It’s important to keep your car’s interior clean. As it’s a closed environment, a buildup of dust and dirt will affect the cabin’s air quality. Here are some key areas to target when tidying up inside your car.
1. The glove compartment
Take everything out of the glove compartment and then clean it with a vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can wipe it down with a cloth. If the interior is lined with fabric, use a toothbrush to clean it and dislodge any debris.
2. The seats
3. The air vents
Over time, dust and debris will build upon the slats of your air vents, affecting the air quality in your car cabin. To clean them, use a toothbrush, paintbrush, or cotton swab. An air duster will also work if the dust isn’t too caked on. When cleaning, make sure to keep the car doors open so dust can disperse outside.
While you can clean your car yourself, it’s still worth taking it into an auto detailer once a year or so. This way you’ll ensure every nook and cranny is free of dirt and debris.
How to choose the right car for your family
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, make sure to carefully consider your family’s needs and lifestyle. Here’s a guide to help you find the right model.
Think about space
Make sure there are enough seats for the whole family and that everyone has a comfortable amount of legroom. You also want to make sure you can easily access the back seat if your children are young. Consider whether you need extra room to accommodate car seats, a stroller, sports equipment, or a pet carrier. Look for a vehicle with fold-away seats or a spacious trunk to ensure you have enough storage space.
Opt for simplicity
Choose a vehicle with features that will make your life easier. When you’re laden with groceries or have a kid in your arms, you’ll likely appreciate a trunk that can be opened with your foot or the push of a button. Automatic sliding doors offer a similar convenience, and a smart key or keyless entry system will allow you to keep your hands free.
Look for comfort
Keep in mind that a spacious vehicle doesn’t guarantee optimal comfort. Is the rear ventilation system independent of the one upfront? Are the back seats heated? Does everyone have access to a cup holder? Reflect on which features will be most useful to your family and don’t settle for a car without them.
A DVD player and onboard Wi-Fi can be invaluable, especially on a long trip. It might even help prevent siblings from bickering. As a driver, consider whether you could use voice-controlled Bluetooth or a few USB ports. Additionally, make sure the car is compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
When shopping for a new family car, it’s important that you establish your needs, compare models that meet your requirements and factor personal preferences into your decision.
7 things to inspect on your car this summer
If you’re getting ready for a summer road trip or plan to take your car out for its first spin of the season, here are seven things you should inspect before you get behind the wheel.
1. Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. Do the same for the spare and make certain you have a jack and lug wrench in the trunk.
2. Lights. Ask someone to stand outside your car as you turn on your headlights, brake lights, and reverse lights to ensure that they’re working.
3. Windshield wipers. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and can effectively clear your windows. You should also inspect the sprayer and top off the windshield washer fluid.
4. Fluids. Inspect the oil as well as the brake, power steering, and transmission fluids. If any of these run out, your car’s components may get damaged.
5. Battery. Inspect your battery for signs of corrosion, cracks, and leaks. Test it with a battery tester, voltmeter, or multimeter. Alternatively, you can get it inspected and tested by a mechanic. Batteries should be tested twice a year and replaced approximately every five years.
6. Undercarriage. Look under your car for leaks. A fluid leak can cause your steering or braking system to fail.
7. Air conditioner. Make sure your air conditioner is working well. Also, check the heating for those chilly mornings when you need to defrost the windows.
If you notice any issues during your inspection, make an appointment at your local garage.
5 reasons to apply a paint protection film to your car
Do you hate seeing nicks and scratches on your car? If so, a paint protection film can help make dings a thing of the past. Here are five reasons to add this coating to your car.
1. To protect the paint
Paint protection film helps keep painted surfaces on your car shiny and blemish-free by protecting them from scratches, dents, fading, and rust. This coating is made of thermoplastic urethane and is completely transparent.
2. To increase the resale value
3. To protect certain components
Paint protection film can be applied to headlights and mirrors to shield them from damage caused by upturned gravel and road debris. Since the coating is transparent, it doesn’t affect its operation or visibility.
