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Top 5
Top Tunes to Jam on Your Next Road Trip
Road trips are blast. Improptu decisions to jump in the car with your friends and just drive across the country, no destination in mind, just the wind in your hair. Road trips are a great way to live in the moment, enjoy life, and explore the country. The key to any good road trip however is the right music. Nothing can ruin a 14 hour drive like Enya on repeat, so here are a number of categories for drivers to choose from.

If you are a classic rock fan, you probably have the largest selection of songs to choose from to make the ULTIMATE mix of classic rock songs for your trip. From Lynyrd Skynyrd to Crosby, Stills Nash and Young to the Rolling Stones, classic rock is the type of music that gets people out of their seats wanting to dance, which could be dangerous if you are driving I guess. Regardless, these high-powered top-hit songs are sure to make your road tripe a whole lot smoother.

Road Trip Songs for Classic Rock Fans:

1. Lynyrd Skynrd's "Free Bird" comes in at number one for encompassing the true essence of what it means to be a free bird, driving across the country.

2. Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" comes in at number two for its overall singability, which is key to any good road trip, as well as its catchiness and wide appeal to a large number of age groups.

3. The third song on the list comes from the one, the only, Sir Elton John. "Rocket Man" is a sure fired way to pump up any lacklaster roadtrip.

Road Trip Songs for Hip-Hop Fans:

1. At number one in the hip-hop category for road trip songs comes Snoop Dogg's "Gin n Juice". This classic hip-hop number will turn a boring road trip into a bumpin' road trip in no time.

2. The second hip-hop song is another classic, coming from the Notorious B.I.G, may he rest in peace. This classic song is titled "Hypnotize" and its sure to make the time fly on any long road trip.

3. Number three in the hip-hop category comes from artist Kanye West and the song is titled "Power." This high paced song is an instant way to liven up a road trip.

Road Trip Songs for Pop Fans:

1. At number one comes Queens' Bohemian Rahpsoday- a classic pop/rock tune sure to liven up any road trip!

2. Number two in the pop category is one of the more recent tunes on the list, but well deserved none the less. At number two in the pop category comes Kelly Clarkeson's "Breakaway", a great road trip moral booster after long hours on the road.

3. Prince's "Little Red Corvette" is number three- a great road trip song.

- Editorial Staff
The Smart Car Buyer
What to Bring With You When Car Shopping
If you are getting ready to buy your first car or to replace your current car, you have a lot of things to consider, including the make, model and color, and how much money you are willing to part with. Before you head on over the dealership, there are some items that you should bring with you to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly.

It almost goes without saying, but you need to remember to bring your valid driver’s license. This is something people forget sometimes, especially if they have been relying on other people to take them places. If you don’t have your license, you won’t be able to take any cars for a test drive or drive your new car home. You should also bring proof of insurance.

DO YOUR RESEARCH Unless you are fabulously wealthy and don’t care about losing money, you will need to do some research before going out car shopping. Looking up information online about the types of cars you are interested in will help you narrow your focus when you are out looking at available vehicles.

If you have a particular car in mind, research and print out the dealer’s invoice price and take it with you. This is invaluable information to have when you are negotiating with the salesperson. Put your printouts in a folder, along with the details of any incentives or rebates that you have discovered.

REVIEW THE REVIEWS Another useful thing to bring is a printout of trustworthy reviews of the cars you are most interested in. You can consult these pages while looking at particular cars, to refresh your memory about why you were interested in buying them.

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to properly evaluate a car, you should consider bringing a friend or family member who knows something about cars. If the dealer senses that you have no idea what you are looking at, there is a temptation to take advantage of you.

It’s also a good idea to bring the phone number of a trusted mechanic, in case you want to make an appointment to get a used car checked out. Your mechanic may even be willing to meet you at the location to do an inspection. This is particularly useful when you are considering buying a used car from a dealership you’ve never been to before or when you are evaluating a car being sold by a private party.

- Editorial Staff
Driving in Richmond, VA 101!
Richmond is one of America's historic cities, nestled along the James River in Virginia and easy to drive to. It is very car friendly to navigate with a number of major roadways and plentiful roadside parking places (but watch for signs). The many diverse neighborhoods are fascinating to drive through and the grid street system is easy to figure out. The older parts of Richmond do have the narrow streets and one-way restrictions common in towns of this age.

Interstate 95 goes north-south right through it, and Interstate 64 runs east-west through the city. When you look at a map, you see that there are several highways and parkways looping around the area and it really makes driving easy. That's good, because there are a lot of places you'll want to drive!

Outside the city, the suburbs are rural and rolling. There's a lot of green space and many campgrounds even though it isn't a wilderness area. It's pretty, with the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean to the east: easy day trips and lots to explore.

There's a lot to explore within Richmond, too. The James River Park System is a string of parks along the river (check their website about parking spaces) and you can see whitewater rafters quite often. The city was the capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War and suffered a lot of damage but came back from the ashes with vigor. Drive through the Richmond National Battlefield Park and visit the Museum of the Confederacy. Visit Maymont, a 100-acre Victorian estate that is still the way it was planned to be.

