Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 4)

Super Bowl 2018 car commercials

Another year, another Sunday evening spent covering a series of minute-long and terribly expensive car commercials. While only a few automakers joined the ad fray for Super Bowl LII, there were a decent number of commercials. Let’s see what you may have missed.

Lexus: The car Black Panther would drive, evidently

Lexus may already have an LC500 tricked out in a wild livery to celebrate the release of “Black Panther,” but its Super Bowl commercial was all about the new 2018 LS sedan.

While it may take a leap of faith to imagine that King T’Challa would really get down in a fancy Toyota, the ad rocked the right sort of attitude for a big debut like the Super Bowl.

Hyundai: Kona and cute kids

Hyundai debuted two commercials during the Super Bowl. The first focused on the all-new Kona subcompact SUV and a referee who made the best effort possible to end a youth soccer game early enough so that everyone can go home and watch the Super Bowl. It was cute, and watching a referee throw a bunch of red cards at kids turned out to be pretty entertaining.

Hyundai’s second ad is a mixed bag. In short, it was used to highlight that the purchase of a new Hyundai supports the automaker’s charitable donations for pediatric cancer, and the video showed a bunch of Hyundai buyers being carted away to a room where cancer survivors hugged and thanked them.

Kia: Steven Tyler and time-machine CGI

Kia did some weird stuff to Steven Tyler’s face to help sell a car that, if you take the automotive media at its word, is the best thing since sliced bread. I mean, hell, it also won the Roadshow Shift award for car of the year… why not put that in the commercial? It would have been cheaper than whatever they paid that reincarnated sea witch to pretend to drive.

Toyota: Mobility, mobility, mobility

Toyota had its biggest Super Bowl ad buy ever this year, and it used that time to focus on one word: mobility. Both the ad above and the one below use Toyota’s sponsorship of the Olympics and Paralympics to discuss Toyota’s new brand message, which happens to be “mobility for all.”

Jeep: Solid ads and rocks

Jeep had probably the best Super Bowl of any automaker. Its three commercials were all about the product without having to rely on some serious stretching. The first one was all about the end of the road, and how Jeeps aren’t really bound by such constraints. It featured the refreshed 2019 Cherokee, which now sports a face better aligned with television than with radio.

Jeep’s second commercial had dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum in a throwback to the Tyrannosaurus rex escape scene from the first “Jurassic Park.” It all ties together at the end with a tagline involving evolution, because the Wrangler is entirely new for the 2018 model year and evolution is how everyone on Isla Nublar ended up in that mess. Clever girl.

Jeep’s third spot of the day was by far its best. This 30-second commercial features one car, one camera, zero music and a very simple voice-over. It lets the product stand on its own, something car commercials rarely do these days. No complaints here, just an SUV in its natural habitat as the gods intended.

Ram: Stretching in every sense of the word

Ram’s commercial featured Vikings, because they’re just the rough-and-tumble sort that would love a rugged pickup truck like a Ram 1500 — provided that Vikings would even be able to grasp the concept of the internal combustion engine, let alone a whole vehicle. There was a tie-in with Minnesota, the location of this year’s Super Bowl and a city that uses the Viking as a mascot for its football team.

(Credits to: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/super-bowl-2018-car-commercials-recap/)

THE 10 MOST IMPORTANT AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES OF THE YEAR

Hakkapeliitta 9

Nokia Tyres Hakkapelitta 9

Tires that crush ice

Nokian Tires

Sometimes the rubber wants to meet the road, and the road is like “nope”—because the pavement is covered in ice. That’s why this winter tire digs in with two different types of steel studs. The middle ones are triangular, with a beveled edge that increases grip during acceleration and braking. The shoulder-mounted spikes are Y-shaped; their increased surface area grabs slippery asphalt expertly in corners.

CabinWatch backseat surveillance

Honda CabinWatch

Break it up.

Honda

Is little Janey asleep? Does Baby Alfred need more Cheerios to dump all over the floor? These are questions parents could answer without risking wrecks thanks to a new interior camera system available on Honda’s Odyssey minivan. A ceiling-mounted wide-angle lens beams the backseat action to the front’s touchscreen. Grownups can even zoom in on any of the five seats if they suspect an occupant of being a real jerk.

2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford GT
A shape-shifting supercar.

Ford

The paradox of speed: Your machine should grab the pavement in turns but slice through the air on the straights. To answer these competing needs, the Ford GT changes shape. A cam inside its rear wing can rotate, fattening the spoiler’s profile for more aerodynamic grip. When going for max miles per hour, the wing retracts and the cam rotates again so it doesn’t stop the air slipping by at up to 216 miles per hour.

SRT power chiller

Dodge SRT power chiller

Breathing fire into the Demon.

Dodge

It’s not the gas but the oxygen that goes boom in your engine; stuff more air into your cylinders, get more power. To achieve the SRT Demon’s crazy acceleration, Dodge’s necromancers of speed flow the breeze over what is essentially an air-conditioning compressor before the supercharger crams the air into its V-8. Colder air holds more oxygen, creating a bigger boom and, eventually, 840 glorious hell ponies.

A8 active suspension

Audi A8 active suspension

Shocks that throw blocks.

Audi

Audi’s new flagship sedan can brace for impact. When some yahoo is about to plow into its side, sensors pick up the impending crunch and raise an alert. Then, electric motors attached to the suspension lift the crashward side, directing the force of the collision at the car’s doors and floor—the body’s strongest parts.

Colorado ZR2

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

From office to off-road.

Chevrolet

Other factory off-piste pickups are huge, but you can park the ZR2 in a regular garage. Engineers tested it on nine of the roughest courses in the country, including the boulder hell known as the Rubicon. The truck owned. How? A custom suspension, with F1 origins, utilizes three sets of valves: Two make the shocks perform better when the truck tackles rough terrain; the other softens ’em up for smooth roads.

