How to Drive in the Winter

Driving in the winter can be tricky. The conditions can vary from wet to icy to snowy. You may experience multiple conditions in just one driving trip, so you want to be prepared and know how to handle each one safely and effectively. Here’s what you need to know about driving in the winter.

Have the Proper Tires

Having the correct tires on your vehicle during the winter months is probably the most important factor in driving safely during winter. The tires you use for summer driving won’t be effective in the snow. If you deal with serious winter conditions that include snow, ice, and freezing water on the roads, you’re going to want winter tires. All-season tires are different from winter tires. All-season tires are more stiff than winter tires, which actually reduces their grip on ice.

Check Your Brakes

During winter conditions, you want your brakes to be in their best condition. If you’re already dealing with brakes that are struggling to do their job, adding winter condition to the situation won’t help. For everyone’s safety have your brakes checked.

Driving in Icy Conditions

Ice and black ice conditions require cautious driving. Black ice is regular ice that forms over pavement, but because it forms without bubbles it becomes transparent making it hard to see. During cold temperatures it’s a good idea to drive slowly in the event you hit an icy patch. If you do, it’s important to stay calm and don’t react in fear by braking quickly or swerving to get away from it. Continue driving straight. If you drive a manual car, you’ll want to shift into a lower gear. If you begin to skid, you can press lightly on the brakes. In a car with anti-lock brakes, press the brake with even pressure and let the ABS take over.

Driving in Snowy Conditions

Snow can also create hazardous driving conditions. Snowy roads can make it difficult to slow down as quickly as you’re used to, so leave a good amount of space between you and the car in front of you. In the event you have trouble slowing down, you’re less likely to hit them. When driving, don’t press too hard on the gas as you never know when you might encounter a patch of ice. If you have a four-wheel drive, be aware that you need to take the same care as other drivers. While you may be able to get going faster, you face the same issues slowing down as anyone else, especially if you hit ice.

In addition to the tips listed above, it’s also a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full for two reasons. If you get stuck on the road, you don’t want to run out of gas. But keeping the gas tank at least half full will keep the fuel line from freezing up. It’s not always possible to avoiding driving during wet, icy, or snowy conditions, but you can learn to drive safely in these conditions.

How to Recycle a Car

Instead of letting your old car sit around and collect dust, you can consider recycling it. Recycling your car is an environmentally conscious way to deal with a junk car you no longer have use for. Here’s what you should know about recycling a car.

Benefits of Recycling a Car

Almost all parts of a car can be saved and reused. In fact, approximately 90% of a car can be recycled. Recycled tires are mainly used to make pavements bases that help to create new roads. Recycled glass from cars can be used to make tiles, glass beads, jewelry, and countertops. Scrap metal that comes from the car’s door handles, rims, and other parts can be melted down and used to create new items.

Batteries should be recycled to keep the toxic chemicals from contaminating the environment. The plastics on a car, such as lights, gas tanks, bumpers, and dashboards can be shredded and made into new products. Even engine oil can be recycled as it never wears out, it just gets dirty.

Sell Your Used Car to an Automotive Company

There are companies who buy used cars to break them down for parts. Every car recycling service is different, so you’ll want to do some research. Information you’ll want to collect from each service include: a quote (a free quote would be best), whether they will pick up the car, and whether they will help deal with paperwork involved. You will have to transfer the title of the car.

If you’re looking to make some money on your old car, this is a good choice. You can contact a few companies and weigh their offers against each other. It’s important to note that companies that recycle cars are not the same as scrap yards. You’re more likely to get more money for your car if you sell to a recycling company and know that more of the parts will be recycled.

Donate Your Old Car

If you don’t want to sell your car, but want to help others in some way, donating your car to a charity is a good option. If the car is in working condition, the charity may choose to use it themselves. If the car needs work, or is beyond repair that the charity can pay for, they can sell the car and use the money to benefit the charity.

Research charities that accept cars and figure out where your car can best be used. Don’t forget to deal with paperwork properly and save it all when you donate your car. You may even get a tax deduction when you donate your car to a charity. You may also consider contacting a school that teaches automotive classes as they need cars to practice on.

When getting rid of an old car, you have the choice to sell it or to donate it. Either choice is a good one, it depends on what your goal is. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to know that your car is being recycled and put to good use instead of tossed in a pile of garbage.

Want more information? Learn how to sell your car here or visit this page to learn how to donate your car. 

What to Expect When You Have a Rear-Wheel Drive Vehicle

Rear-wheel drive has become a popular choice for vehicle designers, but whether you choose a front wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or an all-wheel drive depends on a few factors such as the conditions you drive in and what kind of driver you are. Here’s what you should know about the rear-wheel drive, how it works, its benefits, and its drawbacks.

