Automotive

Automotive

How to learn to become a racing driver

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Becoming a professional racing car driver is an aspiration many would share. Dreaming is one thing, but becoming a real racing driver is all together different. The process is long and opportunities few and far between with fierce competition for the openings available. Being a racing driver requires skill and talent but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of those trying to break into it. It’s difficult for drivers to demonstrate just how good they are until they are actually driving racing cars so the selection process is rigorous.

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Put the above together with the high costs of building and maintaining racing cars and it’s easy to see why getting into the cockpit is no easy thing to achieve.

So what are the best ways to learn how to become a racing driver?

START EARLY
It has been said many times that most racing drivers began their training by the time they had reached the age of 14 or fifteen. When one considers the youthful ages of most top class drivers this makes sense.

While it may be the dream of many teenagers to become racing drivers, it is essential that those who show real talent and potential get behind the wheel as early as possible.

ENTRY LEVEL DRIVING – GO-KARTING
Getting that first drive in a racing situation isn’t easy but one option is go-karting, sometimes referred to as karting for the more powerful vehicles. For
young children there will be restrictions on minimum weight height and leg length, but even the very young can get a taste of what it’s like to drive on a track, even if it is in the very slowest of vehicles. Older children can start to gain experience in faster vehicles on various tracks and the sport of go-karting is well organised and served.

Many racing drivers – around 95% – started with go-karting until they could get a license to drive cars and head towards their ultimate goals. Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher started their racing careers with karting, as did Lewis Hamilton who started karting when eight years old. Max Verstappen was younger at only four years of age when he started racing karts.

Karting teaches the basics of driving at speed in races, such as how to handle oversteer and understeer, braking, cornering and overtaking.

DRIVING EXPERIENCES
There are a wide variety of driving experience options available that will allow a driver to take control of major league supercars and even purpose-built race cars. These will give excellent experience coupled with valuable tuition.

DO IT YOURSELF
There are a number of motor sport associations and clubs that organise amateur events from hill climbs, sprints and rallies to competitive racing on major tracks.

Although it may not be Formula One, getting into self-financed racing is not necessarily prohibitively expensive. A car such as a Formula Zetec can be bought for the price of a good second hand family saloon.

Many amateur racers prepare and maintain their own vehicles, keeping costs down.

WIN AND PROMOTE
The motor sport world is a relatively small one. In order for a driver to reach the desired heights, that driver needs to demonstrate potential and promote him or herself. This means driving. Karting is great to start with, but cars are where the big action is. Whatever the start, amateur or professional, a driver must demonstrate skill and talent and make sure people see and hear about it.

 

Top 5 Off-Road Customizations

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Your choice of vehicle makes a statement about your identity.  Some people choose compact, eco-friendly cars, while others are partial to noisy muscle cars.  Some people prefer to show off with a fancy convertible, while others would rather turn an old van into a latter day Furthur.  Whichever vehicle you choose, customizing it makes even more of a statement.  Here are some practical and eye-catching customizations for off-road vehicles:

LED Light Strips

LED light strips make your off-road vehicle look impressive.  Granted, more people are likely to see them when you drive in the city.  You can use them to announce your victorious return from an off-road adventure.  Plus, they have a great retro 90s vibe.

Tonneau Cover Rack

A tonneau cover is a necessity for any off-road vehicle with an open truck bed.  If you have to transport tall objects, you can make your tonneau cover better suited to that purpose.  A tonneau cover rack makes it easy to transport tall items safely.

Leveling Kit

You can’t really tell by looking that a truck has a leveling kit, but it is a very functional customization.  A Bilstein leveling kit will make your truck perform better on bumpy terrain.  It is a great choice for off-road driving in rocky or mountainous areas.

Wheels and Tires for Off-Road Driving

Off-road wheels are essential if you are going to drive on unpaved roads a lot of the time.  Mud tires are also a good choice if you live in a rainy or temperate climate.

Under Hood Light

You don’t think about under hood lights until you have to fix your truck at night.  If your truck does malfunction at night, you will be glad to have the light.

Customizations can be fun, and they can also help your vehicle perform better.

Sharp Tips on Making the Right Choice in Buying a Car

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It is important to determine the options when buying a used or brand new car. For this reason, it is your responsibility to find ways to make this big decision work on your favor. In fact, this is the second most expensive decision that you can make after purchasing a house.

Here are some tips that you can mimic to avoid frustrations in the end.

Determine the Budget

Ensure that you budget only 25% of your monthly income so that you will not exceed your overall expenses. By doing this, you will not end up spending more than you earn. So, before you buy the car of your dreams, it is important that you know the limits of your income.

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Select the One to Fit Your Budget

If you think that you can purchase just any car of your dreams, think again. This is because you still have to make sure that your income can compensate for the overall expenses that you will incur within the month. If you aren’t smart enough to do this, you will surely end up in debt.