Nuviz

Nuviz helmet attachment

Keeps your eyes on the road.

Nuviz

One problem with a motorcycle’s dashboard: You have to look down to see it—a bad idea when you’re hurtling across the countryside on two wheels. Nuviz brings the dials and screens to eye level. The helmet-mounted device’s head-up display projects an image on your eye shield of your speed, a map, and even turn-by-turn directions. It also has an action cam that’ll capture stills and videos from your ride. $699.

Safe-driving enforcement

Apple Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb.

Apple

Distracted driving killed 3,477 people in 2015; Apple’s new mobile OS will try to keep road warriors focused. If you turn it on, Do Not Disturb While Driving will detect that your phone is in a moving car—either because it’s connected to the vehicle, or by tracking nearby Wi-Fi waves as you cruise. The screen stays black, notifications go quiet, and anyone hitting you up gets an auto response. (Get it?)

Skyactiv-X: A gas engine that can act like a diesel

Mazda Skyactiv-X

Debuting in the 2019 Mazda debut.

Mazda

Diesel engines squeeze the air and fuel in their cylinders until pressure makes the pair combust on its own; gas mills, meanwhile, fire spark plugs to create those torque-birthing explosions. This system, set to debut on the 2019 Mazda 3, blends the two, and gets up to 30 percent more MPG. It keeps the air-fuel ratio light on the petrol so it won’t self-ignite, but, in certain situations, it’ll squirt a skosh of extra fuel into the chamber and set it ablaze with the spark plug. That flame raises the pressure in the cylinder so the main supply of air and fuel more efficiently burns itself up.

Best of What’s New was originally published in the November/December 2017 issue of Popular Science.

(credits to: https://www.popsci.com/top-automotive-innovations-2017)

Best Holiday Gifts for the Car Lover in Your Life

(www.autotrader.com)

Here’s a reality check: The holiday season is officially upon us (when tinsel and eggnog hit the store shelves, it’s on, folks). And that means it’s time to start shopping for gifts. If you’ve got a car lover on your list, never fear: we’ve put together the best stuff for auto buffs.

1. Haynes Manuals

$20-$40, haynes.com

Like textbooks and classics, there’s something comforting about manuals. So ditch the idea that manuals are merely for ignoring and stuffing into a glove box. The Haynes Manuals make a great gift for drivers of Acuras to Volvos and seemingly every model in between. Perfect for the do-it-yourself-er who wants to get schooled in such niche studies as anti-lock brake systems, heating and air conditioning and automotive computer codes. Your car loving buddy will also dig the digital version that has large-format color photos, color wiring diagrams, keyword search function and quick links to common jobs. The manuals also feature model-specific HD videos to walk them through a variety of processes.

2. Steeling Wheel Protector and Car Seat Protector

When it comes to cars and accoutrements, sometimes simple is best. We love the un-fussy, stylish genuine leather steering wheel cover by Elegant USA. It protects hands in chilly weather, makes your digits a little more comfy, and looks like it belongs in every car. It fits in by standing out — in the best way. If you have a friend with a penchant for hitting up the drive-through (with more than a few smudges to show for it) a new cover is the best way to spruce things up. 2-pack, $89.99, driveautoproducts.com

Crumb-age (the unsightly onslaught of too many croissants) is a real problem. Keep your auntie’s seats in pristine condition and get her a set of car seat protectors from Drive Auto Products. These neoprene-backed beauties don’t slip or slide out of position. They have a thick foam cushion to give your tired bod a little boost, and are heat-resistant, fade-resistant, waterproof and have a universal neutral fit. Choose from black or dark gray, and give your loved ones a lovely new reason to snack away — these guys clean up in a snap. $14.99, Sears.com

3. Roav Dash Cam C1

$89.99, GoRoav.com

For the camera junkie you love, nothing captures the holiday spirit like the Roav by Ankor Dash. This dashcam records in full HD, can simultaneously track up to four lanes of traffic with a wide-angle lens and is shock activated (a sensor activates the camera if your car is bumped or moved to automatically record hit and runs).

The lighter side of the dash cam is just pure fun, like when your pal catches a crazy meteor shower he’s just got to show off, he can download the ROAV app to share in a snap.

4. Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit

$56, meguiars.com

Like chefs with their knives, and ballerinas with their pointe shoes, car geeks and kits go hand in hand. Get your gear gal a Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit to ring in the New Year and let the happy dance commence. This 12-piece cadre of fun includes a bottle of Gold Class Car Wash, Gold Class Carnauba Plus liquid wax (with special conditioners that reflect damaging UV rays), Endurance Tire Gel (to help keep tires inky black with a rich, dark gloss shine), Quik Detailer, a container of ScratchX and some essential car spa tools like a microfiber towel and wash mitt. Yes, of course you can hire someone to give your ride a spa day, but it’s so much fun to roll up your sleeves and bring back the sparkle yourself with some elbow grease.

5. Streamlight Night Com UV LED Flashlight

$57.55, streamlight.com

It may not be the sexiest gift in the world, but a heavy-duty flashlight is a safety must-have for all drivers. This one from Streamlight has an unbreakable polycarbonate lens, several different modes — LED high, LED low, UV LEDs and Safety (the latter mode prevents the light from coming on when you don’t want it to). This is no wimpy flashlight (like the ones you hoard from the dollar store that conk out ridiculously fast). This light is a favorite of law enforcement — who click it on to detect fraudulent documents — but your bestie can use it to check for engine and HVAC leaks. He or she should place one in the glove box and give you a huge hug for giving a safe gift, in all the right ways.

