Thursday, November 22, 2012

Are Winter Tires Safe to Use All Year?

Imagine the following scenario: it is winter-time and you decide to put the best winter tires on your vehicle to prevent yourself from slipping and sliding all over the road. But as winter changes into spring and spring changes into summer, you just can't find the motivation to change your winter tires. Is it okay to use your winter tires all year long? Or will using your winter tires during the summer months cause you to slide through intersections once it starts to freeze again?

As nice as it would be to use our winter tires all year long, it is definitely not advised. According to experts, using your winter tires all year long means that you will need to replace them sooner. Not only that, but using your winter tires during all 12 months can put your safety at risk, decreasing your ability to stop during spring, summer, and fall months.

What makes winter tires so successful during cold months is their formulated trade compound that stays soft during cold weather. If you use them properly, winter tires should last you for 2-3 years. But if you use them throughout the entire year, they will wear out faster than all-season tires and will not provide good performance.

A good test to determine whether your tires are equip for winter safety is to check their tread depth. With that said, the same test is not true for summer and spring months. Regardless of tread depth, winter tires are not equip to perform properly on wet and dry summer roads, sometimes making it difficult to stop quickly.

According to a magazine that compared 2012 tires on a Chevy Cruze, winter tires perform much worse during summer months than all-season tires. On average, when traveling at speeds of 60 miles per hour on a dry track, winter tires took 24 feet further to stop than all season tires. When wet surfaces were added into the equation, the winter tires took an average of 31 feet further to stop. This distance could be the difference between going home safely or ending up in a collision.

When it comes to winter driving, winter tires were found to stop at least 7 feet shorter than all-season tires when driving on ice. The top rated winter tires stopped 15 feet shorter than all-season tires. Not only are winter tires better at stopping during cold months, they are also better at accelerating. While it took the average all-season tire 99 feet to accelerate to 20mph in the snow, it only took the winter tire 80 feet.

Of course, not everyone agrees with these statistics. A large controversy was raised in Quebec where winter tires were required by law between the dates of December 15 and March 15. According to Provincial Police, there is only a marginal difference between the safety of winter tires and all-season tires during cold months.

So here is the big question - should you keep your all-season tires or switch to winter ones?
Regardless of who you ask, most experts will recommend using winter tires when the temperature begins to drop. The biggest problem with all season tires is that when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber compound within the tire hardens and begins to lose traction, putting the driver of the vehicle at risk of accident. When compared to winter tires, these are designed to stay soft for weather up to -40 degrees Celsius, keeping you safer on the road.

But when it comes to summer months? Switch your winter tires for all season ones. Winter tires excel in snowy and icy conditions, but in dry conditions do not have good grip or precision.

And remember, next to your brakes, your tires are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. They are definitely not something that you want to go the cheap route for. And as former race car driver Demere states, "It's a lot easier to avoid a crash than it is to survive one". As a recommendation by Demere, you need to have 4 winter tires (not just two). Always make sure that they are kept to the proper tire pressure - this is not the number listed on your tire, but the number listed inside your manual.

How long can you expect winter tires to last? It really depends on how you drive them and under which conditions you drive. You should keep a constant eye on your tires to ensure that they always have at least a 2mm tread depth.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SEMA: VWerks creates Raptor-fighter for Dodge Ram trucks

SEMA - that stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. This is an event that is held each year in Las Vegas. Held from November 5th to November 8th this year, SEMA is an event who's motivating force is the love of cars, trucks, and SUVs. While the show is not open to the public, it still attracts thousands of group manufacturers, retailers, distributors, restorers, restylers, race teams, and street rod builders. The show provides vehicle enthusiasts the opportunity to show off their ideas and products, attracting plenty of media attention each year.

At this years Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas, VWerks captivated it's audience with their new aftermarket kit for Dogde Ram drivers. Located in Adrian, Michigan, VWerks is a division of the Venchurs Vehicle Systems. Their mission is to provide high quality equipment and after market accessories for specified OE manufacturers - one of which is Dodge. VWerks offers some of the best automotive upgrade products on the market, allowing car enthusiasts to choose vehicle accessories that will suit their personal preferences and needs for affordable prices.

At this years SEM event, VWerks didn't want to let the Ford Raptor have all of the fun. In the exhibition for 2009 to 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, VWerks (a Michigan based company) showed off a new after market kit that allows drivers of the vehicle to spice it up without going through dealerships for the upgrade. This specialized kit is available in two different levels and gives the Dodge Ram a wide-body treatment and off-road performance upgrade, turning the ordinary Ram into a high-speed, off-road, strong-performance vehicle.