Every neighborhood in Richmond has a distinct identity and you might feel like they are separate towns. Driving through the streets, you will see a lot of forged ironwork and unique homes. Be sure to visit Hollywood Cemetery, where over 18,000 Confederate soldiers are buried. There's a Civil War prison site on Belle Isle, the original Confederate White House, and St. John's Church, built in 1739 and the site of the Second Constitutional Convention in 1775. If it is summer, you can hear a re-enactment of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech.

The variety of offerings in Richmond mean you can find what you are looking for, and the logical road system means it is going to be a good experience driving there. This is a good destination for a road trip!

- Editorial Staff
Advances in Car Apps
As vehicles add new technological and safety features, it is not surprising that the apps available for a vehicle are also improving. The advances in car apps are designed to improve the driving experience, increase safety or provide useful tools to stay connected while away from home.

Collision Intervention

The collision intervention app has improved the safety standards of many vehicles. Although the app requires a back-up camera, it is a useful way to cut back on the number of accidents a vehicle is likely to face. When the app is used, it will automatically use the vehicle’s brakes when a car is getting too close to another vehicle or object. It reduces the number of accidents, particularly when the vehicle is backing out a driveway or parking space.

Navigation Apps

Navigation apps are a great addition to any vehicle. The newer applications for navigation include the latest maps, options for different directions and visuals that make it easier to recognize the upcoming roads.

The navigation apps are included in many new vehicles, but it is necessary to regularly update the app to ensure the maps are still current. Since roads often change or have construction, it is useful to have updated apps to keep up with the changes.

Texting Apps

As the dangers of driving while texting become apparent, it is not surprising that many vehicle owners are finding the new apps for texting a useful addition to the vehicle. Although the exact apps that are best for a vehicle will vary, some cars are including an assistant app to make it easier to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and others through text message without the distractions that are commonly the cause of accidents.

The way the app works is simple. The phone is connected to the vehicle’s system through Blue Tooth technology. When a text message comes in on the phone, the app will read the message. The driver simply speaks the response out loud and the assistant app will send the response. It makes the process of sending a message while driving a possibility without making it dangerous.

Web-Based Connections

The apps in vehicles are no longer limited to the simple radio applications and useful navigational tools. Newer vehicles are able to connect to the Internet and provide apps that make web-browsing, online media and other options a possibility during travel. Staying connected through the vehicle provides the opportunity to keep up with social media or emails while on the road.

Advances in vehicle applications are constantly changing as new technology becomes available. Although the advances are continually changing, it is not surprising that it provides the opportunity to stay connected while also focusing on driving safety.

- Editorial Staff
The Importance of Regular Car Waxing
Although waxing may not seem like an important aspect of car maintenance, it is just as important as regularly washing the vehicle or getting the oil changed after 3000 miles of driving. By understanding the reasons that it is important to regularly wax a car, it is easier to make arrangements for a professional to get it done properly.

Maintaining Shine

When a car drives off the lot, the paint is shining and beautiful. Over time, that shine begins to dull as dust and contaminants pile up on the car. Washing the vehicle may remove some of the dirt, but the paint can still look dull after the car is washed.

Professional waxing can result in a beautiful shine that makes the paint look as good as it did the day that the car left the showroom.

Preventing Contamination

Waxing a car provides a layer of protection over the paint. Airborne contaminants will slowly eat away at the wax instead of chewing through the paint. It helps protect the paint and the car from bugs, acid rain or any other contaminants that may corrode through the paint.

If contaminants are allowed to burrow into the paint, it will damage the appearance of the car. The only solution after the paint starts to corrode is getting it repainted. Unfortunately, that is an expensive project. A little maintenance and prevention is much less costly than painting the entire car.

Simplifying Cleaning

Since wax is slippery, it makes the process of cleaning a vehicle a little easier. Instead of scrubbing through dirt and grime, the layer of wax on the car allows most of it to rinse away. The remaining dirt will clean off easily with soap and warm water.

By waxing the car regularly, it is easier to maintain a clean vehicle. The process of cleaning the car is less time consuming, so car owners can easily remove dirt between professional washings.

Making Scratches Less Noticeable

Waxing a vehicle will not eliminate scratches that are in the paint, but it can help hide them. A layer of wax fills in the space so that the scratches are less noticeable. It has the best impact on shallow scratches, which may not be noticeable after waxing, but it can help reduce the appearance of any scratches in the paint.

Professional Waxing

As a general rule, it is best to have a professional wax the vehicle at least once every three months. If the area has a high level of corrosive materials in the air, then it may be necessary to wax the vehicle more often to maintain the appearance of the paint. Professional waxing will ensure that the right type of wax is used on the vehicle and a professional can offer advice about when to bring the car in next based on the location.

Washing a car is not enough to maintain the beauty of the paint. The only way to keep a car looking new and prevent the paint from being damaged by contaminants in the air is by waxing it regularly.

- Editorial Staff
Solid Car Service Center Options in Richmond, VA
Richmond, Virginia is a large metropolitan complex of cities and towns surrounding the city of Richmond itself. Like everywhere else, residents of the Richmond area want to keep their cars running a little longer, but they don't want to break the bank doing so. If you live in or near Richmond, you can take your car to a dealership and will normally have excellent repair work done, but you'll pay a premium for that "factory service" you'll receive. You can also obtain the same level of excellent auto care by taking your car to an independent neighborhood auto car center.

