Do you worry about driving in the city? Taxi services are often better options for traveling on busy streets, but sometimes you don’t have much of an option. Nobody wants to have their bumper dented up from driving through busy city streets. Dents don’t look nice, and the costs to have them repaired may not be too nice either. In order to protect your car and your insurance costs, take some simple precautions the next time you know you’ll be driving in heavy traffic.
If you can avoid it, don’t drive during the busiest times of the day. The morning commute, when people are headed to work and school, presents one of the busiest travel times of the day. Nobody wants to be late to work or school and people are more likely to be in accidents in the morning than any other time of day for that reason. You should also avoid driving around the typical lunch hour, too. Many people leave work for an hour to get lunch, and you don’t want to be caught in that traffic. Finally, avoid the evening commute traffic. People are always in a hurry to get home from work so that they can relax. Plenty of bumper accidents happen in the evening.
Avoiding busy streets can also help you keep your car safe. You should be familiar enough with your surroundings in your city to know where the busiest streets are and how to steer clear of them. Always take alternative routes when you drive, especially if you’ll be driving during those busiest times of the day. Your trip might take a bit longer than you would like, but you’ll greatly decrease your chances of being involved in an accident if you travel streets that don’t have as much traffic. If you choose to drive on back roads, watch out for children crossing the streets.
One more way to avoid bumper dents is to refrain from riding your brakes too much. City driving demands that cars be close to each other a lot. You won’t be able to have the entire road to yourself either in front of you or behind you. All you can do is go with the flow of the traffic. Don’t make sudden stops if you can avoid them. Your life will be easier and so will the lives of the drivers behind you. Many bumper dents occur because the person in front touched their brakes too much.
Not every car owner is a car enthusiast. For some buyers, a vehicle is a mere appliance. Some automobile owners may not understand why their cars need a wax finish. There are numerous reasons why all automobile owners should apply a wax finish.
Waxing a vehicle improves its looks. By waxing a vehicle, owners help provide a deep, uniform shine to the paint. Imperfections in the clear coat that commonly appear when the paint is brightly lit can disappear under the fine shine provided by the fresh wax. A healthy coat of wax can help restore the luster to an older vehicle’s paint and make it look years newer.
Automobile wax protects the paint. In any given day, a vehicle will be exposed to harsh elements, including ice, dirt, rocks, sand, and various other types of debris. Drivers impact these common elements while driving down the road and the wind bombards vehicles while they are parked. Dirt and sand normally will not damage the paint in the short term, but each sharp granule can scratch the car’s clear coat. As the years wear on, unprotected clear coat will wear away, exposing the bare paint. In severe cases, this can cause oxidation and rust to form.
Intact paint increases a vehicle’s resale value. Not every vehicle owner cares about scratches and minor contaminants getting into the paint. When the time comes to sell the vehicle, the next buyer will care. Many individuals do not take care of their vehicles, and a vehicle with a shining, well-protected paint job will command a greater premium over vehicles that are poorly maintained. These minor scratches and wear marks are more pronounced on darker vehicles, and owners of black vehicles should be particularly zealous about paint care.
Waxed vehicles are also easier to wash. Wax provides a slippery, replaceable buffer between the expensive paint and the harsh elements. This can also prevent damage in the event of a more significant paint hazard, such as mud or bird droppings. Dried contaminants can be difficult to get off the clear coat if the owner has not applied wax; on a waxed surface, most contaminants will wipe right off. If the owner must scrub with the cleaning brush or towel, the wax will protect the clear coat. Once the surface is clean, the owner simply reapplies the wax.
The alignment of the wheels on an automobile is important for the safe operation of the vehicle. Properly aligned wheels will all be angled in the correct direction so that the car moves forward in a straight line without deviation. Correct wheel alignment will also distribute the weight of the vehicle equally on all of the tires. This prevents the common problem of uneven wear on the tires. A number of common things on the road cause the wheels to move out of alignment. These include potholes, speed bumps and the simple act of driving over long distances. Wheel realignments adjust the toe, caster and camber of the tires to ensure that they are all within the correct ranges for the vehicle as specified by the manufacturer.
The caster of a tire is the angle of the center of the wheel in relation to the steering point linkage. This is how far towards the front or the back of the vehicle that the tire is angled when it is viewed from the side. A tire that is leaning forward has a negative caster. Positive caster means that the tire is angled towards the rear. The caster is important although it has the least noticeable effect of all the alignment measurements. Proper caster alignment will mean increased stability when driving in a straight line. A severe misalignment will cause the car to pull to one side when moving.
