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Believing the £200m pothole fund will improve roads

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When Chancellor George Osborne outlined the 2014 Budget he mentioned an MP who’d influenced him in their decisions.

My Honourable Friend for Northampton North is a consistent campaigner for resources to repair the potholes in the constituency and across the country.

His persistence has paid off.

I’m making £200million available which local authorities can bid for. I trust Northampton will be making an application.

£200m pothole repair fund

The MP involved is Michael Ellis, who has campaigned for added funding to tackle potholes for many years.

He recently handed in a petition to 11 Downing St, signed by more than 1,200 of his constituents.

I am absolutely delighted that these funds happen to be allocated, said Ellis.

This really is a commitment with the Chancellor at a time when there’s a lot of pressure on treasury funds.””, though Naturally, one could always ask for more””

The cash will be allocated via a bidding process, and also the system and timescale with this is currently under discussion.

State of the nation’s roads

Partly because of a backlog of repairs and also because of severe weather, the state of the UK’s roads has declined in recent years.

Harsh winters are particularly hard on roads as water goes into existing cracks, expands as ice and makes them bigger, while persistent flooding weakens the road’s structure.

In Scotland, it had been revealed that local councils were spending a lot more than £1,600 a day on compensation for drivers whose cars happen to be damaged by potholes.

By hitting a pothole in the last two years, plus a survey from the AA in 2013 said that a third of drivers have damaged their vehicle.

£10.5bn needed to restore roads

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) publishes an annual report each spring on the health of the roads in Wales and England.

The latest report, published in March 2013, it stated that it would take £10.5 billion to bring back those roads to a reasonable condition.

So, while transport campaigners welcomed any additional funds announced by the Chancellor in his 2014 Budget, many also expressed disappointment.

£200m ‘not enough’ say transport campaigners

Tony Ball is vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s Economy and Transport Board.

Our company is facing a 42% increase in traffic on local roads by 2040 and there is a £10.5 billion backlog of road repairs.

The situation is getting worse each and every year because of a £500 million annual funding shortfall.

We urge government to provide a comprehensive and full package, such as the resurfacing of roads, instead of funding in dribs and drabs.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: It is disappointing that the £200million made available inside the budget needs to be bid for.

This produces a bureaucratic burden and means that not all drivers and councils will see the benefits.

The best way to claim for pothole damage

If you have comprehensive car insurance, it can be possible to claim against that for pothole damage to your car.

This will likely count being an at-fault claim and affect your no-claims bonus, however.

So, it’s worth calculating the benefit of having the car repaired relatively promptly up against the longer-term result on your premiums.

But you can even claim for pothole damage from the local council or perhaps the Highways Agency.

Read our step-by-step help guide to claiming for pothole damage, including information on how to report a pothole.

http://www.imxauto.com/

Be The Cool Parent, and Adventure

I’m not a person to use the word “blessed” fairly often. I’m not particularly religious though I have got had a Bar Mitzvah and i also do want to celebrate religious holidays from all walks of life. With regards to living in Southern California and having a household and seeking to take them to memorable, wonderful place, I can truly point out that I am blessed. So are you if you live here too. In a winter in which nearly all our country is literally buried under actual yards of snow, we relish the chance to put on a sweater. Not just is our weather far superior to anyone else’s in the states, we also have a great deal of unparalleled family destinations that happen to be enriching, entertaining and memorable. Sure, we certainly have Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farms, and Sea World – those are common great and certainly worthy of children outing – but we have so much more! California is home to 59 National Parks! Many of them you’ve probably been aware of, but most of them you certainly haven’t. It’s amazing!

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No talk about family destinations in SoCal will be complete without mentioning – Nay, praising! – Yosemite. It’s not among the most visited National Parks in the country by mistake. It contains many of the most famous geological landmarks in the country, including Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Earlier this year, Yosemite was first page news as two rock climbers ascended the towering wall, El Capitan, without having ropes. This is simply not a family friendly activity! The remainder of the park is, however. I suggest a place that may be more of the opposite if you’ve already been to Yosemite. Death Valley is an unbeatable winter destination. It’s called Death Valley because there is no water anywhere just remember. You need to bring your own personal. And if both you and your family fancy an off-road adventure, be sure you’re piloting the right car. For my money, you can’t beat a brand new hybrid Nissan Pathfinder.