The first stage of the kit is called the Baja Series Conversion. Included within this kit is a 1.75 inch leveling kit designed to raise the nose of the truck and a rear-tire carrier. The kit also includes 20 inch wheels with BFG tires, leather seating, a Flowmaster cat-back exhaust, and KTS rear and front fenders. It also includes a front bumper with a light bar. And the cost of this spice-it-up kit? $13 595. And while this may seem anything but inexpensive, the kit is actually fairly reasonably priced if you were to consider the cost to do all of these upgrades through the help of a dealership.

And while this kit is enough for many, there are still some who don't feel up to par with the body fo the Raptor. For these individuals, an extra $16 400 will buy you the full KTS version of the kit. This full kit version includes everything that the Baja Series includes, with an additional KORE Tactical Series Suspension and 17 inch matte black wheels.

Now that the Las Vegas SEMA show is over, the Ram Baja KTS is headed to Los Angeles where l it will take an off-road tour and take a firsthand look at what it is like to play in the dirt!

Read the Original Article at:,0,125089.story

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Could the Ford Focus RS Debut in 2014 with 350 HP?

If you haven't yet heard of Ford's newest hatchback, it is the 2013 Ford Focus ST. Loaded with a 2.0L turbo-four engine that holds 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, this is bound to be one of the hottest sellers on the market this year. But as if this weren't enough, Ford is now announcing that they are working on an even hotter, faster version of the Focus RS that is to be released two years from now. When released in 2014, it is rumored that it could offer up to 350 horsepower!

It is nothing new to us that a successor of the Ford Focus RS is to one day use a turbocharged 2.3L inline-four engine. Not only is this engine expected to appear in the Focus, but it has also been rumored that it will be showing up in the Ford Mustang as well, offering up to 330 horsepower engines. But for now, Ford has planted its eyes on the Focus RS, wanting to equip it with 350 horsepower.

One option for the company is to plant a larger turbocharger onto the 2.0L turbo-four engine in the Focus. However, this option would place a great deal of compromise onto the drivability and the low-end torque. As such, Team RS is advising and pushing for a larger 2.3L mill engine instead.

The older Ford Focus RS used a turbocharged 2.5L inline-five engine with 300 horsepower and opted for a limited edition RS500 with 345 horsepower. Unfortunately, this engine didn't meet emission regulations and the idea was disposed of when then Focus ST was introduced.

When you combine a hot hatchback with 350 horsepower, you get a vehicle that can reach speeds from 0mph to 60mph in just five seconds! How is this possible without the creation of torque steer and spinning tires? The answer an "E-diff". This electronically controlled device gives the computer within the vehicle the power to decide how much to differential is needed. Such determinations will be made based upon driver input, as well as on current driving conditions.

In addition, it is also reported that Ford may be adding a version of its PowerShift dual clutch transmission to the Ford Focus RS. While this transmission is already offered in the regular Ford Focus, it is not yet offered in the ST version. Ford is pushing for this addition to the vehicle as an attempt to widen its appeal, increase it's speed, and improve in competition against cars like the Volkswage GTI. Unfortunately, the PowerShift transmission can add a great deal of weight to the vehicle, so it's addition is not yet solidified.

And while all of this is rumored, that may be exactly what is. According to spokesman of Ford's Special Vehicles Team, no comments can be made on plans for the Focus RS. Within his statement he suggested that even if they were making plans, he would not be able to share them at this point in time. Still, the spokesperson did not deny that Ford is always looking to increase vehicle performance. Perhaps this can give us all hope for the future.

According to Auto Express, the Ford Focus RS may be available for purchase in the year of 2014. Price is estimated to be twenty percent higher than the Focus ST, leaving us with a price around $30 000.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Child Safety Seat Being Deemed Unsafe

If you have a child, the best protection that you can give them when traveling by vehicle is a safety seat. Whether you live in the United States or Canada, every child is required by law to be restrained in the back seat while driving - with good reason. For the most part, child safety seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury - especially for babies and toddlers. But with that said, this is only true if they are installed properly. When not installed correctly, child safety seats can pose more of a risk than a benefit.

This is the exact reason why a Child Car Safety Seat Checkpoint has been scheduled for November 17 by the City of Sevierville Police Department. Taking place at 642 Dolly Parton Pwy at the Tennessee State Bank from 9:00am to 1:00pm, this checkpoint is designed to check for improperly installed safety seats and to teach parents proper installation techniques.

