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Car Rental Tips

car road flowers spring drive driving sunnyNeed wheels on your next trip? Renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility when you're traveling, and in some parts of the world it's the only feasible way to get around. But a rental car can sometimes add complications to your trip -- like trying to find the best deal or sorting out exactly which insurance options you need. Read on for our practical tips on saving money, understanding your rental agreement and avoiding problems with your car rental.

Choosing a Vehicle

Think carefully about what kind of vehicle you'll need. If you're traveling with children or with a lot of gear, you may want a large sedan or SUV. If you're simply looking to save money on rental rates and gas, you'll want to reserve the smallest available model.

But size isn't the only factor. Looking for something environmentally friendly? Check out our Green Travel Resources for eco-friendly car rentals. Can't drive a stick shift? Be sure to reserve a car with automatic transmission. (In many countries, a manual transmission is the norm -- so read the fine print before booking. Learn more with our International Car Rental Tips.) Also, be sure that the company from which you're renting offers any extras you might need or want, such as a ski rack, car seat or GPS system.

Booking Your Car

How long will you be renting? If it's for less than a week, you'll probably do best with a major rental company, such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National or Thrifty. For rentals of a week or longer, you may get better rates from local companies, particularly auto dealers. Remember, however, to be wary of local companies if you plan to drive a lot; if you break down or get into an accident, they usually lack the support services of the majors.

Always shop around. Check the major booking engines and aggregator sites (such as Travelocity and Kayak) to get an idea of what rates are available, but you should also visit the car rental companies' Web sites as well -- they'll often offer exclusive discounts, and you'll avoid booking fees. Don't forget to check out our selection of discount car rental deals before making any reservations.

To lower your rate, ask about discounts for any major national organizations, frequent flier programs and credit card programs to which you may belong. They'll frequently offer deals on car rentals. Those offered through AAA can be very good. If you're employed by a company that frequently rents cars, they may have a negotiated rate. Make sure to check.

Before you book online, do an Internet search for coupon or promotion codes to put into the booking engine of your car rental company's site. Just type the name of the company followed by "coupon code" into the search field and you'll often find special promotion codes that could save you anywhere from 5 to 20 percent off the cost of your rental. For more ideas on saving money when you rent a car, see Cruising for Car Rental Deals.

If you haven't already, consider joining your car rental company's loyalty program when you book. These vary by company, but most of them are free and entitle you to certain privileges when picking up your vehicle; your information will be on file ahead of time, allowing you to simply jump into the car and go rather than standing in a long line or filling out paperwork. You could also be eligible for special discounts or free upgrades.

The newest way to save on rental cars is to hook up with a car share service. If you live near a major city or you're a frequent renter, you may save money by joining a car share, such as Zipcar.

Five Features of a Fantastic Road Trip

Understanding Your Rental

If you're booking online, read the terms and conditions carefully before confirming your reservation. If you're booking over the phone, ask the agent about restrictions. Be sure you understand the conditions of your reservation. Is there a penalty for no-shows? How long will the car be held if you're stuck in traffic on the way to the pickup station? Is there a fee for additional drivers and must their names be listed in the contract? Is your 20-year-old daughter old enough to drive the car? (For liability reasons, this is important.)

If pertinent, ask about any restrictions on interstate travel. For your own protection in case of breakdown, be sure the company has offices in all the states on your itinerary.

For one-way car rentals, ask about drop-off charges. They can be exorbitant.

Always get a confirmation number. For airport rentals, be sure to give the customer service representative your flight number and scheduled arrival time. This will usually protect your reservation if the flight is delayed.

The True Cost of Car Rentals

Buyer beware: The rate you see advertised in big print may become so inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance, gasoline bills and drop-off charges that you end up paying more than double what you expected. Learn more about these extra charges in Car Rental Hidden Costs.

Also, the advertised rate may be valid only during the off-season in Florida or California, when many cars are idle there, but not where you want to rent. Finally, the rate may be only for a car size that you would find unsuitable.

In recent years, the major booking engines have become more transparent about rental car rates, and they now usually show you the total cost of your rental, including estimated taxes and fees, early on in the booking process. For instance, Travelocity offers total pricing, which guarantees that the company's estimated amount will be within one percent of the actual rate.

Like the airlines, the major auto rental companies have adopted "yield management." That means that their computers can quickly readjust prices according to changes in the supply of cars available, and so the rental rate you are quoted is valid only at that moment. Unless you reserve immediately, the rate is likely to change.

At Pickup Time

If your first drive will be from an airport to a hotel for the night, why not take a shuttle van to the hotel instead? Doing this may save you the price of a day's rental. Even if you must drive the same day your flight lands, you may not have to get the car at the airport. By picking it up downtown, you can often avoid hefty airport surcharges.

ignition car keys If you have personal auto insurance or charge the rental to a major credit card, you will probably be covered at least for collision damage -- so you shouldn't have to purchase the car rental company's collision or loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW) insurance. If in doubt, ask your insurance agent or credit card issuer.