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As you can see, it’s wildly spacious, but that’s only the beginning. You can carry everything else, even though not only can you store all of the water that your particular family will need! And with its surprising fuel efficiency and hybrid engine, one tank of gas will suffice for the whole weekend. It’s great for off road offers and driving such safety and comfort that you and your family will be appreciating the dynamic, unique landscape and not fretting about the heat.

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If you are planning on doing a bit of great exploring with your family, do yourself a favor and get the proper SUV to make certain comfort and safety. Use the internet to either Nissan Cerritos or Downtown Nissan and find an ideal vehicle for you personally!

http://www.imxauto.com/

Why Drug Driving Could Risk Your Life

Drugs And Pills

A year ago, I wrote about the fairly complex procedure for investigating a motorist suspected of drug-driving.

That the driving is impaired for that reason, though at the moment, the tests police must conduct involve not only proving that a driver is under the influence of drugs.

The existing legislation states that: An individual who, when driving or seeking to drive a [mechanically propelled vehicle] on the road or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence.

But the law is changing to remove the vast majority of difficulties police have at the moment in proving a motorist is unfit to drive.

Drug driving law change

If somebody has a certain level of drugs in their system – and this includes legal drugs – there will be no reason to prove how the motorist was impaired in any way, instead.

So, a motorist may feel completely fine to operate a vehicle but their blood level is exactly what counts.

Is drug driving a real issue?

It appears that drug driving remains a main objective for the public.

An annual survey for the Department for Transport looks at road-safety attitudes and behaviour among the British population.

The most up-to-date survey, from August 2013, found 28% of folks chose drug driving as one of the top five road-safety issues for that government to address.

Drink driving topped the list, followed by speeding and using a handheld cellphone at the wheel.

New drug driving test

Currently, the exam for drug driving involves proving a motorist’s driving was impaired.

But proving a driver is impaired and that the impairment is caused by a drug can be complex and requires an element of subjectivity.

The government has held two consultations to improve the law to make things easier for the police.

These concluded last month with public approval of recommended legal limits for 16 different drugs (both prescribed and illegal).

How will this modification and when?

The latest regulations will transform the offence of drug driving to be more like drink driving, with prescribed limits.

They are likely to come into force in autumn 2014.

The Department for Transport is trying to force through a zero tolerance approach to deter people from taking drugs and driving.

This is similar to those of Europe.

It is important to note that the limits will not be set at zero, as drugs taken for medical ailments can be absorbed in the body to produce trace effects.

Different prescription medication is broken down at different speeds and that is reflected in the varying limits, expressed in microgrammes per litre of blood (µg/L), below:

Drug driving limits: Illegal drugs

1. Benzoylecgonine, 50 µg/L (Incorporated into cocaine)

2. Cocaine, 10 µg/L

3. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabinol and cannabis), 2 µg/L

4. Ketamine, 20 µg/L

5. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), 1 µg/L

6. Methylamphetamine – 10 µg/L

7. Methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA – ecstasy), 10 µg/L

8. 6-Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – heroin and morphine), 5 µg/L

Drug driving limits: General prescription drugs

1. Clonazepam, 50 µg/L

2. Diazepam, 550 µg/L

3. Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L

4. Lorazepam, 100 µg/L

5. Methadone, 500 µg/L

6. Morphine, 80 µg/L

7. Oxazepam, 300 µg/L

8. Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

What can I do to be certain I drive within the law?

In the case of some prescription drugs, lots of people are unaware that getting in the car can result in a criminal offence being committed.

I suspect many medicines will contain more noticeable warnings when the new laws are introduced.

However, anyone taking regular medicine which you have been taking for years may wish to consult with your doctor about the limits and safe dosages.

Take a taxi if uncertain: the penalty for the offence, as with drink driving, is really a minimum disqualification of 12 months and a maximum of half a year in prison.

