Notes on Speed and Acceleration

People aren’t clear on the exact difference between speed and acceleration. Speed is the amount of miles per hour (or similar) while acceleration is changing the speed over time.

The first example of speeding was in Dayton Ohio with a speed of 12mph. This was in 1904.

To open up a car means to open up the throttle. It is also known as driving full throttle. This device, also known as the accelerator or gas pedal is designed to regulate fuel or air reaching the engine and speed up.

To zoom suggests a car which spins along with a humming sound. The term spin was once only applied to an engine turning to twist thread, but is now applied to any engine ticking over.

Go hell for leather originally referred to riding a horse as fast as possible.

Burn rubber which is first seen in 1900 meant to go so fast that you could hear a burning smell.

There are several speedy phrases which come from films. The need for speed comes from Top Gun (1986) and Fast and the Furious was from an action film about street racing.

Fast and loose means generally reckless and irresponsible, but it can mean going too fast.

Gear is the transmission concerning the torque and similar which allows the car to move, hence Up a gear, into top gear, etc.

To tootle is to travel in an aimless direction rather than at speed, first referring to riding a bike in 1949 quote.

Running on Empty comes from about 1905 and refers to driving without the adequate fuel. Then there is a backfire, a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust.

0-60: The speed of acceleration of the vehicle; how quickly it can travel from 0 to 60mph. This is the standard of acceleration measured in test drives on a racetrack. Most cars can go to 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds but cars like the Tesla Roadster can do it in under 2 seconds.

It seems a pity you can’t highlight a cars top speed on adverts, because it is believed that encourages the owner to speed. The advertisers have to come up with other reasons for you to buy their car.

The first speed limit set was at 10mph as long ago as 1865 for propelled vehicles (traction engines, steam cars and similar).

In 1901, Connecticutt set the maximum speed limit of 12mph in its cities and 15mph in its rural areas, but it took several years for other states to follow suit. Exactly how they intended to judge the speed isn’t clear as the speedometer wasn’t patented until 1902 and wasn’t a common feature for cars until 1910…

Drive safely out there…

Is Your Car Ready For Fall Driving?

Cooler weather is finally here. You’ve brought out your sweaters and jackets and stored your summer attire. Your wardrobe is all set to enjoy the crisp, cool days but what about your vehicle? Is your car ready for cooler-weather driving?

If you’re not sure if your vehicle’s ready or aren’t sure what needs to be done, here are a few things you’ll want to take care of before you hit the open roads this fall.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Fall Driving

1. Give Your Car a Bath

Chances are your summer driving routes took you to a beach, at least once. Whether it’s sand from a freshwater lake or salt from the ocean air, you’ll want to rinse it off before you start any fall road trips. The salt, sand, and other grime from summer drives can collect on the vehicle’s undercarriage. If left on too long, it can cause corrosion.

To prevent this from happening, rinse all of the salt and other grime off your car. A garden hose can be just as effective as a car wash.

2. Check Tire Pressure

Did you know that every time the temperature fluctuates 10 degrees your tire pressure changes as much as one pound per square inch? This means that when the temperature changes you want to check tire pressure.

If you’re not sure what is recommended for your vehicle, optimal tire pressure will be listed in the owner’s manual. You can also look your vehicle up online or ask a mechanic if the manual is lost.

3. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

You might not have to replace the windshield wiper blades if they weren’t used during heavy spring and summer downpours. However, if you spent a lot of time parked at the beach the salt air can corrode the rubber blades.

It is recommended that you change the blades every six months. Drivers in colder climates may want to plan on replacing them every fall. The last thing you want is to find out your windshield wipers aren’t effective in the middle of a rain or snowstorm.

4. Check the Oil and Filter

Checking your oil levels should be a part of your regular car maintenance. Depending on the type of oil used, mileage, and driving conditions, it might not need to be changed. If it’s measuring low and still looks clear, it’s okay to just add to the existing oil.

