Should you care what motivates a car thief? If you want to keep possession of your high end vehicle, as well as any possessions inside that vehicle, the answer is a resounding, “yes!”. Cars are stolen on a daily basis here in Houston, and what is even more upsetting is that these offenses happen right under our noses, in broad daylight, and it only takes 20 seconds!
The most frequent story we hear from our customers goes something like this:
I left the car for just a minute to run inside to (return the video). When I came back out… the window was smashed and my purse was gone!
For a professional car thief, your “just a minute” is plenty of time to break in, steal your purse or whatever else looks cool to swipe.
It takes only seconds for a thief to get away with your valuables once you’ve been targeted. Commonly, thieves will target someone who looks to be dressed for work, getting out of their car and walking away without a briefcase, purse or laptop bag. A good tip is when you’re going to be making stops before and after work, lock these items up in the trunk…but do so out of plain sight and before you get to where your going. There is a trunk release inside the car that a thief could easily pop if they see you put something back there. Remember, most of these releases are lockable with your key!
Gas stations, dry cleaners and other “quick stop” places are common hangouts for curious and watching eyes. Also, moms picking up kids from after school activities are a frequent target that we hear about.
In spite of their brazenness of committing crimes in broad daylight, there are things you can do to deter someone from trying to steal your car or your stuff. Here are a few things to consider:
Taking some of these precautions and using good common sense can at least take a step towards protecting your car and valuables.
When you walk into get your oil changed, and the guy asks you, “Do you want synthetic or conventional oil?” do you draw a blank? Do you think, “What is a synthetic oil, anyway?”
Lets look at some of the differences between these two: Conventional oil comes from crude oil that is pumped from the earth. It has a long chain carbon atom and complex molecules that render a thick and viscous fluid. Synthetic oils, by contrast, have a much shorter molecular chain producing a fluid that flows more easily.
Historically, synthetic oils were developed for aircraft jet engines because of their ability to reduce friction and wear on engine parts. This friction reduction was due to synthetic oil’s ability to function dependably at severe hot and cold temps as well as to withstand rigorous and lengthy engine operation without viscosity breakdown. (from:http://autos.aol.com/article/synthetic-motor-oil/)
OK, so should I use synthetic oil in my car?While the synthetic choice is a little more expensive, it is worth it to maintain your car optimally. Some carmakers recommend using only synthetic oils for their cars. Chevy recommends using Mobil One full synthetic in some of it’s cars. Ford specifies using a 5W20 semi synthetic for it’s Ford Taurus 3.0. While synthetics are certainly a safe way to go for your motor’s maintenance, we always recommend reading the manual that came with your vehicle to see what the manufacturer recommends for your engine design.
Is it ok to mix synthetic motor oil with regular?According to Mobil Oil, it should be fine to mix oils. It is unlikely that anything bad would happen, like a gel forming with the combination of the two oils, as many car owners fear. If you have synthetic oil already in your vehicle, and you need to add more sometime later at a gas station, it is perfectly all right to add what you need so your cars engine can move freely.
Regular maintenance is a vital part of your cars long life and health. In case you hadn’t guessed, Poutous offers professional oil changes and fluid checks with high grade synthetic oils for your car. Wherever you go to get your regular oil change, you can be assured that synthetic oils is a safe choice for your car.
Not only can you make your tire purchase through us, we can also handle your manufacture warranty claims even if you purchased your tires elsewhere.
Purchase from Poutous and receive
The color of your car can say a lot about you. This can be a useful thing particularly if you are shy and want to break out of your shell, or if you are a communicative type and appreciate the value of self expression.
What if your car changed it’s color to reflect your current state of mind? We came across this amazing innovation in auto paint from Peugeot: Mood Painting. What if your car’s paint would change color to reflect the mood of the driver? Would that be a good thing?
It was a February afternoon. I was driving towards Memorial Park to have an afternoon run and I noticed bright orange pilons partitioning off the roadway.
I pulled my car over and got out. I felt an excitement in the air. I smelled the smell of horses. I heard the ‘clop, clop, clop’ of hooves on pavement. I scan around to discover the bigger picture… It’s the famous Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Trail Ride announcing the beginning of rodeo season in Houston!
Every year over 3,000 cowboys and cowgirls saddle up and re-live the old west by participating in a trail ride with covered wagons, horses, mules, tents & sleeping bags. It is a time honored cavalcade and a true Texas tradition. There are 13 trail-ride groups coming from as far as Reynosa Mexico.
excerpt from RodeoHouston)
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is said to be one of the largest livestock exhibitions and live entertainment shows in the country. Boasting an impressive list of world famous singers and entertainers, it has also donated over $375 million in scholarships and towards benefiting the study of breeding better livestock and farm products. Not to mention a super succulent Barb-q cook off.
NFC is getting a great deal of attention and is being hyped as The Next Big Thing that will change how we use our mobile devices from shopping to interacting with your home to unlocking your car. Many smartphones, laptops, and other devices already come included with some sort of NFC chip in them, like ‘tap-to-pay’ credit cards or the latest “Apple Pay” from Apple, Inc.