What is rear wheel drive?

Rear-wheel drive is a transmission system that provides power to the rear wheels of a vehicle while the front wheels take care of the steering. Rear-wheel drive is most commonly found on mid to large-sized sedans and family cars, trucks, SUVs, and sport and performance cars.

How does a rear wheel drive work?

A rear-wheel drive vehicle sends all of its power to the rear wheels. Getting power to the rear wheels begins with the engine. The engine in a rear wheel drive is located at the front of the vehicle. The engine is connected to a driveshaft, which sends power to the rear wheels. A lot happens during the process, and this is just a simplification.

Combusting fuel in the cylinder will push the pistons to spin the crankshaft. This creates rotational energy. This energy is sent to the transmission, which takes power from the crankshaft and applies it to various gear ratios. The transmission will use engine power to spin the driveshaft. It’s important to note the driveshaft is connected to the engine on one end and the differential at the other end. The differential is what will send power to the wheels.

Pros and Cons of Rear-Wheel Drive

Better vehicle balance and therefore better handling is one of the main benefits of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. A front-wheel drive will carry much of the weight of the engine and transaxle, whereas a rear wheel drive will help spread the weight evenly from front to back. This is why most sports cars are rear-wheel drive. If the rear-wheel drive has a solid axle design, it will be able to take more abuse without needing expensive repairs.

If you run over a curb, for example, with a solid axle rear-wheel drive, it’s unlikely anything will break. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be careless when driving and jump curbs when it seems convenient. The downside of a rear-wheel drive is that it doesn’t handle as well as you might want in rainy and snowy conditions due to increased loss of traction. This lack of traction is due to more weight being at the front of the car than at the back. If safety is a concern (and it should be), rear-wheel drive vehicles are best not used if you’re going to be driving in snow. A rear-wheel drive will handle much better in dry conditions.

Rear-wheel drives are most common in performance cars, such as race cars, but because they are also found in every day vehicles, it’s important to know how they work and under what conditions they’re best suited for. Rear-wheel drive isn’t for every vehicle and every driver, but it might be perfect for you.

Get to Know the Top Land Rover Models

Land Rover is a vehicle brand manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer, and owned by Tata Motors of India. The Land Rover began selling in 1948. Today Land Rover has an impressive range of vehicles. Here’s a look at what’s available:

Range Rover

The Range Rovers unique design and advanced technology make it a popular vehicle. Considered the ultimate Range Rover, it features LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, infotainment system, and four-zone climate control. The Rear Seat Entertainment system features two eight-inch screens, which are built into the back of the front seat headrests.

The aluminum body of the Range Rover makes it lighter, stronger, and more sustainable. The Range Rover can also withstand the same off-road impacts as all the Land Rover models can. Safety features include airbags, ISOFIX (to make it easy to install car seats), and Emergency Brake Assist.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport boasts a sportier design and key features including: an advanced 2.0-liter i4 Turbocharged Ingenium engine with an electric motor to deliver remarkable performance, Adaptive Dynamics, which monitors the vehicles movements up to 500 times per second, Semi-Aniline leather seating in a choice of contemporary colors, and low-CO2 technologies, which help to decrease fuel consumption.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar features an 8-speed automatic transmission, a fully independent coil-spring suspension, which creates an agile and responsive chassis, a towing capacity of 5,500 pounds, and wading depths of up to 25.5 inches. Technology in the Velar includes steering wheel controls, which access phone and other media, Interactive Driver Display, rear seat entertainment, and InControl Remote, which allows you to monitor and interact with the Velar from a smartphone or smartwatch.The Velar has an eight-speed ZF 8HP 45 transmission, a 269 lb-ft maximum torque, and a top speed of 135 mph.

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque is the Range Rover in compact form. It’s available in five-door and convertible body styles. The Evoque features heated and cooled seats and massage seats for both driver and front passenger. Technology includes Driver Aids such as Blind Spot Monitoring and Traffic Sign Recognition, infotainment, and 10 speakers plus subwoofer. The Evoque has off-road capabilities, a 9-speed automatic transmission that provides optimum fuel economy and better control in low-grip conditions, and Torque Vectoring, which enhances stability and agility when cornering.

Discovery and Discovery Sport

The Discovery interior is designed with materials including authentic wood, premium leather, and metal finishes. Seven full-sized seats include second and third rows that can be configured using cargo space switches or the main touchscreen. There is ample leg room for all as well as storage for your needs. It also features Hill Descent Control, which helps maintain a constant speed and separate brakes for each wheel. The Discovery Sport seats up to five adults and two children. InControl technologies, 10” touchscreen with Touch Pro, and a towing capacity of 4,409 lbs are features of the Sport.

