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The Dawn of Self-Driving Cars

We’re officially in an age where technology moves fast, and developments across all industries are almost impossible to keep up with. Some of these developments are incredibly exciting, while others gives us moments of pause as we consider the implications of the brave new world ahead with such inventions. The realization of self-driving cars probably falls a bit into both of these categories, as we grapple with the practicality of autonomous transit against the potential for access to mobility and perceived safety improvements. Plus, it’s pretty awesome.

Self-Driving Cars - The Future is Here!Tesla is essentially leading the way with their assisted driving technology already available in their Model S, dubbed “Autopilot,” which has already seen 130 million miles traveled as of early July 2016. They recently made headlines — which is not uncommon for Tesla — as the first fatality occurred while using the technology. It’s still unclear whether the tech-guru behind the wheel had somehow overwritten the system console to watch a movie while driving in Autopilot mode (which is obviously against on-board warnings), but regardless, it stirred the proverbial pot in terms of the safety of such new technology in use. Distracted driving is already a major source of concern, which ironically is exactly what many hope that self-driving vehicles will be an answer to. Tesla reminded consumers that their Autopilot feature is still in Beta mode, as disclosed via console warnings before switching from traditional, manual mode in the vehicle itself. And while the crash was tragic, the statistics thus far (for Tesla, at least) still fall below the worldwide and even national average for fatal crashes per miles driven.

Google is also underway on their Self-Driving Car Project, which has already clocked 1.5 million miles in California, Texas, Washington, and Phoenix. They utilize a fleet of modified Lexus SUVs as well as custom built cars that are designed bumper to bumper for self-driving capabilities. There is a back-up system for steering and breaking as needed, but the design of these vehicles is already catering to riding (versus driving). Again, the desire is to improve safety by reducing distracted driving — which we can all see on our highways and city streets is a rampant issue — as well as provide opportunities for those who might otherwise have difficulty getting around, such as aging or visually impaired individuals.

More automobile manufactures are getting in on the action, with names like Audi, Jaguar, and BMW also underway on plans to launch self-driving models in the not-too-distant future.

Pretty cool stuff, huh? In the meantime, keep your eyes on the road, and don’t forget to come on by L.A. NTX Transmissions if your vehicle is giving you problems. We’ll get you fixed up and back on the road!

Mom and Daughter Run Successful Oregon Auto Dealership

a photo of a silver pre-owned FordDeana Eckman and her daughter, Shelley Whitney, are very well-loved in their community of Pendleton, Oregon. Why? Because the blue-collar town, which saw its last new car dealership leave years ago, depends on the women to fulfill its transportation needs. And the women love their community as well, working hard to make sure that even customers with poor credit can get financing for a car.

Deana’s Auto Biz is a small lot that sells about 100 pre-owned cars per year. The ladies like the way things are working out, and they aren’t in a rush to expand the business any time soon. They work out of a tiny two-room office on a 10,000 square foot lot. Their overhead is minimal, so they can afford to acquire cars that are hot-sellers at the moment.

Pendleton was hit hard by the Recession, and it has never fully recovered. Many plants and other businesses abandoned the area, taking jobs with them. But Eckman and Whitney are determined to stay put and make sure their community’s needs are met.

Ladies, you’re an inspiration!

If you need auto services in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas, please give us a call!

 

5 Fun Facts About Cars Around the World

The world of cars can be a strange one. Sometimes they make weird sounds, other times they pose mysteries to even experienced automotive technicians. Today, we’re looking at the lighter side of the car world, with these five fun facts about cars.

France: All drivers in France are supposed to carry Breathalyzers in their cars at all times. President Sarkozy was ready to exact a fine for failing to do so. Then, due to his loss of the next presidential election, the law was left half-finished. Now, Breathalyzers are mandatory, but there is no fine for not carrying one.

a photo of a classic green German carGermany: The luxurious German cars of Dusenberg were the talk of the world in the 1920’s. They were such a big deal, in fact, that English-speakers started saying, “That’s a doozy!” when referring to something impressive. The phrase has stuck with us ever since.

Sweden: They do things a little differently in Sweden. Their traffic fines go along a sliding scale, so richer drivers pay higher fines, and poorer drivers pay less. One wealthy Swedish man got a first-hand look at the law when he was given the most expensive traffic ticket of all time: $1,000,000 for driving 180mph!

England: English traffic police are known to carry teddy bears with them. This is because they use the stuffed animals to provide comfort to kids who are scared or hurt during traffic accidents.

Italy: Italian luxury car maker Lamborghini produces some of the fastest (and most expensive) cars on the market. Because they place such an emphasis on performance, Lamborghini never produces more than 14 cars per day. In comparison, Honda creates over 13,000 cars a day.

We hope you enjoyed this quick bit of trivia! If you have any questions about your own car needs, please call us right away!

General Motors issues recalls

This has been a rough year for the leading American automobile manufacturer, General Motors.

Official statement from General Motors:

“There is a risk, under certain conditions, that your ignition switch may move out of the “run” position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine. This risk increases if your key ring is carrying added weight (such as more keys or the key fob) or your vehicle experiences rough road conditions or other jarring or impact related events. If the ignition switch is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury or fatality.

If you are driving an affected vehicle, until the ignition recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that you remove all items from your key ring, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable) should also be removed from your key ring. Before exiting the vehicle, it is very important for you to make sure the vehicle is in “Park”. For a manual transmission, put the transmission into reverse gear. In both automatic and manual transmission cars, set the parking brake. And please remember to always fasten your seat belt.”

With recalls nearing 29 million individual units (cars), here are the effected vehicles and how to deal with the recall if your vehicle is one of them:

  • All 2003-2007 Saturn IONs, 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHRs, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5s, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstices and 2007-2010 Saturn Skys.