Jeep Renegade Might Be For You

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Joining the emerging subcompact SUV segment, started by the Nissan Juke, and shortly to include the Chevrolet Trax and Honda H-RV, Jeep has tapped its global resources to build up the Renegade. Built in Italy and spun off the Fiat 500L platform, the Renegade is a tall, relatively roomy small vehicle with abundant brand styling cues and youthful attitude. It offers two familiar engines: a 160-hp, 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The Renegade will be offered within a TrailHawk configuration, equipped for Jeep-worthy off-roading, as with the greater Cherokee. Likewise, it will also give a broad range of active safety measures.

Touring the Facilities

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Touring car dealerships is a crucial a part of the car buying process just like any. Not least one of them the importance of your comfort and the fact that you’ll be bringing your car back to the dealership long after the original purchase for those who have any type of warranty or service package, there are a multitude of reasons you should tour a dealership before you make a purchase.

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If you may have a tour, once you visit a car lot, simply ask the salesperson who you’re utilizing. They’re usually happy to accommodate you. Be sure they know that you would like to see more than just the car lot. Of course, you’ll want to walk around the lot and see every one of the available cars. But ask to see in the dealership too. Talk to people inside, see your salesperson’s office, and ensure that you check out the service center. The service center might be it is important to view. When you buy a new car, it often comes with a warranty or package that includes basic service for the first few numerous years of the cars’ life. Should your car comes along with this, this means that you’ll be going to the service center at a dealership like Redlands Nissan each time you need an oil change or tire rotation.

Obviously, while you’re walking around seeing the dealership, you’re getting a chance to get to know your salesperson too and during this time you may assess if you think they’re an excellent match for yourself. If they demonstrate something that isn’t right for you, do you feel comfortable conversing with them about what you want in a car and letting them know no? A dealership tour somewhere like Metro Nissan Redlands is a great way to familiarize yourself with both the staff and dealership.

Dealers not always thrilled about electric cars

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You might think that if you go to a car dealership that sold electric cars, a salesperson would want to sell you one. But that that’s true only some of the time, a months-long survey by Consumer Reports reveals. And that’s the case with some brands more than others. (Watch our video below on the issue surrounding Tesla and car dealers in numerous states.)

After several consumers who desired to buy a plug-in car reported to us that some dealerships were steering them toward gas-powered models, we decided to find out how salespeople answered their questions about electric cars and whether or not they were inspired to buy an EV or directed toward other models. In total, 19 secret shoppers went to 85 dealerships in four states, making their anonymous visits between December 2013 and March 2014.

We also had our shoppers record the amount of plug-in vehicles each dealership had in store and which models to view whether salespeople were just trying to sell anything they had located on the lot.

To gauge the salespeople’s knowledge about electric cars, our secret shoppers asked a number of specific questions on the vehicles. Questions covered tax breaks along with other incentives, vehicle charge time, cost, and options, vehicle range, and battery warranty and life. In addition they asked the salespeople whether they recommended buying or leasing.

We found out that whether salespeople encourage the sale of an electric car or discourage shoppers from purchasing one seems to have all the to do with their knowledge about plug-in cars similar to the number the dealership has in stock. And a few automakers seem to have better-trained sales people than others.

Find out more about electric hybrids and cars in your guide to alternative fuels and cars.

Chevrolet Volt

Overall, many dealership salespeople were much less knowledgeable about electric cars as you might expect. While we discovered several very knowledgeable salespeople at some dealerships, few provided accurate and specific answers about battery battery and life warranties. And many seemed not to have an effective understanding of electric-car tax breaks as well as other incentives or of charging needs and costs. Many also didn’t manage to recognize that for folks who intend to select an electric car, the reasons for leasing are broader than for ordinary cars, including that you don’t have to hold off until tax a chance to receive a generous tax incentive.