Select Which Type of Car to Buy

If you are looking to buy a car, make sure that you know the type of car you intend to buy. For I stance, you can select from new, used or leased type of car. So, regardless of your choice you should make sure that you select the one that has a good impact on your overall financial standing. Otherwise, you will end up getting frustrated or financially unstable.

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Choosing the right car may involve quality and running condition. But, regardless of the brand, you should focus more on your financial capacity to pay. Even if you have chosen a brand new unit, it will matter still on your monthly mortgage payment.

Car Buying: Should You Get a Used Car? Or a New Model?

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When buying cars, there are many questions that revolve around this conversation. Some may consider buying brand new while others opt for slightly used cars. So, here are some reasons why either options can be a beneficial way for prospective car buyers when choosing a particular type of vehicle.

If you are going to buy brand new, take note that there are several advantages. Here are a few of them.

Made to Order – one big advantage of buying brand new is that customers can get it just the way they want it to be. This can be done by allowing the dealer to search for one or allow the dealer to search one for you through a combination of options, including the exterior and interior colors.

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Never Been Used – when it is new, it simply hasn’t been in any mishaps, may not smell funny, hasn’t been into wear or tear, and doesn’t have any odors.

Warranty – the warranty of a new car has not been touched. Although this can be achieved from certified preowned route, the best type of warranty should come without paying extra is the one that a new car can provide.

On the other hand, if you are going to buy used cars, you will be able to enjoy the following benefits.

Price – if you compare these two items, the one that should help you gain advantage is the purchase of used cars. This will ensure that you are going to get this product at a very affordable price.

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Depreciation – the value of a car will be lost as time passes. In fact, the steepest drop will happen right away in which some models may lose at least 40% or more in the first year.

Insurance Rates – just like financing, the rates of insurance will get affected as the car ages. Nevertheless, this will turn out to be a lot less expensive.

Hidden Costs That Come with Classic Cars

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In the world of automobiles, there is no precise meaning to the term “classic cars”, but enthusiasts defines them as distinctive or fine automobiles—from American or foreign auto manufacturers—that were built between 1925 and 1948 or those beautifully created race cars from the 1960s. Also according to car collectors, these vehicles basically depend on the eye of the beholder more than anything else. While owning these cars are known to be costly, the biggest expense would be their acquisition cost. However, there are also hidden costs that come with it, which you should be aware of. Here they are:

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Prices That Are Set Too High

Before you agree on purchasing the car, make sure you are paying its market value. It is best to have someone specializing in the make and model you are buying to do a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that it is in great condition, thus you will be paying a fair price for it.

Restoration and Repair Costs

Maintenance costs can be high on classic cars, so make sure you have factored in such expenses when determining the unit you want to buy.

Storage Fees

One classic car may be easy enough to care and store in your own garage, but if you plan to have more than one, then you would need to use a storage facility, which means additional expenses. This is to make sure your vehicles will be well-kept, protected and treated with indulgence.

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Insurance

Of course, owning a classic car means that you have to get it insured. And while it usually costs cheaper than family sedans, as it is occasionally driven and maintained, it still adds up to your overall expenses.

As with any person who loves classic cars, it is definitely a thing of passion to search for, buy and maintain these vehicles. However, before you make your next purchase, remember that there are some hidden costs of owning it that you should carefully consider.

U.S. Federal Government Possibly to Limit Tire Grip

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For the first time in the history of American transportation, the United States plans to ban passenger vehicle tires that are not fuel efficient.

It can be remembered that last December 2015, President Barrack Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Transportation Act or the FAST Act. Among many things, the bill directs the National Traffic Safety Administration to set minimum standards for tire rolling resistance by the end of 2017, mirroring the 2012 tire regulations adopted by the European Union which sets the limits for tire rolling resistance, traction and noise. The regulation was aimed primarily at reducing aerodynamic drag and other efficiency-sapping friction that consumes a lot of fuel. Michelin noted that most car tires made today account for 25 percent of new car’s fuel consumption. In electrical vehicles, tires drain around 30 percent of battery energy.

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In Europe, the regulation paves the way for consumer labels to be attached on tires, scoring a tire’s fuel efficiency and wet traction in a grading scale from A to G along with a three-tiered scale allowable road noise. Tires with rolling resistance greater than 12.1 kilograms are given the score of G, which means that they cannot be sold in the EU. A grade tires on the other means lower rolling resistance, and thus are allowed to enter EU’s consumer market.  According to EU’s calculations, the best A-grade tires may reduce fuel consumption by as much as 7.5 percent, saving consumers in the long run.

