Save Money Driving – Fuel Saving Tips 26 – 30

This is a Guest Post by Todd @ Fearless Dollar — it’s part of his 5 site series on How To Save on Gas Money.

Are you driving to see family this holiday season? Taking a road trip to see the fam can be cheaper and more (or less) convenient than taking a flight.

If you haven’t noticed, in the past 10 days fuel prices have dropped 50 cents in many areas across the country. But don’t be deceived, they’re still a lot higher than they were just 5 years ago.

If you want to save money on driving, here’s our 5 site series on saving fuel. I’m posting across five websites, so make sure to check out all the tips!

Fuel Saving Driving Tips

Tips 1 – 5 Fearless Men

Tips 6 – 10 Fearless Dollar

Tips 11 – 15 AllThingsFinance.net

Tips 16 – 25 American Debt Project

Tips 25 – 30 Daily Tips Blog

What burns gas more than anything?

A. Frequent and sudden acceleration

B. Frequent and sudden braking

C. Excessive idling

These are the main reasons city driving cost so much more fuel than driving on a highway. What are the best ways to save gas?

26. Maintain your car

In every sense of that statement, utilize and maintain your car as your machine of choice. Because it is!

Maintaining your car according to its schedule will not only lengthen how long you can use it, but will help retain its fuel efficiency.

27. Know the season

Avoid prolonged warming up of engine. Aside from getting your heater blasting, modern cars don’t need more than 30-45 seconds of warm-up time.

Make sure you don’t use deep-tread tires or snow chains when you don’t need to. These will guzzle up the use of gas!

28. Buy a fuel efficient car

The next time you’re on the market for a car, keep in mind its fuel-efficiency, especially when looking at used cars. You’ll eventually resell it, and moving forward cars with poor fuel efficiency will be harder to sell.

29. Buy gasoline during the coolest part of the day

The cooler the temperature, the denser the gas. Meaning when you fill up, you’ll be getting a little bit more fuel.

30. Cut down on frequent and excessive acceleration and braking

Speeding up and then coming to quick hard stops is not only wearing on your car, but burning up fuel unnecessarily.

Checkout gas saving tips 1 – 5 on Fearless Men!

[Featured image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmogle/]

Facts about Drinking and Driving that Everyone should know

There is nothing wrong with having a bit of fun – meeting up with friends after work for a few drinks, catching up and simply spending time together. However, when it’s time to head home, make sure you don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car when you’ve had a drink, regardless of how small the amount you’ve had. Let us examine some statistics and facts about drinking and driving and why it makes practical sense to be sober behind the wheels.

An Alarming Reality

In the United States alone, an average of 30 people die every day due to vehicular accidents that are caused – directly and indirectly – by drunk driving. That makes one death every 48 minutes. This is quite an alarming rate, and all because of carelessness and lack of responsibility among drivers. The mortality rates attributed to alcohol-related vehicular accidents are just as disturbing. During the year 2010, of all the deaths in the US that are caused by traffic accidents, 31% (or 10,228 deaths) is due to drunk driving.

What is being done in the face of this alarming reality? Police authorities and traffic enforcers clearly have their hands full. In 2010, a total of 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. These arrests would have been unnecessary if only drivers are responsible enough to gain awareness about drinking and driving, and its consequences.

Repercussions and Issues Arising From Drunk Driving

Apart from death, injuries, and loss of or damage to property, there are also a number of legal repercussions faced by anyone who gets arrested for driving while intoxicated. Expect to face criminal penalties; you’ll most likely spend some jail time and be slapped with a large fine. The duration of jail time and the amount of the fines will vary from state to state.

Also, there are some states and jurisdictions that impose graver consequences. Drivers who get caught red-handed should also expect to be facing a number of administrative and civil penalties, again, depending on the DUI court or state. The driver’s license may be revoked or suspended, or he could be ordered to complete DUI diversion programs, as they do in the state of California.