6. Chevy Seatbelt Belt

$19.99, discountbeltbuckle.com

Cute, clever and chic. Done. You’ve checked off each of those boxes when you fork over a crisp $20 and get a Chevy Seatbelt belt buckle for your GM-loving friend. Fashioned from a real seat belt made from high quality polyester and chrome-plated steel components, these fit any standard size pants and are fully adjustable up to size 38 (with XL sizes available upon request). It opens with the — you guessed it — click of a button. They’re made in the U.S. and are officially licensed by General Motors, so you’ll feel giddy about giving something glam without burning through too much cash.

7. DeWALT Tool Set

$115.24, dewalt.com

We’re guessing the car nut on your list has a pretty paltry tool set — you know, lots of random pieces sort of haphazardly thrown into a tackle box. All that changes when he or she opens this 108-piece beauty. Its packed with sockets of varying sizes, adaptors, ratchets, hex key sets and a 22-piece bit set with handy storage case. A polished chrome vanadium finish makes it extra gift-worthy. I mean, who doesn’t want something sparkly under the tree this year?

8. AVANTEK Universal Cell Phone Air Vent Car Mount Holder Cradle

$9.99, www.iavantek.com

Not all gifts need to put a dent in your wallet. A car mount is the perfect gift for that pal who needs a safe place for his phone (read: not in his hands). With its spring-loaded arm and sturdy mounting clips, this cradle can securely accommodate most phones, and the ability to swivel 360 degrees is an added plus. The two flexible clips may be rotated to fit vertical or horizontal air vent blades and the space in between is also adjustable. For those of us a little scratch-leery, this mount’s soft rubber padding protects a phone from any scuffs or nicks.

Gotta love when being a thoughtful gift giver with safety on the brain only sets you back about $10.

Whether you’ve got cash burning a hole in your pocket, or you’re looking for budget gear, spoil the car lover in your life this year with gifts that illuminate, sparkle and shine. It’s just the kind of fuel we all need.

(credits to: https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/best-holiday-gifts-for-the-car-lover-in-your-life-270490)

Top Destinations and Tips for Holiday Travel

PHOTO: Holiday travel (photo via Pixabay/Alexas_Fotos)

The winter holiday travel season is approaching fast and hotels and restaurants in the United States and Canada are preparing for the rush of visitors looking to spread the holiday spirit.

To help travelers find the perfect destinations, AAA’s professional inspectors have selected 12 of their favorite festive Diamond Rated properties to visit this holiday season.

For travelers hitting the road with their families, AAA suggests properties like The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia; The Inn on First in Napa, California; The St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, Colorado; and The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia.

Other travelers want to see the extravagant light displays and decorations that create a magical environment. Recommended properties that feature hundreds of thousands of lights, ornaments and garlands include Inn by the Bandstand in Exeter, New Hampshire; Lotte New York Palace in New York, New York; Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada; and The Breakers, Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Florida.

While the bright lights of Christmas are perfect for some, many travelers will hit the road this holiday season for a food adventure. For the perfect mix of holiday-themed menus and settings, check out the Glenlaurel Scottish Inn and Cottages in Rockbridge, Ohio; Westlake Grill in Red Deer, Alberta; Circa 1886 in Charleston, South Carolinaand The Inn on Negley in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In addition to offering ideal destinations, AAA has provided travelers with a list of tips to optimize any holiday season adventure. First, people hitting the road are advised to plan ahead and book early for the best deals and availability on hotels, airfare, car rentals and more.

Travelers should also be working with a travel agent, remaining flexible in terms of scheduling, staying safe by ensuring your vehicle is road-trip ready and packing plenty of patience, as congestion is expected during the busy holiday season.

 

Credits to: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/top-destinations-and-tips-for-holiday-travel.html

Dangers of Fall Driving

(Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock)

why driving in the fall can be dangerous

Weather conditions can be unpredictable in the fall. A bright, beautiful afternoon can turn rainy and cold in minutes. And with days getting shorter, you could find yourself commuting to or from work in darkness.

Back-to-school traffic

Fall means back to school for kids, which means more cars and buses on the roads. Drivers also need to watch out for increased pedestrian traffic in the morning and afternoon as children walk to and from school and their neighborhood bus stops.

Rain

The first rain in a few weeks can be particularly dangerous, as water pools on top of dust and oil that haven’t had a chance to wash away and makes the pavement extremely slippery.

Leaves (and leaf peepers)

Fall foliage is certainly beautiful, but as leaves begin to fall, they litter the roads, making streets slick while obscuring traffic lines and other pavement markings. They also hide potholes and other road hazards. And when it rains, it can make those wet leaves on the roadway as dangerous as ice.

And where there are turning leaves, there are leaf peepers. These leaf-peeping drivers tend to crawl along the roads and make unpredictable stops to admire the changing foliage. If you’re driving behind a car with out-of-state plates, give them a little extra space just in case they stop short for a photo.

Fog

Cold fall mornings often lead to fog, which can greatly limit your driving visibility and perception of distance. Fog tends to occur in low places or areas surrounded by hills, water, mountains, and trees. One common mistake drivers make during foggy conditions is putting on their high beams instead of staying with their low beams. This only makes visibility worse because your high beams will bounce off the fog and create glare.

When driving through fog, slow down and stay well behind the car in front of you so you’ll have adequate time to stop if you need to.

Frost

During the fall, temperatures tend to drop dramatically during the night, which can lead to morning frost and icy spots on the road. This is especially common on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas of the road.

Sun glare

Fall is also a bad time for sun glare on the roads. Sun glare can impact your sight for seconds after exposure, making it hard to see pedestrians, oncoming traffic, or the car in front of you. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers describe being “blinded” after exposure, and this sometimes leads to accidents or near misses.

Sun glare can also cause problems when the sun sets behind drivers. In this case, sunlight can bounce off your rearview mirror or reflect off traffic lights up ahead, and this can blind you for a split second while your eyes adjust. It can also make it hard (or impossible) to see traffic lights, which can prevent you from knowing if you’re supposed to stop or go.

