No car is completely safe from grand theft auto.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released their annual list of America’s top 10 most stolen cars, and the Honda Civic came out on top, with 45,000 thefts reported.
Second place went to another popular Honda vehicle, the Accord, with over 43,700 thefts.
This is not the first time the Japanese manufacturer has topped the poll. Honda has consecutively taken first place in the ‘Hot Wheel’ list, but what exactly makes its vehicles, as well as those of other manufacturers, prime targets?
Age Of The Vehicle
The most common stolen Honda Civics and Accords are models made in 1997 and 1998. Therefore, if you’ve got a brand new, top of the range model sitting on your driveway, there’s probably little to worry about.
For every 17 1998 model year Civic stolen in 2017, just one 2017 model was taken. Older vehicles are typically targeted because they’re easier to steal, lacking the latest anti-theft devices one typically finds in later models.
Thieves often steal vehicles of this age more for their parts than anything else, parts that are generally worth more when sold separately than the car as a whole.
If updating your vehicle isn’t an option, be sure to park it in a well-lit area. Lock it and consider installing an anti-theft device to deter thieves.
Unattended And Unlocked
Unless you drive an electric vehicle, you’ll need to regularly top your car up with fuel. However, with fuel prices on the rise, penny pinching is bound to become a preoccupation.
It’s all too easy to leave your vehicle unlocked when searching your wallet for the card that will provide the greatest cashback, and this is when thieves are most likely to strike.
“In short, if the public has access to your vehicle, then it is at risk of theft,” stated Frank Scafidi of the NICB, making it crucial that you always lock your car at the fueling station, even if you only anticipate being inside for a minute or two.
How You Park
It’s not just where you leave your vehicle that can encourage thieves, but also how you park. According to automotive expert Lauren Fix, you should always aim to park the front of your vehicle against an obstacle, such as a wall, to prevent thieves from being able to tow your car away.
Other tips include turning the wheels toward the curb and locking the steering wheel, and installing a visual or audio warning device. Even a tracking device is highly recommended.
All vehicles, regardless of brand, age, how they are parked, or the carelessness of the driver, are susceptible to theft, so take effective steps to protect your pride and joy from the world’s car thieves.
Keep The Police Off Your Back When Driving, Follow The Rules
You should always obey the rules when on the road, except when you don’t. What then?
We tend to take many things in life for granted, and being able to jump in the car to trot off to wherever we want to go is definitely is one of them. But it’s important to understand that being able to get behind the wheel anytime you want is a privilege rather than an automatic right.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to disobey the rules from time to time, often at the peril of their license. Heck, most of us have been in a rush to get somewhere, and it’s usually during these frantic times that we get pulled over by the police for speeding, nipping through the lights a little bit late, or getting involved in an accident caused by our haste.
- You Could Be Driving Without A License And Not Even Know It
- 5 Valuable Lessons Everyone Should Learn From Car Accidents
Always remember that no matter your life circumstances, good driving and courtesy on the road are important for all. The rules weren’t meant to be broken.
Traffic OffencesLoss of Licence
The loss of your driving licence can be an inconvenience for some and an absolute tragedy for others, often potentially leading to loss of employment and the subsequent loss of income. If and when you are charged by the police with a serious traffic infringement, the wisest course of action will be to immediately get in contact with reputable traffic lawyers to get reliable information and get advice on your situation to mitigate any damages. For you to have the best chance of defending yourself and keeping penalties and suspensions to a minimum, starting work on your defence early is of vital importance.
Knowledge is Power
As mentioned, traffic law is incredibly detailed and complex, with very few lay people adequately able to fully understand its finer details. A legal professional, who specialises in traffic law and offences, will have taken the time to digest every aspect of it, and bringing that knowledge to bear on a case can have a very dramatic impact on the outcome.
Obviously the best preventative measure is to respect and obey the rules at all times, but being human means this is not always possible. Sometimes, we find ourselves with a problem because we reacted incorrectly to the actions of another motorist, or a child running out into the road unexpectedly.
Mitigation is a very important aspect of the defense of any case in court. If your licence is potentially in danger, ensuring a professional defense and full explanation of your personal circumstances may well be the difference between losing your licence, or staying behind the wheel.
Easy DIY Car Maintenance: Changing Tires, Replacing Air Filters
With some learning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can save hundreds of dollars every year by being your own mechanic.
We’re always looking for ways to stick within our budgets and save money, and maintaining our car is one of the major expenses month-to-month. Whether it’s paying for gas or routine maintenance, things can add up quickly.
