All cars have four wheels, so what exactly differentiates four-wheel drive from other driving systems? Four-wheel drive (4WD) refers to vehicles in which the engine powers all four wheels at the same time. These 4WD cars often allow drivers to switch from two- to four-wheel drive as conditions require. If you like going off-road for an adventurous drive in the thick of nature, the 4WD setting is for you.
“The byproduct of seeing nature this way is that you gain respect for it,” says Bruce Elfstrom, the CEO of Overland Experts, a Connecticut-based off-road driving school.
It’s not all about going rough and tumble, though. Many feel 4WD vehicles are also better in bad weather conditions, such as rain, snow and ice. But don’t let the added grip make you overconfident. Instead, Elfstrom offers the following guidance for safe 4WD handling:
Stay in the no-spin zone
While traction is generally much better with 4WD, you still need to be sure to maintain it while being careful about spinning. “The grip needs to remain spread to all wheels, if possible,” Elfstrom says. “To accomplish this, go soft on the throttle and give power gently. It’s like walking on ice.”
Maintain personal space
Here’s a disadvantage of 4WD vehicles: They weigh more than two-wheel-drive vehicles, and thus are slower to stop. Allow ample distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. “Aggressive drivers end up in accidents long before drivers with forethought and finesse,” Elfstrom says.
Give your vehicle some room
Don’t tailgate. If you can read the license plate in front of you at anything faster than 45 mph, you’re too close. Keeping distance between your 4WD vehicle and the vehicles ahead enables you to avoid slamming on the brakes. With 4WD, the brakes will lock up in this situation for just a second, even if you have an anti-lock braking system, and you could lose any grip that you had. “This means your vehicle becomes a sled,” Elfstrom says. “It’s out of control. Instead of slamming, brake softly over a long distance before turning a corner. Always assume you’re about to lose traction.”
Focus on the vehicles ahead of you to anticipate and avoid collisions, especially if you require more time and distance to stop. “A driver has to drive for others around them,” Elfstrom says. “Not everyone has the same reaction time as you, or can see as well as you, or has the same pulling power as you.”
Accidents happen. Learn how Nationwide Accident Forgiveness can help offset the rate increase that would occur after an accident. Ask your agent about adding coverage to your Nationwide policy.
It’s no secret that most car enthusiasts enjoy displaying their passion for all things automotive. From calendars and clocks to accent furniture, many classic car lovers incorporate that interest into everything from the clothes they wear to their home décor.
If you’re shopping for gifts for a classic car lover, the hardest part might be finding something that they don’t already have. Here’s some classic car-themed gift ideas that will delight any auto enthusiast.
Cuff links that celebrate the need for speed
Your classic car-loving friend loves displaying their devotion to their preferred automaker or car parts distributor. If you really want to help them wear their passion on their sleeve, surprise them with a pair of cufflinks shaped like a classic car or a speedometer. Today’s speedometers might be digital displays, but vintage car lovers can appreciate this blast from the past.
An engine-themed ensemble
Gift them something fun to wear to the next collectors’ meetup — and encourage them to bring their little one along for the adventure. A set of comfortable T-shirts emblazoned with large line drawings of engines makes a fun gift for a grown-up classic car enthusiast and their young car collector in training. Available in adult and child sizes bearing big and small block engines, these gray, raglan-style shirts with navy sleeves are the perfect gifts for a car fan’s wardrobe. In addition to looking great, these shirts help keep future drivers safe — all proceeds are donated to provide car seats to families in need.
Fast and fantastic furniture
If you have a muscle car fan who also happens to enjoy a round or two of pool, a billiards table may be the gift to end all gifts. Look for a regulation-size table that’s actually molded from a real collector’s car. Some models available include the 1959 Chevy Corvette, 1965 Ford Mustang, 1969 Camaro and Shelby GT 350. Everything that people love about each car is meticulously reproduced, from the gleaming grilles with their iconic headlights to details that might include full-size whitewall tires with steel rims and chrome covers.
They don’t make engines like they used to, and any classic car lover can remind you that yesteryear’s engines were works of art. They can display that art in an imaginative way with a metallic silver engine block coffee table. Made from a cast iron block with pistons and heads permanently attached, this unique addition to any game room, den or man cave is topped with a piece of tempered glass to make a stunning coffee table. Custom colors are available, too.
