How Can You Winterize Your Car

Winter season brings in cheerful moments but it also leaves a trail of damage owing to the weather changes. Plumbing fixtures experience pipes frosting, while asphalt pavements suffer from freeze-thaw effects. But have you wondered what happens to your car during that time? Winter weather is tough to deal with. You need to prepare for this weather so that it does not leave you more stressed and in a loss. Winterizing your car can help protect it from the adverse effects of this harsh weather. 

Before the winter season approaches, you should make sure the tires are properly inflated. To handle the severe weather, you need to drive in tires, which are well inflated, and in good form. The air pressure on all tires should be checked and if below the required levels, the tires should be inflated. You may also consider buying special winter tires to replace the regular ones once winter arrives. This will save you the agony you go through on the roads as you drive to work or from work. 

During the cold weather, your car oil tends to thicken. This is something, which could cause slow flow of the oils between moving parts. Because of this, the engine can get extremely hot. You need to check the oil regularly, and make sure that is not too thick. 

Oil is used as a lubricant to make the moving parts to reduce friction and grinding. You need to have the right amount of oil that is in the correct viscosity for easy flow from part to part. In order to avoid problems during winter, you need to use oils with low viscosity. A thinner type of oil in times of winter may be recommended.

Your windshield wipers should function properly during winter. If you do not inspect them properly, windshield wipers may remain defective. These wipers tend to crack, breakdown or split. During the winter, you expect some heavy rains and snow, and this is the time you need the wipers to be functioning properly. You can restore them before the winter season begins. 

Antifreeze level should be inspected to make sure it is working as winter arrives. Antifreeze helps keep your engine from freezing. This helps reduce corrosion and malfunction of the engine. During the winter, you need to check your radiator time and again to ensure that there is equal amount of water and antifreeze. 

You do not want to have the coolant freezing, as this will make the engine extremely hot, something that may lead to blowing up of gaskets. These are costly to repair, and you need to make sure you prevent such problems by checking the level of antifreeze. 

As though not enough, you also need to make sure that your emergency kit is furnished with the necessary accessories and first aid products. If you are not used to keeping an emergency kit in a car, this is the high time you should have one. The kit should have all the items, which are needed for handle problems related with winter weather. Things like flashlight, flares, engine oil, ice scraper, washer fluid, coolant, blanket, and extra boots and gloves should be included in the kit.

What Are the Alternative Fuel Sources You Can Use For Your Car?

For many decades, cars have run on gasoline whether leaded gas, unleaded gas, or diesel. However, in the past few decades, scientists and motor engineers have been working towards having sustainable form of car fuel sources. Rather than cars running on gasoline, something which could deplete the resources in future, diversifying in the alternative fuel sources could bring in sustainable use of resources including the non renewable.

Some of the alternative fuels that have been developed are such as the hybrids, electric, bio diesel, and other gases. Hybrid cars are fuel-efficient cars, which are designed to use duel fuel. These cars have an average miles-per-gasoline-MPG of 40 to 50, which is very efficient. Hybrid cars are designed to use dual engine system.

The cars operate using internal combustion and electric. These two fuel components operate together to supplement one another where power needs are more. When you start the engine, you use electric power, and when you continue driving, and the car requires more power, the internal combustion of gas comes in to help the electric powering.

The two fuels supplement each other in such a way that the driver never feels anything is happening. Major car manufacturers are now using the hybrid fuel systems in their cars such as the Prius for Toyota, Leaf for the Nissan, and Hybrid for Honda. Other big brands have these cars including the BMW, Porche, and Lexus.

Electric cars with average miles-per-gallon-MPG of 76-115 make use of another form of fuel source. These cars work just like your phone. You plug it and charge it up, and like your computer or phone, when it is charged, it is ready to go. When the charge of the car is used up, you have to recharge. In electric cars, you also need to burn gasoline when needed just like the hybrid cars. With the electric cars, the total miles-per-gallon goes up because you travel more for less gasoline. You spend a fraction of gas when you use the electric cars.

