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How Does the Auto Navigation System Function?

How Does the Auto Navigation System Function?

Satellites Orbit Earth Non-Stop 24/7

High above our heads, a network of about 30 satellites continually orbit the earth. The US government initially put the system in place for military use. Today, it’s used by military and civilians alike to drive our auto navigation systems.

Somebody Is Always Watching

No matter where you are on the planet, at least four satellites can “see” you at any time. Each one continually receives and transmits data to and from units on Earth. A receiving unit might be a SatNav, mobile phone, or GPS.

The auto navigation system in your car continually sends and receives radio signals from those four satellites with eyes on you. Three of the radio waves are used to triangulate your location, and the fourth helps verify the accuracy of the data.

Once the auto navigation unit “knows” where you are, it uses software to place your image on a map. This image shows on the display that you see inside your car.

The Development of Auto Navigation

Porsche Cayenne Navigation System - Interior of Vehicle - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift
Porsche Cayenne Navigation System – Interior of Vehicle – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

Before 2000, the government kept the civilian and military navigation systems separate. The data used by US forces could pinpoint a location within 22 meters. The civilian version was much less accurate. It was about five times less precise. This discrepancy kept the public from picking up on military data.

However, in 2000, the civilian population gained access to more accurate data by executive order. It was after that order that auto navigation began to take off.

What Does the Future Hold?

Satellite Navigation: HOW does it Work? | Headsqueeze – BBC Earth Lab – YouTube

Today, it’s possible for car navigation systems to determine your location within 13 meters. They can also send, receive, and process data so fast, that the process is virtually seamless. In fact, the process is becoming precise enough to allow the development of self-navigating cars.

Who knows where auto navigation will take us in the future?

2019 Ferrari Portofino: Replacement for the California

2019 Ferrari Portofino: Replacement for the California

The Replacement for the Ferrari California

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Front Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

For the 2019 model year, Ferrari will begin selling the all-new Portofino. The 2019 Ferrari Portofino is the official replacement for the California. This new Ferrari remains a hard-top convertible with a new style and upgrades. Due to Ferrari’s success with California sales, this car targets the same market segment. This sector includes 70% of all-new customers to the Ferrari brand. Obviously, new customers are great for Ferrari, so targeting them only makes sense.

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

3.9-Liter Twin-Turbo V8 with 591 Horsepower

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Engine - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Engine – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2019 Ferrari Portofino sports the same 3.9-Liter Flat-Plane-Crank Twin-Turbo V8 as the California. Basically, the difference is an increase of 38 horsepower and 3 lb.-ft. of torque. This means the Portofino has 591 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque. Furthermore, the Portofino is said to reach max boost 5% quicker than the California. Not surprisingly, this motor works in combo with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a top speed of 200+ mph, the Portofino can reach 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds, or less. Even furthermore, the Portofino should be able to reach around 460 miles before refueling… wow! This makes the Portofino faster than the Aston Martin DB11 Volante, Bentley Continental GT, and Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster.

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Front - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Front – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Technological Advancements Over California

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Overall, the 2019 Ferrari Portofino receives a few overhauls in comparison to the California. On the steering wheel, there is the Manettino switch for the vehicle’s mode, such as Comfort or Sport. Furthermore, there is a D button to select transmission mode, such as auto or manual. As with most sports cars, the vehicle contains an electronic differential with active torque-vectoring. Otherwise, the interior features quite a bit of technology. This includes navigation and other basic necessities. Even furthermore, there is 2 extra inches of legroom in the rear. Finally, the retractable roof can be motioned up to 25 mph.

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Dashboard - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Dashboard – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino - View of Retractable Roof in Motion - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – View of Retractable Roof in Motion – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Will the Portofino be as Successful as California?

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Open Convertible Top Front Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Open Convertible Top Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The main question by Ferrari, and many consumers, is if the Portofino will be as successful as the California. With the achievement of the California, Ferrari will need to ensure the same target audience maintains interest. Most Ferrari enthusiasts upgrade to a higher-level models while new entries prefer the California. With the overall enhancements, the Portofino should attract the right customers. In conclusion, the 2019 Ferrari Portofino is a beautiful sports car that should be Ferrari’s next popular model.