We also found a strong correlation between the salesperson’s knowledge about electric cars along with their propensity to encourage people to get them. If it came to answering basic questions, we found that salespeople at Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan dealerships tended to become better informed than those at Toyota and Honda, with a notable distinction between Chevrolet and Toyota. This jibes in what we’ve located in talking to other representatives from these automakers. Ford, General Motors, and Nissan have made significant investments in plug-in vehicles, while they seem to be an afterthought in the Honda and Toyota lineups, and seem to lack corporate support. Rather than emphasize plug-Toyota, ins and Honda have been focusing their efforts on developing fuel-cell vehicles.

Toyota salespeople, especially, were more likely to discourage the sale of plug-in models and less likely to give accurate or specific solutions to basic questions about electric cars or to say they didn’t know.

For instance, when asked about the battery warranty and just how long the electric-car battery would last, one salesperson at Culver City Toyota in California said the Prius Plug-in required a battery replacement “every few years.” Perhaps they were discussing the car’s standard 12-volt starter battery, which our surveys have revealed require more frequent replacement than in other cars.

A sales manager at Manhattan Ford in New York City, the sole Ford dealership actually properties of the automaker, at first denied there was a Focus EV, and then said it couldn’t be leased. Both statements are incorrect.

When asked about a Prius Plug-in, a salesperson at Star Toyota Scion of Bayside, N.Y., would not even show our shopper the car, despite having one out of stock.

A lot of the Toyota dealerships we visited recommended against buying a Prius Plug-in and suggested investing in a standard Prius hybrid instead. That might be good advice: In your own tests, we found the Prius Plug-in offered a scant mileage edge over the standard Prius at a huge additional cost. The outcome were mixed and not significant., even though (We spoke to a couple of Toyota dealers about buying a RAV4 EV)

Unsurprising, our shoppers also judged dealers without having electric cars on the lot to have less knowledge of EVs than those with a greater selection.

Relatively few dealers had a large collection of plug-in cars. Most had only a few plug-in vehicles on hand. Only 15 of your 85 dealers we surveyed had a lot more than 10 vehicles on-hand. This severely limited the number of colors and trims available.

Salespeople who had few electrics to choose from generally fell into two opposite camps when asked why. The most common answers, given by 21 dealerships, were that the cars were very popular or out of stock. The next most typical answers were “lack of consumer interest” and “nobody buys them.” A middle camp stated it was because automakers don’t build lots of or that electric cars are new technology.

California dealers were likely to convey more cars around the lot than average, and New and Maryland York dealers had fewer. Honda dealers had fewer cars on the lot than other dealers.

Overall, our secret shoppers reported that only 13 dealers “discouraged sale of EV,” with seven of them being in New York. The majority of those stores had virtually no inventory. However, at 35 of the 85 dealerships they visited, our shoppers said salespeople recommended buying a gas-powered car instead. Besides the standard Prius, some of these cases sounded like reasonable advice. For example, one salesperson suggested a Nissan SUV instead of a Leaf when our shopper told him she had a commute that will stretch the Leaf’s range.

In the end, most salespeople seemed to have the consumer’s interest at heart, though a few were clearly not interested selling a plug-in car they knew little about. Still, even at the least knowledgeable dealership visited for this project, our secret shopper said they felt positive regarding the experience overall.

For that matter-do your homework and don’t count on the dealership for education about this intriguing technology if you’re purchasing a plug-in car-or any car. Instead, utilize the visit for hands-on experience necessary to make the most efficient buying decision.

How Speeding Can Make You Go Far

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Dear Lifehacker,

I actually have a simple question: does speeding really help you get to your destination any faster? I are typically a more conservative driver and yes it drives my boyfriend crazy (who always goes 10mph over the speed limit. I’m pretty sure that between red lights and traffic, there’s not sufficient time saved for it to even matter. Which one folks is right? 23

Sincerely,

Drive Smarter, Not Faster

Dear Smarter,

If you’re trying to figure out whether speeding makes it worth while is the legal cost, well, the first thing to establish. Even if we might prove that speeding is actually a more efficient method to get from one location to another, it’s illegal and fines might cost hundreds of dollars. Not to mention the increased potential for getting into an auto accident. For your safety of everybody on the road, maintain the possible consequences in mind while driving.45678

That being said, we won’t pretend that speeding isn’t a fairly common occurrence. In most states, you can get away with under 10mph on the speed limit. For reference sake, we’ll take a look at exactly how much an extra 10mph can help.

