Monthly Archives: September 2010

The New Taurus Has A New Look On A Beloved Classic

Forget your grandma’s old sedan: The redesigned Ford Taurus is now cool to drive again! The 2011 Ford Taurus is without a doubt the most innovative new sedan coming out this year. Russell & Smith Ford is Houston’s home for New Ford Cars and Used Ford Trucks and has a wide array of Taurus’ in all kinds of trim levels. The SE model starts at just over 25 grand, making this car right for everyone. Under the hood the SE is running a 3.5 liter V6 and a six-speed transmission, the Taurus gets up to 28 MPG at highway speeds; Pretty incredible fuel economy for a 4 door sedan that zips down the road like a muscle car.

Jumping up in price to the SEL and Limited variants enhances the luxury of the Taurus’ interior comfort. For $3,000-$5,000 more than the SE, these Taurus versions allow drivers to ride on heated leather seats, embrace the ease of paddle select shifters and listen to SIRIUS satellite radio.

These high end models come with all the bells and whistles imaginable: great stereo, the Ford-exclusice SYNC system, even rear cameras to warn you about obstacles behind the rear bumper.

Getting out of the typical sedan style, Ford unleashes the Taurus SHO. This model has all of the right features inside and out, especially under the hood. The SHO’s 3.5 liter EcoBoost motor can keep up with any car on the road and still delivers a respectable 25 miles per gallon. A true dual exhaust system helps the SHO breathe and the race proven all-wheel drive system delivers traction in any extremes. This Taurus comes equipped with a sport tuned suspension and aerodynamics package that enables the SHO to handle like a dream. Don’t worry about not being able to see at night or in the rain. The SHO comes standard with High-Intensity Discharge headlights that keep the road in view even in bad weather.

From the base level SE all the way up to the rubber-burnin’ SHO, the 2011 Ford Taurus is a great value and great fun to drive.

A Few Smart Tips On How To Examine A Cheap Used Car

The sector for cheap used cars has escalated at an unprecedented rate over the past couple of years. Indeed, research demonstrate that the number of men and women that actually buy used automobiles has almost tripled when compared to the number of men and women that actually buy new cars and trucks.

Regardless, it does not imply that purchasers should simply take the entire process of choosing a used automobile for granted. For that reason, you need to take heed of a few ways to check out the vehicle before closing the deal.

Therefore, for people who would like to know the various ways of verifying the condition of a used car, below are a few tips:

1. Test drive

There’s no better way for you to check the condition of a car or truck than to do a test drive. In this way, you’ll be able to figure out the specific condition of the car and its parts such as the brakes, accelerator, etc.

Also, you will be able to determine at once if there are some “clunks” and rattles on the cheap used car, even if the test drive is just simply a brief trip.

2. Personal inspection

In addition to test-driving, it is also really important for you to personally check the details of the body make-up and its condition.

In this way, you will be able to spot any signs of rust and damages, the condition of the tires, oil leaks, etc.

3. Mileage check

Typically, a typical driver will put 12,000 to 15,000 miles on a automobile each year. By just knowing this, you’ll be able to know the approximate age of the used car and you’ll also be able to get a good idea about the price of the vehicle.

4. Mechanic check

Yet another way of checking the condition of a cheap used car before its purchase would be to seek the help of a reputable mechanic. This may cost you but it really will be dollars well spent. The mechanic is the best individual that can promptly assess technically and professionally the condition of a auto.

5. CARFAX Report

Finding out the history of a cheap used car can be one of the best ways of know the actual condition of the automobile. Hence, it is important for you to seek the help of a CARFAX report so that you know the accurate details of the used automobile’s history.

Take the right actions and research your purchase. Doing so guarantees a completely satisfied used car buying experience.

