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Top Four Staged Car Crash Scams

Top Four Staged Car Crash Scams

Does something about that car crash seem not quite legit? Know the top four staged car crash scams. Getting in to an accident that wonks up your prized ride is bad enough. But finding out that the car crash was staged no doubt will leave you fuming. And the only thing that might make you even more incensed is realizing that bit of info too late – after the scammers have walked away with a fat check courtesy of your insurer. Orchestrated by surprisingly sophisticated criminal networks, staged car crashes are on the rise nationwide, bilking auto insurance companies out of billions of dollars and jacking up insurance premium rates for all of us. Prosecutors recently busted a New York crime ring that nearly succeeded in scoring $400 million in bogus insurance claims. California’s Insurance Commissioner is urging drivers to be on the lookout after the state’s Department of Insurance received more than 7,700 suspicious insurance claims in Los Angeles County alone last year. An...

February 9, 2015


Speeding Ticket Debacle Shuts Down Tiny Florida Town’s Police Department

Speeding Ticket Debacle Shuts Down Tiny Florida Town’s Police Department

The tiny Florida town of Waldo recently saw its police department disbanded over allegations of speeding ticket quotas. Here in Northeast Florida where E3 Spark Plugs is based, there’s a tiny town a few counties over called Waldo. And when we say tiny, we mean seriously tiny. The town’s total landmass measures just 2.17 square miles and its population is a not-so-whopping 1,015 according to the latest census. Despite its diminutive size, this crazy little town has managed a national reputation as a notorious speed trap. And now, it’s made national news for its dubious practices. If you’ve ever visited the area and asked for directions or recommendations, you’ve likely heard it – “Don’t speed through Waldo.” And if you didn’t take that sage advice, you likely regretted it as soon as those blue lights lit up your ride’s rear window. Yes – speeding tickets for going 32 in a 30 were daily occurrences. So infamous is Waldo for its ticket-happy traffic cops t...

February 9, 2015


Gasoline and Vehicles Have Evolved Since 1927

Gasoline and Vehicles Have Evolved Since 1927

A lot has changed with both vehicles and fuel over the past century. Photo credit: Jan Klaver/ Creative commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons Buy a small car with a manual transmission, only fill it with premium gas, and only go to the filling station early in the morning when it is cooler outside, and keep your car in neutral at stop lights or in traffic – do all these things and you improve your MPG by exactly nothing – 0 percent. That’s right; the above run on sentence has nothing but myths about improving gas mileage. The number of myths circulating among car owners is legion. Let’s dismember them for good, E3 Spark Plugs fans… Small cars are more fuel-efficient: Not so, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Advances in diesel technology, turbochargers, low-rolling resistance tires and hybrid drive trains put full-size cars directly into the mix of fuel-efficient cars. Manual transmissions are more fuel-efficient than automatics: For cars fi...

February 9, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: New Documentary “Pump” Examines America’s Oil Dependence

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: New Documentary “Pump” Examines America’s Oil Dependence

“Pump” is an eye-opening new documentary that examines America’s dependence on foreign oil. For years now, there’s been much talk about America’s dependence on oil, particularly oil that’s imported from other countries. Now, a new documentary examines the history of Big Oil, the daily and far-reaching impacts of our ever-increasing oil consumption, and potential solutions. “PUMP is an inspiring, eye-opening documentary that tells the story of America’s addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it – and finally win choice at the pump,” say the film’s promoters. Consider these statistics from the Sierra Club: The US uses nearly 400 million gallons of oil every day moving people in automobiles, goods on freight truck, air travel, rail and transit. Cars and light trucks alone use nine million barrels of oil per day. Of the imported petroleum Americans consume,...

