Thursday, 27 March 2014

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

I have always been an adamant believer in checking and changing your oil on a regular basis. The rule of thumb is every 1500 miles, but if all cars were the same, it would be a boring world now wouldn’t it? What has proven best for me is to do what is best for my specific car. First, I check my oil every 500 miles, or spend an extra 5 minutes while filling up and have the attendant check it for me. You can not tell what oil leaks you may be experiencing sporting around town from the inside of your car. If your car is like mine, well after 300 thousand miles, I am always springing a leak. Do you suppose it is time that I take a trip to the nearest car lot and treat myself to a spanking brand new SUV. When checking your oil, you should always turn the motor off, and use your emergency brake; I am all about safety when spending time under the hood! Pull the oil dipstick out, if you seem to be having a hard time locating this you might want to refer to the owner’s manual. Secondly wipe it clean with a cloth, stick it back in and when you pull it out you will be able to read the oil level on the dip stick. Some automobiles require 30 weight while others require 40 weight. If you are not sure which is best for your car, refer to your owners manual or check with your local mechanic. Also, pay attention when checking your oil level to the color and consistency of your oil. The oil should always be pretty thin with a rich medium brown color. If it too dark (more black than brown), it needs changed. Preventive maintenance will assure a prolonged life for your car.

Question: Sent in by Ms Hill. My 1996 Nissan Maxima has started missing, what is wrong with it?
Answer: Well Ms Hill, it could be a number of things. First, since your car is fuel injected, I would recommend checking your fuel injectors, one may be clogged and definitely check your spark plugs, your spark plug wires and your vacuum hoses. If you are uncertain as to how to do this, please ask a qualified mechanic.

Question: Sent in by Dee Sneed. Hi, Barbara, I was wondering why my car shakes when I apply my brakes?
Answer: Hi Dee Sneed! It could be one of several problems. Your rotors may need to be turned, your calipers might be grabbing or your brake pads might be ancient and need to be replaced. I would strongly suggest having a mechanic look for these problems. A malfunction like this can only get worse and the repair will usually cost more if it is not addressed early.

Barbara Terry

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Pets Riding In Cars

Six years ago my yellow lab was just six weeks old. All pet owners remember that first day of taking on the huge responsibility of pet ownership including cute puppy breath and shoe destruction (“why the heck must you always pick my $400.00 Stilettos and reject those stinky rubber fishing boots)? I had Rocky nestled on my left shoulder tucked under my hair until he became fascinated with chewing and pulling on my earring on his first car ride…bad idea! As the weeks and months went by he outgrew me holding him and took his permanent position in the passenger seat or as he refers to it as his seat. How many of us allow the pooches to stick their heads out the window with their jowls flapping in the wind and slobber scattering everywhere. What is the alternative? Should we buckle up our little furry ones in child safety seats as puppies and harness then in as adult doggies? Whatever happened to throwing them in the back of the pickup, now they ride in air-conditioned leather-ed up seats while they watch their favorite episode of Lassie on the DVD mounted in the rear of the SUV. I know my Rocky is especially fond of the heated seats in the wintertime. We only have so many years to love our pets, so it is important that we take our furry friends along with us on errands after all. Bottom line, I do not see any problem with allowing our pets to hop in and go for a ride if the owner and/or driver always makes sure your pet is never blocking the driver’s view and you never roll down the window so far that it can fall or jump out of the vehicle. I also encourage you to put them in their own area in the car. The most important situation to avoid is your pooch distracting you when you should be paying attention to the road by riding in your seat with you and endangering others.

Barbara Terry

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The New BMW 7 Series

How many of you have been graced with this cars presence? Some of us, like myself have always been enamored with the undeniable luxury of the Bavarian Motor Works…aka the BMW or the Baby Boomers would refer to it as the Beamer! In 2002, BMW introduced to us the new 7 series, the 745i and 745 li. I have to say when I first laid my eyes on this new body style; it was not love at first sight. It was more of a squirmy feeling in my stomach. I was and always will be a big fan of the body style from 1996 to 2001, I said to myself how could BMW improve on their perfection of class and sophistication. What can I say though; the car has grown on me. Now having said all of that, I absolutely have to say that BMW has outdone themselves with this beauty. BMW has gone beyond the call to satisfy the demands of the discerning driver with respect to the way the car drives, looks and most importantly retains its resale value. I am not here today to list all of the awesome options this car has or to plug the car for the manufacturer, I just felt like bringing this model to your attention, since I am a big fan of this technologically advanced shiny piece of metal. Consumers should be informed that anytime a manufacturer releases a new body style it will usually take about a year to work out the kinks. I would not be one of those shoppers trampling all over people to buy in the first year of a new body style of any car. I suggest waiting until the second year of a new body style to purchase and you will be much happier with the results.

Question: Sent in by Anthony Cool. I am shopping for a Jeep Grand Cherokee right now. Which four-wheel drive transmission would you rather have the Quadra-trac or the Select-trac?
Answer: Okay Mr. Cool…is that really your last name. If so, I have to say that is cool! To your question, I can only tell you what I prefer. The Quadra-trac transmission means the Jeep is in four wheel drive all of the time so you are not going to get as good of gas mileage. The Select-trac has the option of two wheel and four wheel drive. I like to save my pennies when it comes to my fuel consumption, so I am more apt to buy the Select-trac. I have owned both types and they both handle very well in challenging conditions.