At the end of the day, however, the best way to prevent any of these from happening would be to exercise caution. Do not drink and drive. Know your limits. If you know you’ve imbibed alcohol, no matter how small, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Car Insurance Terms & Definitions for Dummies

Before taking any auto insurance for the first time, t is a good idea to get familiarized with the common insurance terms and definitions. The insurance agents are supposed to explain these terms to you and they will do that as well. But at the same time they may have their vested interest and hence might tweak the definitions in order to buy you into his services.

The car insurance terms listed below can be good reference guide for all that you want to know about auto insurance. It can also form a very good single read for the patient reader.

(Please note that for the sake of readability, we have split this into four pages. Use the navigation below in order to Quick Jump to the respective pages)

  1. Terms: A to D
  2. Terms: E to L
  3. Terms: M to P
  4. Terms: R to Z

Auto Insurance Terms (A – D)

Accident Forgiveness: This optional coverage helps you avoid a surcharge in the event of the first accident where you are at fault. Inexperienced drivers may opt for this coverage at the time of taking your auto insurance policy.

Accident report form: This is the police report that is prepared during an accident. It contains important information about an automobile accident such as circumstances leading to the accident, parties involved and citations given.

Additional Interest Insured:
Additional interest insured is a company, employer or person who has been named in the policy for liability in the case of an accident that involves an insured person or vehicle. Usually lien holders or a company leasing out vehicles for their employers are additional interest insured.

Anti-Theft Device: A device that can prevent vehicle theft. Some anti-theft devices can track and recover a vehicle and automatically contact a response center to initiate the vehicle recovery process. These devices are known as Active Anti-Theft devices. Passive devices attempt to prevent theft by triggering electronic car alarms, steering wheel locks etc.

At fault: This is a straight-forward definition which simply means to what degree the insured has contributed to the accident where he is involved. This is used to determine what portion of the damages will be borne by the respective insurance companies involved. The method of calculation of fault depends on the the particular state rules.

Auto insurance score: This score is based on information found in a consumer’s credit file and history of incidents. Auto insurance scores help the insurance companies to arrive at the policy prices. Basically, your insurance premium goes up when you have black marks in your credit report.

Binder: A temporary insurance contract or proof of coverage until you receive the permanent policy certificate or paper. It’s also known as a cover note, at times.

Bodily injury coverage: Bodily injury coverage on an auto insurance policy pays you the medical expenses incurred by you and other individuals injured the accident.

Claim: It is the request that you submit to your insurance company in the event of an automobile accident of your insured vehicle. The claim has details on the expenses incurred, damages caused and other financial obligations resulted by the accident.

Claims adjuster: A staff member or representative of an auto insurance company who investigates and settles claims for you in order to ensure that all parties involved receives the applicable compensation

Collision or collision coverage: The part of an auto insurance policy that pays to get your car repaired after a collision with another vehicle or an object is known as collision. It is this part of the coverage that will get your insurance company to seek out another driver’s insurance company to pay for repairs if they were at fault. There is always a deductible amount which means you don’t get paid for the entire damage. However, more collision coverage may mean majority of the damages paid.

Comprehensive coverage: Coverage that pays for damages to your vehicle resulting from a covered loss other than a collision. Losses incurred by fire accidents, vehicle theft, violence or contact with animals, birds or falling objects etc can be covered by comprehensive coverage.

Continuously Insured: This means that your insurance coverage from an insurance company (or more than one insurance company) is always in effect without a break or lapse in coverage for any reason. Continuously insured assures you peaceful driving even when you are switching policies or insurers.

Covered loss: Any damage to yourself, your vehicle or other people or property that is covered under your insurance policy.

Coverage Summary (Also known as Declarations Page or Dec Page): This page is provided by your insurance company and lists the information such as types of coverage elected, limits for each coverage, premium contribution (cost) under each coverage, vehicles covered and any other useful information applicable to your policy.