As previous checkpoints by the Sevierville Police Department would show, there are many child car safety seats that are still being used that are no longer safe. Common reasons for decreased safety include involvement in a previous accident, missing parts, and recalls by the manufacturer. Of course, many people will avoid attending the Child Car Safety Seat Checkpoint for fear that they will be required to purchase a new child seat - a product that can be quite costly, especially for parents on a budget. But in this case, attending the checkpoint will actually be beneficial for parents with low income. Why? If the department deems your child seat to be unsafe for any reason and you are unable to afford a new one, a replacement seat will be provided for you free of cost!

Aside from unsafe products, another large concern for the police department during this checkpoint is improperly installed car seats. Despite the good intentions of parents, it is estimated that over 90 percent of child car seats are not installed properly. Furthermore, over 40 percent of fatalities caused to children in vehicle accidents are prompted by child seats that have not been properly installed. This statistic alone should be enough to provide parents with the motivation that they need to attend the checkpoint and ensure that their child seats are properly installed for the safety of their children.

Upon attending the Child Safety Seat Checkpoint, you will find several certified Sevierville Police Department officers who will be available to perform child seat inspections, demonstrate proper installation techniques to parents, and offer general assistance or answer any questions that you may have regarding child seat safety.

For anyone who has children and lives in the Tennessee area, this event is strongly suggested for attending. Learning how to install your child seat will only take an hour of your time, but could end up saving your child's life.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Skyfall's Bond Car - Everything you Need to Know

The first car to ever be named in Skyfall is the black Audi. But while this vehicle is not the first, or even the second, to be named within the film, it is the one of the only vehicles that will leave a lasting impression on you from the newest and hottest Bond movie - it is the mint condition 1965 Aston Martin DB5 and the color is silver. When first seen on the big screen, the audience went crazy, roaring with cheers and approval.

According to the director of the movie, Sam Mendes, the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 was a large part of his childhood. Not only was it a large part of his childhood, but also a large part of every boy's childhood within his generation. But why does this make the perfect vehicle choice for the latest Bond film? In the words of Sam Mednes, there is something about the last part of the movie that makes it seem as though it actually could have taken place back in 1962 - making a perfect fit for the DB5.

In reality, there are two DB5's in the Bond film "Skyfall". One of these vehicles is property of EON productions - the company that owns the Bond franchise who have been in business for over 51 years. EON's DB5 was actually a clone of the orignial vehicle that was owned by a private collector. The clone needed to be made so that it could be used as a body double for the film, leaving all of the stunt work to the cloned vehicle. Before the movie had begun, a great deal of thought was put into which vehicle should be used. Directors searched extensively to find the right fit for the film, finally deciding upon the 1965 Aston Martin DB5. The vehicle they had found actually had a green exterior with a beige interior. They quickly transformed this into a Silver exterior with black trim. An extra line was even painted onto the roof as an exit hatch for Bond's ejector seat. The result was a jaw-dropping recreation.

According to producer Michael Wilson, the makers of the Bond film use different cars every now and again, but their attention is always quickly drawn back to the vintage Aston Martin. Of course, the DB5 appearing in this film is far from the first DB5 ever shot in a Bond film. In fact, there have been 4 other movies prior to Skyfall that have used an Aston Martin DB5 in their shots. Aside from the DB5, other Aston Martins have made an appearance in eleven of the twenty-three different Bond films.

The vehicle was first manufactured in 1963 and continued in production until 1966. It was made with a 6 cylinder engine with 282 horsepower. The vehicle can travel from 0 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour in only 7.1 seconds and can reach speeds up to 148 miles per hour. There were 1, 059 of these vehicles made, each costing  £4,000 when they first came out (imagine paying that for an Aston Martin now?). Today, these vehicles are worth much more and can cost over $500, 000!

According to spokesman for Aston Martin, Matthew Clarke, the average Aston Martin today, if in good condition, would go for around $650, 000. With that said, the vehicles can sell for much more. As an example, one of the Aston Martin DB5s used within the movie Goldfinger was placed in an auction in 2010 and sold for 2.9 million U.K. pounds! That makes it a vehicle work protecting and maintaining.

In the movie, both the original and the stunt double get banged up a little bit, but they live on to drive again. As for the explosive scene in the movie? No real Aston Martins were harmed during this scene - filmakers actually used a 1/3 sized model for this hot action sequence (Thank Heavens!).

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Suzuki Auto Sales Will Soon Be Coming to a Close in the United States

Founded by Michio Suzuki in 1909, Suzuki is a line of automobiles that has always been known for value and affordability. By the 1950's Suzuki was expanding to make more than just loom machines and was now making both automobiles and motorcycles. In the 1980's, Suzuki began partnering with automaker GM motors, re-badging Suzuki products and selling them as GM vehicles in America. But today, as a sad reality, Suzuki auto sales are soon to come to a cease in the United States.