Question: Sent in by Cindy Fitzsimmons. My cigarette lighter is not working in order to charge my cell phone.
Answer: This could be a couple of things, first of all try checking and replacing the fuse wired to that particular part of your car. Refer to the owner’s manual to find the location of your fuses. Secondly, it may be the housing behind your outlet; if so have your local mechanic look at it. This whole job should not be very costly so do not let someone overcharge you the equivalent of your house payment.

Barbara Terry

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Friday, 14 March 2014

The "Z" Car

How many of us enjoyed the first 240Z introduced to us by Datsun? Then one of my favorites rolled off the assembly line, the Nissan 280Z, which was soon followed by the 300Z. Next was the greatest accomplishment by Nissan, in my opinion, the 300Z with new body that came out in 1990. I owned several of these models and of course they were all Black with a black interior (my favorite color combination). I can recall staring at my car for what seemed like hours as it sat glistening in my garage in the middle of the night.

Let’s jump ahead a few years and discuss the fact that the last year Nissan made the 300Z was in 1996. Years later they introduced us to their new 2003 Z model 350. 7 years to give to the Z enthusiasts of the world a sports car that doesn’t make its own statement, because it is so similar to the Lexus Coupe, the Audi TT, the Infinity Coupe and a few other. What a disappointment! The Z car has always expressed its own style its own individual unique sex appeal, why have you let us down like this? If I had the spare time I would fly to Japan and speak with the folks in charge at Nissan. What is your favorite model? The older 2+2, the Turbo, the convertible or the 2 seater coupe? If you have a favorite 350Z style which of the 7 styles is it? I remember driving my 1995 black on black 2+2 and how it always turned heads. Or maybe it was the fact I had my yellow lab hanging out the window on the passenger side of the car with his drool flying freely all over the place.

“Barb’s bottom line” - The Z cars have always made their own unique statement and had always given the other sports car on the road a run for their money. I hope to see a new body style soon with its own individuality and sex appeal.

Barbara Terry

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Barbara Terry’s 10 favorite cars with sex appeal, plus one

One of my coolest friends the other day asked me what my 10 favorite cars that I felt oozed enormous amounts of sex appeal are. As I shuffled engines, fenders, trannys, torque and all of the other components that make up the manufacturer’s models through my complex brain I quickly came up with my list of 10… plus one.

Some of you may agree with my picks while others will find fault and disagree but that is fine because we are all allowed our own opinion being as we have different tastes and turn-ons in life.

As I list my 10 I will try my best to put into words why these 10 stand out to me and make me want to go from 0 -120 just thinking and daydreaming about them.

1) Dodge Viper. The first time I laid my eyes upon the fascinating curves of the Viper was at the Texas State Fair the year before it rolled out onto the dealer’s showroom floors. What other car on the road put out by an American company when it first came out in the 90’s can make this type of statement…NONE.

2) Chevrolet Camaro 1967 -1969 model/body style. I have been a fan of this era camaro for years. One of my buddies in high school had a 1968 SS/396 big block that we would frequently open-up late at night on a dark country highway in small town Texas. There was nothing like the rush of sitting in the driver’s seat and feeling the amount of horsepower throughout your whole body that definitely makes your blood boil from its pure muscle.

3) Porsche 911 Turbo 993 and 996 model/body style. I have always said that the gearshift in the 911 turbo is more like a joystick, oh the fun and thrill of grabbing onto one of these.
  4)  Morgan Roadster…any year! Every since I saw the movie “The war of the Roses” I have been drooling over this cute but sophisticated machine.

5) Ford Mustang 1964 ½ - 1973 model/body style. Who can forget the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen and that 68 he drove. Hot!

6) Chevrolet Corvette 1973 - 1979 model/body style. Two words…Beef cake. Most importantly the Corvette is powered by 2 of my favorite engines, the 350 and the 454.

7) Nissan 300ZX 1990- 1996 model/body style. This era of the 300ZX was the only sporty car of its kind on the road back then that made such an unmistakable statement as it zoomed past you on the freeway.

8) Lamborghini Gallardo. Do I really need to even say anything about the hottest car out there? I am in love and want to marry a Gallardo. Stick a fork in me I am done, the Gallardo completes me!

9) Volkswagen Beetle convertible, 1971 – 1979, well actually it is called the “Super Beetle”. No other car is better fit for a Sunday afternoon drive hitting the local flea markets and quaint antique shops while spending some of your hard earned cash and of course cruising with the top put down.

10) Ford GT 2005- 2006. Please someone let me know the team of designers of the one of a kind Ford GT; they deserve the reward for the sweetest design of the century.

Plus one…Land Rover Defender 1994 -1997 model/body style Okay, can someone get to the bottom of why Land Rover stopped making the Defender and has not brought it back? Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the classic Toyota Land-cruisers and the Jeep Wranglers but the Defender is the Godfather of this class, it is unique and top of the line bumper to bumper, in and out.

As you can tell I did not mention the custom conversions for instance, the Shelby, Saleen, etc etc, I wanted to keep this about base models right off the factory assembly line. Of course all of the above favorites are pictured in my head being composed of my favorite color combo which is black on black, with the passenger window rolled down and my yellow lab Rocky hanging out drooling as he rides shotgun!

Barbara Terry

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