Buying a Used Car: Checklist

There are several advantages of buying a used car. However, such a decision comes not without some risks. The good thing is that most of the risks related to buying a used car can be pre-empted or reduced by going through a thorough check up of not just the car’s mechanical and aesthetic condition but also some background checks, history, the kind of people who drove the car and of course legal verifications.

Checklist for buying a Used Car

The following are the categorized list of checks that you may perform on your car, its documents and ownership before making a buying decision.

1. Preliminary check

Before even thinking of buying a particular car, you have to quickly go through the following questions and checklist:

  • Research first: Go through car owners forums, review sites and complaint forums to make sure that the particular make, year and model of your car is having a good overall ownership feedback
  • Check if you are going to buy a discontinued model. Buying a discontinued car model is no advisable unless it still has strong brand and market value and good service network with spare parts still available
  • Check the real worth of the car by going through sites such as KBB. However, you may want to crosscheck the prices at different online used car sales sites as well as with your friends. Obviously you don’t want to pay the price quoted by your seller or price suggested by blue book evaluations. You may be settling between the sell and buy price as suggested by official blue book pricing sites
  • As much as possible buy from someone you know or someone your friends know. It may be worth doing a bit of background check of the current owner in terms of his activities and usage pattern of the car. Obviously you don’t want to buy a car from a complex personality who is into illegal activities, terrorism or other bad things. Moreover, he needs to be a nice person to deal with – a good used car sale should result in the satisfaction of the buyer and seller
  • Finally make up your mind on the particular car model that you want. Instead of picking any car that’s readily available at a good price, wait for the model and make that you always wanted to own. After all, you are going to drive it and you should love it!

2. Document & History verification

Once you are done with the first category of check points, you are ready to do a little bit more verification into the legality of the car, its ownership, history etc.

  • First and foremost thing is to make sure that the car is registered and has all documents up to date. Match the VIN number of the vehicle and the one in the title to be double sure
  • Next, make sure that the car is insured. Usually, an insured car cannot be a stolen or illegally imported/refurbished car
  • Do a car history check with sites such as Carfax which is operational in North America and Europe. Carfax provides the complete vehicle history including ownership changes, accidents, service history, theft etc
  • Finally, make sure that you can get finance for the car if you are not going for a cash deal. Based on your credit history and the car’s age, there may be cases when you are not eligible for a car loan. Moreover, let your financing agency know the current ownership, loan and lien details of the car so that the legal ownership transfer possibility is verified once again

3. Car body, mechanical & interior checklist

Now that the legality and ownership of the car is verified, it is time to go for a thorough check of the car.

  • Hail damage: Check for any hail damage on your vehicle which may be visible on the roof, boot lid and the hood. Sometimes, it may be difficult to insure hail damaged cars and your current owner should fix it before handing it over to you
  • Door closing: Properly closing (with a neat ‘thud’) doors are your first proof against any major accident in the past. Open and close all four doors to make sure that they close firmly and without any gap or rub. The same is applicable for the boot lid as well
  • Check for accident damage: Further to the door check, open the boot and the hood and see if you can see any deformation from inside or even abruptly ending paint job. If you can spot any, that may be the indication of previous accidents. Further, check the dashboard panel and door panels for any lose/creaking parts which may be due to accidents as well
  • Paint check: Look for any color changes, abruptly ending paint areas, level difference on door surfaces etc. Further, you may lightly move your fingers over all four doors and other panels to see if one panel is smoother than others. It may have been repainted!
  • Open the hood and look for engine and chassis numbers which should match the title document
  • Start the car and make sure that the mounted parts under the hood are not rattling or grumbling on idle. Also, make sure that there is no fumes and bad smell coming out of the hood
  • Recent service check: If the car is recently serviced, the under-the-hood area look cleaner without any major dust or black particles. Now, switch of the engine and check the oil level and its color. You don’t want to see thick and black (tar like) oil there which indicates poor service history or engine problem
  • Now check for any corrosion near the radiator fins, battery mount etc
  • Radiator coolant color is the next check. It should be bright and clear, if not it may be the indication of an engine problem such as cracked cylinder head or leaking gasket. You may want to take expert opinion in that particular case
  • Now start the car and move it a car length. See if there’s any oil drops on the ground. Bend down and inspect further (while the engine is on) and see if there is any leak, oil wet areas or even exhaust fume leaks. If there’s any evidence of any of these symptoms, you may have to take the car for an expert inspection before making a buying decision
  • While the engine is still on, inspect from inside. You don’t want to see/feel a shivering gear stick or steering when the car is idling. That may be the indication of previous accidents, rough used car or even odometer rollback
  • Finally check the switch levers, lights, wiper mechanism, air conditioning, heater, power windows for their good condition followed by a quick check on breakdown accessories (toolkit, spare tire, jack etc)

