Get to Know Winter Tires and Types

Winter is time when you find it difficult to drive unless you equip your car with winter tires. This is because it is difficult to get enough traction on a snow surface. Therefore, you need fit your car with tires designed exclusively for winter. Snow tires are designed specially for use in cold weather, snow and ice. For vehicles to move easily in snow, a good amount of traction is essential. But traction reduces with more grip. Winter tires designed to have more sipes because of this. Another common feature of the winter tires is the metal studs. These studs comprise of a hard pin. The pin is often made of tungsten (wolfram) carbide, a hard material.

Types of winter tires:

a) Performance snow tires
For a snow tire to perform better in terms of speed and control, it is very important to have a good traction. But if traction has to be increased, grip should be decreased. Performance snow tires increase traction at the cost of grip. Performance snow tires provide added responsiveness and thus good maneuverability to the driver. These tires have higher speed rated standards to give the vehicles added traction in cold conditions. However, it not the strongest snow tire, because both studded and stud less winter tires outperform this in terms of durability.

b) Studded snow tires
Studded snow tires contain studs on the surface of the tire. The studs are normally made of tungsten. For the studded tires to perform, the studs have to protrude from the surface for about 1.5 mm. Studded tires give the best in terms of traction among all types of winter tires. But it has a very reduced comfort due to less riding smoothness and noise.
Studded tires are banned or brought under restrictions in many places. This is because, when they are used on proper roads, cause a good deal of damage to the road surface. It is banned in some places, while in some places there is a yearly time limit for its usage.

c) Stud less snow tires
These tires were introduced in the 1990s. Instead of using metal studs, they are made of a softer rubber than other winter tires. This rubber has tiny pores which provide grip to the ground thus compensating for the absence of metal studs. In stud less tires, the contact area of the tire to the ground is maximum and therefore it increases grip and traction on the ice. Stud less tires also have an open tread pattern to make it easy to move through slush.
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Technical Features and Advantages of Flat Engines or Opposed Engines

Flat engines, also known as opposed engines are a class of internal-combustion engines. There are like straight engines, except for the fact that the crankshaft is rotated by pistons from both the sides. Therefore, a flat engine has two rows of cylinders placed opposite to each other.

A remarkable advantage of Flat engines is that since the piston action is from two opposite sides, the kind of imbalance that arises in a straight-4 engine does not arise here. Thus, the additional mechanical and economical burden caused by fixing a balance shaft is saved.
Flat engines are flat and wide and have a low center of gravity. In sports cars, since the center of gravity is very crucial to its performance, this engine is preferred.

Flat engines are not just flat but also wide. In cars, the steering lock occupies an area near to the engine. So, the problem that is faced in a conventional layout is that it restricts steering lock.

a) Flat-twin
This is the most basic model of the flat engine. It has two cylinders from opposite sides attached to the crankshaft in the middle. There are two kinds of flat-twin engines. a) those with cylinders across frame and b) those with cylinders across frame. Flat-twin engines have been used by companies like Ford, Toyota and in rear-engined BMW cars.

b) Flat-four
These are better balanced than other four- cylinder engines, are smoother and have very low secondary imbalance. Volkswagen, Porsche, etc. use flat-four engines. In aviation, Lycoming and OS engines have used this in their air crafts.

c) Flat-six
A Flat-six engine is the next level of flat four with an additional pair of cylinders. They are smoother than flat four but expensive. Porsche 911 uses a flat-six engine.

The H engine:
When two flat engines are placed one above or beside the other, they look like the letter ‘H’. It is also called the ‘H’ block. Each of the engines in a H engine has a separate crankshaft and they are geared together. In case of using an engine with as many cylinders, the length increases considerably. The ‘H’ block solves this. In air crafts, this is used in power-take-offs. In race cars, there is an advantage of a higher center of gravity because one of the crankshafts is placed above the other and away from the ground. The other reason is that a lot of exhaust pipes run beneath the engines.
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Basic Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Many people buy and pay for car insurance with the assumption that if something happens to the car, the company will pay for it. But unfortunately there are plenty of scenarios that are not covered by the insurance that might have resulted in heavy repair costs. The only way to avoid this is to purchase full coverage car insurance. This insurance has different types and this article discusses the same.

