Implementing a Waterless Car Wash in Your Detailing Business

Starting a detailing business isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. Increased environmental regulations are forcing old methods of washing vehicles into decline. No longer can a detailer take out a pressure washer with soap and blast away at a car. In fact, many newcomers to the industry learn the hard way when local authorities impose hefty fines when caught cleaning a car without water reclamation mats.

Thankfully, the car care industry has made major improvements in its product offerings which is allowing detailers to stay in compliance. One major advancement is the introduction of Waterless Car Wash products. These formulas allow a detailer to safely clean and protect a vehicle without allowing a drop of water to reach the ground. For obvious reasons this is of great benefit to the environment. In the past detailers would simply let their wastewater flow directly into the environment. Brake dust, phosphates, oils and other contaminants quickly polluted local waterways and wreaked havoc on aquatic life. However, these products don’t just save the planet, but they also make a detailer’s life easier in other ways.

A Waterless Car Wash frees the detailer from having to haul around a large water tank. This in turn also improves gas mileage and allows them to maneuver around their local city much more freely. Previously, detailer’s would find a local source of distilled or deionized water and fill up every morning. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it actually costs money to buy this type of water.

In addition, many of today’s Waterless Car Wash products integrate synthetic or natural protective agents such as polymers or carnauba wax, which will give customer’s cars a slick and shiny finish from just the wash.

Implementing a Waterless Car Wash into a detailing business is a relatively straightforward process. First, you need to find the product that works best for you. Many leading manufacturers offer their products in a concentrated form which yields a greater cost savings over the RTU (ready-to-use) product. You’ll also want to have a large stock of microfiber towels as these are a necessity for properly using a waterless product.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is the fact that the term ‘waterless’ is foreign to many consumers and they need education on how the products actually work. For example, show them a demonstration in advance so that they properly understand that the products won’t harm the vehicle’s finish. Show them some past clients cars you have done or offer up testimonials. As time progresses, the waterless concept will surely become the norm. However, until then you’ll need to do a lot of handholding with the consumer to get their acceptance.



Source by Jim Dudra

Old School Online Gaming

Ever wondered what your parents and the adults played for fun back in their day? Or before the existence of Nintendo Wii's, Playstations, and World of Warcraft, what were the games that people played with the computer? Online gaming back then was not as high-tech as what you play now but they delivered the same amount of fun that today's online games give you. Take a journey down old time geekery and see what was deemed as hi-tech back then:

1. # TradeWars 2002
A space game developed in 1984. In TW2002, the player is a galaxy trader where the main objective is to gain control of a limited set and amount of resources, as you travel in different sectors of the galaxy. Using your earned wealth in trading, you can upgrade your spaceship, get better weapons and fight for control of planets and starbases.

2. # MUDs
Also known as Multi-User Dungeon, this is a text-based multiplayer real-time virtual world that started in 1978. It combined elements such as role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat with a fantasy setting populated by fictional races and monsters. The objective of the game is to slay monsters, explore a fantasy world, complete quests, go on adventures, create a story by role-playing, and advance the character.

3. # MUSHes
MUSH, generally called a Multi-User Shared Hallucination, is somewhat of a text-based Second Life where you can create anything you want, be anyone you want, and do anything that you want in a multi-user game. With the popularity of MUDs in the 1980s, many variations emerged such as TinyMUD in 1989. MUSH was then created by Larry Foard who used TinyMUD's code and added a different programming language.

4. # Hunt
The old school Before Doom, created in 1985 by Conrad C. Huang and Gregory S. Couch, is represented using ASCII characters on an 80×24 terminal screen. Hunt is a multiplayer game where each player wanders around a maze, killing off other players using guns, bombs, and slime. Players can also form a team. The maze, when destroyed, regenerates over time, during which "deflectors" appear, changing the direction of the projectile. Sometimes a "wandering bomb" appears, exploding when contact is made.

5. # Empire 3.84
Considered as the grandfather of all Internet games, Empire 3.84 is a risk-like conquer-the-world game with its original version appearing in 1971 on a PDP-11/45 mainframe computer at Harvard University. It gained popularity for being cited as one of Sid Meier's inspiration for Civilization PC game series.

6. # BBS Door Games
Since the technology in the old days was pretty much text-based, online games back then usually were also text-based games played over the modem on an amateur-run bulleting board system (BBS). Supporting only one phone line, there was not WiFi back then, so players usually had to take turns when playing, but still they can compete against each other.

7. # FIBS
The First Internet Backgammon Server pretty much tells us what it is, it's the first backgammon server on the Internet. Started in 1992, it has become one of the most popular online games to play backgammon against other players around the globe.



Source by Anne D. Carter

The Electric Car

A Brief History and What’s Next? 