Whether you need seating for more passengers, a more compact vehicle, or a large towing capacity, there is a Land Rover that will fit your needs.

How to Buy New Tires

Having to buy new tires for your car might seem like an overwhelming experience. Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car. No matter how good your brakes are and no matter how good you steer, it all comes down to the condition of the tires. Here’s what you need to consider when purchasing new tires.

How to Know if You Need New Tires

All tires are going to need to be replaced eventually due to normal wear and tear. Because tires are so important to your car’s safety, you don’t want to wait too long to replace them. Signs that your tires need to be replaced include: The tread on your tires should never be below 1/16 of an inch, but it’s recommended that if you regularly drive on slick, wet roads, to have it twice as much. If you notice bulges or blisters on any of the tires, you want to have them looked at immediately because these weakened areas can result in a blowout. When you notice too much vibration when you drive, this could signal that your tires are misaligned or unbalanced and may need replacing.

What to Consider When Buying New Tires

When you buy new tires, you want to buy all four. You don’t want to have two old tires and two new tires on the same car. Before you replace your tires, it’s a good idea to make sure your car is in good shape. Any alignment, suspension, or shock issues will cause uneven wear on new tires. You want to refer to your car’s manual and tire code in order to pick the perfect tires for your car.

The tire code is made up of numbers and letters that refer to different aspects of the tire. For example, the first letter you see will refer to the tires purpose. “P” means passenger car and “LT” means light truck. The numbers will refer to things such as tire diameter, height, width, etc. It’s important to consider the climate you live in when buying tires. You may opt for all-season tires or three-season tires depending on the temperature and if you swap for winter tires come the snow and ice. When buying new tires, it’s also a good time to check the condition of your spare tire and replace it if it’s no longer in good shape.

Where to Buy New Tires

There’s no shortage of places to buy new tires. You can go to a local dealer that might offer you a deal when you buy all four tires at the same time. If you’re looking to save more money while still getting the best quality, you might consider buying tires online or through a catalog. You can have these tires installed at a local tire center. A warehouse club is another option you may consider for buying your tires. If cost is an issue, shopping around is a good idea.

Buying new tires might seem like a big task, but if you know what you’re looking for and create a checklist, this will make your tire buying experience more pleasant.

What Are Gear Ratios?

A vehicle’s gear ratio plays an important role in how fast your car will be able and how hard it will have to work to get there. Car manufacturers work to figure out the most efficient way to get speed while also focusing on the benefit of fuel economy for you. Here’s what you should know about gear ratios.

What Are Gear Ratios?

In general, a vehicle’s engine and transmission contain a lot of gears. Gears are sets of toothed wheels that work together to alter the relation between the speed of a vehicle’s engine and the speed of the tires. The teeth in the gears make it possible to determine gear ratio. A vehicle’s gear ratios are what determine its top speed, how fast the vehicle can reach that speed, and how much work it will take to get there.

How Do Gear Ratios Work?

Large gear ratios, such as in vehicles, are called gear trains. There are two sets of gear ratios in cars: the transmission gear ratio and the rear end/differential gear ratio. The transmission uses gear ratios to keep your engine running at a safe and economical RPM (revolutions per minute) range. At the same time your vehicle will be able to accelerate and maintain speed safely. Adding an additional gear to the transmission would allow it to keep accelerating and maintain speed at a lower and more efficient RPM.

Differential gear ratio determines the number of times the drive shaft will rotate for each turn of the wheels. When you change gear ratios, the RPM and the torque will change, but horsepower will not change. Torque is the amount of turning power. Torque is what will determine the acceleration of your car. When the large gears drive the small gears, this results in an increase in torque. When the small gears drive the large gears, torque will be decreased. Different vehicle manufacturers have different gear ratios.

Gear Ratios by the Numbers

If you understand the circumference of a circle, you can begin to understand gear ratios. The circumference of a circle is equal to the diameter of the circle multiplied by Pi. If a gear has a diameter of one inch, the circumference of the gear is 3.14159.

To calculate torque gear ratio, you would divide the second gear’s ratio by the first gear’s ratio. If a driven gear has 56 teeth and a driver gear has 15 teeth. Dividing the driven gear by the driver gear gives you 3.73 and this means that the drive shaft turns 3.73 times for every turn of the wheel.

This would be known as 3.73:1. The lower the number, the faster the car will go with the same number of engine revolutions. The higher the number, the accelerate. A gear ratio that is numerically high is actually called a low gear. And a low gear ratio would be called high gear.

Gear ratios are a crucial part of your car’s performance. You want to be able to drive at whatever speed suits your environment while being as economical as possible, which leads to money savings for you. Car manufacturers do their best to make this happen.