Deer

The fall season brings an increase in deer activity because it’s their time for mating and migrating. If you live in a deer-heavy area, watch for darting deer, especially when driving at night.

fall driving tips

Being prepared for fall’s inclement weather and hazardous driving challenges is half the battle.

  • Watch your speed: Drive a bit slower when faced with fall driving hazards, especially if you’re driving around a school bus.
  • Keep your distance: Leave a little more space between you and the car in front on rainy or foggy days, during dawn or dusk, and in areas with wet leaves. This will give you more time to react.
  • Stick with low beams: Keep your headlights on low when driving in the fog (and rain). High beams will only cause glare.
  • Clear frost away from your windows: Frost can reduce visibility and response time on the road.
  • Approach traffic lights carefully: Sun glare can make it harder to see traffic lights change, so approach them with more than the normal care.
  • Avoid using products that increase gloss: Washing and waxing with these products can magnify the fall’s sunny glare and make it hard to see.
  • Clean your windshield, inside and out: When your windshield’s illuminated by sunlight, dust particles, streaks, and smudges become magnified, making it hard to see the road.
  • Watch for wildlife: especially in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Check your tire pressure: Since fall weather rapidly changes from warm to cold, your tires will often expand and contract. This can lead to a loss of pressure.

(Credits to: https://www.esurance.com/info/car/dangers-of-fall-driving)

5 ways to prepare your car for winter

 

The winter season can be detrimental for cars, which is why it’s important drivers prepare well in advance of when the harshest conditions arrive.

Ed Gliss, a test driver and technical expert for Michelin, said the best time for car owners to begin preparing vehicles for cold weather is in the weeks leading up to winter.

Here are five ways to make sure your car is ready to withstand cold weather for a safe driving experience.

Monitor tire pressure

Gliss said it’s important to check your tire pressure once a month, especially during the winter, since a tire’s pressure can drop as the air becomes colder.

“An under-inflated tire underperforms and does not wear good for the consumer,” he said.

Tire pressure is measured by pounds per square inch (PSI). If uncertain about what level of PSI your tire should be, the proper inflation level can typically be found inside the driver’s door jam.

In addition, there are specific styles of tires that can help navigate wintry weather better than others. A good rule of thumb is to at least have an all-season tire when driving in conditions below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. For those living in regions where temperatures may routinely approach zero, Gliss said it’s wise to look into winter tires, which are built for superior traction and handling on snowy or icy roads.

Have your battery tested

Battery capacity decreases significantly in cold weather, so it’s important to have a mechanic examine it to ensure it’s at peak performance, according to Michelin.

“It becomes increasingly important to have a well-performing battery in those cooler temperatures. It’s just harder on the cells and it robs their battery capacity,” Gliss said.

Parking a car in a garage, out of the freezing cold, is another way to protect the battery. Having jumper cables handy is also important, not only if your car breaks down, but also in case you come across another motorist in need of a jump start.

Look for cracks in windshields and make sure wiper blades are in working order

“If you have cracks or chips [on the windshield], they are likely to worsen in extreme cold temperatures. So I recommend getting those repaired or looked at by an expert,” Gliss said.

Gliss also recommended replacing wiper blades to ensure they can handle the various elements and keep the windshield clear. In addition, he said it’s important to use a washer fluid that’s rated for subfreezing temperatures.

Car owners should also make sure their defrosters are in proper working order to assist with maintaining visibility.

Add a coat of wax to your car

Michelin states that a fresh coat of wax before the snow starts falling can help protect a car against damage from salt and dirt on the roads.

Road salt, while an important factor to combat icy roads, can cause extensive damage to vehicles over time because it is corrosive.

Turtle Wax recommends using its product on the lower parts of the vehicle, including behind the wheels, quarter panels and front grille. This is because ice, snow and salt tend to build up and stay in these areas the longest.

Inspect headlights and brake lights

It’s vital to have fully functioning headlights and brake lights when dealing with thick winter fog or heavy snow.

“It’s going to help your own visibility while driving, but also make sure other drivers are able to see you,” Gliss said.

Gliss added that he notices plastic headlight covers with a haze on them or looking discolored. This can have a negative effect on the brightness of the headlights.

Plastic headlight lens repair kits can be found at various retailers if you choose not to have it serviced by a professional.

Credits to: “https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/5-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter/70000108” by Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer

 

50 Great Car Tips

1. Rainproof Your Windshield
Manufacturers recommend replacing your blades every three months. Keep a spare set in your trunk. A product such as Rain Clear can also help minimize the work of your wipers; spray it onto the glass every few weeks. In some light rains, it makes the wipers almost unnecessary.

2. Skip the DIY Car Wash
Washing a car at home uses five to 20 times more water than a professional car wash. You also aren’t doing your car any favors: A recent study at the University of Texas proved that a single DIY wash can leave scratches as deep as a tenth of the paint’s total thickness.

3. Eliminate Distractions
As driving instructors stress, your hands tend to follow where your eyes are looking. Adjusting the radio dial takes 5.5 seconds—and that’s 5.5 seconds when his eyes may not be on the road and both hands may not be on the wheel. Dialing a phone triples your risk of a crash. Reaching for a moving object increases it nine times. Worst of all is texting, which makes you 23 times more likely to crash. “Avoid the temptation to multitask behind the wheel altogether and put your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you get in the car,” says Ray Lahood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

4. Lower Your Seat
Drivers who sit higher feel as if they’re driving slower. Thus, SUV drivers, who are already piloting the vehicles most prone to roll, drive faster because they feel like they’re creeping along. So lower your seat to get the sensation of more speed.

5. Turn Your Lights On
A Canadian study from 1994 found that people who drive with their headlights on during daylight hours have an 11 percent decreased risk of being in an accident with another automobile.