4. Road test

We are ready to take the baby for a road test now. When you are on a road test, always make sure to take someone who knows driving and cars. What you won’t notice will be noticed by him or her during your road test for sure.

  • Steering problem is the first thing you have to check out for while on the road test. You don’t want to feel excessive jerk or wobbling on the steering while driving. This may be the indication poor suspension or badly aligned steering
  • Further any tire wobbling or tendency to go either side may be caused by poor tire alignment, balancing or even steering issues
  • Next the engine – the acceleration, slowdown or gear shift should be responsive and the engine should do these jobs smoothly. There shouldn’t be any knocking or rattling sound from an engine that is in good condition. Remember, the engine and the transmission are the key points in our checklist
  • Transmission: The gear changes should me smooth and without any jerky move or trapping in between. The gear stick should not move around in your hand or vibrate
  • Suspension and brakes: Brake test should be pretty straight forward – it should do the job as expected without any other noise than tire screeching. If the car is ABS equipped, make sure that it works properly by braking firmly (no pumping of brakes) in a sandy area. Your foot should feel the ABS kicks or thuds if it’s working properly. As for the suspension, it shouldn’t feel too stiff or too smooth for a rear seat passenger. Also, listen to any rattles coming from the front sides or rear sides of the vehicle which may be an indication of poor suspension

That’s pretty much our checklist. Please note that if you are not fully satisfied with your own inspection and test drive, you may take it for a used car or vehicle inspection service. For 50 to 100 dollars there may be vehicle inspection services available and obviously the cost has to borne by you as buyer.

Hope this checklist was very useful to you. Let me know if you find any other used car checklist pointers that I might have missed out.

Amazing Car Maintenance Log Apps for your Phone

Periodic maintenance of your car is important for the longer life and smoother functioning of your car. However, most people tend to take their cars for granted and at times even forget about its maintenance needs. Even worse, many of us don’t even know what has to be done and when.
Worry no more – Your car maintenance log and schedule can be easily managed on your iPad, iPhone or Android phone using the following cool car maintenance app or tools.

Car Maintenance Log on your Phone?

The following phone based car maintenance log applications are our picks to save you from the headache of remembering and tracking important service dates of your vehicle along with whole lot of other requirements in the lifecycle of your vehicle.

1. Car Minder Plus for iPhone/iPad

If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the Car Minder Plus is the best application that you can buy for $2.99. Mind you, the under three bucks investment that you make on this iPhone app is worth every penny.

The following are some of the features of this wonderful Car maintenance application for iPhone.

  • Manage all types of maintenance need of your cars – supports multiple vehicles that your family own
  • Car maintenance log of repairs, fuel economy tracking, oil changes, tire rotations, periodic services are easily maintained by this app
  • It keeps track of your gas mileage much more accurately than your modern car predicts on its dashboard tools
  • Maintains the complete service history
  • The entire maintenance data can be backed up on your computer

For the entire set of features of this cool iPhone app, visit the iTunes store by clicking the screenshot below:

car maintenance log app - Car Minder Plus

2. aCar Free Android App

If you are using a Smartphone or Tablet PC powered by Android, there’s an exceptionally good and Free to download Android app aCar. For the number of features that it provides, I still can’t believe that it is a free application.