Mathematically, Speeding Only Helps On Long Car Trips910

Before we account for traffic lights, other drivers, or delays, let’s examine some elementary math. We’ll look at some different length trips-say, 15, 30 and 50 and 500 miles-as well as several different speeds. This chart shows just how long each trip would take at the speed limit, the length of time it would take at 10 mph over it, and how much time you save by speeding: 1112

Does Speeding Really Enable You To Get There Any Faster?

SEXPAND

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As you can see, unless you’re going on a really long car trip, enough time savings for speeding are actually pretty minimal. By far the most time saved on a trip shorter than 500 miles is approximately 12 minutes (Trip G above). However, that’s on a journey that’s already an hour long. Consider traffic lights and congestion (which we’ll get to in a bit) and those savings can disappear quickly.17181920

The better the speed limit is already, the less time you save by exceeding it, not more,. That’s what’s more fascinating. This might seem counter intuitive. The faster you’re traveling in the first place, the more you must exceed the pace limit to achieve the same proportionate increase. If the speed limit is 35 mph and you’re going 45 mph, you’re traveling nearly 30% faster than the speed limit. That’s only about a 15% increase.21 if the speed limit is 65 mph and you’re going 75 mph

Ironically, the one situation in which speeding results in any substantial gains-during a long car trip on high speed freeways-occurs when mild speeding helps the very least. Obviously you are able to increase those time savings by traveling even faster, but once you break the rate limit by more than 10 mph, you lose the indulgence of many law enforcement officers. This is a bad idea over the board.

Almost All Theoretical Gains are Lost In Traffic22

Math is fun and all, but it’s not that indicative of real life. During high traffic hours or in heavily populated areas, the hypothetical time savings go out your window. For starters, you can’t maintain any constant speed, a lot less one that exceeds what all others is traveling at. Every time you stop at a traffic light you lose gains as your vehicle slows down approaching the intersection, while you wait for the light to transform green, and while you accelerate back up to speed again.23

Again revisiting Trip G in the chart above, let’s imagine that over the course of that 50 mile trip, you encounter 25 traffic lights (or one every two miles), each with the potential for a typical 30-45 second wait time. This means the possible time lost at red lights is anywhere between 12.5 to 18.75 minutes. Now, you’ll face these delays regardless of how fast you travel in between the lights. In the Trip G example, speeding will, at best, counteract the losses at red lights, and also at worst, those red lights will reduce your 12 minute savings as a result of about 6 minutes over a 50 mile trip that’s already overtaking an hour.2425262728…30

Although you may make the argument that a 50 mile trip would occur mostly in the freeway, that doesn’t help us. As we established earlier, speeding doesn’t help freeway driving nearly as much. The difference between Trip G (at 45 mph) and Trip I (at 65 mph) above is a six minute savings loss. Even without the lights, you still lost half your savings. And let’s be real, over a 50 mile trip, it’s still pretty likely you’re going to encounter a couple (dozen) traffic lights along the way.

To put all of these savings of some minutes into perspective, let’s assume the standard speeding ticket cost is $150. To ensure six minutes of your time for you to be worth $150, you would have to make $1,500/hour or about $3,000,000 each year.313233

, the amount of red lights you’ll encounter, the length of time you’ll spend each and every, and the density of traffic will vary widely by your area.Now and obviously In many cities, you could potentially travel a complete 50 miles without encountering a single traffic light. In others, you’ll pass through 25 signals every two miles. However, this only emphasizes the point: your speed is only one from the factors that you’ll encounter while driving and many of the things that determine how long your trip takes are away from your control.