Importance Of Transmission Maintenance

transmission-150x112Do you know about what function your transmission performs? If not, don’t worry; many people don’t know much about vehicles, we have professionals for that. However, it can behoove you to take some time to get to know the basics about the more important car parts and why you should take care of them. Here, we’ll go over the importance of transmission maintenance.

What It Does:

You need a working transmission for your car to function properly; it regulates how much power your engine puts out. Most cars nowadays have an automatic transmission, which switches gears based on the speed your vehicle travels.

You need to maintain the health of your transmission because of the fact that repairs and replacement don’t come cheap. Because of this, when you notice a problem like gear slipping, you should take your car in immediately. If any damage compounds, it will cost you later on.

Do you require top quality transmission repair service? Come by L.A. NTX Transmissions for expert work. If you’d like to find out some more about us, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (310) 672-8131.

Conserving Gas and Extending Your Mileage

404HOV_lane-150x150Gas mileage is a sensitive subject for many car owners, but it is crucial to our budgets and environments, so making the most of it is important. Here we have detailed a few tips to help you go further on each gallon and ease the burden on your wallet. Simple maintenance and safe driving can all help you reach your car’s optimal gas mileage!

From Upkeep to Driving Technique

  1. Follow the posted speed limit: It is there for a reason – to keep you safe for the specific conditions of the road. Many cars achieve their best mileage between 45 and 60 mph, so following the speed limit or safely driving slightly below will help improve fuel efficiency.
  2. Drive calmly: Passing cars in front of you and weaving in and out of traffic requires excessive acceleration and frequent braking, both of which decrease mileage. Driving calmly is vital for safety and important for fuel efficiency.
  3. Keep your tires properly inflated: Checking your tire pressure once a month will avoid subjecting your tires to excess wear and tear, along with helping your car perform more efficiently in regards to fuel.

There is no substitute for regular tune ups and professional service to your car. For expert auto service in Inglewood and the surrounding areas, call us at (310) 672-8131 today!

Quick History Of The Earliest Automobile

Having become such a mainstream stable of modern life, it might do us some good to remember the recent availability of automobiles. Such complex machinery must have a rich and storied history. If you’d like to know more about it, we present a quick history of the earliest automobiles and related information right here.

History:

Technically, the title of “first inventor of the ‘auto-mobile'” might go to Ferdinand Verbiest, who built the first steam powered vehicle in 1672 as a toy for the Chinese Emperor.

The first automobile capable of transporting people on wagon roads in the US also used steam power. Dr. J.W. Carhart invented it. 

automobile-very-old-150x150In 1805, the state of Wisconsin offered a $10,000 reward for the first person to create a working substitute for horses or other animals for traveling purposes.

Steam automobiles retained prevalence until petrol engines became wide spread in the late 19th century.

Hopefully this provided you with some interesting information. If you need transmission service done on your modern vehicle, don’t hesitate to bring it on by L.A. NTX Transmissions for professional service. You can reach us at (310) 672-8131.

Texting & Increased Crash Rate

texting-while-driving-150x150We all want our loved ones to stay safe on the road. Unfortunately, driving will always involve some risk; we all must exercise extreme caution behind the wheel because of this. Many things can decrease your driving ability, such as driving drunk, sleep deprived, or while texting. We go over why the latter creates an increased crash rate.

Effects:

Unlike sleep deprivation or drinking, texting doesn’t inhibit motor function. However, it effectively does the same thing by taking up all of the drivers attention. The average person texting while driving will spend at least 5 seconds on every text. This equates to the length of a football field on the road.

Stats:

  • According to the NSF (National Safety Council), 1.6 million wrecks happen annually due to texting and driving.
  • People who text and drive spend an average of 4x longer with their eyes off of the road.
  • Even walking along the road and texting increases your risk of getting hit by a motor vehicle.

Here at LA NTX Transmissions, we want to remind you to stay alert on the road. If you want to make sure your car runs safely, give us a call or take it by our shop. To find out more, please call one of our friendly representatives at (310) 672-8131.

Sleep Deprivation And Increased Crash Rate

car-wreck-150x150Here at L.A. NTX Transmissions, we want our community to stay safe. Unfortunately, when not used responsibly, cars have a very high potential to cause damage. While we all know about the dangers of drunk driving today, other comparable risks exist – sleep deprivation one of them. We’ve put together a little information here to explain how it causes an increased crash rate.

Sleep Deprived Driving:

Anyone who has ever experienced a car wreck can tell you that they happen seemingly out of nowhere; one second of lost focus can ruin a lifetime on the road. Without proper rest, your ability to pay attention will become compromised.

  • 1/3 of those surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation reported that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel in their lifetime.
  • Also according to the NSF, young adults, adults with children, and night shift workers all had the highest rates of sleep deprived driving.

We want our community to remain safe here at L.A. NTX Transmissions. If you have questions about your car’s safety, we can help. To find out more about our services, talk to one of our team members at (310) 672-8131.

What Does A Drive Train Do?

drive-train-150x150Some parts of our car we’ve all heard about: the engine, alternator, axles etc. However, other lesser known parts play just as important a role. It doesn’t hurt to educate ourselves a little more about them. To help you do that, we’ve put together a quick overview on one of the lesser known parts: the drive train.

 

What does it do?

Without your drive train, your car wouldn’t go anywhere. Basically, it connects the wheels to the engine in a manner where the kinetic force generated by the latter can get used by the former. The speed of the engine and wheels don’t match, so they must get calibrated to the correct gear ratio. This gets done either manually or automatically.

Keep learning about your car parts in piecemeal, you’ll understand it in no time. If you require drive train repair in Inglewood, LA NTX Transmission can help you out. To find out more about this or any of our other many auto services, you can contact us at (310) 672-8131. We look forward to working for you!