Bio diesel cars have an average of 30 miles-per-gasoline. These are green technology cars, which use retrofitted engines that run using modified vegetable oil. You may not believe this but drivers drop to the local restaurants and take the used oil, which could have been thrown to the trash. That vegetable oil is then used as a fuel alternative.

One brand, which has such kind of cars, is the Volkswagen. One thing with these bio diesel cars is that the average miles-per-gallon does not change whether using complete bio diesel or having a blend of 80/20. The point is that you burn clean material, and there is less air pollution and carbon footprints.

There are other gas alternative cars, which run on water, hydrogen, compressed air, ethanol, and wooden pallets. If you are not using an alternative fuel source car, then you need to look for one. There is much in store from these cars and you will be amazed how you can use sustainable fuel options while reducing environmental degradation.

How to Prolong the Life Expectancy of your Car

Your car is an investment you should safeguard. You have invested a lot of money and in addition, you want to have a safe driving. If you want the car to last for many years, you need to take good care of it- there is no doubt about that. You should properly maintain the car to make sure it stays in good shape. A few things you need to do are such as checking and changing the oil as often as possible to make sure the engine is running fresh.

Changing filters helps in cleaning your engine and it ensures that the filters are not clogged. Another thing you should do is make sure that the coolant is kept in the right level while the tires are inflated to optimal pressure. Well! These things may focus more on the mechanical aspects of your car but what about the exterior part. The car’s exterior should also be maintained in excellent form.

The paint of the car can fade pretty fast if not protected. It is recommended that you store your car in shaded areas at the garage or underneath carports. If you cannot find shaded car park stall areas to pull in your car, you may consider at the very least, using a car cover. When you keep your car protected from the ultraviolet rays and rough weather, you slow down the paint oxidizing process. Like asphalt, paint also oxidizes when exposed to ultraviolet rays.

Having your vehicle checked on regular basis is another way of making sure it lasts for long. You need to watch your car for any abnormalities and consult an expert mechanics when you spot something unusual. Having a periodic professional look even when you do not sense something wrong is very important. This ensures that you identify any issues with the car early in advance.

The check ups are not only important in prolonging the life expectancy of your car but also for safety in use of the vehicle. You need to have a good mechanic by your side to handle your car.

When you are driving, you should make sure that you are keep and attentive. Driving at high speed and coming to sudden stops, you may feel that you are a pro. But this wears out your car.

The speeding and quick stops are only a waste of your gas, and remember something can happen unexpectedly like a pedestrian crossing. If you are in such high speeds, you risk knocking down the pedestrians or bumping into another car.

Avoiding short trips, helps keep your car in a better shape. Drivers think that it is only the lengthy tips, which put pressure on their vehicles, but the shorter ones are as well tough. The drives, which take under ten minutes, can cause a lot of wear and tear in your car. In a short distance trip, the engine of the car does not reach its optimal operating temperature.

What this means is that the water from the combustion of the engine remains within the vehicle and it is not expelled out, something, which may cause the car to rust and the oil to be diluted.

Extra weight puts stress on your vehicle whether it is on the roof or in the interior of the car. That extra weight can lead to other problem including wear and tear. Any heavy items that do not need to be in the car should be removed.

At Last Florida Bans texting When Driving

Florida is among the last states to enact a law that bans motorists from texting while they are driving. This is after a spate of increasing accidents, which are related to distractions caused by use of cell phones while driving. In Florida, from October 2013, texting while you drive is regarded as a non-moving traffic offense and it is enforced. 

What Florida Traffic Law says about Texting and Driving?

The testing law is not seen as that much strict, and it has somehow been criticized for not taking into consideration some aspects of phone use when driving. According to the law, cell phone users cannot text when they are driving their cars except when they are in traffic lights or using hands free devices that are cable of translating speech to texts. But can such phone use activities not also distract the attention of the driver? 

