Auto

Published May 26, 2015

The thrill of riding off road in a Jeep or truck might not have as many obstacles as some think.

Hollie Marlett, marketing assistant at Genesee County Parks, said The Mounds Off Road Vehicle Area in Mt. Morris Township is frequently used for off-road treks by Jeeps, trucks, ATVs and dirt bikes that fit under the umbrella of off-road vehicles, or ORVs.

She said the course is quite popular in the area and is one of the few larger areas with variety.

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Published May 21, 2015

Furry friends who are going for a ride need to stay cool and buckled up just like other passengers, according to pet safety advocates.

Michigan Humane Society spokesman Ryan McTigue said the No. 1 thing that pet owners need to remember as the weather starts getting hot is to not take their animals with them on unnecessary trips.

“The best thing to do is leave them at home where they’re safe,” he said. “Temperatures can climb really high (in a car) even on a relatively cool day, even if you crack the window.”

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Published May 11, 2015

Auto safety experts are inviting parents to sit down and review the facts of properly securing small children in the back seat to avoid accident-related injuries.

Alyson Kechkaylo, occupant protection program coordinator for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, is also a certified child passenger safety technician.

She said Michigan law basically requires kids to be secured in a car seat until they are at least 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. But parent compliance often varies depending on the child’s age, she explained.
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Published May 4, 2015

Warmer weather means it’s more likely for bikers to take their prized possessions for a ride on Michigan’s roads. And that means everyone on the road needs to be cautious, whether on two wheels or four.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz said drivers should never tailgate a motorcycle or abruptly change lanes in front of one.

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Published April 30, 2015

Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, which has existed for around four decades, could face significant changes if the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder pass through pending legislation, according to activists on both side of the debate.

Senate Bill 248 passed the Senate April 16, and a state House version passed in a House committee April 23. A full House vote is expected to take place soon.

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Published April 27, 2015

Several of Michigan’s traffic intersections with the most total accidents or related injuries or deaths in 2014 were found in Oakland and Macomb counties, according to top 10 lists recently compiled by a law firm.

Using data from the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit, the Michigan Auto Law firm’s website posted in March that the Michigan intersection with the most accidents last year was South State Road at West Ellsworth Road in Ann Arbor, with 170 accidents.

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Published April 20, 2015

With the right frame of mind, drivers navigating a roundabout in metro Detroit can turn going in circles into a positive experience, according to road and driving safety representatives.

Construction recently began on an upcoming roundabout at 14 Mile Road at Orchard Lake Road at the border of West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills, according to Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County. The RCOC expects the project to be finished this autumn.

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Published April 13, 2015

Whether it’s for planning a long road trip or to have some backup wheels while their main ride is in the shop, securing a rental car will likely become a favorable option for most drivers sooner or later.

However, businesses that loan vehicles to drivers often have their own requirements and guidelines for renting vehicles and taking care of those vehicles.

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Published April 6, 2015

A greener, warmer Michigan might signal the end of winter driving, but the end of winter advisory alerts doesn’t mean that drivers can let down their guard.

According to AAA Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz, many people take road trips around this time of year. But she said some vehicles may need to prepare for a transition between local cold winter driving and driving over the next couple of months.

Road trips also require careful attention to surrounding traffic, she said.

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Published March 30, 2015

Most auto owners want their cars to go the distance on durability, but it often requires driver diligence to succeed, according to some auto repair businesses.  

According to Hal Collins, owner of Hal’s Auto Clinic in Farmington Hills, his business sees lots of cars with around 200,000 miles on their odometers.

“The manufacturers have done a great job of making the cars more durable,” he said.

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Published March 23, 2015

The spring starts a new season of construction, but awareness could keep drivers from being barraged by sights of barrels during their commutes — or at least let them plan for a longer drive.

Oakland and Macomb counties’ road commissions have announced several upcoming projects for the spring and beyond.

According to Bob Hoepfner, director of the Macomb County Department of Roads, his agency plans to do about $42 million in roadwork this construction season.

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Published March 16, 2015

A car with chipping, scratches, fading or worse cannot hide under winter grime forever, but repainting options exist just in time for a spring makeover. 

Allan Edwards, owner of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting in Shelby Township, said drivers get their cars repainted for a number of reasons, such as collision work, corrosion restoration or a simple refreshing.

“A lot of times, they’ve just got older cars looking pretty bland,” he said. “Sometimes they want to do a totally different color.”

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Published March 9, 2015

Even if you haven’t felt that sinking feeling on the road yet, two county road agencies say you can expect to drive over some potholes soon.

According to Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson, potholes form when rain or melting snow gets inside road cracks. As temperatures dip, that moisture freezes and expands, creating a cavity under the road. When the frozen water thaws, the road’s structural integrity is compromised, causing the affected portion to collapse into a pothole when a vehicle rolls over it, he said.

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Published March 2, 2015

While millions of Michiganders shiver through the winter, other people have temporarily fled for warmer climates down south.

But auto experts say those who choose to travel to more affable temperatures by car should pay attention to the challenges that both colder and warmer weather may bring to the road and to the vehicle.

According to AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz, Michigan has quite a few “snowbirds” who dwell in the southern states during the winter months.

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Published February 24, 2015

As temperatures recently fell below zero across metro Detroit, the arctic air has taken a toll on some vehicles too, according to AAA.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz said her association has seen an increase in service calls during a particularly cold night and morning following the Valentine’s Day weekend and culminating on Presidents’ Day, the Monday afterward.

“We had a 154 percent increase in the morning for service calls compared to the same time period last week,” Hiltz said.

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Published February 16, 2015

A Detroit man’s hours-long walking work commute is over now that he can put his foot on the accelerator of a new Ford Taurus, courtesy of Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights.

James Robertson, who regularly walked more than 20 miles when he ventured out to his Rochester Hills employer and back to his Detroit home because he owned no car, recently shared his story to local media.

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Published February 9, 2015

The North American International Auto Show’s exhibits and displays have left Detroit’s Cobo Center until next year, but some local dealerships say the intense public interest has made an impact on selling award-winning vehicles in the showroom.

At the most recent auto show in January, the Volkswagen Golf won the award of 2015 North American Car of the Year, and the Ford F-150 took North American Truck/Utility of the Year. The announcement was made at a Jan. 12 press preview day.

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Published February 2, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Detroit’s Cobo Center in January during the North American International Auto Show to get a driver’s seat perspective of upcoming cars and concept vehicles.

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Published January 26, 2015

The North American International Auto Show is all about the visuals: the screens, the exhibits and, of course, the design of the vehicles themselves.

During the auto show, which was open to the public Jan. 17-25, the College for Creative Studies in Detroit maintained an exhibit presence while displaying some models of aerodynamic vehicles that its students made.

On a Jan. 12 press preview day, Paul Snyder, CCS chair of transportation design, was on hand to answer questions and make observations about the future of auto design.

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Published January 20, 2015

Although gas prices remained below $2 per gallon, automakers and suppliers at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit had plenty to say about making their vehicles less thirsty for fuel.

At a Jan. 12 press preview day, Sam Slaughter, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, said this year’s auto show is an optimistic one and a big one for the smaller sport-utility vehicle crossover.

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