• Hints & Tips

    5 Considerations About Driving in the Pacific Northwest

    Every region in American boasts its own driving style: rural drivers in the Midwest take it slow and steady, while perpetually stressed dwellers of the Northeast can’t get anywhere fast enough. Even as millions of Americans immigrate to the Pacific Northwest for its hip atmosphere, the driving culture in Seattle, Portland, and other big Northwest cities remains stubbornly the same.

    If you are following the exodus to the Pacific Northwest and will soon be in dire need of a vehicle, consider the following before simply jumping on the best deal.

    1. Some Roads Are Steep and Curvy

    Unlike the flat land of most cities in the country, the Pacific Northwest is marked by its mountainous terrain. Despite attempts to create straight, level roads, civil engineers and city planners simply had to work with what they got, which meant organizing towns around hills, rivers, rocks, and more. Thus, roads in the Pacific Northwest don’t exactly provide the smoothest of driving experiences.

    Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 11.43.13

    Though you likely won’t encounter the likes of Lombard Street in Portland or Seattle, you and your vehicle may face a fair share of steep climbs and sharp curves as the road accommodates the natural terrain. While most cars will be competent enough to see you through these driving feats, you likely don’t want to lose a fight with Newtonian forces on your daily drive to work. Thus, you should look for a vehicle with a powerful engine and low center of gravity to keep you always upright and moving forward.

    2. Pedestrians Are Righteous

    Dwellers of the Pacific Northwest are artsy, cool, and progressive — which often makes them feel enabled and entitled to fulfilling their own needs. As a positive, this means that many citizens eschew gasoline-powered vehicles in favor of more eco-friendly modes of travel, especially biking and walking that don’t require a public timetable. As a negative, this means Pacific Northwest cities are absolutely bursting with pedestrians and cyclists who always believe they have the right of way.

    No driver wants to hit a pedestrian, but it seems utterly inevitable when everywhere you go they are disobeying the rules of the road. To keep you, your car, and any and all pedestrians safe, you should invest in a car with a fast and responsive break system. It is also of paramount importance to keep all of your car’s safety devices, including bumpers and airbags, in efficient working order.

    3. Traffic Can Get Heavy in Big Cities

    During rush hour, traffic is agonizingly slow. This universal truth is evidenced in every big city around the world, but the Pacific Northwest is particularly guilty, given that natural landmarks like tunnels and channels at times restrict important roads to a single lane.

    If you work a job that has you commuting during regular rush hours (between 6 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m.), you should expect to regularly become lodged in an interminable traffic jam. Unfortunately, there is no way that a more powerful vehicle or more advanced driving strategies will save you from this horrendous fate. The best course of action is to find a car that has a comfortable cabin and to bring along necessary entertainment for the potential hours of waiting you’ll endure on the road. Here are some of the most commonly sought cabin features for an enjoyable ride:

     

    • Cup holders, and plenty of them.
    • Adjustable cruise control.
    • Leather seats with lumbar support.
    • Seat heaters.
    • Touch infotainment system with satellite radio, navigation, and more.

     

    4. Cars Go the Speed Limit

    Some argue that it is the result of the amalgamation of immigrants’ disparate driving cultures, while others say that the laid-back atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest chills road rage. No matter the reason, drivers in Washington and Oregon tend to be overly cautious, driving the speed limit or slower and obeying any traffic law they’ve ever learned.

    This is beneficial to migrants, who must only slightly tweak their previous driving style to adhere to go with the flow. Fortunately, because speed limits are calibrated for gas consumption as well as safety, this means that finding a car with excellent fuel efficiency shouldn’t necessarily be high on your list.

    5. Drivers Still Have Trouble With Inclement Weather

    You might think that drivers in the Pacific Northwest would become proficient at driving in rain, sleet, snow, and other forms of inclement weather — but you would be wrong. Any time the sky is not free from some type of precipitation, Pacific Northwestern drivers go absolutely nuts, straying from their typical safe driving style to create an erratic, frenzied mess on the roads.