Another critical aspect in this texting law is that when you text while driving, this is regarded as a secondary traffic offense. What this means is that police may not be able to pull over a motorist who texts while driving if there is no other reason of doing so. 

The ban on texting while driving is enforced when police stops a driver and finds another offense other than the texting such as speeding. The ban is enforced if a driver is stopped for some or other reasons. A texting citation could be addition to something else such as a speeding ticket but it cannot stand on its own. 

What are the penalties for the Florida texting and driving offense?

Texting while driving may not subject you to a serious penalty such as suspension of license but it may be able to add more points to your record. A first offense for texting while you drive carries a fine of $30 while the second offense will attract a fine of $60. In addition, points could be added to your record if you have committed another offense in less than five years after the first offense. 

A driver who is involved in a very serious accident where texting is suspected to have caused such an accident, the police may pull the phone records to help find out if the accident really occurred when the motorist was texting. If it is found out that at the time of the crash, you were texting, you have six points added to your driving record. 

Although it took nearly five years before the law was enacted, it appears a little shallow and watery. It does not put more pressure on motorists to stop texting when they drive. The Florida state representatives are still fighting for a stricter law, which will see tougher rules, and regulations that govern the use of phones and texting while driving. This can go a long way in preventing road crash on the highways. 

And, what is the principal behind the ban

Texting when driving causes very serious form of distraction that prevents drivers from concentrating. If your car is travelling at 55 miles per hour, the time you take to read one text, your car could have travelled the distance of a football field. In 2012, there were close to 4500 car accidents, which were related to use of cell phones in Florida. About 250 of the accidents were directly linked to texting.

Tips on How to Pass Your Driving School Test

It is quite nervous when you are getting ready for your driver’s exam because you are afraid that you may fail. Anyone would be worried of course. But you do not have to go through that. There are tips that can help you pass the exam with flying colors and gain a fully licensed driver status. First, you have to study hard- that is a fact. But, one good thing is that you are studying only one little booklet, which makes it easier for you to memorize. In addition, much of the things you are studying are common knowledge.

These are the kind of questions you may come across: When you reach a school zone, you should…

A: Speed up your car

B: Close the eyes and proceed driving

C: Have a bad burnout

D: Slow down your car to the required speed limit

As you can see, the questions may not be easy, but there is some level of common sense to apply.

While you need to study hard, you also need to pay attention. When you are not in class studying, or practicing driving lessons, you need to watch what happens. You should watch things like how early people tend to signal, how pedestrians behave when they cross the road, and who gets on the way. Until you start learning how to drive, you may not pay attention on what happens on the road.

People often tend to turn their brains off when they use the roads. When you get into a car, you have to make it a learning opportunity. Attention to small details can help you pass the exam

Another thing you need to do is relax your body and mind. You are not the first and the last to undertake the driver’s exam. How many people do you think have taken this exam? Are these people better than you? Perhaps not! Then why would you be worried about an exam that has been taken by millions of people and millions have passed?

If others got their licenses, why not you? Many people fail in exams because of nervousness. You need to relax to allow your brain to think and focus without distractions. There is an old saying that practice makes perfect. If you want to do better in your exam, you have to practice.

Although there is the minimum number of hours, which have been set by the state, you should not stick to that rule. Strive to go beyond the set minimum driving hours. Take more hours of driving as this will equip you with more skills. Consider asking your parent or sister who is licensed to take you out for some extra training time but make sure you adhere to the local DMV rules.

The more training you have, the better you are in mastering the art of safe driving. This is a test examining driving skills and you need to know what kind of questions to expect in the exam. Things like legal speed limits, stopping distance, how you drive in crowded areas, and such kind of questions should be expected. In the practical part of the exam where you are behind the wheel, the instructor will tend to test your driving behavior especially where there are people around or using the road. The fluctuations in speed are tested here, so you need to know that.