Before you drive away from the pickup station, inspect the car carefully for body damage. Be sure the lights and turn signals are working properly, and check the mileage odometer. Report any defects at once.

Familiarize yourself with the workings of the car before you leave the lot. Check which side your gas tank is on, and learn how to use the headlights, windshield wipers and turn signal. It may seem obvious, but you'll also want to memorize the make, model and color of your car -- that way you won't lose it the first time you park in a busy lot! For more tips, see The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental.

Returning Your Car

Be wary of prepaid gasoline plans. Always fill the tank yourself before returning the vehicle so that you're only paying for the amount of gas you actually used. Try to avoid the gas stations right near the airport where you're dropping off your car -- the prices tend to be highest there. Instead, fill up a few miles away. Even better: Check before your trip to find out where the cheapest gas stations are in your area.

It may seem counterintuitive, but returning your car early may actually cost you money. You'll often pay an early return fee (usually about $15 a day), but even worse, your rate structure will most likely change and you'll be responsible for the difference. Of course, returning the car late could cost you too -- many car rental companies only give you a 30-minute grace period before beginning to rack up the late fees.

Before leaving the vehicle, check to be sure you haven't left any personal belongings. Don't forget to check the trunk! The most common lost articles include cell phones, sunglasses and umbrellas.

Be sure that the check-in attendant inspects the car's body in your presence and that you agree about any damage. Examine your rental agreement carefully for all charges and make sure they credit any deposit to your account while you wait.

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Questions To Ask A Car Electrician

If your car has been having problems, you may need to take it to a car electrician. A car electrician is a mechanic that also has in-depth knowledge of car wiring.

If you're thinking about hiring a company for auto electrical services, ask them these simple questions. They will help you to determine whether or not the candidate is fully qualified to fix your car.

Have You Worked On My Car Make?

Every type of car is different. Some car electricians are capable of working on any make of car. Others have specialties.

Find out whether or not the electrician is familiar with your car make. If they have worked on it in the past, that's a very positive sign.

What's Wrong With My Car?

An expert electrician should be able to diagnose a problem with ease. They can tell you what might be wrong with your car without even looking at it. If someone knows what the issue might be when you talk to them, that's a very good sign.

Are You AAA Approved?

The American Automobile Association has approved car electricians and mechanics all across the country. Make sure that they've approved the one that you're considering. If an electrician has a stamp of approval from the AAA, you can trust that they know what they are doing.

Do You Provide A Warranty?

Most of the time, a car runs smoothly after it is taken to an electrician. In some cases, however, a car has issues after it is repaired.

Because of this, it can be smart to take your vehicle to someone that provides a warranty. If you have a warranty, you can get additional work done if the repairs are unsuccessful.

If a car electrician is willing to stand by their work, that's a sign that you can trust them.

Do You Provide Written Estimates?

Whenever you call about repairs, you should ask for an estimate. When you have price quotes, it is easier for you to evaluate your options and find your most affordable choice.

When you ask about an estimate, find out whether or not you can get that estimate in writing. If you have an estimate in writing, it is binding. If you only have a verbal agreement, you may wind up paying the mechanic more.

Make sure that you ask a car electrician these questions before hiring them. Your car deserves a high level of care.

Preparing To Apply For Car Finance With Bad Credit

Poor credit scores make it more difficult for a borrower to secure an auto loan. To get a better loan term, be an educated borrower. Know the best options there are and how to find the best car finance with bad credit.

What to expect when applying for car finance on a bad credit

Lower credit scores will generally pay higher annual rates than those with higher credit scores. The level considered as bad credit differs. There isnt any set standard for credit scoring and what constitutes as bad credit. Lenders also vary in their consideration of various credit scores.

The most common credit score considered as bad credit is below 550. The interest rates offered by most car financing terms for this situation can reach as high as 13%. The best interest rate so far is as low as 6.5% (only a little higher than the average highest rate for good credit scores).

Even with bad credit, a borrower can still do something, which can have an immediate on the score. These are some steps that can quickly raise that score and improve available car finance options.

How to improve poor credit

Plan ahead. A borrower is more likely to avail of better financing deals if he has a well-planned strategy. Check the credit scores months before purchasing a car, whether new or used. After checking, look at the available loan terms for that credit score.

Set a reasonable budget. The dream car may be out of the budget today so look for another one. It is much better to settle for a less inexpensive car than acquire a car finance that turn out to be expensive.

Be flexible. Be open to other car models when looking for a car to buy. Check what make and model fits the budget. Do not exert a lot of effort in securing a higher loan with higher interest rates for a car that is out of the set price range. Future payments will be placed in jeopardy. Late or missed payments will reduce the credit score even further.

Pay bills on time. In the months before applying for car financing and buying a car, pay all bills on time. This simple act can go a long way towards improving the credit score. By the time financing and car purchase are made, credit score will be better, opening new and better deals than before. A few added points can already raise the current level.

