Cruising the open road on a summer day can be great. However, if the sun is low, it’s likely to create a blinding glare that makes it hard to see the road in front of you. Follow these tips to avoid getting into an accident.
1. Slow down
If the sun’s glare is affecting your ability to see, the best thing to do is reduce your speed. This way, you’ll have more time to react if the car in front of you suddenly bra¬kes or if an animal unexpectedly appears on the road.
2. Turn on your low beams
If you’re blinded by the sun, chances are so is everyone else. To make sure you’re seen, turn on your low beams, even if it’s light outside.
3. Keep your windows clean
Bright light can reveal dirt, dust, smears, and fingerprints on your windows, which can obscure your view of the road. This is why it’s important to regularly clean the inside and outside your windshield and rear window. Additionally, make sure your wiper blades are working, and your washer fluid is topped up.
4. Wear sunglasses
Depending on the position of the sun, the visors in your car can be either very effective or completely useless. To ensure you’re prepared for intense glare, always keep a pair of sunglasses on hand.
Helpful tips to cruise the open road
If you don’t want to get stranded on the side of the road with a flat, make sure your tire pressure isn’t too low.
If you tracked mud, twigs, and leaves into your car after a weekend camping trip, give the exterior and interior a good cleaning to make it shine again.
If you want to keep cool on the road this summer, make sure to have your car’s air conditioning system inspected.
If you want to get off the beaten track and see nature in all its glory, make sure your muffler is working properly so you won’t scare away the wildlife.
If you have an upcoming road trip and want to avoid an unexpected breakdown, bring your car to a mechanic for a tune-up.
If your power windows are slow or unresponsive, get your battery inspected by a professional.
If you need to tow a boat or transport bikes, get the necessary accessories professionally installed to avoid any costly or dangerous mistakes.
If your next road trip will lead you down bumpy roads, have your shocks inspected to ensure they’re in top shape.
If you’re worried about your car engine overheating, make sure to keep your coolant levels topped up.
If you have seasonal allergies, consider replacing the air filter in your car to help you breathe easier.
If you regularly travel early in the morning or late at night, polish your headlights for better visibility.
If your turns feel unstable even when the road is dry and the sun is shining, get your differential serviced as soon as possible.
What’s the difference between an SUV and a crossover?
The terms SUV and crossover are often used interchangeably. However, each of these vehicles has distinct features, and what’s more, SUVs and crossovers are built differently.
Just like trucks, SUVs have frame-mounted bodies. This means the body, driveshaft, and chassis are all attached separately. SUV engines are also larger and more powerful than those found in crossovers. This makes them heavier and less spacious but allows them to tow heavier loads. Since most SUVs come with four-wheel drive, they make great off-road vehicles. However, one of the biggest downsides is that they aren’t very fuel-efficient.
Unlike SUVs, crossovers have a unibody design. This means the body and chassis are one piece, making the vehicle lighter and more spacious. Crossovers generally come with all-wheel drive but offer the handling and maneuverability of a standard passenger car. In addition, they’re more fuel-efficient than SUVs but have a limited towing capacity. Overall, crossovers offer a good balance between fuel efficiency and power.
In short, if you’re looking for a powerful and sturdy vehicle that can handle rugged terrain, an SUV is a perfect choice. However, crossovers are great for families because they’re a bit more comfortable and offer additional storage space.
How to park on a hill
When parking a car on a hill, you must take precautions. There are regulations you need to follow to stay safe and not get a ticket.
First, unless otherwise specified, you must park within a foot of the curb, and your car must face the same direction as the flow of traffic. On a hill, you must use your parking brake and position the wheels so that the front of the vehicle is lined up with the curb.
When parking uphill, turn your wheels toward the road. That way, if the emergency brake fails and your vehicle slips backward, the rear wheels will bump up against the curb. When parking downhill, you should turn your wheels toward the sidewalk instead.
Last, engage the parking brake, slowly take your foot off the brake pedal and then shift your vehicle into “park.” If you’re driving a manual transmission, make sure you shift into first gear when parking uphill and into reverse when parking downhill.
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.