4 Reasons to Buy a Tonneau Pickup Cover

Don’t you think the back of your shiny new truck seems naked without a cover? In addition to the cool style that a tonneau truck bed cover gives your vehicle, it is also very practical and actually saves you money. It’s definitely not just another “pretty” accessory. Putting one on your truck today is one of the best upgrades you can add to your rig. Here’s why:

  • Prevent theft: Keep your personal items such as tools, equipment, groceries, and anything else that you might place in your truck bed hidden from view. Think “out of sight and out of mind” when it comes to preventing theft. 
  • Protect your personal items: Tonneau pickup covers protect the items in your truck bed from Mother Nature— snow, rain, dust, dirt, bird droppings, and the sun. Plus it keeps items from blowing out or rolling around and breaking as you drive.
  • Save money at the gas pump: Some truck bed tonneau cover manufacturers claim an average savings of around 6% to 8% by boosting your aerodynamics, preventing drag in the tailgate of your truck bed.
  • Look cool: In addition to protecting your property from thieves and the weather and saving money on gas, a tonneau truck bed cover just looks great!  It adds sleekness and style, especially when you’re not carrying any large cargo.

The most inexpensive style you can buy are roll up tonneau pickup covers from fabric or vinyl.  A rib-like structure supports the fabric and keeps it taut. Roll up tonneaus are opened by rolling the cover up toward the cab of the truck to gain access to your truck bed. A soft roll up tonneau truck bed cover folds in 3 sections and allows easy access to cargo. A hard folding cover also folds in 3 sections but offers tougher, more durable and strong protection. Hinged truck bed tonneau covers come with a hinge behind the truck cab so your cover can be lifted just like the lid of a toolbox.

Another common style is a retractable tonneau cover is mounted at the front and sides of the bed and retracts from the tailgate towards the cab. Usually there is a small rectangular canister attached at the front of the bed to store the tonneau cover when retracted. The retractable tonneau is typically made of vinyl, plastic or aluminum. Retractable tonneaus are convenient to use because they don’t involve assembly or disassembly and are usually lockable. It’s a more expensive option, but will make your truck look like a luxury vehicle!

Whether you prefer a soft or hard tonneau cover, a roll up or retractable style, a tonneau cover increases gas mileage, protects your valuables and looks razor sharp on your rig!

Nissan, Honda and Toyota are among car-makers

Lithium is not much to look at. It’s a soft and light, silver-white metal known for its use in mood stabilising drug
But the 25th most abundant element on earth could, one day, help cure the world of its addiction to oil — as a key ingredient in batteries.
US geologists last week released the results of a survey showing around a trillion dollars worth of minerals in Afghanistan, which could make the war-ravaged state “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”, according to a Pentagon memo.
But mining and technology firms have long been looking at lithium through eyes lit with dollar signs.
Lithium-based batteries are used in everything from mobile phones and laptops, to iPods and iPads, as well as military and medical hardware. They have even made their way into the human body, powering pacemakers.
But the main reason companies are betting on lithium is the projected explosion in the number of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Nissan, Honda and Toyota are among car-makers now gambling that electric vehicles, with their zero tailpipe emissions, will catch on and start to drive traditional gas-guzzlers off the road.
All will need batteries. Lots of batteries.
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and potentially new batteries such as lithium-air, are seen as the best option by many manufacturers over other battery types as they are lightweight and efficient, and can hold more power.
Subbu Bettadapura, Malaysia-based associate director of energy research company Frost and Sullivan, says the battery market is set to grow massively.
The lithium-ion battery market for electric and hybrid vehicles is, he says, conservatively-estimated to be set to grow from 2,400 units in 2008 to 1.53 million units by 2015.
“The tide is definitely going out on oil, in the long run,” he told AFP. “The world’s dependence on oil will decline and will be replaced by other fuels, such as lithium-ion batteries.”
The US, the world’s second biggest polluter after China, clearly agrees.
President Barack Obama has said he wants a million hybrid electric cars on America‘s roads by 2015.
And, at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new lithium-ion battery plant on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden said such factories could reduce US dependence on foreign oil and prevent disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This is the beginning of a revolution in the production of energy in the country,” said Biden at the ceremony for Dow Kokam?s plant in Midland, Michigan, which will make batteries for 60,000 electric vehicles a year.
Japanese, Chinese and South Korean manufacturers dominate the lithium-ion battery market, and Asia-Pacific lithium mining projects are coming thick and fast.
Australian mining firm Orocobre signed a deal in January with the raw materials arm of motor giant Toyota for a lithium project in Argentina.
This month, a South Korean consortium launched a lithium stock exploration joint-project with a Canadian mining firm, also in Argentina. There are several other deals either signed or in the pipeline.
The world’s largest lithium reserves lie in Bolivia at the Salar de Uyuni – in the remote southern Andean plane. But Bolivia’s left wing government is not seen as a country friendly to foreign industry, so investment has tended to flow elsewhere — to its South American neighbours.
Galaxy Resources, an Australian mining and chemicals company, will soon commission the world’s second largest spodumene — a source of raw lithium — mine in Western Australia, to be processed at its plant in China.
Oil may have had its day, says Anand Seth, Galaxy’s marketing chief, but it will be around for a long time yet.
“Is it the end of oil? I wish!,” he told AFP. “But it is not so simple and probably not in our lifetime.
“The lithium batteries for electric vehicles are very much in the nascent stage and the infrastructure to charge these batteries needs to be developed and installed.
“The next five years will be critical in establishing such infrastructure for recharging the batteries and the technology and standardisation of batteries is also very important.”

