Report Is In ? U.S. Auto Recalls Hit Record High in 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released their review of 2016 auto recalls. A record high of 53.2 million vehicles were recalled last year, a massive uptick from previous years. The majority of these recalls involved the Takata Corp 7312.T airbag inflators. Tens of millions of these inflators were recalled as they would send shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers. To date 9 Americans have been killed by these airbags along with at least 139 reported injuries. The problem started with the propellant chemicals used to inflate the airbag. It was found that these were mishandled and improperly stored during assembly. Researchers also found that one of Takata's North American plants allowed a defect rate "six to eight times above" acceptable limits. Nearly all automakers have...

March 13, 2017
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Like Father... Like Son-in-Law?

One thing is for sure. When the gates open for the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, the pits will be filled with the Force Clan. Like his father-in-law before him, Robert Hight now runs the entire operation having been promoted to team president two years ago. And, like his father-in-law before him, Hight will be looking to win the third round of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Funny Car championship at Gainesville Raceway. In fact, they will be a slew of team members named Force or married to someone named Force getting the family's three Funny Car teams and one Top Fuel team ready to compete. Patriarch John Force is unmatched in his 25-year career with 134 national wins and 15 NHRA Funny Car championships. But, when the 63-year-old Force climbs into PEAK...

March 8, 2017
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Paul Lee Retires from NHRA

Funny Car favorite Paul Lee has announced that he will not be returning to the races in 2017. Last December he returned from a successful PRI show in Indy and experienced a heart attack. Not just any heart attack, but a "widow maker" with 100% blockage in the LAD artery. Though he has made a recovery after surgery, Paul now has significant heart damage. “I’m very lucky to be alive,” said Lee. “The paramedics are close to my house and were there in minutes. They got me to the hospital in time for the doctors to save my life. The doctor told me that this is the worst kind of heart attack someone can have and only about 1 in 10 survives. So I’m extremely grateful to the local paramedics and the doctors for doing a great job of saving me.” Lee has...

March 7, 2017
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The Futuristic Vehicles for the Movie Logan

The new blockbuster hit Logan has movie, comic, and car fans going simply nuts. Set in 2029 the film's designers and art directors faced an interesting challenge. What will the vehicles in the near future look like? With many changes coming to the automotive industry these days, there were definitely some elements that needed to be in the film to make it feel believable. The key car in the movie is a limousine, driven by Logan as he attempts to stay under the radar. With the car key in many scenes throughout the movie, it needed to make a statement but not detract from the star actors. Ultimately a Lincoln limousine style was used, built on the body of a Chrysler 300. At first glance this beefy-looking limousine looks like a streamlined version of the Cadillac limousine used by...

March 6, 2017
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Silence Before the Storm; Gatornationals are Next

At the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals last weekend, Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan garnered their second win in as many races. Race fans couldn't have asked for a more exciting final round in Top Fuel, as Pritchett and Brittany Force made it an all woman race for the second consecutive year. Pritchett also defeated Force at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in 2016. However, this time around she backed up her win in the season opener to make it two in a row for 2017. Having scored 245 points out of a possible 260, she maintains a 92 point lead over Ron Schumacher and leaves the desert 94 points ahead of Brittany Force   Matt Hagan also saw victory lane for the second race in a row by laying down a .057 reaction time in the Funny Car final. Both Hagan and runner-up Ron Capps...

March 2, 2017
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Ford Truck Goes Head-To-Head with Polaris RZR

At the Outback ATV Park in Laurinburg North Carolina, Popular Mechanics covered a fantastic race between the 2017 Ford Raptor pickup truck and the Polaris RZR ATV. While the Raptor has the highest traction clearance of street-legal vehicles, the RZR puts it to shame. Thought the RZR only has 110hp compared to the 450hp in the Raptor, the course they raced definitely evened the playing field between the two. Ripping across about 1/8th mile of track, the teams picked a spot, which wouldn't give either vehicle an unfair advantage. This was definitely the battle of ultimate suspension versus ultimate horsepower. Now you wouldn't usually think of pitting a street truck against a purely off-road vehicle, but what else would you expect from the guys at Popular Mechanics? Though they are very...

February 24, 2017
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Big 6 Grand Prix Championship Opener Full of Surprises

Spectators at the District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Championship opener witnessed a series of unfortunate events. After only three laps a red flag was thrown as a downed rider was stuck in a dangerous part of the course. Medical personnel had to attend to him right away and the race was postponed. Upon restart, officials used s staggered start to help avoid further issues. The rougher-than-normal track conditions were repaired and by the following morning racers were treated to a glassy smooth course. Despite the changes, more crashes and injuries happened the following day. With an overly groomed course, many racers found it difficult to get up enough speed to pass and get the checkered flag. After losing ground, racer Justin Seeds got back up and worked to catch the other racers. Robby...

February 24, 2017
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When to Change Ignition Wires and Coils

How much does it cost to replace ignition wires and coil? Well, it depends upon the engine in the vehicle you drive.  However, before you replace the ignition wires, coils or coil pack in your car or truck, it is important to do a thorough inspection of the ignition system, including the spark plugs. Once your ignition wires start to wear out, it is much more difficult to deliver a good spark from the distributor or coil pack. As the materials in the plug wires begin to weaken or breakdown, it makes it much more difficult for the voltage to travel from its source to the cylinder where combustion occurs. Typically, the engine will misfire causing a skip or your vehicle may fail to start. Spark plug wires transfer the spark from the distributor or ignition coil to the plugs that...

February 24, 2017
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ATV Racing Lights Up with New Yamaha Program

In an early February announcement, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA announced the launch of a new ATV Racing Support program. This new initiative is committing a potential race win bonus payout of $100,000. These bonuses will be available to Side-by-Side and ATV racers who compete in select series and classes while driving Yamaha 2016 or newer YFZ450R and YXZ1000R models. The goal of the company is to get their quads on the track more often and show the racing world what they're made of. "Yamaha's bLU cRU has been a very popular supercross, motocross and off-road motorcycle racing program, and we're excited to expand it to ATV and SxS racers this year," said Donnie Luce, Yamaha ATV / Off-Road Racing Coordinator. Racing apparel is also part of the deal as registered racers will receive a $45...

February 24, 2017
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Snowmobile Tops 146 MPH at Swan Lake Races

Southwest of Minneapolis in Nicollet County, MN, snowmobile racers and fans flock to Swan Lake for an exciting annual racing event. Put on by the Nicollet County Trail Association, hundreds of spectators and racers were drawn to the icy lake to witness roaring engines, flying ice, and streaks of bright colors screaming across the ice. Unlike traditional oval ice courses, the Swan Lake event is all about speed. Starting at one end of a 1,000-foot track, racers are signaled and start tearing across the ice as fast as possible At the opposite end of the track is a race official holding a radar gun. The highest speed for each racer is recorded as their score for the run. To ensure there wasn't a mix up on the radar read, racers went one-at-a-time. At the end of each class, points were...

February 23, 2017
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