Camber is the vertical angle of the tire in relation to the ground when viewed from the front. A wheel has a positive camber when the top is tilted outwards. Negative camber means the bottom is tilted outwards and the top is closer to the center of the car. Camber determines how much traction the car will receive when making turns. The proper angle compensates for weight and allows the maximum amount of surface area to touch the road when turning. If the camber is not aligned properly, then only the inner or outer edges of the wheel will touch the road when making a turn. Camber also causes pulling to one side when not aligned correctly.
The toe of a wheel measures the angle that the tire is facing inwards or outwards when looking directly down at the car from above. All tires should be aligned straight so that the toe is zero. If the toe is off by a small amount, then the tires will experience premature wear because they are pushing slightly towards or away from each other. The toe is very important because misalignments can damage the suspension and make handling difficult while on the road.
The wheels on a car should be realigned whenever steering problems or uneven tire wear is noticed. Realignments are relatively simple for mechanics to perform when compared to some other types of automobile maintenance. Most of the modern cars that are on the road actually use McPherson struts. These struts have changed the way that realignments are performed. A car with McPherson struts is only able to have the toe aligned. Problems with other measurements on these types of cars must be dealt with through other means depending on the manufacturer.
Whether you are buying a new or used car or are looking into re-upholstering your existing vehicle, you should spend time carefully considering the upholstery options available to you. The most obvious consideration that many focus on is the color and style of the upholstery. However, there are other factors to consider if you want to enjoy your car’s interior fully.
There are three main types of materials used for car upholstery. These include cloth, vinyl and leather. Cloth is typically the most affordable option available, and it provides the most comfortable sitting experience during times of extremely warm or cold temperatures. However, it is also most prone to showing signs of wear and tear, and it may be more likely to tear than the other material options. Leather is the highest grade material available for vehicle upholstery. It is far more resistant to signs of wear and tear than cloth, but it also is the most expensive of the three options. Vinyl upholstery is a sensible mid-grade option to consider. It is more durable and resistant to damage than cloth, but it does not come with the high price associated with leather.
The main type of maintenance that upholstery requires is regular cleaning. All three materials can be vacuumed as needed, but both leather and vinyl are easier to remove wet spills from. A hand held steam cleaner is generally required to remove wet spills and stains from cloth upholstery. On the other hand, vinyl and leather are largely impermeable to wet spills, so these can often be wiped up easily without staining or the creation of odors that is common as spills seep into cloth upholstery. It should be noted that leather upholstery general requires a special conditioning procedure in order to keep it in pristine condition.
When you are making the decision about which type of upholstery to choose for a new car purchase or to use when re-upholstering your existing car, you do want to choose a material that is stylish and attractive to you. However, you should also consider how easy the material is to clean and maintain as well as how durable it is. Your own plans for the vehicle for use as a commuting vehicle, a family car or a car to be used by just one person can help you to determine which upholstery option may be right for you.
Hands free driving can save individuals lots of money in traffic violations. To avoid risks involved with talking on the phone while driving, drivers are going wireless with the use of such devices like cordless headsets and using the phone speaker to communicate.
Most states in the US have laws against the use of cell phones while driving. Some states only have texting laws while others have instituted a ban on both texting and calling. Drivers found violating the laws can face huge fines. States like New York will add two points to the driving record of a cell phone law offender and fine them 100 dollars. Drivers can avoid such penalties through hands free driving.
Hands free driving is not prohibited in any state. However, some categories of drivers are banned from any form of cell phone use, hands-on or hands-free. Such individuals include novice drivers and school bus drivers. Eight states including California, Maryland, Washington, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and New Jersey Have legislation that prohibit all individuals from using all hand-held communication devices while driving.
Speaking on the phone while driving can be quite distracting because the driver may not have all their attention on the road and its users. Accidents happen every year as a result of distraction. Cell phone use is responsible for more than 330 000 motor accidents and 2600 deaths every year. This proves one thing; there is a direct relation between cell phone use and reduced response time of a driver.
Though not directly related, hands free driving is beneficial to a driver’s health. Cell phones emit various forms of radioactive waves. These waves are detrimental to the health of individuals because they are causative agents of various forms of cancers. The waves are strongest when the phone is placed directly to the head. Hands free driving considerably reduce the amount of radiation coming into contact with a driver.
It has been proven that individuals who drive while using a cell phone are poorer drivers. The cognitive impairment of such individuals is likened to that of a person driving while under the influence of alcohol. This proves that people can drive better when they are not using their phones.
