wider spaces, or even just the increased security, a good idea? Or is it pink and patronizing?
Animation of Old Engine Rebuild
This video started out as just a collection of snaps of the creator who stripped down an engine bought off ebay. (To replace his old engine, which had suffered catastrophic failure). The snaps were so that he remembered how everything went, so he could put it back together again.
Then he realized it’d be quite cool to make it an animation. found some suitable music, rekindled his ancient knowledge of Premiere, storyboarded it, shot it as he worked on the engine and this amazing video was the result.
The music is “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” from Edvard Griegs “Peer Gynt Suite”
The creator of this video owns a suitable license for this piece of music, supplied by Chris Worth Productions
The automobile industry uses general size categories to classify their available vehicles. Mid size and full size cars are two common categories for cars. The specific vehicles offered in each category depend on the car dealership standards as well as the type of vehicles they use. Understanding the general differences between the two categories helps you make your selection when purchasing a car.
Both mid- and full size cars have the capacity to hold five people, with two in the front seat and three in the backseat. The size of the people traveling in the car affects your choice. Five adults crammed into a mid-size car will likely feel uncomfortable and crowded. Even four adults may desire more room. A mid-size car is a better option for no more than two adult travelers. Two children can comfortably fit in the back seat of most mid-size cars. For more than two adults or for teenagers, a full-size car provides more interior room. The full-size option also gives you more room for three children, particularly if they need car seats. A mid-size car may not accommodate all of the car seats.
The space in the trunk for your belongings is another consideration when choosing between a mid-size and full-size car. A mid-size car is smaller overall and typically has less trunk space than a full-size car. Both sizes should accommodate two large suitcases in the trunk. A mid-size car can handle two more smaller bags, while a full-size car should have enough room for a third small suitcase. If you have lots of cargo to haul, choose the larger full-size option.
Because it is a higher class, the full-size cars will generally cost more. The price difference is typically very minimal. For a lease especially, the price difference isn’t substantial. Compare the pricing between the two classes with your program advisor to decide if the extra space is worth the added cost.
Used car dealerships use different brands of cars that vary slightly in size and available space. Typical mid-size vehicles might include a Pontiac Grand Am or a Nissan Altima. A full-size rental might include a Ford Taurus or a Chevy Impala. A mid-size vehicle with dealership may give you more room than a vehicle in the same class with a different dealership. Each dealership categorizes its own vehicles, so a vehicle you consider a compact could end up in the mid-size category. Size is the most common way to classify cars, but some companies also use the features of the car. A smaller car with extra features may move up to a higher class.