Monthly Archives: June 2012

New Battery Could Change Future of Electric Cars

Electric cars have yet to catch on with American car buyers, but a new battery coming out of Massachusetts could make electric cars better and cheaper.

The Nanophosphate EXT is a lithium ion battery that can handle a wide range of extreme temperatures. Most electric car batteries cannot handle these temperatures, so electric cars have to be equipped with heating or cooling systems. According to a press release from the battery’s producers A123 Systems, these batteries can “significantly reduce or eliminate the need for heating or cooling systems, which is expected to create sizable new opportunities within the transportation and telecommunications markets, among others.”

Additionally, the new battery lasts much longer than other batteries currently on the market. This chart shows how the A123 Nanophosphate EXT compares to competing batteries. After 1700 cycles at 45° C, all three competing brands have dropped to below 75 percent discharging capacity while the A123 Nanophosphate EXT hovers around 93 percent capacity.

With longer lasting batteries that can take the heat and cold, electric cars can be more affordable and more powerful with lower maintenance costs. Consumers that have written off the electric car could be convinced to give it a second look. At any rate, it is a huge leap forward in electric car technology and very promising for the future of automotive.

Low-cost electric cars are still a ways off, but Approved Loan Store can help you get into an affordable car today! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

Car Talk Hosts Announce Retirement After 25 Years on NPR

Car Talk fans were saddened to hear last week that hosts Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi will retire this September. The popular radio show, a mix of humor and car advice, has been running for 25 years on NPR and before that had a run on the Boston NPR affiliate WBUR.

Tom and Ray, also known as “Click and Clack,” have expressed their love for the show and appreciation for their fans and listeners. Since Tom’s 75th birthday, however, the brother duo started thinking about taking time to “smell the cappuccino.”

Car Talk will stop recording new shows after October, but Tom and Ray want their fans to know that the show will continue thanks to hours of archived material. “The good news is that, despite our general incompetence, we actually remembered to hit the ‘record’ button every week for the last 25 years,” Tom joked. “So we have more than 1,200 programs we’re going to dig into starting this fall, and the series will continue.”

Tom and Ray first started working together on the do-it-yourself auto repair shop Hacker’s Haven, and they were invited to participate on an automotive panel hosted by WBUR. Not long after, they were given their own automotive advice show, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Episodes of the series are available to download free on iTunes under NPR: Car Talk Podcast or on the official Car Talk website.

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Good Driving Made Simple (And Hilarious!)

From the time teenagers turn 14 and apply for their learner’s permit, they are bombarded with driving advice. Turn down the music, pay attention to the road, always wear your seat-belt, and so on and so forth. According to a web comic that is making the rounds online, though, driving is not as complicated as it sounds.

Jalopnik was one of the first news sites to post up the comic/flow chart which is seen below. It seems that driving properly all comes down to one factor, using the passing lane in the correct fashion.

As a frequent driver, I got a kick out of the comic. Yes, driving properly is really more involved than this flow-chart would suggest, but if people used the passing lane correctly, it would go a long ways in improving the roads. I think everyone at some point has experienced the frustration of another driver using the passing lane but not actually passing anyone, so on behalf of all the drivers using the lane properly, we ask that everyone else read this chart and follow it, please. It’s not too much to ask.

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Former CEO Flees Bolivia, Leaves Exotic Car Collection Behind

In action movies, I love it when they show the super-villain’s secret lair with high-tech weapons, sharks with lasers attached to their heads, and riches beyond belief. Amongst the collection, every evil genius worth his salt has a collection of rare and beautiful sports cars, all in perfect condition. Of course, collections like that only exist in the movies, right?

Well…maybe those movies aren’t so far-fetched after all.

Humero Roca is not exactly a super-villain. He is the former president of the Bolivian airline AeroSur which has struggled to continue operations this year and briefly shut down flights completely back in March. Roca was accused of embezzling $37.2 million from the company by the current president of AeroSur, Roca’s half-brother Sergio Sanzetenea, and he recently fled Bolivia leaving behind his extensive collection of rare cars.

As if this story wasn’t strange enough, Roca’s son documented the collection on his YouTube channel up until his father (and presumably Roca’s son) left the country. Under the About description on his YouTube page, Roca’s son wrote, “My father owns an Airline called Aerosur and we are not a family that always had everything my father just had to work hard to have what u guys see and this consist on every car that has changed the automotive industry worldwide or maybe eras or maybe just some significant car in my country, so please guys don’t come around saying ‘AH!!! NO EXOTICS IS %$%&’ no that not how it works everything in this collects has passion, history and love. And please understand that all thes cars are thanks to my Dad and his hard work.”

Of course, whether those cars are the results of hard work or illegal activities has yet to be determined, but until then, I wonder what will happen to his car collection. Will his blue 2006 Dodge Viper sit idle? Will the 1979 Lincoln Continental ever see the light of day? Time will tell what will happen to these cars, but if you want to see them for yourself, Roca’s son’s YouTube channel is still online here.

