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5 entries from June 2012

Driving Laws You May Not Know

Driving Laws You May Not Know
Photo: iStockphoto

In Oregon, you can get a ticket for leaving your car door open too long. In California, it's illegal to drive in your bathrobe (but this only applies to ladies, so Hugh Hefner - you're okay). And in New Jersey, it's against the law to pump your own gas.

When every region has their own unique set of traffic laws, you're bound to come across some statutes that seem unusual. While some seem unlikely to ever affect you (such as the law in Chico, California, which states that you cannot plant rutabagas in a roadway), there are a few, like the ones I mentioned earlier, that might catch you unawares when you leave home.

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The Dying Art of the Courtesy Wave

The Courtesy Wave
Photo: iStockphoto

You're in a long line of traffic, thanks to some construction on the shoulder. You've been waiting your turn like a good driver and you're seconds away from escaping the bottleneck and hitting the open road. Out of the corner of your eye, you see some guy zipping up the right lane, bypassing all of the other (more patient) drivers as he zooms to the head of the line and then tries to sneak his way in. Your car is the next to go through and you vow not to let this line-cutter in, but before you know it, the guy has nudged the hood of his vehicle into your lane and there's no way you can go unless you let him go first.

You hate this guy with a fiery passion. As he pulls ahead of you, you say something very rude out loud to yourself about his poor driving etiquette. And then…just as you're thinking about the desert island you'd like to send all jerky drivers to, it happens. The guy waves. And suddenly, you think "Ehh. Well…at least he WAVED." The rage abates and you drive on, feeling like the bigger person. Good driving karma increased!

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Fuel Injectors and Fuel Efficiency

Moving Engine Block
Photo: iStockphoto

Today's vehicle maintenance post is about fuel injectors and why keeping them clean will help keep your vehicle as fuel efficient as possible.

As its name suggests, the "fuel injector" injects a metered amount of fuel into your engine by spraying fuel directly into the cylinder (some vehicles have slight variations on this theme, but the premise is still the same). Each fuel injector corresponds to a cylinder in your vehicle. If your vehicle has four cylinders, then it has four fuel injectors.

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CAA Names Canada's Worst Roads from Coast to Coast

Worst Roads
Photo: iStockphoto

Potholes you could lose a child in - streets so jammed it takes 45 minutes to drive 1 km - we all have local roads that drive us a little crazy. For the last nine years, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in Ontario has held an annual Worst Roads survey. This year, they expanded the campaign to other CAA clubs to have drivers vote on the worst roads in Atlantic Canada (P.E.I., New Brunswick, Newfoundland Nova Scotia), Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. And the results are in!

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Remember your Cabin Air Filter!

Cabin Air Filter
Photo: iStockphoto

When you think of vehicle maintenance, you probably think of oil changes, tire rotations and air filters. But when your mechanic or service advisor tells you it is time to change your cabin air filter, you may feel yourself staring blankly and asking “My what?”

Don’t worry - you’re not alone. You may only know about the cabin air filter in your vehicle if you’ve read through your owner’s manual – which most people haven't - or if your mechanic brings it up. 

The cabin air filter, also called a pollen filter, filters air entering the interior of the vehicle through the HVAC (heating ventilation and air-conditioning system).  Specifically, the cabin air filter will filter out particles, dust mites, dirt and pollen before it enters the interior of your car. It can also prevent leaves, dirt and other debris from clogging the blower motor in your vehicle. If you want to use your heater or air conditioner – you definitely want to keep this clear! 

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