Tag Archives: Tips

ABS braking

This is the perfect time of year to test your antilock braking system. Wet all the time and packed leaves can be nearly as bad as snow (not ice; and yes that’s an opinion and not something I’ve researched) Test ’em before you need them!!

Just find an empty area, preferably one with nothing whatsoever in it, get up to about 25mph and slam on the brakes. When I’d read about ABS I heard it was kind of a gentle clicking. Which is crap. In my car it feels like an odd conglomeration of rapid popping and harsh grinding, the pedal even moves side to side a tiny bit. The effect is a damned quick stop in a straight line.

As long as you check your interior for objects that may fly around and truly are in a huge vacant space, I cannot imagine anything bad happening. Personally, I’ve picked opportune moments for seeing how ABS works in a variety of conditions, but I understand if that’s beyond most people’s comfort zones.

Chances are if you’re reading this you mean something to me, so please make time to try this out.

blind spots

Can’t believe I’ve been driving for over a decade and never knew how to properly set my mirrors. Here is the gist of it:

To adjust your mirrors properly, put your head against the left side door glass, then adjust your left mirror OUT until you just barely can (or barely can not) see the side of your car. THEN, move your head to the center of your car and adjust your right mirror out until you can barely (or barely can not) see the side of your car. The goal is to set it up so that once a car leaves your REAR view mirror, it appears in your SIDE view mirror – and once it leaves your SIDE view mirror, it appears in your side window/peripheral vision. Unfortunately, some American cars don’t let you adjust the mirrors out far enough to completely accomplish this. I recommend experimenting in a parking lot until you get the ideal angle.

CarTalk covered this a while ago and it’s worth sharing (their page has graphics available in the downloadable PDF.) Might as well get used to using the mirrors correctly now, before I’m an old fart and can’t easily look over my shoulder.