There Are a Few Things That Can Help

We can easily more or less conclude that speeding only helps you save a marginal amount of time, if it saves any at all. However, there are still a number of things you can do to operate more efficiently that actually helps and doesn’t risk getting in trouble with law enforcement or an accident:

Plan out multi-stop trips efficiently: If you’re planning to go to more than one location, the best thing you can do is to plan the most efficient route before you leave. Even some extra forethought can prevent backtracking, which will save far more time than speeding., though there’s no perfect way to do this and in fact, here is the subject of a notable logistics problem)

Avoid left turns: While you’re preparing your route, or if you simply come across the decision while you’re out, choosing a right turn instead of a left one will not just save time, but gas also. If you’re choosing between two gas stations on opposite sides of the road, the one in the right is going to take less time to reach., although this doesn’t mean you will need to ban left turns entirely in favor of ridiculous right turn schemes

Prefer roundabouts when available: In the rare event you could choose between a route containing a four-way stop and a roundabout, the roundabout will be a more efficient system of coordinating traffic, although roundabout-style intersections may not be quite typical in the United States. Other things being equal, obviously.343536

Obviously, the best way to buy your destination sooner is to leave earlier. That advice might be impractical and trite at times-everyone runs late occasionally-but leaving your house ten minutes earlier is a much more reliable way to save time and comes with considerably fewer risks.

Things You Can do To Upgrade Your Quality of Life for Cheap

Sometimes we obtain stuck in being down in the dumps and we get tired of located in the kind of life we are living in. If self unhappiness and doubt, it could be a spiral downward that gets us distracted by a whirlwind. But that’s silly – life is precious. As far as we understand, we are the sole life from the entire solar system (of course, expand to nearby galaxies and think about the great timeline of the universe, it would be statistically impossible that we’re the sole life ever to live). So, cheer up, and turn across a new leaf with these great ideas for turning that frown upside down.

Buy Yourself a New Set of Wheels

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Now – new cars are expensive, so we’re not implying that you should go to the nearest Mercedes dealer and have yourself some 100,000 dollar car. But sometimes just obtaining a different car is all you should make your day a brighter day. By helping cover their old, in with new. So, go to the used cars cerritos and locate something affordable and get choosing that new car. The thing is, you can trade your current car in and in all likelihood get a reasonable deal on a new one. Doesn’t matter what exactly it is, just a new challenge. The options are almost limitless at McPeek Dodge so don’t delay!

Kitchen Appliances

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An additional way to upgrade your life is to get some new kitchen appliances that may increase your quality of life. Sometimes we believe there are certain things we can’t have and we have to go to the store for such items and therefore can cost money, money we don’t think we have and thus we don’t get these matters. So, you should get an espresso maker and make those Americanos you send $4 on at Starbucks. Also, an in-depth fryer to help make homemade wings (you can’t win friends with baked wings) is an additional life upgrade. Also a blender, so you can make delicious and healthful smoothies.

Shop at H&M

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Or otherwise boring and lame, sometimes we get down in the dumps because our clothes are ratty and old. By going to a shop like H&M where the clothing is cool looking and not all that expensive, you can remedy that. It’s amazing how far you can stretch the dollar at H&M and come out looking like a top-notch shelf model. It’s going to help you get up and go at the beginning of your day when you try looking in the mirror and see a handsome fella staring back at you who clearly has a self confidence that may be unrivaled by others that he or she may be interacting with on a daily basis. It’s a fantastic method of getting a better self image.

So there you may have it, you’ll look cool, eat wings, and have a new set of wheels. It’s a great way to turn that life upward! Get ready world!

These Hybrid Engines Might Save Your Life

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The most frequent hybrid cars are petrol-electric, like the Prius. In addition, there are actually one or two high-torque electric motor-generators, although petrol-electric hybrid cars work with a normal petrol engine, just like you’d discover in any other car. The motor-generator(s) draw power from a bunch of car batteries stored either in the floorpan of your car (for a low centre of gravity) or in the rear (for convenience). With power supplied to the motor-generator, it behaves just like an electric motor. When no power is supplied but the shaft is turning, it becomes a generator to create power. In this mode, you get regenerative braking, the location where the energy expected to slow the car down is perhaps all taken up in the motor-generator to re-charge the battery packs. Both the petrol engine and also the motor-generator(s) are associated with an onboard computer system which has been programmed by men in white coats to work as efficiently as you possibly can. There are three mainstream technologies in the hybrid market during the time of writing, each championed from a different company or band of companies. Note: Hybrid drives can be the standard drivetrains from front wheel only to 4-wheel drive, although the diagrams below all show rear wheel drive for comfort of explanation.

