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Electric Vehicles versus Hybrid: Understanding Options

With the rise in popularity of clean, renewable energy, many people are looking at the differences between electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Lately, almost every car manufacturer is making a hybrid or electric option. There are pros and cons to each of these type of vehicles, so it is important to learn more about each of them.

Electric Vehicles versus Hybrid Vehicles: A Comparison

Power Source

Electric cars are fully battery-powered while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gas-powered with a smaller battery. The braking process of the car actually recharges the battery. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are another type of vehicle. These are HEV’s, but have a larger battery. This battery can be charged like a fully electric vehicle. This can be done at a charging station or any plug that would work with your car.

Refuel and Recharge Times

One difference of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles is refueling or recharging time. Since HEV use fuel as their primary source of energy, the time to get a full range of travel takes far less time than charging an electric vehicle. It would just require going to a gas station and taking a few minutes to refuel the car. The battery recharges with energy while you’re driving. Plug-in HEV refuel with gas in the same way. However, it may take a plug-in hybrid electric up to several hours to fully recharge the battery. Of course this depends on the battery size and power source.

Depending on the electric vehicle model, a full charge can take between 30 to 90 minutes on a fast charging network. Tesla’s Supercharging network provides very fast charging speeds for Tesla drivers. These charging times certainly make a road trip take more time. However, most charging stations (and all Superchargers) are in a place where you can get some food and relax. You do want to keep that in mind if you plan on going on long road trips with the EV, since charging stops will add time to your trip.

Less Maintenance

There is a big difference when looking at the maintenance for electric vehicles versus hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles cost less to maintain than a hybrid vehicle. This is primarily due to the engine. An electric vehicle’s engine has around 20 moving parts. However, there are close to 2,000 parts for a hybrid’s engine. Hybrid cars have an internal combustion engine in them. Therefore, they still require the same typical maintenance that a normal engine vehicle would need. This includes oil and transmission fluid changes, as well as timing belt fixes.

While there are some similarities between electric and hybrid automobiles, there are also many differences. HEVs and PHEVs also have many areas they overlap with fully gas cars. If you are thinking about getting a car that would be better for the environment, these are all things to think about. I would recommend test driving all three kinds of cars so that you can make a decision about what is best for you.

Battery Terminals

Your car battery is one of the most important parts of your car and regular maintenance. That’s why it’s important to take care of your battery terminals properly. Cleaning them right will ensure your battery lasts longer and keeps working the way it should…

Battery Terminals: Keep Them Clean

Checking the terminals

The first step of maintaining your battery terminals to give them a quick check. The terminals should be on top of the battery itself. Usually, there will be a plastic or rubber cover on top of them which helps to protect the clamps from the outside elements.

What you may see is a buildup of a white, powder-like substance. This residue builds up over time and is what causes so many battery-related issues. As an extra precaution, put on some work gloves and safety glasses to prevent that residue from contacting your skin and eyes.

Disconnect and clean

To remove this residue off your battery terminals, you’ll want to disconnect the battery itself. Loosen the negative clamp first, and then the positive one next. You might need to use a pair of pliers if there’s a lot of built-up corrosion. Avoid touching any metal while doing this, or else you risk shorting out the battery.

Once you’ve disconnected the battery, then you can clean it. Most people like to use an equal mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush and wire brush to scrub off the residue. You can also use a can of soda which’ll do the job just as well!

Rinse and reconnect

Now that your battery terminals are clean, it’s time to clean off any remaining cleaning paste or soda. All you need is a spray bottle of water and a clean rag. Just spray the terminals and use the rag to rinse and remove anything that’s left on the terminals.

When you’re reconnecting the battery, this time start with the positive clamp, then do the negative clamp. Be sure that the clamps are properly secured and use a wrench if needed. From there, just re-secure the covers and your battery will be good to go.

Group Riding: Planning Ahead

When you’re new to motorcycle riding, you might want to find a community to enjoy your hobby with. Group riding is a popular pastime for many, especially as you’re getting used to riding regularly. However, there are a few simple rules that you might want to follow in terms of group etiquette…

Group Riding: Make It Easier

Meet ahead of time

Before doing any kind of group riding, it helps to meet up ahead of time. Riding with just one other person can become confusing if you aren’t on the same page. As you’d expect, the more people you add in the group, the more of a problem this becomes.

Having everyone meet up beforehand will ensure you all know what’s going on. That way, you’ll know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. This is also a good time to coordinate any stops, to ensure that no one ends up lost or out of the loop.