6. Assume the Position
Smaller blind spots mean you’ll crane your neck less. Try this mirror adjustment method from Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR’s Car Talk: Set your rearview mirror as you normally would, then tilt it upward so you sit up straight. Lean your head against the driver’s window, then set your left mirror so you can see the back corner of your car. Lean right to do the right mirror.

7. Save Your Clutch
Don’t ride your clutch in anticipation of shifts. You’ll accelerate quicker and your clutch will last longer if you use it like expensive cologne—sparingly.

8. Check Your Hands
Your seat is positioned properly when you can hang your wrists over the top of the steering wheel. And remember not to grip the wheel as you would a tennis racket, with your thumbs wrapped around so that they connect in back with your fingers. Instead, leave your thumbs on top of the wheel. Otherwise, in a collision, the wheel can whip back around and snap your thumbs.

9. Don’t Jump the Gun
Ramp metering, or the use of traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to regulate flow, forces a small time penalty on drivers at the beginning of their commutes, but it pays off. “Requiring vehicles to wait 20 or 30 seconds can save drivers 5 to 10 minutes on their trip,” says David Schrank, Ph.D., of the Texas Transportation Institute.

10. Look Left, Then Right
Forty percent of car crashes occur at intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as do 22 percent of all fatal crashes. HOW TO…HANDLE ANY DRIVING SCENARIO

11. Deal with a Deer in the Road
Don’t take radical evasive action to avoid a collision, which is more likely to cause you bodily harm than making contact with the animal will. Plus, you’re facing a wild animal, and there’s no way to tell in which direction it will flee. If you have time, flash your headlights to try to scare the creature out of your path. If a collision is imminent, brake with your steering wheel straight. At the last possible second, steer away from the animal’s midsection to prevent the animal from crashing through your windshield and landing on your lap.

12. Downshift Like a Racer
Try the heel-toe shift, recommends driver Robby Gordon, winner of three Baja 1000s. “Use your foot to apply the accelerator and brake at the same time,” he says. “As you apply the brake, keep your right foot on the right side of the pedal so you can rock your foot over and use your heel to blip the throttle, which raises the rpms and allows the car to drop into gear more easily.”

13. Ford a Stream
Do not drive in water higher than the air intake, which is typically on the front side fender. Pick an area where the flow of water is slow and enter at an angle to cut down on the surface area of the vehicle being pushed against by the stream. Enter gently but with enough speed to cause a bow wave, which pushes the water forward, creating a shallower area, and ford at a constant speed.

14. Corner on Dirt
Going sideways is the quickest way through a corner on dirt, driver Rhys Millen, who was the General Lee’s main stunt driver in Dukes of Hazzard. “To do it well,” he says, “initiate the slide through input to the steering wheel—you oversteer into the turn. Flick the wheel in the opposite direction of the curve to break traction, then whip it back the other way to initiate a slide in the direction you want to go. Once the car starts to slide, you can ‘steer’ by adjusting the throttle. More or less throttle will make the car slide at a wider or tighter arc, respectively. More gas makes for a more sideways slide. If you lift off the throttle, the car will still go sideways, but it will start to reduce speed and straighten out again.”

15. Drive on Sand
Before driving onto a beach or into the desert, get out and drop your tire pressure to 12 psi, which helps you “float” on the sand. If you do start to sink into the sand, keep the momentum going: Do not stop. If you really feel the car getting stuck, reverse, back out, and look for a better way forward.

16. Survive a Rear-End Collision
First, pull your seatbelt taut. Next, release your foot from the brake and put the car in neutral. This will help distribute the force and may prevent you from being rear-ended twice, which can happen if you’re applying the brakes after being hit and the car behind you is still moving forward.

17. Get Unstuck
If your tires have sunk into mud, snow, or sand, driver Cameron Steele, a Baja 1000 winner, says to lower the tire pressure way down—as low as 5 or 6—and dig out space in front of the tires to give yourself a run. “If you still don’t get traction, put down some pieces of carpet,” he says. “But always put a leash on what you use for traction—say 50 feet long—and tie it to your bumper so you don’t have to run back into the mud or gunk to pick up the pieces.”

18. Survive a Water Landing
Almost all cars have electronic windows that short out when they come in contact with water. So invest in a center punch, a device shaped like a screwdriver but with a sharp center point. It makes breaking a window a cinch. Store it in your center console or glove box—not your trunk.

19. Maneuver Tight Corners
At the BMW Performance Driving School, instructor Jim Clark says these four words over and over: “Slow in, fast out.” When taking a corner, you need to scrub as much of that speed as you can while the car is braking in a straight line, then you can accelerate out of the curve. The converse is “Fast in, maybe no out.”

20. Add Trees to Your Commute
Even if it takes you out of your way, trees may make your ride less stressful. An Ohio State University study found that scenic drives were more calming than those involving strip malls and endless asphalt.

21. Add Some Horsepower
If you drive a turbo, all you need is a bit of computer programming to add some power. Whether you’re driving a twin-turbo Bentley or a simple 1.8-liter VW diesel, a few minutes of “chip tuning” by your mechanic can add 20 percent more power.

22. Rub It Down 
Cleaning and moisturizing your dash, doors, and seats will extend their lives. Try to clean twice and condition four times annually. If you’ve got vinyl, apply a thin coat of vinyl cleaner, such as Lexol Vinylex. For leather, you’ll want both a cleaner and a conditioner. Stick to leather products if you’re in doubt, and “run like hell” from dual-purpose products, says Larry Reynolds, CEO of Car Care Specialties:

23. Give It a Rest
Shift into neutral at traffic lights. The transmission doesn’t care, and it makes life a bit easier for the engine. This technique reduces the amount of heat carried by the cooling system and can increase gas mileage a tick or two.