IMA – integrated motor assist (Honda)

honda hybridHonda Integrated motor assist hybrid drivetrain

The motor-generator (electric motor and regenerative generator) is in-line with all the petrol engine, typically built in the bell-housing in front of the gearbox. The motor-generator is used to support the petrol engine, thus reducing the load on it and allowing it to be smaller than it might otherwise be for a vehicle of the same weight. For example the Civic hybrid uses a 1.3l engine in which the non-hybrid utilizes a 1.8l engine. The motor-generator cannot turn without turning the petrol engine too. First, generation systems didn’t have enough power to be able to run the car on electric alone. Current generation ones do through higher powered motors and the cabability to shutoff the petrol engine when coasting. The regenerative braking works very simply – while you start to brake, the motor becomes the generator, because the motor-generator is within-line. Conversely additionally it is used as being the primary starter motor for spinning the petrol engine up quickly after it has been switched off, for example at traffic lights. There is also a backup ‘regular’ starter motor for cold-starts and emergencies. From the three mainstream hybrid technologies, IMA is undoubtedly the simplest to implement, maintain and repair. In the following images, red is the battery pack, green is motor-generator 1 and blue or purple is motor-generator 2.

Hybrid Synergy Drive (Toyota)

toyota hybridToyota Hybrid Synergy Drive

Toyota’s take on hybrid drive has a pair of motor-generators, one in-line much like the Honda IMA design, one not. The important thing to its success is the compound planetary gearset in the transmission. In the Toyota system, the petrol engine and one motor-generator are connected to one of the inputs, the second motor-generator to the second input as well as the wheels for the third. Via a clever consumption of electronics, the planetary gearbox can be locked and unlocked in various configurations dependent on what is required. As an example under modest acceleration, the petrol engine drives the planetary gearbox as well as the first motor-generator. The output from that is fed to the second motor-generator combined with the output from your gearbox to get the wheels. In pure electric mode, the first motor-generator freewheels, the petrol engine is switched off and all the electrical power is fed on the second motor-generator. Under regenerative braking the 2nd motor-generator becomes the generator as it does in the IMA system above. The difference is when the battery pack is full, the energy derived from the second motor-generator is redirected to the first motor-generator which uses it to induce drag from the petrol engine to slow the vehicle down. Consequently, the actual brakes in a Toyota Hybrid car do not wear very quickly at all because most of the braking is supplied by the motor-generators. Only in severe cases perform the brake pads actually engage the brake rotors. This can be all made possible by the central engine computer and throttle-by-wire / brake-by-wire system.

Dual-mode or 2-mode Hybrid (GM).

2 mode hybridGM 2-mode Hybrid drivetrain

The third hybrid system originates from GM and has two operating modes as oppose on the single mode of IMA or HSD. It again uses two motor-generators. In second and first gears, the first motor-generator sends capacity to the second motor-generator, and that coupled with the petrol engine supply the power to the wheels. In higher gears or under heavier loads, the petrol engine always runs (as oppose to the IMA and HSD systems where it may be turned off or have cylinders deactivated). The main difference is in exactly how the motor-generators function in cooperation from it. The first motor-generator gets to the point where it’s providing no useable input towards the drivetrain, as speed increases. At this point it begins to freewheel as well as the second motor-generator begins to act as a generator. The initial motor-generator starts to act as a generator again and at this stage its power is once more fed towards the second motor-generator which now becomes a motor, as speed increases further. Coupled with variable intake timing, direct common-rail injection and a host of other technologies, all of these come together to offer GM’s take on hybrid technology.

