Buying A New Car Or Truck That Can Be Custom Fit
(NAPSI)—Stylish wheels, contoured seats, increased fuel efficiency
and added horsepower are just a few ways that today's drivers are
personalizing their vehicles. Estimated at nearly $28 billion annually, the
automotive customization market is booming and includes thousands of products
that can transform any car or truck into the vehicle of one's dream.
"Many people see the vehicles they drive as a reflection of
themselves," said Chris Kersting, Specialty Equipment Market
Association (SEMA) president and CEO. "So it's no surprise that
drivers like to customize their cars and trucks to reflect their unique
While all vehicles can be personalized, shoppers looking for the car or
truck with the greatest potential for customization can turn to the SEMA
Award to guide them toward the most accessory-friendly new models. The
winning vehicles were selected by manufacturers who develop and design
automotive parts and accessories. This year's winners include the
Chevrolet Camaro, named Hottest Car; the Ford F-Series, named Hottest Truck;
and the Jeep Wrangler, named Hottest 4x4 SUV.
"Every year, manufacturers bring exciting and inventive new ideas
for accessorizing vehicles to the SEMA Show," said Kersting. "So
many amazing products and accessories hitting the market right now involve
improving the performance of vehicles' functionality, safety and
convenience, and enhancing appearance and comfort. The SEMA Award winners
represent the vehicles that offer some of the greatest possibilities."
• Chevrolet Camaro: The list of available performance parts and
accessories for the Chevrolet Camaro grows daily as its popularity increases.
Accessorizing ideas for this car range from air springs to electronic
gadgets that charge your phone, provide you with GPS data and even monitor
your tire pressure while sitting in the driver seat.
• Ford F-Series: The Ford F-Series has long been a favorite with
enthusiasts and parts manufacturers alike. The truck's new design has
spurred the growth of even more accessories. Some unique features include a
slide-out bed to make loading and unloading easier for small-business owners
and special paint protection products to help prevent rocks, gravel, salt or
insects from damaging the truck's finish.
• Jeep Wrangler: The multifunctional Jeep Wrangler, admired for its
versatility as a personal vehicle, off-roading hobbyist's toy and a
great work vehicle, continues to drive demand for innovative custom parts and
accessories. Specialty wheels and tires can make this vehicle transform easily
from a daily driver to an off-road toy, while custom gauges, floor mats or
seat covers provide the vehicle with an instant makeover.
With the right parts and accessories, drivers can make a personal
statement with their new cars and trucks. Whether drivers are looking to
create a high-performance sports car or a rugged truck worthy of off-roading,
the first step is to select a vehicle that has the greatest potential for
customization. The SEMA Award program provides valuable guidance to those
looking for a top-quality vehicle that can be personalized.
Before purchasing your next vehicle, visit www.sema.org
to learn more about the SEMA Award program and to view complete lists of
manufacturers offering products for each of the winning vehicles. Then, you'll
be well on your way to creating a unique vehicle that fits you like a glove.
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Don't Text and Drive
(NAPSI)—There are steps parents and others can take to drive down
the dreadful rate of traffic injuries and fatalities. An estimated 6,000
people are killed and 500,000 people are injured annually because someone was
texting, e-mailing or talking on a mobile phone while driving.
Dr. Joel Haber, a clinical psychologist and LG Text Ed council member,
explains that for teens, texting and driving is an even bigger problem than
it is for adults.
First, kids text more. Texting
is their preferred mode of communication. According to a recent LG Text Ed
survey conducted by LG Mobile phones, while half of all teens admit to
texting while driving, only 4 percent of parents are aware of this.
Second, teens are inherently
novices when it comes to driving. They especially need to focus on the road
to compensate for any lack of driving skill or experience.
Third, teens can literally be
driven to distraction. If a teen is caught up in a dramatic or tense texting
conversation, it could be too enticing to focus on the phone instead of the
government's official website on distracted driving, www.distraction.gov, cites multiple
statistics on the dangers of this careless behavior:
• Using a mobile phone while driving, whether it's handheld or
hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood
alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
• Driving while using a mobile phone reduces the amount of brain
activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
• Drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to get
into crashes serious enough to injure themselves as those who don't.
• An estimated 11 percent of drivers are talking on cell phones
while driving at any point during the day.
1. Impress upon teens the need
to not text or talk on the phone while driving by not doing so yourself.
