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Great Automotive Car Gifts for Dad on Father’s Day

on Monday, 10 June 2019.

As Father’s Day approaches, this holiday is the perfect time to recognize your dad’s key contributions to your life as a driver. Here are some great car-related gift ideas that show how much you appreciate what he has done to make you the safe driver you are today, brought to you by all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.

Gifts to help Dad deal with car problems

Many dads are fairly knowledgeable about the basics of car maintenance. Here are some cool gifts that will make Dad’s life easier as the family’s car care expert.

A compact jump starter

Traditional jumper cables have been the go-to item for most people whose cars won’t start. But what happens when there’s no other car around to get a jump from? This gadget solves that problem. It is a rechargeable battery that is powerful enough to jump start your car all by itself. As a bonus, it has USB ports to recharge your smartphone when that battery gets low. You can find it here.

A portable air compressor

Instead of having to drive to a gas station and feed quarters into an air machine, Dad can simply plug this compressor into his car’s power socket and inflate his tires, wherever he is. If he gets a slow leak or a small puncture out on the road, he can quickly pump up his tire and keep going. It can also be used for bicycle tires and other inflatable items, whether he’s at home or on the go. Get one here.

A car fire extinguisher

The compact Mini Firefighter will fit in most glove compartments or door pockets. A fire extinguisher is one of those items you hope to never use, but need handy just in case. This one has non-toxic, biodegradable foam that expands, engulfs and quickly extinguishes flames. The versatile Mini Firefighter can be used on gasoline, oil, electrical, grease, wood, textile and plastic fires. Check it out here.

An auto club membership

If your Dad is not into the mechanical aspects of cars, he will definitely appreciate a membership to AAA or similar auto club. If he gets a flat tire or his battery dies, he can simply call for assistance, and a tow truck will be dispatched to his location.

If Dad drives an old or unreliable car, consider getting him a higher-level membership, which can cover long-distance towing if he breaks down far from home. There are often additional membership benefits, like discount movie and amusement park tickets, trip routing, and travel agent services.

At Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

 

 

 

How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Summer Road Trip

on Thursday, 06 June 2019.

With summer around the corner, millions of Americans are planning road trips. And why not? It’s a great way to let go, see the country and make memories with friends and family. Hitting the highways can be an epic adventure or an epic headache if you’re not careful. Unless you want to end up in a “National Lampoon Vacation” movie, make sure your car is ready for long-distance travel with these road trip tips.
 
Before You Head Out
Check or change the oil: If you’re not ready for an oil change, take out the dipstick and see if you need to add oil.
Replace the engine air filter: Check your owner’s manual to find the air filter. If it’s dirty or filled with debris, replace it with a new one.
Check your spark plugs: If your car is idling rough or you have problems starting it, you may need to replace your spark plugs. Check them for corrosion, residue, or gaps between the electrodes, and replace if necessary. As always, check your manual to be sure.
Check your tires: Nothing’s worse than a changing a flat on a hot highway. Use the penny trick to check the tread depth. Insert the coin head down into the tread. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires. Some tires have wear indicators. Check the manufacturer’s website. Likewise, if you see cracks in the sidewalls, or blisters and bulges, you’re due for a new set. Also, if your car vibrates or pulls to the side, you may need an alignment before taking off. And finally, if everything looks good, make sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
Check the jack and spare tire: This is a big one. Many assume if the spare’s never been used, it’s good to go. Don’t make that mistake. As with the other tires, make sure it’s properly inflated. Oftentimes, spare tires deflate. Also, be sure your jack is in the right place. And it’s good idea to try it out before you leave to see if it works.
Check or change windshield wipers and fluid: Bugs, dirt and weather can make you feel like you’re driving blind. Replace your wipers and fluid so you can have a clear view later. Most wiper blades are easy to change yourself. Just follow the instructions in your manual or on the manufacturer’s packaging.
Check and fill the fluids: Power steering, transmission and antifreeze are all fluids you don’t want running low on your trip. Make sure yours are changed and filled at recommended factory intervals. Most fluids have gauges as well as indicators on the side of the containers.
Flush the radiator: Hot temperatures can cause your car to overheat. Before you end up steaming on the side of the road, consider having your radiator flushed and filled, especially if it’s been over a year since your last tune-up. Many times antifreeze residue will remain in the lines. Flushing it helps your car run better.
Check the lights: Brake lights, turn signals, high and low beams — test them all in the dark.
Check the battery: Inspect under the hood for loose connections, frayed or broken cables, dirt and corrosion, as well as cracked cases. Also, if you see liquid oozing out of the battery, it’s time for a new one. You can clean the terminals by first removing the cables (negative first), then smoothing on a baking soda and water paste and scrubbing them with a toothbrush. Car batteries typically last three to five years. Is yours on the older side? You may want to test it with a voltmeter.
Check the shocks: Is your car bouncing more than usual? Or is the front end diving when you brake or accelerate? Push down on your hood to see if your car bounces after you let go. If so, you may need new shocks.
Check the brakes: Fill the brake fluid and check the pads — especially if you’re taking a trip to the mountains. You don’t want to lose those brakes on a steep downhill drive. If your pads are worn to ¼-inch thick or less, get them replaced.
Inspect belts and hoses: See any holes, cracks or frayed edges in your belts or hoses? Replace them now before it turns into an expensive roadside repair.
Check your key fobs: Many new cars have key fobs. If it’s been a while, change the battery in it so you don’t get locked out.
Read your manual: Few people take the time to read their manual until there’s an emergency. A quick read-through now might save you a serious hassle later.
Check Your Horn: Just once, thanks. You don’t want to drive the neighbors crazy.
 
