Pick The Best Winter-Ready Home Charging Station by Following These Tips

Winter is that perfect time of the year to spend time at home with your family while enjoying the cozy weather. Well, not for your vehicles and for its charging stations though. Choosing the best home charging station for your EV is important especially during the colder months. So what are the five factors that we should consider when choosing one? Let’s take a look at it down below.

  1. Opt for a Level 2 Charging Station

  • Electric vehicles are built with a 120V level 1 charging station that you can just plug in a standard wall socket. This is fine, but the only downside of a level 1 charging station is it can take a whole day before your EV will be fully charged. How much more in the cold where it can even charge longer than that.
  • Having a full battery during winter is important to ward off any anxiety you might have when having an empty battery. Having a full battery enables you to use your car for a whole day especially when there are unexpected errands to run.
  1. Check If It Can Withstand Cold Temperatures

  • When purchasing a home charging station, it’s important to check if it can operate during cold temperatures. While not most of them are made with cold temperature in mind, the FLO Home charging station works wonders and can even withstand -40°F to 122°F. This charging station is made in Canada, a place where the weather can be very chilly sometimes.
  • It’s also important to check the build quality of the charging station. Most charging stations are made from plastic or sheet metal which is not reliable especially for freezing temperatures. Opt for one that’s made from aluminum. Aluminum can withstand rust, ice, snow, and rain and is a stronger material overall.
  1. Location is Important

  • There are a lot of places where you can install your EV charging station. Be it in your garage, a space within your yard, or a location where you park your vehicle, or near an electrical source. However, you should not limit your places to install your home charging station, especially during winter. So it’s important to pick one that is versatile for both indoors and outdoors.
  • But if you want to install it outdoors, protect the electrical source by installing a hardwired setup. And if you opt to install it outdoors using a plug, it’s highly recommended to pair it with a waterproof plug cover to protect it from rain and snow. Don’t forget to install the plug a little bit higher so that the snow won’t cover it up once the weather goes crazy.
  1. Ensure Proper Storage for Both Cable and Connector

  • Charging in cold temperatures requires high-quality cables. Cheaper cables will become stiff or freeze in the winter when installed outside. Cable length is just as important too when choosing an EV charging station. In fact, the longer the cable the better.
  • Plugging an EV is not as simple as plugging your TV on an electric socket. Why? Because charging ports are positioned in different locations depending on your EV model. You may have to do lots of work before you can finally charge your EV while avoiding snow and any other obstacles at the same time.
  • Opt for a charging station that has a built-in cable holder to keep your cables neat and off the ground. Don’t forget to install the unit high enough so the cable won’t get stuck in the snow.
  • Now that we are done with cables, it’s time to protect the connector too. Without proper storage, snow and ice can get into the connector preventing it to function. Choose a charging station with a built-in connector storage such as the FLO Home. It has a special place to put your connector that’s angled down to drain any excess water that may have entered in.
  1. Power Usage

  • Keeping track of your home’s energy consumption during winter is the key to prevent any power surges and skyrocketing electrical fees. Choosing a home charging station that’s energy-efficient allows you to achieve all that.
  • The FLO X5 is built-in with smart charging features so you can choose your preferred power options. Not only that, you can also track your usage data and adjust power output depending on your preference via the smartphone app. It also includes a real-time monitoring system, consistent software updates, and the ability to add a second charger on the same breaker.

The Difference Between Understeer and Oversteer

If you’re a car owner, you definitely know what understeer and oversteer mean. Both of them are technical terms, although there are other words that are synonymous with them. We sometimes refer understeer as “push” or “plow”. You sometimes hear car owners say “I’ve got a push entering turn 3” or things like “the vehicle understeers through the whole back section of the track.” Oversteer, on the other hand, refers to being “loose” or “free”. Like you’ll hear people say “I’ve got so much oversteer through turn 5, the car is really loose.” In conclusion, understeer is about the front of the car not working and oversteer is about the rear of the car not working.

