• Auto

    6 factors to consider while choosing an auto transport service

    Have you ever needed to transport your car, truck, or other vehicles from one location to another? If yes, you must know how important it is to find a reliable auto transport service that can safely and efficiently move your vehicle. Especially with so many auto transport companies out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Discussed below are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an auto transport service.

    Auto transport services
    In simple words, An auto transport service is a company that specializes in transporting vehicles, including cars, trucks, and other automobiles, from one location to another. These companies offer a range of transportation options to suit the needs of different customers, including open and enclosed trailers, door-to-door delivery, and terminal-to-terminal transport. 

    Such services can be used for various reasons, such as relocating to a new place, buying or selling a vehicle, or transporting a vehicle for a special event. Whether you’re moving across the country or need to transport your vehicle to a short distance, an auto transport service can save you time and effort.

    Things to keep in mind before choosing an auto transport service
    By following the tips mentioned below, you can find a reliable and trustworthy company that can safely and efficiently transport your vehicle.

    Research different types of services
    Before choosing an auto transport service, it’s necessary to understand the different types of services available. Open transport is the most common and cost-effective option, while enclosed transport is more secure and offers protection from elements such as dust, grime, and bad weather. Additionally, consider whether you need terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door transport. Terminal-to-terminal transport is typically cheaper but may require you to pick up or drop off your vehicle at a specific location. In addition, you have the option to choose between single-level and multi-level transport. Single-level transport services are meant to haul vehicles in areas with low overheads. Multi-level transport services are high-volume trailers with two levels for transportation from terminals to terminals, dealerships, auctions, etc.

    Check the auto transport company’s reputation
    The reputation of an auto transport company is critical to ensuring a successful transport experience. Before choosing a company, read online reviews and check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Look for a company with a high rating and a history of positive reviews. Additionally, one can check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to verify the company’s license and insurance. It also helps to know someone who has used the services of a particular auto transport company. A direct review through a personal experience is far more reliable than online reviews. 

    Verify the company’s license and insurance
    A reputable auto transport company should have a valid license from the FMCSA, which regulates and oversees the transport industry. Additionally, the company should have adequate insurance coverage to protect your vehicle in case of any damage or accidents during transport. Since auto transport companies require liability insurance by law, you can check for the insurance in the contract document. One can also verify a company’s license on the FMCSA’s website.

    Compare prices
    After researching and shortlisting transport companies that meet your requirements, look out for their shipping costs either by contacting them by phone or referring to their website. Once done, compare the prices to understand which provider offers the best, cost-effective services. Furthermore, it is advised to avoid companies that ask customers to quote their own prices. Remember that the cost will spike if the vehicle is bulky, the destination is too far away, or you prefer speedy services. While going for the cost-effective option, one must not compromise on the quality of service offered.

    Get a written quote and understand the pricing
    Auto transport companies offer different pricing options, so it’s important to understand what you’re paying for. Be sure to get a written quote that outlines all the costs associated with the transport, including any additional fees. Some companies may charge extra for services like expedited transport or special handling of oversized vehicles. Ensure you understand the pricing structure and are comfortable with the final cost before committing to a company.

    Prepare your vehicle for transport
    You must prepare your vehicle for the journey before it is transported. It includes cleaning the interior and exterior of the vehicle and removing any personal belongings. It’s also important to document any existing damage to the vehicle before transport so that you can compare it to the vehicle’s condition upon delivery. Finally, ensure you provide the auto transport company with accurate and up-to-date contact information so they can contact you regarding any updates or changes to the transport schedule.

    Choosing an auto transport service doesn’t have to be stressful if you know what’s right. By following these five tips, you can find a reliable and trustworthy company that will safely and efficiently transport your vehicle to its destination. Just remember to research different types of services, check the company’s reputation and reviews, understand the pricing, and prepare your vehicle for transport, and you’re good to go. With these steps, one can enjoy a stress-free and successful auto transport experience.

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  • Auto

    9 factors to consider when buying an electric car

    An average passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. So, finding effective alternatives to traditional fuel-run vehicles is the need of the hour. Electric vehicles strike the perfect balance between being environmentally friendly and able to satisfy commute requirements. Further, several electric cars have advanced luxury features, giving tough competition to regular cars. Following a few tips can help one make the best decision while buying an electric car:

    Consider all requirements
    While some look to fulfill their everyday intracity commute requirements, others require powerful sports cars for out-of-city travel and driving through rough terrains. Many may also look for cars that fulfill both of these needs. So, one must understand their personal requirements and preferences before purchasing a car. Today, in addition to regular electric cars for day-to-day utility, several brands offer high-end electric sports cars with power-packed electric motors and excellent acceleration. Understanding the requirements makes the purchase process easier.