On Monday, November 5, 2012, the American Suzuki Motor Corporation filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As a part of the business' restructuring plan, it has announced that it will no longer be selling automobiles in the United States. This company, with its headquarters in Brea, California, is the primary and sole distributor of Suzuki vehicles within the U.S.

Located within the Central District of California, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has files documenting that the Suzuki Corporation has liabilities and debts ranging from an estimated one-hundred million dollars to over five-hundred million dollars. It has also been quoted that the company has between 1000 to 5000 creditors to which it owes.

According to the owners of the American Suzuki Motor Corporation, there is still enough money to allow them to operate during the restructuring process and they still intend to honor all buy back agreements and warranties in relation to their customers. The company also intends to work with vehicle dealerships to transition into parts-and-service operations.

Once the bankruptcy protection process is over, the owners of American Suzuki Motors intend to place their focus on selling Suzuki all-terrain vehicles, marine outboard engines, and motorcycles. So if they intend to keep selling products, why are they terminating vehicle sales? Rumor has it that Suzuki is ending all auto sales because of unfavorable foreign exchange rates combined with slow sales and increased costs caused by U.S. regulatory requirements.

As for Suzuki sales, over 2, 023 vehicles were sold in October of 2012 - a number that is 5% higher than that of which it was in October of 2011. And while the Suzuki company did not specify exactly how many were sold, they did state that their Grand Vitara Sport Utility vehicle jumped over 64% in sales last month. In May of 2012, Suzuki had sold over 474 Grand Vitaras and over 1 101 SX4 Crossovers.

According to Suzuki, the reorganization and bankruptcy of the company are in no way related to the Japan based Suzuki Motor Corporation. In fact, the Japan company has intentions of purchasing any remaining businesses and service operations from the American branch. Once the company has been reogranized it will retain the same American Suzuki name.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

The 2012 SEMA showcases the performance of the new Corvette and Camaro

At this year's 2012 SEMA event, Chevrolet Performance cars were making a big bang. Included within the 2012 models on display were the Camaro ZL1, the Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition, and the Camaro SS track-ready 1LE.

According to the Vice President at Performnace Vehicles & Motorsports, Jim Campbell, it is extremely rare to find a Corvette or Camaro that hasn't been amped-up by an owner. At the 2012 SEMA show, passion and creativity were celebrated and the desire to inspire customers was quite evident. Included within the vehicles on display at SEMA were Tony Stewart's Camaro ZL1 made for NASCAR, as well as well known celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Corvette 427 Convertible and his 1967 Camaro Hot Wheels Concept. Let's take a closer look at each of the awe inspiring vehicles.

Tony Stewart's Camaro ZL1

Nicknamed "Smoke", Tony Stewart (Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion) enjoys driving his Camaro ZL1 both on the street and on the track. This sports car, a creation of Tony Stewart himself, was designed when he visited Warren Michigan's GM Design Center to supercharge his car with Design Manager David Ross. Working together, the two designed a gorgeous custom gray metallic exterior that was accented with red and silver pinstripes. The design also brought about red halo tinting for the headlamps, along with black finished wheels that incorporated red accents.

Inside of the vehicle were Jet Black leather seats that incorporated suede inserts and were accented with scarlet stitching. The interior of the vehicle also included laser-etched details on suede leather door panels, Tony Stewart signatures embroidered into the seats, a suede leather steering wheel, and jet black leather door armrests.

As for the vehicle engine - a 6.2L LSA engine with 580 horsepower. What does that make this vehicle? The fastest Camaro ever created! With this supercharged engine, Tony Stewart's Camaro can go from 0mph to 60mph in just 4 seconds and can reach speads of 184mph.

Guy Fieri’s Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition

Known for his Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives", Guy Fieri has a soft spot for convertibles, owning more than three of them! Included within his collection are the 1968 and 2011 Camaro SS convertibles and the newly created and personalized 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition.

This newer model combines elements of the ZR1 and the Z06 models, making the 2013 collector edition Corvette the fastest and most capable convertible in the history of the Corvette. The vehicle comes equipped with a 427 cubic inch LS7 engine with 505hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

The exterior of Guy's Corevette is black with yellow stripes - the exact opposite of his other Chevy's that sport a yellow body with black stripes. On the inside of the vehicle you will find embroided headrests and on the outside a set of black cup wheels with Michelin PS2 tires.

