The Need For Car Anti-Crash Technology


Motorists must be offered government cash incentives to buy cars with anti-crash technology, insurance sector researchers are recommending.

Thatcham Research said this type of move could save a huge number of lives.

Vehicles fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) are also the subject of 18% fewer third-party injury car insurance claims, it claims.

Peter Shaw, the centre’s chief executive, urged the us government at Westminster on Tuesday to back his firm’s Stop the Campaign.

£500 sweetener for drivers

The initiative wants to ask the Treasury to produce and fund a £500 sweetener for drivers opting to purchase new vehicles with AEB installed.

Mr Shaw said the scheme would see 100% in the UK new car fleet installed with AEB by 2025.

This, he said, could prevent greater than 17,000 deaths and serious injuries on the UK’s roads in a decade from 2015.

Thatcham said that human failing or distraction is behind 90% of road crashes, with the overall cost of a typical injury crash being £90,000.

£90 added to average car insurance bill

In addition, 550,000 whiplash claims in the united kingdom every year are costing £2 billion. This adds £90 to the average car insurance bill.

Mr Shaw said: Vehicle technology is a major factor in cutting UK road deaths from 7,000-plus in the 1970s to 1,754 in 2012.

A responsible driver who pays extra to reduce the possibility impact of the car should benefit from a helping hand from the government.

AA President Edmund King said: Every now and then a fresh safety technology comes along that is deserving of widespread uptake as it helps you to save lives.

‘The chance to embrace AEB’

We now have seen this with seatbelts, airbags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control and now we have the chance to embrace AEB.

Often such technologies are expensive at the beginning and therefore only taken up by safety pioneers or those who is able to afford top end cars.

We need to encourage manufacturers to make AEB available further down their model ranges and we have to encourage car buyers, including fleet buyers, to specify AEB when choosing new cars.

As the government has a good record of giving incentives to let the uptake of greener cars, we would like to see such incentives expanded to safer cars.

Become One with the Road

Remember a hundred years ago whenever we were kids? It seems like it was that long ago sometimes, doesn’t it? I grew up in the 1980s, and toy planes and carsplanes and spaceships were definitely my jam. After school, my brother and I would take our bucket of toys out into the yard and reenact completely fictitious battles from my favorite movies. I can still hear the sound effects that we makes with our mouths as we drove matchbox cars through tunnels crafted of clay and soil and made our planes do maneuvers completely prohibited by the laws of physics. The point was, in our imaginations, we were flawless pilots, navigating any vehicle through the most risky of terrains.

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For my brother and me, almost no has changed. Though I’ve only piloted a real airplane once, I’m deeply in love with driving. I appreciate auto design for an art form, equally practical and expressive. I believe driving to be the same. Driving should never be merely for transportation, it should be an experience that offers a romantic rush and a level of excitement and safety. That’s why whenever I drive, I drive a Nissan. It’s true, although i understand it sounds wonky to actually state that. My first car was really a Nissan, and I’ve been falling deeply in love with them over and over since. My latest love affair is with the all-new hybrid Nissan Altima. Now mind you, I have got high standards in performance and safety. I’ve driven across this country several times and I actually enjoy traffic. In this car, you may too. It can be pregnant with convenient features inspired to meet your needs in comfort and excellence. Nothing is as convenient for me as a hybrid that strives to save me money and also be less taxing on the environment. I also adore my ability to take care of all my business and navigation totally hands free! I could make my calls, even take care of texts, and pull a map through to the nav system, all without taking my hands off of the steering wheel where they belong. Go online to either or if you’re interested in learning about the price points or the safety features and make an appointment, but I want to focus on driving it, not all that other stuff.

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Understand that little thing about flying and driving from when I was a youngster? I am a born driver, a born pilot. I enjoy make things go and test their limits. That’s why I love this Altima so much. That doesn’t even come close when looking for a way to describe the way the Altima both hugs the road tightly and simultaneously seems to float effortlessly above it, although when you discuss smooth, you talk about hot knives and butter. It’s silent! It can corner with your grace which i feel like I’m leading a dance when I speed down a windy and remote road. All I will say is… test drive one.

