Are you thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle (EV)? If so, consider your needs before making a decision. Here are the key factors to keep in mind.
If you have a short daily commute, almost any type of electric vehicle will have sufficient range to get you where you need to go.
However, if you tend to regularly drive long distances, you may be better off with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This type of car uses gas to keep you going once the battery is depleted.
In addition, if you love to escape to the cottage or take frequent road trips, a long-range EV or PHEV may be a better option to get you where you’re going.
Most EV owners install a 240-volt charging station at home. If you do the same, you’ll have no problem recharging yours on a daily basis.
Alternatively, if you rely on public charging stations to power your car, it’s best to locate one close to your home and/or your place of work. It’s crucial to ensure that you always have enough range left to get to the station.
There is a wide variety of EVs and PHEVs on the market right now, with more being released every year. So, whether you prefer a compact car, a mid-sized sedan or an SUV, there’s an electric vehicle that’s right for you.
4 tips for safely sharing the road with motorcyclists
If you drive a car, it’s your responsibility to take proactive measures that’ll increase the safety of more vulnerable road users. Here are a few tips for safely sharing the road with motorcyclists.
1. Be aware
Get in the habit of frequently checking your mirrors and blind spots when driving. In addition, make sure the road is clear before opening your car doors. Keep in mind that motorcyclists are more likely to face serious or fatal consequences if they’re involved in a collision.
2. Use your turn signals
Using your turn signals is not optional; it’s the law. Your signals let other road users, including motorcyclists, know your intentions. This provides them with enough time to adapt and respond accordingly.
3. Assess situations carefully
Keep your distance and only pass a motorcyclist if you’re 100 percent certain you won’t cut them off. For example, once you see a motorcyclist’s headlight in your rear-view mirror, you’re safe to return to your original lane. When assessing a situation, remember that motorcyclists are often closer than they appear in your car’s mirrors and can reach their top speed faster than motorists.
4. Anticipate behaviors
To better anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers, learn to recognize the hand signals and driving formations they use when traveling in groups.
Lastly, common courtesy on the road is a must. Be considerate, and drive safely.
What’s a differential?
Located between the transmission and driveshaft of a car’s driving wheels, the differential is one of the most important components of a car’s engine. It performs the critical job of automatically dividing the power from the engine so the car’s wheels can spin at different speeds when you make a turn.
When you turn left, for example, the right wheels on your car have to travel further than those on the left. The differential’s gearing system automatically sends more power to the wheels with less traction (in this case, the right wheels), so that your turn is as stable as possible. When it comes to vehicles with four-wheel-drive, there’s an additional differential that separates the front wheels from the rear wheels to improve handling when driving over uneven terrain.
Since the differential helps you stay safe while on the road, you should watch for any signs that there may be a problem. If you’re having difficulty maneuvering your car around turns or hear loud squeaking or grinding noises coming from underneath your vehicle, you should visit a trusted mechanic immediately.
How to be a courteous driver
If you want to be a courteous driver who respects other road users, you should avoid making these risky, and sometimes illegal, maneuvers:
2. Cutting off other vehicles
3. Not using your turn signals
4. Zigzagging in traffic
5. Driving too fast
6. Not yielding the right of way
7. Honking repeatedly without reason
8. Stopping on the pedestrian crosswalk at an intersection
9. Making vulgar hand gestures or shouting insults
In addition, you should steer clear of driving too close to cyclists and pedestrians, passing them without slowing down and not giving them the right of way. You should also avoid going through puddles at full speed when driving past them.
Furthermore, it’s useful to keep in mind that not all irritating or dangerous maneuvers performed by other motorists are done deliberately. It’s essential to stay calm if another driver makes a mistake. Likewise, if you make a blunder, issuing an apologetic hand gesture can help diffuse the situation.
Lastly, if someone helps you out when making a turn or changing lanes on a crowded street, remember to thank them with a wave. Courtesy is more than just not being rude.
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.
4 tips for driving in the sun
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.
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.