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.

Shed Off Pounds Faster with These Safe and Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Losing weight is a slow and steady process. If you think that crash dieting and bursts workouts is the solution for losing weight faster, then think again. There’s no rush when it comes to losing weight. You start slow and then gradually build up soon. If you’re a person that hasn’t exercised for years, running on a treadmill or climbing up a hill can be a real problem. This is why people tend to overthink and give up earlier in the process. Starving is also a thing that needs to be avoided. Starving yourself isn’t a fast solution to cut those numbers out in the weighing scale, it’ll only lead to malnutrition and a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Instead, try out these safe and healthier ways to lose weight listed down below.

  • Weight Loss and Energy Requirements

  • We, humans, use food to fuel ourselves. Food stores excess energy in terms of fat. The more you eat, the more everyday activities you should do so that you won’t gain weight faster. This means reducing calories by doing physical activities is the key no matter how many you’ve eaten. It’s all about balance between your energy needs and weight loss goals.
  • Gradual Changes is Key

  • Weight loss is a slow and simple process. You can’t just lose weight in a matter of hours or days. Eating a cracker every day for a year can add 5 pounds to your weight. Cutting down your biscuit intake a day will result to weight loss. You must choose diets that are not excessively restrictive. It’s not about changing your eating habits, it’s about allowing gradual change into your lifestyle.
  • Do More Physical Activities

  • Regular exercise can indeed help when it comes to losing weight. If hardcore exercise is not your thing, moderate ones will do. These moderate exercises can have a positive impact on your health anyway. Also, don’t stick to one exercise only. If you feel like you can do more, then choose another activity that you like to do. It may be walking, running, aerobics, racket sports, team sports, whatever suits you will do.
  • Opt for Easy Weight Loss Methods

  • Don’t push yourself to your limits by choosing to follow extreme weight loss methods. Choose one that’s cost-efficient and easily doable. Get yourself out of your couch and start grabbing those shoes and go for a jog outside. Simple activities like that are enough for you to get started. Don’t be tempted by opening your freezer and grab anything every time you have nothing to do. Limit yourself from eating unhealthy foods and get fit.
  • Choosing The Right Foods to Eat

  • Opting for healthy and nutritious food choices is the right way for an effective and safe weight loss. You must not eat more than 1500 calories a day or you’ll end up getting fatter as time goes by. Strict diets are also a recipe for disaster too so you should also avoid this one. With that being said, there’s no such thing like a shortcut when it comes to weight loss and healthy eating. Consuming 300 to 500 of calories each day should be enough for you. This is a more realistic approach when it comes to eating to lose weight, not starving yourself. Fat is the biggest contributor when it comes to weight gain. What you should do is cut down fat and eat more veggies and fruits instead. Choose skimmed over whole products, drink more water instead of soda, avoid eating too much sugary treats and grab a trail mix if you want to snack. These simple changes can go a long way. Your body will thank you later.
  • Never Skip Meals

  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and thus, should not be skipped. A common misconception about skipping a meal to lose weight are all lies and should be avoided. Skipping meals can make you hungry later on which will lead to overeating and will result to weight gain. Also, don’t be fooled by some of those “healthy” foods. Cereal bars may look healthy, but they’re probably filled with lots of sugar on the inside.
  • Make a Food Journal

  • A food journal can act as your guide to your weight loss journey. With a food journal, you can jot down all the foods you ate and check if they are healthy or not and cut out those unhealthy ones.
  • Be Patient

  • Losing weight is not an instant process. If you think that one week is enough to notice some changes, well it’s not. It will actually take a month before results will show up. What you need to do is to maintain your weight loss habits for more better results in the future. Either do more exercise or make little changes to your diet, you name it.
  • Portion Control

  • Larger portions will lead to large numbers on your scale, so consider cutting down your portion and include healthy foods on your plate. Fill your plate with veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and any other green vegetables. Fill it with a quarter of whole grain such as barley, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, and corn. Choose baked and roasted meats with lean cuts to fulfill your bodies protein needs.
  • Fill Your Kitchen with Healthy Foods