4. To save you money on repairs
Touch-ups for scuffs and scratches can be costly. If you have a protective coating on your car, it could spare you from needing to make small repairs. It can also prevent you from having to fix broken headlights and mirrors.
5. To make cleaning easier
Paint protection film repels dust and debris, thereby reducing the need for frequent car cleaning. Moreover, you can simply wipe the coating with a soft cloth instead of water when you want to quickly spiff up your vehicle.
To apply paint protection film to your car, contact your local garage or auto detailer.
What vehicle should you rent for your summer road trip?
If you’re planning a road trip and need a set of wheels, renting is probably your best option. Here are four types of vehicles to consider booking for your next trip.
In fair weather, cruising in a convertible can be fun, especially if you rarely get the chance. If you’re going on a brief trip and don’t plan on venturing too far off the beaten track, then taking a convertible will likely add to your excitement. Just be sure to check the weather in advance.
3. Minivan or SUV
A minivan or SUV is the best vehicle to choose for a family road trip. Be sure to get a model with a multimedia system so that you can easily entertain your kids during the drive. Minivans and SUVs are also great choices for adventurous couples who want to rough it by sleeping in the back of their car on an inflatable mattress.
Although it’s the priciest vehicle to rent and costs the most to fill up, an RV also doubles as a hotel room, complete with a kitchen, shower, toilet, and beds. It’s a great option if you’re camping as a family and intending to visit several places since you won’t need to pack up your things or pitch a tent multiple times.
Whatever vehicle you choose for your road trip, be sure to stay safe behind the wheel and take along an emergency supply kit.
Does the music you listen to affect the way you drive?
According to research conducted by the South China University of Technology, the type of music a motorist listens to influences the way they drive. Here’s what the study uncovered.
Study participants experienced a higher heart rate when they were exposed to raucous music versus when they were exposed to gentler music or no music at all. As a result, they drove faster and less carefully. The key factor was shown to be song tempo, which was measured in beats per minute.
When participants listened to music with a tempo of above 120 beats per minute, they tended to drive faster than they did when listening to music with a slower tempo. The difference in driving speed amounted to about 10 miles per hour. Lane changes also occurred twice as often when drivers listened to this kind of music.
The song that caused participants to drive the fastest and most erratically was “American Idiot” by Green Day, which has a tempo of 189 beats per minute. The song that was most conducive to safe driving was “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, which has a tempo of 63 beats per minute.
To thwart the impulse to speed, the best songs to listen to in the car are ones with a tempo that’s about the same as your resting heart rate, or between 60 and 80 beats per minute. There’s no shortage of tunes that fit the bill, from “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
If you tend to speed, there are certain types of music you should avoid when you’re on the road including heavy metal, drum, and bass, techno and dubstep. The tempo of most songs in these music genres is more than 120 beats per minute.
The next time you create a driving playlist, be sure to choose tunes that help you maintain your speed and keep you calm and collected on the road.
The experience of driving an EV
Electric vehicles (EVs) are reliable, economical, and eco-friendly. But what’s it like to drive one? Here’s what you should know.
EVs are well suited to the stop-and-go nature of city driving. Thanks to the regenerative braking system in most models, the kinetic energy that’s lost every time you apply the brakes is recovered and used to power the motor. This allows you to drive longer on a single charge.
Since an EV’s motor doesn’t idle, you won’t waste any power if you get stuck in traffic. And when congested roads do clear, the instant torque of an electric car allows you to accelerate with ease.
Lastly, an increasing number of municipalities offer reserved or free parking for electric vehicles.
Electric cars must meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles, so you can cruise down the highway without worry. Additionally, since the battery pack is usually installed in the floor, most models have a low center of gravity which allows for better handling.
Owning an EV can also speed up your commute since many areas allow you to use carpool lanes if you’re driving an electric car. You’ll also likely appreciate the quieter ride as they make considerably less noise than gas-powered cars. And if you need to use a toll road or take a ferry, many are cheaper or free for electric cars.
Finally, since EVs have fewer parts than vehicles that run on fuel, they don’t require much in the way of maintenance and repairs. You’ll spend more time on the road and less at the garage.