Some of the salient features of this cool car maintenance app include:

  • Track gas/oil fillups, maintenance history, gas mileage and all related expenses of your car
  • Keep track of your trips and related expenses
  • Multiple vehicle support – be it cars, trucks or motorbikes
  • Thorough statistics and amazing graphs and charts for reports
  • Multiple language support and also supports different units of measure
  • Service reminders, predictions and alerts feature
  • Automatic backup and support for Excel export, and a lot more…

You can visit the Android market place (using the link provided above) and download this Android app for your car for free.

acar for android

3. Car maintenance apps for blackberry

If you are a blackberry user, unfortunately there aren’t any great application available out there to keep track of your vehicle maintenance. You may however browse the blackberry apps for car maintenance for some of the apps that does help the cause.

There are many Car maintenance log and schedule tracking applications for desktops though that is not in the scope of this article.

Car Accessories for Girls

Well, cars are getting funkier and there’s a car model out there that suits your age group and lifestyle. In 21st century cool automobiles are no more a men thing as girls are into funky and fast cars as well.

This century also witnessed cars transforming from mere family transportation mechanism to something that is more individualistic. This is probably explained by the fact that there are more than 2 cars per household, on an average, in the United States. Obviously there are plenty women drivers out there who own cars.

With more and more women preferring cars like Volkswagen Beetle, there’s enough opportunity for them to decorate the interiors of their machines with a lot of pink car accessories as well.

Here are some of those cool girl car accessories.

Car Accessories for Girls

This is our pick of 5 accessories for the fair sex. There are plenty more out there at your favorite online store.

USB travel kit
USB Travel Kit

car accessories for girls - pink license plate
Pink License Plate

roadside emergency kit for women
Roadside Emergency Kit

car accessories for girls - Pink Car Seat Covers
Pink car seat covers

Girl Car Sticker
Funky car stickers

There are plenty more girls auto accessories like pink steering wheel cover, wheel caps, alloys, car coasters, funny and expressive stickers, dashboard accessories, perfumes, floor mats, decorative items etc.

You may check out more such stuff at this page.

By the way, pinks are not the only option available when it comes to car accessories for girls or women. And based on your budget the accessories cost can vary from a $10 or $20 to several thousands. There are fun loving women who spend a lot on customizing their car exteriors and interiors.

So girls, are you ready to get, set, go with these cool car accessories especially designed for you?

Why not and why should boys have all the fun?

Filed under: Car Accessories for Girls

Car Accident Insurance Claim Process & Tips

Accidents can often leave you in an immediate shock state that you can’t think how to proceed with filing a police case and car accident insurance claim.

Here is exactly what you have to do with respect to your accident claim:

Note: Though we are primarily talking about the US and Canada here, the steps explained below is pretty much the same in most countries.

  1. First of all, if injuries or casualties are involved, immediately use your mobile phone to call the emergency number and get the ambulance and police. You may give first aid to the injured in the meantime
  2. If there are no injuries but serious body damage to the car, you may still need to file a police case in order to push your claim
  3. While awaiting the emergency or police vehicle, gather as much information as possible about the people and vehicle involved in the incident. You may want to take down the names, license plate numbers, place details of the accident and capture a few photographs using your mobile phone camera. In the case of serious accidents, try to get some witness information as well
  4. Next call up your insurance company agent and narrate the incident. He will usually guide you on the next steps which at times towing the vehicle to the nearest associate body shop, if the damage is heavy
  5. While your car is getting assessed for damages by the appointed person from the company, you may already file the insurance claim form. Provide all the details regarding the accident in your claim form and email or fax it to the agent as soon as possible. Some insurance companies may have online filing as well. By the way, if it is a minor damage, the car at this point is still with you in which case the company appointed insurance adjuster will visit you and assess the damage caused
  6. In the next few days, you may get a couple of calls from your insurance company’s lawyer and other staff as well as possibly a call from the other insurance company. Be prepared with your facts
  7. Finally, you will get a positive call that your claim has been approved and you may send the car to the nearest insurance company pre-approved body shop. You then get it fixed and back on wheels again
  8. Please note that in case of accident deaths or drunken driving related accidents there may be further steps with the law enforcement and legal departments

Other Accident claim tips

Always understand your insurance coverage well, before calling up the claim department.