The good news is that not everything requires a visit to your dealer. In this article, we cover two common maintenance procedures — changing tires and replacing air filters — that, with a little knowledge about your model of car, you can do yourself to cut expenses. We’d like to thank Apple Valley Hyundai (Winchester, VA) for helping us with the technical details.
As a general skill, knowing how to change a tire is not only handy for emergencies, but it’s also keep your bank account fuller when putting on those winter tires or doing a tire rotation. All vehicles come with the necessary tools you need to accomplish this task, including a jack, lug wrench, and replacement tire. Wheel chocks, gloves, and a short piece of 2×4 wood are also good accessories to have on hand..
You can find instructions on how to change a tire in your owner’s manual and untold numbers of YouTube videos, but we’ll go through the steps here as well.
- First, park in a paved, flat area and engage the parking brake. Apply the wheel chocks to the pair of tires you won’t be working with.
- Next, remove the hubcap with the flat end of your lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts about a half of a turn. These tend to be well secured, so extra force is normal to break them free.
- Place the jack under the vehicle atop the scrap 2×4, right beneath the frame next to the tire you’re changing. Most vehicles’ frames have a specific spot designed to place your car jack. Your Owner’s Manual will illustrate this. Place the scrap wood under the jack and raise the car about six inches up from the ground.
- Then, remove the lug nuts and place them in a safe place while you remove the tire. Pull the tire off the lug bolts, then set the tire on its side so it doesn’t roll away.
- Lastly, mount the new tire on the wheel studs and spin the lug nuts on finger tight. and push until the lug bolts show through the rim, then tighten the lug nuts on by hand. After this, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts securely and replace the hub cap.
- Congratulate yourself if this is your first time!
Replacing Engine Air Filters
Air filters are connected to the engine’s intake manifold and prevent debris and dirt from entering your engine’s combustion chambers. They should be changed once every twelve months or every 12,000 miles — whichever comes first. Here’s a quick procedure.
- Your owner’s manual details which model air filter you should buy, and they are available at any auto parts store.
- Under your hood next to or atop your engine you’ll see a black plastic box attached to a sizeable rubber hose. Usually several metal clips usually secure the top, and it simply needs to be popped open to remove the old air filter. If you can’t find your airfilter, Google it.
- Remove the old filter and install the new one. Snap the clips back into place and that’s it!
Doings these two simple car maintenance procedures yourself will undoubtedly help keep your car in a healthier shape while saving you some money. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Best Christmas Gifts For The Driver In Your Life
It doesn’t take a lot to warm the heart of the car lover in your life
Do you have an auto enthusiast in your life — you know, someone who drives not just for the sake of getting from point A to Point B or can’t stop thinking about their favorite classic or vintage car? If you answered “yes”, then there is no better time to get that individual an auto-themed gift for the holiday season.
While many people scramble to get loved ones the latest technology or fashionable clothing, you are in the position to be more creative and show appreciation for that car nut by getting him or her a car-related gift that speaks to their true passion.
Although it might not be the most glamorous present, the reality is that going through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) costs money, no matter where you live. It is true that the cost of registering a new car, registering a new (used) car, or renewing a license for an existing car don’t always cost the same. Nevertheless, these fees can still chip away at an individual’s bank account. So if you’re in the position of needing a gift for an auto enthusiast this holiday season, offer to foot the cost of a car registration or license renewal.
Your gift recipient will appreciate the offer, as it saves him or her the time and aggravation of going through an often tedious car registration process. In the end, he or she will be able to keep driving an old car without having to worry about re-registering, or your gift recipient can just get in a new car and go without having to worry about paperwork.
Is your car lover the impatient kind? If so, handling their car registration could go a long way to warm their hearts. It takes time, money, and admittedly patience to successfully go through the process of registering a vehicle, so having someone do the dirty work for you ca make life much simpler.
This holiday, instead of having your loved one stand in line for hours at the DMV, take care of the cost and burden of registering by pre-registering that individual’s car as a gift. Trust us, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Of course, in addition to buying DMV-related items for the car lover on your list, you might also want to treat him or her to something more fun, which can range from something generic like a car phone charging cable, to custom floor mats for that special vehicle in their life.
You could also consider signature badges and labels to make sure everyone knows what kind of car your gift recipient is driving, as well as gift certificates for custom parts, detailing, and car washes.
The holiday season can be stressful if you’re not sure what to get someone, but if you have a general idea of that person’s passions and interests, the task becomes much easier. For an auto enthusiast or even a new teen driver, giving the gift of car registration and car accessories goes a long way in helping them hit the road in the new year.
So, what are you getting your driver this holiday?