A variety of medical conditions can affect your ability to drive. Depending on the severity of your ailment, your license may be suspended or conditions may be added to it. Here are four medical conditions you should report to the driving authority in your state since they may lead to unsafe driving.
1. Sleep apnea
This disorder can cause drowsiness, make it difficult to concentrate, and slow down your reaction time. You should avoid driving alone until your condition can effectively be managed.
Stiffness, swelling, and joint pain can make it difficult to do certain things like checking your blind spots and use the brakes. To ensure you can drive safely, you should undergo a medical exam or consult with an occupational therapist.
3. Macular degeneration
This eye disease can prevent you from seeing things like road signs and painted markings on the highway. At its onset, you may be able to continue driving. However, as the disease progresses, you’ll be required to regularly meet with an optometrist.
This condition must be taken seriously as it can cause confusion and blurred vision. If you’re diabetic, make sure to regularly check your blood glucose level and never drive if you’re hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic.
If you don’t feel fit to drive, ask someone to accompany you, call a cab, take public transit or use a volunteer transportation service.
3 tips for driving a motorhome
Are you planning to take a trip in your motorhome? If so, here are a few tips to help you stay safe while on the open road.
1. Check your brakes
If your motorhome weighs 6,500 pounds or more, you must pull over at brake check areas, or you could be fined. You should also have your brakes inspected at least once a year to make sure they’re working properly.
2. Keep your distance and limit your speed
Motorhomes are heavy, which means the faster you drive, the longer it takes for the vehicle to stop. It’s important to limit your speed and maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. In ideal driving conditions, you should keep at least a four-second following distance. However, in poor weather conditions, you should increase that distance to seven or eight seconds.
3. Know the height of your motorhome
You may not be able to pass under low-clearance bridges or enter some parking lots or drive-throughs with your motorhome. To avoid running into any trouble, stick a note on your dashboard with your motorhome’s dimensions as a friendly reminder.
Did you know?
The Family Motor Coach Association’s goal is to educate, equip and empower RV owners to create the outdoor lifestyle of their dreams. If you want to learn more about the perks of becoming a member, visit fmca.com.
What is horsepower, exactly?
Car dealers and advertisers often talk about horsepower. If you’ve ever wondered what this term means, here’s what you should know.
Why it’s called horsepower
Horsepower (hp) is the theoretical power that one horse can generate. The term was coined in 1782 by Scottish inventor James Watt, who, based on his observations at a coal mine, determined that a horse was capable of accomplishing 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute, which meant it could pull 330 pounds of coal 100 feet per minute.
The typical mid-size car has about 170 hp. This means that the maximum power it can generate is equivalent to the force produced by about 170 horses.
Why horsepower is important
Horsepower is the most useful metric for measuring engine performance. Greater horsepower translates to faster vehicle acceleration and higher speeds. Plus, along with torque, horsepower is vital to towing capacity.
Why cars need so much of it
Compared to Watt’s horses, which hauled heavy mounds of coal at a modest pace, your car engine powers a massive load, with the average mid-size car checking in at around 3,300 pounds. In addition, you need to travel much faster. This requires the power of a lot of horses.
Finally, in case you were wondering, the car with the most horsepower is the Lotus Evija, which has a stampede of 1,973 horses under its hood.
The math of horsepower
Horsepower is calculated as follows: force (in pounds) multiplied by the distance (in feet) divided by time (in seconds).
What are your options at the end of a car lease?
If your lease is coming to an end, and you’re not sure if you should buy the vehicle or return it to the dealership, here are a few things to consider.
Buy the vehicle
Do you love the car? Is it reliable and in relatively good condition? If you’re already comfortable driving it and know what repairs will eventually be needed, you may want to buy it. Purchasing the vehicle could be a particularly good option if the residual value — the amount you’ll pay to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease — is less than its market value.
If the residual value is higher than the market value, however, buying the vehicle for more than its worth is probably not in your best interest. That being said if the return fees are extremely high because you’ve gone over the mileage limit or there’s excessive damage, buying the vehicle may save you money in the end.
Return the vehicle
If you aren’t attached to the car and it no longer suits your needs, returning it to the dealership may be your best option. Nevertheless, it’s important to do the math. For example, if the residual value is lower than the market value, you could buy out your lease and then sell the vehicle for a decent profit.