In addition, parking is a critical element because you might have done so well in driving along the roads but when you reach the car park, you mess up. This is the last part before the test is complete, and you need to finish with a high note by ensuring that you are getting everything correct. Last but not least, you need to select the right-driving course, which not just enables you pass the exam, but makes you a better safer driver.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum presents itself in a ruined state today. But it was, in fact, the magnificent place and a center of host of activities 2000 years ago. After its glorious days were over, the Foro Romano was repeatedly damaged as it was looted to extract the building materials during middle ages.

However, the historians have called this site as unrivaled as it was the core of activities in the Roman Empire, which ruled supreme in Europe. Moreover, Rome has been credited for new horizon in the architecture and creating the institutions in almost every walk of life.

It would be appropriate to say that the Romans ruled the world from the Roman Forum, which is a small patch of land measuring up to five acres. But once the Roman Empire collapsed after the fall of Julius Caesar, the northern European invaders looted the forum to its decay in the fourth and fifth centuries.

At its peak of Roman civilization, the Roman Forum was the center of activities in social and political life of the people. The Forum was also the business center and town hall. The importance of the Forum can be cited by the fact that it had the seat of law courts and government.

The Roman Forum

If we look closely at the ruins of the Roman Forum, we find a main street called Via Sacra. This is the street where emperors and victorious generals held parades that ended at Temple of Jupiter situated at Capitoline Hill. But the temple of Faustina and Antoninus are still preserved due to their conversion into the Christian church. The visitors can clearly see the columns of Basilica Emilia and the law courts that were built in the 2nd century BC. The visitors can also see a plaque in the name of Venus Cloacina.

You will also see the Curia, which was once the seat of the senate in the times of Julius Caesar. Also, burial place and arch of Septimius Serverus can also be located here by the visitors. When Julius Caesar came back from the Gaul wars, he built a temple Basilica Julia. Its structure also can be seen around in the ruins.  Then, there are temples of Pollux and Castor, which are considered as the oldest in the Forum. Today these temples are nothing but a pile of scattered stones. You will also see Temple of Vesta and House of the Vestal Virgins.

Basilica Maxentius was one of the last buildings erected at Roman Forum and it shows the expertise of the Romans in using the concrete for building. There is also an antiquarian that preserves the sculpture, mosaic and architecture recovered from the ruins at the Forum over the years.

A note of caution to those who have some inability in walking that the area is not convenient to visit on wheelchair. Both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are difficult areas to walk on due to ruins. All the surrounding areas are bumpy and rough terrain with lots of stones scattered around.

The Puymartin Castle in Dordogne

Puymartin castle is one of the most visited sites in France. The castle has a long history which interests the visitors. They also tour the site for its architecture and interiors, which have furniture and other royal items of those times. The castle is sitting between Les Eyzies and Sarlat, center of Perigord Noir region. This region is of Dordogne department. This castle also is known for its major role in the Hundred Years War. Then, the castle was also involved in the Wars of Religion.

The Puymartin castle in Dordogne is from 13th century. Since then it has seen the episode of destruction and reconstruction. In fact, this castle is one of the hundreds of such castle built in this region during 12th to 14th centuries which were the turbulent times due to wars between France and England.

The castle of Puymartin remained in ruined until major reconstruction works restored it back in 15th century once the chaotic periods of wars were over finally. The castle changed hands many times for centuries. First the French and English emperors took hold of the castles. Later, the castle was occupied by Catholics and the Protestants of Sarlat in wars between them. Consequently, the castle again suffered damages heavily during the wars of Religion.

The Puymartin Castle in Dordogne

The last time Puymartin Castle was subject of controversy and dispute was in 17th century. At that time, the decedents of the royal family – Jean de Saint-Clar and Suzanne quarreled for over 40 years about the ownership of the castle, and later Suzanne finally took the control of the castle. The turbulent times for the castle did not end there as it was again abandoned. The process of restoration finally started in the 19th century when the current owner of the castle took control. Many modifications to the castle were ensured by the family.

