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Learning to Drive Slower

I drive slower these days. While I used to be a bit of a driving maniac (ask my wife), 1570950981_7a96f784d4_bpassing everybody and stepping hard on my accelerator, I would also get increasingly frustrated when people would drive slow and keep me from driving fast, or cut me off. Driving was a stressful experience.

Not anymore. These days, driving is a much more calm, serene experience, and I enjoy it much more.

I look around at other drivers and wonder whether they really need to get to where they’re going so fast, and whether they’ll slow down when they get there. I wonder if it’s really worth burning all that gas and getting so angry and risking so many lives. And then I think about other things, because driving for me has become a time of contemplation.

I heartily recommend driving slower — for many reasons, but one of the best reasons is that it has made me a much happier person. It’s such a simple step to take, but it makes an incredibly big difference.

Recently a reader named Vadim wrote to me with the following comment on speeding:

I have recently acquired a TomTom GPS in car navigator. Amongst its many astonishing features, it has a display on it that shows you your estimated arrival time for the route you are traveling … Now here is the kicker; I used to routinely travel at 130% of the speed limit everywhere … I thought that I was keeping myself alert and saving time. My TomTom, however, disagreed. In fact anywhere I traveled (and I routinely drive more than 100 miles) I would only shave off 5-10 minutes of the estimated arrival time! 5-10minuts of time that is then wasted because I wasn’t late to start off with!

Since then, I adopted a new way of driving, I never speed.

I love this comment, and it inspired me to write this post. People often think they’re saving time by driving faster, but it’s not very much time, and it’s not worth your sanity or safety.

Here are just 5 reasons to drive slower:

  1. Save gas. The best ways to save gas (besides driving less or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle) are to avoid excessive idling, more gradual accelerating and decelerating, and driving slower (see report on Edmunds.com). With gas prices so high these days, wasting gas by driving unnecessarily fast is something we can’t afford.
  2. Save lives. Driving fast can kill people (including the driver). Two stats: Traffic is the biggest single killer of 12-16 year olds. Surprisingly, at 35mph you are twice as likely to kill someone you hit as at 30mph. (Source) Faster driving gives you a shorter amount of time to respond to something in your path, and even a fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death. Drive slower for your safety and that of those around you … especially drive slow around runners, cyclists, schools, and neighborhoods with kids on the streets.
  3. Save time? As Vadim pointed out in his email, while you think you’re saving time by driving faster, it’s not a lot of time. And that small amount of time you’re saving isn’t worth it, considering the other factors on this list. Better yet, start out a few minutes early and you’ll arrive at the same time as someone who drove faster but started later, and you’ll arrive much happier than that person to boot.
  4. Save your sanity. The above three reasons are very important ones, but for me the most noticeable difference has been the huge drop in stress levels when I drive. Far from being a crazy experience, driving is actually a relaxing and pleasant experience now. I no longer get road rage, because I simply don’t care whether other drivers are going slow or cutting me off.
  5. Simplify your life. This is related to the one above, but expanded. In addition to saving your stress levels, driving slower can reduce many other complications as well — the headache of accidents and speeding tickets, for one, going to the gas station too often, for another, but also the hectic pace of life. Why must we rush through life? Slow down and enjoy life more. If we’re always in a hurry to get places, when will we get to our destination and finally be happy? Life is a journey — make it a pleasant one.

OK, assuming that you want to drive slower, here are some of the tips that worked best for me:

  • Play relaxing music. My favorite is anything by Jack Johnson or Ben Harper. But anything that relaxes you is good: “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate, “Drive Slow” by Kanye West, anything by Otis Redding or Aretha, “Feels Like Rain” by John Hyatt, “Son of a Preacher Man” by Aretha or Dusty Springfield, Radiohead, Prince, Sade … Whatever you choose, enjoy it, and relax.
  • Ignore other drivers. This was my problem before. I cared so much about what the other drivers were doing, that it would stress me out. At times, it would cause me to drive faster to spite other drivers (awful, I know). Now, I just ignore them. Well, I pay attention so I don’t crash into anyone, but I don’t worry about what they’re doing or how dumb they are.
  • Leave early. If you speed because you’re running late, make it a habit of getting ready early and leaving early. Now you don’t have to worry about being late, and you can enjoy the ride.
  • Brainstorm. I like to use my drive time for contemplation. I come up with ideas for things to write about, I think about my day (either the day to come or the day in review), I think about my life as a whole and where I want to go.
  • Keep to the right. If you drive slower than the other crazy drivers out there, it’s wise to keep out of their way if possible and keep to the right. While I tend to ignore other drivers who might get mad at me for driving slow (I don’t care about them anymore), it’s good to be polite.
  • Enjoy the drive. Most of all, make your drive a pleasant experience — whether that’s through music or contemplation or however you want to enjoy the ride, remember that the ride is just as important as the destination.

Six Quick Tips for Bomb Cyclone Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but winterize-car-snowvehicles need extra attention in winter, especially when a bomb cyclone hits and temperatures drop.

“Most people never heard of ‘bombogenesis” until heavy snow and dangerous cold recently hit many areas of the country, including several states that usually don’t experience this type of severe weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for the elements will help you avoid the aggravation of an unplanned road emergency.”