Decide whether a claim is required at all. For example, if more of plastic and glass parts are involved in the damage, the coverage may be limited and the fixing cost high at the insurance company picked body shop. You may be able to fix it cheap elsewhere.

Keep copies of all records of the incident, claim form and details of your conversation (date, content, agent name) with the claim department.

Talk truth when you are narrating the incident to your agent.

Do keep receipts related to your lodging, work commuting cost, car rental etc until the claim is settled. Some of these expenses may be covered in your package.

Make sure that the insurer settles with you the coverage that was promised. In case of any doubt, take legal advice.

Happy motoring (again)!

Selling a Car with a Lien

The security on your car loan is the vehicle itself. This means that in the event of not paying your car finance’ monthly EMI on time, the lender has the legal right to take possession of your car. This right of the lender is enforced via a lien on the title of the car at the time of financing itself.

Since a car without a clear title (or a car with a lien on it) is not a buyer’s favorite, you might want to know the steps involved in selling such a car. It is important to know this because you might want to prove to the potential buyer that you have a clear title (even before you obtain the same).

How to Sell a Car with Outstanding Finance?

The following are the steps that you have to remember while selling a car with a Lien on its title.

  1. Find out your outstanding loan amount with the lending institution by calling them up
  2. If you have enough money with you to pay off the loan, on payment of that amount a lien release acknowledgement will be provided to you even before obtaining the title. The lien release document is good enough to find any potential buyer and for your potential buyers to process their car finance
  3. If you do not have enough money to close out the loan amount and obtain the title, you may use an escrow service (such as Escrow.com to sell a car with a lien. With the escrow, you have the possibility to close out the loan and transfer the car to new ownership
  4. When you use the escrow service, you and the buyer enter an agreement on transfer of ownership. The buyer will be responsible to pay off the lien as and when the ownership is transferred to him or her
  5. Sign over the title during the sale and contact your lending institution to check if you can transfer the title to the buyer. The lender usually makes an appointment with you as a seller and the buyer to complete the transaction and obtain the bill of sale
  6. Visit your DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), show the bill of sale to obtain a temporary operating permit for the buyer
  7. As a last step, obtain the title from the bank and hand over the same to the buyer

That is all you have to do to sell off your car with a loan whereby the title is held by the lending institution.

The explained steps are needed only when you sell your car with a lien to a private buyer. When you sell the car to a dealer or trade in your old car, many of these steps are simplified.

Preparing your Car for a Long Road Trip: Checklist

Road trips – especially the ones with the family – are often a concern for most drivers primarily due to the fear of a possible breakdown en route. However, in reality long trips are often much easier to manage and pleasurable than your day to day drive to work or within the city commute.

The following would be the categorized long road trip checklist for your car in order to prepare the same before the travel day.

1. Fluids

Coolant: Engine coolant (or antifreeze mixture) is usually changed every 25 thousand miles or once in two or three years. However, if your last coolant change was a year or more back (or 15K miles) you might want to consider changing the coolant before a long trip to increase its effectiveness in keeping the engine under control.

Engine Oil: Check your vehicle’s engine oil level and its color to make sure that it is good enough for a few more thousand miles. If the oil is already very dark or has blackish sediments within, it is advisable to change oil before your long drive.

Wiper fluid: A lot of people don’t care about the wiper fluid. Well, if you run out of wiper fluid you could actually fill it with distilled water but it’s always good to have the viscous fluid mix as purchased from auto shops. Smoothly running wiper blades are needed for highway driving.

