Archive | May, 2011


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Keeping Your Car Insurance Options Flexible and Your Premiums Reasonable

Posted on 29 May 2011 by admin


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Car insurance is an expense that looms large in most everybody’s budget.  Though you wait anxiously for your car to age enough to see significant reductions in your premium rates, you might be shocked to see them eventually creep upward instead.  But there is hope, especially for those folks who pay their premiums in monthly installments.  Use the Internet to get car insurance quotes and look for the more reasonable rates in Portland, Oregon.  You can save up to 20% when you comparison-shop for your car insurance.  It’s not hard to get a quote; often, it is simply a matter of entering some key information into one or more online insurance rate search applications to obtain quotes from a range of provider companies.

Customers who choose to pay the whole of their premium in a single annual transaction only have one chance each year to compare premium rates among companies and to switch when they find a better deal.  People who decide to pay a monthly premium have a better situation.  This is because they are allowed to discontinue their insurance at any time in the policy year as long as they give their present company the required notice.

But before you jump on this opportunity, check with your current agent to make sure there isn’t a deal-breaking fee involved in being cut loose early.  Some providers include a “short-rate” adjustment factor in their policies.  This means you will pay a higher final premium when you cancel before the end of the policy period.  In most cases, you will be expected to give the provider advance notice, but this is not difficult.  When you do give notice of premature discontinuance of their policy, be sure you correlate your final date on your old policy to the first covered day of your new policy.  Check your policy or ask your agent about the length of the notice period required.  Do not fail to include your name, address, and policy number in your notice letter.

Some of us, once we get into our rate shopping, will discover that we can not only pay less for our coverage, but that we can upgrade that coverage in the new policy.  Resist the temptation to decrease the level of your deductibles and increase your liability coverage instead.  If you have an accident and it causes injuries to someone in the other car(s), you may find yourself being sued for more that what you liability covers you for.  If they win the case, you will have to make up the difference.  That can be a real life-ruining bill to pay.

If you hold a checking account, choose the option (if available) to have your premium withdrawn automatically from your account.  For anything other than annual premiums, this is undoubtedly the most economical way to go for premium payment.  Most insurance companies will charge you for having a premium notice sent to your address.  In most cases, this is not the case with automatic electronic withdrawals.  This is just another way you can keep your insurance expenses to a minimum.

Should you choose to have your premium payment done through electronic withdrawal, and you decide at some point to switch providers, making the adjustment is not hard.  Just phone the company’s 800 number and ask a representative if you need to fill out a form to continue automatic payment with another company.  Then, in your notice of cancellation letter, be sure you state that you want to discontinue any such payments to your old provider.  And don’t forget to file a copy.

Kaida Emery has worked with car insurance, and the companies that offer it, for over ten years and knows just how to save consumers money on their own unique policies. From her time as an inspector to her work as an agent for one of the most well known companies on the market, she strives to provide candid information to readers around the country.

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Fiat’s two-cylinder TwinAir named Engine of the Year

Posted on 23 May 2011 by admin

A jury of 76 international motoring journalists decided the best and finest engine today is the FIAT 500′s two-cylinder TwinAir unit, according to  The journalists stated FIAT “got it spot on – the greatest thing about it is that it doesn’t sacrifice fun for economy.”  The FIAT 500 is a very economical car with only two cylinders and the engine is also turbocharged.  The small, busy little engine provides an enormous amount of driving fun.

The FIAT 500 TwinAir engine was also victorious in the “Best New Engine,” “Best Sub 1-litre” and “Best Green Engine” categories, even beating zero-emission pure electric vehicle engines like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi in the latter category.  The Fiat Group also won as the new 570bhp, 4.5-litre V8 engine of the Ferrari 458.  The winning categories were “Best Performance Engine” and “Above 4-litre”.

Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, said “FIAT has now produced one of the all-time great engines.  Its triumph is a clear signal that less is more: people want low-emission, fuel-efficient yet powerful engines and just two cylinders certainly seems to provide a comprehensive solution.”

Feel free to experience the power of these small, busy engines for yourself at Tonkin Fiat.

