Auto

Published June 7, 2017

For Warren resident Mark Sroka, every inch of his car has significance.

The 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTB is covered top-to-bottom in a custom-made car wrap in memory of his late son, Christopher.

“Everything on this car has something to do with him, so it’s very meaningful,” he said.

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Published June 5, 2017

EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe native Carol Ward loves all things purple, and for her, it’s not just a much-loved color — it’s a way of life.

Ward has a mostly purple wardrobe and lives in a purple house with purple flowers in her garden. So when she wanted a new paint job for her 1981 Pontiac Trans Am, what color did she pick? You guessed it: purple.

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Published May 31, 2017

METRO DETROIT — A group of Chevy dealerships is offering visitors a chance to help some four-legged friends while looking at the various four-wheeled models on the showroom floor. 

Throughout June, more than 30 metro Detroit Chevrolet dealerships will participate in a campaign called Pickups for Paws. The effort aims to collect donated pet-related items, such as toys and food, for local pet rescue groups, animal shelters and similar nonprofit animal charities.

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Published May 23, 2017

Rochester Hills resident Steve Wolken describes his car as an “ostentatious, chrome-laden monster” — but he means that in a good way.

Wolken owns a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special that he inherited from his great uncle, Ernest J. Netzhammer, who was the secretary/treasurer of the Bluff City Brewery in Alton, Illinois, near St. Louis. 

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Published May 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — With the summer season approaching, more Michigan drivers will be hitching trailers, boats and more behind them while on the road. And due to the challenges that come with towing such loads, both trailer owners and surrounding drivers are advised to take precautions.

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Published May 17, 2017

METRO DETROIT — As soon as it’s warm enough to stay outdoors, it quickly becomes classic car show season in metro Detroit. And this year promises another series of shows for people who like to drive or showcase their hot rods, convertibles and more where they can be seen and admired by the public.

As usual, the Woodward Dream Cruise will be coming back, this year Aug. 19. The event’s president, Greg Rassel, said last year’s cruise drew about 750,000 people. 

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Published May 10, 2017

When Chuck Reiner wants to spend some time on the water, he just drives right in.

You read that right. Reiner, 62, of Fraser, hops into his Amphicar, drives to one of his favorite lakes, and then glides into the water as his car seamlessly transitions to a boat with a 10-horsepower motor.

“We are able to go literally anywhere,” said Reiner. “We basically qualify to go in any lake or river.”

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Published May 3, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Reminders about driving behavior may prove tiresome at times, but being tired is one of the leading factors that can contribute to a dangerous crash, according to safety experts and statistics. 

A 2016 AAA survey found that almost 30 percent of drivers had a hard time keeping their eyes open behind the wheel within the past month or so, and around 3 percent admitted that this occurs “fairly often” or frequently. 

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Published April 26, 2017

METRO DETROIT — When a car wash is not enough to make a car look and feel clean, local auto businesses have another option — full or partial auto detailing. 

Greg Swett, owner at Classic Appreciation World Class Auto Detailing in Rochester, confirmed that spring is the time of year when interest skyrockets in auto cleaning and detailing.

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Published April 19, 2017

METRO DETROIT — The end of a long winter and the transition into spring bring about brighter colors, warmer temperatures and longer days. And for many Michiganders, the refreshing of nature leads to a desire to refresh other things, like their vehicles.

Shareek Asgarally, service manager at Dean Sellers Ford in Troy, listed some of the auto maintenance tasks that people should consider, which can start with a periodic, standard tuneup.

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Published April 12, 2017

METRO DETROIT — People in charge of auto and road repairs expect a bumpier ride this time of year as sections of metro Detroit’s roads crumble due to newly formed potholes.

The seasonal freeze and thaw cycle is commonly blamed for the spread of potholes in late winter and early spring. The resulting pits may damage vehicles’ suspension systems, tires and more.

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Published April 5, 2017

The Michigan Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to exercise caution around work zones as the department promises to get to work on local projects this construction season.

Angie Kremer, MDOT traffic incident management engineer, explained that April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week. She said this year’s theme is “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands,” and people are encouraged to wear orange April 5 to support the campaign.

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Published March 29, 2017

METRO DETROIT — The opening of the buds will coincide with the closing of the lanes in multiple areas throughout Oakland and Macomb Counties this spring. And the effects could complicate commutes for months to come while reconstruction takes, according to road officials.

Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County, said the county is still putting a list of final projects together. But he estimated that the total work being done over this year could exceed $70 million, making the total “pretty substantial,” he said.

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Published March 22, 2017

When contractors, trade workers and small business owners need to advance their business goals, they often turn to purchasing their own work van, truck or other vehicle. And local dealerships say automakers have a variety of models up to the task. 

Brendt Henry, new car manager at Dean Sellers Ford in Troy, said work vehicle customers, such as plumbing companies, enter his dealership to purchase vehicles. Some business customers purchase a single van, while others order fleets of as many as 25 or 40 vehicles, he said.

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Published March 15, 2017

Local Chevrolet dealerships are encouraging buyers and customers to keep on truckin’.

According to Brad Querry, sales consultant at Hamilton Chevrolet in Warren, it is Truck Month at his dealership, and he said Hamilton has some great deals right now. Qualified Silverado truck buyers may get 0 percent financing for up to 72 months, and on select trucks, there are discounts of around $5,500, he explained.  Special lease rates may also be available, he added.

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Published March 8, 2017

METRO DETROIT — When Michigan students start their vacations for spring break, travel will be part of many of their schedules.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Specialist Gary Bubar said he didn’t have any predictions yet on how much road travel will take place this spring compared to the past, though he noted that Easter comes later this year.

“A lot will depend on gas prices and lodging prices during that time,” he said.

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Published March 1, 2017

Lately the roads have been less snowy than usual, but auto owners should still be vigilant about the dangers of rust that can creep up from road salt and chemicals that melt ice, according to auto maintenance experts.

According to AAA Michigan, over the past five years, American motorists paid around $3 billion per year to fix rust-related damage to their vehicles.  Rust problems can cause problems for auto parts such as exhaust systems, fuel tanks and brake lines, according to the auto agency.

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Published February 22, 2017

With gas prices still hovering a bit north of $2 a gallon in Michigan, many of the big reveals at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month consisted of SUVs and trucks. However, that didn’t deter smaller or electric cars from making a scene too.

Advocates of small vehicles say they still retain several advantages over larger vehicles, such as often being more fuel-efficient and environmentally green, particularly in hybrid or electric forms. Depending on lifestyle, the vehicle’s smaller size also carries benefits.

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Published February 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Automaker representatives and local dealerships are weighing in on the impact that last month’s North American International Auto Show — as well as recent auto awards — have had on consumer interest and sales.

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Published February 8, 2017

The day when cars can communicate with one another and with road infrastructure is approaching the horizon, according to experts at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January.

Over at the display of the auto supplier Denso, company representatives explained the latest progress with V2X technology that is designed to streamline driving and make it safer. Denso says V2X incorporates technology in which cars and their surroundings interact, including vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I).

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