Understeer

  • Understeer happens when you try to enter a corner and it doesn’t turn enough. Instead of cornering smoothly through a curve, your car heads more toward the outside of the corner, which is a sign that something is not right. Most car owners do alternative ways to prevent this such as turning the wheel more in the direction they want to go.
  • However, almost 90% of the time this doesn’t work. This is because you’re understeering too much on a corner too fast. Resulting in your car being overwhelmed by the energy you pushed forward to the point it failed to generate grip to give you cornering entry. Fighting with your car as you turned your steering wheel more towards the corner will just make the situation worst. It puts more energy into the front tires that have been unable to keep up with the forward momentum you just accelerated.
  • What you can do in this situation is to back off the throttle. When you enter a corner, slow down, get the car back underneath you, and then get back on the throttle.

Oversteer

  • Oversteer, on the other hand, is when the car corners too much than what you want. For example, you turned your steering wheel into a particular amount, and the car suddenly gets a life on its own and starts to corner more than it should. Oversteer is the rear of the car coming around as you corner, it’s your car taking control all of a sudden. However, oversteer is much more manageable compared to understeer since you can balance it easier and faster.
  • Anyways, having too much understeer and oversteer is not advisable. Every car, no matter what brand it is, can understeer and oversteer the moment you’re cornering. It’s not avoidable, and it’s your job as a driver to control your car in a safe way before the car takes control of you. There’s no such thing as a perfect car. If your car is built wrong, or not being maintained properly, then that is unsafe. After all, it’s up to you how you want to drive your car. Just don’t go over the top just like you’re in a fast and furious movie.

A Few Considerations to Note

  • When we look at it, a car going through a corner is like a train following a circle track. The rear wheels try to follow where the front wheels are going. As a driver, you’re allowed to take control both the front and rear. Be in control, drive the way you want it, know your limits and also your car’s limits. At the end of the day, balance is the key for a safe driving experience.

Coping Up with Road Rage and Where It’s Most Prevalent

Morning commutes and afternoon grinds are probably the worst time of the day for car owners. Heavy traffic resulting in gridlock can really put a steam out of your head resulting on a recipe for disaster. Road rage is most likely caused by excessive speeding, following too closely, and other irresponsible actions on the street. But is there a way to prevent such?

Endless Causes for Road Rage

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled a list of causes why road rage happens. This includes traffic delays, running late, and the anonymity a vehicle provides. A research conducted by the Auto Insurance Center (AIC) also revealed some interesting facts about road rage. In the study, they showed that over 100,000 Instagram posts since 2011 have #RoadRage on their photo caption.

Seasonal Situations

  • The study conducted by the AIC goes further on examining seasonal changes when it comes to road rage. Based on the study, summer is the time where travelers are over the place, resulting in heavy traffic and busy streets that lead to road rage. However, there are still situations like this even before the hotter months. Back to the Instagram data, #RoadRage posts are more prevalent in May compared to the other months.
  • Not to mention the holidays, where people are busy going out to buy something to prepare for Christmas. 2016 is the year where travelers are being reported for rude gestures, reckless driving, frustration, and other transportation problems.

Thank God It’s Friday. Not.

  • Entering the weekend is probably the best time of the week. Well, not for car owners. During Friday, you’ll most likely see lots of people enjoying their time through the night. Lots of teenagers on the streets, drunk people recklessly playing in front of traffic, now that’s a recipe for road rage. AIC found that Instagram posts about #RoadRage are the highest during Friday, while Sunday and Monday on the other hand, has the least amount of Instagram posts.

Places Where Road Rage is Most Prevalent

  • Miami, San Francisco, Orlando, and San Diego are one of the few locations that have the highest rank of road rage IG posts since 2013. Number one being New York City, which isn’t surprising anyway. Not to mention locations such as Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Georgia are also included in the list too.

Avoiding Road Rage

  • One way to avoid road rage is to calm yourself and don’t take traffic problems seriously. You should also definitely avoid arguing with erratic drivers on the road to prevent further issues. The study conducted by the Auto Insurance Center is already enough proof that road rage is pretty much still existing to date. Now that driverless/autonomous cars are being developed, will this address the issue in the near future? Only time will know.