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Ten Fuel Efficient Cars Reviewed

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Ten Fuel Efficient Cars Reviewed

Posted on 22 May 2011 by admin

This guest post is by Nicole Rodgers of Free Insurance Quotes.

Just because you want to get behind the wheel of a fuel efficient vehicle does not mean that you have to give up comfort, style, or performance.  The global economic crisis and the rising cost of energy have made car manufacturers think twice before rolling out gas-guzzling machines off their assembly lines.  As a result, there are quite a few attractive options for car buyers who wish to save at the pump with style.

1 – The Chevrolet Volt
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that this hybrid Chevy will get about 60 miles per gallon of fuel (mpg).  That makes it the most fuel efficient car (with a gasoline engine) in America.  Unlike previous hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius, the Volt can be plugged in and run about 40 miles without consuming a single drop of gasoline.  The Volt is not only a wonder of automotive engineering, it is also a stylish-looking compact car.

2 – The Ford Fiesta SE
As the only US automaker that did not require a government bailout during the recent economic meltdown, Ford had enjoyed moderate success with the Focus, a sporty and reasonably priced fuel-efficient compact. The new Fiesta SE is an even sportier version of the Focus with an automatic transmission that can get up to 40 mpg thanks to a 6 speed twin-clutch gearbox.

3 – The Honda Fit
Honda has been manufacturing fuel-efficient vehicles for a few years.  The Honda Fit is their flagship subcompact four-door hatchback that offers an impressive amount of cargo space.  The EPA estimates that the versatile Fit can get 33 mpg of combined highway and city driving.

4 – The Audi A3 TDI
When American drivers think of diesel fuel, they tend to imagine John Deere tractors and slow city buses.  Modern diesel is a cleaner and longer lasting fuel than gasoline.  The Audi A3 TDI is a four-door hatchback with a powerful engine that not only delivers a 200 horsepower driving experience, but it can also do so across 600 miles on a single tankful of diesel.

5 – The Chevrolet Cruze Eco
General Motors’ commitment to energy-saving is not limited to the Chevy Volt.  The Cruze Eco is their fuel-efficient replacement to the previous Chevy Cobalt; a compact sedan that is designed to rival Japanese mainstays such as the Civic and the Corolla.  The Cruze Eco beats its rivals with a combined 33 mpg.

6 – The BMW 335d
Yet another European torque-loving diesel: the BMW 335d is a sporty sedan that leaves the Chevy Camaro and even the BMW M3 in the dust with a powerful engine that somehow manages to get a combined 27 mpg.

7 – The Honda Civic GX
For many years, the Civic has been synonymous with economy.  The new Honda Civic does not run on gas, diesel, or even electricity.  This progressive-thinking compact sedan runs on compressed natural gas, one of the cleanest and most efficient technologies.  This new Civic can take you on a 900 mile trip on a single tank.

8 – The Lexus CT 200h
This is not your father’s Lexus.  It is smaller and lacks the power of its predecessor, but it manages to deliver a luxurious driving experience on a hybrid engine.  With an EPA-rated 40 mpg of combined driving, the Lexus is priced evenly with other hybrids such as the Chevy Volt.

9 – The Volkswagen GTI
The VW GTI has always been known as the quintessential sports car.  The latest version of the GTI does not sacrifice performance over fuel efficiency.  The new GTI purrs with a turbocharged four-cylinder 200 horsepower engine.  The EPA estimate for the GTI is 32 mpg on the highway, a little less than the Honda Fit, but a lot more fun to drive.

10 – The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
While the Fusion Hybrid sedan did not spark the success that Ford envisioned, the new Lincoln MKZ may just do so with elegance. The MKZ hybrid gets an impressive 39 mpg, about the same as a Ford Fiesta. The basic elements of a luxury sedan are all there: stylish cozy interior, huge back seat, smart dashboard, ampple trunk space, and more.

With the new fuel efficient vehicles drivers can expect to spend less time at gas stations and more time enjoying their cars.  More fuel efficient vehicles can be reviewed at Tonkin Green.


Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about cars for 3 years; she currently helps people study for their DMV exam and also contributes to a car insurance blog.

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2011 Honda CRZ Progress Report

Posted on 15 May 2011 by admin

Hi car guys and Honda people!

I now have nearly 7,000 miles on my 2011 Honda CRZ (deluxe package, CVT) and it continues to grow on me.

Of course, in the six months I’ve owned it, gas has gone up to $4, which is what the car is designed for.

I think I have now achieved the optimum mileage possible on a road trip, exactly 46 mpg, from Portland to Salem, Oregon.  Conditions were ideal: summer regular fuel; 60 degrees and clear, so no use of lights, wipers or AC; Honda synthetic motor oil; a relatively flat trip with only the climb out of Portland to hurt mileage.  I simply set the system on Econ and cruise control at 64 mph.

It should be noted that it is hard to break 42 mpg highway in the dark of winter with AC, lights and all accessories working and winter fuel blend.

The stubby CRZ is not as efficient in shape as the Prius, so the mpg is drag-limited, and will go down if you travel at 70 or 75 mph.  The car is very willing to do it if you want, and rides and handles well for such a short wheelbase.

Hondas are generally tight little engines when new, and Honda uses a special break-in oil.  The engine is much peppier now after the first oil change to synthetic.  Certainly when driven in sport mode, there is more than enough power to make things fun, and also to exceed all legal speed limits.

Overall I really enjoy the car.  The stereo system is fantastic and the iPod works great for trips.  Luggage capacity is entirely adequate for two people.  I am planning to make a permanent tonneau cover to provide full luggage privacy soon.  It is a solid and tight little car; any squeaks come from your gear that is stowed right behind you.

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P-Town Zombies

Posted on 13 May 2011 by admin

Zombies have invaded Portland! Download your Zombie Survival Guide today!

P-Town Zombies

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Hope On Wheels Hyundai Genesis

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10 Years of Fighting Pediatric Cancer

Posted on 09 May 2011 by admin

Hope On Wheels Hyundai Genesis
Hope On Wheels Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai is celebrating its 10 year anniversary of its commitment to supporting the fight against pediatric cancer.  Since 1998, over $10 million has been donated to children’s hospitals nationwide.  In fact, every time a new Hyundai in Portland is sold, $5 is donated to Hyundai Hope on Wheels.  This program awards more than $1 million annually to pediatric research.

The hand prints on the Genesis represent children who have fought, won, and tragically in some cases, lost their battle with this dreaded disease.  Hyundai’s nearly 800 dealers are not only committed to providing great products and services, but are equally committed to helping the Gresham and Portland, Oregon communities in which they live and work.  Hope on Wheels unites all Hyundai dealers in the mission to one day find a cure for pediatric cancer.

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Ken Benson

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Employee Spotlight: The Benson Brothers

Posted on 01 May 2011 by admin

Don Benson

Don Benson

Technicians Don and Ken Benson have worked for Ron Tonkin Honda for over 34 and 28 years respectively.  They are both ASE Certified, Honda certified and Platinum Level Honda Journeymen.  They are truly experts in their field and we are very fortunate to have them here.  But, as Don says, “The technology now is changing so fast that even if you are 100% trained today, you still need to take classes as it is always changing.”

Don, Ken and their entire family were born and raised right here in Portland.  They both have Hondas parked in their driveways and guess what their kids drive?  That’s right, Hondas as well.

They have worked on and repaired over 100,000 Hondas in their careers at Ron Tonkin Honda, are the most requested technicians in the dealership and help out other technicians in the shop.  They have worked alongside each other their entire careers.  Many customers and families know Don and Ken and still ask for their advice on their 6th or 7th Honda.

We asked them what they like best about working at Ron Tonkin Honda and they stated our service department is like their extended family: “We have seen folks here get married, have kids and watched their kids learn how to drive and come in here and buy their first Honda.  We also have the largest parts warehouse in the nation and we are proud to work at one of the very first Honda dealerships in the country.  In addition, the Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships are good to their customers and their employees, another great reason we are still here!”

Ken Benson

Ken Benson

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