Beyond providing an example of responsible behavior, this creates a safer
2. Explain to your teens the
seriousness of the situation and let them know that it is important to have a
plan in order to avoid temptation. For example, have them always keep their
cell phone off while driving or in the backseat out of reach to avoid
3. Learn more from the experts
in mobile technology at LG by visiting the company's LG Text Ed
website, www.lgtexted.com. As part of
its Text Education campaign, LG offers insights and solutions on how to avoid
possibly harmful behaviors such as distracted driving. In order to keep
distractions to a minimum, LG encourages all drivers to never text while driving and to always use a hands-free Bluetooth device when operating a
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The Top Things You Don't Know About Your Car Insurance
(NAPSI)-Americans have gone to sleep dreaming of cars ever since the first
Model T was rolled off the assembly line in 1908. Some dreamt of the cool bullet
nose on the 1950 Studebaker Commander Convertible. Some dreamt of classic
muscle cars like the 1969 Ford Mustang "Boss 429."
When dreamers become drivers, however, they'd better be darn sure
they comply with state laws mandating that they carry auto insurance. Most
states won't even issue you a license unless you're covered for
liability against injuries and property damage done to others.
If it's been too long since you checked your auto insurance policy,
you may be surprised by what you may or may not be covered against. Read on:
• Remember This Word:
Picture this scenario you (probably) wouldn't wish on even your
worst enemy: Only a few short weeks have gone by since you proudly drove your
brand-new car off the lot, when suddenly—wham!—it's totaled
in an accident.
If you're like a stunning 52 percent of those questioned for an
"Insurance Literacy" survey conducted recently by Zogby
International for MetLife Auto & Home, you've been operating under
the assumption that you're automatically covered for the car's
full replacement cost. Uh, not necessarily. Most insurers subtract for
depreciation—and you'd be surprised how much "value"
disappears once you drive off the lot. Only a select few like MetLife Auto
& Home will make you whole during a policy's first year and/or
• It's Possible To Be
"Upside Down" on a Totaled Vehicle
The past few years have made us all more familiar with this term, as
applied to home mortgages, than we ever wanted to be. However, the same principle
applies to auto loans. Say you still owe $15,000 on your loan. If
you're in an accident and your car ends up being declared a total loss
but is still valued below the loan payment, guess what: Unless you had the
foresight to purchase "gap" insurance, you're still
responsible for repaying the difference on your loan.
• Leasing Isn't a Free
Ah, but you say you don't actually own your car. Nice try, but even
if the vehicle you demolished (see above) was leased, you'd also need
to have purchased gap insurance to have your insurer cover replacing it and
paying off your lease obligation.
• The Rental Car Conundrum
Talk about probably wasting an average of $9 to $19 a day. Even though
most auto insurance policies and credit cards extend (varying) rental
insurance benefits to customers, 28 percent of those surveyed said they
nevertheless signed up for the insurance offered by rental car companies when
not driving their own cars.
• Check Your Homeowners
If someone steals your cell phone or MP3 player from your car, don't
expect most standard auto policies to cover its replacement cost.
That's handled by homeowners, condo and renters insurance.
• Money-Savers Not To Be
Why leave money on the table when you don't have to? While 93
percent of those surveyed knew they could get a break on their insurance if
they had a good driving record, only 63 percent were aware that discounts
also exist for things like carpooling or limiting travel below a certain
number of miles per year.
Similarly, only 19 percent knew you could save as much as 28 percent by
buying auto insurance through programs offered by employers.
So what's the takeaway from all this? Well, if you just go by the
Zogby results, perhaps it's no wonder that 77 percent of those surveyed
said they were willing to pay more for the "peace of mind" that
comes with better coverage. "People want to avoid costly
surprises," said Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home.
"Knowing what you're covered for can make all the difference at
the time of a claim."
To test your knowledge of auto insurance and see how you stack up against
those surveyed, visit www.metlife.com/insurancequiz.
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Save Lives: Pledge To Not Drink And Drive
(NAPSI)-If you're like 90 percent of drivers, you recognize that
your personal safety is at risk because of drivers impaired by alcohol or
What The Numbers Show
You've got good reason, as the statistics indicate:
• Every day, 32 people in the United States die in traffic
crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
• Alcohol-impaired drivers contribute to about one out of every
three traffic deaths each year.
• An average of one alcohol-impaired driving death occurs every 45
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there is something you can do to keep yourself and your
family safe. Join AAA at www.TakeThePledge.AAA.com
and commit to driving only while drug and alcohol free.
• Plan ahead and designate a nondrinking driver before any party or
• Never get behind the wheel of a car when you've been
drinking alcohol-even after just one drink.
• Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members
who may be impaired.
• Be a real friend: Call a taxi for those in need.
Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offering
What Others Are Doing
Log on to TakeThePledge.AAA.com,
where you can sign a pledge to support a culture of zero tolerance for
impaired driving and easily spread the word to family and friends via
Facebook, Twitter and Take the Pledge e-cards. AAA launched the new public
awareness initiative in response to feedback from its members-representing
one in every four households-who cite impaired driving as their greatest
Where To Learn More
The website at www.TakeThePledge.AAA.com
serves not only as a gateway for people to publicly commit to the fight
against impaired driving, but offers prevention awareness tips, up-to-date
statistics and related news stories in an effort to help people drive
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Simple Steps To Staying Safe
(NAPSI)-If you are a woman who travels alone frequently, there are a few
simple steps you can take to help ensure your safety on the road and that
could potentially protect you in a dangerous situation.
• Selective parking:
Whether it's an outdoor parking lot or a covered garage, make sure the
lot and space you are parking in are well lit. Avoid parking away from other
cars and be aware of parking beside commercial vans without glass side
panels, where potential attackers could be hiding. When you return to your
car, quickly survey your surroundings, including under your vehicle and the
• Have your keys in hand:
Before you leave the store, take the time to find your keys and have them in
hand as you walk to your vehicle. Time spent rummaging in your purse when you
get to your car may leave you open to a potential attack. If you're
faced with a dangerous situation, the keys in your hand can also be used as a
• Avoid playing Good Samaritan:
While your heart might be in the right place, it's not a good idea to
stop to help someone when you are by yourself, especially in a remote area.
It's best to call 911 and let the dispatcher know the location of the
person who is stranded.
• Use your car's safety
and security features: Familiarize yourself with the safety and security
features of your car. Does your car have a GPS? Is there a feature that will
alert emergency personnel if you are involved in a car accident? Automatic
car starters are a good feature because they could save you critical time in
a bad situation.
• Keep your vehicle serviced:
A poorly maintained vehicle could cause you problems at the worst possible
times. Check your tires for wear and rotate them every other oil change. Have
your battery checked for corrosion and make sure there's the
appropriate amount of water in it and that it holds a charge. Check your
fluids and get your oil changed. Using synthetic oil such as Royal Purple can
be a great way to extend the life of your car and save money. Synthetic motor
oils can usually run longer than traditional motor oils, depending on the
wear and tear you put on your vehicle.
• Have a plan if trouble
arises: Do you know what you would do if you were confronted by a
potential abductor or carjacker? If you are approached by a person in or
around your car, drop any bags, run and make a lot of noise that will draw
attention to you. Try to stay in control of the situation. Whatever you do,
do not go with the person to another location regardless of promises that you
won't be hurt. If you feel you're being followed by another car,
call 911 and drive to a police station or hospital.
• Learn more: For more
information about synthetic motor oil and other automotive products, visit www.royalpurple.com.
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Stay On The Road To Safety
(NAPSI)-The number of senior drivers on the road continues to rise.
According to AAAseniors.com, there will be approximately 54 million Americans
over 65 years old in 2020 and many members of that group will be driving.
Being an older driver doesn't mean that person shouldn't drive,
but it's helpful to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safest trip
or drive possible.
• Assess the situation—While it should be up to the older
driver to evaluate his or her own driving abilities, senior driver or senior
improvement courses are great ways to help in that assessment. Senior driving
classes can reacquaint a driver with the rules of the road, point out warning
signs and discuss new driving issues such as distractions, including texting
and cell phones. Check with your local senior center, AARP or AAA for senior
driving courses near you.
• Be prepared for emergencies—Consider getting a cell phone if
you don't have one. Donated and recycled phones programmed to only dial
9-1-1 are available. Some cell phones come with larger buttons and displays
to make them easier for seniors to use and several service carriers have
special senior calling plans. Have an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk
that includes phone numbers to call in an emergency (relatives or neighbors,
towing company, local garage or dealership), quart of motor oil, tire gauge,
white cloth or sign that will help you signal for help, jumper cables,
flashlight and blanket.
• Running smooth—A well-maintained vehicle is another factor
in safe driving. That's why it is important to follow regular
maintenance practices. Check the air pressure and condition of your tires and
have them rotated. A good rule of thumb is to rotate them every other oil
change. Get your oil changed and, to extend the life of your car and the oil,
consider using a synthetic motor oil. Cars using a synthetic oil such as
Royal Purple can go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes, which means less
money spent on oil changes and less impact on the environment with less oil
• Keep it safe—Other items to check for safe driving include:
Clean and adjust your headlights. A technician at a dealership or repair shop
can adjust the aim to help you see the road better and help other drivers
avoid glare. Keep your windows clean inside and out to increase visibility.
Repair any windshield chips or cracks before they have a chance to spread.