Chevrolet Performance 1967 Camaro Hot Wheels® concept

The original Hot Wheels Custom Camaro is a small toy that millions of young boys have always dreamed of one day having. Well now there is a full-scale tribute to this small figurine. The upscaled version of the 1967 Camaro Hot Wheels Concept is equipped with an LS3 engine with 430 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission. Because translating the proportions of the tiny figure into a full-scale verision is complicated, the two are not exact representations of one another. Still, the designers have done a great job at interpreting what the small toy would look like in real-life size. Painted in a Kinetic Blue, the full size model of the Camaro Hot Wheel has the same body lines and styling as the smaller version, with a different stance and wheels.

Highlights of the vehicle include:

Remote Keyless Entry
The same hood as the Custom Camaro toy
Exterior Hot Wheel badges and emblem
Custom aluminum wheels with red accents
Silver lined interior
Leather-wrapped steering wheel

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's New for the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro.

For anyone who is a driving enthusiast, there is no passing by the fifth-generation 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. To begin with, this convertible and coupe has the classic look that causes muscle car lovers to drop their jaws. Not only that, but with it's 6.2 liter V8 engine and 580 horsepower, this vehicle gives the driver exactly what they want - speed and power. Yet despite its high speeds and intense power, this Camaro still offers features such as a smooth ride and sharp handling.

Unfortunately, when it comes to everyday practicality, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro has a few drawbacks. One of the biggest shortcomings of this vehicle is the lack of legroom and trunk room. For this vehicle, even summer golfing or camping trips can become quiet a challenge. In addition, the visibility of the vehicle is not up to par. But will these things change your opinion of the vehicle? Probably not. The appearance of the Camaro alone is enough to make buyers forget all about these few shortcomings. With that said, before any purchase of the Camaro is made, it is always recommended that you test drive similar vehicles such as the 2013 Ford Mustang that offers the same performance without the same downfalls. Still, if you can overcome the few downfalls that the 2013 Camaro has, you will have definitely have yourself a beauty!

About the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro...

Body styles - the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro comes in convertible and four-seat coupe styles.
Equipment - Standard equipment for 1LS model of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro includes automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary audio input jack, and 18 inch steel wheels. Other equipment that you will find with the 2013 model include satellite radio, a six-speaker sound system, a CD player, OnStar, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manually adjustable front seats, and keyless entry. Other models include additional equipment such as remote start, heated mirrors, rearview camera, and much, much more.

Power and Performance

For the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT - These are powered by a 3.6L V6 engine with 323 horsepower and 278lb-ft of torque. The standard is a 6 speed manual transmission, but automatic transmission is also optional. For automatic transmission, fuel economy is estimated at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

For the Camaro SS - This is powered by a 6.2L V8 engine with 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Both manual and auto transmission are available. Fuel economy is estimated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

For the Camaro ZL1 - This is powered by a 6.2L V8 engine with 580 horsepower and 556lb-ft of torque. This vehicle can accelerate from 0mph to 60mph in just 4.4 seconds.


In regards to safety, the 2013 Camaro earns a 5 star rating based on government crash tests. This is true for both side and front impact protection. Standard safety features of the 2013 Camaro include antilock disc brakes, navigation, stability control, and stolen vehicle assistance. Other safety features include front and side air bags, remote door unlocking, OnStar, on-demand roadside assistance, and automatic crash notification.


The last thing that anyone will ever accuse the Camaro of being is slow. Whether you buy the V6 or V8 engine, both repsond quickly allowing you to burn rubber in seconds. Overall, the new 2013 Camaro offers excellent performance for both on-track and everyday driving.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SEMA Honors the Mickey Thompson Race Tire

SEMA, held during the first week of November each year, stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. It is during this show, held in Las Vegas, that auto manufacturers show off their concepts, vehicles, and accessories in a fashionable display meant for auto enthusiasts. Encompassing over 2 million square feet of space, SEMA is not a show that is open to the public, but that is well-covered by the press. The idea of the show is to give auto manufacturers the opportunity to show off their new products and technologies. And while the public cannot attend the event, winning an award here is a great way to receive publicity and attention for a business.

At the 2012 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), the new ET Street Radial Pro Race Tire was introduced by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels.

In the shows New Product Showcase competition, the ET Street Radial Pro Race Tire competed in the Best New Tire and Related product category. The tire won second place. There were 16 different categories by which the awards were presented, and the criteria that helped to determine the winner included consumer appeal, quality, technical achievement, and craftsmanship. Considering that there were over two thousands different products submitted for the competition, it is pretty impressive that the ET Street Radial Pro Race Tire came in as the runner-up for first place!