  • Filling your kitchen, pantry, or fridge with healthy food choices will make you want to eat more of them. Keep unhealthy foods out of the house so you won’t be tempted.
  • Keep Yourself Hydrated

  • Drink more water instead of sugary drinks such as powdered juice or soda. Also, avoid drinking too much alcohol too. Studies show that drinking more water can help you lost weight, some may even call it water therapy.
  • Get Enough Sleep

  • Getting a good night sleep is important when it comes to weight loss. In fact, we humans should get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep can not only make you feel tired in the morning but also it contributes when it comes to weight gain and other health problems.
  • Reward Yourself

  • Whenever you shed off a few pounds, reward yourself with anything rather than eating. Play your favorite video game, take a walk outside and feel the fresh air, or have a chit chat with your best friend and tell him/her about the good news.
  • Eat a Lot

  • Yes, this may be surprising, but this doesn’t mean that you have to eat a lot including unhealthy foods. Opt for healthy choices and split calories equally across mini meals, snacks, or larger meals. Plan your portions so you don’t end up eating more than you planned.
  • Cut Out Sugar

  • Consuming too much sugar can lead to serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes. Sugar is most prominent in processed foods so you should definitely avoid consuming too much on this one. Minimizing sugar will yield great results to your weight loss goals.
  • Eat Slowly

  • Eating too fast can signal your body that you ingested too much calories without realizing one is full. Fast eaters are highly likely to gain weight compared to those who eat slowly. So whenever you eat, chew slowly and savor the food, it’ll help increase the production of weight loss hormones.
  • Spice Up Your Meals

  • Whenever you cook, don’t forget to add spice to your meals. Spice such as chili peppers or jalapenos can boost your metabolism which helps on burning fat.
  • Do Resistance Training

  • Regularly lifting weights can prevent loss of muscle mass. Also, you’ll look and feel better once you do. So get on those gym clothes and pump some iron.
  • Be Mindful of What You Eat

  • Mindful eating is key to not overeating. You must choose which one is essential for you and which one is not. Mindful eating can also create a positive impact on your eating behavior. Once you do, you’ll notice yourself eating less and eating right instead of binge eating whatever you see on the counter.
  • Create a Better Breakfast

  • One of the most important meal of the day should not be taken for granted. The best breakfast is something that can fill you up throughout the day. A minimum of 400 to 500 calories of breakfast should be enough. Fill your plate with lean meat as well as fiber to fuel up yourself.
  • Eat Whole and Real Foods

  • Whole foods contain more nutrients, and thus, a healthier choice when it comes to eating. Opt for whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Limit salt and cut down caffeine so you’ll be able to lose weight effectively.
  • Evening Walks

  • Exercising is beneficial for our body. How much more in the evening, where your metabolism slows down until it reaches the end of the day. Before dinner, have a short nice walk around the neighborhood. A 30-minute walk before dinner can keep your metabolism rate elevated for 2-3 hours. Which means one is less likely to go for another plate once done eating.
  • Eat More Water-Based and Mineral Rich Foods

  • Drinking lots of water a day can get rid of excess sodium from our body, how much more when you pair these with foods that are rich in water content. Cucumbers, asparagus, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, pineapple, artichokes and cranberries just to name a few. Mineral-rich foods like potassium, calcium and magnesium dense items can balance out the salt. Low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds are also essential for your much-needed body boost up.

To sum it all up, the perfect diet regimen doesn’t exist. This is noticeable when you take a look at the internet and see myriads of diet plans with different content in them, which can be confusing for many of us which one to follow or not. What you can do is eat, indulge, and enjoy life to your heart’s content. The same thing goes for exercise. You don’t have to overdo it. Everything takes time and let the process do its thing. Your body will thank you later.

Five Reasons Why Converting Your Car to Propane or LPG is a Bad Thing

Bi-Fuel cars running LPG and propane have been getting the buzz lately. Places such as Chrysler and Lancia in Europe, and also in the US as well, had companies that offer propane conversion kits to car owners. Propane has a few advantages than gasoline like it burns more cleanly, cheaper, and the like.