    Set a budget
    Buying a car is a major financial decision, so setting a budget is essential for planning finances optimally and avoiding overspending. Establishing a budget also allows one to consider financing options like car loans and determine the mode of payment. The best electric cars are the ones that perfectly integrate utility and comfort with affordability. Checking out cars in different price ranges vis-a-vis purchase requirements can help one shortlist the ideal electric car.

    Consider tax benefits
    Typically, buyers of electric vehicles may reap the benefits of federal tax credits, and the amount may vary based on different factors; however, buyers may qualify for EV tax credits amounting from $2,500 to $7,500. These benefits can help one save considerable amounts on taxes, leaving room for investment. So, buyers should check out electric-vehicle tax benefits and incentives beforehand.

    Look up the driving range
    An electric car’s driving range is an important factor to consider. The ideal driving range for regular electric vehicles for everyday utility is 100 miles; sports and other high-end electric cars may have driving ranges of up to 350 miles. Besides checking the driving range with the manufacturer, one must also look for online reviews of the model to confirm the driving range. Discussing the car’s features with family, friends, or colleagues can also help one cross-check if the range quoted by the manufacturer is accurate.

    Understand charging levels
    Charging is an integral process of using an electric vehicle. So, one should know the different levels of EV charging. Level 1 charging is suitable for short drives of up to a few miles per day. This slow-charging process is meant for only local commutes, and the car may require charging even if one drives a few additional miles. Level 2 charging involves using a 240-volt connection to charge EVs. The charging process is much faster than Level 1 charging and lasts for more miles. One may install a Level 2 charging station at home; sometimes, these stations are set up in offices and other public places. Finally, Level 3 is the fastest type of charging for electric vehicles and can last hundreds of miles. Understanding the charging levels allows one to opt for one of the three types based on their requirements.

    Prioritize EV software updates
    EV software updates are crucial to ensure that electric cars are up to date with the latest technical developments. EV software updates offer several benefits, including an increase in EV range. So, buyers must remember to carry out frequent software updates for their electric cars. Some electric car manufacturers offer free software updates, while others charge a certain amount for each update. So, the car-buying decision should also involve a consideration of the software-update terms of each brand.

    Explore purchase options
    One can find brand-new 2023 electric cars from dealerships or opt for pre-owned vehicles. But, it is important to purchase electric cars from reliable dealers who can explain the technical details and pros and cons of the purchase with ease. One should consult family members and friends regarding the dealer’s credibility.

    Look for incentives
    Some lenders may offer preferred rates and incentives to car buyers on buying electric vehicles, owing to the positive impact on the environment. It is a good idea to check out which lenders offer such incentives and preferred rates, as it can help one save money and plan finances more efficiently.

    Check out multiple brands
    One of the most important steps in purchasing an electric car is to check out the various auto brands and the specifications, prices, and features of each of their models. Understanding the different options available can help one make an informed purchase decision. Several new electric car models of 2023 offer excellent features and perfectly integrate utility and performance. One must also go through online reviews and recommendations from friends, family members, and acquaintances while planning to purchase an electric car.

    Electric cars contribute significantly to reducing emissions in the environment, lowering pollution levels along with fuel costs. The best purchase decision here would be one that takes into account all the key features of electric cars, the different price ranges, and individual requirements.

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  • Auto

    8 proven tips to maximize the range of electric vehicle during winter

    Maximizing one’s electric vehicle’s range can be challenging during harsh winters, especially when the temperatures keep dropping for months. While you contribute to the environment by making a conscious choice, EV batteries need extra care and attention during the cold season. Below are some tips and tricks to help maximize your electric vehicle’s range during the winter. You can also speak to a company dealer for more battery care advice.

    Charge before the low battery sign
    Like any other device working on a battery, EV batteries need to be at an optimal charge level to give the vehicle the right measure of power and efficiency. When the battery power goes down to 20 or 15 percent, it is often in its reserve mode, affecting its optimization. Especially during the winter season, it is advised to keep your battery well above 20%, which helps maintain its long-term stability.

    No extra weight allowed
    Several factors must be considered for battery health when the weather is too severe. One such aspect involves ensuring the car pulls the ideal weight for the weather. If you feel any lag or slack in the range provided by the car, there may be way too many things or people occupying the vehicle. Therefore, one must reevaluate the situation and remove some of the weight from the car to improve its range of efficiency for the battery.

    Parking indoors
    Simple science suggests that it takes less energy to maintain a temperature than it does to increase the temperature. By that logic, parking your electric vehicle inside a garage can be a helpful trick. In a garage covered from all sides, the car can remain safe along with the battery, which will not freeze like outdoors. If the garage is heated, it can be even more helpful in maximizing battery range and performance.

    Battery warm-up
    An easy trick used in combustion cars, battery warm-up, is a step where the driver starts the car and lets it heat up before using it for a drive. It is usually done when the car has not been used for a while. While this method is generally not required for EVs, it can be helpful. It can be done right before you take the car out for a drive, and instead of pre-conditioning the battery by itself, you can do it while it is still charging from the grid. That way, it uses the grid’s power to heat up, not the battery’s. The battery pre-conditioning technique ensures better performance and longer battery life.