If it’s time to change the oil, often to a lighter-weight one, you also want to replace the filter. Lighter oils are often recommended for fall driving since it can help the engine perform more efficiently in cooler temperatures. A new filter can do what a dirty one can’t; keep the oil clean and debris out of the engine.

5. Change the Air Filter

The air filter is an important component and it’s often overlooked. It prevents dust and other small impurities from entering the cylinders’ combustion chambers. This can lower fuel efficiency and reduce engine performance. Like your oil filter, it should be changed every six months.

6. Flush the Cooling System

Your vehicle’s cooling system should be flushed and refilled every 2-years or 24,000 miles. It’s part of good car maintenance and an easy item to add to your spring car maintenance checklist.

You will need a radiator cleaning product to flush away oil, grease, and collected sediment. After flushing the radiator, refill with a mixture of water and coolant. The percentage of water and coolant will depend on the climate. Severe climates require a higher mixture of coolant than water.

7. Check the Spark Plugs and Battery

This is something you should already be doing regularly. Checking the battery and connections helps ensure that you won’t be stranded. Make sure that the connections are tight and that there aren’t any signs of corrosion. You also want to make sure that the battery housing is solid.

The final thing you want to do before heading off on your first fall drive of the season is to clean out the car’s interior.

Insurance for Young Motorcycle Riders

OP-ED by P. Wimsett

(Note: the following contains information about insurance pricing from the customer point of view. It has not been evaluated by insurance professionals nor is it meant as insurance advice.)

For those who wish lower fuel prices and road tax a motorbike is preferable to a car, but if you are under 25 you can lose what you save in increased insurance premiums. Most people know that insurance for young motorcycle riders is expensive because they don’t have years of experience on the roads, or in life.

Age is not the only thing that means you will have to pay more for your insurance. Other factors include the make of the bike, the engine power (also known as the CC, the measurement between the bore and the stroke). The stroke refers to the rotating motion, or cycle of cylinders, which draw in fuel air mix and exhale exhaust. Engines tend to be either two stroke or four-stroke. The bore is the length of the cylinder. You will also have to pay more if you break the no claims bonus.  

A biker may ride any size of bike after passing his test. Moped users do not need any test at all, but it helps in terms in insurance.

So, ways to keep costs down include having a bike with a small engine, driving as safely as possible, keeping the bike safe and secure, and gaining advanced qualifications (check out the state laws).

Of course, wearing a helmet use to factor in insurance price, but now it’s the law pretty much everywhere. It is best to not to modify your bike (which might be described as “keeping a sensible bike” – rare is the motorcyclist who doesn’t wish to change things).

Also, be certain you added yourself as a named driver; because if you don’t state yourself as a main driver the insurer can refuse to pay up if you have an accident as they have no idea if it is your bike or not.

It is debatable whether it is worth increasing your deductible. Although payments are reduced, it does mean that if you do need to claim you will pay a higher share of it.

If you carry a passenger, you will need pinion coverage, so they are covered in the event of injury. As with any insurance peace of mind is all.

When obtaining a quote make sure you have all the details to hand, including your license number and in addition the number of your motorbike.

It is vital that you only pay for the cover you need: should you only drive on holiday for example or alternately for test drives, you should attempt to get temporary cover–there are specialist insurers who can do this for you. It’s advisable to look at comparison websites too.

Before you attempt driving another person’s motorbike make certain that you’re covered to do so, many people do not check these things. You don’t want to fork out for a new motorcycle hoping to save money and that may be the least of your problems.

Why is buying a used car so hard?

It’s time-consuming, you need some way to save time, like maybe not going around every used car dealer in town. This is where searching through the classified is a better way of doing things. It is helpful to locate a site with a huge inventory. It is essential to research the site as not all of them are reliable, “buyer beware” could be the simplest way of putting it.