Cellphone use has been on the rise and some people do not mind talking or texting while driving. While they may believe they are multi-tasking, driving or texting while driving is illegal. Most states in America have certain legislations that guard against using a cell phone while driving. Due to these laws, hands free driving has become quite common.
The price of gasoline is very volatile. It regularly rises and drops in relation to world events, the time of the year and consumer demand. Everyone who needs to drive regularly is always searching for a way to reduce the price of fuel. One effective way to lower the cost of gas is to use less of it. An expensive way to do this is to purchase a new fuel-efficient vehicle. A much less costly way that can save hundreds of dollars in gasoline every year is to keep tires properly inflated at all times.
Cars and trucks rely heavily on properly inflated tires for a number of reasons. Correct tire pressure allows the car turn, accelerate and stop exactly as the manufacturer intended. A good percentage of vehicles that are on the road have at least one tire that is underinflated. This increases the surface area of the tire that is in contact with the road at any given point. The result is that the increased amount of friction creates more resistance that forces the engine to work harder to turn the wheels. This requires more power causing the engine to use more gasoline.
Every tire and vehicle has a specific amount of pressure that should exist inside of the tire. This amount is carefully calculated so that the tire touches the road with just enough friction to provide the handling that is necessary for safe operation. A well inflated tire means that the engine will be working as efficiently as it can when moving the car. This will save fuel. It can save more than 3.3 percent over the course of a single year. This translates into hundreds of dollars’ worth of gas for someone who drives every day. Additionally, if all drivers keep tires well inflated it can reduce national oil usage by over 1 billion barrels each year. This can help to keep the cost of gas lower at the pump.
It is important to check tire pressure at least once a month. It is also important not to overinflate tires because this can make it harder to brake and turn. Properly inflated tires will last longer because they have less wear. This can mean purchasing fewer tires over the years reducing the cost of maintenance for the vehicle. The proper tire pressure is listed in the owner’s manual for a car or truck. It is important to also check the printing on the side of the tires themselves because new tires might have different optimal pressure values than what is listed in the owner’s manual.
Renting a car can make business and personal travel much more convenient. In addition to making a decision about what type of car they want to rent, individuals will also need to decide whether or not to purchase rental car insurance. Here are some points car renters should consider when deciding if they should pay the extra money for insurance coverage.
Avoid Paying For Coverage Twice
First of all, renters should find out if they already have insurance coverage for when they rent and drive another vehicle. Some car insurance providers extend their policy holder’s coverage to include rental cars. If the policy holder gets in an accident while driving a car that is not their primary vehicle, the insurance company will still pay for the damages. Not all insurance providers offer this service, so individuals should contact their provider and find out exactly what their policy covers. Additionally, some credit card companies provide insurance coverage to their customers when they rent a car using their card. Again, consumers should find out what protections are offered by their credit card company before they rent a vehicle.
Watch Out For Extra Fees
Although credit card companies and insurance providers do offer some consumer protection to renters, they might not cover all the charges that rental companies levy after an accident. For example, an insurance company might charge penalties and fees in addition to the actual repair costs. Some credit card and insurance companies will pay for any damages the car suffers, but will refuse to pay other fees. Those fees, which can be costly, have to be paid by the renter. If an individual plans to rely on the protection offered by their car insurance or credit card company, they need to do research beforehand to find out what these companies will and will not cover. They should also ask the rental company about extra fees after an accident. If the car rental insurance company charges excessive fees in addition to vehicle damages, individuals should consider using another rental company or should purchase the insurance protection sold by the rental agency.
Double Check For Restrictions
If a renter decides to purchase insurance directly from the rental company; they should double check for restrictions. For example, some rental companies will only pay for damages if the individual who rented the car was driving at the time of the accident. Additionally, in some areas with unsafe roads, the renter will not be covered if they venture into dangerous neighborhoods or take hazardous routes.
These days everyone is feeling the pressure to try and live in as much harmony with the planet as possible. This green thinking leads scientists to develop products of all kinds that are as environmentally responsible as possible. The auto industry has been one of the most environmentally destructive forces of the last century, so it is scrambling now to try and go green wherever possible. One of the ways it is doing this is with the development of green paint for cars.
Ford was the company that led the charge for automakers to begin using green paint. They implemented the first green paint used in the automobile manufacturing process back in 2007. Their green paint reduced the CO2 output during production by 15 percent and lowered the percentage of environmentally destructive volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 10 percent.
This was only the first in a series of green paints to be developed for used by the auto industry. Over the last five years every major auto manufacturer and car paint maker has been working to develop new paints and methods of auto paint methods to make the process of painting a car as eco-friendly as possible. The levels of carbon emissions used to make paint have continued to shrink. The amount of VOCs released into the environment from automobile painting is going down all the time as well.
