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Customize your vehicle!

Few of us really want to blend in to a crowd. That’s why we spend a lot of time and money customizing our homes, wardrobe, and even our phone cases!

And if you’re struggling in the parking lot trying to figure out just which car is yours, then maybe it’s time you start giving your automobile that same customized treatment. 

Break away from the crowd with these customizable ideas that are sure to make your vehicle stand out and make passers by say “wow”!

Change up the headlights! : Unless you have a higher end car such as an Audi, the factory headlights on your vehicle are probably pretty plain and boring. Try finding some halo projectors or other great looking headlights for your car instead to instantly change up it’s look! Halo projectors, for instance, will also will be an improvement for night driving. 

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Play with interior lighting: every vehicle I have owned has had led lights inside, giving the car a nice glow. This is especially great if your car has a dark interior. You’ll never have to worry about losing pennies and small items to the bottom of your car again. You can find interior led kits for as low as $20 online, and the process of installation isn’t too difficult. And I do have to say, most people who ride in my car at night are definitely jealous. 

Tint it up: Tinting your windows is a great way to instantly make your car look a lot fancier than it actually is. But beyond the visual appeal, it also will protect you from prying eyes and the beating sun. It can be pricey getting them done professionally, and even more of a pain in the ass to do it by hand, bu window tinting services is often on Groupon for a fair price. 

Change up the Rims: This one can be tricky. If you do it right, your car will look fresh, updated, and fancy. But, do it wrong and you’re going to look like a total idiot. I can’t tell you how many times I have laughed at moronic people who put chrome rims on a minivan. Pick out new rims that will compliment your car, not rims that are meant for a Lamborghini. 

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Looking to buy a BRAND spankin’ new car?… Don’t waste your money.

Most people I meet are pretty shocked to learn that I drive a newer Mustang. I think most of it is because my glasses and choice of dress screams more Toyota Prius than anything. But they always ask me one thing: “How the hell can you afford that?”

I’m a full time student juggling two jobs, an internship,  and an inconsistent sleep schedule. I don’t exactly scream “rich”.

A lot of people assume my parents bought the car for me, to which I say “hah!” My mother, who, mind you, is one of the most worrying, anxious people around, would never willingly purchase me a “speeding death trap”. To this day I can not ride in a vehicle with that woman without wishing I had a James Bond ejector seat.

I purchased the vehicle with my own money, and there’s only one secret as to how I can afford it: I didn’t buy the Damn thing new.

If you’re on a budget and want a nice car, buying a car brand new at the dealership is a huge mistake. For one, just because a vehicle is used doesn’t mean it’s inferior to the newer model, and secondly, the majority of that cars value is lost the second you drive it off the lot.

You need to keep in mind that vehicles go about 4 years without any drastic design changes.  I knew that I wanted the newest body style for my Mustang,  but I wasn’t willing to pay over $20,000 for a 2013. And ultimately, the differences between the 2010 Mustang (my model) and the 2013 were minimal. Only someone well versed in Mustangs like myself would really be able to tell the years apart.

So I got a car that looked almost just like the showroom model, but for half the price. And unless you just so happen to be purchasing the car in the year when they completely revamped the design, this is true for nearly all cars.

Had I bought my car new,  I also would have been forced to settle for the base model. These models are typically stripped down versions of the car – no bells and whistles included. They’re also the cheapest option. I managed to get a Mustang with leather seats instead of the standard cloth, a superior sound system, and built in Bluetooth and voice controls… all for less than a newer Mustang without those features.

Now I do understand people’s concerns about buying used: there’s always that belief that the vehicle will have something wrong with it, or that it won’t run as well as a new model. But from my perspective, a used car that is still running great just means that it’s a vehicle that is standing strong through the test of time.

And as far as vehicle defects go, that’s a valid concern that people reluctant to purchase used cars have, and it is indeed a risk you take. Even though my car was a few years old, there still were a few minor things that needed to be fixed. The dealer that I purchased the car from happily fixed the issues at no cost to me.