Save for a down payment. In the months before purchasing a car, try to save as much as possible. Check the purchase price of the desired car and compute 20% down payment. Try to save for down payment. Paying this in cash can improve how the lender sees the borrowers capability to pay. Also, by paying at least a 20% down payment, the total loaned amount will be lesser. Monthly payments can go down or the loan term will be adjusted considerably.

These steps may seem simple but these can go a long way towards improving bad credit. Higher credit scores will help towards better loan interest rates. Also, a better score will make it so much easier to get a good car finance with bad credit.

Car Maintenance 101, Do It Yourself

Paying for maintenance and repairs on your car can get expensive, although it is necessary to ensure that your car continues to run smoothly and safely over an extended period. If you recently purchased your car, your warranty may be contingent upon having the maintenance done at the dealership or a licensed mechanic shop. If this is so, then it may be worth it to pay for the maintenance. Otherwise, the best things that you can do is to know how to work on your car. Not only will doing maintenance yourself help you understand more about how the car runs, but it can also save you money. Even if you have absolutely no automotive experience, there are some maintenance tasks that you can do yourself.

Air Filter

When the air filter becomes dirty and clogged, the engine can begin to choke and sputter. Changing the filter regularly may keep your car running well, and it only takes a few minutes. Air filters can look different from car to car. It is helpful to look under the hood and find the air filter, so you know what it looks like. The easiest way to make sure that you choose the right one at the auto parts store is to find the make, model, and year of your car in the manual that they have. If they get it out, and it looks right, then you know you have a match!

Air filters usually aren't very expensive, so it isn't usually a big deal to replace the old one with a new one, although you may simply try to clean your filter out if you are interested in putting off your purchase for a while longer.

Oil Change

When it is time to change the oil and oil filter in your car, the first thing you should do is sure that you buy the right type of oil. Your owner's manual should say what type of oil is right, although you can ask the person at the auto parts store to look it up if you need to. Also, make sure that you have a container for the old oil to drain into.

Avoid changing the oil when the car engine is hot. Heat causes the oil to expand and pressurize, so you are much more likely to get burned if you don't wait for the oil to cool. Locate the oil pan underneath the car engine and place the container underneath. Unscrew the plug and allow all of the oil to drain. An oil filter wrench can help you easily remove the filter and the rubber gasket. Replace it with a new gasket and a new filter. Then, replace the plug in the oil pan and use a funnel to pour the oil into the engine. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and ensure that you have used the appropriate amount.

These are just a few of the types of car maintenance 101 that you can do to save money and ensure that your car is safe and ready to drive. If you have never replaced a filter or done an oil change, you may be surprised at how simple it is.

Services Available At Auto Glass Tinting Shops

Did you know that adding tinting to your cars windows offers a lot of benefits? Thats right. Car tinting reduces heat and glare, blocks UV rays, and improves the appearance and security of your vehicle. You do not have to worry about premature wear and tear on your car, particularly if it is constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions. So, if you are considering to get a tinting solution for your car, here are different services you can expect from a Seattle glass tint specialist.

1. Digital auto glass tinting system

Quality tint shops offer premium digital window tinting services for cars. With the use of cutting-edge digitalized system, a tint shop can provide you highest level of quality and accuracy of auto glass tinting. For digital auto glass tinting service, they use state of the art tinting technology that does not only speed up the task, but ensures outstanding results all the time.

2. Sun Roof Repair

If your cars sun roof wont close or open properly, have it checked by a reliable tinting specialist. Auto glass tinting experts are not only masters when it comes to tinting but they are also highly skilled in fixing mechanical as well as seal problems regardless of the model of your car. It is a practical choice to go to a specialist when it comes to such mechanical issue that only an expert can solve properly.

3. Window, Door and Trunk Leak Repair

Are you troubled by leaking seals of your car? If so, the right service for you is leak repair. Auto glass expert are highly capable of dealing with leaking seals as well as moldings around your cars trunks, windows and doors.

4. Stoned Chip Repair

If you stone chip repair, a reliable auto glass specialist is just one call away. They can get your stoned chip repaired in no time. Aside from repair service, you can also avail full replacement stoned chip replacement.

5. Windshield repair and replacement

Whether you need to have your cars windshield fixed or replaced, you can get a quote from an auto glass tinting expert. Feel free to discuss to them your exact windshield requirements and they get you covered. Just be sure to go to a reputable tinting company that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Bottom Line

A dependable Seattle glass tint specialist provides services more than just tinting. It is only a matter of finding the best company in town that can guarantee you with total satisfaction from the service provided. Make it a point to do your research and get a quote from the best tinting expert.

What To Do When You Want To Sell Your Van

Has your van lost some of its flavor over the years? Are you thinking, "I want to sell my van"? Perhaps it is no longer the love machine it once was? Or the kids have all grown now and there really is no need for a small bus in your driveway? It happens to all good vans and is no fault of anyone's, it just happens. Have you decided what you will do with this once majestic piece of automotive technology? More than likely you are thinking of handing it down to your son or selling it. Our money would be on selling it, do you really want to hand your van over to your son. You do remember what you use to do it, right? Let's take a look at a few ways you can easily sell your vehicle quickly.