A Thorough Guide About Negotiating Car Prices

Picking a vehicle to buy nowadays is just as easy as going to the internet, read pamphlets, and browse for the best prices, deals, regional discounts, and a whole lot more. With that being said, we have a lot of resources when buying a vehicle. But when it comes to negotiating one, can you make a deal with an expert?

Sitting down with a professional car salesperson to negotiate a deal can be a make or break situation. You must choose the right questions to ask in order to get the deal you’ve been wanting for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “What is a good price for this vehicle?” or “What is a reasonable offer?”

Let’s say, for example, the manufacturer price of a particular vehicle costs $35,000 and you’ll negotiate it with $25,000. Are you willing to takes the risk of negotiating it with such a price? Or you’re already thinking that they’ll laugh at you and just call it a day? Well, probably not.

The Price Says It All

  • Isn’t the price on the car the actual price? Well? No. Purchasing brand new vehicles also means investment and this is definitely a negotiable one. Some things, however, are completely non-negotiable. For example, you can’t just get a TV for $1,500 if the original price is $2,000. The same thing goes for supermarkets, and so on. However, when you want to spend thousands of dollars on something such as buying a new car, then negotiating is your best friend.

Car Negotiation Tips

  • Dress formally so the car salesman will take you seriously.
  • Research ahead of time.
  • Know how much you’re willing to pay.
  • Work with your preferred bank or credit union yourself. Don’t let the dealer do it.
  • Be direct to the point if you want something.
  • Don’t make promises of something that you cannot pay.
  • Make sure you understand the numbers while negotiating.
  • Confidence is key

A Car Salesman’s Goal

  • Many of us think that the only goal a car salesman had is to sell vehicles. In reality, this isn’t the case after all. Selling vehicles is what the car or truck dealership does, the salesman, on the other hand, wants something more than that.
  • A car salesman’s goal is to make the deal the most profitable while ensuring the customer is also satisfied at the same time. When we look at the buyer’s side, what’s their purpose? What is his/her goal? Is it to just buy a vehicle? No. Well, sort of. But the real goal of a buyer is to negotiate the most favorable deal as possible to get his/her much-wanted vehicle.
  • Profit is not something that you should be worried about. Don’t overthink that the salesman is milking money from you while making the deal. Be positive, because a good deal is just one conversation away. Besides, the dealership can benefit both you and the car salesman. You get a nice and beautiful car to bring home, while the salesman can make a living. As you can see, balance is the real deal here. However, “Excessive profit” is something you should avoid. This kind of profit takes equity away from the buyer. No matter what you do, always avoid negative equity once you encountered something like this.

What in The World is MSRP?

  • MSRP stands for “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price”. This is a price that’s made by the manufacturer, not the dealer. MSRP is the starting price when making such negotiations. There will also be times where the dealer will offer an “invoice” price for the vehicle and use this as a selling point. A sample conversation will go as follows:

 

Salesman: “Look at the invoice price, we’re only making a few hundred dollars selling you this car at this price, and plus, you’re getting almost one thousand dollars off MSRP.”

Sally: “That’s not too bad. I guess you can’t really do much better than that, right?”

Salesman: “Exactly. You know you’re getting a good deal, and we’ve got to make a little something on the vehicle …”

 

  • The buyer didn’t know that the salesman gets a $2,000 rebate right from the manufacturer every time they offer an invoice price when selling a vehicle. This sales also shows that the salesman is one step closer to their quota and dealer bonus payroll.
  • Invoice price dealership is something between $2,000 and $4,000 of profit in order to get on to the next vehicle. How much more when their margin starts at the MSRP.