    Heat the seats
    It is a brilliant and efficient trick to use. Most HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems have the option of seat heating which can be used instead of a heater inside the cabin. It takes much more power to heat the air in the cabin than to heat the car seats while driving. It keeps the occupants warm, and the battery range well enough for a smooth ride.

    Tire types and pressure requirements
    Studies indicate that cold weather leads to decreased amount of pressure in the tires. If there is not enough air pressure in the tires, they may deflate, which can cause drag. This extra drag makes the battery work harder than its optimum levels, affecting its range of performance. Therefore, it is advised to always check your tires frequently during the winter to avoid excessive dragging. Besides tire pressure, it is also necessary to ensure you have the right tires for extreme weather conditions. Winter tires are sold in places that experience intense winters to ensure the safety of the car and its passengers. It is also advised to put snow chains over the tire to increase the grip on the snow-filled road, which can help reduce drag.

    Eco-mode driving
    Most electric vehicles have an eco-mode feature, essentially used to increase performance and efficiency. The difference is very noticeable when you drive in normal mode compared to the eco mode. The performance will not be affected due to various factors like switching on heaters or acceleration. So to make the most out of your EV, switch to this mode of driving when stepping out.

    Keep the EV plugged in
    When you are not driving, the best way to maximize your battery’s range is to keep the vehicle plugged in to charge while parked. It ensures that your car’s battery level does not go below the 20% mark, which is the reserve mode. Further, the battery does not have to work to keep the temperature up as it is already getting charged using the grid power supply. It ensures that you always have a charged-up EV to use in times of emergency.

    Electric vehicles are a great environment and economical choice, but many depend on convenience. Thanks to developing technology, these EVs are no less than other combustion cars and can easily carry out the job with just a little extra care. It is also best to consult a vehicle expert to know all the information about your car and how to deal with any limitations during the winter season to optimize its performance.

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  • Auto

    6 best electric cars that are totally worth the money

    As per a recent study, by driving electric cars and SUVs, owners can save about $1,000 on average every year. This is because these vehicles are much cheaper in the long run due to massive savings on fuel, which keeps becoming increasingly expensive over time. Additionally, electric vehicles are also incredibly affordable, convenient, and easy to maintain. Here are some electric cars that offer the best bang for the buck:

    Chevrolet Bolt EV
    The Chevrolet Bolt is an extremely affordable and practical electric hatchback with a punchy engine that produces 200 horsepower. This can propel this little car from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds. More importantly, the car can cover about 259 miles on a single charge. Priced at $26,595, the Bolt comes with a host of safety equipment like front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, Chevy Safety Assist, automatic emergency braking, distance indicator for a vehicle the driver may be following, auto high beams that adjust to traffic conditions, and lane keep assist system. Buyers also get conveniences such as a built-in 10.2-inch tablet with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration and a dedicated mobile app to inform users about the car’s battery status.

    Nissan Leaf
    The Nissan Leaf, like the Bolt, has a frugal electric motor that produces 214 horsepower and gives the car a respectable top speed of 106 mph (on the SV Plus variant). Buyers can choose from two variants: the S and SV Plus. While the S offers a range of 149 miles on a full charge, the SV Plus comes with a more impressive 212-mile range. In terms of value, the car has features like an 8-inch infotainment system with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags, a six-speaker audio system, and remote charging activation. The last feature lets owners turn on the air-conditioning remotely in their Leaf EV. All these aspects make the Nissan Leaf one of the most economical and reliable electric cars one can buy today. What’s more? The EV is reasonably priced at $$27,800.

    Tesla Model Y
    Any list of top electric vehicles is incomplete without a Tesla on it. The Model Y proves that cars that offer the “best value” do not need to be the cheapest option. Instead, they can be loaded with features and provide the best buying and owning experience. The Model Y is a luxury electric SUV that offers a range of 303 to 326 miles on a single charge. The Model Y’s engine can generate 384 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. All that power can take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds and deliver a top speed of 135 mph. On the inside, this five-seater has arguably the best infotainment system that drivers can access through a large touchscreen system on the dashboard. Its fun-to-drive nature and a large number of features and safety equipment make this electric car a great option. The Tesla Model Y is priced at $67,190.

    Ford F-150 Lightning
    The F-150 Lightning merges the practicality and modernity of electric vehicles with a big, old-school pickup truck. While the vehicle retains its characteristic design and rugged off-road ability, it has an electric motor producing 426 horsepower and a monumental 775 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the F-150 Lightning can cover 332 miles on a full charge. The truck also retains its flexible folding rear seats and towing capabilities. On top of that, it offers key features such as lane keep assist, multiple airbags, adaptive headlamps, traction control, and stability control. Other key conveniences like heated mirrors, a six-speaker audio system, a 12-inch infotainment screen, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity make it a value-for-money option priced at $55,974 to $96,874.

