Potential Dangers of a Keyless Ignition System

If you have a vehicle with a keyless ignition system, then you likely know what a fob is. What you might not know is the inherent danger posed by car and trucks that use a keyless system. Back in December of 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warned motorists and auto manufacturers that keyless vehicles were a problem. The NHTSA proposed rule changes that would require some kind of warning system to alert the driver that the keyless car or truck was still running. In addition, the agency suggested that automakers consider an alarm system that would also include eliminating the ability for an engine in a keyless vehicle to be started without the fob being present in the car or truck. Critics of the NHTSA's proposal to add an alarm system feel the...

June 28, 2017
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Want to Be Successful as a World Championship Racer?

If you live in the United States and want a career in competitive racing on a global scale, then you might want to consider studying a foreign language or two. For the most part, American drivers and crews have it made on the world's stage. Since the 1950s when Formula One (which is often considered to be the top echelon of auto racing) was founded in Europe, most of the teams and eventually the team's drivers learned to speak English. For no other reason, the vast majority of chassis engineers and engine builders worked out of British speed shops. But, that preceded the onset of the sport's amazing live "digital" feeds. While Europe was the sport's traditional base, over the years the single-seat auto racing sanction has expanded to the far corners of the world. The popularity of the...

June 26, 2017
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NHRA Summit Nationals Results & Series Points Update

You can always expect the cream to rise to the top. However, the 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is nothing but.. Weekend after weekend racing fans fill the bleachers not knowing who is going to win. This weekend in the Buckeye State was no exception as the NHRA teams tried to tame the pavement at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. In Top Fuel, Steve Torrence powered his Capco Contractors dragster to a mid-season win with a 3.743 ET posting a 331.45 mph run. Capturing his fourth victory of the season, Torrence kept the team's momentum going with a holeshot in the final round to defeat a very fast Doug Kalitta who ran a 3.736 at 331.36 mph. On his way to the win at the Summit Nationals, Torrence defeated Troy Coughlin, Jr. and last weekend's winner Clay Millican before...

June 26, 2017
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Air Bag Manufacturer Files Bankruptcy in US and Japan

Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata Corp, has been at the center of largest product recall in automotive history. In fact, the term "exploding airbags" was coined many months ago when it was learned that a faulty inflator could fail sending shrapnel flying. So far, 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide. That includes 42 million vehicles in the United States alone. Apart from 16 known fatalities, the failed inflators are responsible for more than 180 injuries. T.K. Holdings, the company's U.S. operations, filed Chapter 11 in Delaware earlier this week with $10 billion to $50 billion in estimated liabilities. In February, Takata had pleaded guilty to felony charges in U.S. federal court as part of a $1 billion settlement that included victims of airbag failures. Devastated...

June 26, 2017
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How a Magneto Powers Your Lawn and Garden Spark Plug

Gasoline-powered lawn and garden accessories use a spark plug but these small engines do not have a battery on board. Push lawn mowers, edging tools, hedge trimmers, chain saws and blowers all have an engine. So how does the spark plug get its fire? Instead of relying on a battery for the burst of energy, these engines use a magneto to generate the power. Because magnetos are extremely reliable and don't have to be repeatedly charged, they are among the most popular ignition devices. Some gasoline-powered propeller driven airplanes also use magnetos. To crank an engine, the ignition system has to generate an extremely high voltage at exactly the right moment. To ignite the fuel in the motor, this initial burst of energy needs to be in the neighborhood of 20K volts. The sudden burst of...

June 20, 2017
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There Lots of Ways to Lose a Race...

Anyone who has been around motorsports knows there are numerous ways to lose a big race. Mistaking a fellow competitor for a track official is a new one to add to the list. That's exactly what happened to an ill-fated Toyota Racing team at this year's 24 Hour of Le Mans. At the previous year's event in France, the Toyota petro-hybrid had victory in sight when the TS050 coasted to a stop while leading the race at the 23 hour and 55 minute mark. A Toyota team car took second in class but again victory had eluded the automotive giant. Toyota had high hopes to stand on the top step of the podium at this year's 24 Hours. After all, Kamui Kobayashi had put the Toyota TS050 Hybrid on the pole. With one of the fastest cars in the world and a favorite to win, the Toyota team ran at the front...

June 20, 2017
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Laughlin Nails a Perfect Light at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Just below a mile high at 4,549 feet above sea level, the Thunder Valley track at Bristol Dragway crowned a first time winner in Top Fuel. Tennessee native Clay Millican laid down a 3.825 pass to post a top speed of 316.38 mph to defeat Leah Pritchett in Sunday's finals at the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Having made very few mistakes during the 2017 season, Pritchett nailed the start with a .058 RT to Millican's .095 RT but dropped a cylinder early in the run. At the line, Clay Millican had piloted the Great Clips/Parts Plus Top Fuel dragster to his first ever NHRA National win in his ninth final round appearance. The win moved Millican to seventh overall in the points championship. Pritchett holds on to second just eleven points behind points leader Steve Torrence. So...

June 19, 2017
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When to Change the Spark Plugs in Your Vehicle?

Today's automakers claim the spark plugs in your new car or truck may not have to be replaced for up to 100,000 miles. However, that doesn't mean those plugs will be operating a peak efficiency at that distance or even half that mileage. It is always prudent to rely upon your judgment as the owner rather than blindly follow a manufacturer's hype. These small but mighty components of your ignition system play an important role in bringing your vehicle's engine to life as well as maintaining a smooth burn of the compressed air/fuel mixture while you drive. But, spark plugs reside in a world of high voltage and heat, and both can take a toll over time. As the final link in the ignition process, a spark plug receives a high voltage burst from the battery or magneto based upon the type of...

June 16, 2017
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Sunday's Results - E3 Spark Plugs Summernationals

You gotta say it as "summernationals". At Englishtown, its one word not two. Antron Brown leaves the E3 Spark Plugs Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ leading by seven points over Leah Pritchett in NHRA's Top Fuel Division. Although every driver wants to take home a "Wally" from this historic event, Brown had to settle for the points lead instead, as defending event champion, Steve Torrence ran a 3.85 ET at his hometown race to Brown's 3.93 ET. This was a rematch of their recent clash in the final in Topeka, where Brown beat Torrence for the 22nd time in 23 tries making this win all the sweeter for the CAPCO Contractors team. Torrence made it to the final round by eliminating Doug Kalitta in the semifinals. This year Antron is making a habit of...

June 11, 2017
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World's Fastest Women Take Two of Three at NHRA New England Nationals

The fastest women on the planet came with .02 seconds of a historic trifecta in Sunday's final rounds of the NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, NH. Top Fuel driver Brittany Force and Pro-Stock driver Erica Enders took top honors in their respective divisions. Enders was first up winning her 22nd career victory in Pro-Stock putting her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet ahead on teenage sensation Tanner Gray. With nearly identical reaction times, Enders simply outran Gray with a run at 213.16 mph. Pro Stock cars look the most like a factory vehicle but among the most technologically advanced machines in drag racing running gasoline and restricted to a maximum of 500 cubic inches. Next up was Courtney Force who is one of the two racing daughters of the legendary John Force, and wife to Indy...

June 5, 2017
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