The Top 10 Most Environmentally Friendly Cars for 2014

jeep-grand-cherokee-suv-2011-hd-widescreen-wallpapers-car

each of the following cars have been ranked by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and assigned a “green score” – this will help you make your decision about buying the vehicle that’ll cause the least amount of damage to the environment while saving you big-time money at the pumps.

HERE IS YOUR 2014 RUNDOWN:

  1. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. Manufactured by Smart, a division of Daimier AG, this car’s diminutive size and sticker price of $25,000 may cause you to shake your head – until you see that this fully electric ride gets the equivalent of 122 miles per gallon in the city, 93 on the highway. With a green score of 59, this is the ACEEE’s number one most environmentally friendly car.

  2. Toyota Prius c. A hybrid that starts at just over $19,000 and gets you 54 miles to the gallon in the city and an equally impressive 46 on the highway, the Prius c manages to meet two enormously important criteria: affordable price and amazing gas mileage. Its green score is 57.

  3. Nissan LEAF. With a sleek, handsome appearance that’ll no doubt cause a couple of double-takes, this fully electric, 107-horsepower hatchback nabs the equivalent of 106 miles per gallon in the city, 92 on the highway. With a starting MSRP of almost $29,000 it’s not cheap – but its green score of 55 is a big convincing factor.

  4. Toyota Prius. One of the standard bearers of eco-conscious commuting, the original Prius hybrid is Toyota’s mid-size offering that gets 51 m.p.g. city, 48 m.p.g. highway. With a green score of 55, a 134-horsepower engine, and a sticker price of $24,000 this is one of the longest running hybrid models on the road today.

  5. Honda Civic Hybrid. If you’re into the idea of a sedan that’ll give you a bit more room to stretch out, you could do a lot worse than the Civic Hybrid. Starting at close to $28,000, it gets a respectable 44/47 m.p.g. and comes with a 1.5 liter, 110-horsepower engine. Green score: 55. And it’s a great looking car.

  6. Lexus CT 200h. Starting at $32,000, the CT 200h hybrid from Lexus is known first for its excellent gas mileage (51 m.p.g. city, 48 m.p.g. highway) and second for the superior handling abilities, which is the result of its lower overall stance and profile. It’s also a hatchback, which boosts it up a notch in the convenience category. Green score: 55.

  7. Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid. Offering proof positive that Toyota is at the head of the herd when it comes to offering quality green cars, this plug-in hybrid version of the Prius gets a green score of 55 and starts at just under $30,000. Its average miles per gallon are 51 in the city, 49 on the highway.

  8. Mitsubishi Mirage. If you’re looking for an affordable ride and are okay with a tiny, traditional non-hybrid car, then the Mirage is for you. With a sticker price under $13,000 and a green score of 54, Mitsubishi’s long-running model is the highest ranked non-hybrid car on the ACEEE’s list. Estimated miles per gallon are 37 city, 44 highway.

  9. Honda Civic Natural Gas. This is the car for anyone looking to cut back on emissions and save a pretty penny on fuel. The Honda Civic Natural Gas runs on – you guessed it! – clean burning natural gas. With prices starting at around $29,000, this car will fetch you about 27 m.p.g. in the city and 38 m.p.g. on the highway and has a green score of 54.

  10. Honda Insight. Rounding out the top 10 list of most environmentally friendly cars is the Insight hybrid from Honda – an affordable compact that costs about $19,000 and gets 41 m.p.g. in the city, 44 on the highway. Its green score is 53.

Is Reducing your Carbon Footprint important to you when deciding the make and model of a new vehicle?  We would love to hear your feedback.

Cheers

ICC Collision Centers

visitourwebsite

Advertisements

End of Insurance as we know it?

Vehicle Prototype Image Banner Cropped 600px

Google recently rolled out a driverless car prototype (see video above)  that has successfully traveled more than 700,000 miles on the streets of California. We may be still further away from mass adoption; however, it spells out the future for us. In the not too distant future, the world will be driverless. As per article in LA Times article, several automakers will have fully autonomous cars on the road by 2020. By 2025, as many as 230,000 of these self-drivers could be sold each year around the world, and that number could swell to 11.8 million a decade later, according to IHS Automotive, an industry research firm.

Will this be the end of auto insurance? Who will we insure if there is no driver? May be insurance will be sold along with the car – like a “protection agreement” that we buy with appliances. That is the ultimate state of commoditization for insurance.

However, at the same time, the technology advances will offer an opportunity for personalization and product differentiation in other lines of businesses.

Read More of this article by Chief Architect and Director, Insurance Solutions

HERE

 

The Automotive Industry and the amazing technology that comes with it…

IMAGINE… it’s 2020, and your car knows you’re drunk???

DD

IMPOSSIBLE YOU THINK?  NOT REALLY..

One day soon, your vehicle could be the one deciding whether you had one too many at happy hour.

Researchers now are working on the development of two different technologies that could automatically detect your blood-alcohol content (BAC) either through your touch or your breath.

“There’s a lot of promise if a system can be developed that would stop any driver that’s been drinking from getting on the road,” says Russ Rader, senior vice president for communications at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently extended its agreement with automobile manufacturers to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The system would detect if your BAC was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent and prevent you from driving if it’s too high.

