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April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driving Awareness Month, observed during the entire month of April, is a united effort to address the dangers of driving while distracted and seeks to prevent further avoidable deaths through education and by raising awareness. Accidents involving distracted drivers are completely preventable, and the desire is that through these efforts more tragedies can be avoided. The hashtag #justdrive is used throughout social media to help spread the word and advocate personal pledges to safe practices and distraction-free driving. We have previously written on distracted driving as it relates to teen drivers, but as statistics continue to show, this is a problem that extends to drivers of every age. Though distracted driving related accidents are trending down from previous years, the numbers are nevertheless sobering: Every day, at least nine Americans are killed, and another 100 are injured in distracted driving accidents. Every 15 minutes, someone is killed in a … Read More

Meet The Rarest Corvette In Existence: The 1969 Corvette ZL-1

1969 Chevrolet Corvettes The Chevy Corvette is one of the most iconic and recognized American sports cars around. In its long history, it has gone through several major iterations, and has devoted fans for each generation. Here, we explore the history of the rarest of all the Corvettes, the ’69 Corvette ZL-1. Base Model Corvettes And The L88 There were several changes made to the Corvette line at the end of the decade. In fact, 1969 marked the year that the Chevy small block engine increased in size from 327 cubic inches to 350 (5.7 liters) and, although tires remained the same from previous base models, all new cars at this point featured 8-inch wide wheels. Additionally, positraction differentials were an option in the Corvette at this time, with nearly all cars receiving it from the factory. The L88, however, was a different beast, coming equipped with a 427 cubic-inch … Read More

Jeep Wrangler: A History of an Off-Roading Icon

Jeeps transitioned from rugged wartime vehicles to civilian vehicles, and then finally to the hardy, multipurpose Wranglers we know today. Here, we explore the history of this instantly recognizable vehicle. Models through the Years Prior to the Wrangler hitting the road, Jeep vehicles had already started employing features that would eventually make their way to the Wrangler. As new models were released, they continued to build on previous historic styles and added newer, modern features. Nevertheless, the following features found in previous Jeeps made their way to the distinctive look of the Wrangler: Boxy body style Two-door design Removable cloth top Instantly recognizable front Round headlamps Tall, seven-slot grille From the models that preceded the Wrangler to the various changes made in the last few decades, here are the models that make up the heritage of this beloved SUV. Before the Wrangler – Precursors (1940s – 1980s) The Wrangler is … Read More

Protection Plan Options For Your Used Vehicle Purchase

Every car buyer looks for reliability in a vehicle purchase, but even the most reliable and well-built vehicles can suffer unpredictable damage from accidents and wear-and-tear. While most new car purchases typically include some type of warranty coverage, used cars generally do not unless a seller or dealership(like us) offers some type of promotion. Many cars will not qualify for warranty coverage, but if a used car seller offers extended warranty protection on a used vehicle, it may be worth considering. Warranty Options For Used Vehicles Most used vehicle purchases will not offer any kind of warranty except perhaps a free year or two of oil changes and inspections, but that does not mean warranties are completely unavailable for used vehicle purchases. Some insurance carriers offer extended warranties (also commonly called vehicle service contracts) for used vehicles, but these carriers generally restrict which vehicles qualify for warranty coverage. While it … Read More

Herbie The Love Bug – A Chronology of Car Culture

If you remember the original 1968 (it wasn’t released until March 1969) movie, The Love Bug, you probably also remember all those Bugs or Beetles on the highways and byways of America. The VW Beetle was ubiquitous from the late 60’s to the mid 70’s, and no wonder: Over 21,000,000 Beetles were produced – and driven – worldwide! The VW (Volkswagen) Beetle name comes from the nickname Germans gave the little car. Because of its rounded shape, they started calling it ‘Der Kaefer’, the beetle, in the early 50’s. This was the shortened name, from ‘Der Brezelkaefer’, the pretzel beetle, which had a split rear window that mimicked a pretzel. The car officially got the ‘Beetle’ name in 1968, just before the release of the first Herbie movie. Herbie The Love Bug Movies Herbie is a self-aware, anthropomorphic car with attitude and an ability to drive himself. He helps his … Read More