Strategic Tips While Negotiating for a New Vehicle

  • Negotiating is like a two-player battle. You have to be smarter or else you’ll be played by the salesman. Some salesmen are highly trained by their companies, while there are others who are chill about it, and there are ones that only works for the sake of buying something to eat for their kids. To sum it all up, all salesman had experience and knowledge to trick you whenever possible. So what can you do to prepare yourself? Here are some tips for you.
  1. The internet is your best friend

  • Shop for vehicles on various consumer sites.
  • Know what you really want.
  • Check the MSRP.
  • Know which options suit your needs and how much they cost.
  • Join in community forums where you can ask for advice about purchasing a vehicle.
  1. Know how much you can spend

  • Obviously, you must have the money whenever you show up and have a little chit chat with the dealer. Don’t go there still undecided how much your monthly payment will be, you’ll probably lose in the game.
  1. Bring the money with you

  • Deal with your bank or credit union when it comes to financing. Don’t ever go through the dealer. They sometimes trick buyers by using the terms of loan to confuse you. Once they do, they’ll mark up the interest rate they get from the lender.
  1. Be direct to the point

  • Salesmen like to play games, and negotiating is no exception. They’re observing you, figuring out what you need, and try to get you emotionally about your desired purchase. What you can do is to stay cooperative and down to earth as possible. Let them know what you really want, and be honest about it. Be open and ask as many questions as you want.
  1. Don’t get too emotional

  • Don’t be carried away easily. Once he shows you the vehicle you’ve been dying for, don’t think of raising your hands quickly and purchase that one. Check it first if it’s worth the price. Do you like the color? How about the quality of the seats inside? Don’t forget to check every nook and corner of the vehicle both inside and out. Don’t ever gush and beg the salesman to test drive it. Wait for him/her to offer you a test drive. Getting too emotional won’t get you far.
  1. Watch the numbers carefully

  • Get ready by jotting down all the numbers they tell you on a piece of paper. You need to be aware of the current figure of every number any time changes are made. Here are typical numbers you should track throughout the while dealing process:
  • MSRP
  • Discounts
  • Rebates
  • Purchase price
  • Trade allowance
  • Dealer fee
  • Tax
  • Title and registration fees
  • Down payment
  • Balance
  1. Confidence is key

  • Some salesmen tend to use the term “limited” a lot. Which in reality, is not really true at all. You say limited but there are exactly hundreds of more vehicles that look exactly the same as that. If you feel that something is wrong, walk out and find another deal. Don’t look back, just do it. Be confident!

Making the Deal

  • Now that you’re done test driving that beast, before taking it home, here are things that you should do for a successful deal.
  • Whenever the salesman asks “So what do you think?”, compliment the looks of the car, everything about the car and say something about the price like “We’re not really at my number yet.”
  • This is where the fun starts. The salesman looks at you and starts to offer deal “How about slashing it to $1,500. Is that enough for you?” Then get out your mighty weapon which is your notes and start looking at some figures. Tell the salesman about the offer choices. Convince him that the offer he showed is not really the deal you want.
  • Use options to your advantage. Once the number goes down, they’ll probably offer you a vehicle that’s cheaper in some way, unless your number is unrealistic, which is not acceptable in the first place. Say something like “This offer looks great, but it doesn’t have this *insert feature here*, this and that.”
  • Don’t forget your goal that you have to get what you really want. Don’t be tempted about anything the salesman will throw at you. Don’t say YES easily, always say “We’re getting closer” whenever he gives you a deal. Be confident, after minutes of chit chat about offers, demands, counter-offers, now’s the time to pull the trigger. Tell him what you want and make him work for it.
  • The salesman will probably go and have a conversation with the manager, and once he comes back, he probably had a lot of great things in store for you. The salesman will say thing like “Ok you can have this color, you can have this bell here, this feature there, etc., but only if we have a commitment from you right now.”
  • It’s time to drop the bomb to the salesman, tell him something like “Ok I like the vehicle and this offer is pretty good. But anyways, I have other dealers who are offering me something too, so I might check that out if the deal is more worth it than this.”
  • The salesman will probably enter panic mode at this moment. He’s probably afraid that the vehicle won’t sell well in his hands. So he’ll probably think of ways to make his deal the best deal you can get to keep you from walking. A trip to the manager again is the likely situation here, and once he comes back and offers lots of deals and asks for a commitment, decide if you’re finally going to take the car.
  • If you like the final offer, then it’s a deal! Now you’re done. Problem solved, you got yourself a new car just the way you want it.