Science of Cars

Automotive engineering and mechanical science

Trade your old banger for a new car ? A guide to the Scrappage scheme

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Since March 2009 the UK government, in partnership with the car manufacturers, has introduced a scheme that has allowed owners of old bangers to scrap their current cars and purchase new models for a discounted price. The discount being offered consists of £1,000 of government money and a matched £1,000 from the car manufacturer, meaning if you let go of your current car you could get £2,000 off the purchase price of a brand new one.

The scheme has been funded by £300 million of government money and will last until either February 2010 or until the money runs out before that date. This means a massive 300,000 cars can be potentially bought during the scheme. Since the scheme began in March, over 60,000 new vehicles have been sold, and similar schemes in other countries such as the United States of America have been so popular that they have had to end the scheme months ago due to the influx in new car purchases!

It is hoped that by scrapping older vehicles and people buying brand new ones, this will not only help to fund the ailing motor industry but will also introduce greener cars to our roads. Advances in car manufacturing and technology have introduced many new ways to cut down on carbon emissions, reducing our carbon footprints. The common complaint many motorists have made about newer cars is that they cannot afford to buy them and so this scheme is going to help influence people to buy newer vehicles as opposed to keeping their older, less efficient ones.

In order to be eligible for this scheme you need to meet the following requirements:
• The car must have a valid MOT;
• The car must be registered before the 29th February 2000;
• You must be the registered owner of the car for at least 12 months; and
• Your old car needs to be scrapped with a certificate of destruction.

There are currently talks happening and an agreement being made to potentially change some of these requirements to include more vehicles. The conditions for scrapping vans are the same as for cars and you can even scrap a van and get a car, or vice versa. If you have any questions then you can ask at your local car dealership and they’ll be happy to answer any questions and to discuss your options.

If you aren’t interested in buying new car or aren’t eligible for the scrappage scheme and therefore wish to purchase a quality used cars, consider the range of car credit and finance deals available online.

Essential Buying Guide For Your First New Car

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The type of vehicle is the first decision that you will make and this decision is tied to the primary use of your car. Consider what kind of traveling that you will be doing. If all you need is a ride to get you to and from work every day, then a small sporty model will do. However if you are carpooling half a dozen school age children every other week, then a people mover or SUV should be a consideration.

Next be honest about how much you can afford. Set a budget not only for the cost of the car but also include fuel costs and maintenance. Due to the downturn in the economy there are some amazing deals available but again do not buy more car than you need. You can comparison shop from the comfort of your own home using the internet. Various sites online will allow you to do some comparison shopping, provide advice on incentives and rebates and even give you links to car dealers in your area that have the car you want in stock.

Once you have an idea of the type of vehicle and the amount that you can afford to spend, you will want to begin to look at the features each car has to offer. While most cars come with a large array of standard features there may be additional features that you consider essential or that you would like to have for your own comfort. Once you have decided on a price range and the type of car, you will want to round out the package with add-ons to make your new car special. Take care to notice that some car makers offer more features in a standard package which might save you in the long run and make the dream version of your new car easier to find and afford.

Be sure to assess rebates and incentives that are available from car companies. Also take a look at the lease options available to you before you commit to a loan if you will be financing your new car.

Finally, when you have decided on the exact car that you want, you will need to locate it. Shopping online for dealers in your area with the exact make and model that you desire will save you both time and money. At that point you can begin to negotiate for the price of the car. Do not let the dealer know how much you are willing to spend rather try to get the best price possible. Using these shopping tips you should be satisfied with your first new car purchase.

A New Car Buying Guide

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If you’re thinking about a purchase or just looking for a little advice, this guide can help. The following information will help you begin to research, compare, build, and price new cars quickly and conveniently. In the end, you’ll get better prices on any of the models you are interested in. That means, for example, obtaining multiple quotes, from multiple dealers, before you ever step foot in a dealership. (Of course, you can do it all via the Web.) Having at least three different quotes during negotiations gives you a distinct advantage. Think of these quotes as a reference point – the difference between a good offer and a bad one.

In less than a decade, buying new cars has become a much easier process via the Internet. There are two types of sites. The first will sell you new cars directly. The second doesn’t sell directly, but will provide referrals to hundreds of the most credible dealers. Both sites, however, are going to save you money. They’ll display invoice, MSRP, options, incentives and rebates clearly. The most credible online resources will have no hidden fees and virtually eliminate the inevitable haggle with salesmen.

But there’s more. The following is a step-by-step breakdown of the entire buying process from beginning to end.