The beloved 1969 Dodge Charger is a favorite of many classic car lovers. A hand-painted, bright red resin wall shelf brings the car inside for an eye-catching addition that makes a useful gift for classic car lovers. Hand-painted and topped with a tempered glass shelf, it brings a bit of muscle (car) to any room.
Accessories with a touch of class
Transport your classic car collector back to the good old days with a set of driving gloves, a driving cap or even a pair of leather driving moccasins. Caps come in a wide range of fabrics and colors to suit your recipient’s style, and Nappa lambskin gloves provide great grip on a classic car’s steering wheel. Look for driving moccasins with thick, grippy sole nubs to provide traction on pedals.
A creative crate
Classic cars require some extra TLC, but the ritual of caring for them is almost as fun as driving them. Put together a gift crate filled with supplies that help your recipient care for a vintage car. Start with special automotive soap and a washing mitt that’s designed to be gentle on automotive finishes. Include a soft microfiber towel, clay bar and tire dressing for a well-rounded gift basket. Finish things off with a monogrammed keyring.
Shopping for the perfect gift for a classic car enthusiast might be almost as fun for you as it is for the person receiving the gift. If your shopping excursion has piqued your interest in vintage autos, learn more about what can make them so fun and interesting to collect.
Whether you’re apartment hunting and the perfect place is slightly out of your price range, or your landlord is raising the rent on your current apartment, you have the option to try and negotiate your rent. It sounds intimidating, but with a little strategy, you just might win over the landlord. Here are some ways you can go about negotiating your rent price:
Ask the landlord if rent price is open to discussion
Politely ask if the landlord is willing to discuss rent prices and when a good time to talk would be. If you’re negotiating price for a new place, it’s important to know who you are talking to. A large property company is less likely to negotiate terms, while an independent landlord has more leeway to change prices.
If you’re facing a rent increase, start the conversation at least a month before your lease ends so your landlord has enough time to consider your offer or, if need be, you have time to make other plans.
Highlight your strengths as a tenant
If you’re looking for a new place, you can show you’re financially stable by offering the landlord a few concessions, such as paying a few months of rent in advance or signing on for a longer lease which saves the landlord money in turnover.
In the case of a rent increase, you should remind the landlord what a reliable, responsible tenant you’ve been. If you’ve always paid your rent on time, are courteous to other tenants and have kept the property in good shape, make sure your landlord knows it. It can help prove your worthiness and give them an incentive to keep your current rent.
Inquire about extending the lease
Showing that you plan to stay in your apartment for a substantial length of time can demonstrate that you’re a stable investment. If the lease is annual, offer to extend it to 18-24 months in exchange for keeping your current rent. If the landlord knows he or she won’t have to take a risk with a new tenant, this could be a good compromise.
Offer to end the lease in the summer
Landlords know the summer is usually an easier time to find tenants. Since most people have more flexible schedules then, such as recently graduated college students looking for first apartments, there are simply more people looking for rental spaces. Offering to end your lease in the summer can be an attractive option for a landlord, and they might be willing to shave prices in exchange for the convenient end date.
Research the property’s value
Consider if the is rent beyond the actual worth of the prevailing market. Research rent rates by talking to other landlords or neighbors in the area. Knowing average property prices and frequency of rent hikes in the neighborhood may give you leverage.
Be open to compromise
Unless you’re simply unwilling or unable to afford the rent rate, suggest a compromise amount that you can afford. For instance, if the rent is $100 higher than you’d like, offer to pay $50 instead. Back up your offer by mentioning your research findings and focusing on your stability as a tenant.
Negotiate in person, follow up in writing
Try to talk to the landlord in person as face to face negotiation is usually best. Remain calm, polite and professional during the discussion – never rude or defensive. Follow up the discussion within 24 hours with a brief email thanking them for the meeting and reiterating your “ask.”
Have a backup plan
If you’re looking for a new place, you should have more than one apartment, house or condo on your radar. Banking on a landlord decreasing rent prices can be risky, especially if you have a set date you need to move out of your old place.
If you’re facing a rent increase, you have to decide if you’d be willing to pay the higher rate just in case negotiations don’t go as planned. If you are definitely unwilling or unable to accept the new rate, it’s a good idea to start researching new apartments. If you decide to stay and pay more each month, you can request property upgrades to make the increase more palatable, such as repainting the walls or updating the landscaping.
Rent increases aren’t the only unexpected thing that can happen to renters. Find out how Sterling Peaks Insurance renters insurance can protect you against theft, damage to personal belongings, and more.
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