    Volkswagen ID.4
    The ID.4 is an electric SUV available at a starting price of $40,723. Its roomy interiors, functionality, and premium comfort make the SUV worth the price. This electric car has a slightly smaller battery than its predecessor, so it has a single-charge range of 208 miles, compared to the 275 mile-range of the older model. Nevertheless, the ID.4 has a spacious, high-quality cabin and a long list of advanced features. Buyers get pedestrian detection, wireless charging, a panoramic sunroof, curve adaptive headlamps, an around-view camera, and a power trunk/liftgate, making the ID.4 one of the best electric SUVs of 2023.

    Kia Niro EV
    Kia’s Niro EV is a trendy crossover SUV that can cover 280 miles on a single charge. Its price range, between $39,550 and $44,550, is steep for a crossover SUV. However, the Nero makes up for the pricing with its long list of standard features, including driver attention alert, a pre-and post-collision safety system, stability, lane following assist, a blind-spot collision warning system, and rear cross-traffic avoidance assist system. One also gets features like standard ABS, airbags, and traction control.

    All the vehicle prices listed in this article are subject to change. Apart from these six EVs, other incredible electric cars and electric SUVs for 2023 are the Hyundai Kona Electric, Rivian R1S, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and the Mini Hardtop 2 Door.

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  • Auto

    10 powerful electric cars you should consider before buying

    Growing awareness and improved technology have transformed the landscape of the electric vehicle industry. With improvements being made to each model, there are a ton of options to choose from. While no single car will be a perfect fit for everyone, narrowing down the key features may help you find your best match. Whether you are looking for a compact electric vehicle or an SUV, here are the 10 best options to consider:

    2023 Chevrolet Bolt
    If a small electric car is what you are looking for, the Bolt is one of the best options you will find. It has a spacious cab and a strong powertrain and offers great mileage compared to its competitors. With its 200-horsepower engine, the Bolt offers 131 MPGe in the city, and 109 MPGe on the highway. Prices for this stellar EV start at $25,900.

    2023 Nissan Leaf
    The Nissan Leaf has a sizable cabin for a small EV. With prices starting at $28,040, it is packed with a ton of tech and safety features such as an easy-to-use infotainment system, driver attention monitoring, ProPilot assist, surround-view parking camera system, and more. The Leaf can cover between 149 to 212 miles on a single charge, depending on the trim you get.

    2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5
    The Hyundai IONIQ 5 comes at starting price of $41,450 and can travel up to 220 miles on a single charge. This well-rounded car has a spacious and comfortable interior, with the new model offering an increased driving range and a higher maximum tow rating. It is also well-endowed with tech and safety features such as an intuitive infotainment system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blindspot camera, head-up display, park assist, and more.

    2023 Kia EV6
    The Kia EV6 is an electric SUV that ranks highly for safety based on its driver assistance features and crash test results. It is one of the best electric vehicles on the market this year. The base price for the car is $48,700. The rear-wheel-drive models offer an estimated 117 MPGe in combined city and highway driving, while the all-wheel-drive model offers a combined economy of 109 MPGe.

    2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge
    The Volvo XC40 Recharge is ranked as one of the best electric luxury SUVs in the market. This spacious and stylish SUV has a base price of $53,550 and can drive up to 223 miles on a single charge. It has a 5-star overall score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick+ recommendation from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), making it a safe buy, especially for families.

    2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan
    The Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan is a sophisticated luxury EV that offers great cargo space and a smooth ride. The standard EQS trim has a single electric motor that can provide up to 329 horsepower. The manufacturers also offer a variant with two electric motors, called the EQS 580 4Matic, which can generate a total of 516 horsepower. The price for the base trim is $104,400.

    2022 Lucid Air
    The Lucid Air is packed with intuitive features that make your driving experience a breeze. It offers refined driving dynamics, and a comfortable interior, that place it on top of the list of luxury EVs. With base prices starting at $87,400 and several trims to choose from, you have the flexibility to create your perfect car. Depending on the configuration you pick, the engine can generate between 480 and 1111 horsepower. It is also one of the most fuel-efficient EVs on the market, with the Grand Touring model offering a combined economy of 131 MPGe in the city and on highways.

    2023 BMW iX
    If you are looking for a luxury SUV EV, the BMW iX is packed with features that will make you fall in love with it. From its fast and efficient engine to its comfort and cutting-edge technology, this EV has it all. The base price for the BMW iX is $84,100. It has a lengthy driving range, going over 300 miles on a full charge. The car has an all-wheel drive system, a 111 kWh battery, and two motors, with the xDrive 50 models producing 516 horsepower.

