Lease-Return Surge Cuts Auto Profits

Lease-Return Surge Cuts Auto Profits Image

Many automakers are being forced to shift their business model in 2017. This is mainly a direct cause of the high number of vehicles with expired leases being returned to dealerships in 2016. Currently about 20% of the cars for sale on the market are pre-owned and that number is expected to climb throughout the year. Overall, lease returns are up 33% over 2015 numbers. How does this impact profits? Manufacturers like Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler bring in a decent amount of revenue through lease payments. The program was originally conceived to help car buyers get into more expensive vehicles they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. Automakers make money every month off the payments, which profit them based on the difference between the vehicle value at the time of sale and the...

February 13, 2017
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Ice Racing Fires Up on Frozen Great Lakes

Ice Racing Fires Up on Frozen Great Lakes Image

Near the southwest corner of Michigan's upper peninsula winter racing fans of all ages gather together for what has become a true community event. For the past 28 years, residents of Delta County have brought their motorcycles and ATVs to Lake Michigan to partake in an epic racing event. Every Sunday between January and March the Great lakes Ice Racing team clears off the ice to create a race track worthy of the pros. The events have become a real family sport with racers from 4 to 70 years old taking competing in the events. Speed, gear, and skill all come together for some of the best ice racing you can find anywhere in the U.S. "There's a lot of fast bike here and it's so fun, I'm new to this so I'm learning a lot yet, but still having a blast racing with everybody," said rookie...

February 13, 2017
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NASCAR Changing the Rules, Again

NASCAR Changing the Rules, Again Image

It's no secret that attention spans are getting shorter every day. In a society where nearly everyone has a computer in their pocket, answers are found instantaneously and millions of websites, companies, and advertisers are vying for people's attention. This is a real problem for a sport, which is primarily a long, 4-hour race. The new generation, millennials typically don't want to watch racers go around a track for that much time and getting new fans into a sport is the key to its longevity. NASCAR's answer for this is to change how it runs its races. In what is now the "old format" racers would earn points during a single long event, between 400 and 500 miles depending on the race. Driving teams in the top 16 points at the end of the season moved on to the post-season. Now NASCAR...

February 10, 2017
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Jeff Gordon Will Take a Fast Trip Down Memory Lane

Jeff Gordon Will Take a Fast Trip Down Memory Lane Image

When he crawls behind the wheel of Number 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-VR for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend, Jeff Gordon will be living his trip down memory lane. The four-time NASCAR Cup Champion who retired last season before returning to racing when he filled in as a substitute driver at the Brickyard 400 for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn't sitting around in a rocking chair. The 45-year old Gordon hopes to repeat his success of 2007, when he stood on the podium at the Rolex 24 alongside co-drivers Wayne Taylor, Jan Magnussen and Max Angelelli. This time around, the driver with 93 NASCAR Cup wins under his belt will be teamed once again with Max Angelelli and joined by Wayne Taylor's sons Ricky and Jordan Taylor. The brothers who are both veterans of the IMSA...

January 26, 2017
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Spark Plugs and Ignition Wires for Older Vehicles

Spark Plugs and Ignition Wires for Older Vehicles Image

Putting your faith in a clunker can be an affordable way to go. However, if you're not mechanically inclined, it comes with some degree of trepidation. Whether you found the vehicle on Craig's List or will be buying it from a dealer's lot, a used car is a used car. Of course, there are the "buyer basics" like kicking the tires, taking a parallel look down the bodywork for dents, checking underneath for leaks and, of course, asking if she runs. That typically leads to popping the hood open and having the owner bring the motor to life. At this point, you should listen for any misfire, hesitation to start, surging or rough idling. An engine misfire causes an intermittent stumbling or stuttering sounds from the engine. If the engine continues to misfire or surge, gas mileage will drop,...

January 26, 2017
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Dale Jr. Vows to Enjoy Every Moment Behind the Wheel

Dale Jr. Vows to Enjoy Every Moment Behind the Wheel Image

Now 43 years old and married to his longtime partner Amy Reimann, Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he has a new lease on life. A position that he feels very fortunate to be in. Dale Jr., or just Junior as he is often called, was sidelined with concussion-like symptoms just before the Brickyard 400 and missed the last eighteen races of the 2016 season. Initially replaced behind the wheel by the recently retired Jeff Gordon, everyone thought Junior would be back after sitting out a couple of races. What NASCAR's most popular driver had to learn over the coming weeks was that he might not be the one to make a decision as to whether or not he would ever race again. Son of the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. and grandson of pioneer driver/builder Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Jr. was born into the sport that...

January 26, 2017
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Time to Change to E3 Performance Spark Plugs?

Time to Change to E3 Performance Spark Plugs? Image

Like changing your own oil, changing your spark plugs is a relatively simple car maintenance task which anyone with just a bit of technical know-how can perform. Also like changing your oil, changing your spark plugs may seem like a complicated and daunting task. We're here to put that idea to rest. Always consult your owner's manual before making any self-repairs to your vehicle. Models vary greatly and you may have a few special steps other car owners don't. For most vehicles, the first step is to remove the wires from the spark plug. This will allow you to see down into the engine where the top of the plug will be visible. Before going any further, inspect the chamber for any water or debris and remove it before removing the plug as it can fall into your engine. Always Use the...

January 24, 2017
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How the Differential Adds Stability to Your Ride

How the Differential Adds Stability to Your Ride Image

If you've ever gotten your car stuck in the mud or snow you've probably noticed one wheel spinning while one stayed put. This may have caused you to wonder how this was possible. Today, we'll explain how the gear differential works to keep you on the road. When two wheels are fixed to an axle and not allowed to spin independently, one of the wheels will have to slip during turns. This obviously can create a dangerous handling problem. Lucky for you, early auto engineers solved this problem with the gear differential. This little device sits in the center of your axel and allows the wheels to be turned independently. Though it looks complicated, this device is quite simple but brilliant at the same time. In today's cars, each wheel is affixed to a separate "half axle" and supported by...

January 23, 2017
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Want to See an Awesome Burnout?

Want to See an Awesome Burnout? Image

In keeping with the supernatural antiheroes created by Marvel Comics, drag racing stunt driver Dave Nelson ripped the most incredible burnout of all time. In fact, the video of his flaming run earned a spot on GoPro's Awards List for 2016. If you are not familiar with GoPro, the maker of the world's most portable cameras is dedicated to helping people (especially racers) share any exciting experience with others. Yeah, a GoPro camera will also allow non-daredevils to capture more boring film clips too. But, according to founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, sharing of one's collective experiences just makes life more fun. With that in mind, Dave Nelson certainly left the crowd at the fences cheering for more.  Although Nelson is not part of Marvel's Ghost Rider community, his...

January 18, 2017
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The Great Nitrogen Debate

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For a few years now, tire service shops across America have been offering Nitrogen-only filling services for tires. This has sparked great debate and begs the question, is it better to use Nitrogen instead of air? We're here to examine the facts. The air around us contains about 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% trace gasses and water vapor. The tricky part is the Oxygen. The theory is that the Oxygen molecules are small enough to pass through the tires, causing a decrease in air pressure over time. The main evidence for this is a tool, which tests the amount of Oxygen within a tire. The older the tire the lower the concentration of Oxygen. With Nitrogen molecules, being larger and unable to seep out, your tires should theoretically stay fully inflated longer, improving your handling...

January 13, 2017
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