Video: Tis The Season For Crashes

It’s that time of the year again.

The weather outside is frightful, but with proper brakes and tires, it could be delightful.

Even the most skilled drivers can lose control in wintery weather conditions. Blame a little something called black ice. Even heavy snowfall can cause problems. The trick is to be extremely cautious and take your time while driving. That takes some maturity and patience, and not everyone has clued in to this bit of common sense.
So, behold this video compilation of plenty of crazy crashes thanks to frozen water and improper driving.
So be sure to be careful out there this holiday season. You don’t want to end up like any of these guys after all, do you? Of course not.

GM Offers $25 Cards to Owners Who Get Ignition Switches Fixed

The American car maker is enticing consumers with a $25 gift card for getting their cars fixed as more than a million cars are being recalled for ignition switch problems. This is a completely terrible issue for GM, considering fault switches have already been linked to at least 29 deaths. If drivers continue to use the cars in the same condition, it induces a severe threat to their lives.

The recall was originally announced in February, involving approximately 2.6 million cars. The car maker warned that the keys might pop out of the ignition, shutting down the engine, brakes, steering and airbags while the car is still running. GM said only about half of the total recalled vehicles were fixed over the course of nine months. The company also ran out of necessary parts for repairs during the process, which delayed the recall even further! According to CNN, the total cost to fix all the remaining vehicles will cross $70 million.

According to sources, this past week a GM spokeswoman said the company has sorted out the shortage of repair parts that can be used to fix the remaining lot. In order to communicate that particular message in a better way, GM is offering $25 store gift cards to those who bring in their affected vehicles to dealerships before the first day of December (which isn’t much more time!). The offer is valid for the owners of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions, Buicks, Chevys, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs that were recalled earlier this year, The New York Times reports.

“This is simply designed to encourage as many people as possible to get their vehicles repaired as quickly as possible,” James R. Cain, a company spokesman said.

Owners of these vehicles can get the car to the nearest dealership and choose $25 worth gift card for Amazon, AMC movie theaters, Applebee’s, Bass Pro Shops, Red Robin, Starbucks or Walmart.


Video: Two People Killed In Cement Truck Brake Failure

Two people were killed in northern Taiwan last Thursday after a cement truck driver lost control of the 21-ton vehicle.

The heavy cement truck was traveling down a steep downhill slope in the city of Keelung, Taiwan when suddenly all braking power was eliminated. The driver immediately illuminated hazard lights and aggressively attempted to steer the truck out of the flow of traffic to no avail as it approached an intersection at the bottom of the hill.

Despite evasive maneuvering, the 21-ton behemoth smashed into a campaign vehicle that was crossing through the intersection. The momentum of the cement truck was so great that it caused the campaign car to slam into a group of cars parked along the side of the road.

The driver of the campaign vehicle was killed instantaneously and the driver of the cement truck was rushed to hospital, but succumbed to his severe injuries upon arrival.

The exact cause of the brake failure is still being investigated by authorities.

Check out the candid video of the aftermath below!

STUFF WE LIKE: Brake Shot Brake Fluid Rejuvenator

BrakeShot-hi-res-White-resizePhoenix Systems BrakeShot is like 5-Hour Energy for brake hydraulics. It is a brake fluid enhancer designed to fight corrosion induced by the harmful effects of copper.

BrakeShot uses DOT guidelines and is specifically formulated to retard copper corrosion in the braking system. BrakeShot prevents sticking calipers, ailing master cylinders, and other ABS braking troubles brought about by corrosion and high copper levels, in the brake system.

To determine if BrakeShot can cure a contaminated system, use BrakeStrip to determine the copper parts per million (ppm) in the brake fluid. BrakeStrip is a 60-second brake fluid test that turns shades of purple according to the level of copper in the braking system.

If the strip indicates a copper level of between 50-175ppm, simply add a one-ounce bottle of BrakeShot to the master cylinder. After 50-100 miles of driving, BrakeShot will re-energize the corrosion inhibitors to protect all the metals in the entire brake system and prevent further corrosion. If, however, the test strip indicates 200ppm or greater, the brake system requires flushing and the fluid replaced.

With multiple patents pending a one-ounce shot of BrakeShot treats up to 1 liter of brake fluid, which is the average capacity of a vehicle’s braking system. Cheaper and quicker than a brake flush, BrakeShot is universal and works on all foreign and domestic vehicles. Packaged in a case of 12, each bottle retails for $15-$20.


MYTH: All Brake Pads are the Same. NOT TRUE

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 4.20.49 PM (2)If you look at most parts catalogs online, you will see up to six different brake pads sets for your vehicle. What is the deal? Parts are parts? Right? Wrong. The truth is that you are only paying a little for pads, advertising and a warranty. The truth is what you are paying for is research, testing and development.

Going to skimp on pads because you plan to drive like an old lady? Consider this, the one time you need to use the full potential of the pad, the performance will not be measured in dollars and cents, but inches and feet.

Aftermarket brake pads require a great deal of testing and engineering because they are made for a specific vehicle. A quality brake pad manufacturer will spend a lot of time and money developing a brake pad application for your vehicle. This includes simulated and on-the-vehicle testing. These types of testing are time and equipment intensive.

IMG_4295Selecting the right friction material is a difficult task. I could say that you should select the most expensive pad that your supplier offers. But, I know that the right pads for the customer are often not the ones at the top or bottom of the price column. It is a matter of looking at the engineering, reputation and appearance of the product. But, most of all it is about trust and reputation.

The foundation of any brake pad is the backing plate, but it is the first area a cut rate brake pad manufacturer will skimp on. They will used thinner steel and chemical attachment methods to reduce costs. If a company is not willing to spend money on the foundation of their product, it does not speak well for the rest of the pad.

The sign of a bad plate might be how it fits in the caliper bracket. If it takes a hammer or a great deal of force to install the pad in the caliper bracket, it could be a sign that the tooling for the backing plate is worn out. If the tooling die used to stamp the backing plate is worn out, the ears and other contact points will increase in size or become distorted.