    2023 Genesis GV60
    The elegant and refined Genesis GV60 is another top contender in the luxury SUV EV space. It is the perfect blend of power, performance, comfort, and practicality. It has unique futuristic features, like biometric driver recognition, that add to its flair. The MSRP for the base trim begins at $59,290. The base trim is fitted with two electric motors and a 77.4 kWh battery, producing up to 314 horsepower. It also offers an estimated fuel economy of 103 MPGe in the city and 86 MPGe on the highway.

    2024 Volvo EX90 All-Electric SUV
    The 2024 Volvo EX90 is the manufacturer’s first purpose-built electric vehicle and flagship SUV. It is expected to launch with prices starting at $80,000. The base model of the Volvo EX90 all-electric SUV is powered by a dual-motor all-wheel drive that can produce up to 402 horsepower. With a targeted driving range of 300 miles, a host of intuitive safety features, and a sleek interior design, this car can transform your EV experience.

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  • Auto

    6 factors to consider to find the right-sized tires for trucks

    Trucks are used to tackling rugged terrain and off-road travel. Having the correct tire size for trucks is critical as that improves ride quality, braking performance, cabin comfort, fuel efficiency, handling, steering directness, and other factors. However, reading and selecting options can get confusing due to the varied aspects involved in a tire’s overall size. Here are the factors to consider while zeroing in on the sizes of tires for trucks:

    Tire width
    Having the right-sized tire allows trucks to have excellent traction and stability on the road. If the tires fitted onto a truck are smaller or bigger, there is an increased risk of accidents or poor ride quality.
    One of the chief components of tire sizes is tire width. One can identify tire sizes by the unique code number written on them. For example, if the number is P225/70R16 91S, then the width of the tire is 225 mm (“P” stands for “passenger vehicle,” “LT” for “Light Truck Tire,” and “ST” for “Special Trailer”).
    If truck owners want their vehicles to have good road grip and cornering ability, they can select wider tires. Wider tires than the one the truck comes with are factory-fitted and positively affect the ride stability. However, one must only go for truck tires that are just the right height. Such tires can increase friction and rolling resistance and, as a result, reduce the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Also, broader and heavier tires make the steering feel heavy and less stable.
    Tire width also needs to change depending on other factors. For example, narrower tires can provide some good traction on snow during winter, but stability issues will arise again if one goes too narrow.
    Similarly, it makes sense for truckers to go for broader truck tires if their vehicle has immense horsepower and torque. In such cases, the wider tire will provide better acceleration and reduced dangerous wheelspin.

    Tire height
    All these size-measuring components, such as tire height, width, and others, are relative to the measurements of the factory-fitted tires that come with trucks that owners purchase from their local dealerships.
    Taller tires are the ideal choice for increasing the ground clearance of a truck. As a result, selecting such tires means that trucks will not have scraped underbellies even when their owners drive them over rough, undulated, and unforgiving terrain.
    However, the boosted ground clearance comes at the vehicle’s overall handling cost. For example, taller truck tires translate into increased body roll while cornering.
    Additionally, if the tires are too tall or wide, there will be rubbing on the inside of the truck’s wheels, resulting in the frequent wearing of both the tires and wheels.

    Wheel diameter
    In P225/70R16 91S, the 16 denotes the wheel diameter of the tire in inches. As the name implies, wheel diameter is the measurement of the alloy or steel wheel fitted inside the truck tires. The wheel diameter is critical as it also influences the tire thickness.
    Larger wheels will need larger tires. Using more extensive and taller tires, as seen above, will negatively affect the ride and handling of a truck. Therefore, one needs to be careful while selecting wheels. Wheel diameter is a valuable metric for tire buyers as it enables them to select just the right size of tires for their vehicle.

    Aspect ratio
    The number right next to the slash in P225/70R16 91S is the aspect ratio of truck tires. The aspect ratio indicates the overall profile of truck tires. Usually, this number is denoted in percentages. To calculate the aspect ratio, tire makers divide a tire’s height (from its wheel rim) by width. So, the aspect ratio of 70 percent in the above numerical example translates into the tire’s height being 70 percent of its overall width.
    Tires with a lower aspect ratio, say, 60 percent or lower, offer better handling and road grip than higher ratio tires. In return, the ride quality of lower-ratio tires is worse than those with higher aspect ratios.

    Construction type
    The letter next to the aspect ratio in P225/70R16 91S is the construction type of the tire. These generally have two classifications – R for radial and D for diagonal. Now, radial tires are among the most used ones across the country. These tires have their internal ply cords oriented in a radial direction, meaning that they are at a 90-degree angle to the direction of rotation of the tire.
    While selecting tires, one must select these as they offer higher road grip, better mileage, greater ride comfort, higher reliability and durability, and lower rolling resistance.

    Speed rating
    The speed rating indicates the capability of a tire at a particular speed based on the lab tests run by tire makers. In the example, the speed rating is the last number accompanied by the letter S. A vehicle with a speed rating of 120 can cruise at that speed in their truck without the fear of damaging the tire. The higher the speed at which one regularly drives their vehicle, the greater the speed rating should be for their tires.