Spotlight on Mercedes’ New EQ Electric Car

Mercedes is a company that is committed to innovation and their new electric car, the EQ, represents that. EQ is the new generation of electric vehicles that promises the safety, connectivity, functionality, and comfort that you know and expect from Mercedes-Benz. Here’s what you need to know about this car:

About the EQ

EQ stands for “electric intelligence.” Mercedes has a whole line of cars planned for this brand starting with the EQC, an electric crossover. This new generation of electric cars is based on an architecture developed for battery-electric models. And because it’s scalable, it can be used across all models no matter the wheelbase and track width. These components are all variable due to the modular building-block system. The goal with EQ is to have an emission-free future.

The Mercedes EQC SUV

The Mercedes-Benz EQC400 4MATCIC, or the EQC for short, has a clear distinguishing feature, which is on the front end’s black panel. This panel is framed by fibre-optic lighting that surrounds the grille from headlight to headlight. The headlights themselves are blue LEDs. You can choose the wheel size you prefer: 19, 20, or 21 inches. Two of the wheel sizes also come with the option of blue highlights.

These unique features make the ECQ easily recognizable day or night. Instead of a roof rack on the EQC, there are attachment points integrated into the roof to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Other unique style features to the EQC are found on the inside. Rectangular air vents have been swapped for turbine-style vents. The widescreen infotainment system catches the eye with its bold colors. The EQC will feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, which offers voice recognition, gesture recognition, and gets to know more about you and your habits every time you drive.

The intuitive operating experience allows for a less distracted driver. The highlight of the MBUX system is its touch operation concept. The piano-black surfaces and rose gold accents also add to the interior of the EQC. The variety of colors and finishes in the cabin will be a pleasant surprise.

How the EQ Works

Two electric motors will power the four-wheel drive EQC, one for each set of wheels. Together they will produce 402 brake horsepower and 564lb ft of torque. You’ll be able to go 60mph in just 4.0 seconds with a top speed of 112mph. The EQC will give you approximately 280 miles between charges. You will be able to charge the EQC at home via a wall-box or wall socket and there are plenty of charging stations on the road. The slow-charging process can take hours, but with a fast-charger will get an 80% charge in about 40 minutes. The battery pack features a water-cooled charger. The EQC will offer several driving modes.

This new line of cars from Mercedes is sure to be a hit. The EQC has been designed so that people will instantly know it’s a Mercedes. If you’re in the market for an electric car that offers everything that Mercedes is known for, you should really consider the EQC!

Best Tips for Buying Your Next Toyota

When buying a Toyota there are many things to factor in, such as how much you are willing to spend, the safety features that you want, and entertainment and technology features.

Toyota makes sedans, hatchbacks, pick-up trucks, SUVs, and minivans, which means you will also need to determine the model that will be best for your needs. Here are tips to help you decide whether you should buy a new or used Toyota:

Know Your Price Range

If money isn’t an issue, your vehicle choices are unlimited. You can buy based on your preferences and needs. Toyota offers a range of vehicles at different prices. The Corolla is an economic choice while the luxury models such as the Avalon or or Avalon Hybrid will cost a bit more. If you have a budget or general desire to save money, you probably want to look at used cars. Used cars, especially recent models, can offer much of what you’re looking for a lower price, so it’s important to not overlook this option when shopping for a Toyota.

Determine Your Needs

There are many options to consider when shopping for a car. When you’re looking at Toyota listings, keep a running list of features you want. You will likely come across things you hadn’t thought of as you explore your options. Things to consider when looking for your next Toyota include: how much seating you need, engine, transmission, horsepower, infotainment features (think USB, Bluetooth, touch screen, etc.), safety features (do you require a backup camera?), and storage and cargo. Other things that may or may not matter to your purchase include things such as cup holders, chargers for phones, and cruise control.

Know the Advantages of a New Toyota

The biggest advantage to buying a new car is probably that it comes with a warranty. The bumper-to-bumper warranty, for example, covers repair on all parts except “wear items.” Wear items are things such as windshield wipers, brake pads, and tires. You can also have a new car made to order. If you have specific colors or optional features in mind, it’s all up to you. New Toyota vehicles come with free maintenance for two years (or 25,000 miles). And as mentioned previously, buying a new Toyota means you will have all the latest gizmos and safety systems. And of course, if you buy new, it will have no miles on it yet.

Understand the Advantages of a Used Toyota

The greatest advantage to buying a used Toyota is the money you will save. You may also save money on insurance having a slightly older car. You won’t experience your used car purchase depreciating significantly as soon as you drive off the lot as you would with a new car. If you decide on a late used model, you can still get many of the bells and whistles that come with a new car. Sometimes the differences between one model year and the next are minimal.

Buying your next Toyota is something you want to put thought and research into. Whether you choose to buy new or used, it’s still a big purchase and important decision.