Online Classified Ads

Perhaps the easiest way to get that old van off your driveway is through the use of sites like Craigslist and Backpage. In fact, there are hundreds of these classified sites online, even those catering to your local area. Many of these sites allow you to post personal ads for free. You can add a description of the vehicles as well as several photos that will help to attract potential buyers. It is always a good idea to check the Kelly Blue Book value so you can add a reasonable price and give you some wiggle room with negotiations. Of course, you can always go old school with your local newspaper.

Newspaper Classified Ads Still Work

If you want a tried and true method for selling your van, simply call up your local newspaper. You can run an inexpensive ad that is going to get a lot of exposure with people who are wanting to buy a used car. any people tend to forget that not everything has to be done online and there are still many people who don't go online. By only placing ads online you are missing a large part of your target audience.

Now you have two ways in which you can list your van for sale today. Whether you choose to use an online technique or the local newspaper, you will see some results rather quickly. There are always going to be people in need of a good van and if you price your right it will see regardless of where you place the ad. Hopefully, this information will help you make a quick sale on your van.

What Party Buses Provide Beyond Transport

Its pretty much a given that riding in a party bus makes going out far more exciting and relaxing. Its literally a party on wheels, which makes the time spent inside a vehicle worthwhile with your family, friends, colleagues, classmates or significant other. You wont be disappointed for any minute while riding to and from the event.

The enjoyment is there as well as utmost convenience. Theyre pretty affordable rides for larger groups of passengers, especially if they split the cost evenly. But what else is in it for the customer? Some might still wonder whether its really worth the extra cash to travel on something thats fundamentally lavish. There are those who believe its only meant for big shots like celebrities, politicians or businessmen people who are perceived as living a life of extravagance. That, in reality, is a downright myth. There are several incentives for choosing a party bus apart from transportation, and they very much apply to everyday people in the city.

Customized Plans

When you've booked a party bus, you can take full advantage of having private transportation for the entire reserved period of time. You should know that theres no such rule as a limited number of places to go. Allow yourself and your buddies to gather around and discuss how to make your booked time the most fun-packed it can be. If its a Friday night, list down all the bars youd like to check out. If its a Saturday afternoon, make an itinerary of activities that can be squeezed in before and after a concert/game youve bought tickets for.

A party bus allows you and your buddies to get creative with the day and make the most out of the given hours. You can head to multiple places and do different things all while a convenient form of transportation is readily available.

Well-planned Tours

What if your group decides to travel across the country and spend the weekend in a new city? Sure, you and the others could do research and talk about the must-go places to include in your agenda, but is it all necessary? A better alternative would be to book a party bus of a well-established company in that city and arrange for a city tour. Those guys would be very much familiar with the whole area and could draft their own itinerary so you could visit all the good spots throughout a given day. The bus could then be arranged to pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel, where you could rest up or unwind before the tour.

Recommended Venues

It should also be stressed how knowledgeable and up-to-date party bus companies are regarding what their city has to offer. Although the drivers themselves have years of experience and can make great suggestions, these companies have the means to set you up with the perfect restaurant, bar, nightclub, park or beach area that matches your tastes or preferences. Theyll gladly take you to the best steakhouse or where the best beers are served. Theyll handle all arrangements and reservations. Its just your job to say what you want to do.

How To Get A Car For A Great Price

A car represents one of the most substantial purchases you are likely to make in a given year. The key to striking the best deal and getting the best Dodge for sale is to spend some time doing your research. Use the advice that follows below and you will have the facts you need to make a smart decision.

When shopping for a new vehicle, consider all of your options. There are many used cars that have extremely low miles and rock bottom prices. The ones to look for are the ones that have been leased and returned. These cars have been serviced at the dealership and usually have plenty of factory warranty protection left.

When negotiating, overall price should be more important than monthly price. Dealers will do anything and everything to get you that monthly price, even if it means saddling you with higher expenses and interest over the years. Instead, focus on getting the price of your car as low as possible and then work with the financing. Then figure out what that works out to on a monthly basis.

Set a budget and stick to it when shopping for a car. It can be very hard to stick to a budget when you find a car that you really want, but there is nothing good about an impulse buy. Figure out what you can afford before you start looking so that you do not break the bank.

Only use reviews on the internet as a general guide. A lot of people when they have problems with a car will post negative reviews on the internet. So look at all the reviews for common problems as opposed to a general ranking. If there is a problem with a major component, then probably find a different vehicle.

Have a friend or family member that sells cars come along with you as you search for a new car. Car salesmen can be very aggressive, but if they know that you are with a fellow salesman you will have an easier time getting the deal that you want and deserve.