The Beginning

At the end of the 19th century, any vehicle not pulled by a horse or mule was considered an alternative power vehicle, powered by steam, electricity or gasoline. But oil was discovered in Texas in 1901 and by 1920, gasoline fueled internal-combustion engine vehicles dominated the marketplace. Electricity and steam powered vehicles became distant also-rans. Oil was cheap, effective, readily available and easily transportable. It was also dirty, noisy and smelly but these characteristics were minor in comparison with its cost and availability.

Electric cars were introduced in the first half of the 19th century. At the end of the 20th century, electric vehicles held most world speed and distance records. They were cleaner, quieter, easier to operate and easier to maintain than steam or gasoline fueled cars but had a fatal weakness: battery technology limited the driving range of electric cars to between 40 and 50 miles before needing a 6 to 8 hour charge. Electric vehicles continued to be manufactured in the U.S. through 1939.

The ZEV Mandate

No electric cars were produced in the U.S. between 1939 and 1996. That changed when General Motors produced the EV1 in response to California’s 1991 zero emission vehicle mandate which required 2% of all new cars sold by major auto manufacturers in California in 1998 to meet ‘zero emission’ standards. The first EV1 autos used lead-acid batteries. Second generation GM EV1 cars had a range of 160 miles using nickel metal hydride batteries. A total of 4-5,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. under the ZEV mandate.

In 2001 GM and Daimler Chrysler sued California for regulating fuel economy in violation of U.S. law, after which California relaxed the zero emission vehicle mandate. In late 2003, GM cancelled the EV1 program and other manufacturers soon followed suit. The film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” suggested that GM’s EV1 program was canceled once California relaxed its zero emission vehicle mandate because 1) production was no longer essential; 2) electric cars impacted the oil industry; and 3) sale of electric cars adversely affected GM’s replacement parts after-market. Virtually all EV1 cars, leased to the public, were recalled and destroyed by GM who estimated that they invested $1 billion in development of the EV-1. General Motors recently announced that the electric Chevy Volt (hybrid electric vehicle) will be available for sale in the U.S. in 2010.

Enter the 21st Century

According to the US Department of Energy, more than 60,000 electric cars are in use in the US with more than 15,000 operational in California. More than 800 vehicles (mainly Toyota RAV4 EVs), produced during California’s zero emission mandate have survived with several logging more than 110,000 miles, proving durability and maintainability.

What’s next?

Although there is no zero emission mandates in place, the marketplace has spoken. The combination of high gasoline prices, global warming and the absurdity of U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil has inspired development and manufacture of electric vehicles.

o Five low-speed (neighborhood) model electric vehicles and six expressway capable electric vehicles are currently in production.

o In addition to Chrysler, Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, VW and Renault, a dozen or more new auto firms have introduced or plan to introduce electric cars by 2010.

o The industry is rapidly moving towards new battery technology. Tesla Motors and Miles Electric Vehicles amongst others are now using Lithium-ion battery technology.

Europe and Japan

Since the first oil embargo in 1973 Europe has shown a continuous interest in electric vehicles. Today, electric cars are being built across Europe from Norway to Italy. Not to be left out, Mitsubishi and Subaru announced that they would be manufacturing lithium ion-powered cars before 2010. Toyota and Honda and Nissan will also have production models available in the U.S.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

43 states and Washington D.C. allow operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) that can travel on streets which have a maximum 35 mph speed limit. Local jurisdictions have the right to ban their use or may require licensing and liability insurance. NEVs must have seatbelts, four wheels, windshield safety glass, windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, and turn signals but airbags aren’t required. NEVs cannot legally travel faster than 25 mph. They’re usually equipped with lead acid batteries offering a range of about 30 miles. Prices range from around $6000 to more than $14,000.

Freeway Electric Vehicles

Aside from Toyota RAV4 EVs, most electric vehicles operating in the U.S. in 2008 are NEVs. Freeway capable vehicles are expected to be readily available by 2010. In addition to Tesla, Chevy (Volt), Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda (hydrogen fuel cell technology) and Toyota, we can look for electric vehicles from Think (Norway), Smart EV (Mercedes) and Zenn (Toronto).

Electric Vehicle Benefits

o Pure electric vehicles are true zero emissions vehicles. No greenhouse gases are emitted during vehicle operation.

o Gasoline is eliminated, replaced by grid sourced electricity generated from traditional and increasingly renewable sources. Many electric vehicles have factory installed or aftermarket solar panels installed on roofs.

o Fuel cost (electricity) per mile is 20-25% of gasoline or flex-fuel cost.

o 95% of the energy used to recharge EVs comes from domestic sources. Dependence on foreign oil is reduced.

o Very low vehicle operation and maintenance costs.

o Self energy generation through regenerative braking.

o Simple battery recharging through standard household 110V outlets and recharging stations.

o Electric vehicles are in production and available today at prices in a similar range to that of traditional gasoline and hybrid cars. A few models are also available in the luxury price range.

