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Why You Shouldn’t Buy OEM Car Parts

November 22, 2017

Lately there’s been a slightly disturbing commercial airing on Youtube and on TV networks. Said commercial talks about the importance of being able to “choose” to buy parts from the original manufacturer. While obviously consumer choice is part of a healthy market, when it comes to anything involving cars, there are so many scams out there it’s not even funny.

Ironically enough, often the people most guilty of overcharging and borderline illegal business practises (sometimes crossing over into downright illegal territory) are the dealerships themselves. This is especially ironic because the dealerships are the ones people tend to trust the most, and often pay needless amounts of extra money just for the privilege of doing business with them.

Tricky Title:

I’m even willing to bet that many people read that title and thought that this article was going to advocate for buying the cheapers and lowest quality parts out there! The facts are, nothing could be further from the truth.

But what a lot of us don’t realize is that OEM is actually a MINIMUM standard. There are many 3rd party parts suppliers that set the bar higher than OEM, in some cases way higher.

What To Replace:

Sometimes, in fact, it can be in the interest of safety and also save you money in the long run to replace OEM parts with better parts. In general, here are some parts to think about replacing on your car, even if they are still in working condition, and especially if the car is more than 5 years old:

Tyres: Go somewhere like TyrePlus and get some real tires on that car, and you will see the difference immediately. Not only will your car handle better, especially in nasty weather, it will obatin better fuel efficiency instantly, and be much safer on the road.

Rims: People often think of these things as a way of showing off your car and impractical, but nothing could be further from the truth. And OEM rims are often mediocre at best. These also go a long way as far as improving handling, fuel efficiency and safety.

Brake Pads: Proper brake pads are a must, and they are not that expensive. At the very minimum, your car should have a set of nice new ceramic brake pads on them. Steel ones are not recommended.

In Case Of Repair:

So if you need to repair your car and the repair includes replacing old parts, what should I look for? Here are some simple guidelines:

-If replacing brake pads, always go for ceramic, (unless you are driving a big truck or planning to race your car) and don’t look at the price, look at their rating.

-If replacing shocks, go for gas shocks all the way, even if your car didn’t have them. On paper, they usually represent a 25% improvement in performance over the original part, but in practise it can feel like 100%.

-If a mechanic starts suggesting ripping critical parts off of a wreck in the junkyard, run, don’t walk away. Non-critical parts like, for example, a cover to the light assembly are fine to buy second hand, but nothing critical to the car’s operation.


The Strangest Things Sent In The Post In 2017

August 31, 2017

  • The British public has shared the most shocking parcels they’ve received in the mail
  • Anecdotes range from unwrapped adult toys to fully decorated Christmas trees
  • One homesick student received a fully plated Sunday dinner, gravy and all
  • How good is your parcel knowledge? Play the quiz here

From a fully plated Roast dinner to human teeth, and even a live goldfish, the British public have shared the strangest items they have recently received through the post.

Notable packages that have raised eyebrows amongst the thousands of parcels sent in the past 12 months, included a medieval suit of armour and a fully decorated Christmas tree.

The list of some of Britain’s most unusual mail was collated by online parcel delivery company, The full list can be viewed here.

One of the most shocking stories was from a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, whose boyfriend had attempted to keep things interesting during a long-distance relationship by sending her an adult toy. However, the man in question had neglected to package the item in a box (pictured below), resulting in much embarrassment for his girlfriend when she had to sign for the package from the postman.

Another eye-raising example shared with included a homesick student being sent his mother’s Sunday roast. Rather than opt for Tupperware, the Sunday dinner, underneath the parcel paper, arrived fully plated covered in Clingfilm, gravy and all.

Some of the other strange items the public admitted to receiving in the post, included:

  • A baby’s tooth (presumably addressed to the tooth fairy)
  • A goldfish (absent fish tank!)
  • The ashes of the recently deceased pet cat
  • A Bonzai tree
  • A ship’s toilet

Dawn Henderson, from the Marketing Team at, said: “With millions of parcels sent across the UK every year, people were always going to be on the receiving end of some more ‘interesting’ items than your usual Amazon purchase or latest ASOS order.

“We certainly felt for the poor lady who had to sign for the unpackaged adult toy, as there’s no doubt the postman would have known what he was delivering.

“Other stories, like the baby’s tooth and student roast dinner are quite heart-warming examples of where sending parcels can keep people connected in one way or another.

“We would advise anyone thinking of sending a more unusual item to check what can and cannot be sent through a parcel network, and how to suitably package a parcel.”


Vaping Healthier, More Enjoyable Than Cigarettes, Global Poll Finds

June 9, 2017

People are turning to vaping over tobacco products because they see them as a far healthier alternative to smoking and enjoy a large range of fruity flavors, a new global survey on vaping has found.

The survey, organised for World No Tobacco Day on May 31 this year, involved more than 5,000 people around the globe. It also revealed what many people already vaping know: that it’s a far cheaper alternative to smoking cigarettes. Combined with the health costs, governments have been steadily increasing taxation on tobacco products to try and dissuade people from smoking, to the point that cigarettes have become high-priced items that can be difficult to afford.