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Open Convertible Top Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Open Convertible Top Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

FIRST LOOK at the NEW Ferrari Portofino! – Shmee150 – YouTube

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Side - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino - Open Convertible Top Side - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Ferrari Portofino – Open Convertible Top Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S: A British Luxury Sedan

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S: A British Luxury Sedan

Aston Martin’s Luxury Sedan

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Rear with Doors Open - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Rear with Doors Open – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

In early 2010, Aston Martin introduced the Rapide luxury sedan to the world. The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S arrives in two different versions with slightly differing MSRPs. First, there is a Shadow Edition with a MSRP from $204,950. On the other hand, there is a base edition with a MSRP of $206,000. Surprisingly, the “special edition” is slightly cheaper than the base edition… that’s kind of odd, isn’t it? Either way, the Aston Martin Rapide is quite the unique British luxury sedan.

Development & Production of the Rapide

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Side - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Not surprisingly, the 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S basis is the Vanquish. The Vanquish is one of Aston Martin’s most well-known and respected vehicles. This made it the preferred vehicle for the transition into a 4-door sedan. The Rapide is currently in production at the Gadyon, England plant. Previously, from 2010 to 2012, the car was built in Graz, Austria.

6.0-Liter DOHC V12 with 560 Horsepower

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Engine - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Engine – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S sports a 6.0-liter QOHC 48-valve V12 engine. This motor withholds an aluminum block and heads as well as port fuel injection. Shockingly, the motor does not have a supercharger or turbo… just straight, raw power. At the peaks, the Rapide boasts 560 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine setup works in conjunction with the new 8-speed Touchtronic III ZF automatic transmission which shifts in just 130 milliseconds. The top speed of the Rapide is 203 mph. Overall, the Rapide has had a few overhauls in power with this being the newest design.

Quarter Mile in Only 12.4 Seconds

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S can hit 60 mph in only 4.2 seconds. From 0 to 100 mph, it takes only 9.3 seconds. On the quarter mile, the Rapide S completes it in 12.4 seconds. Furthermore, on the 200-ft-diameter skid pad, the car has a road holding value of 0.93 g. For a luxury sedan, the Rapide is quite the performer. These values may not match the Vanquish, but they are absolutely fit for the track.

Features & Technology

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Dashboard - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Dashboard – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S has a handful of typical features and technology. First, the car has a LED lighting system, which most modern cars contain. Secondly, the car sports the usual technology such as Bluetooth, navigation, and radio. Thirdly, there is a push start button for turning on the vehicle. Lastly, the car wears 20” wheels which complement the design very nicely. Although this car isn’t very futuristic technology wise, it meets the minimal requirements of the current era.

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Engine Start Button - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Engine Start Button – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Rapide is a True Luxury Sports Sedan

Aston Martin – Rapide S – The World’s Most Beautiful 4-Door Sports Car – Aston Martin – YouTube

The 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S is a true luxury sports sedan. From it’s raw power V12 to it’s sporty design, this car offers the best of luxury and sport. With a MSRP of over $200,000, the ownership of this car is quite limited. This makes a car like this quite a spectacle to see on the road. For the luxury enthusiast, this car is a great complement to the car collection. In conclusion, the Rapide S is a great introduction of Aston Martin into the luxury sedan market.

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S - Differential, Steering, & Suspension Diagram - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Differential, Steering, & Suspension Diagram – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2018 Citroën C4 Picasso: Attempting a Masterpiece, or Not?

2018 Citroën C4 Picasso: Attempting a Masterpiece, or Not?

The Citroën C4 Picasso Edition

Citroën, a French automobile manufacturer, has a C4 model that it designates the Picasso edition. Whether this is a masterpiece, or not, this article will review the different aspects of the vehicle. Although Citroën does not currently offer sales in the U.S., it is still a popular vehicle brand in Europe. In recent auto news, there are hints that Citroën or Peugeot will attempt to re-enter the U.S. market in the years to come. Regardless, the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso may not seem to be a special car, it truly offers a unique set of advanced features.