The challenge is if you don’t actually have some idea of the make and model you are looking for when you search online. You need to type in a search term and if you don’t know the difference between a coupe and hatchback you’re going to struggle. Some cars may be considered “family cars” while others as “commuter cars.” Maybe start with the kind of vehicle you really need then look for the type of cars which aren’t in demand so much but have an okay reputation.

A common buyers mistake is seeking out “trending cars.” Be careful about this! These might not be the cars to look for If you are on a budget. It might mean that the car could have some value when it comes to sell it, but there’s not guarantee. The problem is of course you do require a reliable make and model.

There are hundreds of low mileage cars out there, some are courtesy cars, some are rentals, some are used by management. There are hundreds of reasons why a car has so few miles on the clock, but do your research to be on the safe side.

Key elements to watch out it is whether the car is badly damaged, stolen or altered. Look for a trader with some quality reviews. It may be possible to find independent reports done by several companies.

Haggle for the price, stop the deal if you feel uncertain. Ask to take the car on a test drive. Bring your license–people do get pulled over on a test drive.

If you pay cash, there is sometimes a discount but there is not as much protection. And most people don’t like carrying thousands of pounds around.

One of the simplest ways to know if you’re dealing with a quality trader/dealership/individual seller is if they will let you make arrangements for an independent inspector. This helps you negotiate over price too. You can offer the seller a copy of the inspection as an enticement to cooperate with the process. If they won’t cooperate, walk away.

Auctions!

The auction is a riskier way to buy as you are unlikely to have any legal protection. Remember to read through the terms and conditions. As with any auction it’s important to have a budget and to keep to it, though If you have your heart set on a specific vehicle this may be not be easy. Take time to consider your action and, as before, walk away if needs be. It’s easy to say these pleasantries, but many people don’t.

Beware of getting involved in a financial agreement, these cause more problems than they might solve. It’s best to check if you actually qualify—don’t fall in love with a car then try to figure out how to afford it. And don’t just take the seller’s word for it.

Getting a discount on diesels is relatively easy as there is less demand than a hybrid or electric car, so this is one way to save money.

When you think about it, it’s not that surprising that car shopping is so stressful, there are so many intricacies here. But if you like your cars you may feel the potholes you encounter are worth it. If you don’t love car shopping look for help from someone you know that does. Another option is to hire a car inspection service like TireKickers.

What’s News: new Supercar

Maserati unveiled its first supercar in 15 years Wednesday. With a body made largely from lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum, the new MC20 can hit a top speed of 202 miles an hour and go from 0 to 60 in under three seconds.

Prices for the car will start at about $210,000.

Unlike Maserati’s last supercar, the MC12, which cost almost $800,000 and stopped being produced in 2005, the new MC20 was entirely developed by Maserati, including its unusual 630-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine.

Original story link

What’s news: New Land Rover–it plugs in

“The advanced new P400e Plug-In Hybrid perfectly balances performance with fuel economy and all-electric off-road capability,” senior manager for powertrain advanced engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, Iain Gray said in a statement. “The latest model also provides refined and powerful new in-line six-cylinder diesel engines that bring improvements in fuel economy and drivability. They join a comprehensive range of powertrain options for Defender.”

Original story link

Top Car Shows That Should Be On Your Bucket List

Whether you love Ford, Chevy, or just want to see the latest automotive advances, a car show is the place to be. You will be able to see and possibly test drive the newest models and get the first glimpse of the latest concept vehicles. Car shows are fun, exciting, and even educational and you can be a part of it.

Here are our picks for the top U.S. car shows automotive enthusiasts will want to attend.

Top 5 U.S. Car Shows

1. Woodward Dream Cruise

Typically held in mid-August, Michigan’s Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest single-day event in the world. Held appropriately on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, over 25,000 hot-rods, along with classic and muscle cars are proudly shown off by their owners.

Whether you own a vehicle to enter in the parade or just love to look at a piece of automotive history, the day-long event is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

2. The North American International Auto Show

Detroit, Michigan is home to the North American International Auto Show. If you’re curious about what next year’s models will look like or what concepts are in development, this is the place to be.