Axselle Auto Service is one of those independent shops that will give you fair prices and couple it with helpful and friendly service. They are a full-service auto repair facility that services most makes and models. They provide most auto repair and maintenance services such as brakes, suspension repairs and alignments, and tire sales, service, and repair, including tire inflation using nitrogen where called for by the manufacturer. Axselle Auto service has been in business since 1951, so you know they treat their customers well and give great prices.

Halls Tire & Auto Service is another local independent auto repair shop that has generated a great deal of customer loyalty over the years. Located at 2111 Dickens Road, they're pretty easy to find and you'll be glad you took the time. Customer reviews found on the Internet range from the simple "These guys are great!" to "These guys treated me like mine was the only car there."

Looking to upgrade the quality of the beats in your ride but not looking to spend an arm and a leg? Take your car to Car Toys, at 11525 Midlothian Trunpike and you'll get the best stereo system your budget can buy, without paying for extra bells and whistles you really don't need. Car Toys also does window tinting at great prices, great service and quality and a turnaround that will amaze you.

It's a traumatic and trying experience for many when they need to have body repair or paint work done to their car. There is no need to add to that trauma by having insensitive and uncaring people work on your car. This isn't going to happen when you take your car to family-owned Connor Brothers Collision Centers, located at 1008 North Sheppard Street. You'll get fast friendly service from very knowledgeable and skilled technicians. Many customers also get a nice little thank you note in the mail a couple weeks after picking their car up.

- Editorial Staff


2014 Volkswagen Beetle Review
Icon is one of those words too often used in unworthy circumstances. However, mention the Volkswagen Beetle and you get a smile from an entire generation. When the new Beetle was introduced in 1997 many were bought simply out of nostalgia. Today, with this third incarnation – the A5 platform – that was launched in 2011, the Beetle has carved out a market position based on the acceptance by a growing group of fans.

Now that the Beetle is manufactured on the line next to the Jetta it continues to add versions and varieties to it offerings. This gives the car a more aggressive and modern look while retaining a reminiscence of it parents. To attract a broader base of buyers, you will find the 2014 Beetle as a convertible turbo, the GSR, the iBeetle, and the basic or Cabriolet with the R-Line trim. There are various options and trim modifications for each of these models. In Europe, you will even find a fancy exclusive model.

The basic Beetle now comes as the 2.5 liter in-line 5-cylinder engine that gets a respectable 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 estimated highway mpg with the non-diesel engine (which delivers 28/41). It comes with the basic trim package at an MSRP of $19,995. The Beetle Turbo Coupe with the R-Line Trim starts ten grand higher at $30,930.

This places the basic Beetle right in the middle of the market as a strong contender on price and mileage while offering an acceptable level of standard gear.

For those who are fans of the look, Volkswagen continues to pay homage to the classic lines while achieving a more stylish and modern presence. The R-Line package continues to satisfy the desire for a more attractive interior and trim touches. The turbo thrust of the R-Line also addresses the oft-mentioned need for speed.

- Editorial Staff
2013 Ford Transit Connect Review
While many commercial applications require a workhorse truck or large payload, full-size van, many small businesses don’t. For urban maneuverability and fuel economy, the downsized 2013 Ford Transit Connect represents an alternative for cargo carrying in the confines of city traffic. Built on the Ford Focus platform, the Transit Connect inherits the small car’s native agility and adds to it the capacity to cart around 135 cubic feet of haul. The flat cargo floor measures 4 feet by 6 feet and the ceiling is just short of 5 feet high. Even the boxy body profile seems to invite addition of a snappy company logo or colorful vehicle wrap.

The Transit Connect is a commercial work van but it provides a driver position and posture more like the Focus it’s based on. Instead of no-frills, the interior is best described as low-frills. Ford has included some nice work-related features on the basic XL model including blind spot mirrors, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel and a driver’s seat with armrest, lumbar control and height adjustment. The XLT adds cruise control, heated mirrors, map lights and a 12-volt power point in the cargo area.

The Transit’s DNA also includes the automatic transmission and the 2.0 liter four cylinder engine installed in the Focus. The power plant gets high marks for proven reliability but, when matched with the Transit’s almost 850 pounds greater curb weight, the vehicle might be horsepower-starved, especially if you’re lugging the maximum recommended payload of 1,600 pounds.

In road tests, 0 to 60 in about 12 seconds was standard. However, in street-fighting mode in crowded urban traffic, the 2013 Ford Transit’s nimble handling—it’s turning radius is just 39 feet—may be a greater virtue than head-snapping acceleration, anyway. And, another benefit of the slightly stunted power are its favorable EPA mileage figures: 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

MSRP for the basic 2013 Ford Transit Connect XL is $22,265 while the fully-equipped XLT can range as high as $24,040. Think utility and agility, not speed, and the Transit Connect may come to mind for your business.

- Editorial Staff

Richmond Car Dealers

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