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Differences Between Young and Old Drivers


It seems the older we get, the worse our opinion of younger drivers becomes.

Admiral Insurance asked 2,000 motorists of different age ranges – young drivers aged 17-25, middle-aged drivers between 55 and 40, and older drivers aged over 65 – their views on each other’s driving.

Some 83% of older motorists think those under the age of 25 are the worst drivers, and 62% of middle-aged drivers agree.

But it seems the feeling is mutual as nearly half – 48% – of young drivers say they think the over-65s will be the worst motorists on the road.

How different generations describe each other’s driving

Admiral asked motorists to choose three words from a list to describe the fashion of driving for each generation.

Both the middle-aged and older drivers chose fast, dangerous and impatient to describe young people’s driving.

Middle-aged drivers were identified as steady, confident, safe and law-abiding by the other generations.

And older drivers were described as slow and nervous, as well as dangerous and cautious by the two young along with the middle aged drivers.

Motorists say driving skills improve with age

The survey found we usually think our driving improves the older we get.

Two thirds of middle-aged motorists say their driving has improved given that they were under 25, while only 5% think it has got worse.

Meanwhile, one in five of motorists aged over 65 think their driving has improved given that they were middle aged, while only 6% think it has got worse.

Sue Longthorn of Admiral Insurance says: Contrary to the scene by many people that older drivers are nervous seems like the older we get the greater number of confident we are in our ability to drive.

We also become a little more critical of younger drivers.

Is criticism of younger drivers justified?

So, do statistics back the view that younger drivers aren’t as good on the road as older motorists?

Well, Admiral says their own data shows the average cost of a young driver automobile insurance claim – those involving someone under the age of 25 – is higher than any other age group.

Drivers under the age of 25 are the most likely to get large, high-impact accidents like head-on collisions or hitting a crash barrier.

A higher amount of young drivers polled also admitted they have got jumped a red light, used a mobile phone while driving and not used their indicators than the older generations.

This increased risk of accidents – and in turn the increased risk of claiming on his or her car insurance policy – means that young drivers typically pay more for cover than their older counterparts.

‘Good & bad drivers of all the generations’

Longthorn says: Our research shows how critical each generation is of others.

There are actually bad and good drivers of each and every generation. That’s The reality.

It’s interesting that while the people we surveyed frequently chose negative words to clarify the driving of others, they were more complimentary about their own driving.

When we asked them to choose words to describe their own driving, the most common ones were safe, steady, cautious and courteous.

What Does 2015 Kia Sedona Is Doing To Escape the Minivan Stigma


Kia took the wraps off the Sedona 7- and 8-seat passenger vehicle on the New York auto show. Instead, the automaker insisted on referring to it an MPV or multi-purpose vehicle. The organization is still targeting their chief competitors, the popular Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, and it is hoping the name omission will help them avoid the minivan stigma even though it avoided calling it a minivan.

But when it walks like a quacks and duck similar to a duck…

A company spokesperson explains, “there’s really nothing mini about it,” and the Sedona will be a global car-minivan is not really a term used overseas. Also, he said the business is trying to become a little provocative and looking to improve the image in the category.

While there is a soccer mom stigma to minivans, they really are the most effective choice for families with children. Minivans are merely about the only vehicle type to offer a 3rd row seat roomy enough for humans with enough cargo room behind, or beside, depending on how seats are configured. In addition, there are several pockets, bins, and cup holders to help keep everyone’s stuff within reach.

Some have more than others and new models like the Sedona are raising the bar, though minivans are now offering a host of safety features, which is increasingly important for the families riding in these vehicles.

