It is hard to remember a time when most cars sold in the United States were front engine and rear wheel drive. However, up until the late 1980’s American manufacturers usually put the engine in the front and carried the power back through a transmission and drive shaft to the rear wheels. Many times the rear wheels were connected on one axle and not independently suspended on sub assemblies. Now most American made cars are powered by an engine in the front and driven through the front wheels. There was a time in history when engines sat at the other end of the car and drove the rear wheels. The rear engine rear driven cars are pretty much just a memory today.

Porsche
One manufacturer that continues to place its engine behind the rear wheels and drive from the rear is Porsche. The 911 and all its variants are still powered by a rear engine. Although the engine is now water cooled, the designers have clung to the original formula of Dr. Porsche from the forties.

Volkswagen

It is hard to remember that the original Volkswagens were all rear engine, air cooled cars driven through the back wheels. The original beetle was also designed by Dr, Porsche who believed that the most sensible configuration for a car was rear engine rear wheel drive and the engine could be cooled by air, no need for a radiator and hot water in a car. One problem was always getting het into the car on a cold winter day. The Beetle proved to be one of the longest running production models in the history of automobiles.

Fiat

Or many years Fiat built rear engine cars. The original 500 was a rear engine micro car designed for the narrow roads of Italy and Europe. The 500 has been reincarnated as a front engine front drive micro car for the new century but enthusiasts will remember the original car as a fun to drive runabout that spawned a generation of knock offs such as the Trabant.

American Cars
American automakers were not immune to the trend either. Chevrolet briefly flirted with rear engine cars when it made the Corvair. Deemed to be unsafe at any speed the car was removed from the market due to bad publicity and a campaign by Ralph Nader. Preston Tucker also developed and built several cars in the late 1940s that were rear engine, powered by a helicopter engine. Tucker was driven out of business by the big three and the U.S. government so no one knows how successful his car may have been.

Vehicles are expensive investments. It’s impossible to enjoy a car that runs good without spending a little money. Although it’s not good to cut corners, there are some simple ways to save on auto expenses.

1. Get A Gas App
Knowing where to get the best prices on gas is important. Most smart phones have apps for finding the cheapest gas prices and other gas discounts locally. Some stations also offer additional discounts for club members, students or senior citizens. Individuals who have memberships for stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club will find that buying their gas there is cheaper than filling up at a station. Some grocery stores also offer gas points with grocery purchases.

2. Make Sure The Gas Cap Clicks
After filling the tank, make sure the gas cap is screwed on properly. It should click a few times when it is. Gas caps that aren’t screwed on tightly contribute to poor gas mileage. It’s possible to decrease fuel efficiency by 10% just by failing to tighten the cap properly.

3. Get A Tune-Up
Keeping a car running smoothly is essential. Although a tune-up costs a little money, it is a vital investment. This procedure ensures the car is at its full potential. During the tune-up, the mechanic is also able to spot issues that may pose future problems. These problems are always much cheaper to fix before they become serious.

4. Join A Carpool
Driving to and from work requires spending more money on gas. In addition to this, there are more costs associated with wear and tear. One of the best ways to reduce both types of costs is to join a carpool. Find coworkers who are willing to share the driving responsibility with their own cars. If not, they may be willing to contribute money toward gas. There are also carpool ads placed in classified circulars. Try checking those to see if there are other interested carpool candidates with similar routes and schedules.

5. Start And Stop Gently
When pressing the gas and brake pedals, be sure to apply a gentle pressure. Although it isn’t good to ride the brakes, it is good to avoid hitting them too hard. Braking gently is better for the brakes and pads. Hitting the gas pedal hard is also wasteful on gas and will contribute to quicker wear of the tires. By simply following these steps, it’s easy to save at least $50 per year on maintenance expenses and gas. To save even more on gas, make sure the tire pressure is always correct in each tire.

6. Make Insurance Adjustments
Most auto insurance companies offer additional discounts to drivers who have cars with certain safety features. Be sure to tell the insurance company about every safety feature on the vehicle. Students with good grades should inquire about good student discounts. Another way to lower monthly car insurance premium payments is to increase the deductible. This should also provide good incentive to drive carefully enough to avoid accidents.

7. Pay Extra On Monthly Loan Payments
For vehicles that are still being paid off from a credit union or private lender, try to make small or large extra monthly payments. Be sure to write “balance toward principal” on the memo line of checks or money orders. Keep good records of all payments to ensure calculations are correct. Always try to set up private financing for a vehicle. Financing it through the car dealer will usually eliminate the possibility of paying the car off early using this method. Not all lenders are the same, so be sure to see if an individual lender offers this option before signing a contract.

Following these simple steps will help save hundreds of dollars each year on auto expenses. Keep in mind that the key idea is prevention. It is much cheaper to prevent problems than fix them.

Are you paying too much for car insurance? Then, one of the reasons may be that you are making hasty decisions. This is because you do not put in the essential time and effort it takes to find a good provider and a reasonably priced policy. You probably just gave in to the first provider you found and decided to set up automobile insurance in a hurry. This is a very big blunder. So in order to get cheap insurance quotes, you must dedicate enough time to the process. You must, in the first place, get the list of all licensed insurers in your location from the state transportation department or its equivalent. The next step will involve analyzing the general insurer’s reputation, then request for free rate quotes from each provider and take adequate time to compare them thoroughly before making the final decision. The price should not be the only factor to be considered, you should also look into the level of coverage, company’s accessibility, customer services and other factors are also important.