    By carefully considering these listed elements before buying tires, owners can ensure that the tire sizes are perfect for their specific trucking requirements.

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  • Auto

    Important factors to consider when buying tires

    While all tires might look the same, they are different from each other. There are different types of tires made for various purposes and terrain. It is essential to know which kind of tire works best for your vehicle. If you live in cold regions, you’ll need winter tires with soft rubber for better grip on slippery surfaces. For those living in tropical regions, opting for summer tires made with durable rubber is the best option. 

    Apart from these types, there are all-weather tires that function in all seasons. One must also consult a specialist before opting for a particular set of tires for the vehicle. 

    The penny test
    One of the important aspects to consider when buying tires is to know when to change them. Like any product or service, tires also have a shelf life, and knowing if they are old, worn out, or damaged will make your life safer on the road. Just try the penny test to check the condition of the tires . Take a penny and place it on the tread groove upside down, with the head of the figure going into the gap, toward the center of the tire. If the head is not partially hidden by the tire, it is time to replace them. It is recommended to speak to a professional to confirm and go ahead with your replacement.

    Replace or upgrade
    It is also important to now understand if you need to replace the same type of tire with a new set or upgrade them. While replacing is easy, upgrading tires is tricky. This requires a lot of research, analysis, and, most importantly, a professional opinion to know which tires will suit the best. Another aspect to consider is the tire size that would be compatible with your car or if they are even available and necessary. An upgrade does not always necessarily mean better. So speak to an expert before jumping to make any decisions.

    Tire size
    Knowing the right tire size and choosing the right ones is the next step in the buying process. The size is usually written in a series of numbers and letters.

    An example includes – 245/40-R18. According to this, the first set of numbers shows the width of the tire in millimeters, at the widest point of the tire; the number after the slash determines the aspect ratio, which includes how tall the sidewall is as compared to the width in percentage. It is usually understood that the higher the number, the taller the sidewall. The last set of numbers is the diameter of the wheel, measured in inches, on which the tire can be mounted. The letter “R” indicates radial; most of the tires available today are radial. Usually, SUVs and sedans have taller sidewalls, like 45-60, while sports cars have shorter sidewalls ranging from 30 to 40.

    Treadwear ratings
    This important information can tell you how long your tires will last after buying. Basically, it can calculate how many miles they can run before they start to wither and need a replacement again. It becomes crucial information, especially if you are buying expensive tires and need to understand how often you need to make that purchase to stay safe on the road. The tread wear rating is usually listed on the tire sidewall, so you can look at that to understand how well they will last on the road. However, sometimes the information may not be accurate. Instead of just relying on the rank, it is better to look at the tread life warranty that the manufacturer provides. While not all tires have this warranty, it is important to check for this, apart from the usual manufacturing quality or defect warranties. It is understood that, more often than not, the mileage listed in the tread life warranty is more accurate than the mileage that will be provided by the new tires. If the tires wear out before that, you can speak to the manufacturer for a credit that can be used to buy a new set of tires.

    Run-flat tires
    There are some automakers who fit run-flat tires as opposed to conventional ones. The benefit of having these tires is that the vehicle can continue to run at a low speed for short distances, which allows the driver to reach a repair shop or home to get it checked by a mechanic, instead of feeling abandoned in the middle of the road. However, the downside is that it becomes harder to navigate the vehicle when there is a puncture, especially on terrain that is not plain but rough.

    If you are buying some truck tires, be sure to maintain the tires well to avoid regular replacements. Rotate the tire regularly, get the wheels aligned, keep the tire pressure consistent, keep the wheels and tires clean and always perform pre-trip inspections to avoid any tire-related accidents.

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  • Auto

    6 factors to consider when buying an SUV

    SUVs, also known as sports utility vehicles, are large, family-sized vehicles frequently seen on the road. They are among the safest and most spacious cars on the market, and because of their excellent fuel economy, they are also suitable for daily use. There are too many factors to consider when selecting the right type of car, which can make the process tedious. Here are the top features to look for when purchasing an SUV.

    Size requirement
    The majority of SUVs can seat at least five people. Many mid-sized and full-sized models come with a third-row seat option, bringing the total number of seats up to six or eight. However, cargo space in three-row SUVs is limited when the third-row seats are upright. Knowing what size you need before going to the dealer will make the process much easier.

    Type of SUV
    There are two types of SUVs: crossovers and conventional. Crossovers are often smaller and have better handling like a car, whereas conventional vehicles drive more like trucks and frequently have more power or towing capacity. Consider either, depending on your driving style and whether your new vehicle will be hauling trailers or heavy loads.

    Safety options
    Another important factor to consider when buying an SUV is its overall safety. SUVs have been known to roll over occasionally. Newer SUV models are designed to be safe and meet stringent standards. Most SUVs have airbags and antilock brakes, and many have additional safety features such as rearview cameras, lane departure warning systems, and blind spot warning systems.