When the tourists visit the Puymartin castle in Dordogne, they come across a beautiful location that is in the midst of forest and hill. Though the castle has seen many phases of restoration, the original structure and architecture remains the same and impressions from historic past are very much ensured for the visitors. You will see those defensive walls, main building, central courtyard and a wholly medieval castle in fully glory.

A good look at the inside of the castle takes you back to the historic times due to the furnishings, spiral staircase, decoration of bedroom with Aubusson tapestries, meditation room, paintings from the 17th century and so on. For the tourists, the castle is open from April to November.

As happens with most of the castles from history, Puymartin castle in Dordogne also has its stories of ghost. It is said that ghost of Therese de Saint-Char dressed in white sometimes visits the castles. She had died in a small room where here husband locked her for 15 years after seeing her with a lover. You may or may not believe in this story. But the castle is worth visiting for its spectacular architecture from outside and inside as well as its turbulent history.

The London Underground

The London underground is one of the main attractions for the tourists from the world over. The transportation facility not only facilitates easy and smoother traveling to the Londoners, but carries many features that are unique and designed to make the service more impressive and attractive for the commuters.

Called also as The Tube, the London Underground trains are responsible for carrying more than 1100 million people within the city of London. To take the people from one end of the city to the other, the Tube trains have to cover a huge distance of 114, 000 miles per year. Average speed of the trains in the Tube is around 20 miles per hour. However, when compared to the rail lines falling under the network, the tunnels have a share of just 45 percent.

One of the facts to know about the London Underground is that the longest tunnel runs up to 17 miles between Morden and East Finchley. The tunnel network has 420 escalators. The highest number of 23 escalators is at Waterloo station, while the Angel station boasts of the longest escalators at 197 feet, rising vertically to 90 feet. The shortest escalator of 13 feet is at Stratford.

London Underground trains

The London Underground has a total of 164 lifts, which include stair-based lifts and passenger conveyors. If you want to experience the deepest lift shafts that is 180 feet deep, then visit Hampstead in the tunnel. You can also enjoy riding the shortest lift shaft of only 7.5 feet at King’s Cross. When traveling through the Tube, notice also the vertical lift platforms. The highest such platform is at Walthamstow, having a platform raised up to 6.5 feet.

The London Underground has 270 stations. However, only 260 are managed fully. There are 4130 carriages and the strength of the staff goes up to 1900 employees. The highest number of 10 platforms is at Baker Street, while Moorgate has the lowest, only 6 platforms.

If you go by the most of number of people visiting the platform, the Waterloo holds the record. More than 57,000 passengers travel by entering this platform during the peak hours in the morning. Overall number of passengers entering Waterloo goes above 80 million annually.

When taking a look at its history, the London Underground started its journey in 1908 when its name was first coined by the authorities. It was previously known as the Tube. Logo of the Tube was the Roundel and was launched in 1908. In 2003, the London Underground was handed over to the Transport for London.  Another fact that spells the usefulness of the Underground is that over one billion passengers traveled through the Tube during 2010-11. In this period, trains covered around 69 million kilometers, which are 1700 rounds of the earth.

Despite being such over crowded train service, the London Underground gets high customer ratings for its excellent services. Surely, the Underground is a memorable visit for the tourists when they are in London and want to experience the world underneath the ground.

The Eiffel Tower Paris

The Eiffel Tower charms everyone by its unique tall structure that points to the sky majestically. The tower continues to be the iconic site in Paris and symbolizes the city in a big way. It is also one of the 7 wonders of the world. To witness its structure and wonderful creation, millions of people visit this site every year.

Here are some of the features about the Eiffel Tower, which is standing in the very center of Paris, France. First of all, know that the tower was designed by architect Gustave Eiffel. Now in 2013, the tower is 124 years old structure. It is around 984-990 feet tall, with its height fluctuating as per the changes in temperature. The tower was finished as a project on March 31, 1889. Due being a tall building, the tower is used for telegraphy activities and radio transmission today. Every seven years, the tower gets painted to keep its shine and impression on the viewers. It is dark brown in color and has 108 storeys. Until 1930, the tower remained the tallest building in the world.