February 9, 2015


Biketoberfest and Four Awesome Rides Just a Month Away

Biketoberfest and Four Awesome Rides Just a Month Away

The 2014 Biketoberfest take place October 16-19 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Hey, motorcycle buffs – Daytona Beach, Florida’s 22nd annual Biketoberfest is just a month away. This year’s event revs up Thursday, October 16 and runs through Sunday, the 19th and is expected to draw upward of 100,000 bikers and bike enthusiasts. Hundreds of vendors will haw the latest in motorcycles, parts and accessories, plus there will be food, libation and entertainment aplenty. A major draw for bikers is Biketoberfest’s rundown of four planned group rides: The three-hour Old City Rendezvous from Daytona to St. Augustine. Sights along the way include Tomoka State Park and River Basin, Flagler Beach and its famed fishing pier, Marineland and the Matanzas Inlet, site of the infamous Spanish slaughter of French sailors who had set out to take St. Augustine. The 1.75-hour Steel Horse Scoot from Daytona Beach to DeLand. Look for the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, the Pioneer Settl...

February 9, 2015


Thousands of Motorcycles Roar into Washington DC in Honor of Sept. 11 Victims

Thousands of Motorcycles Roar into Washington DC in Honor of Sept. 11 Victims

Thousands of bikers roared into Washington DC Thursday in honor of Sept. 11 victims, survivors and first responders. In honor of the victims, survivors and first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, thousands of motorcycles from around the country rolled into the nation’s capital on Thursday as part of the second annual 2 Million Bikers to DC ride. Bikers gathered in several suburban spots early that morning, then rolled into the District from multiple directions, creating a roar heard for miles. Later that afternoon, participants held a free-to-all rally in remembrance of those lost and support of America’s first responders, rescuers and military. Among the participants who spoke with area media were Tom Secor, a Vietnam veteran who rode his Honda from Wisconsin and noted “the honor of being part of this group and being just one of thousands of riders that will be here that are honoring those that are no longer with us.” “I skip...

February 9, 2015


Seven Tips to Prepare Your Ride for Winter

Seven Tips to Prepare Your Ride for Winter

  While some states are still enjoying summer-like weather, others to the north already are feeling a chill in the air. Here in sunny Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida where E3 Spark Plugs is based, we’re basking in 87-degree temperatures at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the lead story on Weather.com is the record-early snowfall that has already hit Rapid City, South Dakota; Boulder, Colorado; and North Platte, Nebraska. Sorry ’bout your luck, guys. Wherever you live, it’s important to know that your ride is ready for the chill. To that end, E3 Spark Plugs offers these tips for preparing your vehicle for the fall and winter seasons: Check your charge. Cold weather can be hard on your car batteries. Have your vehicle’s battery and charging system checked to assure they’re primed for optimal performance and give your battery terminals a good cleaning. If it’s been a few years, it may be time to spring for a new battery. Check, top off or replace all fluids inclu...

February 9, 2015


Popular Arctic Cat ATVs, Yamaha Snowmobile Recalled

Popular Arctic Cat ATVs, Yamaha Snowmobile Recalled

Arctic Cat has recalled about 5,600 ATVs over a fire hazard. Here at E3 Spark Plugs, we love a good thrill – the kind you get careening over hard-to-reach, off-road turf on a badass ATV, or throwing snow at 100 mph. But if you happen to be the proud owner of a few popular models of Arctic Cat ATVs or Yamaha Snowmobiles, you may be in for a bigger thrill than you want. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled the Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail and Wildcat Trail XT Side by Side ATVs as well as the Yamaha 2014 SR10R (SRViper), SR10RXS (SRViper RTX SE), SR10L (SRViper LTX), SR10LS (SRViper LTX SE) and SR10XS (SRViper XTX) snowmobiles and 2015 SR10LS (SRViper LTX SE) snowmobiles because of potential fire hazards. Arctic Cat officials warn that oil can leak from the oil cooler lines in about 5,600 of its recalled ATVs. The company has received 60 reports of oil leaking and one report of fire, though luckily, no injuries have been reported. If you’ve got one, ...

