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January 2014
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March 2014

4 entries from February 2014

Monthly Poll: Would You Rather Be a Driver or a Passenger?

Fight for the steering wheel
Photo: iStock

The two of you are headed out the door. You know where you're going. You know how to get there. Just one question. Who's going to drive?

Who drives and who takes shotgun is often used as a metaphor for relationships. The implication is that whoever likes to be in the driver's seat in the car also likes to take control of things in life - and that the passenger is passive, content to watch things pass them by. Drivers drive. Passengers sit. Drivers are active. Passengers are passive.

As the frequent "navigator" in my relationship, I get a little defensive at the characterization of passengers as passive. Okay, I may not be driving, but I'm still very busy looking things up, handling both of our phones, trying not to ask the driver complicated tax questions during harrowing left-hand turns and, if I'm honest, occasionally driving with my MIND. I'm not driving but I'm still an active participant!

I could continue my rant, but thanks to this article in the Globe & Mail, I've become a little more understanding of control-freak drivers who mock the passenger-oriented. It might not be their fault. Because it turns out there's an actual psychological condition that may render you incapable of handing over the keys.

It's called "amaxaphobia"- the fear of being a passenger. If you feel real panic at the thought of not being the driver, then you may be amaxaphobic.

Over to you - what do you think? Do you always need to drive or do you delight in being the passenger? Take our poll below!

- Rose R.

Torque vs Horsepower - What's the Difference?

I admired our neighbour's new truck over the weekend. He'd been shopping around for a long time and now that he'd found his perfect vehicle, he was was eager to share his decision making process with me.

He included a lot of technical details about the power inside his ultimate driving machine, specifically its superior torque and horsepower. I nodded along in order to seem cool but I was thinking "What is the difference between torque and horsepower?"

Fortunately, I'm not the first person to have this question and far more car savvy folk than I have brought their knowledge to bear on this topic. This video does a great job of explaining both the basics and some of the more technical aspects of torque and horsepower - how they work and how they affect your vehicle's performance.

Are torque and horsepower things that are top of mind when you buy a car? Let us know in the comments.

- Rose R.

Show Your Car Some Love

Valentine's car

Your car does so much for you. It gets you places. It doesn't say anything about your doughnut habit. You spend a lot of time together, just hangin'. This Valentine's Day, why not celebrate your other "significant other" - your beloved vehicle? Here are a few gift suggestions for that special automobile in your life.

Warm Hands, Warm Heart - Now that science has disproved the idiom "cold hands, warm heart", it's time to get those hands warmed up with a heated steering wheel cover. Apparently, having warm hands puts you in a better mood, which I'm sure will help you - and your car - be happier on the road.

Musical Accompaniment - A soundtrack always makes driving better, whether you're stuck in traffic or out on the open road. If your current stereo set up has you shoving a matchbook under your cassette tape to keep it playing, it might be time to spring for a sound system upgrade. Whether you do a complete stereo overhaul or just set your ride up with some portable wireless speakers that connect to your MP3 player, your car will appreciate it.

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Valentine's Day Roadtrip, Anyone?

Valentine's car

With Valentine's Day falling on a Friday this year, it's a perfect excuse to plan a little romantic getaway (weather permitting). Maybe you have a special destination in mind - but if you're looking for a romantic Canadian road trip, here are a few ideas to kick-start your planning!

Visit the Vineyard - From the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island to the Malagash Peninsula in Nova Scotia, Canada offers a huge variety of delicious local wine (and lovely winery tours). Check out this article for some great recommendations on wineries to visit in the wine region nearest you! Remember that drinking and driving are NOT romantic, so be sure to enjoy your wine responsibly.

Hit the Slopes - There a few things more romantic than snuggling up in front of a roaring fire after a day of snowy fun. Canada has world-class ski resorts from coast to coast where you can enjoy both adorable sweaters and the exhilaration of the wind in your face. Don't ski? Most of these locations also offer snowshoeing trails, hiking, skating or tubing. Either way, finish up the day laughing over who wiped out the worst in your snow-covered chalet.

Continue reading "Valentine's Day Roadtrip, Anyone?" »