The 2015 Sedona can have available forward-collision warning, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. The Honda Odyssey even offers those features, minus the adaptive cruise control. Just blind spot and cross-traffic alert is available around the Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Grand Caravan. The Nissan Quest only offers blind spot. With their family focus, it is not necessarily surprising to discover active safety systems proliferate across the segment. Given that several competitors are getting a bit dusty, Kia posseses an advantage in being able to roll out the latest, great gear with their new entry.

But whether you call these vehicles an MPV or possibly a minivan, it really is clear that this segment has honed in on a one-box-does-it-all solution. And no matter how you spin the language, Kia has aimed to build a greater box, as opposed to reimagine the category.

We’ll discover how it measures as much as the segment leaders if we buy one for testing.

Where to Start Online


When it comes to searching for a new car, nothing is more important than the safety of your family. For most people, cars are almost an extension of their home. You use it constantly, to operate a vehicle to work, take the kids to school, go to the grocery store, and hit the wide, open roads on weekend camping trips or even to visit family. You are doing a lot of located in your car, rather than just traveling, as an extension of your residence. From drinking coffee on the way to try to eating dinner on the way home coming from a little league that went into you, overtime as well as your family get a lot done in the vehicle. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re safe while you’re going about your regular activities.


If you’re ready to invest in an automobile you can trust, you’re ready to get a Nissan. With good safety ratings year after year, a reputation for having few mechanical problems, and a known extended life time, it’s hard to find a vehicle that’s more respected and for a family who is always on the go. When you’re ready to learn more about cars like the 2015 Altima, which got 5 Star Safety Ratings in three from the four categories, you can start when you go to Peruse their selection, see just how high Nissan’s safety ratings are, and have a look at the various kinds of vehicles available. You’ll see that you can look for a stylish and safe car that will fit your family’s particular needs. is the place to begin on your new car search, learn about Nissans, and see just what types of vehicles appeal by far the most to you. This California dealership will have you on the road, safely, in no time.

Relationship Between Cargo Capacity and Fuel Economy

the Forester has a generous cargo area and it’s easy to load.

With today’s ever changing gas prices, many car buyers are opting to trade cargo space for fuel economy by purchasing a smaller vehicle compared to they might have otherwise. To help clients who are looking for cargo fuel and capacity economy, our list below highlights vehicles we’ve tested that provide the very best combination of these two. (Find out how you are able to compare these cars and have unlimited price reports with all the Cars Greatest Deals Plus.)

To acquire on our list, an automobile must meet benchmarks that vary based on vehicle category. The vehicle should have achieved a minimum overall miles-per-gallon (mpg) figure in our real-world fuel economy tests and also a minimum number of cubic feet of cargo capacity, according to our measurements. (For more on saving gas, see our guide to fuel economy.)

Having The Right Finances at the Right Age


Anyone can make a fine mess when it comes to finances-whether it’s getting into too much debt, tapping your 401(k) such as a piggy bank, or investing in a house than you can’t really afford. But you may still have the opportunity for the financial makeover. There is this as a second chance.

This post originally appeared on LearnVest.

And yes it doesn’t matter if you’re in your thirties, forties or fifties either-it’s never too late to hit the reset button. So, to celebrate the spirit of rebirth on this first day of spring, we reached in the market to those who can speak from experience-Certified Financial Planners™-to show us how folks each decade can work to recuperate from a a lot of money mistake and begin anew by using a clean financial slate.

Hitting the Financial Reset Button in Your Thirties

Thirty is apparently the age of the wake-up call. Many people float through their twenties, focusing on careers, traveling, generally and dating living-and spending-like there’s no tomorrow.

The outcome?

They have racked up credit card debt, and the idea of budgeting and saving is non-existent-along with that repaying student loan debt is still looming, says Melinda Kibler, an authorized Financial Planner™ with Palisades Hudson Financial Group.

Often, the rude awakening comes around the age of 30, when financial milestones-say, buying that first home and achieving that first baby-suddenly bring finances for the forefront.

So, how do you get back on track?