However, not everything is perfect. Despite its pros, LPG/propane still had a long way to go to become the best alternative when it comes to fuel. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Technology Hinders

  • As technology advances, inventors have been innovating our existing tech to cater our needs, and cars are no exception. Cars these days are driven by both hardware and software. What you’ll find under the hood are a bunch of electronics such as sensors, wires, connectors, and among others. All of these are calibrated, controlled, and driven by software that’s made by manufacturers. With that being said, this software is made to run on gasoline, not LPG or propane.

 

  1. It’s Expensive

  • Propane/LPG conversion is mostly featured on luxury sports cars. Why? Because converting a regular car can be very expensive. You might be thinking “But what if I’ll just convert an older car?” Yes, you can since older cars are easier to convert. However, it’s less reliable, older parts are harder to source, and it will take you a lot of time before getting the finished product. So if you ever found an affordable propane conversion kit on eBay for older cars, think again.
  1. Propane is Limited in Range

  • Propane has less range compared to the volume of fuel stored than cars running on gasoline. However, gasoline wins when it comes to heat energy per liter in fuel. We’re talking about converting an existing engine that’s been already optimized for gasoline. However, the first two disadvantages mentioned above is already enough for proof that it won’t be easy.
  1. No Universal Connectors

  • Say for example you successfully converted your car to run on LPG/propane fuel, everything is working fine and now it’s time to refuel. You head to the nearest propane fueling station until you realized that their nozzle won’t fit your tank. This isn’t an LPG/propane problem, but it’s about incompatibility. The lack of appropriate nozzles and universal connectors are one of the biggest challenges future fuels will face.
  1. Tax Credit for Propane is Insane

  • The government will cover 50% of the cost if you really want to convert your car to run on propane/LPG. However, they’ll only cover you about $500 for it which isn’t enough. If it was enough, you’ll see a lot of people these days happily converting their wheels into propane/LPG. Better stick with gasoline then.

Facts About Deaf People & Their Right to Drive

  • We sometimes wonder, how in the world can deaf people drive if they can’t hear? The right to drive is a big thing that not only concerns hearing people, but also deaf people. Without it, deaf people are only restricted in their ability to work and access to medical, community, and other services.
  • However, the deaf community had strived hard to fight for this right. Back in the 1920s, the time where the US was adopting their first vehicle laws, several states also created laws that enable deaf people to acquire a driver’s license despite their condition. Education is key and educating everyone that deaf people don’t show any threat to public safety is crucial. Because of this, the National Association of the Deaf has won over to exclude such discriminatory laws.
  • But despite that, deaf people are still being discriminated when it comes to driving. Some companies refuse to hire deaf drivers because of safety concerns. Even worse, deaf people are also denied to rent or just test drive a car. It will also be harder to prove once an accident happens involving deaf people, where hearing people will just make an assumption that it’s the deaf people’s fault because of their condition.

Ensuring Safety for Deaf Drivers

  • We have that mindset that it’s impossible for a deaf person to drive because they can’t hear anything. What we didn’t know is that there are cars/vehicles these days that’s been altered or modified with deaf people in mind. Such cars are installed with electronic devices that alerts them whenever a sound is coming from outside their vehicle. Deaf drivers also rely on visual cues. An example is when a driver moves to the other side of the road it indicates that an emergency vehicle is approaching.
  • You may also be wondering how would deaf people communicate whenever they’re being pulled over by a police. In the US, deaf drivers are given special state-issued cards that they can show to the police to prove their condition. Deaf drivers will be given a notebook by the police so they can communicate by writing. However, some deaf drivers don’t need a card for this since they are able to lip read without problems.
  • Studies show that deaf drivers are less likely to get involved in road accidents. This shows that driving is mainly a visual activity and not an audible one. Research also shows that deaf people have better peripheral vision compared to hearing people, which is a big advantage despite their disability.