At Approved Loan Store, we might not have access to Roca’s collection, but we do have a huge inventory of new and used vehicles with every make or model available. If you have bad credit, don’t worry! We want to help you get into the car you want with the terms you want! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

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New V2V Technology Changes Future of Auto Safety

There has been a lot of talk about the future of driving. Self-driving vehicles and pedestrian air bags are all changing the way we drive, and now, a stunning new technology promises to prevent crashes by letting cars “talk” to each other.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, also known as V2V, will allow vehicles to communicate via wireless signals with nearby cars. Cars will share information like speed, location, and other necessary stats and use that information to prevent a crash. For example, when a car is on track for a collision, the car will warn the driver. Some systems will even bypass the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not do so quickly enough.

Obviously it will be awhile until V2V is available in vehicles. There are many bugs that will have to be worked out such as setting up a secure wireless system that will not be susceptible to hackers, and once it is available, I’m sure that auto safety regulators will need to determine if every car should have V2V technology. The device requires that vehicles be capable of communicating with all other nearby vehicles on the road, so it does little good if only a few drivers opt to use V2V. Still, it is pretty amazing how far auto technology has come in the past few years, and I can only imagine how V2V technology will change driving as we know it in the years to come.

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Top 5 Consumer Complaints of 2011

We’ve all had that moment as consumers. That one phone call that just enrages us to such a degree that we have to tell someone about it. Sometimes it’s just telling a friend or significant other and just getting it off your chest. Other times, it’s more serious than that and that threat you made to the representative to report them to the Better Business Bureau seems like something you should do. Everyone has their tipping point before they finally do make a phone call to formally report a company. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 1.8 million complaints from consumers. This is a mark increase from 2010, a 24% increase in fact. It’s also the fifth straight year that the number of complaints increased.

Fox Business put together a list of just what people are lodging complaints about. They broke it down to the top five offenders.

#1 – Identity Theft

This complaint has been on the top of the complaint list for the 12th year in the a row. It accounts for 15% of complaints and a quarter of those were related to tax or wage related fraud. What this kind of fraud is is when your Social Security number or other personal information is stolen and used to get a job. That holds you liable for any tax obligations from the thief’s employment. They also file a tax return in the victim’s name and then walk off with the tax refund. Make sure to protect yourself against this threat by guarding your Social Security number and monitoring your bank statements and credit reports.

#2 – Debt Collection

Debt collector has been an ugly word for some time now and there’s a good reason. The daily news cycle for the past many years seems to always have a section dedicated to some caller finding new and immoral ways of harassment as a means to collect on debt. No other industry receives more complaints from people than debt collectors according to David Torok, the director of the division of panning and information at the Federal Trade Commission. 2011 saw 180,928 complaints, or 1 in ever 10 complaints made. Torok also provides some advice with dealing with the nasty kinds of debt collectors. “Collectors can’t harass. That’s the simple bottom line. Know your rights.”

#3 – Banks and Lending

Definitely not a hard one to see given the state of the economy. The bailout hasn’t left anyone news cycle, nor has the predatory mortgage loan fiasco. That and there was this whole messy business with crashing the world economy. In this regard, the banks are receiving such complaints due to problems with customer service and problems with modifying their mortgage terms.

#4 – Auto-Related

The majority of complaints that are against dealerships come from the sales of new and used cars. In fact, 2 out of 5 auto complaints were over new-car sales. The issues that were most complained about were car rentals, parts & repair, and services. The recommendations to avoid running into these problems when going into the dealership is all about research. Know the car you’re purchasing so you can go into the negotiation process armed with the proper information.

#5 – Advance-Fee Loans

44,020 complaints were filed against advance-fee loans. What happens is that the promise of a loan or a credit card is held up in front of a consumer and requires a payment up front in advance. What usually happens is that the person offering the loan takes that fee and runs away, leaving the consumer with less money and no prospect for a loan. A good red-flag of this is if the lender is looking for just personal information such as a Social Security number or bank account number and doesn’t show interest in your credit history. Also, be weary of any offer made over the phone that requires you to pay in advance. Make sure to do some homework on a business before dealing with them to help avoid this issue.

There’s certainly a lot of people out there trying to pull the wool over the eyes of consumers. I feel that the number of complaints on the rise show that people are really starting to show they understand their rights and just what to do when they feel wronged by a company.

Approved Loan Store has a great history of working with customer to make sure they drive away satisfied. Just check out our testimonial page to see over a hundred happy customers that show our commitment to being professional with all our customers. Fill out an application to start the process and find out for yourself to get that car you’ve always wanted. You’ll find us on Facebook and Twitter, make sure to like us and follow us to stay current on the news coming out of the industry.

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How Will May Auto Sales Stack Up?

Every month seems to have the obligatory article about how well the auto industry is doing. There have been months of happy reporting about sales increases here and demands increasing there. It is a success story that is an easy topic. The question has always been, though, at the back of my mind how long that luck will hold out. I’ve wondered what the industry was doing to make sure that this increase in sales is the new standard and not just a moment in time. May could be the month that puts all of this progress to the test.

Auto Finance News posted an interesting read that posed that very question. The month of May was a bad month for the economy. The jobs reports that come out were dismal with only 69,000 jobs added, making it the weakest monthly growth in a year. It was bad enough that the report raised the unemployment rate up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, but additionally, the confidence of the US consumer fell from 68.7 percent in April to 64.9 percent in May.