The Adored Civic Is All-New With The Redesigned EX Model

Looking for a Honda dealership Houston that carries a new car Houston or a used car Houston? Look no futher than Russell & Smith Honda. They have the biggest selection of Honda Civic Hybrid and other Hondas, Fords, and Nissans of anywhere in Texas.

The Civic is for Honda fanatics who desire the ultimate all-around-performance car. The all-around awesomeness of the Civic has made it a favorite in the used market as well.

Starting with a family sedan, the Civic Sedan is a great all around car. With an affordable sticker price starting at just a shade over $21,000 makes the Civic fit into any budget.

The Sedan model comes in several different options from the basic LX to the top of the line EX-L with a powerful V6 motor. The LX model has under the hood a 2.4 liter i-VTEC 4 cylinder that dishes out loads of power while still delivering up to 31 miles per gallon.

On to the EX models are powered by a 3.5 liter V6 that has tons of power and still allows for up to 29 miles per gallon. The Civic has commanding presence, High-Performance look and feel, and Wide-opening doors for ease of entry and exit.

If you love speed then listen up: the Civic Coupe is the car for you. This nimble two-door has the same horsepower as the Sedan with much less curb weight and with a starting price of only $22,555. The stylish lines make it look like its flying by you even when it’s parked..

For those who value their gas budget when it comes to their car then the Civic Hybrid is the vehicle to drive. The Hybrid redefines utility with 51.3 cu ft of cargo space, easy fold-down 60/40 split rear setback, and a hidden removable utility box. Starting around $29,000 this beast comes standard with a economical motor. Combine that with the AWD feature and you have a family hauler that handles like a sports car.

No matter which Civic fits your life Russell & Smith Honda in Houston, TX can get you driving the Civic of your dreams today.

Being Kind To The Environment With An Amazon Kindle

In 2008 the US book and magazine industry sector was responsible for the felling of 125 million trees. Many publishing firms are environmentally aware and use sustainably sources for their paper supply. Simply put, they plant a tree for every one they cut down. However, not all do this and even those who do usually fail to take account of the large quantities of water and thermal energy used in the production of the paper.

The carbon footprint of the average book is 7.5 kg of CO2 during its lifetime. However, if you ho into your car, drive to the shopping district to buy your book, and then drive home again, the carbon footprint of that book will be doubled. It’s amazing how relatively small actions like this make such a difference.

So it should be no surprise to learn that electronic book readers – such as the Amazon Kindle– are kinder to the environment. Over and above the fact that no paper, ink or water are used in the production of electronic books, the delivery method – internet download using either standard connection or 3G wireless technology – is friendlier to the environment.

Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that e-book readers have no environmental impact. Clearly they consume both energy and materials in the course of the manufacturing process of the reader device. Additionally, they require electrical power when in use. Even when these factors are factored into the equation, they are still considerably better for the environment than the continued use of traditional printed books, magazines and newspapers.

It is estimated that in 2009, e-book readers will be “carbon neutral” – the CO2 saved by the use of electronic media will almost exactly balance the CO2 used to manufacture and power the devices. Looking forward to the not so distant future, as usage increases, the manufacture and operating “cost” will be more than offset by the savings achieved by avoiding the manufacture and distribution of conventional paper based books and magazines.

The majority of people will purchase their Kindle reader based on the fact that it’s convenient, trendy and that it offers a way for them to save money on books. The fact that it’s more environmentally friendly will probably be a secondary consideration for many – even so, it will have a significant positive impact in the future.

Why Are So Many People Buying The F-150

Offered with many different option packages, the Ford F-150 has a model to meet any budget. Mike Davidson Ford is home for Ford F-150 Jacksonville FL and used Ford F-150 Jacksonville Florida which has a huge selection of F-150 in all kinds of trim levels. Offered with only the most basic features, the XL model is priced to be affordable for everyone. For just about $21,000 the F-150 XL delivers the quality of a Ford and the usefulness of new cars Jacksonville FL. Powered by a fuel saving 4.6 liter V-8 the XL has the horse to haul a small boat and get 21 MPG on the highway.

Moving up the price scale Ford offers the STX model in a variety of engine, bed and cab sizes. If it’s eye-catching looks and luxury comfort you desire, check out a Lariat model. Starting around $34,000 the value of this truck is second to none. With a completely-redesigned 5.4 liter V8, any reasonable towing job is within this F-150’s grasp. Available in SuperCab and SuperCrew, this truck can easily fit the whole family.

For all of the speed demons, Ford has your truck: the all-new SVT Raptor. Offered with a massive 6.2 liter V8 pumps out tons of power and a ruggedly reliable suspension. The SVT Raptor can traverse almost any terrain with the greatest of ease. You can find a new F-150 or used truck. If money is no object then check out the King Ranch, Platinum, and Harley Davidson models. Costing over $40k these F-150’s are for their extremely unique luxury. Check with a local Ford dealer to track down one of these beasts; they are only available in limited quantities.

Clearly then there is a style to meet any truck shopper’s desires. Almost every model is available in 2WD and 4WD and come in various lengths of cargo bed. It’s as true in 2010 as it has ever been: Nothing compares to a Ford Truck. From the entry level XL up to the King Ranch every F-150 delivers on Ford’s reputation for value, quality, and reliability}.

Where To Go To Find Most Used Energy Star Water Heaters

There are many advantages of using energy star water heaters as they are compatible and comply to energy start standards and additionally reduce the hazardous emissions. These heaters are a cost effective source of heating that aids to contract great amount of costs incurring on your monthly energy bills. In recent years there s a better mixture of heaters in the markets that aids you to save to up to $200 at the time of purchasing.

There are many features and options available for energy star water heaters for saving money for the customers and creating an environment friendly atmosphere. Energy star water heaters are available on natural gas elements, electrical energy and even solar energy.

There are several gains to the consumer of energy star water heaters; firstly the equipment runs in high capacity of gas storage. This comes as a substitution for the old type pf energy star water heaters. The substitute water heater enables consumers to continue to use the energy star heaters instead of replacing or shifting the system. On average energy star water heaters preserves about 7% on the electrical energy bill on a monthly basis.

Gas tankless heater is the second type of energy star water heaters, that is perfect for consumers who are thinking of substituting their existing system. Energy star water heaters consume a limited space and the life-time of the heater is of a longer period. It will also help consumers to save up to 30% on their water energy bills.