Always take a test drive. Don't be so pressed for time that you skip this part. Nothing can substitute your actual experience with the car. You may notice trouble with the brakes, misfiring, sticking or slipping gears, or a number of other factors that the dealer didn't tell you about.

Make sure that when you are car shopping that you know what you're looking for first. Call around to some of the dealerships and see if they have something you'd be interested in. You may also be able to find their website and check out the vehicles before spending time going up there.

Keep in mind that car salesmen have some monthly quotas to meet. They have to sell X number of cars monthly, and knowing this puts you in the proverbial driver's seat. If a salesperson is behind on their monthly quota, they will be ready to lower prices to get you to buy a car. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to negotiating a price.

Be firm in what extras you want. Almost every salesperson is going to at least attempt to "upsell" you in an effort to get a bigger sale. Don't let them pressure you into the next model up or features you don't need. If they claim not to have the model you are looking for in stock, only the "better" one, ask if they can locate one at another dealer.

Never take a car at face value. Though you may not be a mechanic, it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle. An important part of the inspection is a test drive. This allows you to feel the car on the road, listen for any wayward noises and possible spot issues with performance.

No matter how far into the purchase you have gone, remember that you are not tied down into one-car dealership until you sign papers. Even if the salesman is very friendly, it is just business. If you find a better deal elsewhere, you have no obligation to purchase from your first dealer.

New car shopping is stressful simply because it involves spending such a great deal of money. Education is critical to making a wise choice, given the abundance of choices available. Review the information above as needed, and the process really can be easier than you may have ever imagined it could be.

New Directions In Personal Hovercraft Design

If you decide to buy a hovercraft, you'll find a growing range of options available on the internet and some of them are breaking away from traditional ways of doing things. Up until now the small hovercraft builders have basically copied the design aspects of the large air cushioned craft built in the 60s and 70s by operators aiming to transport high numbers of passengers, which is necessary to turn a profit. The four basic requirements are a hull, which is by necessity rigid, a skirt which is not, some method of controlling direction and an energy source - personal hovercraft specs.

Large craft hulls are made from aluminium or similar alloy having high strength compared to it's weight. It doesn't have to be as strong as you light think, because it is going to be either supported by a cushion of air, or resting on the ground. It doesn't need to be aerodynamically streamlined as it isn't going to be traveling very fast. That kind of construction makes perfect sense when considering the size of some of these craft, but much less sense when building small hovercraft. Reduce size means that other methods can be used for making the hull, such as resin reinforced glass fiber or high density expanded plastics.

A big ACV is controlled exclusively by servo operated ailerons placed in the airflow of the forward thrust fans, which are generally mounted at the rear. As the angle of the aileron is changed, the air flow is re-directed and the air cushioned craft turns in the same direction at a rate depending on the angle. Smaller types use the same principle, but the action is initiated by the operator turning a set of handlebars, which change the angle of the ailerons In addition, the operator must place his body weight towards the side of the vehicle in the direction he wants to travel.

The skirt is perhaps the element that has undergone profound design changes. Not in it's basic function and shape, but in the way it is fabricated and fixed to the craft. Skirt design should be one of your main consideration when planning to buy a hovercraft. A one piece skirt is very expensive to change if it becomes damaged, and so hovercraft manufacturers opting for a one piece design should use very tough materials, such as Kevlar. Other design separate the assembly into small sections that are easily replaced if damaged.

What You Need To Know About Motorcycle Training

For those who have been riding a motorcycle for a while now, you probably know that there's still a lot to learn. In fact, there's a lot of seasoned riders who take motorcycle training in order to hone their skills and fine-tune their mental skills that are essential for survival traffic. In a motorcycle training, you're going to learn the technique of stopping quickly, managing traction, swerving, and even cornering.

What to Expect

For beginners and those who are under the age of 18, you have to ask for permission from your parent or guardian before you can take a motorcycle-related course. In the classroom, you'll learn the different type of motorcycles, how to become a safer and more responsible rider, as well as how the layout and operation of the basic control works

A license from a motorcycle training is usually released after a day or two, and the only way you can get one is if you're going to take the training at an accredited driving school.


Improve the Image of Motorcyclists

There are some road users, like vehicle drivers, as well as pedestrians who believe that motorcycle riders are nothing but ungrateful bullies who have the habit of zipping in and out of lanes with no care at all. Even though some motorcyclists do something like this, it doesn't mean all of them does. To change this inaccurate public perception, the best solution would be to undergo motorcycle training.

Improve Riding Skills

Just like what has been mentioned earlier, motorcycle training isn't limited to beginners. Riders who have several years of experience can also, consider taking a refresher course as a way to improve their riding skills or get better. In fact, there are courses specifically designed for this purpose. You should also know that there are various levels of skill enhancement. The reason for this is that; the skill level needed to ride a scooter significantly varies from the skill required to ride a motorcycle. As a matter of fact, moped riders are required to undergo compulsory basic training before they're even allowed to hit the road. Likewise, it's important to pass a motorcycle test with two years, or you'll have to take the CBT again.