The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

  • Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
  • Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  • Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.
  • Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  • Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

Drivers should stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication. The Car Care Council also recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

FREE initial Diagnostics

One fine morning when you turn on your car’s ignition, you notice that something is home-01strange about your dashboard; something looks different on the dashboard you do not quite figure out what it is. Then you pay close attention to the dashboard examining each item and you realize that your “Check Engine” or “Service Engine” light is on, which does not glow normally. When the “Check Engine” light glows, most of us do not know how to react to it. If this happens to you here are few important things that you should do.

Your car’s microchip is designed to pick up certain signals from the various components of your vehicle and notify you when things are not quite right. Do not hope that the Check Engine light will go off by itself. It will not turn off until you act on it. Delaying to attend to the problem will only result in very bad damage to your vehicle. It is best to attend to the problems when you notice the earliest symptoms of the problem. We offer FREE intial Diagnostics of your check engine light.

The first thing that you should do when your car’s Check Engine light is on is to take it to your Dallas transmission repair center Eagle Transmission. Yes, if there is problem with your vehicle’s transmission system the check engine light comes on. Your vehicle’s transmission system is a very important part of your car’s mechanism. If you do not attend the problem at the early stage, you will run into frequent issues and your vehicle will become unreliable. You will never know when your vehicle will refuse to move another inch and where you will be when that happens. So first things first, when the check engine light is on, you should without further delay take your car to a Eagle Transmission of Mesquite your transmission repair center.

There could be number of situations that triggers your vehicle’s “Check Engine” light and here are few such indicative situations for you to keep a tab on. For each problem mentioned here there could be various other reasons besides the reasons mentioned here. Therefore, it is best not to diagnose the problem yourself but to take your car to a Dallas transmission repair company. It can mean very high fuel to oxygen ratio. If this condition prevails, you will face misfires, which could be due to blockage in the fuel injector or fuel delivery system. Another possible reason could be blockage in the Exhaust Gas Recirculation tube. Your ‘Check Engine’ light will be on even when there is any minor sensor connection problem or when there is something wrong with the sensor itself.

The challenge here is that until a qualified technician checks your vehicle, you will never know the seriousness of the problem. Do not take chances therefore ignoring the warning. If your ‘Check Engine” light should start flashing then you should know that the problem is really serious and the first place that you should be driving your vehicle to is your Eagle Transmission of Mesquite your transmission repair & Auto repair center.

Stop Neglecting Your Interior

Cleaning the interior of your car serves several purposes. It can:

  • Increase your car’s value if you are selling it
  • Extend the life of your vinyl or leather components such as the dashboard and seats
  • Improve your satisfaction with your vehicle

Services that clean vehicles are expensive. Interior detailing can be as simple as vacuuming the carpets and floor mats, and ranges into full detailing including carpet shampooing, vinyl cleaning and dressing, and leather conditioning.

If you want to save money, you can clean your vehicle on your own. Depending on how in-depth you want to clean your vehicle, it can range from less than an hour to four or more hours of your time. The end result will be the satisfaction of a job well done, a clean vehicle, and more money in your pocket.

  • Tip: Take everything out of your car regardless of how much of a deep clean you would like to perform. Throw out any garbage and store any seasonal items like a snow brush or scraper in the trunk or in your garage if they are not needed.

Step 1: Remove your floor mats if equipped. Carefully lift out your mats whether they are rubber or carpet floor mats.

  • Once they are outside your vehicle, dump off the loose dirt and gravel. Beat them lightly with a broomstick or against a wall.

Step 2: Vacuum the floors. Use an upholstery attachment without bristles on the vacuum hose and turn the vacuum cleaner on.

  • Run the vacuum over all the carpeted surfaces, first picking up loose dirt and gravel.
  • Once the bulk of the dirt has been vacuumed up, go over the carpet again with the same attachment, agitating the carpet with the vacuum attachment in short back and forth strokes.
  • This loosens dirt and dust that is deeper in the carpet and sucks it out.
  • Pay special attention to the area around the pedals on the front driver’s side.
  • Reach the vacuum end as far under the seats as possible to pick up dirt and dust that collect there.
  • Vacuum the floor mats thoroughly. Pass the vacuum over them several times as dirt and dust get embedded deep in the fibers.

Step 3: Vacuum the seats. Pick up any loose dirt or dust from the seats with the upholstery attachment.

Vehicle Rotors

If you don’t maintain your cars brake pads, you will wear out your cars rotors more quickly. Worn out  rotors can significantly affect your ability to slow down or stop your vehicle when you need to. It will feel as if you are pumping your brakes when  you are trying to slow down your vehicle, due to air in your brake system as a result of the worn rotors. In addition, worn out rotors can affect your ability to maintain control of your car. The rotors have become warped because they do not wear evenly when the pads are worn, and this also affects your entire suspension system.

Your  vehicle’s steering wheel may vibrate so vigorously that you could lose your grip on the wheel, or the steering can be affected by the vibrations. Braking your vehicle when you are driving fast can also be affected by  the shaking and the shuddering of the suspension, which could put you at risk of having a car accident. Replacing the rotors is one of more expensive types of a vehicle brake repairs, and maintaining your cars brake pads will help prevent premature wear on rotors.