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But I Don’t Know Anything About Cars!- How to Get the Right Car for You: Under the Hood
If you’re like me, you may have grown up without much interest in cars or without access to knowledge about cars. And it’s perfectly fine to not have any interest in cars, but having no car knowledge can come to impact your life in a bad way when you start to think about owning a car. Those of us who don’t know what we’re looking at under the hood may have no idea where to start when something goes wrong, or what to look for when picking out a new vehicle. It becomes far too easy to say “Ooh I like the green one!” and forget to ask about the important details. So to help us decipher all that crazy car talk and understand what’s really important about getting a new vehicle, here are some great tips!
When buying a car, the easiest way to figure out which one you should get is to first think about how you will be using the car. Do you need to haul a lot of large items? Then you should think about getting a truck or SUV. Do you have a lot of passengers to carry around? Then a truck may not be your best bet, but an SUV definitely would be a good idea. Will you be parking the car in a garage or a specific parking space? Make sure to measure the dimensions of any vehicle you are considering and compare that to the size of your parking area. Now that you have an idea about the basic type of vehicle you may want, you can look a little bit under the hood.
These days nearly all vehicles come with automatic drive as a standard, though in some of our used vehicles this may not always be the case. Most of us know what automatic drive is, but for those who don’t the automatic car will shift gears for you automatically and the manual requires you to shift gears on your own. Be sure to always ask if a car is a manual or an automatic. If you have never driven a manual before you should seek lessons before committing to buy a car with a manual transmission. If you don’t know what you’re doing a manual transmission can be very difficult to handle and you can risk seriously damaging your vehicle if you cannot operate it properly.
Have you ever heard someone say “my car has a v-6 engine” or something of that sort and wondered what the heck they were talking about? Well the v actually refers to the design of the engine, and the six is the number of cylinders. Generally speaking, the more cylinders you have then the more performance you can get out of your engine, though this is not necessarily so. Some engines with more cylinders may have a lower performance depending on other factors such as the compression in the engine. As for the design of the engine there are actually three different basic types which are used in the making of cars. Each different type, if made with the same number of cylinders, will generally produce the same type of engine function although they each mean different things for the overall function of the car. In-line engines typically will allow the car to have a very short hood because they are long and narrow and they can be lighter in weight than the other two types of engines because the shape requires fewer camshafts. The flat engine is likely to have a low center of gravity because its shape is wide and flat. The V engine gets its name from its shape, where the different cylinders in the engine come together in a v shape. This shape combines some the advantages and disadvantages of the flat and in-line engines.
After you’ve figured out what size vehicle you need, and then decided what kind of transmission and engine you want or need, then you can look at important safety features. The safety features are probably the most important part of deciding what kind of vehicle to get. You don’t want to overlook this step in deciding on your new car, so be sure to look at our next article, How To Get the Right Car For You: Safety.
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Originally posted 2005-02-28 13:59:48.