As an aside  to give readers a little bit of background about the brand, the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels company was created by none other than the race legend Mickey Thompson himself. A legend on the racetrack, Mickey Thompson still holds more auto speed records than anyone else on earth. After seeing extreme success on the racetrack, Mickey went on to revolutionize racing designs and tires that would improve the world of racing to this day. If winning the runner-up award for Best New Tire and Related Product means anything, it would show that the ET Street Radial Pro is a tire that Mickey himself would be proud to drive.

First introduced in March of 2012, the ET Street Radial Pro P275/60R15 was produced with racing in mind. The tire itself utilizes a low tread profile in combination with next-generation tire technology. The result is a fast, reliable tire that provides consistency and responsiveness during a race. Whether looking for a fast launch or safe handling during the drive, the ET Street Radial Pro is every racers dream.

According to VP Sales and Marketing Technician for Mickey Thompson, Ken Warner, the ET Street Radial Pro P275/60R15 was designed specifically for racing vehicles that require extremely high performance tires. Winning the runner-up award for Best New Tire and Related Product is of specific importance to all of those working at Mickey Thompson, showcasing to buyers that every single tire they make is designed with proven technology for superior performance.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guy Fieri - Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition

Have you ever watched the Food Network show Diners', Drive-Ins, and Dives? Well it turns out that the star of this show is a hardcore fan of Chevy and has a history of owning his own performance models. But at the 2012 SEMA show, a new car was introduced - the Guy Fieri Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition. This vehicle has all of the charm of an open aired sports car combined with the power of a Corvette Z06.

In case you weren't already aware, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has a V8 engine that is 427 cubic inches. With 470lb-ft of torque and 505 horsepower, this engine dishes out a lot of power! This type of engine is not offered in any type of standard Corvette Convertible, but an exception was made at the 2012 SEMA show for well-known celebrity Guy Fieri. The result was the Guy Fieri Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition that offers the same V8 engine with the same 470lb-ft of torque and the same 505 horsepower as the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Not only does the Collector Corvette offer a 6-speed manual transmission, but much like the Corvette Z06, it offers a braking package with 4 pistons in the back and 6 piston front calipers. In addition, this special Collectors Edition also offers a Magnetic Selective Ride Control system along with lightweight cup wheels (19" in front, 20" in back) and the high performing Michelin PS2 tires.

As for the exterior of the vehicle, the Guy Fieri Collector Edition Convertible is painted in black with yellow stripes. If you follow the collection of Guy Fieri, you may have noticed that this color scheme is the exact opposite of his 2011 Camaro SS Convertible which is painted yellow with black stripes. To help reduce the weight of the chassis, the fenders, hood, rockers, and front splitter are all made of lightweight carbon fiber panels. In addition to the paint job, Guy Fieri also offered his own touch to the vehicle, logoing the name "Knuckle Sandwich" along with his arm tattoo of a skull onto the fender.

As breathtaking as the outside of the vehicle, the inside of the 427 Collector Edition Corvette is made up entirely of black leather and suede. To tie the interior and the exterior together, much of the seats are made up with yellow stitching. Also tieing the inside together with the outside of the vehicle are the "Knuckle Sandwich" logos that are embroidered onto each of the headrests. Accessories for the vehicle include pedal covers, trunks mats, floor mats, a widescreen,  and a leather console lid.

Both the interior and the exterior of the Guy Fieri Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition are mint and amazing. And while this high performance vehicle is unlikely to see any production, it is still a wonderful piece of art for enthusiasts to admire. And while this was actually the only Corvette displayed in the 2012 SEMA show, it was an excellent way to gather attention and introduce buyers to the LT1 V8 that will be part of the Corvette 2014 edition.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Survey: Americans Go Slower, Choose Greener Goods Like New Fusion EcoBoost

Survey: Americans Go Slower, Choose Greener Goods Like New Fusion EcoBoost with $295 Auto Start-Stop Technology (via PR Newswire)

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Recent survey shows 82 percent of Americans are paying more upfront for green products that save money longer term, as many drive slower and take other steps to conserve fuel New 2013 Ford Fusion offers hybrid-based Auto Start-Stop technology that shuts…

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kumho Re-Ups as Jets Sponsor

Kumho Tire U.S.A. has extended its partnership with the National Football League's New York Jets for a second year. As a part of the sponsorship for the 2012-13 season, Kumho is giving Jets fans the chance to win prizes, including the Jet Fuel VIP Fan Experience.