Six Total Engine Options for the Picasso Edition

The 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso is a fully customizable vehicle that begins with the three available trims and nine available engine options. Yes, nine total engine options are available for this vehicle. The available engine and transmission combos include the following:

  • BlueHDi 100 Manual (Turbo Diesel) [98 Horsepower/74.3 MPG]
  • BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-Speed Manual (Turbo Diesel) [118 Horsepower/74.3 MPG]
  • BlueHDi 120 S&S EAT6 Auto (Turbo Diesel) [118 Horsepower/72.4 MPG]
  • BlueHDi 150 S&S 6-Speed Manual (Turbo Diesel) [148 Horsepower/65.7 MPG]
  • BlueHDi 150 S&S EAT6 Auto (Turbo Diesel) [148 Horsepower/64.2 MPG]
  • PureTech 110 S&S 6-Speed Manual (Petrol) [109 Horsepower/55.4 MPG]
  • PureTech 130 S&S 6-Speed Manual (Petrol) [127 Horsepower/56.5 MPG]
  • PureTech 130 S&S EAT6 Auto (Petrol) [129 Horsepower/55.4 MPG]
  • THP 165 S&S EAT6 Auto (Petrol) [162 Horsepower/48.7 MPG]

So, basically, there are petrol and turbo diesel engine options with differing power ratios. The most powerful engine is the THP 165 S&S EAT6 Auto petrol version with 162 horsepower. On the other hand, the best MPG is with the BlueHDi 100 or 120 S&S versions which both get 74.3 MPG. We will take a deeper look at the most expensive option, the BlueHDi 150 S&S Eat6 Auto. Furthermore, the the three available trims for this car are Touch Edition, Feel, and Flair in order by lowest to highest price. For this article, we will focus on the Flair edition.

BlueHDi 150 S&S EAT6 Auto: Most Expensive Engine Option

The most expensive engine option for the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso is the BlueHDi 150 S&S EAT6 Auto option. This motor is a inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. This allows this car to hit 62 mph in 10.1 seconds. The top speed for this engine is 129 mph, which is faster than you should want to go in this car. Surprisingly, this is 100 lb.-ft. more torque than the THP edition. So, in the end, you will accept 14 less horsepower for 100 lb.-ft. more torque… sounds like a deal to me.

Citroën C4 Picasso Exterior Overview

On the exterior, the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso has a new design. The front contains Citroën’s 3-stage signature lights. For the rear, the vehicle features 3D effect rear lights. On the other hand, for paint jobs, there is an option for bi-tone which allows for a different color roof than body. The Picasso edition looks great in the Lazuli Blue color which is complemented by 17” black alloy wheels. Overall, the exterior may not look the most amazing but it has a ton of features to make up for it.

Picasso Edition Interior

The interior of the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso has a ton of special features that may surprise anyone. First, there is the RELAX function. This means the front seats have an electric massager and adjustable-lumbar support. To take this to the next level, the front passenger seat has an electrically adjusted footrest. On top of this, the seats offer extra support headrests. This setup focuses on comfort and quality, just don’t expect Mercedes level leather.

The Connect Navigation System & Park Assist 360

2018 Citroën C4 Picasso - Interior - Citroën - EuroDrift

2018 Citroën C4 Picasso – Interior – Citroën – EuroDrift

The 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso offers a Connect Navigation system with a smart phone inspired 7” design. This system offers a Touch Drive interface as well as a 3D interactive navigation map. The navigation system also offers voice control as seen in most modern vehicles. From here, the vehicle also has an option for Park Assist 360 which covers every angle of the vehicle. This allows for maximum safety while parking anywhere.

Safety Features of the C4 Picasso Edition

On the safety side, the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso has an insane amount of protection. Beginning with driver assists, this vehicle has an adaptive cruise control with stop function. Next, there is a driver attention alert system that checks driver responsiveness. Furthermore, this vehicle has active lane departure warnings as well as active blind-spot monitoring. On top of this, the C4 Picasso has active safety brakes and a speed limit recognition system. Lastly, the Picasso edition has an emergency collision alert system. All of these safety features combine to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

The 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso is a Masterpiece of Technology

Overall, the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso is a vehicle with a ton of available options. Although the vehicle may not be an exteriorly beautiful masterpiece, it is a masterpiece technology-wise. From it’s advanced seats to it’s abundant safety features, this car is an example of what all basic vehicles should be. Fully loaded, with every option and the most expensive features, the C4 Picasso can be yours for slightly over $42,000. Unfortunately, this is only within the EU… for now. In conclusion, the 2018 Citroën C4 Picasso is a unique masterpiece that should hit U.S. markets.

Mercedes-Benz at NAIAS 2017

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Mercedes’ AMG division, and to celebrate it they added the new Mercedes-AMG GT-C Coupe. The GT-C Coupe was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) along with the AMG GT-C Roadster. Also present at the show, was the Mercedes-Benz GLA compact SUV and their new E400 E-Class Coupe.

