How do plug-in hybrids save money? After doing the math, you will know whether it fits your budget and lifestyle.

Plug-in hybrids save money on fuel by operating on both electricity and gasoline and by saving energy. Like regular hybrids, plug-in hybrids use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor but have a higher-capacity battery to store electricity. They take advantage of electricity's low cost and the electric motor's energy efficiency but retain the convenience of gasoline's widespread availability and quick refueling. Plug-in hybrids also save energy through regenerative braking, which recovers much of the energy typically lost when you apply the brakes. Regenerative braking slows the vehicle by converting its momentum into electricity, and stores the electricity in the vehicle's battery. Plug-in hybrids also save fuel by using a start-stop system that saves fuel by turning off the engine when it would otherwise be idling, and starting it automatically when the accelerator is pressed, such as at a traffic light.

The big advantage of a plug-in hybrid is that you can plug it in to re-charge the battery. It's much cheaper to run your vehicle on electricity from your outlet than on gasoline. Based on typical average rates, operating a plug-in on electricity costs less than half as much as it would on gasoline.

Plug-in hybrids have a larger battery than a regular hybrid so you can use more electricity and less gas. When the electricity runs out, it operates just like a regular hybrid. You don't have to plug it in to drive it, but re-charging it whenever you can will maximize your fuel savings.

A plug-in hybrid's motor is also more powerful than a regular hybrid's, so the plug-in hybrid can be driven in electric-only mode at higher speeds, not just during low speed driving.

If you're considering a plug-in hybrid, it's important to understand that all plug-ins are not alike. Some have batteries that hold more electricity than others, and some can go farther on electricity without using any gasoline. Since using electricity instead of gasoline is key to saving money with a plug-in hybrid, your driving habits, especially the distance you drive between re-charging the battery, can have a big effect on your fuel bill.

With all of these factors affecting electricity use, it can be difficult to estimate how much fuelling a hybrid will cost you. So, check it out and see if a plug-in hybrid could be right for you!

Across the country, many buyers soon find out that the number on their odometer doesn't come close to matching their car's true mileage.

We use mileage to determine when to get our oil changed, when to rotate our tires, and how much our vehicle is valued, but that mileage on your new "used" vehicle, may not be what you paid for.

The people at CarFax tells us that, unfortunately, "odometer fraud" is not a forgotten scam. It's been around for decades but, with the advent of the digital odometer, many people mistakenly believe that odometer roll-backs are no longer possible. However going digital has actually made odometer fraud easier; it's just like hacking a computer. The bad news is that New York is one of the top five states with the most amount of "roll-back" cars.

Most vehicles start out with a "new car" smell, but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be "Car Care Aware" and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown.

Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car.

Use the sniff test to identify any unusual smells in your vehicle, including the following six warning signs:

Are self driving cars the wave of the future? Should General Motors be promoting their autonomous cars during their HUGE recall problem? GM President predicts self-driving cars will be available by 2020. Lauren Fix discusses this on Fox Business Channel with Gerri Willis.

How do you check your engine oil and when do you change it? Should you buy conventional or synthetic oil? Be Car Care Aware Tips to save you money and protect your engine.

Has your car been recalled? If you're one of the millions of drivers impacted by the General Motors recall, what should you do? Automotive analyst Lauren Fix, The Car Coach and Consumer Reports' Jeff Bartlett provide consumers with important information to ensure their cars' safe repair. Watch the segment on The Willis Report.



Courtesy of FOX Business
Aired: 7/10/2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — Many teenagers are driving vehicles that don't offer good crash protection and lack important safety technology, new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. To help guide parents toward safer choices, IIHS has compiled its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teens.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2014 Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+2014 Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ isn't in the budget. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

Arizona Republic Features Matt Allen of Virginia Auto ServiceTen years ago, Matt Allen of Virginia Auto Service got a phone call that is every business owner's nightmare; his shop was on fire.

The fire, which was set by an arsonist, burned everything but the three bays in the back. If those bays had not have been spared, he would have been put out of business.

Although most of the building was destroyed, Allen continued operating in the undamaged areas and temporary mobile offices and opened two weeks later offering limited services. After nearly a year of rebuilding, the Phoenix shop was fully functional in May 2005.

Matt is happy to be here today and he's grateful to all the friends, family and customers who kept on coming coming in for repairs even though it took nearly a year to get everything back to normal.

Click here to read the entire story.

Click here for the Virginia Auto Service shop profile on Bumper to Bumper Radio.

 

Photos of the June 22, 2004 Fire at Virginia Auto Service