The Right to Drive for Deaf Drivers

  • Based on a report from 2009, World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) found that out of 93 national deaf organizations throughout the world, 31 of them still doesn’t allow deaf people to obtain a driver’s license in their country. Some of these organizations have stayed silent about this matter, which makes it unclear if how many countries still deny deaf people and their right to drive.
  • Below is a thorough list of regions and their countries that allows deaf people to drive. Some countries are still not available yet, and we have to wait in a matter of time when will they implement this law.
  • East and South Africa: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe
  • Western and Central Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
  • Arab Region: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia
  • Asia and Pacific: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal (2012), New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand
  • Eastern Europe and Middle Asia: Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Republic of Uzbekistan
  • European Union: All countries
  • North America, Central America, and the Caribbean: Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, USA
  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

The Dangers of Fatigue and Sleepiness While Driving

Driving tired is like driving drunk. This is one thing that all drivers should be aware of. Accidents are likely to happen if you hit the wheels without getting enough rest. Lack of sleep while driving can cause the following:

  • Drivers drifting within their lane, moving from one side to the other.
  • Slow reaction time during certain situations such as not realizing that the car in front has braked or braking unexpectedly to avoid a rear-end crash.
  • Unable to maintain a consistent speed such as speeding or slowing down randomly whenever there’s no traffic ahead.
  • Can’t pay attention to road signs.

Myriad of research has been conducted to address sleepy driving. And it shows that 15-25% of fatal vehicle accidents are indeed caused by sleepy driving. Drivers below 25 years old are prominent in numbers in these statistics because they are much likely to have less sleep.

How Does Sleepiness Start?

Let’s break down sleep’s three components down below:

  • Circadian: This is the component that makes us sleepy twice a day. This happens between 1-6am and between 2-4pm. These are the times where it’s too risky to drive.
  • Homeostatic: This is the internal drive to make us go to sleep. Once you wake up, this component eases down and builds up throughout the day.
  • Arousal: An external and internal stimuli that changes how sleepy you are. It includes movement, chemicals such as caffeine, and mental stimulation such as having a conversation with someone.

Among the three, arousal effects are short-lived. They only work for a short period of time and will be taken over by the first two components before it takes action. Such example includes opening your car window for a few minutes. This triggers arousal to prevent you from falling asleep, but the effect disappears quickly in a matter of minutes. Things such as turning the radio on, or drinking an energy drink can give you a quarter of an hour. These are simple things you can do to ward off sleep before you arrive at your destination.

Sleep Debt

Delaying or shortening your sleep will lead to sleep debt that’s difficult to catch up. Sleep debt is often caused by:

  • Circadian rhythm disruption such as jet lag or work shifts.
  • Sleep fragmentation such as a storm keeping you awake, your partner snoring too loud.
  • Partial sleep disruption such as going to bed late from a party, or digging in social media during the night.
  • Chronic reduction during sleep time such as getting less sleep than the usual because of your beliefs or daily habits.

7-8 hours of sleep is the recommended sleeping time for us. However, there are some people that can sleep less and still get energized throughout the day, while there are others that cannot. Sleep debt is like a thing that one size “doesn’t” fit all. A 1-hour reduction of sleep for a particular person can be a 3-hour equivalent to another.

How to Determine If You’re Sleepy When Driving

Symptoms may vary depending on a person. Others may have their usual daily routine where they rub their heads before going to sleep. However, a combination of symptoms is the one that will alert you that you are not just a little sleepy, but you are way to sleepy indeed. Symptoms include:

  • Yawning (the most common symptom of them all)
  • Lack of concentration (your mind is going places that you don’t even realize that you just drove for 5km without noticing)
  • Frequently changing positions (you’re uncomfortable on where you are)
  • Head nodding
  • Inability to keep eyes open for long
  • Having difficulty to focus
  • Feeling irritable
  • Unable to stay on their lane

Most Common Seasonal Repairs Every Car Owner Should Know

Car repairs are inevitable and may happen anytime especially when a season changes. A study conducted by a car repair company “YourMechanic” shows some of the most common car repairs by season. They provided interesting facts and tips that might interest you if you own a car.

The study shows that spring is the time where most cars will experience issues especially with the window motors, window regulators, timing chain, and wheel speed sensors. The timing chain is the most sensitive of them all that almost 44% of repairs is about it that are done during the spring.

When we talk about summer, we think about road trips, beaches, and refreshing beverages. Not until your car starts to act up and begging for its life for you to repair some of its parts. The study revealed that HVAC failure, broken cooling fans, timing chain repairs, and window lift motors are the most common car issues during this time of the year.