What to Pack
An emergency car kit: Check this guide. A few other items you might want to add:
Tire gauge
Foam tire sealant
Jumper cables
Flashlight and extra batteries
Duct tape
Tow strap or tow rope
Utility knife
Rain poncho
Funnel
Drinking water
Snacks
A blanket
Sun shades: Hours driving in the sun can take a toll on drivers and passengers. Temporary see-through window shades help block the heat and glare along the way.
Warranty, car insurance, emergency car service contact information: These are glove box essentials for any travel.
Mobile phone and charger: Other than your car, a mobile phone is one of the most important road trip accessories. Whether you use it for tunes, navigation, finding restaurants or calling in an emergency, consider buying a car charger to keep it from dying when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
First-aid kit: Basics include: bandages, scissors and alcohol swabs. Consider adding insect repellent, sunscreen, anti-inflammatories and, if you have a doctor's prescription, an Epipen for emergencies.
Tunes, books and games: Every road trip needs a soundtrack. And if you’ve got kids, pack up a bag of fun things to entertain them. Also, audiobooks make long distance travel go by in a flash.
GPS or maps: Not into the old-school method of navigation? Check out your app store for one of the many popular navigation mobile apps available. Many phones come pre-installed with Google Maps.
 
How to Pack
Avoid putting luggage on the roof. It increases the risk of a rollover. If that’s the only way it’ll fit, make sure it’s tied down and the weight is equally distributed. Also, secure anything in the back of your car that can fly up front and injure the passengers.
Road Safety
Stop frequently: If you’re sleepy, pull over and take a nap, or let someone else drive.
Put down the phone: In 2015 alone, 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Don’t end up a statistic.
Secure your pets: Not only can your pets get injured in accidents, they can cause them if not properly restrained. Invest in a safety harness and keep everyone safe.
Child safety: Check the latest government safety guidelines for car seats and boosters, and make sure they are properly installed.
Avoid aggressive driving: Excessive passing and lane changing can decrease your gas mileage by 33 percent. So slow down and have a safe ride.
Have fun: Above all, take time to enjoy the scenery and have a blast.

About Anderson Behel

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Sources: YouTube and mnn.com 

 

New High-Tech Advancements Changing World of Automotive Transportation

on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

In a recent copy of Car and Driver the magazine’s reporting crew outlined several new car high-tech developments that will be a part of our lives by 2022.

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle and part of that is knowing how to embrace the new technology involved. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean?

At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Excerpts from Car and Driver:

From Trash to Treasure

The current practice of using dedicated vehicles to map roads doesn't really scale, which prevents automated vehicles' range from extending beyond highways and city centers into small towns and rural areas. With that in mind, Continental and the Michigan Department of Transportation have partnered to test the idea of using the service vehicles that traverse our roads to do the dirty work. If the vision becomes a reality, vehicles such as garbage trucks, snowplows, and police cars could be equipped with the necessary sensors to create and update maps as they cover their daily routes.

EVs Unplugged

Wireless, or inductive, charging technology could chip away at the long recharging times we've come to associate with EVs. With such tech installed in retail parking lots, drivers might take advantage of the convenience of wireless charging to add range as they run errands. Induction uses magnetic fields to transfer energy from the charging pad to the car, and it can be just as efficient as plugging into the wall. Wireless charging pads from Continental and WiTricity transfer electricity at up to 11 kW; 6 to 7 kW is typical from today's public AC equipment.

