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A Short History of the Great Australian Road Trip

Ever since the first Holden rolled off the production line, Australians have been loading up and heading off on the Great Australian Road Trip. It’s a wide brown land out there and we Aussies seem intent on exploring every inch of it, even if it’s only one holiday at a time.

Early road trips

When the first road trips took place, there weren’t even any roads and those expeditions usually involved huge caravans of camels and horses and months of weary trudging towards endless horizons.

Burke and Wills took a road trip that ended badly. Typical males, they wouldn’t ask for directions from the locals and ended up dying under a tree.

After them came a wide range of explorers, who mapped the terrain and slowly roads, rail lines and telephone poles began to spring up across the landscape.

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Finding the Right Mechanic for Your Sports Car

Owning a high performance vehicle such as a sports car is a big responsibility. In order to perform at the level it was designed to, it must be regularly serviced and maintained, and not just by any old mechanic, but by someone trained to work on high performance engines.

But although those who work on sports cars are specialists, there are good and bad ones, as in any profession, and the way to find a good one is the same as finding any good mechanic.

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Suspension Systems for 4WDs

A car suspension system is made up of many components that assist in dampening the undesirable effects of a bumpy road. The best part about a good suspension system for 4WDs in particular is that you can get a far smoother ride without compromising the road response, steering or braking of the vehicle. Unfortunately, not all 4WDs come equipped with the suspension you’ll need if you’re planning on doing any of the epic off-roading you’ll find in the outback, so you may want to talk to your mechanic about the various suspension options that are available.

Leaf-spring suspension

The leaf spring, which is the original and most simple suspension system, is mainly used on modern utes and load-carrying vehicles and serves two main purposes: to locate the axle and provide suspension. In this system, both ends of the spring’s length are attached to the chassis with a bush and through-bolt, with the spring passing under the axle. Leaf springs are made up of multiple leaves, which slide against each other as the spring flexes, and there are three main types: quarter-elliptical, semi-elliptical and parabolic.

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Treating Your Engine Better When You Drive

Are you actively reducing the lifespan of your car? Most of us are well aware that performing routine maintenance like an oil change improves a vehicle’s overall health, but did you know that your driving habits also have a direct effect on the lifespan of your vehicle? The following are just some of the things to keep in mind every time you get behind the wheel of your car if you want to preserve the life of your engine.

Warm up the engine

Driving off too quickly when the car is still cold is one of the worst things you can do for the engine. The combustion process doesn’t become effective until the engine reaches its operating temperature, and oil also needs time to warm up and flow properly. Ideally, let the engine run for three to 10 seconds before you take off, and even then you should accelerate slowly. In cooler climates, give it even more time than this.

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Keeping Your New Car Warranty Intact

A new car warranty can provide you with all the support you need in case something unexpected goes wrong with your new car, however you will only be covered if you haven’t in some way contributed to the problem yourself, in which case your warranty will be considered void. The following is a look at some of the things you need to do to ensure your new car warranty remains intact, and that it is there to protect you should you ever need it.

Use genuine parts

If you need to have any repairs done on your new car, in order to maintain your warranty it is usually required that you only use genuine parts, because otherwise all bets are off as far as the dealership and your warranty is concerned. This is because your car was built to work with certain types of parts, and by using anything else can increase the chances of something going wrong. For the sake of your car and your warranty, only use genuine parts designed to suit your vehicle.

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The Benefits of Rear Safety Cams

One of the biggest advances in vehicle safety in recent years has been the introduction of rear safety cameras, which essentially consist of a camera at the rear of your vehicle and a display screen on your dashboard, enabling you to see what is happening at the rear of your vehicle from the driver’s seat. The following is a look at some of the many benefits that have made rear safety cameras so popular, so if you don’t have a rear safety camera in your vehicle yet, talk to your mechanic about having one installed.

Easier parking

Rear safety cameras can make parking in even the tightest of spots simple and easy, because by being able to see what is happening back there it will be no problem manoeuvring your vehicle into just about any spot. For those that live in places where parking is scarce, this can be of enormous benefit, because you will be able to get into a lot of those spots you would have had to pass over previously.

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SUVs Increasing New Vehicle Sales

The perfect car for the Australian family has changed a lot over the years, but now it seems to be altogether changing shape, with the sale of standard cars decreasing while SUV sales are absolutely booming. Small cars were still the best selling, but the rise of SUV sales has been extremely impressive to say the least, now making up six of the top 20 vehicles sold in the country. The following is a look at some of the possible reasons behind the shift.

Holidays at home and on the road

Many Australians used to spend their holidays checking out other parts of the world rather than exploring their own country, but now that terrorism is on the rise and the world financial markets have become far more precarious, more Australians are holidaying at home, and as a result need a vehicle that they can travel in.

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Essential Car Safety Devices

When it comes to staying safe on the roads, the best things you can do are to try to be a good driver, always keep an eye on your fellow motorists, and ensure your car has all the best safety measures — because you can’t control other people’s driving. The following is a look at a few car safety devices every car needs to have, so if you don’t have all of these in your vehicle, next time you get an auto service, talk to your mechanic about having some upgrades done.

Air bags

An air bag is one of the most important safety devices you could have in your car, especially if you become involved in a head-on collision. Air bags deploy in a fraction of a second during a heavy impact, and can help prevent you from hitting your head, from being ejected from the vehicle, or from coming into hard contact with side doors or windows. The most common form of air bags are the frontal variety, but rear and side air bags have become increasingly popular, with side air bags proving extremely effective in the case of a rollover.

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Preparing Your Family Car for a Long Trip

If you and your family are gearing up for a long road trip, make sure you put some effort into preparing your vehicle. Your car will be one of the most important elements of your adventure and unless you are looking out for it, you will be taking a big risk with the entire trip. The following is a brief guide to preparing your family car for a long road trip.

Get a tune-up

Even if you only recently had your car serviced, it is smart to have your mechanic give your vehicle another quick tune-up before you head off on your big adventure. It would be a shame to break down on your trip due to a problem that a car service would have been able to solve beforehand. You can also have your mechanic check the levels of your oil, water and other fluids, which you would otherwise need to do yourself before leaving on your trip.

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Best Cars For Big Families

If you have a big family, getting out and about together can be extremely difficult, especially if you want to go by car. Thankfully, automakers have risen to the challenge, coming out with some absolutely fantastic vehicles to accommodate big families. Finally, it is now possible to go to the beach in one vehicle, or even do that big road trip you have always wanted to do. The following is a look at some of the best cars available at the moment for big families.

2007 Chevrolet Suburban E85

This awesome vehicle has all the space you need to transport your large family in comfort and style, designed to fit nine people via three rows of seating. Anti-lock brakes and electronic stabilising come standard, as well as a state-of-the-art car suspension system, helping keep everyone safe as well as happy. There is even an extra 45+ cubic feet of storage space located behind the third row of seats.

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