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    The lesson here is that you cannot neglect to purchase a car and accoutrements that will keep you safe in any weather conditions. Despite the expense, the all-weather tires are worth it in the Pacific Northwest, and four-wheel drive will also help prevent slipping and sliding when the roads get wet. The more in-control you are of your vehicle, the less you’ll have to worry about what other people are doing with theirs.

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  • Hints & Tips

    How to Store a Car during Winter | INFOGRAPHIC

    Winter brings with it quite a few difficulties- lower temperatures, icy streets, snow days, and more- and unfortunately, many of these irritations make it harder than usual to drive a car. Instead of waking up thirty minutes early every day to shovel the snow around your car, warm it up, and scrape the ice off your windshields, why not consider putting your car in indoor self storage unit for the winter?

    Storing your car indoors for the winter will save you the time and hassle of trying to care for and drive a car in dangerous winter conditions. However, don’t think you can just park your car in the garage for the winter and toss your keys in the junk drawer- that could lead to damage to your car’s engine, exterior, and interior. You need to prepare your car for winter storage so that when the temperatures rise and your windows go down, your car is in tip-top shape and ready to drive. Here’s how to do it.

    First, make sure your engine is ready to hunker down for the winter. Your spark plugs, when left unattended for a long time, can rust and seize, so you (or a mechanic) should spray the cylinders with fogging oil. The gas in your tank can oxidize when not used, which will clog up your gas lines, so fill your tank with premium, non-alcohol fuel and add fuel stabilizer to stop oxidation.

    Similarly, you want to change and fill up all of your fluid levels to reduce condensation; this includes your coolant, clutch, brake, and windshield fluids. The condensation can rise after forming beneath your car, causing fluid leaks that stain your garage or storage unit, so park your car on a plastic drop sheet. Change your car’s oil and filters, since old oil can become acidic and cause engine damage. Finally, in older vehicles, disconnect your battery. If you have a newer vehicle, your onboard computers need constant power, so keep the battery connected and use a trickle charger.

    Your car’s body and interior also needs a little prep work before hibernation. Store your car indoors, if possible, since sun damage can crack vinyl and cause leather to fade, and drying of paper can cause speakers to blow. If that’s not possible, cover your entire vehicle with a cloth. Close your vents and roll up the windows (cracking one window slightly if stored indoors), and stuff a rag in your exhaust and cover it with a metal screen; this will deter small animals from making your car their warm winter home.

    Your windshield wiper blades can stick to the windshield, especially if left outside, so store them in the “out” position or wrap the blades in plastic. Wash and wax your car thoroughly before storing it, paying special attention to the dirt in wheel wells- corrosion and paint damage are a major concern in coastal areas and during winter.

    Exposure and changes in temperature can break down your tires, so inflate your tires to the proper pressure level and check to see if over-inflation is recommended for your car. Instead of leaving your parking brake on (which can cause your brake pads to stick to the rotors), disengage the parking brake and use wheel chocks. Finally, unless you use bias ply tires, don’t store your car on blocks; leaving shock absorbers extended and exposed to the elements can cause them to rust.

    Your car is one of your most valuable possessions, but if you store it improperly for the winter, you’ll end up spending extra money to fix the damage that’s been caused. Instead, take these few basic steps that can be seen in the infographic below to store your car safely for winter, and until then, daydream of warmer times when you get to crank the AC instead of the heat.


    Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.28.33 Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.28.53 Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.29.08Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.34.22 Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.34.42

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  • News

    This Chilling GIF Brings The Dangers Of Texting While Driving To Reality

    don't-text-and-drive-gif

    Quite shockingly 1,600,000 accidents happen per year as a result of texting while driving. Can you believe it?

    Honda has decided to take action and come up with a brilliant “Dnt Txt & Drv #ThumbsUp” campaign for not texting while driving  through the viral power of a GIF.

    The following, very familiar, text message exchange between two love birds really brings home the dangers of texting while driving.

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    via elitedaily.com

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  • Top 10s

    Need For Speed Sucks – Here’s Our Top 10 True Petrol Head Movies

    So, the new Need for Speed movie is being panned by critics. What do you do now? Watch some decent driving movies, of course.