Attention Deficit Disrupter

Driver-monitoring systems like Subaru's DriverFocus are annoying. Which is the point, since anything that's going to keep a driver's eyes on the road needs to be more persuasive than the addictive apps we carry everywhere we go. Similar to the attention monitor that's part of Cadillac's Super Cruise system, DriverFocus uses an infrared camera to intuit where the driver is looking. (This differs from systems like Mercedes' Attention Assist, which gauges alertness primarily by monitoring steering inputs.) Take your eyes off the road for more than three seconds and the system chimes to call your attention back to the view ahead. Ignore the warning long enough and the vehicle will even slow to a stop. Yes, you can turn off DriverFocus, but there's an even better way to shut it up: Keep your eyes on the damn road.

Underground Data Mining

WaveSense's very high-frequency ground-penetrating radar reads unique patterns of subterranean pipes, rocks, and roots like a fingerprint in order to help a vehicle understand its exact location in the world. Developed at MIT and used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to navigate unmarked routes through blowing sand and dust, it could help highly automated vehicles negotiate our streets without relying on the constantly changing above-ground landmarks that can also be shrouded in snow, rain, or fog.

Unheavy Metal

Magnesium plays a minor role in today's multimaterial cars, but Allite's new Super Magnesium stands to promote wider use of the lightweight metal. Lighter than aluminum by volume and stronger and stiffer by weight, it costs only half as much as carbon fiber does. Mixed with rare-earth metals, Super Magnesium offers improved corrosion resistance, weldability, and multidirectional strength compared with existing magnesium alloys. While it currently costs about 20 to 35 percent more than aluminum, Allite hopes that process improvements and greater scale will bring Super Magnesium to price parity or lower. The metal can be cast, forged, or extruded for applications ranging from suspension links to body components. Test samples are just now getting into manufacturers' hands, so don't expect this particular magnesium in a production car until at least 2020.

 

 

 

New Volvos Limited to 112 mph

on Tuesday, 21 May 2019.

Beginning with 2021 model-year vehicles, Volvo will impose an electronic speed limiter of 112 mph on all its vehicles. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
 
Volvo announced the decision on Monday, and Motor Authority reached out to Volvo spin-off Polestar to learn if the decision will also apply to the new electrified car brand. JP Canton, a Polestar spokesperson, told MA the speed cap does not apply to any vehicles from the brand.
 
At Anderson Behel, we are certified to repair Volvos, which means we possess the right training, tools and equipment to do the right job each and every time. 
 
2019 Volvo XC90
Volvo said it wants to start a conversation surrounding the idea automakers may have a right to install technology to change drivers' behaviors. This first step tackles speeding, though 112 mph is still mighty fast in any situation. In the future, Volvo will also look at solutions for driving while intoxicated and distracted driving. The efforts are part of Volvo's Vision 2020, which aims for no driver to suffer severe injury or death in a new Volvo by next year. The automaker laid out its safety mantra in 2008 and predicted crash-proof cars would arrive by 2020 in 2013.
 
The idea of potentially altering drivers' behaviors comes as Volvo looks to fill "gaps" in remaining safety concerns when drivers get behind the wheel. While active technology plays a major part in preventing crashes, other efforts may be required to help drivers stay safe. Above certain speeds, Volvo believes there's only so much active safety equipment can do to avoid fatalities and serious injury.

2019 Volvo S90
The decision to limit the top speed, along with the other steps Volvo may take, puts Volvo at the forefront of a discussion about an automaker's "rights" to alter driver behavior in a given situation. For example, Volvo said it may look into automatically reducing a driver's speed in hospital and school zones via geofencing to increase safety. Drivers won't have a choice but to let the car cruise at lower speed limits. Any decent human being should be more than capable of respecting such areas and limits.

The Swedish automaker plans to dive further into the topic of reducing driving while intoxicated and distracted driving at a special safety event to be held March 20 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
 
About Anderson Behel 

With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.

Porsche Celebrating 50 Years of the Porsche 917

on Wednesday, 15 May 2019.

This year possibly the most prominent racing car in Porsche motor racing history is celebrating its 50th birthday: the Porsche 917. The Porsche Museum is honoring the 50th anniversary of the racing sport icon from 14 May to 15 September 2019 as part of a comprehensive special exhibition entitled “50 Years of the Porsche 917 – Colours of Speed”.
 
A total of 14 exhibits – including ten 917 models alone with a total of 7,490 PS – will be on show.

The Group 4 sports car, which was developed to secure an overall win at Le Mans 24 hour race and to win the World Championship for Makes, was manufactured in 1969 and was the first of a total of 25 vehicles required for type approval. The Number One marks the start of the unprecedented success story of the 917 racing car, and is therefore the highlight of the special exhibition.
 