You can also catch some great concerts at the auto show, along with see which company takes home the award for ‘truck of the year’. If you’re interested in attending the auto show, it’s usually held at the beginning of June.

3. Bonneville Speed Week

If luxury isn’t important but speed is, head out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. During August, vintage cars take over the salt flats looking to see which vehicle is fastest, along with trying to beat previously set top speed records.

The week-long racing event has been held annually since 1949 and it is still the largest. Teams race everything from roadsters, hot roads, and motorcycles, to belly tankers, streamliners, and lakesters. Every type of vehicle can be seen during speed week.

4. Pebble Beach Concourse D’Elegance

If you prefer luxury to speed and salt flats, Pebble Beach, in California, welcomes the world’s top luxury car models each year in August. The car show doesn’t just draw in luxury automobile lovers, but celebrities and some of the richest people in the world also attend.

Along with being able to see these fabulous cars, you can also get into the bidding. Vehicles are auctioned for large sums of money, and even if you don’t enter the auction it’s still fun to see what some of these rare luxury vehicles sell for.

5. The SEMA Show

November is when the Las Vegas Convention Center usually hosts the annual SEMA Show. The acronym for the Specialty Equipment Market Association, you can expect to see over 2,000 exhibits showcasing new components, parts, and tools. Everything an automotive mechanic or car enthusiast needs to keep their vehicle running and looking great.

Product demonstrations and educational seminars will also be held. Don’t forget about the after-party where you can mingle with celebrities and see award-winning custom automobiles.

Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Show

Whether you want to show off your vehicle or just make it there safely, there are a few things you need to do. After all, the last thing you want when showing off your ride is for there to be a problem under the hood. This also applies if you’re just planning on driving to the car show.

It’s often the little things that drivers forget, and these are the ones that can cause the biggest problems. Check your oil and other fluid levels. Think about the last time you had the oil changed, how long ago was that? Depending on the type of motor oil, you can go as long as 15,000 miles but this only applies to synthetic blends.

Consider having a professional inspection, the kicker always recommends Tire Kickers, but we’re biased—they sponsor us.

Checking the little things on your vehicle will help ensure you make it to the car show and if you’ve entered your vehicle it’ll be ready to impress the crowds.

Early Racing

Early racing included Paris to Rouen, a mere 80Km. It had a top speed of 10 mph. 69 cars were in the preliminary competition after which only 25 won a place in the competition itself. Paris to Bordeaux could be better described as a race but even that one only went to 24 mph.

Early races were sponsored by newspapers, for example the Paris-Rouen race was run by Le Petit Journal. By 1900 cars were doing about 80kph. Because of the damage to the racers, spectators and even livestock which found itself on the road, races weren’t exactly annual events.

Indie 500

The Indy500 began in 1911 with the name “the 500 Mile International Sweepstake” and is still run today. Taking place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the oval circuit shape has been nicknamed The Brickyard due to its paved appearance. The race itself consists of 200 laps of the circuit. At one point it earned the name “The greatest spectacle in racing”.

Hotrod Racing

These early races shouldn’t be described as “hot rod” races. A hot rod is a later invention and is technically a modified older car. In essence racing a Model T in the 1920s was a contemporary car. A few decades later modified Model T’s would race under the banner “hot rod.”

Hotrod races began in California in the 1930’s but they lost popularity in the 1980s. As might be expected the older cars weren’t designed for speed, hence the need for modification. This included Ford Model Ts and similar vehicles.

As well as modifying to run faster it was important to reduce some of the bulk of the vehicle. These vehicles might be comparable with the boneshakers of the bicycle world, just not racers in the conventional sense. It’s not clear why “hot rod” is called this, but many believe it refers to the connection between illegal booze and racing. Rum runners used to modify vehicles to smuggle hooch around country roads. Many racing traditions sprung up from the practice of fleeing revenuers. If this is where “hotrod” came from, it could refer to burning alcohol instead of gas or the act of fleeing the law in a supped up rig.

The Mille Miglia meanwhile started in 1927 and ended in 1957. Generally, it started and finished in Rome going through the mountains and small villages.

Early and Dangerous

These early races have been associated with disasters. In 1938 several spectators were killed. In 1957 two drivers were killed and even more unexpectedly, eleven spectators were killed as well. It’s likely that engine speed was easier to increase than handling, which was seen as the drivers job.

There’s also the Milwaukee Mile, which used an old horse racing track. Then there’s the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa which had “illegal races” between 1901 and 1914 (aka the dodgy part of car racing the history).

The term “Grand Prix” goes all the way back to 1894. It began with a road rage challenge and moved into endurance racing. Formula racing (Formula One etc) began in 1947 with the first world championship in 1951. From there it became the professional activity we know today.

Some of these endurance races were about speed, such as Indy500. Others such as Targo Florio which was set on the mountainous roads of Sicily were about overall performance. The sport of racing was finding its feet. Today, racing is a great deal safer but it could be said to have lost some of its romanticism.

The Future of Transportation

OP-ED by Stephanie Larson

With the interstate building project of the 1950s, most U.S. cities suddenly became connected by paved roads. What was once dirt and gravel roads became paved asphalt highways. For car lovers, these highways were a dream come true. Drivers finally had long stretches of paved roads where they could see what their vehicles could do.

Some thought the interstate system was the future of transportation, but technology is advancing and changing how drivers get around. Here are some automotive advances you should watch for in the coming years.

1. Self-Driving Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are already here, and several car manufacturers have models slowly making their way up the guideline levels set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are four levels and two sub-levels vehicles have to pass before considered fully-automatic and safe to drive.

Most self-driving models are at level one. The vehicle reliably provides drivers with warnings and information. Some vehicles are in the early stages of level 2 for automated parking and highway driving. However, Google is currently the company ahead at level four. While the company’s vehicle is fully-automated there are still a few glitches that need to be worked out.

Soon, your car may be the one driving instead of you.

2. All Electric Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more common as technology progresses. The batteries are capable of holding a charge longer and the vehicles are getting a little bigger instead of smaller. All electric models still won’t be larger than a small sedan for quite some time.

One of the appeals electric vehicles have is its simple components. Without the need for gasoline, several components will no longer be necessary. The essentially scale-downed vehicles are also expected to cost consumers less in the purchase price and maintenance.

These advancements in technology have even lead Bloomberg New Energy Finance to predict electric vehicles will comprise 35 percent of worldwide car sales by 2040.

3. Self-Driving Electric Vehicles

It’s not uncommon for technologies to mix. Smart cars owe their intelligence to computer technology. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine smart electric cars. Automobile manufacturers with eminent plans to release self-driving technology in 2022 now include giants like Ford. However, the automotive giant plans on using the technology in their hybrid vehicles first.

In the future, ride share services like Uber and others could do away with their drivers. When you use the app to order a ride, a self-driving electric vehicle shows up. Instead of bus drivers and train operators, public transportation could also become fully automated, along with electrically powered.

With these vehicles, you are the passenger.

What These Changes Mean For You

It’s impossible to stop technology advancing and this means changes, even in transportation. Self-driving cars, both gas and electric will be on the roads in the future. However, this doesn’t mean that your love of the open road has to change.

Electric cars don’t have the ‘oomph’ that an 8-cyllander engine has. Self-driving vehicles are still crashing into things on road tests. However, these glitches will be fixed, and these automobiles will become a common sight on the interstate.

There is one thing that will remain the same regardless of how far technology goes. Vehicle maintenance will always be important. Even self-driving electric vehicles need regular tune-ups. You will also want to keep an eye on the battery condition. This is something that you should still be doing regularly whether you drive a hybrid or have a gas engine.