February 9, 2015


A Slew of New Cars Confirmed for Xbox-Exclusive Forza Horizon 2

A Slew of New Cars Confirmed for Xbox-Exclusive Forza Horizon 2

The 1968 Lancia Fulvia Coupé Rallye 1.6 HF is among the 241 cars featured in the upcoming Forza Horizon 2 for XBox 360 and XBox One. Gamers, car buffs and we here at E3 Spark Plugs are getting geared up for the Sept. 30 release of Forza Horizon 2 on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles. The new game again takes place during the fictional Horizon Festival. But this time, the festival takes gamers Southern Europe with stops in Provence, Tuscany and Côte d’Azur, among others. There’s three times more drivable area than in the original Forza Horizon, plus the addition of the Bucket List – a group of competition challenges similar to the first game’s 1000 Club; and Car meets, an online mode where players can meet up online, compare their cars and chat. And, you’ll find a slew of new cars, including some very cool classic rides. Thus far, 210 of the total 241 Forza Horizon 2 cars have been revealed. Here are the latest confirmed just this week: 1968 Abarth 59...

February 9, 2015


How Your Job May Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums

How Your Job May Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums

Some professions, like teaching, can help score you a lower car insurance premium. Everyone knows that those with high-risk jobs like loggers, power linemen and rodeo clowns (yes, rodeo clowns, better known as bull fighters) pay higher health and life insurance premiums. But did you know that being in a low-risk line of work can help reduce your auto insurance premiums? Yep. That’s because careers considered low-risk by auto insurance companies statistically are ones held by people who exercise risky driving behaviors less often than those in other jobs. Among those whose lines of work may score them a policy discount are: Engineers Scientists Teachers and professors First responders (including police officers and firefighters) Nurses Pilots Certified public accountants If you happen to have studied for one of these occupations and landed a four-year college degree, you may be eligible for auto insurance premium discounts even if you ultimately decided on a diffe...

February 9, 2015


Five Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Insurance Premiums Low

Five Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Insurance Premiums Low

There are multiple ways to help keep your auto insurance premiums low. Recently, E3 Spark Plugs gave you the low down on American cities with the highest car insurance premiums. This time, we’ve got good news – five top tips to help keep your insurance premiums as low as possible… Limit your mileage: Drivers with low annual mileage can save about 10 percent on their insurance. Plus, you may be eligible for a discount if you only drive your vehicle a couple of days a week. Consider carpooling with a co-worker, make use of public transportation or, if your destination is close enough, walk or ride your bike. Chances are you could use the exercise. Have a little loyalty: Insurance companies typically offer discounts to clients who stick with them for long periods of time and who renew their policies early. Bundle up & pay up: Buy your car insurance from the same company that provides your homeowners or life insurance, and you’ll likely score a discount. Paying your an...

February 9, 2015


Detroit Drivers Pay More than Anyone Else in the Country for Car Insurance

Detroit Drivers Pay More than Anyone Else in the Country for Car Insurance

Drivers in Detroit pay the nation’s highest average car insurance premiums. Let’s face it – Nobody LIKES paying car insurance. But if for those who live in Detroit, the pain of making that monthly payment hits a little harder. A recent study of average insurance rates nationwide shows that drivers in the Motor City pay more than drivers in any other city across the country – a full 165 percent more than the national average car insurance premium. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 most expensive cities for car owners, their average annual premium and what’s to blame, according to researchers: Detroit, Michigan: $10,723.22 – The city’s high crime rate, a territorial rating system that bases risk and premiums on zip codes, and Michigan’s no-fault insurance system – the only one in the nation that provides unlimited lifetime coverage for medical expenses for those injured in auto accidents. New Orleans, Louisiana: $4,309.61 – A 22.8-minute one-way commute ...