toyota prius energy display

Most hybrids have an energy display screen mounted either in the instrument cluster or in the centre console. This is a small LCD which supplies you, the motorist, information about what mode you’re driving in, and in which the power goes. Again, by far the most recognisable and famous of such displays currently is that from your Toyota Prius (see right). The only real issue with these displays is the fascination they provide to the novice hybrid driver. Watching the animations spin around and the energy arrows scroll here and there as you drive is unquestionably informative yet not really conducive to safe driving. One benefit however is the constantly-updated gas-mileage chart. Many Prius owners are convinced that this spurs them to try to get videogame-like high scores in their cars, driving them in such a fashion as to get the highest recorded mpg from their cars. If nothing else, the vitality display affects most drivers in terms of educating them concerning how their driving style directly impacts their gas-mileage.

The battery question

The estimated lifespan for your batteries within a hybrid car is about seven years before they need to be swapped out, at the time of writing. The expense of doing this for that Toyota hybrids is now about US$3,000 which is a sizeable chunk of change (although a lot less than it was originally). The first theory was that you would have driven enough distance to recoup the extra cost via fuel savings but with the cost of petrol where it is now, that is becoming harder and harder to obtain. So, far there hasn’t been a large recall for batteries for any one of the hybrid manufacturers and I’ve not yet heard about anyone kicking up a stink concerning the cost. It means one of three things. (1) The batteries are lasting longer than expected, so people haven’t had to swap them out yet. (2) They’re paying the money but nobody has complained in the press. (3) The manufacturers are doing it free once and for all publicity.

Proper Way of Gaining Horsepower This Weekend

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What? Or, what if I told you that you may gain 5 horsepower this weekend, cheaper than $20? Generally If I told you you could gain 5 horsepower this weekend, cheaper than $100

I bet you’d be interested, eh?

Well, the good news is, I’m going to explain to you how to gain 5 horsepower this weekend for $-15 spent. Sound too good to be true? Well, read on!

1) Increase the H2O ratio inside your coolant – if it weren’t for corrosion and freezing concerns, automotive makers would use pure water. Water cools a lot better than coolant any day of every week, and a cooler engine can be a better performer.

Instead of half and half, try 40/60. Usually Do Not use pure water, As this may cause premature corrosion and that can be no fun in any way to clean up. You may also try water wetter to further enhance this effect.

2) Index your spark plugs – this is an time tested trick that is good for about 1 extra pony. The theory here is to aim the open end of the spark plug terminal (the gap) to the intake side of the head. In order to do this, simply mark on the plug a small line to indicate where this gap is, and install the plug as normal.

Try to line up the line together with the intake side as best as you can. It may require buying 2 sets of spark plugs in order to do this, but hopefully you’ll be capable of do this the very first time. Be careful with aluminum heads not to over tighten, as that could lead to a costly repair.

3) Relocate IAT Sensor – This can be a very simple modification that will work with a great deal of fuel injected vehicles. The IAT sensor (“Intake Air Temperature”) tells the computer how cold or hot the incoming air is. The computer will likely then adjust the amount of fuel being injected, along with make minor adjustments to timing based on that reading.

However , in many vehicles, the IAT sensor is located in the intake manifold, near to the cylinder head. Therefore, air that the IAT sensor “reads” is much hotter than the air, say, in the intake arm. The idea using this type of mod, is always to relocate the sensor for the intake arm. Use JB Weld or similar to repair the old port for the sensor.

This will cause your computer to believe that incoming air is slightly cooler, causing it to inject more fuel and advance the timing a tad.

4) Synthetic Oil – This really is guaranteed to buy 1-2 horsepower, as multiple dynos over time have proved this fact. Simply by switching to a true synthetic oil this weekend you can decrease the friction with your engine, improving efficiency, and therefore going faster.

5) Insulate Fuel Lines – When your fuel lines travel through the engine bay they heat up. However, cooler fuel produces more power for more reasons than just cooling down the intake charge–although that certainly helps things! So, to enhance power output, simply purchase some refrigerator/air conditioning insulation and wrap the fuel lines with the insulation. While you’re at it, you may wish to go ahead and do that to the intake arm also for even more power.