The next type pf energy star water heaters is the gas condencing water heater. This type of heater consumes much more space than the other heaters. Both the discharge and the drain need to be set up in different storage. This type of energy star water heaters preserves your heating bills up to 30%.

The heat pump energy star water heaters need electrical energy and sufficient space to accommodate the compression drain. The investment made on this equipment is more cost effective as it can save up to fifty % per month which is spent on heating.

Solar water heater is also available in addition to the energy star water heaters mentioned. However as it does not need fuel or any other component for the running of the system, clients can save to a greater extent. This type of energy star water heater is more ideal for installing in hot regions as it bets on the solar energy to be worked upon. Every year, proper maintenance checks need to be carried out. Energy star water heaters reduce the large and excessive amount spent on the energy bills. The benefit does not stop at that, it also conducive for the natural environment.

Honda Fits All Your Needs

Looking for a dealership that carries the new Honda Fit Houston or a used Honda Fit Houston? Look no further than Russell & Smith Honda. They carry the biggest selection of the Honda Fit Houston of any dealership in Texas.

Hatchbacks are back from the past with the 2010 Honda Fit Smooth and stylish this vehicle could easily be mistaken for a sedan, but with a lot more space. No other hatchback can hold a candle to the 2010 Honda Fit. The back seat can completely come down at the pull of a lever and the headrests do not need to be removed. You can set up a tall load area in back of the front seats when flipping up the rear seat cushion. The cargo accommodations are a massive 57.3 cubic feet. Never worry about blind spots again, the Honda Fit has a standard telescoping steering wheel for wonderful perceptibility.

The Honda Fit comes in two different trims which are the Base and the Sport trim. The Base trim has air-conditioning, full power accessories, four speaker sound system with CD and MP3 player, auxiliary jack, tilt-telescoping steering wheel and 15-inch steel wheels. The next upgrade is the Sport trim which adds a driver armrest, upgraded audio system with six speakers and a USB port, rear spoiler, cruise control, map lights, fog lights, lower body extensions and 16-inch alloy wheels. The recommended trim would be the Sport considering the navigation system can only be put into the Sport.

The 2010 Honda Fit only has two down falls which are not having many trims or options to choose and being semi noisy on the highway. If you need a automobile with plenty of space for cargo this is the hatchback for you. The Honda Fit surpasses any hatchback competition. Also available in automatic, the Honda Fit has the best fuel economy in the line up. The 2010 Honda Fit is comes with anti-lock disc brakes, full length side curtain airbags and front seat side airbags which makes it very safe. This is the perfect car if you carry around a lot of luggage or just need more space.

How To Find Used Cars At The Best Prices

By : Gregg Hall     From: Article2008.com

The key to shopping for anything is to do your research first and cars are no exception. New cars can be easier, but both new and usedvehicles have their difficulties. The first thing that you should do is get an idea of what kind of vehicle you want and try to narrow it down to a couple of different models to make your research easier. Once you have done this you can start watching your local classifieds and see what kind of prices they are bringing there. 

Many times you can find great deals in your local classifieds and depending on the seller’s situation you may be able to get a vehicle at a price well below retail. Sometimes people get a big eye opener when they try to trade their car and want to get more than the dealer will give them, which in many cases is still a bargain. You can also do some checking online at sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA. One of my favorite methods is to use eBay. With eBay you can open a free account and then you can go to eBay Motors and pick out vehicles that are being auctioned and put them in a watch list. I have done this many times not only to buy a vehicle, but also to get a good idea what I should get if I sell mine .

Online Auctions like this can be a great way to find good deals. You get to check out the vehicles, which usually have pictures and shop right from the comfort of your own home. Try to find auctions with no reserve, these types of auctions don’t have a minimum price before they will sell and you may well be able to buy a vehicle at a great discount.  Another recommendation I have to make is that you use the system known as CARFAX. The information they offer is crucial in that they have information on all major repairs done on vehicles through information compiled from insurance claims and repair facilities. 

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