Most driving instructors will make sure that you learn the fine intricacies of reversing around a corner and easily shuffling the wheel to park your car. But unfortunately passing your driving test is just the beginning of a rather long journey. If you want to quickly become an elite and street smart driver there are a few more things you’ll need to learn, these things you’re not going to find in the highway code book.
Cooling your car without the air conditioner
When you park your car during the summer it is a sure bet that the sun will heat up your car to a good 40 degrees. One solution would be to turn on the air conditioner when you return but it still would take a good 10 minutes for your car to cool down. An easier street smart way is to open and close the driver’s end of your car down five times. This will generate a powerful gust of air that expels most of the hot air, and makes the air conditioner a bit more efficient.
Where have you parked
It is quite common for newbie drivers to forget where they parked. However, the easiest way is to install an app on your Smartphone which will mark the spot you’ve parked your car via GPS. Then when you need to return it will show you where you have parked give a take a few meters.
You don’t need sat navigation
If you have a GPS enabled phone you can expect to pay a good $1000 less by not purchasing a vehicle with sat nav. A free sat navigation app on your phone with free Google maps is all you will need to go anywhere you want without getting lost.
Enjoying Bluetooth in your 80’s model Chevrolet
Yes any car can have Bluetooth, once you overcome the somewhat tricky situation where your car is a good 15 years older than your phone. One option would be to upgrade your entire audio system to a new one which can be expensive. The simplest solution by far is to install Bluetooth speakers that don’t cost more than $100. These speakers can easily sit on top of your dash or even in the cup holder.
Parking in your garage with precision
Parking in a small garage can be not surprisingly frustrating. If you are new it can also take a long time to get your car properly aligned in position without scratches that are expensive to repair. The easiest way is to ask a friend or family member first help you align the car properly and then slowly drive it into the garage.
Improve any vehicle’s performance
Almost any vehicle even your old clunker can use a lot less fuel and perform better. This is no advertisement but physics that many driving teachers just happen to miss. This requires that you remove as much excess weight from your car as possible. Empty out your trunk and backseat and only keep the bare essentials onboard. You can also take things one step further by replacing the hefty spare wheel with just tire repair foam. This should allow you to easily take 60lbs off your car.
Saving money on your car
It is an established fact that car makers do make a good profit off the cars that they sell with the most revenue coming from dealer outfits offering aftercare. While there are some accessories that should be purchased from a dealer because they are really good, most times you can get lower prices by purchasing elsewhere. Manufacturers tend to charge 10% more than what you can get aftermarket. So, does some comparison shopping before you buy anything for your vehicle to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Saving money when parking
By reverse parking into a given parking space you can actually save money! It may sound crazy but there is sound logic behind this. Consider that your car’s engine is the thirstiest when you start it up from the cold, so maneuvering in reverse out of a space every day will consume more fuel and also more money. Plus, there is a chance you’ll be involved in a blind spot collision when reversing which costs additional money.
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Manu Alias is a senior driving instructor for Aasprint, Australia. Over the years he has helped hundreds of people learn to drive.