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American drivers and car buyers could be dealing with the new regulations soon, but the federal government is not likely to include noise reduction in the rules. In addition, rated Z tires and higher are not likely to be affect much the FAST Act specifically mandated that any new standard’s will not have disproportionate effect such tires.

 

Getting a Heads Up When Buying Your Next High-Tech Vehicle in 2016

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The choice of buying a new vehicle can be a complicated and frustrating task to consider. In fact, this is referred to as one of the least favorite for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be that way because cars these days have gotten a lot more sophisticated and high-tech.

Here are some of the technological advancements that you should look for when picking your next ride.

Infotainment Interfacing

This is thought of as one of the most difficult feature to decide because of the lack of industry standards. This is also the category where carmakers and buyers are having a hard time to have a consensus. Good thing there are infotainment interfaces that are pretty easy to use, including the Volvo Sensus Connect and the Toyota Entune.

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Apps and Connectivity

Carmakers are working really hard to add connectivity to their vehicle models. This is because connectivity will allow users to be able to access navigation, local search, and real-time traffic reports while driving. In-dash apps are also part of this effort which include three methods such as embedded, hybrid and tethered approaches. Popular vehicle manufacturers that are already doing this include Mercedes-Benz and Chevrolet.

Audio Technology

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One of the first consumer electronics technology to have entered the car was music. This has been made possible with the introduction of several media such as satellite radio, in-dash hard drives, CD and DVD, portable device integration through auxiliary inputs and USB, SD cards, and streaming audio. If you want to listen to music on your next ride, you can take advantage of premium audio that they have embedded in cars. Kia vehicles are known to have an inexpensive option when it comes to Infinity systems.

There are quite a number of vehicles introduced for the current year, which should offer a variety of technological innovations that you can choose from. Perhaps it is about time to reconsider your preferences.

 

Why It Is Important to Maintain a Motorcycle?

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Most people think that motorcycle maintenance is just a thing for mechanics. On the contrary, taking care of your motorbike can also be done by inexperienced individuals who own one. Not only can it save you a few bucks, but it can also be the secret of keeping it in tiptop shape for years to come.

Here are the steps to keep your motorcycle in good running condition.

Changing Engine or Gear Oil

Aside from keeping the engine and gears well-lubricated, it can also help cooling down the engine. Without doing so will eventually damage the engine. The user’s manual should be helpful in telling you how often you need to change the oil.

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Check the Spark Plugs

In order to ignite the petrol, a sparkplug is necessary as it is used to create a spark. Changing this component should be done in accordance with specifications or when a problem has been suspected. Using the correct sparkplug type and grade is important as it can affect the performance of your bike.

Keeping the Chain Lubricated

It is essential to keep the chain that rotates at the rear tire lubricated. By doing so, it can last for a longer period of time. When it is not lubricated, it will result to damage due to the excessive wear and tear. When the wear on the chain has intensified, it will loosen the chain and will cause to misalign from the sprocket.

Checking the Tires

One good habit when maintaining motorbikes is the checking of tire treads. The moment when your handle is acting unnaturally, it is time to check the tires. Take note that both under- and over-inflated tires will lead to unwanted results.

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Washing the Motorbike

Taking care of the motorcycle is not only limited to the technical part. In fact, cleaning is also part of the maintenance. Cleaning the bike from dirt will not only make it look good but it will also enable the bike to last longer and free from rust than those that are not cleaned regularly.

Revolutionize Your Ride with Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

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Powering up an electric motor can now be done with fuel cell technology. Vehicles running on hydrogen fuel cell combine the power of oxygen and hydrogen in order to produce electricity. Contrary to conventional vehicles which run on diesel or gasoline, these are mainly powered by electricity. Thus, they are considered electric vehicles, but the refueling process and range of these units can be compared to conventional cars or trucks.

Main Features of Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Cars running on hydrogen fuel cell have certain features, such that would have environmental and recreational benefits as it uses electricity to run.

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Refueling a fuel cell car can be compared to that of a conventional vehicle. These cars can also be taken for lease in which some of them will cover the refueling costs.

This technology is very suitable for larger vehicles having long distance routes because it combines fast and centralized way of refueling and recharging their batteries through a plugin.

Differences between Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles

Requires Longer Periods of Recharging Time – Electric vehicles has an advantage as they run on battery and electric motor. Although cars running on battery electric may also use an existing infrastructure for recharging, they must be plugged in for longer periods of time.

Produce Less Pollution – Plugin hybrid electric vehicles can be similar to battery electric vehicles. However, they have conventional diesel or gasoline engines. Although considered not as clean as fuel cell or battery electric cars, they produce less pollution than conventional vehicles.

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Can’t be Plugged In – Although they have conventional engines as well as electric motor and battery, conventional hybrids can’t possibly be plugged in. Despite the fact that these vehicles offer cleaner output, they derive their power from diesel and gasoline as they are not considered electric vehicles.