What is NFC?It is a short range wireless two-way communication standard that allows you to make transactions by waving or tapping your NFC device over a reader. In a shop, train station or coffee shop it identifies your account (and even your personal preferences, shopping habits, your most frequently traveled route home) and takes payment through an app on your phone. Unlike Bluetooth, no pairing code is needed, “near-field” means it has to be at close range to work, and no internet connection is involved.
NFC and the auto industry: NFC is opening doorsVehicles equipped with near-field communication technology could interact with smartphones to replace traditional car keys. With a wave of your smartphone you can start your car and be on the road; handy if you lose your car keys!
Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing service and BMW’s similar DriveNow program equip their cars with NFC chips; users open the cars by tapping a membership card on the door. (from AutoNews)
Some operating systems in the dashboards of today’s cars already support the wireless protocol. In a 2012 demonstration, QNX, a subsidiary of BlackBerry Ltd., showed how NFC could be used to pair a smartphone with a Porsche Carrera. (see this article)
The chips needed to pair smartphones with cars using NFC would cost a couple of dollars per vehicle, though the cost could be significantly higher if an automaker wants to link a wide range of features — seats, climate control and so on — to a cellphone.
OTHER uses for NFC technology:
While there are still many security issues to be worked out between mobile phone companies, network operators, and banks, the day is coming when you will be able to leave your purse or wallet at home, and have all your transactions for travel, information, and dining accomplished using your smartphone.
(Re-posted from this original article.)
Crazy car tech innovations: A See-Thru-Hood technology. For Land Rover, this is the New Age of Discovery. What will they think of next? While we are not sure how this would be useful to the average Houston driver we think it would be fun to play with.
Land Rover hasn’t shown us what its upcoming Discovery Vision concept looks like yet—we’ll have to wait until the next week’s New York auto show for that—but it has given us a preview of one particularly cool new technology it will debut: the Transparent Hood. No, it’s not a literally transparent hood—Grease Lightning style—but by using cameras at the front of the vehicle and a full-width head-up display, the new driver assistance technology can make like the hood, and all the internals beneath it, are virtually invisible.
If that sounds cool, it is. As shown in the video below, the front-end cameras capture data that is then processed and fed to the head-up display, creating what Land Rover characterizes as a “see-through” view of the pathway ahead, as well as a graphical indication of the angle and position of the front wheels. While the cameras don’t show the wheels themselves, the Transparent Hood should make it much easier to optimally place the front tires while traversing rocky terrain, and could be particularly helpful when climbing a steep incline when the hood blocks everything but the sky. It should also help the more, um, situationally unaware among us avoid keep from wreaking havoc on walls, curbs and other cars when wriggling into tight parking spaces at the mall, a far more everyday application of the technology, we expect.
As our vehicles become more capable and offer increasing autonomy off-road we will ensure the driver has the confidence to progress over any terrain. We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Hood to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of urban parking.
I came across this article and thought it was with sharing. -John
A combination of higher prices for new cars and relatively low rates for auto loans means Americans are borrowing a record amount to pay for their new rides.
According to Experian Automotive, which tracks millions of auto loans written each quarter, the average amount borrowed by car buyers last quarter climbed above $27,000 for the first time ever.
“It’s not surprising buyers are borrowing more,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive credit. “If you look at the most popular segments, they are full-size pickups and SUVs. It’s hard to find one of those models new and fully loaded for under $30,000.”
According to Experian, the average auto loan in fourth quarter 2013 was $27,430—an increase of $739 compared with the same period of 2012. The average used car loan was $345 higher, coming in at $17,974.
(Read more: And the February auto sales winners are…)
Those with non-prime credit ratings—or credit scores between 620 and 679—had the highest average auto loan. For these borrowers, the average new car loan rose more than $1,500, to a new high of $29,385.
And as their loans rise, keeping the monthly payment as low as possible has become more of a challenge—even as car buyers stretch their loans over longer periods of time. According to Experian, the average monthly payment for a new car auto loan rose $11 to $471 in the fourth quarter; the average monthly payment for a used car loan edged $4 higher, to $352.
Not surprisingly, those with subprime credit ratings—credit scores between 550 and 619—had the highest average monthly payment, of $499.
“I expect that monthly payment to continue rising and go above $500,” Zabritski said. “There’s always a tipping point where buyers say, ‘I can’t pay that much every month.’ So far, we haven’t seen the flashing lights go off indicating buyers are at a tipping point.”
(Read more: Incentives lure car buyers, despite cold)
The payments are rising despite an increasing number of car buyers opting to stretch their loans over six or seven years. According to Experian, a record 20 percent of all new car auto loans in the fourth quarter were more than six years in length.
Overall, the average auto loan is scheduled to last five years and three months—but that could be rising.
J.D. Power said last week that February was on track to have one-third of new car auto loans last at least six years.
Bigger auto loans shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the average transaction price—or the amount buyers are paying at dealerships—climbed 1.9 percent to $32,160 in February, according to Kelley Blue Book. It’s the second straight month transaction prices came in above $32,000, as car buyers are adding navigation systems, in-car connectivity and infotainment systems to their vehicles.
(Read more: Car buyers commit to longer auto loans)
Within the industry, automakers such as Ford and Volkswagen have average transaction prices higher than $34,000. But for February, the highest average transaction price among the largest mass automakers was General Motors, where the average model sold at dealerships for $35,380.
—By CNBC’s Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews.