The Importance of All-Wheel Drive Vehicles in Winter

All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

When winter rolls in, drivers need to start thinking about what preventative measures to take in order to get themselves safe and their vehicles functioning properly. Things like performing routine maintenance, swapping out all-season tires for winter tires, and making sure your HVAC system is working properly are all crucial elements to preparing for winter. But other drivers may take it a step further and wonder if all-wheel drive vehicles are more suitable to the slippery roads of winter.

The number one benefit, and possibly the most obvious one, is that AWD comes with increased traction over other modes of driving. AWD allows all four wheels to spin independently, so if a one or two wheels lose traction or slip, the other wheels can still pull the vehicle forward. This comes in handy on icy roads during hazardous winter storms. Modern technology also calls for innovations in AWD systems; many AWD vehicles now function on computer systems that allocate more power to wheels with better traction. Additionally, AWD makes for excellent resale value, so someday when you need to sell your vehicle, it will be worth more.

As with any extra, beneficial features, all-wheel drive vehicles typically cost more than other types and lower the mpg of a given vehicle, but many drivers find that the added peace of mind that accompanies AWD systems pays off in the end. If you are in the market for a new car with the winter months coming up, you may be better off looking for a car with all-wheel drive.

The Importance of Winter Driving Safety

winter, tips, safety

With winter coming up, drivers may start to worry about potential hazards posed by winter weather like snow and ice. Truthfully, the safest way to deal with these hazards is to simply avoid them. Listen to snow emergencies and closures and stay inside when you can. However, for many people, staying in is not a possibility. In that case, winter driving safety is good to know when braving the slippery roads.

Oftentimes, a change of tires can make all the difference. Cold temperatures can reduce the malleability of rubber, making normal tires more prone to sliding. Old, worn tires should be replaced anyway, even if you aren’t interested in seasonal snow tires. Traction can have a big influence on how far you slide while stopping.

Either way, drivers should be cautious while stopping, as vehicles will take longer to come to a full stop and sudden starts will cause fishtailing on slippery roads. If you do happen to slide, don’t hit the brakes or gas – ease off and turn into the direction you are sliding. Overall, be slow and cautious when stopping behind another vehicle or passing them.

Winter driving safety and maintaining a cautious and defensive outlook can prevent many emergencies and accidents in the colder months. Being prepared and exercising these simple tips can keep you getting where you’re going safely. However, keep in mind that it’s always better to stay home or be late than put yourself in potentially life-threatening danger.

Tips for Handling Driving Emergencies

driving emergencies

Do you ever look at traffic and think how miraculous it is that the situation is as consistently predictable as it is? The truth is that for the most part, everyone knows what is at stake. And for the most, people practice the golden rule on the road. Yet despite our best efforts, driving emergencies do happen.

# 1 – Tire Blowout

This emergency occurs most often when a tire is underinflated on the highway and the temperature is hot. According to Edmunds.com, “The repeated flexing of an underinflated tire causes the failure.”

The first thing to do is not brake, and then try to get off of the road as quickly as possible. Maintain as much of a straight line as possible while allowing the vehicle to coast toward the side of the road.

# 2 – Going Off the Road

The problem comes about when there is little shoulder and particularly when your left tires are on the pavement, the left tires are off, and the pavement is slightly elevated.

Here’s the plan: “release the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, allow the vehicle to slow on its own and smoothly steer back on the road.”

# 3 – Sudden stops

To help you prepare for the time you may need to stop suddenly, you should know more about ABS.

Anti-lock brakes are required by law and have been since 2012. And yet they only work when you use them properly. When a vehicle skids, steering is unavailable. ABS pumps the brakes so you don’t have to, allowing you to also steer as you brake. Here’s another thing: you need to stomp on the brakes to engage the ABS.

The best way to plan for an emergency is to expect them. Then you will never be surprised.

EPA Declares Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank: 312; Far Surpassing Tesla Model S

Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank

When Toyota announced it would produce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to rival the likes of Tesla’s Model S when it comes to low emissions, we knew that the model would be a game-changer.

Now, Toyota has released the official stats on its incredible Mirai fuel cell vehicle, which received an EPA rating of 312 miles per tank, with zero emissions. Comparatively, the Model S, which was previously the longest-range electric car, gets a mere 270 miles per tank.

The EPA also releases information on “MPGe,” or “miles per gallon equivalent,” which aims to fairly compare the gas mileage of traditional cars to newer, more innovative models. The Toyota Mirai received an astounding rating of 67 MPGe.

Plus, one of the Mirai’s greatest advantages over EVs is that its fuel cell engine can be refueled very quickly—just like how a gas tank can be filled up in minutes—unlike EVs, which take a while to charge entirely.

What do you think of the impressive Toyota Mirai miles per tank? Let us know in the comments.

No More Sneezing Behind the Wheel: Making an Allergy-Proof Car

Allergy-proof car

Dominate your allergies with these tips on how to make your car allergy-proof!

 

For some people springtime can mean only one thing: allergies. Whether you get a case of the sniffles or you break down at the sight of dust, there are a few ways to help beat the allergens this time of year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways to make your vehicle an allergy-proof car.

According to How Stuff Works, the best thing to do is clean regularly. By vacuuming out crevices in your car every two weeks or so, you’ll prevent debris build-up. Make sure the carpet and vents are especially dust-free, and make sure to get rid of any possible moisture.

If you have an older car, one major thing to check is the weather stripping around the doors. If these are even slightly damaged, moisture can get into your car. One of the most prominent allergens you’ll find in a car is mold – get rid of moisture, plain and simple.

Our last tip is to consider is going au natural. Chemicals found in some cleaners and air fresheners can be extremely volatile, causing allergies to go berserk. Consider buying all-natural products or ones that are labelled hypo-allergenic to prevent you from having any problems.

With these tips in mind you should be one step ahead of the allergens this year.

“Why Should I Rotate My Tires?”

Why should you rotate tires?

If your maintenance does not include tire rotation, it’s time to talk to your service technician about the importance of your tire health.

You might’ve heard from your friends or family that you should get your tires rotated, but when it comes to car maintenance tips, not everyone is always so thorough as to explain the answer to, “Why should I rotate my tires?”

And sometimes, it can be a little embarrassing to ask questions about something everyone else already seems to know about. “Why should I rotate my tires?” one might wonder. “Don’t tires already rotate when you drive the car?”

But there’s no shame in it! We were all newbies once. So here’s what tire rotations are all about.

As you probably know, tires get worn with use. Unfortunately, they don’t wear out evenly. Front tires lose tread more quickly than the rear tires because of the extra force exerted upon them by steering, and sometimes the tires on one specific side can get used up faster too.

Rotating your tires doesn’t refer to spinning them in place—that would be pointless. Instead, it means moving them from one wheel to another, allowing the wear to spread out and extend the life of the tires. In turn, that means less visits to the tire shop for new treads.

If you’ve got more questions about cars, just ask us Mama’s Used Cars and we’ll give you our best answer.