car tuning

28 May 2007

Phsycology of thanking other drivers

The way we thank other drivers for letting us go through tells a lot about our personality:- Interested to hear your impression on these and any others you think of (keep the gestures friendly though ).

  • Nod - Nervous driver typically too scared to take hands off the wheel.
  • Thumbs up - Younger hot hatch driver who has just taken advantage (Cheeky person).
  • Full Palm - The older Jaguar driver usually does this (Denote confidence).
  • Wave of the Hand - an old Jedi mind trick useful when you are in a hurry!
  • Thumb and little finger extended with bend wrist - Gangster tendancies shown usually by a wannabee rapper!
  • Index finger raised - Usually done when other driver has only just managed to realise he has to give way - a token thanks.
  • Index and first finger raised. - A Bit PAPAL this one again typically done by the older driver in a Mercedes who actually owns the road you are on!
  • Both Hands wave - Muppet style thanks - you recognised the other driver and they are oblivious to who you are. (This one is fun to do to see the reaction. One Torquecars member reported "just thought i'd let you know i tried the muppet wave tonight......a word of warning to other drivers, do not try this at home.....the guy i done the muppet wave at was so shocked that he just missed hitting his jag off the railings")
  • Flash of the lights - All social interaction is shunned by these loners - all their holiday pics are of scenes with no people in them.
  • V Sign (backwards) - Churchill style Victory salute 'cos you won the game of chicken.

The List goes on and on - but we are firm belivers that the way you thank other drivers says a lot more about your personality than you would like to admit! Please visit the Torquecars site for original articles on driving, tuning and styling cars (a bit more serious than this one) we would also encourage you to consider becomming a member and getting involved in topical motorist related discussion in the forum.

10 May 2007

Why spend £10,000+ modifying a car?

Sometimes people wonder if its worth it - then they pay a visit to and see what all of the fuss is about. Why do we do it? If we saved the 10,000 we spent we could just go out and buy a bigger or better model of car without all the hassle.

Surely you never get the money back when you come to sell it? If you are worried about losing money when modding a car, I think you've missed the point of it. It's fun and gives you great satisfaction, as well as some thrills if you are into engine modding. You could always buy a ready modded car for half the price of doing it yourself, but hey! Where's the fun in that?

We could all go out and buy a faster car but there is so much satisfaction in modding you car so you end up with something unique and that is set up exactly for you. A car becomes an extension of the drivers personality. Some like to draw attention to themselves and others like to be annoymously quick, surprising people at the lights! We all like cars though and agree that standard = boring and run of the mill!

Take a typical city suit, driving the compulsory BMW M3. His car costs around 30k brand new, its got leather seats, and average stereo and good performance. Then you take the modifier, he drives a pug 205 1.9 gti, which, he bought it for 1500 quid, he then spends 10k on mods eg T16 turbo engine, some new speaker components, head unit, brakes etc and has a PERFORMANCE BARGAIN which is setup to suit his driver preference.

That is why people buy a car and then spend 10k+ modifying it. I love that mentality.. "some new speaker components, head unit, brakes.. OH, and throw in an engine which belongs in a rally car while your at it!" Brilliant!

People ask me, why do you keep doing stuff to your car. I say to them why do they go fishing? Eat cauliflower? Watch Trisha? That makes no sense to me, but they enjoy doing it. I like the planning, taking a base car and thinking how can i make this really special? I love looking for bodykits and wheels online, and then excitedly ripping open the boxes as soon as they're delivered and getting straight to work fitting them, even though I know I'm supposed to be going somewhere in 5 minutes (like the supermarket, the in-laws' or work) and then razzing it around town when i've finished and people are turning their heads to look because there's nothing else like it on the road. It's the best feeling in the world.

For up to the minute advice on modifying your car look no further than this tuning guide.

8 May 2007

Naked roads - the arguement for and against.

Naked roads are hailed as the answer to all of our traffic and driving woes. The basic premise of a naked road is that all road markings, signs, traffic lights etc are removed. All traffic calming measures, barriers, cycle lanes and even pedestrian area markings are removed.

This sounds like chaos and anarchy but the reality of the situation is that motorists wake up. They are no longer cukooned in a safe unthinking stream of traffic they are forced to pay very careful attention. In a number of trials the frequency of accidents and incidents was reduced by upto a third has increased and the speed of traffic is reduced by around 4 mph - a big plus all round.

No-one knows for sure the long term implications and the trials continue. It is possible that when the novelty wears off drivers will again start going with the flow in an unthinking manner and the incident of accidents will increase as unfamiliar drivers thread their way through the local traffic. So in short as far as I'm concerned the jury is still out but it is an intriguing notion that could well catch on.

3 May 2007

One of the things that really get members of the Torquecars tuning club wound up are the state of the roads - particularly the surface of them.

Pot holes and ruts are really annoying, they distract the driver creating the impression that the car is about to fall to pieces or considerably affect the handling of the car. Ruts are often caused by lorries and heavy vehicles running over soft tarmac. The undulating road causes a wave like bounce with each vehicle repeating the process and thereby deepening the rut. Pot holes are a sign of extreme wear on a road surface and can also indicate poor construction.

The damage caused by running over a deep pothole is certainly not negligible and ranges from the cost of a suspension realignment to a replacement hub or drive shaft in the worst cases. For tips on suspension setting and setup read this suspension tuning article.

The addition of speed bumps are another obstacle the modern driver has to cope with and the general poor maintenance of our roadways adds an unnecessary amount to the maintenance of a car. We strongly recommend that you avoid driving over pot holes and take time to report them to your local authority. If the motorist sticks together on this issue we will surely see an improvement in the state of our roads and we will all save money in unnecessary maintenance costs.

2 May 2007

What are the things that passengers do that really wind you up when you are driving? We all have our little pet hates and in most cases drivers make terrible passengers. If you ever get into my car please note the following:-

Don't touch my radio that includes turning it up or down.
Stop screaming at everything that comes towards us... hang on, no, it's me who does that. Erm... Sharp intakes of breath, or going "Oh my Goodness" and when I say "WHAT?!!??!!!!!" the answer comes "I've forgot to wash something" or something else that's completely unrelated to my driving and frightens the life out of me because I think maybe she's seen an out of control petrol tanker on a collision course with us that I've somehow missed.
Don't you just love it when someone draws on the on the condensation on your windows - the little smiley face comes back week after week.
Dont give driving advice either - I'm the one with the steering wheel. Back seat drivers are pests.
I especially hate it if I have my parents in the passenger seat. They leaps for the grab handle if you take even the merest change in course at more than 5mph. Bends that you could negotiate in the wet at 100mph are treated like downhill hairpins. And if you come off the pavement you really get some stick!....

Please note I always follow the direction on my driving licence. "tear along the dotted line...."

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