5/29/20

Dodge Grand Caravan Mass Air Flow Explained


If you own a Dodge Grand Caravan or are thinking about buying one, you may be aware that its production will cease in mid-2020. Therefore, if you like owning a Grand Caravan, you will need to keep your current model running. Fortunately, with a little know-how and some Dodge Grand Caravan auto parts, you can keep it on the road for years to come. Understanding how systems like the mass air flow sensor work can be valuable knowledge.


The Purpose of a Mass Air Flow Sensor

The function of a mass air flow sensor is more or less described by its name. It measures the mass of the air flowing into the engine. This is important because your vehicle needs to know how much fuel to mix with the air. The right mixture causes optimal performance, fuel-efficiency and longevity. The wrong mixture can cause a broad variety of problems.


It achieves this by measuring the electrical resistance of a wire in the air intake. The wire gets heated up by friction from the moving air. The greater the mass of the air flow, the hotter the wire. Metal’s electrical resistance increases when it gets hotter. So, by measuring the resistance, the device can determine how much air is moving through the air intake.


How To Identify Mass AirFlow Sensor Problems

Problems with the MAF sensor are typically very apparent. As mentioned above, the sensor is integral to ensuring the right fuel/air mixture in the engine. Therefore, if it fails, the engine will either run lean or rich. This leads to rough idling, stalling, poor acceleration and more.


Additionally, the check engine light will be set of the MAF system fails. You can check the diagnostic trouble codes using an OBD-II reader.


Double-check your findings using a multimeter. You can check that the sensor has the correct voltage and frequency. The tolerance thresholds are included in your vehicle’s manual.


Fixing a Bad MAF Sensor

Fixing a broken sensor is relatively easy. In most cases, the best fix is to simply replace it. While they are repairable, these Dodge Grand Caravan auto parts are relatively inexpensive.


In some cases, the MAF sensor simply needs to be cleaned. Start by disconnecting the battery then unplugging the MAF sensor. Unfasten the retaining screw and carefully lift the MAF sensor out. Inspect it for any dirt. If there is significant filth, it likely only needs to be cleaned. If not, it probably needs to be replaced.


If the new sensor comes with a complete assembly, you can simply place it back in the original spot and reconnect. If not, you will need to open the sensor casing and replacing the unit.


Maintain Your Dodge Grand Caravan

Maintaining your Dodge Grand Caravan will help you to keep it on the road for longer. You will get to know your vehicle more thoroughly as you work on maintenance and basic repairs. With a few basic tools and some patience, you can achieve a lot. Just start learning and see how much you can do to take care of your vehicle and save money.


5/27/20

Time Off Book Review


The events of the past few months have really thrown a tool chest of wrenches into all the aspects of our lives that were "normal".  For many of us, we are still struggling to establish new routines and "find ourselves" as we pick through our lives, re-evaluating and re-structuring our days.  Some of us have found some unexpected time off--while the work loads for others have become unbearable as we have shifted into work-from-home, learn from home families!  Today, I have a self-help book in our book review feature that may be just what you need as you work through this trying time.   Read my thoughts on Time Off and learn about the authors!

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About the Book

Discover the transformative power of leisure to recapture your calm and creativity.

We live in a time where busyness is often seen as a badge of honor. But are your busiest days really the ones that make you feel the most accomplished? If all of your hard work isn't working, it might be time to question the common assumption that "busy" = "productive." After reaching breaking points in their careers, business coach John Fitch and AI researcher Max Frenzel both learned the critical importance of taking time off. Now these former workaholics are here to help you revolutionize the way you get things done.

Time Off: A Practical Guide to Building Your Rest Ethic and Finding Success Without the Stress reveals how history's greatest minds, as well as some of the most successful leaders, thinkers, and creatives of today, found success by practicing a more balanced approach to work and life. Embracing their insights on how constant hustle can be your worst enemy, you will realize that time off means much more than just taking a break. By learning how to slow down, you will rediscover a more fulfilled and versatile version of yourself and unlock your true creative potential.