“The New York Jets is one of the most highly recognized NFL teams in the country. Their dedication to excellence is an attribute Kumho Tire takes very seriously and this partnership is a great way for us to showcase our performance tires to loyal Jets fans,” said Rick Brennan, Kumho Tire U.S.A. vice president of marketing.

Kumho’s Jet Fuel VIP Fan Experience package gives fans at the games the chance to win two MetLife Stadium luxury suite tickets, a pre-game on-field tour, two passes to a meet and greet with Jets football legends, a special athletic gift bag for two, Jets merchandise autographed by players, VIP parking pass, plus a free set of four performance tires. Fans also may sign up to win online at or at the tiremaker’s Facebook page (, however only those who enter at the Kumho display located outside MetLife Stadium will be eligible to win Kumho tires.

Also as part of the sponsorship, consumers in New York and New Jersey who purchase a set of four select Kumho tires from participating local retailers can receive a $75 rebate through Jan. 13.

Kumho Re-Ups as Jets Sponsor was originally posted at

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hankook Earns OE Slot on New Lincoln MKZ

The new Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan will be shod with Hankook Tire’s ultra-high performance Ventus V12 evo in sizes 245/45ZR18 and 245/40ZR19.

The 18-inch size will be used for vehicles built for both the U.S. and export markets, while the 19-inch size will find use on vehicles built for export markets.

“Hankook is truly excited to supply one of the most anticipated cars of 2013, the new Lincoln MKZ,” said Byungil Woo, vice president of Hankook’s global OE division. “The partnership forged with Ford and Lincoln is now into its third decade and growing.”

Hankook already supplies 19- and 20-inch OE tire fitments for the Lincoln MKT three-row crossover. This new agreement marks the first time Hankook has supplied 18- and 19-inch UHP tires to a luxury North American sedan, according to the tiremaker.

“Hankook’s OE business is growing based on the recognition of our tire’s quality and brand value,” said Soo Il Lee, Hankook Tire America Corp. president. “This agreement is a great addition to Hankook’s OE portfolio and we look forward to working in partnership in the future with the world’s leading car manufacturers.”

This article, Hankook Earns OE Slot on New Lincoln MKZ was originally published on

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Transmission Maintenance

Your transmission is what sends power from your engine. To convert the speed of the engine into torque, the transmission uses gears and a clutch. There are generally two types of transmission; automatic and manual. Regardless of which type you use, however, it is important that you engage in routine transmission maintenance to ensure that all components are functioning properly, ensuring a smooth and safe ride for all vehicle passengers.

To replace an entire transmission can be quite costly. Thus, it is extremely important that we do everything that we can to make our transmissions last as long as possible. How long does the average transmission last? It really depends on the quality of the transmission and the amount of maintenance that it undergoes. 

Obviously, higher quality transmissions will last longer than low quality ones. In addition, the more transmission maintenance your vehicle undergoes, the more longevity you can expect it to have. 

If you want to maintain the longevity of your transmission, you will need to monitor your transmission fluid regularly. This fluid plays several roles transferring heat, allowing for smooth transition of gears, and preventing wear. Thus, it is extremely important that you keep your fluids clean and your fluid levels high. You can do this by taking your vehicle in for routine transmission maintenance checks.

In addition to taking your vehicle in for routine checkups, you should also keep your eye open for any signs of transmission problems. Leaking fluids, shakiness, delayed drive or reverse actions, burning smells, harsh shifting, and check engine lights can all be a sign that something may be wrong with your transmission. If you notice any of these issues while driving, take your vehicle in for a checkup as soon as possible.

Because routine checkups are essential in preventing transmission problems, it is recommended that you take your vehicle in for a fluid and filter change every 30, 000 miles. If you drive in severe conditions, this should be increased to every 15, 000 miles. If you are not a mechanic, do not attempt to do this yourself. Just because you can change your own engine oil does not mean you can change your own transmission oil. Transmission maintenance is a much more difficult process that should be left to the professionals.

Once again, the importance of taking your vehicle in for routine maintenance checks should be stressed. The costs of the average maintenance check ranges anywhere from $50 to $100. And while it may seem strange to pay money when nothing is wrong, this small fee is nothing compared to the $1500 (plus labor) that you will have to pay out should something really go wrong with your transmission!

If you are in need of transmission maintenance or repair, head to your local Ramona Tire. With friendly representatives and certified mechanics, Ramona Tire offers the best auto service in Southern California. To find a location near you, visit their website at A knowledgeable representative will be able to answer any questions that you may have, and can also set up an appointment to have your transmission repaired or checked.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finding and Using a Good Tire Size Calculator

Tire size calculators are a simple and efficient way for you to determine the exact size and dimensions you should be looking for in your purchase of a new set of tires.  So how does one go about finding and using a good tire size calculator?  It’s easier than you would imagine, and using a tire calculator can make your tire shopping a whole lot simpler than you ever dreamed by eliminating any guesswork or uncertainty on your part, as the consumer.