2. Check vital parts

Battery: Ensure that your battery is in good conditions and your vehicle cold starts in the first quick attempt itself. In addition, you might want to clean up the battery terminals with a brush and Vaseline applied on them to prevent corrosion.

Air filter: If your air filter has run 10,000 miles since last change or even close to it, consider changing your air filter before a long road trip.

Tires: Make sure that your tires have good enough grip and tread depth. A minimum tread depth for a long drive (that might include wet driving) would be 1/8th of an inch. If any of the tires doesn’t have that much depth remaining, it is time to change it. Make sure that you check your spare tire as well for good tread quality.

For long drives, you need to over inflate the tires a little more than the specified PSI rating. For example, if the recommended tire pressure is 30PSI you may consider increasing it to 32 for a long drive. Increased tire pressure would make sure that your tires don’t heat up much during long drives.

3. Spares

Spare bulbs and fuses are those additional things you need to carry depending on your vehicle model. I had the ill fate of having a blown fuse during one of my road trips that wouldn’t let me lower the power windows. Of course, this is not a high probability scenario and you may be able to fix such problems a little later.

4. Documents & Contacts

Make sure that your glove compartment contains all your valid vehicle documents or copies of the same. In addition, do not forget to carry the driving licenses of all those drivers who will be rotating during your trip.

It is also good to carry your road side assistance numbers, insurance agents contact number etc though it is far easier these days to search and find it using your smart phone.

Additional documents include a road atlas just in case you don’t have a GPS (consider one) fitted on to your vehicle.

Additional Tip: Consider becoming a AAA member, if roadside assistance is not part of your insurance plan. It can save really save you from a lot of headache in the middle of the road

5. Repair kit and Quick fixes

The following would be the typical road trip check list on top of the points mentioned above:

  • Jack and basic toolkit
  • Breakdown triangle or reflector
  • Jumper cables for jump-starting
  • Tire sealants (Use only if you can’t change the tire)
  • A flash light
  • A Swiss knife
  • Warm clothes
  • Couple of gallons of water
  • Anti-nausea pills

6. Final check up and cleanup

Finally, make sure that any major issues such as braking problem or sound from drive shaft etc are fixed before your long journey. Check your windshield wipers for proper functioning, check the tire pressures once again and you are good to go.

On the previous evening, you might want to vacuum the cabin and trunk, give it a good wash and have the gasoline tank filled.

Now you can sleep peacefully and be ready for an enjoyable drive the next day!

Tire Size Meaning

Ever wondered what do all those numbers on your car tire’s wall indicate? Here is a simple explanation for those weird looking code.

For example, if you have P215/45R17 87V written on your tire, it translates to the following:

P = Intended use of the tire is for Passenger vehicles. (Read more on Tire intended use below)

215 = Width of the tire in millimeters i.e. 215 millimeters (Width as in what you get to see when you view your car tire from behind the car)

45 = The tire width to tire wall height ratio. i.e. 45% of the width will be the tire wall height (Wall height is the distance from rim edge to outer edge of the tire)

R = Indicates that it is a Radial tire.

17 = Diameter of the rim in inches.

87 = Load index of the tire (or the maximum weight that this tire can hold under the prescribed pressure)

V = Speed rating of the tire (or the maximum speed at which your car can move while on these tires)

Isn’t it weird that some of the numbers above are in metric units while others aren’t?

Intended use codes

We just mentioned that P stands for Passenger car. Similarly there are codes like LT for Light Truck, C for Commercial, ST for Special Trailer and T for Temporary spare tire purpose.

Tire load index chart and tire speed rating codes

If you want to know the complete set of load index numbers and tire speed rating codes, please refer to this Wikipedia page.

Load index code represents the load that ONE tire can take. Obviously, if that tire is fitted on a car that has four wheels, 4 times that value will be the maximum load that those tires can take under standard prescribed tire pressure. Similarly, you might want to look at the speed rating while changing tires next time.