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Top 5
Top 5 Animal Attack Proof Autos
When thinking of “animal attack proof” vehicles, it’s easy to picture autos that are physically robust and strong. Yet a vehicle’s strength also comes from its performance to include power, speed, handling, etc. Taking both physical state and performance into account, the following five vehicles are choice candidates for the “animal attack proof” category.

1. Land Rover Range Rover Sport – The Range Rover is one extraordinary vehicle both on the road and off. It is available with V8, 375 HP and supercharged 510 HP engines to give you ample power on the road. Highway driving is smooth and composed, but it is on rugged terrain where the vehicle’s true strength lies. Here is where the Range Rover Sport demonstrates its tough, steadfast and dependable nature.

2. Ford Mustang – The Mustang has a longstanding reputation for being powerful and aggressive, thwarting much of the competition. The Mustang combines a well-built body with a powerful engine and superior handling to give it the speed and agility you need for work or play (or to frustrate animal attacks launched against you.)

3. Ford F-150 Truck – No “animal attack proof” vehicle list would be complete without including one of the most rugged vehicles on the market today – the Ford F-150 truck. This vehicle’s hardy frame and power packed motor helps it dominate all kinds of conditions on and off the road. Whether tackling man or beast, there is no doubt the Ford F-150 will come out on top.

4. BMW 3 Series Sedan – The 2012 BMW Sedan is ranked among the ten best vehicles on the market today and it well lives up to this world renowned reputation. Well armed with an all new turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the BMW Sedan is swift, agile and responsive, keeping you well out of reach of any beasts of prey.

5. 2012 Jeep Wrangler – The capable Jeep Wrangler SUV is just as impressive on the highway as it is on beaten paths. The vehicle’s brawny construction enables it to blaze through rocky, rugged terrain with confidence and ease. You can count on this steadfast, dependable vehicle to overcome whatever obstacle lays in its path and safely reach its destination.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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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.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
Richmond
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!

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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Advancements in Car Seat Technology
In times past, a car seat was simply that - a seat for a person to sit in and drive a car. However, new advancements in car seat technology aim to make car seats safer and more comfortable than they were in recent history.

GOT STRESS? Ford is currently working on developing a car seat that will monitor a driver for signs of stress. This seat will have temperature and heart rate sensors, a respiration sensor and sonar, radar and cameras that keep an eye on traffic levels. If the car seat determines that a driver is overly stressed out, then the seat will automatically shut off one's cell phone and increase collision alert warning times. The technology is set to be used in Ford vehicle models in five to ten years.

Cadillac has recently manufactured a seat that will vibrate to alert a driver to a potential threat. This seat can now be found in the Cadillac XTS Luxury Sedan and in the future may be added to other Cadillac vehicle models. The goal of this particular feature is to prevent crashes caused when drivers are visually distracted and/or listening to loud music.

ZERO GRAVITY Nissan has recently created a zero gravity, fully ergonomic car seat which can now be found in several 2013 Nissan vehicle models and may be incorporated in later models as well. The goal of this seat is not just to provide a person with a very comfortable car seat but also promote vehicle safety. The company notes that one of the main reasons why drivers get into a vehicle crash is that they are tired or stressed out while driving. The new zero gravity car seat is said to help a driver stay alert for a longer period of time than would have otherwise been possible.

END GOAL While each of these car seat advancements comes from different manufacturers, the end goal is still the same - to provide a driver with a safer, more comfortable driving experience. If you intend to buy a new car this year or a few years down the line, you may want to consider various new seat options, especially if you drive for long periods of time on a regular basis. The right kind of seat can help to make your driving experience not only more pleasant but also safer than before.
Air_filter
Changing Your Air Filter
Something as simple as changing your car’s air filter can make a big difference in the performance of your vehicle. As your car’s filter takes in air from the environment it can be become dirty and clogged. This can cause your car to have a less than desirable performance. It can also shorten the length of your vehicle’s life and give you decreased gas mileage, which costs you more money.

Most car manufacturers recommend an air filter change every year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Check with your car manufacturer for your specific vehicles recommendations.

Change your air filter by following these simple steps: • Go to an auto parts store and purchase the correct air filter. If you are unsure of what to get, ask for help. Park your car in the garage or in the shade before working on it. The car must be cool when changing the air filter. If you have been driving it, you will need to let it cool down.

• Gather the tools that you will need to do the job. This will include a standard screw driver, and a Phillips screwdriver.

• Most air filters are located in the middle of the car’s engine, but may also be off to the side of the engine. You won’t be able to miss it, as it is in a black compartment that is relatively large. When you have located it you can open it up.

• There are clips that hold the air filter together that will need to be removed. This can by accomplished by sliding the regular end of the screwdriver between the clip and the casing of the air filter. Do this with each clip and then remove it to gain access to the old air filter.

• Once it is open, remove the old air filter. It is made out of paper with rubber around the edges. It can come in a few different colors, such as white, yellow, orange, or red. Once it is out you will see how much dirt has collected.

