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The need to communicate the direction motorized vehicles are turning became an issue as soon as they started to appear on early roads. Even though the speed of horses, bicycles and motorized vehicles was rather slow back then, it was still imperative to know where everyone was going to avoid accidents. At first, the solution was to default to the old standard: pointing with your finger or using one’s hands in a semaphore fashion as we do on bicycles today. While this worked fine during the day, it was obviously less effective at night. Electric Turn Signals The first electric turn signal can be attributed to Edgar A. Walz, Jr. In 1925, Walz secured a patent for an “electrical signaling device.” He tried to market it to the major car manufacturers but, believe it or not, the car manufacturers weren’t interested at that time. In Europe, the genesis of turn…

An investigation into the accident that killed the actor Paul Walker revealed that the Porsche Carrera he was riding in had almost ten-year-old tires on it. The California Highway Patrol Investigative Group that researched the accident concluded that the tires’ age might have compromised the Porsche’s handling characteristics and this may have played a factor in the accident. Old Tires can deteriorate For years, people have associated a tire’s road worthiness with its tread depth. While this may be a factor in their condition, but one must remember that the rubber compounds in a tire deteriorate with time. The result is that you may have a tire that is unsafe, despite the fact it has good tread on it and the tire looks good. For many people, it’s not a factor For many drivers, old tires are never an issue. If you drive a typical number of miles, somewhere around…

Does gasoline really go “bad” if you leave it unused for a long period of time? Some people say yes, others say no. In this article, we’ll get the advice from some experts in the field and we’ll look at some of the things you can do to make sure that older gas doesn’t damage any of the equipment you have it stored in. Gasoline Degrades Gasoline is a highly refined product brewed to a certain chemical composition with very specific characteristics. One primary characteristics of gas is volatility, a term used to describe how easily and under what conditions the gas vaporizes. The most highly volatile components in gasoline evaporate first. When they do, the remaining fuel’s volatility and ability to burn properly degrades. The result is diminished engine performance. Your engine may still start and run, but it probably won’t run as well as it does with fresh…

The transmission in your car is the thing used to change gears, but we bet you knew that. Since the 1940s, there have really been just two types of transmissions: standards and automatics. With a standard transmission, you shift the gears yourself and with an automatic, the transmission does it for you. But we bet you knew that too. Today, however, it’s not quite so simple anymore. The transmission family has a new sibling for you to get to know: the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). What’s The Difference? Conventional automatic transmissions use sets of gears that provide different ratios or speeds. Control units sense speeds and then shift a transmission’s gears automatically to provide the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation: lowest gears for low speeds, middle gears for acceleration and passing, and higher gears for efficient cruising. This is visually indicated in most vehicles with a selector display (P-R-N-D-L)…

Just like harsh sunlight doesn’t do your exposed skin any favors, the same is true of your car’s exposed interior. And just as sunscreen protects your skin and keeps it looking youthful, custom sunshades for cars protect your car interior and keeps it looking brand new year after year of diligent use. Car Interior Protection Keep Cracks at Bay Over time, repeated exposure to UV rays leads to cracks breaking out along your dashboard, which is simply unacceptable. Such cracks are undoubtedly unsightly and an unfortunate reminder to use the best car covers to keep them at bay. While you can always have a new dashboard installed inside your vehicle, it makes more sense (both practical and financial) to use a sunshade instead. Bring Out the Best in Your Dashboard Besides cracks, long-time exposure to UV rays also fades the interior of your dashboard as well as your seats, depending on…

The first windshield wiper was invented by a real estate developer named Mary Anderson. On a wet, freezing day in the early 1900s, Anderson was riding on a streetcar in New York when she saw how the driver could barely see the street through his front windshield. Windshield Wiper Inventor Drivers’ visibility was that poor because motor vehicle technology at that time was limited to solve this issue. What car makers did back then simply divided the front windshield of vehicles into two sections that could be swung open. This allowed the driver to open their windshield to see the road ahead of them in bad weather. The problem was that sleet and rain would immediately blow into the streetcar. Essentially, this was only a tiny solution. On that drive, Mary Anderson sketched a wiper contraption. One only needed a mechanical arm the driver operated to push the rain and…

Tire maintenance is a really smart thing that you should get done to save money. The tires on your vehicle wear down at different rates. By rotating your tires, you can make your tires last for a bigger amount of miles! Tire Rotation Tire rotation refers to the practice of moving the tires on a car or truck to a different axle location. This will make the tires treads wear more evenly. Rotating tires saves money by extending the aggregate life of a tire set. Even though it is a tried and true concept, it’s amazing that more people do not rotate their tires. Funny thing is, tire rotation is the bread and butter activity at many car dealers and it really isn’t expensive. Accordingly, here are a few things to know about the practice. Why Bother? Front and rear tires wear at different rates. Typically, front tires carry more…