In Time Off, you'll discover:
  • The most effective methods to reclaim leisure, while increasing productivity and creativity
  • Why your work ethic needs to be supported by an equally solid rest ethic
  • Tactics for getting away from the work without the dreaded guilt
  • Why time off and leisure will be key competitive advantages in the future of work
  • How to thrive alongside AI and use technology to become more human
  • The many ways in which time off improves your leadership skills, and much, much more!
Reshaping the way you think about work and leisure, Time Off is a reinvigorating guide to doing more by laboring less. If you like relatable personal anecdotes, historically-sound approaches to downtime, and scientifically-backed strategies for increasing your creativity, then you'll love John Fitch and Max Frenzel's life-changing resource.

Get Time Off - for yourself or as a gift to the busy people in your life - as a healthy reminder to put down the busywork and pick up what actually matters most to you.

My Review

Time Off Offers Readers Some Insights into The Value of Resting. Rather than merely creating another book about the ups and downs of "busyness,"--the authors have given readers a different take on life balance as they consider the actual value of resting on our lives and well-being. Through the presentation of case studies and research, the authors create a strong case toward balanced downtime and cite benefits in terms of health, wellness, success, and happiness.


Time Off Offers Resources and Tips without Preaching or Guilt-Trips. The conversational, relatable writing style allows readers to see themselves and their own hectic lives through the lives and experiences of others--and see the impact of some life changes on success and the quality of life. Today, many of us are struggling to come to terms with overwhelming to-do lists and the wearing of too many hats! This book lights up some different aspects of life that many of us have run from in our daily to-do list driven society! While it offers tips and suggestions--it does so in a manner that doesn't add to our balancing act!


Would I Recommend Time Off by John Fitch and Max Frenzel? This morning, I had a personal meltdown as I dwell on the thought that, if I do all of the "work" items on my to-do list for both my job and the home--then, I can't possibly do anything creative or fun with the family. Of course, my children need some relaxation and some structure to their days too. Then, of course, there is absolutely NO time for me personally to recharge for tomorrow, either. There is a battle between a feeling of success at work, as a parent, as a home caretaker--and any feeling of fulfillment. This book offers some tips for bringing your various roles and attitudes into some sort of agreement and balance. Now is the perfect time to pick up this book and make some changes to your life as you are already navigating the development of a new "normal"! I would recommend this book to anyone struggling to find time for rest (or even enjoy downtime when you make time!) or for those facing a constant state of "busy." It has realistic tips that you will want to implement into your life--and can see yourself applying!



Buy the Book


Amazon


About the Authors



Max Frenzel (Tokyo) and John Fitch (Austin) have both spent time working in software startups where many are worshiping the mantras that are so pervasive in our current working culture. Max got his Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and has been an AI researcher. John is an entrepreneur and business coach.
At breaking points in both of their work experiences, they realized that many of the commonly held beliefs aren't useful, but destructive. As a result, they decided to be more intentional and deliberate with their approaches to work and time off. Their quality of work and life have improved ever since, and they now want to share that transformation with others.


5/22/20

Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike: What's the Difference?


Are you an avid cyclist, or do you ride leisurely and occasionally? Are you athletic, or do you suffer from arthritis? All these questions and more will help you select the best bike option for your riding style and body type. While many people want the newest trends, like womens hybrid bikes, others prefer the traditional self-propelled models. However, in the world of cycling, there is a great debate rising on the horizon between recumbent and upright bikes. Which bicycle do you prefer? If you are unsure, there are at least six comparisons that can help you decide.

1. Body Position

The primary difference between recumbent and upright bikes is the rider position. While everyone is likely familiar with the standard rider position on a traditional upright bicycle, the rider is reclined on recumbent bikes for women or men, with their legs out in front. The recumbent posture may seem odd to most traditional riders, but it can allow for a better center of gravity, meaning better balance.

2. Seat Style

One of the typical hassles for most traditional cyclists is finding a comfortable bike seat. The triangular seat, while necessary for correct leg position, is not the most comfortable, especially for heavier individuals. There is a resolution to the seat problem on a recumbent women and men's bike. The rider position requires not only a larger seat but also a backrest, meaning that cyclists receive a more chair-like and comfortable seat, which is beneficial for longer rides.

3. Pedal Position

Traditional bicycles position the pedals under the operator. Unfortunately, the under-mount position leads to riders standing when riding, which allows for wobbly posturing. If a cyclist isn't careful, they can hurt themselves. Recumbent bicycles do not allow for standing operation because the pedals are out in front of the rider.