As long as you are working with a legitimate dealer with a good track record, and not some guy who has his car for sale on his lawn, you’re going to run into few issues. Most major dealers offer “certified” used cars, which basically means that the vehicle has been inspected, is in excellent working condition, and is worthy enough to be sold along side newer models.

Still, there are people, and possibly you are one of them, who are dead set on never purchasing a used car. But unless you seriously have the cash and don’t even remotely consider purchasing a new car an investment, then I’m going to think of you as a huge fool.

Take my story into consideration, and save yourself some cash! New isn’t necessarily better…

Weigh in below about your own experiences, and feel free to ask me any questions as well!

Mod Monday: The cold air intake

Wah wah, wah wah, wah wah.

Listening to guys talk about their engines is like being Charlie Brown in class. And rather than try to understand, I usually just get sucked into my smartphone and play video games until it’s all over.

But on those rare occasions that I do decide to tune in to their conversations about…tuning… I usually just hear a bunch of words I don’t understand and copious references to new “cold air intakes”.

…What the fuck does a cold air intake actually do?

From what I’ve gathered over the years, it’s something that not only makes your car faster and run smoother, but also adds a little yellow smiley sticker to your man card that says “Good Job!”

ImageLet’s consult our educational overlord, Wikipedia, in order to get some answers here.

A cold air intake is an aftermarket assembly of parts used to bring relatively cool air into a car’s internal-combustion engine.

Most vehicles manufactured since the mid-1970s have thermostatic air intake systems that regulate the temperature of the air entering the engine’s intake tract, providing warm air when the engine is cold and cold air when the engine is warm to maximize performance, efficiency, and fuel economy. Aftermarket cold air intake systems are marketed with claims of increased engine efficiency and performance. The putative principle behind a cold air intake is that cooler air has a higher density, thus containing more oxygen per volume unit than warmer air.” – Wikipedia.com

The kicker in this explanation is the fact that they used the word “claims”. With a decent cold air intake and tuner kit (which is used to calibrate it to your engine properly) being around $700 for my car, I’m not taking any chances on “claims”.

It either works or it doesn’t, annnnnnd, according to the video below…

…it really doesn’t.

So why the hell are men spending good money to alter their engines for something that essentially has very little gain? Most of it probably is the chain effect. For example, everyone tells you that the iPhone is the best phone ever (WRONG), so next time you go shopping for a phone, you buy an iPhone. Note: I’ve worked in the cellphone industry for a while, so this is a scenario that really makes me scoff!

Part of the reason is also probably because a cold air intake tends to make the engine louder, which is like a male mating call.

Btw, guys, it doesn’t work.

Next time the men around you are blabbering about cold air intakes, blind them with your new found science from this video. And more importantly, don’t get suckered into purchasing something for your car you really won’t need. Do your research first on your specific make and model and consult an expert.

Weigh in below!

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It’s a man’s world…. not.

During a class assignment we were asked to pass a paper around with our ideas of topics we’d like to talk about written down. Well, as you could probably gather from the nature of my blog, I chose to keep one of my topics in the automotive world. Each student was to comment on the person’s idea, and either praise it or ask questions about it. Few people went so far as to criticize, as that wasn’t the point of the exercise.

Around and around the papers went, like literal clockwork, until the original paper was back in the owner’s hand.

Most of the questions were just stanard ones… but one question from a student with almost illegible handwriting irked me: “are women even interested in cars?”

This is no longer just a man’s world, people. Women play sports and video games, engage in politics, work in factories, police our streets, and serve our damn country on the front lines for crying out loud.

With times changing so much, is it really so difficult to believe that women could enjoy cars, too?

Take Grease Girl, for instance. This blogger, obviously a woman, engages in full engine rebuilds and restoration of vehicles… all while not being afraid to chip her nail polish (which, I may add, judging by her photos are usually in superb shape).

It’s such a masculine job, but there she is: a woman who enjoys make up and a little self pampering, working with grease and getting dirty in all the ways men think are invading their territory.

Is it really such a weird thing for women to be interested in cars? Weigh in below.