February 9, 2015


Lincoln Lawyer Becomes Lincoln Pitchman

Lincoln Lawyer Becomes Lincoln Pitchman

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, known for his 2011 film “The Lincoln Lawyer” is the newest Lincoln pitchman. Film buffs and Ford fans, including many of us here at E3 Spark Plugs, no doubt gave a thumbs up to 2011 film, The Lincoln Lawyer. Now, the Lincoln Lawyer himself, actor Matthew McConaughey, has been tapped as new Lincoln Motor Co.’s newest celebrity pitchman. In the film, McConaughey plays Mick Haller, an eccentric defense attorney who works out of the backseat of his 1986 Lincoln Town Car on account of having lost his driver’s license, presumably due to a string of DUIs, though the script doesn’t directly deal with the issue. Haller’s clientele primarily is comprised of garden-variety Los Angeles street hustlers, drug dealers and the occasional killer. One new client, however, is a Louis Roulet, a moneyed Beverly Hills playboy accused of roughing up a prostitute. Turns out, Roulet isn’t the innocent victim of a frame up he claims to be, but may ...

February 9, 2015


Winnebago Gets its Groovy Back

Winnebago Gets its Groovy Back

Can you dig it? Winnebago gets its groovy back with two far out new models. Baby Boomers and Boomer kids – including many of us here at E3 Spark Plugs – almost invariably have fond memories of weekends on the road, at the lake and in the campgrounds, stylin’ in the family Winnebago. But after a decade-long downturn in sales, by 2009 it appeared that the iconic motorhome maker might be a goner. Now, in a Tony Manero-esque comeback, the Winnebago is back on the scene in a big way. In 2009, the Forest City, Iowa-based company named for the area’s massive lake, which was named for a Native American tribe, saw its sales tank to a paltry $211 million – less than a fifth of its 2004 sales. Some 20 players in the RV industry went under or got sold to competitors. Then, a crazy thing happened. Sales roared back to $803 million last year and hit $884 million in the most recent four quarters. Winnebago’s market share rebounded from 17.2 percent to 20.3 percent in the 12 month...

February 9, 2015


New Corvette Feature Helps Thwart Valets’ Joyride Attempts

New Corvette Feature Helps Thwart Valets’ Joyride Attempts

2015 Chevrolet Corvettes owners will have the option to add a valet mode, designed to thwart joyride attempts and keep your valuables safe. (AP Photo/General Motors) “Bueller… Bueller… Beuller…” Americans of a certain age most certainly recall the iconic 1986 comedic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And those who grew up to be owners of high-end classic cars likely suffer cringe-worthy flashbacks of a few scenes involving a certain 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, snuck out of its gorgeous glass garage and taken out for a spin around town by not only the film’s two main characters, but a couple of knucklehead valets as well. We here at E3 Spark Plugs certainly do. Unfortunately for a few, that very scenario has left the realm of John Hughes films and become the stuff of real life. Just ask the owner of the $120,000 Maserati GranTurismo S that ended up crashed into a Jeep and a $200,000 vintage Porsche Cabriolet in Miami in 2012; or the owner of the Chevrolet Z06 t...

February 9, 2015


1962 Ferrari Breaks Auction Records with Whopping $38 Million Draw

1962 Ferrari Breaks Auction Records with Whopping $38 Million Draw

This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO broke the record for auction-sold cars with a $38 million gavel drop. It’s been a good week for classic Ferraris – depending upon who you talk to. At a Bonhams sale held late last week at Carmel, California’s Quail Lodge & Golf Club, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the priciest car ever to sell during an automotive auction, raking in a record-breaking $38 million. Yet, somehow that massive price tag proved a bit of a disappointment. Turns out the vintage Ferrari set had predicted the rich red racer would fetch upward of $60 million. One of only 39 ever built, No. 3851 was the 19th GTO completed on September 11, 1962. Its original co-owners were French Formula One and sports car racer Jo Schlesser and gold medal skier-turned-race car driver Henri Oreiller. In the car’s first outing, at the Tour de France in 1962, Schlesser and Oreiller finished the race in second place. Its next outing would prove less celebratory. During the Coupes du Salon at M...