4. Joint Impact

Recumbent bikes are low-impact compared to upright bikes. The laid back design keeps the pressure off of the hips and upper body, which is beneficial to those riders who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. However, bicycles, in general, are lower impact than most cardiovascular exercises because the feet and legs do not absorb shock with every extension of the legs.

5. Injury Risks

Recumbent bikes are a safe option for riders. The low design, improved center of gravity and inability to stand make the possibility of injury minute. With upright bikes, the balance or stability of the bicycle is based on the rider alone, making the risk of a spill more likely.

6. Overall Safety

Regardless of the advantages of one bike over the other, any rider should be safe while riding. There are risks involved with cycling that are out of any rider's control. Make sure you wear a helmet and pads, and if you choose a recumbent bike, be sure to install a safety flag.
No one can tell you whether to ride a recumbent or upright bicycle. The decision comes down to personal preference. However, if you would like more guidance on making a choice, contact a local bike shop to discuss your options.


5/21/20

Unpacking Auto Insurance Policies


Auto insurance, like all forms of insurance, can get complicated. Numerous factors determine the price of premiums, different states have different coverage requirements, and you'll have a lot of additional coverage or service options to consider.
Unpacking Auto Insurance Policies



If you're a first-time car owner and need insurance or you're dissatisfied with your current policy and want to switch, take the time to understand the ins and outs of auto insurance. Doing so will help you make an informed decision, find the policy that best fits your needs, and secure the best deal.

The Piecemeal of Car Insurance Policies

While people typically refer to "car insurance" as a singular, unified entity, auto insurance plans are actually a bit more complicated. Within any car insurance plans, there are coverage subcategories with separately-calculated costs. Furthermore, states set their own insurance coverage requirements, so not all states mandate the same elements.

Mandatory Coverage

Almost every state makes it mandatory for car owners to carry certain auto liability coverage. These include:
  • Bodily Injury Liability– This form of coverage applies when you (or anyone else driving your vehicle) causes an accident that leads to injury or death of another person. The insurance covers their medical bills and lost wages in the case of an injury. Bodily injury liability can also pay for funeral costs if there's a fatality.
  • Property Damage Liability– Property damage liability insurance will cover the costs of repair for the damage you (or someone else driving your car) causes to another vehicle or property. For example, if you hit another car, a fence, or utility pole, property damage liability pays for the repair or replacement expenses.
Commonly Required Coverage

Concerning auto insurance coverage, laws vary from state to state. Many states require the following forms of car insurance. Even in states that allow drivers to go without this coverage, many car dealers require it for rented or leased vehicles.
  • Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection (PIP)– If you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, PIP reimburses the medical expenses associated with any injuries. It can also compensate you for lost wages while you recover.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage– This form of insurance comes into play if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured person. It also applies in hit-and-run scenarios. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage reimburses medical expenses and costs associated with property damage.
Optional Coverage

There are a few coverages options that you may not be legally mandated to carry. However, having such coverage could save you from significant out-of-pocket expenses and give you greater peace of mind while on the road. These are three optional forms of coverage that may be worth considering:
  • Collision– This form of auto insurance protects you, the policyholder. If your car sustains damage from a collision with another vehicle and you're at fault, collision insurance covers the repair or replacement costs. Also, if your car flips over or is damaged by a pothole, you'll be covered.
  • ComprehensiveMake sure you have comprehensive car insurance to cover all damages caused to your car by elements outside of your control. Comprehensive car insurance takes care of losses that result from theft, vandalism, or natural occurrences such as storms.
  • Glass Coverage– There are certain parts of your car, such as windshield, rear windows, side windows, and glass sunroofs that are more susceptible to damage. If your auto insurance policy doesn’t cover these parts for damages, you may want supplemental coverage for broken glass.
Understanding Your Needs and Demographic

Once you understand the individual parts of insurance policies, it's time to start researching providers and getting quotes. But before getting started, take time to assess your own needs and what rates you can expect based on your demographic.

The insurance rates that providers offer vary significantly from person to person. To better understand your premiums, get to know the factors that insurance providers use to determine rates. For example, insurance companies consider the following variables:
  • Your driving record
  • Where you live
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your credit score
  • Your car's condition and value
Make the Right Choice for You

Auto insurance is required for car owners, but it isn't a one-size-fits-all investment. When researching plans and comparing quotes, keep in mind that your insurance policy and premiums should reflect your needs and your lifestyle.