    It seemed like a strange first movie for Aaron Paul after finishing up with Breaking Bad, as it was never going to be a critically acclaimed masterpiece many actors strive to star in. Currently at 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, the plot seems brain dead, and the characterization is poor; which are pretty vital when it comes to cinema. Based upon the gaming series, it seems the only thing it shares is the name, and the concept of driving cars really fast. The action sequences seem to be the only redeeming factor, which is a real shame considering the potential that was there.

    So take a look at our top 10 alternative movies for real petrol heads, for the adrenaline fueled experience you truly crave.

    10. The Italian Job (1969)

    Don’t even think about the remake, as it is nothing in comparison to the glorious original. Minis, Minis, and More Minis, alongside classic quotes and the role that sent Michael Caine into super stardom.

    italian

    9. Days of Thunder

    Trading his planes for cars, Tom Cruise attempts to take the NASCAR circuit by storm. It may not be an obvious choice, but still remains a good watch if you fancy some 90s driving action.

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    8. The Bourne Trilogy

    Perhaps not a car focussed film in essence, but it definitely has enough high speed chases to keep you fuelled on adrenaline. Combine this with a great plot, some immense action sequences, and Matt Damon at his finest, watching this trilogy is time well spent.

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    7. Cars

    Pixar came to the rescue of all fathers out there, sick of watching kids movies. A true homage to NASCAR and classic cars you will recognise, it’s a film that people of all ages can enjoy. Don’t be fooled by the childish exterior; it’s a pretty damn good movie underneath. Plus, Michael Schumacher makes a cameo appearance. Enough said?

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    6. Speed

    Keanu Reeves may not be everyone’s cup of tea, with expressionless acting, but this role landed him his more famous role as Neo. How do you keep a city bus at over 50mph to prevent an explosion? Speed answers all your questions.

    speed

    5. Drive

    A recent entry, Drive has gained a cult status, remaining one of Ryan Gosling’s best movies. Starring alongside Carey Mulligan, Gosling puts on a great performance on his way to gaining a professional driving contract, but ends up being cinematic genius. Definitely worth a watch.

    drive

    4. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

    If you are a fan of Will Ferrell, why haven’t you seen this yet? After Anchorman (and maybe Step Brothers), this is undoubtedly one of his finest films. Chocked to the brim with his classic sense of humour, alongside many NASCAR-based jokes, it’s not one to be missed. It’s also a chance to see Sacha Baren Cohen of Borat fame in another hilarious role.

    Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

    3. The Transporter

    Any film with Jason Statham in tends to be a thrill ride, that’s for sure. Don’t expect an intricate plot, but who needs decent storyline when you have Statham kicking bad guys Matrix-style, when he’s not out-driving them?

    trans

    2. The Fast and The Furious (2001)

    I don’t think there’s any argument that this has been the quintessential racing series for over a decade, whether for good or bad when looking at the mediocre sequels. There is also no argument that the original entry was by far the best, capturing the true spirit of street racing, and coming before the over saturation in the market that Need for Speed is looking to capitalize on.

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    1. Bullitt

    A classic movie for every petrol head. This film led to Steve McQueen popularizing the Ford Mustang Fastback single-handedly, and also led to some of the most celebrated car chases of all time. McQueen became the epitome of cool through this role, and it’s not hard to see why.

    bull

    What would you add to this list? Let us know @Carhoots 

     

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  • Videos

    This Is Why You Don’t Record Your Kids While Driving (VIDEO)

    Don’t Record Your Kids While Driving

    We see these videos time and time again on youtube where children are doing ‘cute things ‘ in the back while the being recorded on the front seat from the parents smart phone.

    The main problem here is that the videos are often recorded by the driver who’s attention are on the kids rather on the road ahead. This is highly irresponsible and could lead to danger to the people in the car and others on the road.

    Sadly, the inevitable finally happened in the video below, but thankfully, according to elite daily nobody was hurt.

    People should wise up, no YouTube fame is worth risking the lives of your children and others around.

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