High-tech devices to tell if you’re too intoxicated to drive

This technology would be unlike current alcohol-detecting ignition interlock systems, which might be outfitted in someone’s vehicle if he’s convicted of driving under the influence. Those systems require the driver to blow into a tube and prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected.

READ MORE HERE

Five Big Auto Trends for 2014

ant

Urban driving will decline.

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Urban driving will decline.

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Urban driving will decline. 

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Self-driving cars are works in progress. 

No, we won’t see them in 2014, but we’ll see pieces of them—increasingly sophisticated systems that will intervene to keep us in our lanes, avoid collisions, apply the brakes, and even take over in traffic jams. By 2020, some cars will have limited autonomy, maybe even do some freeway driving, but by 2025 we may be finally sitting in the back seat playing with our smart phones—or whatever they call those things by then. Google, Volvo, Audi, GM, they’re all really into this. And it fits right into trends of young people losing interest in driving.

a

 

Fuel cells are coming. 

By the end of the year, we will start to see the first commercial hydrogen-powered cars on the market. At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Toyota will display the FCV Concept, a sedan that spokeswoman Jana Hartline describes as “very close” to the production vehicle that will hit the market around 2015. Hartline says it has a range of over 300 miles on a fill. She describes $50,000 as “a reasonable target price.” Infrastructure remains the “elephant in the room,” and in the U.S. only California is likely to have it by 2015 (with perhaps 25 refueling stations). Andstationary fuel cells have big applications, too.

toy

We are already in the second quarter of 2014 and the automotive industry is truly taking technology to new heights.

By the end of the year, expectations are high for Auto Manufacturers… We will keep you posted as we go.

Cheers

– ICC Collision Centers

Extended Oil Change Intervals Taking Their Toll On Today’s Engines

download

Auto manufacturers, in general, are continuing to reduce vehicle maintenance requirements by extending oil change intervals.

The most common result is an engine ruined by excess accumulations of varnish and sludge due to using motor oils that are not approved by the engine manufacturer. In less common instances, the engine fails due to low engine oil levels and a subsequent lack of lubrication.

Whatever the case, extended oil change intervals are changing how we should recommend and perform scheduled vehicle maintenances.

Oil DEPOSIT CONTROL
While lead-free, high-detergent gasoline has dramatically reduced intake port and combustion chamber deposits, modern engine oils are also specially formulated to prevent carbon from forming in the combustion chamber, piston rings from sticking and oil additives from contaminating the catalytic converter.

In particular, modern engines generally use narrow, low-tension piston rings that are fitted very tightly into the piston to increase piston ring sealing and reduce oil consumption.

On the upside, low piston ring tension reduces rotating friction and cylinder wear. On the downside, low-tension rings with tight side-gap clearances tend to stick when the incorrect engine oil is used. Therefore, the ability of an engine oil to clean and lubricate the piston ring package is critical.

ANTI-SCUFFING ADDITIVES
Oil suppliers have also eliminated zinc and phosphorous-based anti-scuff additives that reduce catalytic converter efficiency. While the elimination of these particular anti-scuff additives has increased camshaft wear on some high-performance pushrod-style engines, it hasn’t affected overhead camshaft engines due to the lower valve spring pressures used on overhead camshaft designs.

On the other hand, some engines equipped with direct fuel injection require a high degree of anti-scuff protection to prevent the camshaft-driven high-pressure fuel pump and camshaft lobe from wearing out. In most cases, oil refiners have gone to much higher quality base oils to prevent wear on the high-pressure fuel pump and cam lobe. Again, it’s vitally important to make sure that the replacement oil is either OE oil or is approved by the OE manufacturer.

As for older, performance pushrod, flat-tappet engines that are not equipped with catalytic converters, specially branded performance oils are available with anti-scuff additives to prevent camshaft and valve lifter wear. In addition, zinc-based “ZDDP” additives are also available to enhance the anti-scuff qualities of over-the-counter motor oils. Again, these oils and additives are not intended for vehicles equipped with catalytic converters.

OIL LIFE ISSUES
Neglected oil change intervals can ruin the best engine oils. As engine oil accumulates miles, it becomes contaminated with carbon, water and various acids, all of which are a by-product of internal combustion and which will form a film of black, gooey sludge on the interior parts of the engine.

Cold-engine operation accelerates the formation of sludge because the oil temperatures aren’t sufficient to evaporate accumulated moisture. Oil sludging is also aggravated by short-trip, cold-weather driving and by thermostats that are stuck open. See Photo 1.

ENGINE LUBRICATION PROBLEMS
When the engine is operated at high speeds and temperatures, sludge often dislodges and clogs the oil filter. Since most oil filters incorporate bypass valves that allow the lubricating oil to flow around a clogged filter media, the dirty oil can pass directly into the engine and clog small-diameter oil galleries.

In any case, heavily sludged oil will eventually clog the engine’s oil pump pickup screen, oil filter and oil galleries. The initial symptoms of oil starvation are engines that become noisy during cold start-up and oil pressure gauges that rise very slowly.

Broken timing belts are also symptomatic of oil starvation on overhead camshafts. Because the damage usually includes the crankshaft and piston assemblies, don’t be too eager to quote a cylinder head replacement as the cure for a seized camshaft.

Article courtesy of ENGINE BUILDER magazine.

ICC Collision Centers

3131 Standard Ave

Santa Ana, California

http://www.icccollision.com