Fall, on the other hand, problems with air springs, engine distributor, timing cover gasket, and the heater system is the most likely you’ll encounter.

How much more during the winter season, where your car’s heater system, oil cooler lines, windshield washers, and headlight bulbs definitely need attention.

 

What the Experts Think About Seasonal Car Repairs

  • Some companies, however, didn’t agree with the YourMechanic’s study about seasonal car repairs. Here are their thoughts about it:
  • Brandon Grade (Service Advisor, Findlay Toyota) – “A lot of the issues listed are unpredictable, Regular maintenance and inspections can help a problem be caught before a catastrophic failure happens. But I don’t believe you are going to be able to prevent a window motor failure, regardless of how well you maintain your car.”
  • Rocco DeMas (Parts Manager, VW Parts Vortex) – “The YourMechanic data is interesting, but also sort of misleading. For example, the data puts a lot of emphasis on failing window lift motors and regulators.”

What’s the Deal with Timing Chains?

  • As mentioned earlier, timing chain is one of the most common issue when it comes to car repair. Timing belts and timing chains are a bit similar but still different in such a way. The former will need to be replaced anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 miles, while the latter is more durable since its made of metal. Which means that timing chains have a lesser chance of snapping off unexpectedly while driving.
  • The chain is located inside the motor and it’s lubricated by the engine oil as you drive. It’s not necessary to replace it unless there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed. Some manufacturer’s however, didn’t include timing chains on their service list so you have to do it on your own. Signs if your timing chain needs replacement is when you hear a rattling sound during idling, and some metal shavings can be seen in the oil.

Seasonal Swings

  • Some might say that winter is the season where car repairs are most present. However, car experts shared their opinions about this misconception.
  • Brandon Grade – “I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our winters are mild compared to a lot of the country, especially when it comes to cars. We rarely get freezing temperatures or snow but our summers are brutal.”
  • Rocco DeMas – “Winter is hard on cars because of collisions and corrosion, but people tend to drive less when it’s cold outside, so there’s less normal wear.”

The Difference Between an Owner’s Manual and Dealership

  • An owner’s manual and a service department’s dealership have different ways when it comes to vehicle servicing. In some instance, costly repairs are avoidable if you take care of your car to keep it running in good condition.
  • “The people who built the car will know what should be done to maintain it. Knowing what the owner’s manual says will help you maintain your car properly,” Grade said. “As a service advisor, I try to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as close as possible.”
  • Communication is also important, as reading the owner’s manual isn’t enough. “The dealership usually knows more about wear and tear in the local market, so it’s a good idea to listen to their recommendations. Still, everyone agrees the scheduled maintenance recommended by the automaker is the bare minimum,” DeMas added.

Keep it Cool

  • As car owners, is there anything we can do to prevent seasonal costly car repairs and maintenance? The answer is no. You might better get an extended repair warranty and maintenance contract just to be sure.

Preventive Maintenance is Key

  • The problem is not about the parts, but it’s about how you maintain it. Small things such as oil changes, tire rotation, and filter change are crucial when it comes to vehicle maintenance. In fact, maintenance lets you save more cash compared to doing seasonal repairs. To sum it all up, it’s about doing the little things before adding up a lot. It’s about spending a little bit of cash to save a bunch for later. People sometimes skip this part and tend to splurge out for car repairs without thinking of where did they go wrong when it comes to maintenance.

A Beginners Guide to Motocross Riding

If you’re looking for off-road racing but don’t have the perfect jeep or car to begin with, then try motocross riding. It is one of the most common off-road motorized sports that gained popularity back then until now. Motocross riding not only brings you fun and extreme thrills, but also health benefits such as building your body strength and conditioning.

In this article, you’ll find sixteen motocross tips and riding techniques that’ll help you in your first time motocross journey. Keep in mind that not every one of these tips are suitable for you, so only follow the ones that you think you’re capable of doing. So what are we waiting for? Continue reading down below.

  1. Keep Your Hands on the Grips

  • Stop showing off if you can’t do it just yet. While midair, keep your hands on the handlebars for safety purposes. Also, force yourself to use one or two fingers on the clutch. If you do, you’ll be able to gain control over your bike once it lands.
  1. Regular Riding

  • Doing this will improve your motocross fitness such as your muscles in your forearm. However, finding the right time and money is the real challenge here.
  1. Stretch Before You Ride

  • Stretching is a part of every sport, and motocross is no exception. Before hopping on into your bike, stretch your body most especially your forearms. So how do we do this forearm stretching technique? First, put your hands in front of your body. After doing so, put them below the handlebars’ level and put your fingers’ tips against the grips. Lastly, press your grips. As a result, you will feel the muscles underside your forearms are stretching.
  1. Never Wear Tight Gloves

  • Making your hands as comfy as possible is the key for an enjoyable and safe ride. Wearing tight hand gloves may result to restricting your blood flow which will cause some difficulties later on. So make sure to wear high quality comfortable gloves before hopping on the bike.
  1. Check the Controls

  • Before you start, make sure that the controls are set up appropriately. Check if the brake and clutch lever is in line with your forearms. Having them in the wrong position will make them hard to reach whenever you need them.
  1. Exercise Your Forearms

  • Do some forearm exercises such as squeezing a ball and clench your hands before you release it. Do this until you feel that your forearms are beginning to ache. Once it does, swap it into your other hand.

 

  1. Muscular Endurance

  • Motocross involves races that will really test your endurance and potential limit. Ready yourself by exercising your muscles so that you will be able to up for the challenge. Circuit training is your best friend when it comes to that. Choose ten exercises like squats, sit-ups, jump rope, and more. Perform all these exercises with little to no rests in between and gradually increase their time as you make your way through.
  1. Train Yourself

  • During your rest days, or even your spare time, do swimming, cycling, skipping, or running in soft sand. This will improve your cardiovascular system and improve your strength too. These exercises are all low-impact so you don’t have to worry of getting injured at all.
  1. Proper Breathing Technique

  • This may seem odd for some, but having proper breathing technique will help you out once you’re in the track. Breathing improperly will result to ineffective muscle use, low energy, and distractions. While still at home or during your free time, practice breathing deeply by filling up your lungs with air. This is essential especially for a sport like motocross riding.
  1. Warm Up

  • Warming up is essential for every sport, even for motocross riding. Doing warms up before you get on the activity will yield great results on your performance. Your heart rate will increase and your blood flow will get a boost up too when you do some warm ups.
  1. Watch Your Own Performance

  • Sports these days are usually recorded so that you’ll be able to view your performance thereafter. Don’t be afraid to watch your own performance even if you did some mistakes. This will enable you to see where you did wrong so you will be able to improve yourself in your next race.
  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Don’t focus on practicing only one trick. If you’re done with the first one, get on to the next one. Work on your techniques during your practice session.
  1. Hydrate Yourself

  • Fuel up by keeping yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water before and after the race or even during your practice days. Fruit juices is recommended for racers because it contains lots of natural vitamins and minerals which is definitely needed for your body.
  1. Control Your Eating Habits

  • Picking the right foods is essential for every racer. Don’t consume anything heavy, go for light snacks instead such as fruits, cereal, and some healthy juice. Opt for whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Go online and research about diet regimens for you to follow.
  • Train yourself to consume low-fat foods. Put plenty of vegetables and fruits into your diet as you progress. Avoid eating junk foods and replace them with something healthy and nutritious. Not just that, processed foods also needs to go too and replace them with meats to get that much needed protein your body needs. Protein helps on building muscle which is important to build body strength.
  1. Pre-Race Foods

  • If your race is scheduled in the morning, then eat foods that are high in carbs the night before. However, if your race is in the evening, eat loads of meals during breakfast and lunch and continue eating small meals throughout the day that are high in carbohydrates.
  1. Post-Race Foods

  • Now that we know what kind of foods to eat pre-race, let’s talk about during post-race. Your body needs to recover the energy it lost during the race, so in order to do that, you must eat foods that are rich in protein, fat, and carbs post-race. Don’t forget to keep variety, moderation, and balance in mind while eating and don’t just chug down food like a hungry bear losing itself.