24. Find the Center
The folks at DriveCam analyze driver behavior using video recorders installed on vehicles. (See highlights at drivecam.com.) Safety specialist Julie Stevens recommends sticking to the center lane on freeways. Rear-end crashes happen less there than in adjacent lanes. “Every time you change lanes you add risk,” she says, “and the slow lane always has the most action.” Other research has shown that the “chronic lane changer” saves a mere four minutes out of an 80-minute drive.

25. Use Your Headrest
Before you hit the road, sit up straight, raise your head as high as you can, and press it into the headrest. Hold it there for five seconds, then relax and repeat five times. This will improve your posture and put muscles like your multifidus to work to keep your spine erect. This, in turn, will reduce the strain on your neck.

26. Jump-Start a Dead Battery
If your battery terminals are corroded, crack open a can of cola and pour it directly onto the battery terminals. The acid in the cola will bubble away the corrosion, improving both your connection and the odds of a successful jump-start. Once you’re home, run water over the battery to remove the cola residue and dry it with an old rag.

27. Avoid the Hot Seat
If you want to become a dad, don’t turn up your heated car seats this winter. A study in Fertility and Sterility found that when healthy men sat in a temperature-controlled seat for 90 minutes, their scrotal temperature jumped as high as 99 degrees Farenheit, four degrees above the optimum temperature for sperm production.

28. Ace the Details
If you want to customize a new car without making it look like something out of Pimp My Ride, start with the wheels. A rim upgrade can be inexpensive ($1,500 or so) and quick (your car won’t be laid up for a week). If you have a higher-end car, you don’t even need custom rims—just get the wheels powder coated in a new color.

29. Roll ‘Em Up
Nixing the AC lowers fuel consumption, but only if you’re not driving on the highway. Otherwise, opening the windows uses more gas because of the drag you’re putting on the car. Instead, run your AC in recirculation mode, which recycles some already-cooled air from inside the car, requiring less energy than completely cooling the air that comes in from outside. HOW TO…BEAT THE DEALER

30. Prevent a Ticket 
Go to speedtrap.org to find lists of speed traps, submitted by users all over the country.

31.  Rest Your Right Foot 
Cruise control applies the throttle more smoothly, reducing fuel consumption and increasing mileage. (And each 5 miles per hour above 60 is like paying 6 percent more per gallon of gas.) When you use it on long stretches of highway driving, rest your feet firmly on the floor to take pressure off your lower back.

32. Check Your Tire Pressure 
Less air means more contact and friction between the tire and road, which wears the rubber faster, makes the engine work harder, and uses more gas, says Chris Johanson, author of Auto Diagnosis, Service and Repair. Just don’t overinflate: The harder the tires, the less grip they’ll have

33. Keep Your Focus
Staring down long straight roadways for longer than 5 minutes at a time fatigues the visual cortex of your brain, causing you to speed and underestimate distances between cars, according to a study in Human Perception and Performance. Check all three mirrors and your gauges at the end of every song on the radio to keep your vision—and brain—sharp.

34. Play a Game 
If you’re feeling sleepy behind the wheel, ask your copilot to play Alex Trebek. An Israeli study showed that trivia games, not music, made drivers more alert.

35. Beat Carsickness 
If a passenger is prone to motion sickness or turns pale during a road trip, have him or her eat gingersnap cookies. Hunger worsens carsickness, but research has shown that ginger root can help alleviate and prevent it.

36. Add space 
Tailgating destabilizes traffic flow, says Tom Vanderbilt, author of the bestseller Traffic. “People brake more than they have to when they follow too closely, so the drivers behind them do as well,” says Vanderbilt. “This creates ‘shock waves,’ which lead to stop-and-go traffic.” Aim for a 4-second cushion between vehicles. Drivers with less than a 2-second cushion are almost three times more likely to cause collisions, according to data from DriveCam, a driving safety service.

37. Stay in Gear 
While coasting in neutral does improve gas mileage by a hair, it also levies a heavier burden on your brakes, leading to premature—and expensive—maintenance. Constantly reengaging an automatic transmission at speed also causes gear wear. So let your transmission provide engine braking as the engineers intended.

38. Replace the Filter
Just as a colander separates cooked pasta from water, the oil filter traps dirt that would otherwise harm your engine. Today’s best oil filters trap particles just 10 microns in diameter, a rate not possible 10 years ago and far superior to that of budget filters. Replace your filter every time you change your oil, lest old oil get mixed with the pristine stuff.

39. Fuller Is Better 
Keep your gas tank more than half full during cold weather. Otherwise any void above the fuel in your tank will fill with moist air, which condenses to water in the cold. Since water is denser than gasoline, it settles in the bottom of your tank. If enough accumulates, it’ll be delivered through the fuel line to the engine.

40. Empty Your Pockets
The average guy spends 67 minutes each day behind the wheel. A thick wallet in your back pocket raises one hip above the other, twisting your spine and straining your lower back. Plus it can put pressure on your sciatic nerve, a common source of lower-back pain, says Stuart McGill, Ph.D., of the University of Waterloo, in Ontario.

41. Be Careful in the Country
Rural roads have a death rate 2.5 times higher than that of any other type of road. The reasons include dangerous, poorly marked curves, lack of streetlights, distance from medical care, and a higher percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers.

42. Forget Your Keys
On your next date night, leave your cars in the garage for a change and hire a car service instead. You’ll ride in style to and from a restaurant, enjoy a night of carefree drinking and dancing, and you won’t need to worry about staying sober for the drive home.

43. Beat Frost
Run the air-conditioning while defrosting the windshield. (New cars do this automatically, but in older cars, turn it on yourself.) AC air is dry, so it will take the moisture out of the air by dehumidifying as it cools. If you’re cold, adjust the temperature so that the AC pumps out warm air.

44. Use Your Eyes
A bad driving habit is focusing on the road in front of you or at the bumper of the car ahead. Practice looking farther ahead. By the time you’re in the turn, for instance, you should be looking ahead at your exit. It may feel like this will cause you to run off the road, but it won’t. Your peripheral vision will keep you in line.