Limitations

o 250-300 mileage range using Lithium-ion batteries

o Battery cost, weight, disposal

o Few commercial battery recharging stations

o At-home battery charging is not practical for apartment dwellers and those who cannot park near their home

Overcoming limitations

o EV mileage range will increase as battery technology improves.

o Battery footprint, cost and weight will be reduced through new technology.

o Battery recharging stations will spread as EV production increases

Implications and Consequences

o Physical vehicle characteristics and conveniences will change. Vehicles will take on non-traditional appearances

o Vehicle reliability and durability will increase

o Vehicle operating costs will decline as fuel costs, repair costs and replacement parts costs will all decline

o Reduced congestion due to smaller vehicle footprint

o More consumer choices

o Reduced dependence on fossil fuels, imported oil

Stan Gassman, BSC Sustainability Services, Copyright 2008-2009



Source by Stan Gassman

4 Most Important Things to Know About Florida Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bonds

When you're considering the start of a new business, such as an auto dealership, there are many different steps you'll need to take, and many different requirements you'll need to meet. When it comes to obtaining your Florida auto dealers license, there are numerous specifics, and one of the most essential will be obtaining the proper Florida dealer bond insurance.

Use this guide to find the 4 most important things to know about Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds, to make sure you handle everything you need in the right way.

1. Dealer Bonds Are Always Required:

There are 10 different Florida auto dealers license types according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, but regardless of which type you have or need, you will need to have Florida dealer bond insurance in place. That requirement remains consistent, however, other factors as described below will differ.

2. Different Amounts:

Depending on the type of license you are operating under, you'll need Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds in different amounts. All motor vehicle dealers in the state need a $ 25,000 bond, for example. However, recreational vehicle dealers only need a $ 10,000 surety bond.

Additionally, you'll also have the option to pursue a line of credit in the same amount, as opposed to traditional Florida dealer bond insurance. This is a less common option though and often places more potential burden on the business owner. It may be easier for you to obtain though, depending on credit statuses and so forth.

3. Deadlines and Renewals:

In the state of Florida, motor vehicle dealer surety bonds are set to expire annually. However, different license types will have different expiration dates, so it's important not to make any assumptions.

For example, Independent Dealers, who have a VI license and sell only used vehicles, have an expiration date of April 30. However, Franchise Dealers with VF licensing, who can sell both new and used cars, have a December 31 expiration. Recreational vehicle dealers, both RV and RU licensing, expire on September 30.

These differenting dates are important to keep in mind, because if you miss your renewal date, you can unknowingly be committing a serious crime, and face major consequences. The dates are also different so as to reduce processing time across the year instead of having one major rush.

4. Other Requirements are Necessary:

Florida dealer bond insurance is one of the primary requirements for licensure. However, it's certainly not the only one. You'll also need proper garage liability insurance with the correct established minimums, and you'll need to ensure you file the right HSMV paperwork with the right fees, get a Federal employee ID number, get fingerprinted, undergo pre-licensing training, and more.

Hopefully by now you've learned more about Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds, and the different needs and requirements, and varying steps in the process. There's a lot to sort through, but having all the information available upfront will make everything much easier and smoother.



Source by John Rothschild

Reading Games For Kids Should Involve The Basic Letters

The youngest kids around can easily use reading games for kids. These games can teach them about the alphabet. This is one of the most essential points of learning to read that any child should understand. A good game can help to make it easier for any child to understand this. There are many reasons why it is such a good idea to see how these games can teach kids how the ABC's can work.

Why the ABC's?

The alphabet is important simply for the fact that it is the main set of building blocks for reading. The alphabet includes individual letters that have their own sounds. They all have their own standards that could be used when getting them all arranged.

Letters can form words

A good point of getting reading games for kids to work with learning the alphabet involves how these games can include details on how different names are arranged. This comes from how letters can be used to create meanings for individual items in language. Understanding these letters will be a smart thing for any child to do.

Many games for the youngest kids can teach them how different letters can start certain words. Teaching the link between letters and items in a game can help to get any kid to learn how to read.

Arrangement of letters also helps

The largest part of learning the alphabet in reading games for kids involves how these letters can be used together to create a wide variety of sounds. These are all sounds that will be used in several types of words throughout the English language. Teaching kids how to mix these letters together can get them to understand how different types of words are formed and how they can be verbally said. This may be used to get any child to understand how well a word can be spoken.



Source by Marry Sumry