Mercedes-Benz at NAIAS 2017
2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet - Front - NAIAS 2017 - EuroDrift
2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet - Front - NAIAS 2017 - EuroDrift
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Mercedes Celebrates 50 Years of the AMG

Two months before the Detroit show, Mercedes debuted its AMG GT-C in Los Angeles. The Detroit show gave the public another look at this newest car in the AMG GT lineup. With 550 horsepower and 502 lb.-ft. of torque, the V8 is one powerful engine. Couple that with the performance exhaust system and the negative camber on the front wheels, you have a car built for performance.

The GT-C sports wider wheels and fenders than the other GT models. It also has a sports suspension, four-wheel steering, and larger front brakes. All of this is necessary when you put the Coupe in “race” mode. To handle that much car, Mercedes incorporated a 7-speed dual clutch transmission into its design. Mercedes boasts the the GT-C will go 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds – faster than any other GT model except for the Mercedes GT-R.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA Compact SUV

Mercedes unveiled its first compact SUV in 2013 with the GLA. The newest version of this popular model, which they showcased at NAIAS, featured updated interior styling and sleeker lines.

The Mercedes GLA enjoys a reputation for light handling and fuel efficiency. Its direct injection system re-tunes every few milliseconds so that you get more mileage for your dollar.

Mercedes has long been associated with luxury vehicles, and their SUV holds onto that reputation. Inside the cabin, you find a freestanding color screen both for entertainment and information. Bluetooth audio streaming is standard along with navigation, music, and other online features. If you enjoy playing with the newest thing out there, the GLA comes with Apple’s new “Car Play.”

E400 E-Class Coupe

The new 2018 E-Class Coupe features a longer wheelbase which translates into a bigger backseat. Inside the car, you find leather seating, wood accents, and technological gadgets galore.

The car comes with the Mercedes infotainment system. A 12.3 inch, high-resolution screen displays car functions and media. A second screen displays the instrument cluster. Both units are voice activated and controllable from the steering wheel. The Coupe also comes with Apple Car Play and wireless charging.

Outside, the E400 features such things as active brake assist and the Distance Pilot Distronic which automatically maintains speed and distance, even at high speeds.

The E400 boasts a 3.0 liter V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. The E400 is not as fast as other European models, taking 5.2 seconds to hit 60mph – but that is still fast enough to get the adrenaline pumping! The coupe comes with the 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes Upholds Its Reputation for Luxury

One thing is for sure, all of the Mercedes models on display at NAIAS reflected the Mercedes reputation for elegance. Whether it was the luxurious leather, state-of-the-art gadgets, or high-performance engines, one couldn’t help but feel the high-profile glamor that is uniquely Mercedes.


Lamborghini Centenario Roadster: Worth Over $2,000,000

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

The Centenario Roadster, a Lamborghini exclusive sports car, is worth $2,265,000. At this price, it is more expensive than the Bugatti Veyron. The Lamborghini Centenario Roadster is a convertible version of the Centenario. The base Lamborghini Centenario is still worth $1.9 million dollars, a large sum for a car. For this price, the Centenario Roadster includes a few goodies.

6.5-Liter V12 with 770 Horsepower

In the rear hood, the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster sports a 6.5-liter V12. This V12 engine produces 770 horsepower and 507 lb.-ft. of torque. This allows the Centenario Roadster to hit 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds slower than the base Centenario. With a top speed of around 217 mph, the Centenario Roadster is an extremely fast car. The engine is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting via paddle shifters.

A Lamborghini Spaceship

The interior of the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster looks like a spaceship. From its carbon fiber and suede to its incredible center console, the Centenario feels like something from outer space. With a 10-inch touch screen on the dash, the Centenario immerses the driver in technology. From Apple CarPlay to navigation, the Centenario withholds many new features. As expected, the Centenario is a leap forward in sports car interior design.

The Lamborghini Centenario Roadster’s beauty points don’t stop at the motor. On the front end of the vehicle, the Centenario’s front bumper is gated with vents. The hood has two vents which increase the sport appeal. As with most Lamborghini models, the side vents on the car are prominent as they are used to cool the engine. On the rear, the Centenario has a large rear diffuser as well as a rear spoiler that is extendable.