The best way to move ahead from debt and poor spending in your twenties is to create a plan-and stick to it, Kibler says.

Step One: Assess Your Finances

Review your spending habits, and concentrate on separating your necessities from your luxuries. If you habitually find that you have days after each month and a lack of funds to properly budget for them, start reducing your discretionary spending-and also search for ways to cut expenses on your necessities list.

This may be as simple as making small moves-like switching to some cheaper cable package-in addition to big ones, for example renting a less expensive apartment. Ultimately, making both large and small changes will assist you to create a workable budget, with the goal of keeping your spending within limits for the long term.

Step Two: Deal With Your Debt

You need to pay off credit card debt as soon as possible, starting with the card containing the highest interest rate. The quicker you pay these off, the earlier you can start improving your credit score-and the better off you’ll be when you make application for a mortgage or another loan.

Similarly, is now also the time to focus on your student loan debt. Despite the fact that school loans carry typically low interest levels, tackling them should also be component of your overall decide to get your debt under control.

If you haven’t taken benefit of loan consolidation yet, research the pros and cons-and also check out the various federal student loan payback plans accessible to borrowers. Although many people choose to repay their loans on the standard, 10-year plan, other options, like those based upon income, can certainly make repaying student loans easier in the wallet-and lower your risk of default.

In terms of credit card debt, the easiest method to break your dependence on plastic is to build an emergency fund, so you don’t need to depend on credit cards to pay expenses that you simply didn’t plan for. An urgent situation stash of at least 6 months of living expenses can help cure the gotta-grab-the-card-again problem. You can begin that fund using your tax refund or any bonuses that you receive-and then agree to automatically deposit a set amount of money from each paycheck into your emergency fund. Even if it’s a little sum, it will build up faster than you think!

Striking the Financial Reset Button in Your Forties

The clock is ticking. You blinked, and there you might be at 40 and perhaps not so fabulous-at least in terms of your finances.

Maybe you’ve been putting all of your efforts into paying down debt or you’ve been living outside your family’s means. You most likely haven’t gotten around to socking away very much cash for your future,. That is regardless of what may have generated your shaky financial picture, the truth. Financial well being: Now is the time to change course, making saving your top priority.

Step One: Get Real About Retirement

Retirement is closer than you believe, says Michael Kresh, a licensed Financial Planner™ with Creative Wealth Management, LLC. If there’s a 401(k) or other retirement plan at work that you haven’t been engaging in-and especially if your company offers a match! -join today. Even during your forties, you have another 20-plus working years to increase your money.

And if there’s no retirement plan at work, Kresh suggests putting by far the most that you can in a Roth IRA if you qualify, or a Traditional IRA in case your income is well to the six figures. You are going to thank your lucky stars when you’re able to take those funds out at retirement tax-free. Another good move, though You won’t get yourself a tax deduction: Talk to a monetary advisor regarding how best to ramp up saving for retirement.

Step Two: Rethink Your Lifestyle

It’s time to retool that thinking if you tend to equate success with all of the items that you’ve accumulated. If you have a great deal of ‘stuff’ and not a lot of investments, you’re headed for financial trouble, Kresh says. Stuff costs money, but it cannot be converted into future income. You can’t retire on the Beatles collection.

If you can’t afford it, be realistic, though you may think which you deserve a luxurious car when you’re inside your forties. Kresh says, Don’t feel good because you just got a brand new car. Feel good because your investments just reached a new high.

Living for today in your twenties is one thing, but doing so when you are 40 or 50 is asking for trouble, he says.

Step Three: Stay Focused on Saving

Forty somethings often try to accomplish too much with too little, says Travis Freeman, a Certified Financial Planner™ with Four Seasons Wealth Management. Many families feel they could pay for college for multiple children, save for their retirement, buy adequate insurance, drive nice cars and save for a lake house-all concurrently. Typically, it can’t happen. You must prioritize your goals or risk missing them all.

