You see the print version of this publication at your local convenience store. Now check out the online version with over 1,900,000 new and used vehicles available for search. Many of the used car listings offer free CARFAX vehicle history reports. You can also sell your own car through AutoTrader in return for a listing fee. Keep up to date with car sales on the go with the mobile site which is available over any internet-enabled smart phone.
Here is the thinking person’s guide to new and used automobiles. Evaluation of used car values generally run lower and perhaps more realistically than those offered on the rival Kelley Blue Book site. Try the “True Cost to Own” tool to see what the car will really cost over time.
This site, from the AutoZone car parts store, is geared mainly toward professional mechanics who want to buy repair information. Still, ALLDATA does offer some help for do-it-yourselfers. Browse TechTips written by ASE-certified master technicians and engine machinists (www.alldatadiy.com/techtips/index.html). For about $25 per year, you can buy a subscription to ALLDATA’s database of repair and diagnostic data covering more than 20,000 vehicles dating back to 1982.
Got a problem with your tires? The Michelin Man offers a Tire Diagnosis Tool to keep you rolling. Find the best way to lengthen the life of your tires and what to look for when you need to buy new ones. Learn to read a sidewall and understand why the “penny test” is important. (“If the tread is worn below 2/32 of an inch, water can’t be channeled away from the tread. This can cause hydroplaning at high speeds.” Yikes!)
Distracted driving isn’t the only problem brought by telematics. All those automobile computers communicating wirelessly with outside world can be hacked! This is the story about how researcher at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington infected a car with a Trojan horse virus embedded in a song on a CD.
Is mobile internet access enough reason to buy a car? Maybe. The 2011 Subaru Outback comes with the option to integrate a subscription for Autonet Mobile, which creates a WiFi hotspot inside the car. After a $35 activation fee, the $499 Subaru Mobile Internet system connects to 3G internet on the go for a subscription fee of $29 or $59 per month, depending on data plan. Subaru also offers in-dash TomTom navigation and a USB port for piping input from audio devices such as iPods through the car sound system.