A $2,265,000 MSRP Priced Sports Car

Overall, the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster is an amazing sports car. Priced at over 2 million dollars, the Centenario is quite an exclusive car. Although it has such a high MSRP, the car has already sold out worldwide. Car collectors didn’t hesitate to put the money down on this beautiful machine of the future. In the end, the Centenario Roadster is a phenomenal car that is the new treasure in an auto collection for only a few.

2018 Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Prestige Quattro SUV

2018 Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Prestige Quattro SUV

For the 2018 model year, Audi is producing the second generation Q5. The 2018 Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Prestige Quattro starts at a MSRP of $42,475. The 2018 Q5 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter engine produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is complemented by a 7-speed automatic transmission. Efficiency wise, the Q5 gets 23 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

2018 Audi Q5 Motor Capabilities

In depth, the 2018 Audi Q5 sports a 2.0-liter inter-cooled turbo premium unleaded inline 4-cylinder engine. A gasoline direct injection fuel system benefits the efficiency of the motor. The overall power produced is 252 net horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 275 lb.-ft. net torque at 1600 rpm. The steering system is a rack-pinion setup with a 38.4 ft turning diameter from curb to curb. The motor is also complemented by a 7-speed S-tropic dual-clutch transmission with manual shifting mode.

2018 Audi Q5 Technological Advancements

Technological wise, the 2018 Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Prestige Quattro has a navigation package. This package includes Audi Connect PRIME & PLUS with a 6 month trial to online services. There is also the Audi Virtual Cockpit layout on the dashboard with a 12.3” LCD fully digital instrument cluster. Amazingly, this system has a resolution of 1440 x 540 pixels. There is also the option of choosing between three visual mode options such as classic and infotainment.

2018 Audi Q5 is a Great SUV Option in it’s Class

Overall, the 2018 Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Prestige Quattro is a great SUV option in its class. From its newer styling to its upgraded technology, the Q5 is the Q7’s little brother. With 252 horsepower, the Q5 may not the fastest SUV but it does the job. The engine is complemented by a great transmission, the S-tropic system. In the end, the 2018 Audi Q5 is a great option for anyone considering a luxury European SUV.


2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Review

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC - Front - EuroDrift

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC – Front – EuroDrift

After 2 years with a 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC, the car displayed both positives and negatives. Starting at a MSRP of around $34,225, the GLA is the little brother of the GL series. The 2015 GLA250 4MATIC sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pushing 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The GLA250 4MATIC can complete a 0-60 mph acceleration in 6.4 seconds. In circular turning, the GLA recorded 0.87 g.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Positives & Negatives

On the positive side, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC has a comfortable interior and ride. The interior has a sporty design with leatherette and inlay options. The suspension maintains a sporty feel while providing the comfort a Benz is expected to offer. For a SUV, the GLA250 isn’t a terrible gas guzzler, leading to a positive fuel consumption experience. Lastly, the GLA250 styling is sleek and sporty.

On the negative side, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC boasts blind spots and disappointing tech. The design of the vehicle increases the blind spots of the vehicle, making blind spot assist a highly recommended feature. Tech wise, the navigation unit is disappointing compared to Audi’s Google Maps integration. The system is a bit difficult to navigate for beginners and is not extremely user friendly. Hopefully, this is being improved in the face lifted version of the car. On top of that, an issue in the vehicle reviewed was the display unit which would tends to shut off for a few seconds when hitting bumps or potholes on the road. In major cities in the Northeast U.S., this makes the display unit dip a frequent occurrence.

The 2015 GLA250 4MATIC Holds to the Mercedes-Benz Reputation

Overall, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC proved to be a pretty decent automobile. The comfort and sportiness made up for the discrepancies in the technology. From what was seen at the North American International Auto Show 2017 in Detroit, the GLA250 facelift offered enhancements in each direction. If you’re considering purchasing a used GLA250 4MATIC, you aren’t making the wrong decision. In the end, you won’t be disappointed with your experience.

How to Prepare Your Car for Long Road Trips

Long road trips can be both exciting and fun. With proper preparation, you can avoid boredom and delays. Download a good playlist and make sure you have a few games for the kids. Packing a small cooler with drinks and snacks means fewer stops. Also, your car needs to be in tip-top shape for a long journey.