    Two-wheel or four-wheel drive
    These vehicles are available in two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. A two-wheel drive vehicle will be useful if you live in a city. It is also easy to maintain and saves fuel. A four-wheel-drive car, however, may be a better choice if you are navigating lousy weather or difficult terrain. Additionally, a four-wheel drive is preferable for off-road adventures.

    Modern SUVs have touch screens, smartphone connectivity, backup vision, and built-in reverse parking cameras. Some vehicles include automatic braking, blind spot detection, Bluetooth, and GPS. Consider equipping your car with all the gadgets you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable journey.

    Fuel efficiency
    Although the SUV has a larger engine, certain models are more aerodynamic and have the better fuel economy. A four-cylinder SUV will consume less gas than an eight-cylinder SUV. So, look for a vehicle that is both fuel efficient and eco-friendly.

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  • Auto

    5 errors truck drivers should avoid while on the road

    Driving a truck is no simple business as it involves many risks. Nearly all goods shipped across the country from major ports make their way inland after being brought in by a network of heavy-duty vehicles. It is a reason why truckers get paid big for long-haul cargo. The freight’s value also determines how much money can be made in a single trip. However, first-time drivers should be wary of some rookie mistakes during trips.

    Misgauging distance
    Big rigs take more time to come to a complete stop, especially at high speeds. Not gauging the distance properly could lead truckers to careen into the vehicle in front. This could even happen while changing lanes without leaving space for the trailer in the back, as it will swerve sharply at high speeds.

    Breaching speed limits
    Driving fast is necessary to maintain the highway speed limit. But that does not mean one should drive rashly. It is also not very cool to tailgate other vehicles and prompt them to speed. If the driver ahead loses control, this could result in a catastrophic accident.

    Sleep deprived driving
    When it comes to truck driving, deadlines are a crucial factor. But truckers are more likely to make silly driving mistakes that could result in a major accident if they don’t take adequate time to relax and cool down. Moreover, if the highway patrol catches drivers working overtime, a hefty fine and license suspension can bring the trucking business to a grinding halt.

    Bad timing for fueling
    Fueling up just before a weighing station on the highway is a critical mistake. Simply because the weight of the fuel can put the truck overboard on the allotted minimum towage restriction for that particular state or national highway, it is always better to fill up the tanks once well underway on the journey after completing highway formalities.

    Distracted driving
    Modern-day trucks have a lot of safety and automation features that monitor throttle response and braking. But these safety assists are no excuse for driving trucks while engaging in activities like checking the phone or eating while driving.

    Popular trucks for commercial driving
    Pickups are the workhorse trucks used for commercial driving, capable of hauling and towing large loads across shorter distances while keeping the drive economical. Popular trucks like the Dodge RAM 1500, RAM 2500, and Toyota Tacoma pickups are some of the most functional and affordable trucks to compare and buy this year. Get revised quotes for new and used pickup trucks from local dodge pickup truck dealers and Toyota Tacoma dealers today.

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  • Auto

    7 mistakes to avoid when buying auto insurance

    Getting the right auto insurance is as important as finding the right car. But there are many pitfalls when buying auto insurance that can prevent you from getting the best coverage and cost you hundreds of dollars a year. To avoid getting stuck with paying high insurance bills over the years, here at the mistakes below and be sure to avoid these when buying auto insurance.

    Buying the minimum liability coverage
    Although every state has its minimum coverage requirements, this does not include the full cost of a crash. Purchasing the minimum legal protection implies that you are willing to pay for the remaining difference between your total liability and coverage. Getting more protection to help you relieve any liabilities is always a better idea.

    Buying too much coverage
    Like buying too little coverage is a mistake, getting over-insured also does not make sense and is a waste of money. For example, an older vehicle will not require a collision and comprehensive coverage. Also, beware of policy add-ons as well. If you are already a member of an automobile club, you do not need roadside assistance and towing. Pay attention to what you have and what is covered in the insurance policy to avoid paying extra.

    Not comparing insurance companies
    Opting for an insurance company offering the lowest prices is not the best option. Shop around and get multiple quotes from auto insurance companies for the best deals. Although price is a major factor in choosing an insurance company, it’s not the only one. Instead, the company’s ability to handle claims fairly has to be looked into. Customer reviews better understand the company’s ability to handle claims.

    Keeping your insurer uninformed
    Most buyers are not honest about their driving habits and the condition of their cars. This mistake can leave you personally liable for all the costs if an accident happens and companies refuse to pay your claim. Also, companies may not be willing to insure you in the first place if they spot any inconsistencies in personal data. It is best to be open about all the information on the insurance application.