An initiative of the World Health Organization, World No Tobacco Day came as governments are examining ways of making their countries smoke-free due to the deadly effects of inhaling toxic tobacco smoke. For this year’s event, the WHO called smoking “a threat to development” and said that, overall, tobacco kills more than seven million people around the world each year.

New Zealand is the latest country to legalize vaping, and the government has declared its intention to try and go completely smoke-free by 2025. It said it is “determined to reduce the horrendous burden of death and disease caused by smoking” and that tobacco “is the only legal consumer product that, when used as the manufacturer intends, kills over half its users.”

The vaping survey was conducted online between April and May on behalf of e-cig maker VON ERL, and the results were analysed by researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. It sought to discover attitudes in societies about cigarette smoking and vaping. In particular, it wanted to see if they were changing as more people become aware of the real health risks associated with tobacco. An overwhelming majority (75.2%) of respondents said they vaped because it was “healthier than smoking”, while 65.8% said they were using e-cigarettes as a way to give up smoking.

The variety of flavors — easily available as an e-juice from an online vape shop — was the reason 68.4% of people surveyed had taken up vaping. More than half, meanwhile, at 50.2%, said they preferred vaping to smoking for the financial benefits, as e-juice refills last much longer than several packs of cigarettes and cost much less.

The survey also discovered that vapers are increasingly attempting to wean themselves off nicotine and that e-juice containing lower levels of it have become trendy in recent years. A total of 67.2% of those surveyed said they used e-liquids with 1-5mg of nicotine per mililiter. This compares to other levels of nicotine that range from 10ml, all the way up to 120ml.

Even attitudes among people who do not vape seem to be changing, with 43.2% saying vaping was not as dangerous to health as smoking, compared to 97.2% of people using e-cigarettes who held the same view. Delving deeper into those who vape, the survey found that most vapers are young and people who like quality, especially vaping products that are well designed.

The average vaper is male, around 35 years of age, and earns up to €2,000 per month — and is willing to pay more than €70 for an e-cigarette. Additionally, the typical vaper enjoys the fruity tobacco e-juice flavors that are used with e-cigarettes. Aromas like apple and strawberry are popular in such places as Germany, while Italians who vape prefer tobacco flavor, the survey found.

Where are they all getting their e-cigarettes and e-juices? As with much of everything these days, it’s on the internet, at a vape shop. It seems as though the day of the cigarette is fast coming to a close while the far healthier, cheaper and more enjoyable electronic version is truly starting to shine.


Natural Alternatives to Arbonne

May 7, 2017

This meal replacement shake is designed for vegans. The product contains only plant based ingredients. A total number of 40 ingredients includes various herbs and minerals, such as Alfalfa Leaf Powder, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Citrate etc.

A serving of Arbonne Shake supplies 160 calories. Thirty of these calories come from fat. Such energy value is more than the average caloric content of most MR products. It is good to substitute a full meal, but requires more effort in the gym to burn these calories.

The protein of Arbonne Shake comes from three sources: cranberry protein, rice protein and pea protein isolate. Since the product is designed to meet vegans’ requirements, the quality of protein is lower than whey or dairy sources. Besides, the amount of amino acids in plant protein is lower than in other sources. For this reason, do not be under illusion that 20g of protein in each serving is a great value.

A package for 30 servings of the shake is available for $69.99. Taking into account the advised daily dosage of the shake of 2 servings, the cost of the product increases twofold.

The natural alternatives to Arbonne are introduced below.

Vega One

This protein shake also contains plant protein. The protein sources include pea protein, sancha inchi and hemp protein. Such protein-containing ingredients as organic acacia gum and chlorella vulgaris are also added. However, the quality of protein is not high, because it lacks essential amino acids. Vega One shake contains no artificial sweeteners. Instead of them, a glycemic alternative sweetener called stevia is used. In general, the product contains many organic ingredients.

The price of Vega One is the main issue of this product. You will pay $69.99 for a package of 20 servings. Each servings supplies 20g of protein. It should be taken into account that the protein quality differs from the dairy source of protein. In addition, plant protein is not good in taste, which is the main complain of the customers.

18 Shake

This is another product made of natural components. Unlike two previous MR shakes, 18 Shake provides dairy protein of really high quality. The whey source of protein contains the necessary amino acids that are essential for various processes in the body.

The shake supplies 15g of protein and 90 calories. Despite the relatively low caloric content, it is enough to keep a consumer full for 3-4 hours according to the customers’ feedbacks.

This absolutely natural MR product costs $59.99 and multiple purchases are available at discount.

Isagenix Isalean

The MR shake by Isagenix Company offers a lot of protein (24g) and calories (240). Considering such amounts of essential components, the shake is hardly effective in weight management. Besides, the sugar amount is also alarming (11g).

The quality of ingredients is at average level. The protein is a mixture of different sources. Nevertheless, there is no soy-based protein.

A standard package of Isalean Shake is available for $51.95 and meant for 14 servings. This issue along with complaints about the taste are the main sources of the customers’ dissatisfaction.