The newest advance in green car paints is the development of water-based car paints. These water-based paints are very exciting news for the health of the planet. The water-based nature of the paint means that during the paining process little to no VOCs will be released into the atmosphere during the painting process. In fact many of the newest versions of the water-based green paints have 96% fewer VOCs than traditional oil-based auto paints.
A major component of the car painting process has changed to be greener as well. The primer for most automotive painting has traditionally contained a chemical called hexavalent chromium. Chromium is a heavy metal that leeches into the environment causing all kinds of neurological and development problems, especially in children. It is very rare that anyone is still using a primer with hexavalent chromium in it.
Hopefully all of these advancements in green paint for cars are just the start. The more the auto industry can improve its environmental record, the better the chances are for the recovery of the planet’s health.
Owning a vehicle is not limited to an auto purchase. Maintenance, repairs, taxes, and insurance exist. While little can be done about some expenses, vehicle owners can affect some insurance premiums. It is important to understand what factors contribute to determining premiums.
Factors affecting automobile insurance premiums include:
- Drivers’ ages
- Drivers’ genders
- Drivers’ driving records
- Vehicle type
- Vehicle use
- Vehicle location
- Coverages and deductibles chosen
Age and gender of vehicle operators cannot be changed. The important thing to remember is that younger drivers lack experience and are more prone to accidents. Statistically speaking, young males are the riskiest drivers, although young females continue to narrow the gap.
Another factor in determining insurance rates consists of driving records. Drivers with frequent speeding tickets or offenses such as reckless driving or driving under the influence are more likely to be involved in accidents. Driving records including accidents will also have an adverse effect on insurance premiums. Maintaining a spotless driving record will keep premiums from rising.
The type of vehicle operators drive is important. A high performance, turbo-charged car is not the car for an inexperienced driver. While grandmother’s vehicle may not be stylish, it will probably be the most advantageous when it comes to premiums. It also pays to stay away from vehicles that are on the most frequently stolen list. Owning such a car will likely get its owner higher comprehensive rates.
The use of the vehicle is also a determining factor. Vehicles used for business purposes or to commute for long distances will typically have higher rates than local vehicles. Such vehicles are on the road more frequently and are exposed to more opportunities for accidents.
Where a vehicle is garaged affects premiums. Vehicles in high-crime areas have higher comprehensive rates than those outside the area. However, people living in rural areas drive greater distances, so they pay higher rates for collision and liability.
Finally, the coverages selected and their limits will also determine premiums. More coverages with higher limits drive up premiums, while higher deductibles push premiums down.
While there are many factors that cannot be changed, there are factors that owners and operators have some control over. Since they can control only certain factors, they should work to do so in order to keep insurance premiums as low as possible.
Drivers can show off their own personal style and interests by adding car magnets to their vehicle. Similar to bumper stickers, car magnets are available in all different types, colors and sizes. These magnets can feature anything from famous quotes and sayings to family stick figure images. Because they are magnets, they can easily be attached to the outside surface of a car and removed in a second. Car magnets can also easily be moved around to ensure that it looks perfect on the vehicle. After bumper stickers are attached to a car, they cannot be removed and placed in a different location. Bumper stickers can also leave sticker markings on the car that is not at all attractive. Those using car magnets never have to worry about these issues.
Not only can car magnets be used to show an individual’s style, but they can also be used to advertise businesses with ease. Magnets can be specially designed for businesses in a wide range of sizes. The business logo can then be put either on the car door or rear of the car for those passing by to notice. Whether the car is in motion or parked in a parking lot, these magnets are sure to stop traffic. A mobile ad with car magnets is one of the best and most efficient ways to get a business’ name out to the general public.
Custom car magnets for drivers can make excellent and thoughtful gifts. Instead of purchasing the same car magnets that others have, customers can design their own images and have them printed on magnets. Custom shapes, colors and fonts can be used when creating a personalized design. Prices for these magnets may vary and become cheaper when purchasing in large quantities, an excellent option for children’s sports teams.
Car magnets will not damage a car’s paint or finish in any way when taken care of correctly. Before having a car washed, drivers should remove the magnet from the vehicle. After the vehicle has been dried, the magnet can be placed back on. By moving the magnet around on a weekly basis, it highly reduces the risk of any damage occurring. The fading of a car’s paint can occur over time, so when a car magnet is in one place for a long period of time, the coloring can appear to be a bit off. A good quality wax can take care of this issue.