    Buying policies with wrong deductibles
    An important part of your car insurance policy is the deductible amount. This amount influences the premium costs and the amount you pay when you file a claim. Usually, lower deductibles mean less out-of-pocket expenses but higher premiums, while higher deductible means fewer premiums but makes you pay more if you get into an accident. In many cases, a higher deductible will help you save some cash on your comprehensive and collision coverages.

    Not using the discounts
    Most people hesitate to shop online even when many online platforms could get you auto insurance. Taking advantage of the available discounts saves you a lot of money. While buying insurance, make sure to ask what types of discounts are offered. You can also save by bundling multiple cars with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. You can also avail discounts by remaining loyal to one company and paying your bill upfront. You can get an affinity membership with companies that provide discounts to its members.

    Not considering online options
    Even when many online platforms could get you auto insurance, most people hesitate to shop online. Avoid extra payments by avoiding commissions to independent agents when you buy from an online car insurance company. This step is a hassle-free way of buying auto insurance if you have all the necessary documentation in hand. Some of these online sites also provide estimates or real quotes, making comparing different companies easier.

    Finding the right insurance is critical to getting on the road in the country. Avoiding the above common mistakes can save you from being underinsured or overinsured.

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  • Your guide to getting FHA loan approvals

    A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a type of mortgage which is insured by the FHA and is considered one of the most affordable and fastest loans to procure.

    Simply put, the borrower needs to be approved by the FHA to get this loan. You may then look for different mortgage rates with different FHA-approved lenders. There are plenty of portals which may help you get fast quotes and you may subsequently take the process ahead with any lender whose rates you have found affordable.

    Important guidelines to get an FHA loan approval
    Discussed below are a few important aspects to keep in mind while applying for an FHA loan.

    Credit score
    The credit score requirement to get an FHA loan approval is not stringent. The minimum eligible credit score for the same is 580. Even if you do not have a credit history, your lender will need to evaluate your eligibility, based on a non-traditional merged credit. Some borrowers may require a score of 640-680 to be eligible for this loan.

    While this is a guideline set, many lenders also give a loan to people with a credit score of at least 500.

    Debt to income ratio
    The debt to income ratio is a critical guideline followed by lenders to evaluate the eligibility of a borrower. It is a way in which lenders (even mortgage lenders) calculate a borrower’s ability to repay the debts, considering their regular incomes. The acceptable limit of this ratio is 31:43 to get an FHA loan approval.

    Mortgage insurance
    Even though getting an approval for an FHA loan seems fairly easy, the real challenge arises in getting two types of mortgage insurances as prerequisites. One insurance needs to be paid fully while the other has to have a provision of being paid in monthly installments.

    Down payment
    The minimum down payment required for an FHA loan approval is 3.5%. While the standard rate for down payment runs at 20%, the 3.5% comes as a great relief for borrowers who cannot afford such a high amount.

    Other important areas
    A lender will look into your employment history, lawful residency in the US, as well as a valid Social Security number (SSN). You would also require to have an appraisal for the property from a verified FHA-approved appraiser.

    The other requirements differ from lender to lender, and it is always advisable to gather full information about your verified FHA loan lender before applying for a loan.

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  • 3 ways SMA patients and caregivers can maintain a healthy relationship

    The relationship between a person diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and their caregiver is a two-way street. It is important to remember that both the patient and caregiver have their individual needs that should be communicated clearly. Irrespective of whether the primary caregiver is a parent, friend, or someone who has been hired to take care of the SMA patient, there are a few important things to consider for a healthy relationship between them. Below are three tips for SMA patients to maintain a healthy relationship with their caregivers-

    • Informing the caregiver in advance about any schedule changes
      SMA patients should remember that their caregivers, whether family, friends or professional caregivers, have their own schedules and needs. One needs to ensure that they don’t make any last-minute changes without informing the caregiver well in advance. A caregiver plans everything according to the SMA patient’s schedule, and any sudden changes might cause problems with the caregiver’s schedule and routine. It is important to remember that the caregiver is likely to have other jobs, people to meet, and other personal errands of their own. Hence, it is essential to inform the caregiver in advance if there are any changes to one’s schedule.
    • Conveying one’s needs clearly
      If an SMA patient is hiring someone through an agency or via the Internet, it is vital to know that the caregiver has probably had clients with a wide range of needs, levels of independence, and abilities. Hence, it is necessary for the patient to inform the caregiver about what their specific needs are, what tasks they can do, and what tasks they cannot perform. The best way that a caregiver will be able to help a patient properly and cater to all their needs is by just communicating with them. If one is used to doing certain things in a particular manner, let the caregiver know that beforehand so that they are able to do their job thoroughly by keeping their patient’s needs in mind.
    • It is okay to have disagreements with the caregiver
      When the caregiver is a friend or family member, fights and arguments are inevitable. However, when one has a fight, a confusion, a misunderstanding, or whether there is a simple disagreement with one’s caregiver, one needs to ensure that this tension does not last. It is important to communicate openly and work together towards solving the problem.
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