Watch your group size

It’s also important to watch your group size when doing group riding. Having too large of a group can end up being a safety hazard. What you’ll find is it’ll be hard for everyone to keep up and have enough space, increasing the chances of someone either splitting from the group or getting into an accident.

In general, it’s good to max out your groups at seven riders. Anything more than that, and you should consider making subgroups instead. Be sure that the most experienced riders lead and sweep the group from the back, to help keep everyone else together.

Stagger your formation

Group riding is all about making sure everyone has enough space. Bunching up will make it harder for everyone to react safely to changes on the road. In turn, you could end up in a pile-up due to everyone being too close together.

A staggered formation can help make sure this sort of situation is avoided. The leader will ride on the left side of the lane, and the second rider will ride a few motorcycle lengths behind on the right side. Repeat this pattern for the rest of the group, and go into single file if the road is curvy or conditions get dangerous.

Car Smells: Sniffing Out Issues

Whether you’re in the kitchen or behind the wheel, what you smell can tell you a lot about a situation. When it comes to car smells in particular, there are a few in particular that you need to watch out for. From sweet to sickly and everything in between, our guide is here to help you be prepared in case something strange wafts up your nose when you’re behind the wheel. Furthermore, consider performing routine maintenance to combat these issues before they ever begin.

Car Smells: What to Watch For

Sweet syrup

The smell of sweet syrup might seem like one of the more pleasant car smells. However, it actually can indicate a major issue. In particular, this sort of smell could indicate a possible problem with your engine’s cooling system.

This sweet smell tends to come from ethylene glycol, which is a crucial component in your engine’s coolant. When you smell this, it may be because your radiator or a hose has sprung a leak. This is something you’ll want to get fixed as soon as you can, and thankfully, it usually isn’t too complicated. You may just need to get a new hose or heater core, and then you’ll be good to go.

Burning smells

 Other car smells to watch for are any burning ones. A constant burning rubber smell probably doesn’t have anything to do with your tires. Rather, it could be due to a shifting drive belt, which may be rubbing up against another engine component. This can be seen just by looking into the engine, just make sure you give it time to cool down first!

A burning carpet smell, on the other hand, may be coming from your brakes. Now, if you’ve been using the brakes a lot, this isn’t something to worry about. However, if it lingers, then you may have a problem with your brake pads and should inspect them to see if they need replacing.

Rancid smells

Rancid car smells are definitely not pleasant. Not only that, but they could indicate some serious issues with your car. For instance, old locker room-like scents could be due to mildew forming in your car’s air filter. Running the fan on high for a few minutes can fix the problem.

A rotten egg-like smell coming from underneath your car might be from a failed catalytic converter. It could be that all you need is to replace your fuel filter. More-serious issues may need you to go even further and have the entire converter itself replaced.

Co-Parenting Depression: Ways To Cope

Divorce can be a draining and emotional process which can leave you feeling pretty down and depressed. These feelings can begin to seep into other parts of your life, especially if you’re a co-parenting. Co-parenting depression can be rough on both you and your kids. Therefore, it’s helpful to know some methods which make things easier for everyone and can help you bounce back…

Co-Parenting Depression: Emotional Impact of Divorce

Have shared house rules

Something which can make your co-parenting depression worse is a lack of shared rules. It can be extremely tough for you when your kids forget how to behave because you and your ex don’t share any basic rules. Plus, this makes It harder for your kids to learn what kind of behavior is acceptable or not. Therefore, you’ll want to have some rules which you both enforce.

For example, maybe you can both agree on certain bedtimes. You may also be able to find common ground on when they should do their homework, time they get to spend on electronics, etc. While not every rule has to be the same, just having a few in common can make things go smoother.

Keep in touch

Another issue which can contribute to co-parenting depression is a lack of communication. Some exes struggle to talk without arguing. Others may not communicate at all, which prevents them from being on the same page. However, it’s important to keep some kind of healthy communication open.

One thing you may want to try is keeping your conversations digital. It may be easier for you to keep it touch via email or text instead of phone calls or in-person meetings. Plus, it’ll be more convenient, especially if there’s any sudden schedule changes or other issues which come up.

Focus on what you have

Going from being a “normal” family to a split one is a major source of co-parenting depression. This can be made even worse if it seems your ex is moving on faster then you are. However, it’s important not to focus on the supposed negatives. Rather, you should focus on the positive things you have.

After all, you still get to be a parent to your kids and be involved in their lives. Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you can’t be a great parent. There may even be new opportunities which have opened up because of your divorce. You just have to be willing to look for them!