February 9, 2015


End of Summer Road Trip? Make Sure You’re Prepared, E3 Spark Plugs Says

End of Summer Road Trip? Make Sure You’re Prepared, E3 Spark Plugs Says

  Hey college students. The summer’s winding down and all too soon, you’ll be back at the in the dorms, trading your days lingering on the beach for hours in the classroom readying yourself for the real life. Until then, we’re betting more than a few of you are revving up for one last summertime road trip before heading back to school. Here at E3 Spark Plugs, we love a good end-of-summer road trip and want to make sure you’re prepared. So, here’s a checklist of five must-haves before heading off onto the open road: Jumper cables: A dead battery can quickly suck the fun out of your road trip. Take along a set of jumper cables to make sure you can get juiced up and back on the road in no time. Spare tire and tire changing supplies: Statistics show that across the US, seven tire punctures happen every second, adding up to a whopping 220 million flat tires per year. A spare tire, lug wrench and car jack will prove a godsend. Also make sure you’ve got a set of safe...

February 9, 2015


America Faces a Truck Driver Shortage

America Faces a Truck Driver Shortage

Commercial trucking companies need 30,000 new truck drivers now, industry studies show. Love to drive? Need a job? If you’re up for the challenge, there’s a job waiting for you in commercial trucking, E3 Spark Plugs has found. The American Trucking Association estimates the industry needs an additional 30,000 truck drivers right now, and as many as 239,000 by 2022. That means at least 100,000 new truckers will need to be added every year for the next decade for American product distributors to keep up with consumer demand. Once upon a time, trucking was a solid, sought-after line of work. But when the 2008 recession hit, the industry took a bruising. Many trucking companies were unable to borrow money, which forced them to downsize and cut their driving staffs. Meanwhile, lots of independent contractor drivers unable to find steady work lost their equipment to the economic crash. Now that the economy is beginning to rebound a bit, trucking companies again are optimistic a...

February 9, 2015


How Drivers’ Good Intentions Backfire

How Drivers’ Good Intentions Backfire

Americans are great at making movies – and creating traffic jams, experts say. As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Unfortunately, it’s just that theory that makes us otherwise proud Americans among the worst drivers around the globe – so says author and traffic pundit Tom Vanderbilt. There are a few things that America is pretty good at. We’re the entertainment capital of the world, we invented the iPod and the polio vaccine, and we grill a mean hotdog. Unfortunately, we kind of suck at driving. While presenting at the recent Boing Boing: Ingenuity Conference in San Francisco, Vanderbilt explained that Americans simply fail to see the big picture when it comes to effectively traversing our highways and byways – and that, apparently, is what pulls the linchpin right out of smooth traffic. Vanderbilt is the author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), a matter-of-fact manual that details how the best traffic patterns and...

February 9, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Celebrates Shark Week with a Look at the Audi Shark Concept Car

E3 Spark Plugs Celebrates Shark Week with a Look at the Audi Shark Concept Car

The Audi Shark concept hover car, designed by Kazim Doku. Oh yeah, baby! Discovery Channel’s annual mother of all cable TV promotional stunts has begun. To celebrate this year’s Shark Week, we here at E3 Spark Plugs are throwing back a bit to 2008 and the emergence of the Audi Shark concept. Last year, we saluted Corvette’s 1961 Mako Shark concept car, arguably the coolest concept ride EVER. But the Audi Shark, unveiled in 2008, is pretty darn cool, too. It was created by then 26-year-old Kazim Doku as an entry into the Desire Design Competition co-sponsored by Audi and Milan’s Domus Academy. Not surprisingly, his design won. And in the highly unlikely case it ever hits the production line, sign us up! Never mind that the Audi Shark isn’t technically a car, but rather a hovercraft. In fact, that just makes it all the more awesome, frankly. With a look and design features that pay homage to celebrated Italian automobile designer Walter de Silva and borrows elements f...

February 9, 2015


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