A long road trip is a serious test for your vehicle. Even small problems such as out-of-balance tires or worn windshield wipers can cause trouble. Here is a basic checklist that you can work through before setting off on your trip:

  1. Check the Fluid Levels in Your Car
  2. Examine Your Car’s Battery
  3. Replace the Air Filter
  4. Check Tires & Tire Pressure
  5. Pack Owner’s Manual & Tools

 Check the Fluid Levels in Your Car

There are several different fluids in your car that keep it running smoothly. All of them should be topped off before taking any long trips. It’s also a good idea to carry extra oil and coolant in your car for emergencies. A list of fluid levels to check in your car include:

  1. Brake Fluid
  2. Coolant
  3. Oil
  4. Power Steering Fluid
  5. Transmission Fluid
  6. Windshield Wiper Fluid

Check the Engine Oil

Engine oil should always be checked while the engine is cold. To check the engine oil, pull out the dipstick, wipe it with a paper towel or a clean rag, and then insert it back into the reservoir. Pull out the dipstick again to check the level, make sure it’s close to the “FULL” mark. Change the engine oil if it appears too black or if it is getting close to the time for an oil change. Many modern vehicles have electronic oil level gauges which can simplify this process but it is always good to double check.

How to Check the Transmission Fluid

Unlike oil, transmission fluid has to be checked while the engine is warm and idling. Make sure the car is parked on a level surface. Set the hand brake and pull out the transmission fluid with the engine idling in neutral. Wipe off the dipstick with a cloth or and insert it back.

To check the fluid condition and level, pull out the dipstick again. Clean transmission fluid is a pinkish-red or red color. Under high load and temperature, the transmission fluid oxidizes and becomes brown. Change the transmission fluid if it appears too dark, especially if you will be towing a trailer. Be careful not to overfill the transmission fluid. Too much is just as bad as not enough.

Examine Your Car’s Battery

Check the condition of the battery visually. Replace it if you find any cracks, acid leaks, or any other damage. It is important to ensure that the battery terminals aren’t corroded as that invites trouble.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any simple way to figure out the exact life of a battery (unless you search through manufacturer’s battery manuals). Sometimes, the battery will die unexpectedly without any prior signs. The best way to check your battery’s life is to put the car in auxiliary mode. Turn the key to the “on” position but don’t turn on the engine. Look at the volt gauge on the dashboard. A car battery needs to be around 12 volts to effectively start the engine. A battery usually lasts from two to six years, depending on the manufacturer and model. Most auto parts stores will test your battery for free.

Replace the Air Filter

Replace an old air filter in your vehicle before a long road trip. A dirty air filter reduces power and increases fuel consumption. There are many of YouTube videos showing how to change an air filter, or you can take it to the shop. Air filter replacement is easy and inexpensive.

 Check the Tires & Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the most important things that you need to check before a road trip. The recommended tire pressure is located inside the driver door, on the sidewall of the tire, or in the Owner’s Manual.  Have your tires balanced if you feel a vibration at high speeds. Check the tire tread and replace them if it seems worn. Patched tires may be able to handle a long road trip but there is never a guarantee.

Pack Owner’s Manual & Tools

Don’t forget to keep the owner’s manual of your vehicle in the glove box. From how to change a flat tire to the location of the jack and how a trailer is towed, the manual contains pieces of highly useful information which could be of great help on the trip.

It also includes instructions and information about how to top off the engine oil, how to jump-start the vehicle in case the battery dies, how to change the bulb of the headlight, and more. Most manuals can be downloaded if you no longer have the original. Alternatively, you can get one from your local dealer.

Besides the owner’s manual, you need to pack a few basic safety items. Every car should have a good spare tire, an emergency warning triangle, flare, jack, and lug wrench. If you don’t know how to change a tire, you need to learn before your trip. You never know when you will need to change a tire. The other option is to pay a road assistance business for the job but this usually includes a wait time of up to an hour or more.

You also need jumper cables, duct tape, a gas can, and a basic set of tools. Having these on hand can keep you from getting stranded on the side of the road. Don’t count on your cell phone. There are many places that don’t have service. Plan in advance and your trip should go off without a hitch.

Other Tips and Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with the vehicle and its equipment, especially if you plan to drive a rental car.
  • Minimize sudden starts/stops and don’t carry unnecessary weight. The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it will consume for the drive.
  • Don’t wait for the gas gauge to sit on “empty” before refueling. As soon as the pointer falls to a quarter of a tank, start looking for a gas station, especially if your trip involves traveling on unfamiliar roads.
  • It is highly important to ensure every person seated in the car buckles his/her seat belt. It will not only keep you safe, but some places have strict laws concerning seat belts.
  • Consider using a GPS for navigation. It can help keep you from getting lost.