If you’re in your forties and living some version of the aforementioned scenario, now is a good time and energy to consider getting a financial planner who can help set you straight, enable you to get on a budget that you could live with, map out a technique for paying off debt-and create a path that leads to that ideal retirement.

Striking the Financial Reset Button within your Fifties

Rather than hitting the reset button, you may feel like showing up in the panic button. Somehow, you’ve come this far-yet you’re still sucking at the bank card bottle such as a newborn, and you have too little saved for retirement and emergencies.

As retirement age grows closer, there may be even more pressure now in comparison to your forties to replace with the years you did not save for retirement, Kibler says.

Step One: Make Up for Lost Saving Time-Start

Within a word, it’s time for drastic measures to right the wrongs.

Making major changes to your spending will be difficult in your fifties-however, not as difficult as life could be with out a nest egg at 75, Freeman says.

To acquire where you must go, you may have to consider more significant changes, like downsizing your home to put extra cash away each month. And when you can’t negotiate a raise at work, consider a part-time job that would be enjoyable, Freeman says. And then save every penny of that extra income.

The harsh truth here is not only to save but save more. Optimize your retirement account contributions, Kibler says, adding that at 50, it is possible to take advantage of catch-up contributions. For 401(k) and profit-sharing plans, you can actually contribute an added $5,500 annually, in addition to the $17,500 you’re allowed when you’re younger than 50. Similarly, you can contribute an extra $1,000 annually to your traditional or Roth IRA once you hit 50, totaling $6,500 of contributions.

Another necessary consideration at this stage in life is usually to maintain a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, Kibler says. While you want investments that grow, you don’t wish to go too aggressive, since you’ll have less time to recover should the market drop.

Step Two: Act Like a Grown-Up

Placed the kibosh on any foolish spending by means of too many nights out, trips you can’t afford, sticker-shock home upgrades and other things is on the simply need to have it list.

Then take those funds and consider increasing the funds you set aside for future medical expenses, Kibler says. And be sure to examine your life insurance needs and explore long term care insurance now, since it’s far cheaper to acquire in your fifties than in your sixties or later.

It’s time to push others to also adopt more grown-up behavior, and if you’ve fallen short in meeting your own financial goals not because of improper habits but because of big heart. Translation: If you’re still helping out your adult children, realize that, with a certain point, helping starts morphing into enabling, Kresh says, and it’s time that they learned to fend for themselves.

At 50, you may be unable to get back that 20-year-old figure, but you can get your finances back in tip-top shape-at all ages.

The Top Cars You’re Going to Want to be an Awesome PA

Becoming a Production Assistant in Hollywood will not be as hard as you may think, you just have to just go meet people and express your availability. Excelling being a PA is more difficult, however. Since there are literally thousands of eager beavers arriving every day, you have to take your opportunities and run with them, you don’t have any a chance to spare permit someone else may be found in and get your gigs when you are a better PA. If you put pedal towards the medal you’ll go places. And speaking of going places, in LA, and as a Hollywood PA, you need a good set of wheels, and not just any will do. Here are the make or break cars you’ll love and stay loved for.

Dodge Caravan


A Dodge Caravan you might think is a lot of a dad and mom car. And while that’s true, what’s cooler than being a really successful PA on his way toward financial and career greatness? That’s exactly what a Caravan says – you care about your employment and not some fabricated status symbol. Check them out online at, you’ll be amazed at how cool they actually look. Now, think about tips on how to drive a huge portion of the crew around, or go to the store and get any amount of food or snacks that the crew needs. You’ll be a hero, all give you ditched the outdated perception of what is cool, and got a sweet Dodge Caravan off of

Subaru Outback


Similarly, the Outback is usually thought of as a lesbian vehicle. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you are not just a lesbian, you may well be setting a different image on the market than you might otherwise opt to display. But, don’t under estimate how great it is to possess a car that may be great in most terrains. You’ll be using the AWD capacity of your Subaru more than you feel in your life as being a PA. The very last thing you want is to have to decline a job offer because you can’t drive comfortably in the desert or over the Pacific coast. These things can be cool too, with their high wheel base and reliability. Not a lot of folks consider a Subaru in LA since it’s not an icy type of climate, but think about the versatility this car offers.