Similarly, it may be better to keep the vehicle if the lease inspection reveals damage or excessive wear and tear. That way, you won’t have to pay any extra return fees. However, having major repair work done before your lease is up could significantly reduce these fees. In addition, if you plan on leasing from the same dealership again, you could ask to have the return fees reduced or waived as part of your negotiation for a new vehicle.
As with any financial decision, it’s important to take your time and weigh your options carefully.
When should you replace your muffler?
On average, mufflers need to be replaced every five to seven years. However, this is merely a benchmark, and sometimes they need to be replaced earlier than expected.
The reason your muffler is important
The muffler’s main job is to reduce engine noise, which otherwise would be deafeningly loud. However, it also improves vehicle performance by clearing exhaust gas from the engine. This allows the engine to take in more oxygen and generate greater power, which translates to an improvement in fuel economy.
Signs your muffler needs to be replaced
Here are the main indicators that your muffler is nearing the end of its lifespan:
• Excessive engine noise. If your car makes a loud roaring, thumping, or clunking sound when you drive it, the exhaust system may have loose parts or be broken.
• Bad fumes. If your muffler starts to emit foul-smelling or unusually thick fumes, this is a sure sign that it needs to be replaced.
• Dripping water. A bit of condensation in the muffler is normal, but if it’s leaking water, there’s definitely an issue.
Replace your broken muffler ASAP
If your muffler is broken, driving your car will be noisy, and your engine’s performance will weaken. More importantly, this broken component poses a safety risk. A faulty muffler can expose other road users, especially cyclists, to dangerous exhaust fumes. In some cases, these fumes could enter the cabin of your own vehicle.
If you notice an issue with your muffler, bring your car to a qualified mechanic right away.
How to get more mileage out of your gasoline
With the cost of gasoline set to spike, using gas efficiently will save money. Follow these tips to help you maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Maintain a quarter tank
Some think that driving to the last drop in the tank saves money since they’re using every drop they buy and not storing it. But that can harm the car and decrease gas mileage.
In fact, according to carID.com, drive with at least a quarter of a tank at all times so that the fuel pump is submerged in gas and stays cool. As gas drops below a quarter tank, condensation forms in the tank, diluting the fuel and causing rust. On an empty tank, the pump can pick up these rusty bits, which can hurt the pump and the motor.
Keep your speed steady
Plan routes that will keep your travel at a steady speed, even if they might be a little longer. This can actually be more fuel-efficient than stop-and-go driving, according to The Next Trip.
When the weather is hot, turn on air conditioning while the car is still plugged in and let it cool, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This will extend the car’s range.
Windows up on the highway, down in the city
On the highway, keep windows rolled up and air conditioning on to maximize fuel economy, according to the US Department of Energy. Open windows create drag from wind resistance.
But in slow, stop-and-go conditions, turn the AC off and roll the windows down to increase fuel efficiency.
Cruise control on flat roads
Cruise control is great for straight, flat terrain, but in hilly conditions, turn it off. Cruise tends to gulp gas to make the vehicle accelerate up hills. Turn it off and, instead, go steadily up hills, allowing your speed to decrease slightly on the ascent and then increase when you go downhill.
A guide to chrome accessories
If you want to enhance the look of your car without spending a fortune, chrome is an excellent option. Here’s the lowdown on chrome car accessories.
What’s chrome, and how’s it added to a vehicle?
Chrome is created through a process called electroplating. It requires that a coat of chromium be applied to a metal or plastic item.
Car accessories made of chrome can be either overlays or replacements. Overlays are coverings that fit existing vehicle parts and features. Replacements are complete parts, and installing them requires the removal of the old corresponding part.
What are the advantages of chrome?
First and foremost, chrome is stylish. This shiny, silvery material lends cars a polished, classy look. In addition, chrome accessories are generally stronger than the factory parts they replace.
What are the most popular chrome accessories?
Almost any car component can be accentuated with chrome (some auto enthusiasts even chrome-plated engine components). However, these are the most commonly chromed car parts:
• Door handles
• Gas cap
• Tail light trim
• Headlight trim
• Rocker panels
• Post trim
• Hood shield
• Fender trim
Chrome accessories are usually easy to install. However, if you’re looking for quality custom work, make sure to visit an auto body shop.