Winter Driving

If you aren’t used to driving in snow or ice, then driving during the winter months can be dangerous. The inclement weather, reduced visibility, and icy surfaces on the roads make navigation difficult. However, by following a few basic rules, you can stay safe on icy roads. Here are few things to consider for safe winter driving.

1. Ensure a Gentle and Smooth Drive
2. Don’t Apply Your Brakes While Turning
3. Rely on Your Headlights
4. Don’t Follow too Closely
5. Don’t Rely on Four-Wheel Drive
6. Dealing With a Skid
7. Read Your Surroundings
8. Plan Your Route
9. Avoid Driving as Much as Possible


Ensure a Gentle and Smooth Drive

You need to keep in mind that driving in snow and ice is completely different from driving on dry pavement. It demands a different style of driving which takes practice. When driving on slick roads, make sure to never jerk the wheel or slam on the brakes. Abrupt changes in the attitude of the car may cause its tires to lose the grip on the surface of the road.


Don’t Apply Your Brakes While Turning

If you turn too quickly in the corners and there is ice on the surface, you run the risk of going into a skid. If this happens, your initial response might be to hit your brakes. This technique works on a dry road, but it does not work well on ice. When driving on snow or ice, it is always better to apply your brakes before the turn and take them at a slow speed.

If you go into a skid, let up on the brake and steer into it. Lightly pump your brakes as you straighten out. This will slow down the vehicle. Another way to slow down your car in wintry conditions is to use the gears. Shift down. This causes the engine to reduce the car’s speed so you can regain control.


Rely on Your Headlights

Regardless if it is day or night, you should use your car’s headlights during snowfall. During the day this helps other cars identify you. The general rule is if you need your wipers, then you need your headlights.


Don’t Follow Too Closely

Stay back from the car in front of you, especially during the winter. By extending your following distance, you get extra time to apply the brakes, and you can avoid going into a skid. If the car in front of you loses control, you want plenty of time to avoid hitting them. It only takes a second for them to flip around and hit something.


Don’t Rely on Four-Wheel Drive

A number of people think that they are safe if they have four-wheel drive, but this may not be true. Though you will have more traction on ice and snow with this system, it may not give enough braking power, making cornering tricky. So do not trust four-wheel drive completely. Take it easy on icy and slippery surfaces in order to stay out of a bad situation.


Dealing With a Skid

It is best to test the steering and brakes of your car gently to get an idea of the road’s condition. Pick a clear, straight piece of road; it should be away from junctions. If you hit a slippery road, you will feel that your car starts to skid. In this situation, allow the speed of the vehicle to decrease by itself by taking your foot off of the accelerator. Don’t use the brakes, as it may prolong the skid. In case the car starts spinning while you’re skidding, allow the vehicle to straighten up and steer into the spin’s direction.


Read Your Surroundings

Slow down when approaching a corner. Give yourself plenty of time so you can take it at a constant speed. This will save you from unsettling the car as well as give you enough time to react in case you have to navigate an obstacle.


Plan Your Route

If you draft out your route ahead of time then there are no possibilities of getting lost. Stick to the main roads as much as possible. Such roads are likely to have been gritted or cleared. Be aware of the wheel tracks when driving, especially if the road hasn’t been gritted. The packed down snow is slicker than new snow. Often the side streets are the ones that present the most problem.


Avoid Driving as Much as Possible

It is a good idea to heed the weather report before taking off on a long-distance drive. If possible, delay or cancel trips, especially when bad weather is expected. If canceling the trip isn’t possible, let your family or friends know about your estimated time of arrival to the destination as well as the route. Keep in mind that many hotels will allow you to reschedule a hotel stay without charging a fee. But, a full cancellation under a certain time limit, such as 24 hours, can lead to paying a hefty fee or even the full price of one night.

If you avoid going out during bad weather, you will be safe, as simple as that. Only get out on icy roads when it’s absolutely necessary. Using common sense could save your life and the lives of others.

Winter driving just takes common sense, caution, and experience. Don’t go out unless you have to. Drive slowly and know what to do in case you do lose control on the ice. Whatever you do, DON’T panic! That is often the cause of most accidents on winter roads.



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