For more than a year, museum mechanics, former technicians and engineers from Zuffenhausen and Weissach, the Porsche AG historic archive, as well as partner companies, have worked on restoring this first 917. It is now in exactly the same condition as it was on 12 March 1969, when it was presented to the world at the Geneva Motor Show.
917 short-tail – the Le Mans winners of 1970 and 1971
 
Two further highlights of the special exhibition are both winning vehicles of the Le Mans 24 hour race from 1970 and 1971. In 1970, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood drove the 917 KH (short-tail) with start number 23 and in the world-famous red-white Salzburg Design to the first of so far 19 overall wins for Porsche at the circuit on the River Sarthe.
 
The following year, Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep managed to repeat this success. Covering a distance of 5,335 km with an average speed of 222.3 km/h, they set two records that were to remain unbeaten for 39 years.
A detailed look at the fascinating technology of the Porsche 917
Alongside seven other 917 models – including the 917 PA Spyder, which became a test car with 16-cylinder engine, as well as the long-tail and turbo versions – the special exhibition also provides an in-depth insight into its technology.
 
The fine art of the twelve-cylinder engine designed by Hans Mezger is illustrated by numerous small exhibits such as crankshafts, piston and cylinder sleeve sets, camshafts and turbochargers. Glass-fibre components from the restoration phase of the 917- 001 demonstrate the high standard of body construction at the time.
 
The 911 Turbo shows how racing technology has made its way into series production with components such as the turbocharger and the brake system. With this model, the turbo technology previously used with success in the 917/10 and 917/30 found its way into a Porsche production sports car in 1974.
 
A short time later – for the 1978 model year – the 911 Turbo also benefited from a brake system which had previously been developed for the 917 in a very similar form. The fixed brake callipers were manufactured from light alloy material, just like in the racing car, and had four pistons.
The 917 as an inspiration for Porsche engineers and designers
 
Two further exhibits demonstrate the extent to which the 917 has also remained in the minds of Porsche engineers and designers across the decades. In 1970, a studio model was created on a scale of 1:4, which was originally one of the draft designs during the development of the 917/20 “Pink Pig”.
 
The special exhibition, which probably has the highest horsepower rating of any so far, is rounded off with numerous racing posters and small exhibits. For the 50th anniversary of the 917, the Museum shop is also selling a special range of 917 products, including the anniversary book entitled “Colours of Speed – 50 Jahre Porsche 917” (Colours of Speed – 50 Years of the Porsche 917) published as part of the “Edition Porsche Museum”, along with a barbecue apron designed as a tribute to the 917/20 “Pink Pig”.

A Flying Taxi: The Bell Nexus

on Tuesday, 07 May 2019.

This is Bell Nexus, the “air taxi” concept from the company formerly known as Bell Helicopter. A hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft, the Nexus will use six tilting ducted fans to take off and land vertically from a rooftop or launchpad. And more importantly, you may be able to hail one for a crosstown trip using Uber’s new aerial service in the not-too-distant future.
 
Air taxis, or flying cars if you’re feeling saucy, are enjoying an upswing in popularity, and the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell is hoping to seize the moment. The company rebranded itself last year as a technology company, after decades as one of the top manufacturers of commercial and military vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. (It produces both the V-22 Osprey and the forthcoming V-280 Valor.) It now wants to make electric VTOL (eVTOL) aircraft, with the Nexus as its first foray into that futuristic market.

Bell was one of the first aircraft manufacturers to team up with Uber in 2017, when the ride-hailing company first released its ambitious plan to create a network of city-based flying taxis as a way to alleviate street-level traffic. Since then, Bell has been hard at work on its own design, and at CES this week, it pulled back the curtain on its first concept.
 
Bell is aiming to have the Nexus in flight over a handful of major markets by the “mid-2020s,” said Scott Drennan, director of innovation at Bell. He argued that the key element about the aircraft was its “approachability,” which makes it the ideal vehicle for this proposed flying taxi service.
 
“This is not a toy,” Drennan told The Verge. “This is an aircraft you would feel safe and comfortable bringing your family into.” The large ducts hide the rotors, which should help ease any anxiety from customers about losing a limb from its fast-spinning blades. In other words, “for people who aren’t accustomed to VTOL type aircraft,” Drennan said — which, arguably, is everyone who doesn’t regularly commute via helicopter.
 
That’s not to say flying cars aren’t having a moment: at least 19 companies are developing flying-car plans. These include legacy manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus, and small startups like Kitty Hawk, owned by Google founder Larry Page. Meanwhile, Uber has made significant strides in partnering with a handful of aircraft manufacturers, real estate firms, and regulators to better its chances of developing a fully functional, on-demand flying taxi service.
 
Sources: The Verge and CNN 
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