Improve Road Safety

Aside from improving the overall image of riders, motorcycle training also promotes and improves road safety as well. Wherein, aspiring motorcyclists learn every important about road safety, as well as the meaning of different road signs and traffic laws.

The Hovercraft Principle Of Operation Is Not As Straight Forward As It Appears

A single statement tells us that air pressure created by a huge fan causes a hovercraft to float above the surface of dry land or water, but this is the very tip of the iceberg. A working hovercraft of any size is the result of many years of trail and error before the concepts were full understand. The air flow and pressure underneath an air cushioned vehicle depends on several important factors complex. The power required to life the craft can vary considerably according to the type of terrain it is flying over.

The hovercraft is quite unique in the respect that it, unlike most flying machines, it does not require forward motion to lift from the ground. In fact, it must lift off before moving at all, as the friction of air against air is very small at that time. Contrary to what it might seem, it isn't the speed and the amount of air pushed downwards by the lift engines that determines the lifting power of an ACV, but the shape of the underneath of the hull and the skirt material surrounding and containing the air flow.

Large vehicles have a split skirt in two sections with an inner and outer skin. Air is blown down through this and also down through slots along the underneath of the hull. An effect was found by one of the earliest inventors, known as the annular effect. When air is blown between two walls a ridge of pressure forms in the shape of an annulus or three dimensional ring. This ring of pressure has the tendency to form a barrier between the air being blown down to the ground, and the air outside the skirt. Basically, less lift thrust is needed due to this effect, which makes a huge difference to the power of the engines needed for any given weight of hovercraft. Small hovercraft have a generally less complex design srtucture.

Although capable of flying over many types of surface, the power required and the flight characteristics are not the same. On a perfectly flat surface, the power required to hover is about 25% of the power needed by a helicopter of the same weight! This represents a massive saving both in engine size (and therefore cost) and in fuel requirements. Both factors mean that an ACV can be lighter and carry a bigger payload. However, on rougher terrain and water, this changes dramatically, because of the turbulence introduced by obstructions and undulations on the ground.

Hovercraft Safety

In all hovercraft events, it is conditional for all participating hovercraft, including those built by students, to adhere to World Regulations for Competition Hovercraft - oh yes, they do exist now). By following the DiscoverHover free hovercraft plans, students will build a hovercraft designed to conform to these regulations.

All hovercraft, including DiscoverHover student hovercraft, must be checked by the Safety Officer of an authorized Hoverclub prior to its acceptance into any hovercraft race. During hovercraft races, the event Safety Officer again checks each hovercraft prior to its participation. Both the Safety Officials and the Race Officials closely monitor the performance of each hovercraft and pilot throughout all racing events.

This emphasis on assuring conformance to a rigorous safety code, regulating both the construction/condition of leisure hovercraft and the operational performance of the pilots, has created an unusually safe sport for both participants and spectators.

Hovercraft Safety and Maintenance Must Do's & Dont's

DO TAKE LESSONS from a qualified hovercraft pilot;
DO Watch the exhaust gas temperature gauges to avoid burning pistons;
DO Practice flying on land in a wide open space until you can weave in and out of a row of traffic cones spaced 25 feet apart without touching them;
DO Sit well back in the hovercraft when operating on water;
DO Grease the bearing grease fittings every 10 operating hours;
DO Stay away from people so as not to hit them with the slip stream;
DO Fly with consideration for others at all times and obey Coast Guard and local boating laws;
DO Carry emergency gear with you: flotation device, signal, paddle, first aid, etc
DON'T Start the engine with any guards removed (fanguard or engine cover)
DON'T Start the engine with people standing close behind the fan;
DON'T Fly any great distance over concrete, asphalt, through woods, over rough terrain, on gravel roads or ever on highways;
DON'T Stand up when operating on water;
DON'T Forget to lean into a turn but sit straight up on ice;
DON'T Fly fast until you have lots of experience and always give yourself plenty of room;
DON'T Put you hands into the fan or drive system unless you have the keys in your pocket and the engine is off;
DON'T Forget to trim the payload when cruising on water;
DON'T Forget to tie the hovercraft down on the trailer, attach the safety chains and check that the tilt latch is locked.

Features To Look For When Buying A Second Hand Vw Golf

If you are someone who is quite knowledgeable about the automotive world, the chances are good that you already know that the Volkswagen Golf is a vehicle that has been taking the top spot for a number of awards right from the very moment that it came out. With the excellent build and the dependability that this vehicle has to offer, they are looked upon as being a wonderful value, especially if you are going to be buying used. Before you start shopping, it is important to look into a list of some of the features that you are looking for so that you can get the best vehicle for the investment.

Remote Locking

This is a feature that hit the showroom floor when the Mark IV came out, but it only came with some of the special trim levels. With the Mark V, drivers had the luxury of remote locking becoming a standard feature. Often referred to as central locking, this is a feature that includes a key fob with a button that you can easily use to either unlock or lock the car from a distance.

