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History - Buying - How to Wash a Car - Tires
If one had to guess who invented the motor car names such as Ford, Daimler, Duryea and Cugnot would all be valid choices. If the first person to patent a motor vehicle is considered the inventor that would be George Seldon.
Seldon applied for a patent on the "Road Engine" in 1879, by 1895 when the patent was issued a young automobile industry was taking off in the USA. Under threat of suit many of the manufacturers took out a license from him and most of their cars for the next ten to fifteen years sported a small brass plaque reading "Manufactured under Seldon Patent.
Henry Ford refused to go along with this and fought it out in court, finally winning one year before the patent expired.
Seldon was a patent attorney, not a manufacturer, he built his one and only car during the course of the suit with Ford. The car managed to stagger along under its own power briefly, even so he made well in excess of 10 million dollars from royalities.
Seldon Patent Print available at Vintage Internet Patents
Before Going to the Dealer
Check out the car online if it is a used vehicle, take note of any problems that are known with that particular model or year of vehicle. You should also get an idea of what the car is worth comparing ads. Prices of private deals will be cheaper than at a dealer, however there are advantages of purchasing through a dealer such as mechanical inspections, needed repairs and professional detailing.
Check loan rates with your bank if you need financing so you can compare to dealers rates.
Before Taking the Test Drive
The first part of a test drive is not the driving, it is a chance to check out sitting, with seat belt fastened, in each of the vehicle's seats, adjusting the seats, and checking the interior comforts of the vehicle.
Other things to check include:
Taking the Test Drive
The actual driving part of a test drive should be a brief but thorough test of the car's engine, suspension, steering and cornering, and on-board amenities, including heat and air-conditioning. A test drive should include both stop-and-go street driving, and highway time.
When you are on the streets, pay particular attention to the car's steering ability as you take a couple of right and left turns. This will also give you a sense of the brakes, transmission, and idle engine behavior.
If you are getting on a highway, go ahead and check the vehicle's acceleration. You should also make note of the vehicle's driving feel, and whether it affords a smooth and steady ride. Also make note of the noise from the engine or exhaust system.
After some highway driving, you should turn back toward the seller's location, and preferably get some more street driving in to ensure the vehicle will not run hot or rough after freeway driving. You may also want to find a vacant parking lot or other open area of roadway to hit the brakes hard to check the car's stopping power.
Be sure to take a long enough drive to warm the engine to regular operating temperature. The street and highway driving should include running in all gears, including reverse at some point.
Run the heat to ensure it emits hot air, and check the air conditioning for cool air. Run the air-conditioning for longer, and check its impact on the engine and temperature. You can do these things toward the end of the test drive, when you should turn the car off, wait a few seconds, and start it back up. You may even want to shut it off and on again, waiting longer in between to check the vehicle's charging and starting capability. Regardless, you should have the car idle for at least five minutes after a drive to ensure it does not run hot or rough after or during driving.
Take advantage of your test drive and try to come up with any questions or additional information about a vehicle or its performance. Your post-drive inspection should include a thorough look for body, frame, or other damage or defects, and a look under the engine to see if any fluids are leaking or dripping.
You should feel comfortable that you have thoroughly checked out a vehicle before buying it, and a test drive is the best way to do it.
Under the Hood
A test drive should also include a fairly thorough investigation of the vehicle's engine. Check fluids, looking not only at the level on dipsticks or container gauges, but the cleanliness of fluids.
Motor oil should be at nearly full and does not have to be pure amber in color, but should not be completely black. Transmission fluid should be red to pink, and again, not dark in overall color. Other fluids to check include power steering and brakes, clutch, and coolant, which should be light green and not just water, even though a mix of half coolant, half water is usually acceptable.
It is a good idea to look under the hood and under the car, including an inspection of the exhaust system from muffler to tailpipe, before it is heated up from the test drive. Also check the axles and joints. Beware of any vehicle seller who is reluctant to show you the engine, trunk, or other part of a vehicle.
For used cars, it is also becoming increasingly important to look for evidence of flooding, as some vehicles are taken far from the disaster-affected area and sold to unwitting buyers. Look for water lines on the inside of the vehicle body, in the trunk, or even the interior. Any mildew or moisture in the interior of a vehicle should be avoided.
If you feel you are unable or unqualified to assess the vehicle's mechanical merit, it may be worth your while to have an independent mechanic you trust check the engine for you. This is a service most reputable mechanics provide for a relatively inexpensive fee.
The bottom line is to envision owning the vehicle, and whether the price or payments would be worth having that vehicle to drive.
Once you have everything washed, give it one final rinse and start drying. Again working from the top down.
Difference between All Season and Winter Tires
Winter tire provide, better braking in snowy and icy conditions, the tread design is designed specifically for ice, snow and other severe winter conditions. The rubber is formulated to stay flexible at low temperatures.
Do I have to change all the tires at once?
Two wheel drive vehicles don't necessarily need to have all four tires replaced at once, two at a time is sufficient. But all-wheel-drive systems do require all four tires to be replaced at one time.
Always replace your tires with the proper style and size recommended for your vehicle.
How to Read a Tire:
"P" stands for passenger,
It is important to run your tires at the correct tire pressure, this may be found in the operators manual included with your vehicle. Recommended pressures are also usually listed somewhere on the vehicle, check the drivers door pillar, or inside the gas cap door.
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