If you’re shopping for a new car, you’ll have to decide whether you want cloth seats or leather ones. Here’s how these two materials stack up.
Cloth seats are a popular option for those buying on a budget. And this choice presents some additional advantages besides the cost savings. Notably, cloth seats tend to last longer than leather ones. Plus, leather seats can heat up on hot summer days, whereas cloth seats will remain a fairly consistent temperature.
One of the main drawbacks of cloth is that it’s more difficult to clean and can stain easily. That said, it won’t show scratches the way leather does.
Leather can give a car a sleek, luxurious look and increase its resale value. Moreover, many drivers prefer the cool, supple feel of leather seats. Though some people perceive them as cold, leather seats can be heated in winter and thereby offer additional comfort.
The main disadvantage of leather seats is that they carry a higher price tag than cloth ones.
Overall, cloth and leather seats each have their pros and cons. Your choice should be based on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in terms of price, comfort, and aesthetics.
5 tips for picking out a car for your teen
Are you buying your teenager their first car? If so, here are five tips for choosing the right vehicle for your teen.
1. Focus on safety features
Even if you choose an inexpensive car, safety features aren’t something you want to skimp on. Features such as anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are a must. More advanced safety features like blind-spot warning systems, backup cameras, and lane departure warnings are good to have.
2. Size it up
3. No sports cars
Driving a sporty car may give your teenager the urge to speed and drive recklessly. A car with less horsepower is a better choice.
4. Look at the safety ratings
Consult the IIHS crashworthiness ratings to find out which cars will best protect your teenager in the event of a collision.
5. Opt for connectivity
It’s hard to keep teens off their phones. To help prevent your teenager from texting while driving, consider getting a car with smartphone connectivity.
Regardless of which type of car you buy your teen, be sure to impress on them the importance of safe driving before you hand over the keys.
Pop quiz: are you a winter driving whiz?
Winter driving can be hazardous, but being well-informed can help keep you safe. Here’s a lighthearted quiz that will point you toward the information you need.
1. How often should you change your windshield wipers?
A) Every full moon
B) Annually, in the fall
2. When should winter tires be installed?
A) Once the outside temperature drops to 45 degrees Fahrenheit
B) Once the birds begin their migration
C) At sunset on a Tuesday
3. How often should you wash your car in winter?
A) About once a month
B) Never: the snow will clean it
C) As often as your neighbor does
4. What should you do if your lock freezes?
A) Force your key to turn the lock and pray that it doesn’t break
B) Blow on the key to heat it up
C) Use a lock de-icer (sold in automotive shops) or heat the key with a lighter
5. What emergency items should you equip your car with in winter?
A) A shovel, windshield washer fluid and warm clothing
B) A blanket, pillow and sleep mask
C) A bikini, sunscreen and flip-flops
6. What should you do if you find yourself behind a snow removal vehicle?
A) Put the pedal to the metal and weave around it
B) Be patient: the road conditions are sure to be better behind the vehicle anyway
C) Wildly honk your horn to show your annoyance
7. What should you do if the back of your vehicle starts to skid on ice?
A) Slam the brakes and scream like a banshee
B) Let go of the wheel and close your eyes so you don’t see what happens next
C) Slowly turn the front wheels in the direction of the rear wheels while looking where you want to go
Congratulations — chances are pretty good you aced it!
1-B, 2-A, 3-A, 4-C, 5-A, 6-B, 7-C
Winter tune-up checklist
This winter, consider asking your mechanic to provide a complete tune-up. This will help ensure that your car runs smoothly all season long. Though your specific car’s servicing needs will depend on its model, features, and age, mechanics generally inspect the following components during a tune-up:
• Windshield wipers
• Spark plugs
• Steering and suspension
• Fluid levels (engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.)
• Headlights and brake lights
• Exhaust system
• Heating system
• Electrical system
As garages are usually busy in the winter, don’t delay in making an appointment for your car’s tune-up.
5 things you could lose as a result of impaired driving
Getting behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol can have dire consequences. Here are five things you may lose as a result of this choice.
1. Your license
One potential penalty for driving under the influence is that your license may get revoked. In some regions, first-time offenders are prohibited from driving for a period ranging from several months to a year.
2. Your money
3. Your clean criminal record
If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence, you’ll end up with a criminal record, which could complicate many facets of your life, from landing a job to travel.
4. Your job
If your job requires you to operate a vehicle (for example, if you’re a trucker, delivery person or taxi driver) you may be forced to leave it. This may also be the case if your employer demands that you have a clean criminal record.
5. Your life
Impaired driving heightens your risk of being in an accident, and if you add poor road conditions to the equation, it could make matters worse. If you get into a car crash, you could be seriously injured or killed, or you could injure or kill your passengers or other road users.
If you plan to consume drugs or alcohol, make sure you have a safe way to get home. Call a taxi, hire an Uber, or catch a ride with a friend.
5 interesting facts about speeding
Speeding is one of the main causes of car accidents in the United States. Here are some facts on this subject that should cause drivers to think twice before exceeding the speed limit.
1. If you speed, you won’t arrive at your destination much faster. For example, cruising at 75 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone for 50 miles only shaves off six minutes from your total driving time.
2. A car’s braking distance is nearly three times longer at 60 miles per hour than at 30 miles per hour. And if you’re driving a semi-truck, it’s about twice as long as that. For example, the braking distance of a semi going 60 miles per hour is about 100 feet.
3. In terms of force, a collision at 30 miles per hour is similar to a fall from four stories. A collision at 60 miles per hour is more like a fall from 14 stories.
4. The faster you drive, the more your brain is bombarded with visual information. This results in tunnel vision and a decrease in depth perception.
5. Studies suggest that if everyone drove just one mile per hour slower on urban streets, this would lead to a six percent decrease in traffic fatalities.
To sum up, there’s really no good reason to speed. Always respect speed limits and encourage those around you to do the same.
Star cars: 7 famous on-screen automobiles
Many cars have made a name for themselves in film and television, including Lightning McQueen, the Batmobile, the General Lee, and the Mystery Machine. Here are seven kinds of cars that became famous on the big screen.
1. The 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Since making his first appearance in the 1968 feature film The Love Bug, the sentient race car Herbie went on to star in several sequels and remakes, garnering adoration from fans of all ages.
2. The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance
3. The DeLorean DMC-12
This pop culture icon is known for reaching speeds of 88 miles an hour during its stint as the retrofitted time travel machine in the Back to the Future movie trilogy.
4. The 1976 Ford Gran Torino
Nicknamed the Striped Tomato because of its bright red paint job, this car featured in the 1970s action-crime drama Starsky & Hutch and made its big-screen debut in 2004.
5. The Aston Martin DB5
This weaponized luxury vehicle is one of the most iconic cars in cinematic history, first driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
6. The 1993 Toyota Supra
One of many vehicles featured in the Fast & Furious franchise, this flashy orange race car was driven by Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) in the final showdown of the original 2001 film.
7. The 1968 Ford Mustang GT
Bullitt star Steve McQueen gunned this green muscle car through the streets of San Francisco and sent it, tires screeching, into one of the most iconic car chase scenes in film history.
Of course, there are many other famous Hollywood cars including the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT from the original Mad Max movie. All these vehicles have inspired car culture and continue to influence collectors of all ages.