Types of full coverage car insurance
Following are the basic type of full coverage car insurance:

Liability insurance coverage
Liability insurance coverage is further broken down into two types of coverage; bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

  • Bodily injury liability: This is the coverage that pays for the medical and funeral damages for the any person or people injured or killed in the event of an accident for which, you were responsible. In addition, it pays for the legal charges if the other party sues you for being associated with the accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: This covers the damage caused by you or the other party. Instead of covering medical damages, it covers the damages caused to your as well as other people’s car. Like bodily injury liability, this insurance will also pay for the legal charges if the other party sues you for the damage.

Physical damage coverage
This coverage covers your property in the event of an accident. Physical damage coverage is divided in to two types; comprehensive coverage and collision coverage.

  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage covers your vehicle in case of damage and loss from things other than collision like hurricane disaster, tree falling on the car, theft, etc.
  • Collision coverage: This insurance coverage is for the damage to your car when it hits other vehicle or object. This coverage is designed to pay for the repairs and in some cases replace the car.

Uninsured motorist coverage
This is divided into two classes: uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage. Let us discuss each briefly.

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: If your vehicle is struck by the driver with no insurance, this coverage pays for your damage and the other people in the car. But if the driver who struck your car has insurance, but is not sufficient to pay for the damages, this insurance will also cover these charges.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: This insurance pays for your property if it gets damaged by an uninsured motorist. It works same as the uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage except it covers the property/car not the people.

How to Choose Right Seat for Children in Your Cars?

Adults can seat or adjust in a car seat but many parents confuse when choosing right seats for children in the car. However, for parents, keeping children in a safe state, it is the top most priority while they all are traveling together. There are many seats available in the market for children. Seats available in the market are convertible seats, booster seats, and combination seats. Some seats have special features with cup holders and detachable pillows for security and convenience. If you are thinking about how to choose a right seat for your children and what the leading causes for children accidents are, read the following.

The report of Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the main cause of death of children below 12 years is motor vehicle accidents. Over the past six years, many children below 12 years and youngsters were killed and some are injured in accidents. Due to the child restraining-rule made by the NHTSA, many lives have been saved over the past two years.

However, we all know that parents’ top priority is safety while driving on roads. They need, therefore, to do everything to protect the lives of children while driving. By choosing the right seat for children, parents can mostly secure their children every time when they are driving.

The effective way to keep your children safe in a moving vehicle is to use the child seat properly. While driving, adults should wear seat belts and should give the right seats for children to keep them in a safe position along with you. But, you need to check the features of different seats available in the market and choose the seat according to your needs. You can also take help of seat-sellers in choosing seats.
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Gasoline Versus Electric Powered Vehicles

Transportation is one of the major factors responsible for global warming and air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency estimations, approximately five tons of carbon dioxide produced by an average passenger vehicle in a year. It significantly contributed to the greenhouse effect. Most of the transportation at present is powered by gasoline or other petroleum products. There are several differences between electric vehicles and gasoline vehicles.

  • Aerodynamics: One of the major differences between gasoline and electric is are its body design. Electric vehicles are built for efficiency. So to get more mileage, the automakers are trying to reduce the drag in its design.

But some cars like Tesla Roadster or Model S look like luxury and more expensive. Most of these cars have unorthodox and weird designs. But these are having their own reasons for that.

  • Mileage: Electric cars get better fuel economy than traditional gasoline cars. Mileage is one of the biggest reasons for people showing interest towards electric cars. For an electric car, top range is 300 miles so far. But most of the cars are having the range below fifty miles. Automakers are offering gasoline engine along with electric motor for longer trips. In case of gasoline engines, the best mileage is forty miles per gallon.
  • Technology: The technology used in electric and gasoline are different to get the same result. The electric powered cars have an electric motor. To turn the crankshaft, the motor generates a magnetic field by getting the power from battery.

Cars powered by gasoline engine have an internal combustion engine. With a spark plug, the engine ignites a mixture of air and fuel and produces a series of explosions. These explosions turn the crankshaft and cause the car to move.

  • Considerations: Electric cars offer many advantages than gas cars. But there are a few things you need to know about them. According to United States of Department of Energy, the present battery technology available in the electric cars will take eight hours to recharge to its full range.

The driving range is between hundred to two hundred miles. When compared to the gasoline cars, a tank will give three hundred miles. There is much convenience even to fill the tank, within a few minutes the tank is filled with fuel and fuel filling stations are available in many places.

Gasoline vehicles are more advanced than electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are not newer than gasoline vehicles. Long ago, the pioneers of automobile are experimented with both power sources. At that time diesel or gasoline powered cars are the norm around the world and internal combustion engine has not become as a standard auto engine. Along with gasoline, electric hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles are reemerging in recent decades. Gas powered cars are still dominating the roads.
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