Adaptive Chassis Control

In 2008, this is a feature that was available with the sixth generation VW golf and it works to automatically regulate the suspension depending on the particular driving conditions. You can also manually change the suspension between the different modes to help change how the vehicle handles. These three modes are normal, sport and then comfort, and each have their own benefits for the driver.

Parking Assist

This is technology that hit the showrooms with the Mark VI Golf and it is used to help the driver locate a parking spot that is suitable and easy to maneuver into. If you are someone who often has issues with parking, such as parallel spots in the city, the system is going to measure the precise distance that you need to easily get into the spot using a designated path. All you have to do is take care of working the pedals and the steering wheel will turn on its own to get you into the space.

Buying Your Second Hand VW Golf

You can save a great deal of money on a second hand Volkswagen Golf simply by taking your time and weighing all of your options. There are plenty of VW Golf sellers that are available today that will give you a great price on a dependable vehicle that has been well taken care of. Just make sure that you talk with the seller and take the vehicle out for a test drive first to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

If possible, you should think about bringing a mechanic with you so that you can have someone else take a look at the inner workings of the Golf. When all is said and done, you should have a great used vehicle that is going to last you for quite some time, complete with all of the features that you want.

How To Maintain A Deep Cycle Battery Over Winter

A deep cycle battery is typically used in marine applications, and these types of batteries require specific care and maintenance that is not required in traditional automotive batteries. This type of battery needs a multiple stage battery charger that can be used to recharge these batteries. A single stage battery charger is used to charge an automotive battery. This means that deep cycle batteries are not fully charged until they undergo multiple stages of charging and discharging cycles.

The battery is designed to be discharged and then recharged many times during its life cycle. On the other hand, discharging an automotive battery one time can lead to the immediate failure of the battery. The charger used for a deep cycle battery should have 8 amps output minimum, and close to 16 amps on the higher side. The good news is that a float mode that is installed in many of the chargers can not only increase the longevity of the battery, but also allows the battery to be charged for a longer period of time.

Initial Charge

Even when deep cycle batteries are brand new, they still need to be charged before they are used. In fact, these types of batteries generally need 20 to 40 discharge/charge cycles before the battery is fully charged. This means that the battery should be broken into gradually during the discharge/charge period, and you should avoid allowing the battery to complete deplete its charge. If this occurs, the service life of the battery could be reduced by months or even years.


Although keeping the battery clean is a very important part of maintenance, it is a step that is often overlooked. When residue is allowed to build on the top of the battery, a circuit could be created between the negative and positive terminals. As a result, the battery has an opportunity to discharge.

The battery posts should be cleaned every year with a wire brush, and then they should be coated with grease in order to prevent oxidation from occurring. The battery case should also be visually inspected every year, or anytime the battery is dropped or is hit by an object. However, by securing the battery in a battery box, you will add an extra layer of protection for your battery.

A deep cycle battery can have an extended service life when it is properly cared for. It is vital to use a charger specifically for this type of battery in order to save you money and guarantee long service.


My First Car:-the Toyota Corrolla

My first car was a Toyota Corrolla. The Toyota brand of cars is originally engineered in Japan. I purchased this vehicle as a salvage car from an auto-yard within the city suburbs. A salvage vehicle is the chassis of a previously brand new car still with a functional engine, that may have been involved in an accident of sorts and is therefore demanding of mechanical repairs prior to its re-usage for vehicular purposes.The car was a yellow, five seat sedan. It had a dented bonnet from a traffic collision. It had a shattered windscreen and also it's front bumper had been knocked off. All this required replacement. The engine was also deprived of oil, but still functional. There are many reasons I chose the Toyota Corrola as my vehicle of choice. This model of car comes highly affordable in the market. This is due to its high supply in production and low demand as it's not widely flashy expensive,elitist and top of the range vehicle by upper-class people. Secondly, the Spare parts to the Toyota Corrolla are highly available and highly affordable too. Therefore, in the event one has has a mechanical problem of sorts, replacement of damaged parts and gadgets are cheaply and easily obtainable.

There are many factors that inspired to purchasing a car. First and foremost, I no longer considered having a personal car a luxury. I felt it was imperative to be sheltered from torrential rain down pour whenever i wanted to travel within the limits of the city. I also felt it was of the essence to be able to have the capability to navigate areas withing the city, that I couldn't conveniently explore using the public transport system. My first job also entailed marketing and sales and I was required to promptly market and distribute home-care and health care goods within the proximity of the city. For this reason it was only a prudent strategy to be in charge of my own form of transportation. Lastly, I felt I had come of age to own the prestigious privilege of owning a personal car. I nevertheless hadn't enough money, to make the extravagant purchase of a more flashy or highly exorbitant vehicle. Salvage vehicles are sold-off at throw away prices, and all it took me was visit the auto-yard with a trusted mechanic to evaluate the cost implications of having repairs on this vehicles upon purchase. It deemed quite affordable considering the salvage vehicle retailed at 1000 pounds. I was confident that it was a win-win situation because I considered it a good bargain having almost an entire new vehicle after repairs were complete.

