May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

By May, every region nationwide is feeling the warmth of the summer sun. This means that even in the northernmost reaches, motorcycles are coming out of the garages and seeing the light of day once again. And that's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Down south, Florida, Texas and California, consistently top the nation for motorcycle injuries and fatalities, largely because their near year-round warm climates means that motorcycles spend all 12 months on the roadways. So, it's important to understand that for every mile traveled, you’ve got a 30-times-higher risk of being killed in an accident on a motorcycle than when riding in a car. No matter what you drive, E3 Spark Plugs wants to make sure you're safe...

May 22, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Salutes Our Military Members and Veterans

May is Military Appreciation Month, culminating with the May 25 Memorial Day celebrations, honoring the scores of servicemen and servicewomen who died while serving in our country's armed forces. We here at E3 Spark Plugs have the utmost respect and love for America's military members and veterans, not only for their valiant sacrifices but also for the bevy of amazing rides they've given us over the decades. For instance, multiple vehicles earned their pedigree during World War II, when the US manufacture of automobiles completely stopped. The few rides made during that time were created solely for the war effort. Later, the best of them transitioned to the civilian market. A number of the now antique originals and many of their successors remain on the roadways today. Here are a...

May 7, 2015
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New Ram Trucks Ad Celebrates Badass, Truck Loving Women

Let's face it. Truck ads are pretty formulaic. Macho guys behind the wheel flinging mud, pulling heavy stuff, rolling over rocks and doing high-speed donuts on suspiciously empty lots, all to the pounding beat of some patriotic ditty is pretty much the go-to formula. Dodge just changed that. Among the assumptions apparently made by the (perhaps not-so) creative types on Madison Avenue is that women don’t buy trucks - that they're far too comfy in their minivans, sedans and soccer-mom SUVs. Not so, statistics show. Truth is, women make up 19 percent of buyers of midsize pickups and 13 percent of full-size or heavy-duty pickups. What's more, automakers increasingly employ women in high-level design, engineering and brand marketing positions. In the case of Dodge Ram trucks,...

April 29, 2015
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Nissan Skyline GTR Gets a Sharpie Makeover

What do you do when you decide the color of your ride is oh, so last season? Well, if you're a gutsy kind of guy with an artsy kind of gal at your side, you hand her a couple of Sharpies and stand back. That's what one US military veteran did when he went shopping for a Midnight Purple Nissan Skyline GTR, but came home with a silver 1995 model. He quickly set about tuning up his new car and planning to repaint it. Apparently bored with the whole thing, his girlfriend grabbed a Sharpie and doodled over a scratch on the front bumper. "It didn't matter. I was repainting it anyway," said the car's owner, identified as GroundForceOne in an online forum for Nissan owners. The next day, when he spotted his girlfriend's bumper art, he was impressed - So much so that he decided to forego...

April 29, 2015
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Ford Recalls 554,000 Cars Over Power Steering, Fuel Pumps, Heat Shields, Parking Lamps

It's been a rough few weeks for Ford. Last week, the automaker recalled upward of 400,000 late-model vehicles for faulty door latches. Now, it's issued a recall of another 553,314 vehicles, citing an array of issues with power steering, fuel pumps, heat shields and parking lamps. Topping the recall list are 487,301 Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from model years 2013-2015 and 2015 Edge vehicles. Bolts on the steering gear motors installed in these vehicles can rust out, crack and disable the power assist. At highest risk for corrosion are vehicles that are registered in or frequent the "salt belt" states, where large quantities of salt are applied to roads during the winter season to control show and ice and lower the risk of automobile accidents. If your ride is affected, your nearest Ford...

April 29, 2015
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California Leads in Thefts of Vehicles With Keys Inside

All the anti-theft technology in the world is no match for the level of boneheadedness it takes to leave one's keys in one's ride. Thus is the source of the latest automotive survey that will have you reposing this blog post on your social media pages, paired with a #SMH hashtag. An analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau showed that 126,603 vehicles nationwide were reported stolen with the keys still in them from 2012-2014. While the bureau reports that overall car thefts are declining, the number of vehicles stolen with the keys inside is actually on the rise. In 2012, 39,345 cars stolen had their keys in them - often in the ignition with the vehicle still running. The next year, that figure rose to 42,430, then swelled to 44,828 in 2014. The top five states where the...

April 29, 2015
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Volvo XC90 SUV Concept Takes Automotive Luxury to New Heights

Luxury automobile concepts almost always are impressive. But the new Volvo XC90 SUV concept, unveiled at the recent 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, puts most to shame - particularly on the inside. "We understand that most high-level executives are chauffer driven," said Volvo's Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath in a promotional video about the inspiration behind the development of the XC90. So, designers set out to replicate that experience for others. To that end, most noticeable is the removal of the front passenger seat, replaced with a lounge console that doubles as an ottoman for tired feet and a storage space for kicked-off shoes and features a massive 17-inch multimedia screen. The screen unit also folds down to lap-level and becomes a tray table that opens up for easy...

April 29, 2015
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Movie Cars Take Spotlight At Austin Auto Show

The annual Austin Auto Show is officially underway, showing off hundreds of the latest and greatest in the automotive world offered by members of the Austin Automobile Dealers Association. But the exhibit that's really grabbing headlines is one boasting some of the most iconic cars in TV and movie history, including: The DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future The Ecto-1 from Ghost Busters The Knight 2000 K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo And your kids will no doubt dig the one-of-a-kind Toyota Sienna SpongeBob van. The guy behind the screen cars' appearance is reality star VideoBob Moseley from the Reelz Channel's Screen Machines. He told Austin-area reporters that his obsession with building replicas of TV and film cars began in 2003...

April 25, 2015
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Harley-Davidson Recalls More Than 54,000 Bikes

Hey, Hog riders - take note. Harley-Davidson just announced two separate recalls affecting more than 54,000 motorcycles already on the roadways nationwide. The largest of the two recalls affects 45,901 rides with faulty clutch master cylinders. According to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "a chemical reaction inside of the sealed clutch system creates gas bubbles which may cause loss of clutch lift." This can cause a bike to lurch unexpectedly when the rider puts the transmission in gear, particularly after it's been parked for an extended period of time. Thus far, the issue has resulted in 313 warranty claims, 31 customer complaints, 27 crashes or other incidents and four minor injuries. Models affected include: 2014 CVO Road...

April 25, 2015
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Insane Chevy FNR Concept May be the Ultimate Ride of the Future

It's a little bit Tron, a tad Batmobile and touch of Alien xenomorph. And that's just the exterior of Chevy' insane new FNR concept car brought to you courtesy of the recent Shanghai Auto Show. It's the stuff of science fiction brought to life and while it's likely far too costly to ever make the production line, we here at E3 Spark Plugs would love to get behind the wheel just once. The car features a sci-fi-inspired capsule design with dragonfly doors that swing up from both the front and back, magnetic hubless wheels, an automatic wireless charging system and a roof-mounted sensor package that can be used to map out the car's route - human interaction not necessary. Inside, you'll find seating that looks more like intergalactic space harps than standard bucket seats. They...

April 24, 2015
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