Handling A Recall For Your Vehicle

The largest scale safety recall in automotive history recently occurred*, affecting more than 100 million vehicles from 19 manufacturers using airbag inflation devices made by Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata. Takata recently filed for bankruptcy because of this recall, and this is just one example of how a vehicle recall can have dramatic implications. What If The Manufacturer Recalls My Vehicle? In light of the recent Takata airbag issue, many vehicle owners may wonder how to find out if there have been any recalls associated with their vehicles. Most auto manufacturers and dealerships have policies in place to notify their customers of recalls, usually by mail, but people often move or miss these notices and may not realize there is a recall. How To Find Out Your Vehicle’s Recall Information One of the best ways to stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance needs is by using a vehicle maintenance … Read More

Autonomous Vehicles Are Here To Stay

Less than a decade ago, the thought of a self-driving vehicle was still a far-off possibility in the minds of most Americans, but in just a few short years several vehicle manufacturers, software engineers, and experts in artificial intelligence (AI) have come together to create autonomous vehicles. Companies like Tesla and Google are spearheading the autonomous vehicle boom, and now self-driving cars are appearing all over the country. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have also invested heavily in autonomous vehicle technology, potentially offering customers all over the country rides from robotic drivers. Autonomous vehicles hold tremendous potential to create very positive changes on American roads, including eventually removing human error from the list of causes of traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2016 alone*, and the vast majority of those fatal accidents were due to human error. Autonomous vehicles not … Read More

What Are The Differences Between Drum Brakes And Disc Brakes?

When purchasing a new or used vehicle, the car buyer should ensure that he or she understands the potential maintenance issues the vehicle could have. One of the most vital components of any vehicle is the braking system, and vehicle owners should know the benefits and drawbacks of the two main types of vehicle brakes: drum brakes and disc brakes. Choosing Between Drum Brakes And Disc Brakes A drum brake system is a small round drum with a set of braking “shoes” inside. The drum rotates alongside the vehicle’s wheels, and when the driver applies the brakes the braking shoes compress against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle. By comparison, a disc braking system includes a metal disc with brake pads that spins within a wheel. When the driver applies the brake, the brake pads press against the disc and slow the vehicle. Many vehicles actually feature … Read More

Will Using Aftermarket Auto Parts Void Your Warranty?

Chances are, if you’re considering making modifications to your vehicle, you’ve noticed the wealth of aftermarket parts available. While aftermarket parts may be easier to obtain, cheaper or longer-lasting than OEM, or may have the performance you desire, are you risking voiding your warranty? The answer can be a bit more complex than a yes or no. Can Car Manufacturers Require You To Use Factory Parts? If you look in your car’s manual, you’ll likely see the suggested OEM part – usually complete with the part number – listed as the only replacement option for most parts. Some manufacturers even go so far as to list a brand of oil, brake fluid, and antifreeze they claim you should use to maintain your car. Many people take the manufacturers at their word, and insist on manufacturer’s parts, but can the manufacturers really void your warranty for aftermarket replacement parts? According to … Read More

January Is National Teen Driving Awareness Month

Most teens are excited to get their first chance to drive a car, but unfortunately that excitement all too often turns into tragedy. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. Even crashes that do not end in a fatality can leave bones broken, cars totaled, and high insurance premiums. Arizona is the tenth worst state for teen drivers, according to one study. The state ranks 23rd in teen driver fatalities and 45th in distracted driving and texting-while-driving laws. It ranks 35th in overall safety. In an effort to bring attention to this urgent problem and help teens to respect the risks of driving an automobile, January has been declared National Teen Driving Awareness Month. This is an especially important month for Arizona teens. The facts and figures on teen driving can be sobering, but we can do better. Risk … Read More