New Car Buying Guide Step One – Research prices online
Search for new cars to determine what average prices are, so you know the difference between good and bad offers. Be sure to do thorough research, so that you’re paying a price near the invoice and never over the average MSRP. Many sites offer invoice pricing as well.

New Car Buying Guide Step Two – Request price quotes
After figuring out fair prices, request free quotes for your favorite new cars from as many credible dealers as possible – you can do this online. Afterwards, the most qualified companies will have their dealer internet sales managers contact you, requesting more details on the new cars you may be interested in purchasing. Request prices with all applicable taxes and charges included (not simply the MSRP).

New Car Buying Guide Step Three – Get your credit report
Your credit score is what is used to determine the APR you’ll pay on your loan. You should get a copy to ensure there are no errors, and that you are receiving the rate you deserve.

New Car Buying Guide Step Four – Get rate quotes
With your FICO score in hand, you should apply to online lenders for the best auto loan rates. Your bank, other banks, other lenders, the dealership, and even your family. Shopping around for financing can save you thousands over the life of your loan.

New Car Buying Guide Step Five – Research insurance companies
You should research insurance companies thoroughly as well. Some specialize in offering plans to people with not-so-good driving records and others (sometimes the same company) offer less expensive plans for drivers with better-than-good driving records.

New Car Buying Guide Step Six – Get insurance rate quotes
Insurance can be expensive, especially if you’ve been unlucky in the past with accidents or citations, but it is necessary precaution. Request quotes from the preferred companies you found, and much like the search for the lowest car price and loan rate quotes, pick the plan that offers the best protection for the most reasonable price.

New Car Buying Guide Step Seven – Figure out your trade-in value
Use Kelly Blue Book to estimate the trade-in or private resale value of your car. This will assist you when you are negotiating the new car price, as the trade in value of your current car will affect the new car price.

New Car Buying Guide Step Eight – Negotiating your new car purchase
Ready to negotiate? With the lowest quote on the make and model you chose from your list of new cars, contact your preferred dealers and see if they’ll beat it – they tend to compete with each other because they want your business. Utilizing the Internet can provide you with hassle-free process of creating a dialogue with dealers. For example, it is a lot easier to stop emailing than it is to walk out of a dealership.

This guide will help speed the entire purchasing process up. And probably, more importantly, save you money.

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Tuning a Rc Nitro Engine for Optimal Power – a Guide for Beginners

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imageWhen I first started racing Gas Powered RC cars, I used to struggle to get the engine into tune, while I was able to get the engine to start on a dime and it used to run fine for almost an entire fuel tank, it always seemed to over-heat near the end of the run. After many hours out on the track I can now finally say that I’ve got it down, tuning for me is now a 5 minute operation before I take my RC car out, and once it’s dialed in I only need to adjust one needle a fraction of a turn to get it back to it’s optimal settings.
I assume that your understand the basics of a RC Nitro Engine and how it works, if not please see my other articles which you can find on my website, see the resource box for details.
The Idle Screw
I always start with the idle screw, I adjust it so that the car will idle high when I’m first dialing in the engine. Once I get the engine up to temperature and with a tube that can keep it running without stalling I slowly adjust the idle down to the point where it’s about to stall, then I turn it back about 1/4 to 1/2 turn depending on the temperature. If your car stalls often it can be worth while increasing the idle to prevent this, it’s only a temporary fix while you sort out the other tuning issue, but it helps keep frustration levels down.
Low Speed Needle.
One of the great debates is which needle to adjust first, if your carburetor only has one needle adjustment screw then it’s not a problem, but if like most glow engines you have two you need to decide which to tune first. I always start with the low speed needle, this is because when you adjust the low speed needle you change the high speed needle. Once the low speed needle is dialed in you shouldn’t have to adjust it again. Make sure you keep it slightly on the rich side, when you RC Car idles the combustion chamber should start to fill up with fuel, this helps keep it cool. After a while the engine will stall, by measuring this you can tell if it should be richer or leaner. A good time is about 30 – 60 seconds before it stalls. The RC Car should pull off quickly from a standing start and should not bog down or flame out when you apply full throttle.
High Speed Needle.
Once you have your low speed adjustment needle dialed in it’s time to start getting the power out of the RC engine. This is done with the high speed needle, which adjusts the air to fuel mixture of the engine while it as high RPM (about 40% and up). Keep an eye on the trail of smoke as this is your first clue about the tune. You want to have a lot of smoke coming out of the engine at all RPM, if at some point there is little or no smoke then you are running too lean.
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