Honda Odyssey


This is the Honda fleet’s most prized possession, more so in comparison to the Accord or the Civic. The thing that makes the Odyssey so special? First, of, it drives like a sedan with excellent handling and giddy up. Also, it appears cool. They’ve really done a great job rendering it look like an automobile that a self respecting person would actually drive. Lots of other cars fail because category, just like the Prius or any of those awful box cars they make. Seriously, who designed those? The Odyssey shows definitively that you could have a lot of cargo capacity instead of be an unsightly mess like the Nissan Cube.

Properly Reducing The Coefficient of Drag


There are actually all sorts of things that can be done into a vehicle to lessen the coefficient of drag. If you’re into cars, most of you can expect to recognise the 1999 Honda Insight’s faired-in rear wheels. They looked odd but were designed like that for a reason. The rear wheel arch was removed so air was no longer required to pass a spinning wheel in a gaping hole in the bodywork, when you are faired-in. That caused turbulence, which caused drag, which increased the drag coefficient. Honda made a more streamlined shape, more unlikely to cause turbulence, by making smooth body panels that covered the wheels. It’s worth pointing out that Honda didn’t get there first though. GM re-introduced this particular styling cue in 1996 on their fully electric EV1. Citroën got there a full 44 years earlier making use of their DS model, i say ‘re-introduced’ because in 1955.

Everything that creates turbulence will induce drag, so increase the coefficient of drag. For example taking off the rear view mirrors does two things – it removes two things that poke out from the side in the car which create turbulence, as well as reducing the frontal cross section. It’s not really wise for designers to simply remove rear view mirrors, even though both of these modify the overall aerodynamic drag formula above. Instead, they make smaller, more streamlined mirrors designed to present less frontal cross section, and importantly, to make less drag.

Another design and styling cue mimicked from your DS is the overall model of the car – wider at the front and tapering to a narrower rear, both in side view and plan view. Exactly why is this? Well it’s because that is how car designers begin to approach the most aerodynamic shape there is.

What’s probably the most aerodynamic shape?

A Drop-tank or Belly-tank racer A Drop-tank or Belly-tank racer

Think of what nature intended to best cut through water, it won’t surprise one to know that one of the most aerodynamic shape looks like a fish or a teardrop – the shape water naturally forms when it falls through air, if you think of air like a fluid. A wide, circular front moves the atmosphere aside, compressing it with minimal fuss, whilst a lengthy sculpted tail allows air to expand again in the low pressure area behind the shape without creating turbulence. If you’ve ever been to Speed Week about the Bonneville Salt Flats, you’ll have seen drop-tank or belly-tank racers. These folks take old world war 2 era aircraft drop tanks and make cars out of them. Those old drop tanks were designed to be added in to aircraft to increase range (by carrying more fuel) without a massive increase in drag (which would have negated the entire excercise). They’re the perfect aerodynamic shape. So vehicles like the EV1, the Citroën DS and the Honda Insight all attempt to access a usable version of the shape as best they are able to.

Picture credits:

Did Citroën really get there first?

The Aurel Persu car

For the history buffs, here’s a nugget of trivia : Romanian engineer Aurel Persu actually came to the actual final outcome that the teardrop was the ideal shape in 1922 and built a vehicle to prove it. He patented the shape in 1924 and both GM and Ford expressed an interest in buying the patent at the time, but as they didn’t want to agree to also building the car, Persu refused their offers. That vehicle had a drag coefficient of .22 – below most vehicles today – and it’s still completely functional and on display at the Romanian National Technical Museum in Bucharest. Since 2006, the museum has awarded an annual Aurel Persu Aerodymanic Automobile prize to the car manufacturer that produced a vehicle in the previous model year with a drag coefficient lower than .3. In 2006 the Mercedes S-Class took the prize and also in 2007 the prize was given to Toyota Corolla.