So, let’s get started!  Here are the answers to some basic questions to help you get the most advantage from a good tire size calculator.

Q:  What is a tire size calculator?

A:  A tire size calculator is quite simply what it sounds like; a quick and easy device to help you determine what size tire you need.

Q:  How is a tire size calculator used?

A:  You can use a tire size calculator in a variety of ways, actually, from simply determining the most obvious appropriate replacement tire size for your vehicle, to obtaining recommendations for alternative tire sizes and styles that might also be compatible with your car, truck or SUV.

Q:  Where do you find a good tire size calculator?

A:  The quickest place to get your hands on a good tire size calculator is online.  This is by far the most convenient option for finding and using a good tire size calculator, as well.

Q:  What information – specifically – can I expect to gain from using a tire size calculator?

A:  Beyond the obvious (as in vehicle manufacturer standard recommendations for tire replacement), you can expect a tire calculator to help you obtain specific information regarding not only appropriate tire size, but also potential risks associated with selecting a tire other than the recommended size, should you so choose.   A tire size calculator can help you determine if there will be any risks to your vehicle or changes in performance which might be associated with your new tire selection, such as:
  • RPM’s – a change in tire size can affect your RPM accuracy.
  • Speedometer / Odometer – a change in RPM accuracy can throw off your speedometer, as well as your odometer.
  • Fuel Economy – choosing the wrong size tire can lessen your vehicle’s fuel economy.
  • Wear and Tear – choosing the wrong size tire can have negative long term structural effects on your vehicle, causing premature and unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Manufacturer’s Warranties – in certain cases, the intentional installation of an improper tire size can negate all or a portion of your vehicle warranty.
Finding and using a good tire size calculator can help you eliminate these worries and risks associated with choosing an inappropriate tires size.  You do have options when it comes to selecting a tire, and a tire calculator can spell those options out for you clearly, eliminating the guesswork involved with choosing the right tires for your car, truck or SUV.

Use the Ramona Tire & Automotive Service Centers' tire size calculator ==> HERE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Suspension Service

If you are noticing that your vehicle is not driving as smoothly as it once did, it may be time to take it in for a suspension service. Your suspension plays a vital role in your safety, ensuring that your vehicle’s body stays connected to your wheels. In addition, your suspension also lessens the bouncing movements created by your vehicle in rough driving conditions, making your drive more comfortable, smooth, and controllable. Because your suspension plays such a huge role in the smoothness of your ride (as well as in your safety), it is important that you have it inspected often. 

While your suspension is relatively difficult to damage, it is still important that you take it in for a routine suspension service. As we drive over the road, we hit several bumpy surfaces (even though we may not always realize it). As a result, the suspension can begin to wear over time. It is important that we have our suspension checked regularly to catch any small problems before they become larger issues.

If you drive in extreme weather conditions, if you slam on your brakes often, or if you drive in off-road conditions, you should have your suspension checked even more often. Each of these things require your suspension to work extra hard, often leading it to wear or damage quicker than usual. In addition, if you have been in any type of accident, have your suspension checked immediately – it is always better to be safe than sorry.

How do you know if there is a problem with your suspension? As said previously, the best way to target issues before they become a huge problem is to take your vehicle in for suspension service regularly. 

However, despite your best efforts to avoid problems, there is always a small possibility that they will arise anyways. The best way to determine if you need suspension repair is to monitor the smoothness of your driving. If you notice that your drive is becoming bumpy, or that your steering is becoming difficult to control, you may want to take your vehicle in for inspection. Conditions such as these can be caused by a variety of different factors, the suspension being one of the most common ones.

If you live in the Southern California region and would like to take your vehicle in for a suspension service, head to your local Ramona Tire. Operating for over 35 years, Ramona Tire is one of the most trusted service shops in all of California. To learn more about suspension problems, visit their website at and search for a location near you. 

Then, give them a call or stop by their service center and explain exactly what issues you are experiencing. If you are not experiencing any issues but would simply like to take your vehicle in for regular suspension service, set up an appointment via phone or in person. The certified mechanics at Ramona Tire will be able to examine your suspension system, report back any issues, and repair any problems that you may be experiencing. And the best part? They will do it right the first time!

Ramona Tire & Automotive Service Centers
2247 South San Jacinto Avenue
San Jacinto CA 92581