The minimum insurance premium may be the cause of pricey insurance. Most people think that they can save money by merely choosing a policy that just meets the minimum automobile insurance requirements for the state. The truth is that, in the long run, these policies do not actually save on your money. In reality it contributes highly to the overpaying of the insurance making you to lose in case of an accident. If your insurance does not offer you coverage, then you will be basically paying for nothing and in the event that you get involved in as accident, you will be alone. Therefore, you should make sure that your coverage is in reality worth paying for.

Being ignorant could also lead to pricey insurance covers. This means that you refuse to consider any other provider, especially the minor ones, except for the major car insurers. Although most of the great companies are good, do not ignore the upcoming insures because you may be able to get an even better deal. Smaller companies mostly offer excellent and affordable rates with an aim to compete with the stiff competition. Therefore, do not pass them over just because they are not massive as you could stand a chance of paying a lot more than you could.

One the reasons could be that you are missing out on the discounts offered. This could be because you have gone with a provider who does not offer the discounts or simply because you did not know that these discounts are available. Therefore, if you are a good driver, a minor with good grades, if you have safety in your car, if you drive a hybrid and if your car has a low mileage, all these will earn you a discount if you are with the right provider.

Every one wants to drive the best car that they possibly can, but with the economy the way that it is, and cars being a rapidly depreciating asset anyway, many people think that they can not actually have the car that they want. However, with proper management of auto expenses, many people can actually get a lot more car than they would think normally.

Below are some tips on how to save on car expenses without losing car value.

1. Buy cars that last.

This may seem like a no brainer, but there are many cars which simply last longer than others. It would be good to check with friends, family, and review sites to see which cars actually last longer than others. Similar brands can provide much different values depending on which one you get.

A car loses much of its value at the beginning of its life, and less and less for every year that it is kept. Therefore, the longer you keep the car, the more value that you are getting from it, and the better value that you can keep when selling it or trading it in.

2. Consider smaller model cars.

With the newer model cars being much more powerful in smaller packages, car buyers no longer have to get the largest and loudest car to get the most power under the hood. Consider smaller models which last longer but which also have the power that you need from your vehicle. Smaller cars usually get much better gas mileage, require much less maintenance, and are easier to park and move than bigger cars. Also, auto insurance is across the board cheaper for smaller cars than for their larger counterparts.

3. Consider your driving patterns and options.

To save expenses, you must consider both your driving habits and the options that you have on your vehicle. For instance, in stop and go traffic, using the air conditioner is a huge power guzzler which sacrifices several miles per gallon. Also, manual transmissions are known to get much better gas mileage than their automatic counterparts, and 6 cylinder engines get muvh less gas mileage than do 4 cylinder engines.

4. Save the insurance buys for later.

If you purchase either credit life or credit disability insurance through your car dealer as an extra or as an add on to your car loan, you could actually end up paying more than 5 times what you normally should pay for that type of insurance as a stand alone sell. Many dealers will hard sell this into the package. Hold your ground and stand firm that you will not have either credit life or credit disability insurance rolled up into your car loan.

5. Beware of extended warranties.

Extended warranties and similar products which are bought as an add on to a car loan rather than as a stand alone product can also end up giving you unneeded expenses, as car dealers will routinely try to charge you way too much for these products as well. Simply decline these products and purchase them later from reputable third party sources.

Though many people always are of the impression that a car is not a good investment, there are ways to make sure that it does not bankrupt you just because you want to have a nice vehicle. With the advent of the smartphone and other tech devices, there are more free ways than ever to keep from having to go to that shady car mechanic around the corner. You can save yourself a few car expenses with a little smarts. Here are some of the best ways.

1. Gas apps.

There are now downloadable gas apps which can easily be found for all of the major smartphone operating systems which check the local gas prices for any zip code that you put in. Simply download the app and you can see where to get the cheapest gas!

2. Make sure that your gas cap clicks.

If your gas cap does not fit properly, then you lose gas over every bump, nook and cranny! This, as you might imagine, does not bode well for your gas mileage at all. An improperly fitted gas cap is actually something that is worth taking to that shady auto mechanic around the corner, because whatever money that you pay him to fix it will come back to you in spades in the form of saved gas money.

3. If you are looking to buy…

Make sure to buy at the end of the month, when all of those shady car dealers are scrambling to meet quota. You can help them meet quota, alright, for a substantial discount off of the price of your dream vehicle!

4. Credit card apps.

Just like you can download an app for your local gas prices, you can also download an app which helps you find which credit cards offer gas rebates as an incentive. This app is readily available from many third parties, and for all smartphone operating systems. If you are going to spend it anyway, then you might as well let the credit card company pay for your ride over there. Get the right credit card and save!

5. Check your smoke.

The color of the smoke coming out of your tailpipe is an indication of how the insides of your car are faring, as well as the texture and the nature of the exhaust. If your smoke is black, or puffing from the tailpipe, that can indicate clogs in the system. If this is the case, have your carburetor, fuel pump or computer sensors checked by a mechanic that you trust.

6. Get a second opinion.

Many times, going into a car mechanic shop for the first time, you have “mark” written all over you. However, if you simply get estimates, you are then able to play offers off of one another and get the best one for yourself. Take the time to do this in a rental car even if your car is seemingly out of commission. The money that you save by making mechanics compete against each other is well worth the one day that you will have to rent the extra car.

7. Use your cruise control.

The computer onboard your car is much better at sectioning off mileage than your lead heavy foot. Whenever you can, implement the cruise control and let the car dictate for itself the best way to utilize your precious gas resources.

8. Get a stick, not an automatic.

Sticks get better mileage than automatics, plain and simple.

9. Get a GPS for the car insurance company.

Even if you always know where you are going, the car insurance companies consider a GPS a safety device. That one little investment can save you thousands in car insurance premiums over the life of your car.