In many parts of the country, winter can take a toll on your car’s tires. Here are three tire maintenance tasks you should perform every spring
1. Change your tires
Winter tires perform poorly on hot, dry roads. If you used them over the last few months, now’s the time to switch back to all-season or summer tires.
2. Check the pressure
Cold air causes the pressure in your tires to decrease, deflating them and making them unsafe to drive on when the weather is warmer. Check the owner’s manual to verify the exact pressure range that’s best for your tires and inflate them accordingly.
3. Inspect the tread
No matter what type of tires you use, it’s their tread that provides the necessary traction to stop your car from slipping and sliding in wet and icy conditions. Many tires have tread wear indicators inside the grooves. If your indicators are flush with the grooves, the tires are no longer safe to drive on.
Finally, visually inspect your tires. If you notice uneven wear, cuts, bulges or other irregularities, it may be time to replace them.
5 types of anti-theft devices for your car
Vehicle security has evolved over the years. Unfortunately, so have strategies for stealing cars. It’s therefore important to keep your car’s anti-theft protection up to date. Here are some top security devices available.
Immobilizers prevent cars from getting hot-wired by enabling them to start only when the vehicle’s authorized key is within range. Immobilizers come standard with many but not all new cars. If your vehicle doesn’t have an immobilizer, it’s worth getting one installed. They’re effective and affordable.
2. Steering wheel lock
3. Car alarm
Car alarms are meant to send thieves running. However, because they frequently go off accidentally, bystanders tend to pay them little attention. That said, they do represent an extra layer of security and can deter would-be thieves in some cases.
4. Anti-theft marking
Anti-theft marking involves etching a unique serial number into the various components of your car. This makes it harder to sell your car’s components on the black market and easier to catch thieves who attempt to do so.
5. GPS tracker
While it won’t prevent your car from getting stolen, a GPS tracker can allow you to locate it. However, some tech-savvy thieves have discovered ways to outsmart car trackers, especially older devices, so make sure to get a newer, high-quality product.
Some other anti-theft devices are tire clamps, brake locks, and key fob bags (which prevent signal hacking). To reduce the likelihood of your car getting stolen, your best bet is to use a combination of top anti-theft devices.
What to consider before buying a used EV
Now that electric vehicles (EVs) have been mass-produced for more than a decade, there’s an increasing opportunity for the used electric car market to flourish. Here are two factors to consider before buying a pre-owned EV.
The rapid improvement of EV technology means that first-generation models released between 2010 and 2015 have a shorter range than newer electric cars. Plus, an EV’s range tends to diminish over time. This is less of a concern, however, if you only plan to use the car for short trips. Additionally, a used EV will likely be more reliable than a gas-powered car since it has fewer mechanical parts that can break down. Just make sure your used EV has relatively low mileage, which shouldn’t be a problem if its range is low.
Keep in mind that used EVs offer the same environmental benefits as new ones and also help develop a more sustainable economy.
Quiz: How well do you know cars?
Calling all car enthusiasts: put your pedal to the metal and test your automotive expertise with this fun and quick car quiz.
Match the model to the make
Identify the brand by its symbol
11. Three diamonds
12. Four rings
13. A bowtie
14. A ringed three-point star
15. A prancing horse
True or false?
16. Windshield wipers were invented by American rancher Mary Anderson.
17. “The power to surprise” is the slogan for Hyundai.
18. William Lyons is a founder of the Jaguar brand.
19. The General Lee, from the series The Dukes of Hazzard, is a 1969 Dodge Charger.
20. Production of the famous Ford Model T started in 1912.
1-B, 2-E, 3-H, 4-J, 5-F, 6-G, 7-A, 8-I, 9-D, 10-C
17: False (Kia)
20: False (1908)
A reminder about move-over laws
Did you know that drivers in almost every state are required by law to slow down and, if possible, move over as they approach a vehicle stopped on the side of the road? Here’s what you should know about move-over laws.
A matter of safety
Across the country, move-over laws are in place to help protect roadside workers and the people they assist. This includes first responders and tow truck operators. Depending on the state, the law might also apply to road maintenance, public utility, wildlife protection, and government vehicles.
Additionally, most move-over laws require that you vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicle if you can complete the maneuver safely. If you can’t change lanes without risking a collision, proceed with caution and be prepared to stop. If the stationary vehicle is in your lane, give the right of way to oncoming traffic and wait until it’s safe to move into the adjacent lane.
Keep in mind that these laws apply to highways, city streets, and country roads. Motorists who fail to abide by the law may face fines and other penalties.
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.
3 key areas to clean inside your car
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.