Bosch Automated Driving Is The Thing Now


How much can you value the engine with your car? The life span of your engine depends in no small part on the quality of the oil you devote it – oil is its lifeblood. People typically don’t pay much awareness of their oil – oil is oil, right? Within the bad old days, maybe, but engine oil underwent something of a revolution in the 80’s and 90’s when hot hatches, 16-valve engines and turbos started to become popular. Together with the devastating problems of black death the days of one oil catering for anyone were over.

Take Castrol for example. They led the sector for years with their GTX mineral oil. It was eventually surpassed by semi-synthetic and fully synthetic oils, including GTX2 and GTX3 Lightec. Those were surpassed by Formula SLX and a lot recently, Castrol GTX Magnatec. All manufacturers have a similar broad spectrum of oils now – I just mention Castrol particularly as they’re my oil of choice for my own, personal cars.

What does my oil actually do?

Your engine oil performs many functions. It stops all the metal surfaces in your engine from grinding together and tearing themselves apart from friction, and it transfers heat out of the combustion cycle. Engine oil must also be able to hold in suspension each of the nasty by-products of combustion like silica (silicon oxide) and acids. Finally, engine oil minimises the exposure to oxygen and so oxidation at higher temperatures. It does all of these things under tremendous pressure and heat.

Check out when your Mustang heads are in need of repairm

How do I look at the numbers throughout the ‘W’? For example 5W40?

They generally get thinner, as oils heat up. Single grade oils get too thin when hot for almost all modern engines which is where multigrade oil comes in. The idea is simple – use science and physics to prevent the base oil from getting too thin whenever it gets hot. The number before the ‘W’ may be the ‘cold’ viscosity rating in the oil, and also the number once the ‘W’ is the ‘hot’ viscosity rating. So, doesn’t thin any over a 40-rated single grade oil when hot, although a 5W40 oil is one that behaves just like a 5-rated single grade oil when cold. The lower the ‘winter’ number (hence the ‘W’), the easier the engine will turn over when starting in cold climates. There’s more detail on this later within the page under both viscosity, and SAE ratings.

A brief guide to the many grades of oil.

Fully Synthetic Characteristics



5W-40 Fuel economy savings

Enhances engine power and performance

Ensures engine is safe from wear and deposit build-up

Ensures good cold starting and quick circulation in freezing temperatures

Actually gets to moving aspects of the engine quickly

Semi-synthetic Characteristics



15W-40 Better protection

Good protection within the first 10 minutes after starting out

Roughly three times better at reducing engine wear

Increased oil change intervals – don’t need to change it quite so often

Mineral Characteristics


15W-40 Basic protection for a variety of engines

Oil should be changed on a regular basis

What the heck was Black Death?

Black Death first appeared in early 80’s each time a sticky black substance was found to be the reason behind many engine seizures in Europe. It had been extremely frustrating for vehicle owners because mechanics and dealers had not a clue what was occurring. Black Death just wasn’t covered under insurance – if your engine had it, you paid to fix it yourself. Many engines were affected but Vauxhall and Ford (GM) suffered one of the most. Faster roads, higher under-hood temperatures, tighter engineering tolerances and overworked engine oils turned out to be contributors to the problem. The oils just couldn’t handle it and changed their chemical makeup under pressure into a sort of tar-like glue. This blocked each of the oil channels in the engines, starved them of lubrication and caused them to seize. I don’t recommend this but you can reproduce the outcome with a frying pan, cooking oil as well as a blowtorch. The cooking oil will warm far quicker than it’s designed to and may turn to a sticky black tar in your pan. Either that or it will set fire for your kitchen, which is the reason I said don’t try this.

Anyway, burning kitchens aside, Black Death was the catalyst for the production of newer higher quality oils, many of them man-made rather than mineral-based.

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