Seatbelt Issue Forces Recall of 342,000 Toyota Tacoma Trucks

342,000 Toyota Tacoma trucks have been recalled over a faulty seat belt issue. If you drive a Toyota Tacoma truck, take note. Torrance, CA-based Toyota Motor North America recently announced a voluntary recall of 342,000 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles made between 2004 and 2011 and sold at Toyota dealerships across the United States. The reason: Faulty seatbelts. Trucks affected in the recall have screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor within the seat belt assembly for the driver and front passenger. Over time and after extended periods of repeated and forceful closing of the access door, these screws can become loose. If they loosen completely, the seat belt pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover could detach from the seat belt retractor, which...

February 6, 2015
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Breaking Bad on Wheels – How One Guy Chooses Perfect Rides for each Character

The Breaking Bad crew had a tough time locating multiple 20-year-old Fleetwood Bounder motorhomes for the hit show lauded as one of the best TV dramas of all time. It seems everyone is talking about the new season of the AMC original hit series Breaking Bad. The only show that could ever make us root for the local meth dealer (only on TV, of course) premiered the first episode of its final season earlier this month. Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad follows the story of Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), a sappy high school chemistry teacher-turned-ruthless international drug lord. After being diagnosed with an inoperable lung cancer, White decides he wants to leave his family with more than a public high school teacher’s pension. So, he hooks up...

February 6, 2015
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Fascinating Fact or Lowdown Lie: Driving With the Windows Down Saves Gas Over Blasting the AC?

Which do you think saves more gas – rolling your windows down or blasting the AC? You might be surprised! The economy’s still lagging and gas prices are changing more often than Taylor Swift’s romantic status. Chances are your wallet is feeling it. So, if you’re like most drivers, you’re up for anything that will help you save money on fuel costs and still get you from point A to point B safely, if not particularly comfortably. One way to accomplish that is to turn off your gas-guzzling car air conditioner and roll down the windows instead. It’s not like you couldn’t use a little fresh air anyway, right? And that highway breeze will help you save a fistful of cash at the pump. Win-win, right? Too bad it’s bunk. Oak Ridge National...

February 6, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: World Class Automotive Film & Arts Festival Debuts in Monterey, CA

There are film festivals focusing on a full range of subjects from extreme sports to zombies to, believe it or not, mustaches. Now, there’s one just for car buffs and gearheads. If you’ll be in Monterey, California next week, E3 Spark Plugs highly recommends hitting the inaugural World Class Automotive Film & Arts Festival. Debuting August 15, the three-day festival features screenings of multiple automotive-themed films and documentaries at the beautiful Golden State Theatre. Films on the marquis include: 32 Hours 7 Minutes – A documentary film chronicling the story of the U.S. Express – once known as the Cannonball Run – and the controversy shrouding the incredible secret behind the record time set on the last such illegal race nearly a quarter...

February 6, 2015
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It’s Crazy Hot Outside, So E3 Spark Plugs Begs – Don’t Leave Your Pets in Your Cars!

Uncool in more ways than one. Leaving your pet locked in a car, even with the windows down or the AC on, places them in danger of a potentially fatal heat stroke. Many of us here at E3 Spark Plugs, based in sunny Florida’s Ponte Vedra Beach, are pet owners. And as Floridians, we know a thing or two about scorching summertime car interiors. So, not much gets us hot under the collar like seeing a pet locked in a car with its owners nowhere in sight. No doubt you’ve come across one of these scenes. A dog sits in a car in a mall or grocery store parking lot, panting and pawing at the window with a distressed look in his eyes. You look around, sure that the owner is nearby, just grabbing a latte from the coffee shop, returning a shopping cart to the cart stall or otherwise...

February 6, 2015
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Real Life Griswolds Recreate Iconic Family Truckster

Replica of the Waqon Queen Family Truckster faithfully recreated by a real-life Griswold family. National Lampoon’s Vacation captured the hearts of millions of Americans in 1983 and has become an iconic reminder of anyone’s ill-fated family trips. The series of movies starring Chevy Chase made the idea of road travel with family infamous by following the Griswolds’ cross-country expedition from Chicago to Los Angeles in their infamous “Family Truckster”. Now that the movie has been seen by multiple generations, the name Griswold has become an institution associated with vacation planning disasters. So imagine how a real life Steve Griswold must feel today having grown up with a movie that immediately dictates how people perceive him and his family? Well...

February 6, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Celebrates Shark Week by Remembering Corvette’s Mako Shark Concept Car

1961 Mako Shark I All the excitement surrounding Discovery Channel’s highly anticipated annual Shark Week got us here at E3 Spark Plugs reminiscing. Back in 1961, General Motors created a sleek, sharp concept car inspired by and named for the Mako Skark. In the deep of the ocean the Mako Shark appears in two forms – the common shortfin and the rare longfin. They can grow to 15 feet long, weigh up to 1,750 pounds, dart through the waters at speeds of up to 38 miles per hour and leap 24 feet in the air. But on asphalt, GM’s celebrated concept car is just as impressive. Designed by GM Vice President of Design Bill Mitchell and co-designer Larry Shinoda, the 1961 XP-755 Mako Shark I was created as a follow up to Corvette’s Stingray and, legend has it, inspired by...

February 6, 2015
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Mercedes-Benz to Integrate Google Glasses with its In-Car Infotainment Systems

Mercedes-Benz goes futuristic with Google Glass integration. The era of the Heads-Up Display (HUD) is upon us. That is, the display of information directly in front of the driver – on the car’s windshield. A number of cars already have this function and it is due to become a far more important feature in the very near future. Mercedes-Benz North America is pushing hard to develop a working relationship with Google, to incorporate the concept of Google Glass into its cars’ information and entertainment features. Google Glass is the trade name for Google’s wearable projection eyeglass technology currently under the later stages of development. The glasses give the wearer the ability to view read-outs of information projected onto the eyeglass lenses so that the...

February 6, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs’ August Flick Pick – “Getaway???

Hitting the big screen for Labor Day, “Getaway” stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. But it’s the Shelby Cobra Super Snake that steals every scene. Getaway is one of the must see car flicks for muscle car enthusiasts. It is an epiphany of many car-chase movies of the past. Though missing some the pure cool of a cult classic like Bullet, this movie is loaded with some serious action. The plot revolves around Brent Magna, a stock car driver who is trying to locate his kidnapped wife. In the process, Magna steals the star of the show, a Shelby Mustang GT 500 Super Snake, to give chase to the kidnapper. Ironically, and you knew there would be “irony”, the car belongs to a seasoned carjacker played by Selena Gomez.  Funny how Karma always comes back to...

February 6, 2015
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Why Fuel Choices Today Can Make a Big Difference

Gasoline, diesel or hybrid – Which is the best way to go? E3 Spark Plugs spells out your options. Trying to figure out the difference between fuels can seem like an exercise in math and chemistry for many, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, understanding why fuels work differently can actually help in buying a new car, depending on what one wants from a vehicle. Clearly, standard vehicles are served just fine with regular gasoline, but when it comes to hauling and towing, diesel might be the better choice. Here’s how the different fuel options can work for you. Gasoline There’s a reason why gasoline is the fuel of choice in sports cars and vehicles designed for speed — it produces reliable horsepower. That said, gasoline isn’t the best producer of...

February 6, 2015
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