For seniors or anyone who enjoys driving, one of the first steps for
safety on the road is following the basics and being prepared. For more
information on Royal Purple products, visit www.royalpurple.com or call (888)
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Car Owners Are Asked To Check Their Sunroofs
(NAPSI)—Though millions of Americans have a sunroof in their car,
many are not aware of a related product recall that could affect them.
Regardless of the make or model of your car or truck, your sunroof may be
among more than a quarter million that are being recalled by Webasto, the
sunroof manufacturer, for potential glass debonding. Though only a small
percentage of vehicles with sunroofs are affected by this voluntary
recall—less than 1 percent—it poses a potential safety hazard, so
it is important for all owners to do a simple check of their sunroof to see
if they need the repair, which will be done at no cost to them.
What Consumers Should Do
There is an easy way to determine if your sunroof is one of two product
lines affected by this recall. The most recognizable components of the
sunroofs affected are the switches and presence of a Webasto logo on the
• Hollandia 700/600 model: Consumers should look at the sunshade
handle; if it says "Webasto" and the serial number is within the
range of 6000000 to 6396298 it is covered under the safety recall.
• Hollandia TVS 900 model: This model has two tilt-up glass panels
with a black plastic bar crossing the glass side to side. If
"Webasto" is embossed on the bar, it is also covered under this
All details on how to identify the sunroofs, including photos and a video,
are available on the recall website www.sunroofcheck.com.
Step-by-step instructions on how to arrange for a repair with Webasto's
authorized installers are also provided. It's important to know that
car dealerships are not administering this recall.
"We recognize that asking all vehicle owners to check their sunroof
may be an inconvenience, but we believe this preventive action is in the best
interest of the public," said Mark Hickey, vice president, Business
Development, Webasto Product North America. "Though we are reaching out
to vehicle owners in other ways, we want to take every step we can to
identify all vehicles that could have an affected sunroof."
About the Recall
Webasto filed its Defect Information Report with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that, although rare, conditions
existing with the adhesive bond between the glass and metal frame in certain
Hollandia 700, 600 and TVS 900 series non-factory installed sunroofs can
increase the risk that the sunroof glass panel may completely debond from its
frame. Webasto reported to NHTSA that the company was unaware of any injuries
on the day of filing.
The recall only involves non-factory installed (aftermarket) sunroof glass
panels and does not include the vast majority of Webasto sunroofs that are
installed by auto manufacturers during vehicle assembly at the factory.
However, the only way to determine if your sunroof is non-factory installed,
even if you bought your vehicle new from a car dealer, is to do the
inspection as described above.
This recall affects 283,996 sunroofs in the United States. Working with
NHTSA, Webasto is moving swiftly to contact affected vehicle owners. In
addition to the dedicated website, customers can also contact the Webasto Customer Service
Center at (888)
749-8632 for more information or to schedule a repair.
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Stretching Your Money: Tips On Buying Certified Cars
(NAPSI)-If you're thinking of purchasing a used car, there's
good news. Used cars don't have to be as risky a purchase as they used
to be. Thanks to certification programs, it's harder to distinguish new
from used and more car buyers are turning to certified cars for better value.
Certification offers a way to buy a used car with confidence and helps you
pick the best from the best.
The number of certified preowned (CPO) vehicles
sold this year could be the highest in recent memory as sales continue to rise
at record pace. Besides costing less than new-car counterparts, certified
vehicles also come with many of the same benefits, eliminating much of the
guesswork associated with buying used.
Some say it is one of the few segments of the auto market where both sales
and value to the buyer have increased. Be wary, however, because not all
certification programs are created equal. To help sort out the best from the
worthless, used-car experts offer the following tips:
Certified by whom?
Make sure you know who sets the standards for the certification program
and who makes certain they're being enforced. Look for a
manufacturer-backed program—the best people to certify a car are the
ones who built it and specialize in that make. Most manufacturers will offer
a limited warranty in addition to honoring the car's original warranty.
Do your homework.
Research the models that make sense for your driving needs. Check safety
and reliability reports published online and prices from your whole area.
How was the car certified?
At a minimum, a car should have a detailed mechanical inspection and a
vehicle history report. Carfax Vehicle History
Reports are included with more than 80 percent of all manufacturer CPO
vehicles for sale today.
What does it get you?
The certified used car you're buying probably comes with an extended
warranty. Make sure you know exactly what this covers and for how long. You
can always add additional coverage.
Ask for more.
If you want roadside assistance, options added to the car, free oil
changes or anything else, don't be afraid to ask.
For more information or to order a report, go to www.carfax.com.
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