The question remains if this is going to have an impact on the upward swing of the auto industry. May is a notorious month for strong sales, so this might just be pessimistic thinking. I like to think that the industry is doing a good job of riding the wave, especially with many of them such as Chrysler making sure to keep people engage by bringing out new products like the Dodge Dart. Edmunds also made the prediction that car sales in the month of May would increase by 30 percent due in part to light vehicles continuing to sell well. Only time will tell if the rough economic reporting this last month is going to make a dent in the comeback story of the auto industry.

Approved Loan Store wants to help you get inside that car you’ve always been looking at but didn’t know how to get. Go online and apply today to see just how we can help that dream become a reality. Don’t just take our word for it, check out the many people that we’ve already assisted for yourself! Be sure to also like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, so that you can continue to be updated on the latest news and updates from Approved Loan Store.

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Craigslist Ad Offers to Trade Burial Plots for VW Bus

Jalopnik’s weird car listings from Craigslist are always good for a laugh, and yesterday’s bizarre “Found on Craigslist” segment did not disappoint.

On the Houston area Craigslist, a mysterious buyer posted that he was looking for a VW Bus, but he didn’t make a cash offer. Instead, he offered to trade the VW Bus for four “premium” burial plots in Webster, a city about 30 minutes away from Houston. According to the ad, these burial plots are worth about $3000 each or $12,000 for all four plots, but he will “entertain all offers.”

After a quick search, I found out that the burial plots are likely located at the Forest Park East Cemetery, and from the looks of their website, it is a very nice cemetery. Lots of trees and flowers and all. I don’t know how much plots usually run as far as pricing, but like the folks over at Jalopnik, I have two questions. First, why would someone pay premium for a location or view that the deceased won’t actually get to see? Second, why would anyone have four unused burial plots, and who would trade their car for burial plots?

In the strange world of Craigslist, there is usually someone for every offer, but even so, this is a bizarre offer. I am really curious if anyone takes this Craigslist poster up on this trade, and if they do, I want to know what the original poster plans to do with that VW Bus. Jalopnik thinks it is a morbid father who had a change of heart and wants to take his family on a road trip. My guess involves ghost hunters with dream of traveling cross-country and investigating America’s most famous haunted houses and asylums.

No matter what the circumstances, you don’t have to trade burial plots for your dream car. Let Approved Loan Store help you get into a new or used vehicle today! Fill out the online secure auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

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Car Shoppers Ready to Buy, Willing to Spend Extra on Perks

Recent reports from indicate what we have seen first-hand over at Approved Loan Store, which is that car shoppers are eager to buy in 2012.

Thanks to relaxed credit standards, more people are buying cars, but the picture is much bigger than that. Car shoppers are also buying vehicles with more perks and added features, and they are more comfortable considering trucks, SUVs, or other vehicles that go through more gas. They aren’t just looking for cars to get them where they need to go; they want to get the cars that they want.

Over at Approved Loan Store, we get people into every make and model of car every day. Whether you are looking for your first car or your dream car with all the perks, the reps over at Approved Loan Store want to help you get the car you want with the terms you can afford. If it seems too good to be true, take a minute to browse through our customer testimonials. Check out the cars that real people like you have gotten through Approved Loan Store, and hear what they had to say about our service.

“They met my needs, they worked with me and my budget, and everything. They found me the exact car I wanted, and I’m very happy!”

“Approved Loan Store helped me get this beautiful black BMW. Thank you, Jarell and Charles, you were the best!”

“Approved Loan Store helped me get a car, a Toyota 2009. Had a very, very good experience here at the car dealership. Everybody was so nice and kind. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“I’m driving home in my dream car, a Camaro 2011…They made it happen with no problem. I had a great experience!”

To find out what Approved Loan Store can do for you, fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest from Approved Loan Store by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

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Fact vs. Myth: How a Car Loan Can Improve Your Credit

One of the biggest reasons why consumers have poor credit is because of lackluster financial education and the spread of misinformation regarding how credit scores are calculated. A major misconception is about auto loans and how they can improve or hurt a person’s credit score, and we would like to clear that up today.

Auto loans are one of the best ways of rebuilding a strong credit history. First, car loans are more accessible to consumers with low credit or no credit. Many lenders have been allocating more money towards sub-prime auto loans and offering lower interest rates to make these loans more feasible. Second, car loans are common amongst American consumers, and the number of car owners in this country is growing by leaps and bounds. People needs cars where they might not need or want a credit card.

Consumers can improve their credit by paying their car loan on time over the term of the loan. So long as they are doing that, they are improving their payment history and in turn improving their credit. If a consumer wants to pay it off early, their credit will be improved the exact same as if they had paid it on time for the entire term of the loan. The consumer will not get an extra credit boost for paying off the loan early. The upside, however, is that they won’t have to pay as much in interest and will save money in the long run.

If you are having a hard time getting approved for an auto loan, Approved Loan Store can help! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and get the latest news from the auto and loan industries by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter!

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