The Eiffel Tower Paris

One of the key features of the Eiffel Tower is that it has a weather station at the top. Its tall structure also is useful for navigation purpose. The observation platform at the top of the tower is big enough to stand 800 people. To climb the tower, you need to take stairways for first and second levels of heights. Then, to climb up further, you have access to the lift. So, for the fist level up to 57m, you will be going on foot. At this height you can visit a small museum called Cineiffel, which will display the brief history of the tower.

The tower’s height can be gauged from the fact that you need to take 710 steps from the ground to the observational platform at the top. However, do not worry if you are not strong enough to climb the tower on foot. There are large lifts that will take you from the ground to the top.

Another interesting feature of Eiffel Tower for visitors is that it has restaurants just beneath it. The restaurant Alltitude 95 is located at the first level while Jules Verne, another restaurant for the visitors, is at the second level of the height. The visitors can rest and relax at these restaurants and enjoy superb food. Jules Verne is also easily one of the most sought-after restaurants in Paris. So, take a good look at the city from top while you enjoy great food.

When you reach to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the panoramic scenery and view of the city stuns and mesmerizes. If the weather is permitting and sky is clean with full sunlight, you can see up to 72 km from the top of the tower. Visit the tower in the night and you have even more spectacular view of the city with lights glimmering from everywhere and leaving you stunned with memories that never fade.

Schonbrunn Palace Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace is one of the chief tourist attractions in Vienna. The site was a hunting ground once until the time Queen Maria Theresa created the palace on it. When tourists visit the palace, they are immediately impressed by overwhelming presence of huge but excellent gardens and grounds. The palace has magnificent architecture that takes you back in the time and fills you with the satisfaction of seeing an extraordinary site of palace interiors.

Just about 4 miles away from the center of Vienna, Schonbrunn Palace is today known for its magnificent architecture. With more than 1400 rooms, the palace shows visitors about the life and times of the royals. The palace boast of being one of the most appreciated culture asset. Popularity of the Palace can be gauged from the fact that more than 2.82 million tourists visit its architecture per year. Six million people visit the Park and the other facilities. Considering its cultural importance, the Palace was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list of sites since 1996.

schönbrunn palace vienna austria

A special tour of Schonbrunn Palace allows you to have a closer look at the vast space of the rooms and their architecture. You enter the Palace through a huge and imposing door. The tour inside of the Palace starts at the west wing. Here, you will visit the massive apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and wife, Elisabeth. There are many apartments in the Palace and all of them have a rich 19th century furnishing. The apartments once occupied by parents of Emperor Franz Joseph are also magnificent for their architectural beauty and richness of arts.

The park around Schonbrunn Palace is hugely popular with the Viennese people and international tourists. The park stretches up to 1.2 km and is inseparable part of the Palace. Since 1996, the park too was included in the world heritage site of the UNESCO.  The Park and the nature jell well with the architecture of the Palace. The layout of the gardens is in keeping with the Baroque principle that a palace architecture and nature must reflect each other. This layout of the gardens has been kept the same since its inception during the last years of Maria Theresa.

Schonbrunn Palace is not just all about the architecture. The Palace also is home to imperial children museum, conference centre and imperial furniture collection. The children museum takes us back to 250 years ago and gives us a view of life that imperial family and children led. Visitor children can dress up a princess, prince, servant or maid and have pictures taken in those imperial dresses.

The conference centre at the Palace is the venue for ideas and debates that imperials had for wellbeing. You can visit the imperial dispensary also. The Imperial furniture collection is perhaps preferred by the visitors to have a closer look at the design of the royal furniture and taste of the family. The Imperial Furniture Museum displays several furnishing styles ranging from Biedermeier to the Viennese Modern.

Schonbrunn Palace is thus one of the most sought-after sites that the tourists from across the world love to visit for architecture and history.