• Throw the old air filter away and insert the new one. Replace the clips around the air filter and you’re done. Your car will run more smoothly and save you money.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
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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.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Reviews

06
2014 GMC Terrain Review
The beefy and boxy Terrain crossover comes with a few mild changes for 2014, a smart move on the part of GMC. Why spoil a good thing? The Terrain shares the same well thought-out interior design as its cousin the Equinox, but has a completely different exterior that is aimed at the dad market as opposed to the moms-who-make-buying-decisions segment.

It's a CUV that offers dads, and even moms, the opportunity to drive a crossover that's not boring, reasonably priced, gets excellent gas mileage, and won't embarrass the kids like a mini-van does.

The changes that are introduced for 2014 are minor, with an old color taken off the line and replaced by another, a chrome package and different size wheels that are available in different trim levels. Otherwise, the 2014 model year is barely changed from the 2013. What buyers can be assured of is the fact that the excellent design and features carry through into 2014.

The interior of the Terrain is much roomier than the exterior would suggest, comfortably carrying up to five passengers without squishing them. Front seats are a bucket design that welcomes the occupants, and the rear bench seat does a great job of supporting its occupants. If the rear passengers don't have enough leg room, the bench can slide back 8 inches for more space to stretch out in. Alternatively, the bench is capable of sliding forward to give the cargo area more room.

There are total of five trim packages available, ranging from the SLE-1 all the way to the Denali. The SLE-1 package is the most basic of all, but does come equipped with a standard rear-view camera, Bluetooth connectivity and a Color Touch Radio. Stepping up through the available trim packages increases the available extras and interior touches, as well as providing access to more powerful engines. The Denali package is in a league of its own with touches like red stitching in the interior and eight-way adjustable front seating. All trim packages come with the option to select either front wheel drive or all wheel drive for traction.

The two engines that are available have wide berth between them in terms of gas mileage and performance. The 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder engine gets up to 32 mpg on the highway when paired with the front wheel drive, and up to 29 with the AWD under the same conditions. Stepping up in power to the 3.6 V6 definitely detracts from the gas mileage at 24 mpg for highway driving, but has much more power in the form of 301 horsepower as compared to the 182 horsepower for the V4.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff
02
2014 GMC Sierra 2500HD Review
GMC, whose motto is Professional Grade, is plugging in to the world of mobile connectivity while still continuing to work toward better performance and fuel economy. GM has significantly rebooted its full size trucks for 2014, and Sierra gets a new powertrain, more substantial styling, more attractive cabin and a slew of new safety and "infotainment" features.

The new look of the Sierra is refined but big and striking, with a blunt front end and chiseled fenders. A bold black-and-metallic grille and projector headlamps w/available LED trim lighting will make a strong first impression. Controls are nicely arranged in key areas in a large center-stack area and to the left of the steering wheel. Everything is big and straightforward; primary lighting is a cool blue with red back-lighting and red accents on the dials.

Sierra engines have been entirely updated with a new V-6 plus two all new V-8s, all featuring an aluminum block and heads that receive direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing. These engines can run on only 4 cylinders cruising or coasting in small load circumstances. All three engines work with rear-wheel drive or 4WD plus 6-speed automatic transmission, and all models get power steering plus four-wheel disc brakes w/long-life brake rotors.

Sierra Crew Cab now has two different available bed lengths -- 5' 8” or 6’ 6”. Regular-cab models are 6’6” or 8’ and extended-cab models include the mid-range size. There are longer doors as well with B-pillars moved forward for easier entry and exiting. Extended-cab versions now have front-hinged rear doors. Sierra's bed gets an integrated bumper step, LED lighting and damped tailgate.

All Sierras get A/C, keyless entry and AM/FM radio w/ 4.2-inch color display. The GMC IntelliLink connectivity system is optional, combining voice-command Bluetooth connectivity along with Bluetooth audio stream, Pandora, available navigation and an 8 inch configurable touch screen. A 110-volt AC outlet is also available, with some models including up to 4 -12v outlets plus 5 USB ports and SD card slot. Blu-Ray DVD and alternate seating configurations are also available.

A suite of new safety helpers are optional, including camera-based Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Optional Driver Alert Seat vibrates with side pulses to alert the driver about any issues. Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control are included with the standard StabiliTrak control system.

Later in the model year Sierra All-Terrain will get optional Z71 off-roading suspension, recovery hooks, mono tube Rancho shocks, transfer-case shield, auto-locking rear differential, hill descent control and special tires and wheels. Sierra Denali will be adding Bose audio, ventilated seats and a standard V-8 engine.

- Auto.com Editorial Staff

Richmond Car Dealers

Top 5 File0002032467955 Top 5 Animal Attack Proof Autos The Smart Car Buyer File000530964878 What to Bring With You When Car Shopping Local Richmond Driving in Richmond, VA 101! National File000346334958 Advancements in Car Seat Technology Tip Air_filter Changing Your Air Filter