45. Know the Numbers
Modern motor oils are engineered to flow at low temperatures and to provide adequate lubrication at high ones. Take oil labeled 5W-30, for instance, which is suitable for all weather conditions except desert Southwest climates. The first number indicates viscosity (the ability to flow) at low winter (W) temperatures. Five will work in the coldest of U.S. climates. The other number indicates lubrication performance under extreme heat. The higher the number, the better the performance under hot engine operating conditions.

46. Check Your Emissions
The Blade is an aftermarket device that attaches to your car’s tailpipe and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 12 percent. It also improves fuel economy by up to 12 percent by shortening the duration of your car’s wasteful cold-start period, when fuel burn and particulate emissions are both at their worst. Go to: bladeyourride.com.

47. Quickness Counts
Slipping a 5-speed’s clutch—that is, pausing briefly as it engages a gear—ensures a smooth start, but it also generates heat that diminishes its life. So don’t be bashful. Get in gear, then get off of the left pedal as soon as the car is rolling.

48. Wax Off, Then Wax On
Most old wax leaves a car on its own—in fact, three-quarters disappears after 2 months. But you’ll want to apply an ordinary car cleaner prior to waxing to remove the rest. Anal-retentive pros also use a Silly Putty-like material called paint clay to remove any remaining residue. Find it at meguiars.com or griotsgarage.com.

49. Get Some Support
If your car doesn’t have adjustable lumbar supports, buy your own backrest—or simply roll up a towel and place it behind you to fill in the small curve between your waist and hips. The more you support your spine, the less your back will ache. 50. Forget Your Schedule
Trips usually take 10 to 15 percent longer than planned, says Leon James, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and the author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. Accept this before you travel.

50. Lose the Junk
Every 100 pounds you remove improves economy by 1 to 2 percent, so clear our your trunk and your backseat before you leave home. Both of them are preferable to a loaded-down roof rack, however, which can fuel economy by as much as 5 percent.

Credits to: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/100-best-car-tips

 

How hot can the interior of a car get – and how quickly?

Quotes by experts

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees. Basically the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees.”

– Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University

“When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.”

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“In terms of heat-rise over time, it makes very little difference whether a car’s windows are closed or partially open. In both cases, a car’s interior temperature can rise approximately 40 degrees within one hour, even when the exterior temperature is only 72°F.”

– American Academy of Pediatrics study (2005)

“Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found. They hope their findings will put to rest the misconception that a parked car can be a safe place for a child or pet in mild weather. ‘There are cases of children dying on days as cool as 70 degrees Fahrenheit,’* said lead author Catherine McLaren, MD, clinical instructor in emergency medicine. Though past research has documented the temperature spike inside a car on extremely hot days, this is the first time anyone has looked at cooler days, she added.”

– Stanford University press release: “Parked cars get dangerously hot, even on cool days, Stanford study finds” (2005)

(*HeatKills.org.: Here in Charlottesville, VA, a toddler died of heatstroke after being left in a car, on a day in which the outside temperature did not exceed 66 degrees.)

“Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.”

– Michael Dix DVM, Medical Director, Best Friends Animal Society

“Heat stroke can permanently damage a pet’s health very rapidly. The change of only a few degrees to a dog’s normal body temperature can quickly result in coma, organ dysfunction, permanent brain damage or even death.”

– Jules Benson, DVM, Medical Director, Pet Plan Pet Insurance

How hot does it get in a car, and how quickly?

This chart helps to answer that question:

Dogs-Temperature

Also, Dr. Ernie Ward is a veterinarian you should know. He’s spent many years devoting himself to not only treating illnesses in dogs and cats, but in developing better means for preventing them.

Doesn’t leaving the windows cracked an inch or two make a difference? No.

A study conducted by Red Rover demonstrates that the difference in interior temperature between a car with the windows fully closed, and those that are cracked a few inches, is negligible.

Red Rover cracked window study excerpt

HAIL DAMAGE: HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL

When most people think about major natural catastrophes, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes come to mind.

However, there’s one other type of storm that, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (the U.S. government’s climatology branch), causes $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year—hail.

So, how can you avoid being part of that large sum of money, and how can you make sure your coverage is ready in case your car is damaged?

  • Get covered parking

    —Covered parking can save you a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of the country. DisasterSafety.org has a map highlighting states that typically receive the most hail. If you live in one of the bright blue states, you should evaluate your parking options.

  • Ride out the hail storm

    —If you don’t have access to covered parking, another option is to find temporary shelter. Local malls, for example, usually have parking garages where you could park if you know a storm is brewing. If you don’t have a covered place to store your vehicle, find those options for the big storms.

  • Use blankets or a hail car cover

    —If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something over your car. Some companies sell car covers specific to this purpose, but you can use your own blankets, as well. Just make sure you duct tape them down—the winds can pick up pretty quickly during hail storms. The tape can leave a sticky residue on your car, but most likely won’t cause any damage to the paint.

    Prepare in advance for this. Opt for personal safety and don’t do this if the storm is happening within a matter of minutes.

  • Get Comprehensive and Rental coverage

    —With insurance, “Comprehensive” doesn’t mean “all encompassing.” Instead, it’s the specific coverage that helps pay for damage caused by things like weather or fire. In most cases, Comprehensive will cover hail damage, too. Also, make sure you have Rental coverage—one in 10 Progressive policyholders who have a total loss (meaning their car is damaged beyond repair) do. And it’s an option that helps pay for a rental car if your car is being fixed or replaced.

credits to: https://www.progressive.com/claims/protect-car-from-hail-damage/

10 EASY THINGS THAT WILL KEEP YOUR CAR RUNNING FOREVER

The 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

In 2016, the firm IHS Markit released a report on the lives of American-owned vehicles, and the results were surprising. Of the 264 million light vehicles registered in the U.S., the average age of of each one worked out to be 11.6 years old, with owners keeping their cars an average six and a half years. By 2021, the firm predicts that a full 20 million cars on the road will be over 25 years old. If its projections are accurate, then there will likely be more old cars on the road than ever before.