Having said this, I will now explain how in the most impromptu manner i purchased my first car. One day in September, It happened to be a normal day in work. The day began beautifully and sunny in the morning and as the afternoon came in, I was due to make my last delivery. I was to make my last delivery of goods to a client approximately 15 km, on the other side of the city. Suddenly, dark ominous clouds, engulfed the sky and the loud clap of thunder became audibly evident. Out of the blue, heavy torrential rains began to pour. I was flabbergasted at the sudden turn of events and my ensuing predicament. I usually had my boxes of home care and healthcare goods stacked and transported via the public transport system, however on this day this strategy wasn't going to work. This is mainly because, heavy rainfall usually causes a myriad of problems for transportation of all sorts, ranging from traffic jams or go slows that run into hours sometimes. The public transport system of buses uses specific routes which may not necessarily be the shortest route to one's destination. Therefore during rains, delay is eminent culminating from traffic jams. My merchandise was furthermore exposed and drenched in the rainstorm. In a nutshell, I wasn't able to make my deliveries in time, and subsequently had my boxes so heavily rained on I had to seek replacements.There and then, I made the decision to break the bank of my little savings and purchase my first car.

Get help to learn to drive and get your first car also with Driving Instructors in Glasgow.

The More Subtle Benefits Of Gps Vehicle Tracking

If you're part of a forward-thinking company that operates a large number of vehicles, you've probably already considered the possibility of equipping your fleet with a GPS-based tracking system. In case you're still on the fence, here are some of the less-often-considered advantages to GPS tracking.

A Hidden Data Bonanza

Obviously, TIGTrack's GPS tracking equipment will tell you where all of your vehicles are at any given time. Have you considered just how much you can do with that information, though? You can analyze your vehicle usage from a host of new viewpoints with an automated system tracking every vehicle's movements.

The only real limits to what you can do with this data are those of the software you use to manipulate it. This is why it's important to pay attention to the reporting capabilities and software support offered along with a GPS vehicle tracking system prior to picking one. A good system can deliver tons of useful, easy-to-digest data; a cheap one may spit out nothing but uninterpreted numbers.

Streamlining Resource Utilization

When you're running a fleet of vehicles, you're trying to keep track of a host of different valuable resources. There are the vehicles themselves, the equipment and materials they carry, and of course the time (and pay) of the employees riding in them. A good GPS-based tracking system can help you manage all of these resources!

GPS tracking lends exceptional accuracy to your supply-chain logistics. You'll know exactly where every truckload of material is at any given moment. A robust tracking system also makes dispatching far easier, cutting down on both idle time and accidental duplication of work.

Minimizing Maintenance Costs

Consider the benefits that GPS tracking can confer on your vehicle maintenance program. You needn't worry about whether or not your employees are keeping accurate vehicle logs any longer; the system collects all the necessary data automatically!

With the help of GPS tracking, you'll extend the life of your vehicles considerably by ensuring they get their regularly-scheduled maintenance without time. This also makes your fleet more reliable and protects you from unexpected breakdowns.

Hopefully, reading this article has encouraged you to look at GPS-based vehicle tracking systems with a broader point of view. There are plenty of benefits to these systems that you may not have considered yet! As the hardware gets cheaper and the software gets more capable, the advantages to tracking systems are only going to get stronger and stronger. Isn't it about time you started enjoying those advantages at your company?

Sell Your Car Free And Get A Lot Out Of It

It will benefit you to sell your car for free because you will save a lot of money. You won't have to pay a dealer to do it for you or have to use any kind of paid service that takes part of the money you make.

The main thing you want to do is find a place to list your vehicle for no cost at all. Most cities, for instance, have some kind of a paper that is given out for free that you can put a free listing in. A lot of people also put their vehicles online in an ad because there are free online classified ad websites out there you can work with. You won't get a lot of features you can ad to a local paper, but online you can easily link to photos if you want.

Learn how to describe a vehicle in a more expressive and imaginative way so that when you try to sell it, you are giving someone a good idea of what to expect. It is just a waste of your time if you aren't going to tell people all about it, so expect to answer some questions before you let someone come out to check the vehicle out. You'll have a hard time if you just have a blurb online or in a paper and expect people to just come look at the vehicle, so work on coming up with a description of it.

The websites where you sell for free may have some paid options that you can use to help you get the vehicle sold faster. One thing you can do to make this still free for you is to tack on that fee to the price of the vehicle. Plus you can factor in what your time is worth, and then add that to the price as well. Just don't get too crazy about pricing your vehicle as high as possible, since eventually it will get to a point where nobody at all is going to respond.

Figuring out how to sell your car for free lets you make more money off of it. Since it's so easy to advertise for virtually no money at all, it is possible to do this. You just have to be willing to work hard to find a seller on your own by using the advice you got here.