With so many antique cars on the road — the official designation for cars 25 years or older in most states — preventative maintenance is as important as ever. For people who don’t have the luxury of a bumper-to-bumper warranty, it’s important to keep on top of the basics so that they don’t add up to something bigger and costlier.

The truth of the matter is, there’s really no such thing as a car that runs forever without a little help. So for even the most reliable old cars on the road today, we came up with 10 things you can do to keep your car running like a top for as long as possible.

1. It’s all about good timing

The LT4 V8 found in the 2015 Corvette Z06

Most modern cars have a timing belt or chain, which makes all the moving parts of your engine run smoothly. But when these go wrong, it can kill your engine in a matter of seconds. While chains are more robust and need to be changed far less frequently, belts need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on your car. If you’re going to a mechanic, this isn’t going to be a cheap job, but once you get it over with, you won’t have to worry about another one for years.

2. Play it cool

Check your radiator hoses for cracks

Your engine is making thousands of explosions a day to keep you moving down the road. Understandably, things get pretty hot in there, which is why your car has a cooling system. And while it doesn’t need to be swapped out as often, antifreeze is just as important as oil. Make sure you’re topped off with coolant, and if there are any leaks coming from your radiator or hoses, get them taken care of immediately. A car with no coolant is not long for this world.

3. Find bulletproof suspension upgrades

The 2017 Chevrolet COPO Camaro -- a factory-built drag car

This isn’t universal, but it’s a common enough issue that it’s worth mentioning here. Say you’ve got an older sporty car and are ready to make the jump and modify it to get that nice, low, mean look. There are plenty of easy ways to do this — cheap aftermarket kits on eBay, actually cutting your car’s springs down and reinstalling them, among others — but there are really only a few ways to do it right, and they’re rarely the cheapest options. Your car was designed to drive and handle the way it does by a team of engineers working for years on a multibillion-dollar program, so don’t be surprised if your car drives a lot differently after questionable suspension mods. Stick with performance parts from the manufacturer or upgrades from trusted aftermarket companies that have a relationship with the automaker. After all, if you’re into modifications, you want your car to look as good as it drives.

4. Blood transfusions save lives

An unscrewed engine oil cap

If you can’t remember the last time you changed your oil, go do it now. The key to a healthy car is keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance, and the easiest and most important of these routines is a regular oil change. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended type, then take it to a trusted mechanic (quick lube places do the job, but a lot can go wrong too) for some of the fresh stuff. Or if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, oil changes are a great way to enter the world of DIY auto repairs.

5. Less is more when it comes to longevity

Production of Lucas Oil additives

There are a whole lot of products out there that promise to make your engine faster, stronger, and more powerful as it gets older. Sound too good to be true? That’s because, by and large, they are. Stick to the stuff that works, like high quality oils and fluids, genuine parts, and common-sense preventative maintenance, and avoid the snake oil altogether.

6. Bi-annual inspections are your friend

An employee of an automobile garage at work

Some states don’t require annual safety inspections. And while the potential for getting slapped with a bill for repairs once a year is tough for anyone to deal with, we think it’s essential to get your older car looked at by a fresh set of eyes — read: a better mechanic than you — at least once a year. The last thing you want is an unexpected problem to pop up at the worst possible time, so do yourself, and other drivers on the road a favor and make sure your ride is safe.

7. Get ready, it’s going to burn oil

Old engines like this rotary found in a Mazda RX-7 will burn oil

Old engines burn oil — they just do. What’s important is to keep an eye on it, watch for any leaks (lower-engine leaks could mean old gaskets, upper-engine could mean head gasket troubles), and make sure to keep it topped off with high quality oil. This is one of those things that may seem like a big deal, but can be managed safely and responsibly.

8. Invest in the best wheels, tires, and brakes

New tires for sale at a tire store

We’ve all been there before: You ran over something on the highway and you shredded a tire. Now you need new ones, and you really don’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars on the best. But going cheap on things like that could cost you more further down the line. Tires are one of the most important parts of a car. They’re the only things connecting you to the road, and are supposed to be able to keep you safe even in the worst driving conditions. Cheap tires can wear faster, or unevenly, throwing your car’s suspension out of whack and causing wear-and-tear on vital components. This rule also applies to replaceable things like wheels and brakes. If you love your car, pay a little more and get the best. It could even save you money over the long haul.

9. Drive it like you own it

An old Mercedes 230 SL

Say you have an older, high-mileage car. Chances are it’s going to have its quirks, but believe it or not, the difference between an aging runner and a basket case usually comes down to how often it’s driven. A warm car is a happy car, and while essential fluids like oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid keep vital metal parts lubricated, they also keep things like hoses and gaskets from drying out. Park an old car for a while, and chances are you’ll start seeing leaks. When you can’t even tell what’s leaking from where anymore, it may already be too late. So do your car a favor, and drive it regularly.

10. When all else fails, conduct a heart transplant

Sometimes you need to do a full engine replacement

Here’s some interesting food for thought: Extensive repairs on an aging engine or transmission can potentially cost you thousands in parts and labor at your local garage and take your car off the road for days, if not weeks, especially if your repair shop is booked solid. So as scary as it may sound, sometimes an entire engine or transmission replacement is the way to go. Ask your garage for help in sourcing a healthy powerplant, and they could have your car running with a brand new heart in a matter of days. If you love your old car and can’t bear to let it go, this may be the easiest way to give it a new lease on life.

 

credits to: http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/car-maintenance-to-extend-its-life.html/?a=viewall

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