Monday, November 25, 2019

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Something for Everyone!

There are so many options out there for everything. You name it, you have to make a choice or twenty to pick what you want. This is a generic statement for anything it seems. You want peanut butter? Organic, crunchy, smooth or a combination of two of those exist. Trying to buy a new tv? Size, format, smart, brand, thickness and features are all factors to take into account. Good luck on getting three people to agree on a couple pizza toppings. A local pizza shop offers over 30 toppings. The choices out there are endless, and the variations of being a car fanatic are as well. Gone are the days where people who liked cars were called grease monkeys because they knew how to "tune up" a car. For that matter, tune ups are things of the past as well, but that is a topic for another type of blog. Nowadays, there are so many different points of attraction that make people refer to themselves as "car person". One of these categories are by the make of a vehicle. People go crazy over a brand of car and that becomes their focus. Take Porsche for example. Porsche has a huge following, as it should, so much that there are 145 different grouping, or regions, of the national Porsche Club. The regions are filled with sometimes over 300 members each, all brought together under one make, Porsche. At one point, and some regions may still make this mandatory, you had to be an owner of a Porsche to be a club member. That is a ton of people, brought together, with one common denominator. I think it is a very cool thing. They even create names for themselves, such as "P Car People" , "Porscheheads", "Sons of Stuttgart", and my least favorite of all "Porschephiles". I don't think I need to go into detail why that is an awful, awful name for such a great thing. Anyway, some people come under not only a singular make, but a model. There so many Mustang (Ford), Miata (Mazda), Corvette (Chevy), and Civic (Honda) clubs that there are clubs for everybody. Some people like countries of cars, liking anything British, American, Asian or European. Further segregating petrol heads are venues of motorsport. Road Racing, Autocross, Rally Racing, Drag Racing, Oval Track Racing and even Demolition Derby racers all have their own niche. Sometimes those paths do cross, and that's ok. Except drag racing........ugh. I am the self proclaimed worst type of gear head, because I am really only interested in SCCA road racing cars. Doesn't matter what kind of vehicle, but if it does not fit into a club road racing class, I probably do not care about it. When a car comes into my shop, I immediately figure out which class it will fit in and then, and only then, I can enjoy it. if it doesn't fit, I am over it. Some of my favorite cars are the Mustang GT 5.0, Porsche GT3 Cup, Chevrolet C6 Corvette, Mazda Miata (NB) and my all time favorite  Honda CRX Si. I will have one of those one day. Sorry, I am drooling a little bit. As I can attest to, there is no wrong way to be a car guy. Or girl. Or dog. There are some funny videos of dogs driving cars, google them! Dogs are great. Sorry, back to the matter at hand. I do not drool over one make, model, engine, drivetrain, or year. I drool over the cars at the local SCCA Club Race Event. I can't wait until May.  Don't do what I have done off and on in this edition and bash people for chasing what they love. I can do it because I am so set in my ways that nothing will save me.  The point that I am making here is that there are so many ways to be a car enthusiast, there is no wrong way to do it. Find what you truly enjoy and soak it in as much as you want to. Go out and explore clubs if you like social interaction and are so inclined. If you are interested in a race you saw on tv, go find a place to watch in person. Always wanted a Chevy Caprice? Weird, but there is a club for you, that probably goes to race tracks and hosts track events as odd as that sounds. I have seen it. It's odd, but for them, it's probably a lot of fun.

See you next month folks!


Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Up Your Game & Prepare for Winter Roads!

Winter is officially upon us and with that being said, you need to make sure all your vehicles are in tip-top shape. 

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay ahead of the game. 

First and foremost, make sure your battery is in great working condition. No one wants to come out to their car not starting during a snowstorm. ArborMotion can do a battery test to make sure that your battery can “weather the storm” (see what I did there?)!
domestic service ann arbor

Make sure your gas tank is always at least half full. With Michigan snowstorms, traffic is bound to get crazy. Whether you’re on the highway or taking the backroads home, running out of gas while stuck in traffic or during a storm is never a good thing. 

Good items to have in your trunk or backseat are a small shovel and (surprisingly) kitty litter. During the winter, you may experience your tires getting stuck in snow or spinning on ice. Kitty litter provides great traction and gives your tires something to grip (also, an extra pair of boots and a blanket!).

Finally, make sure to get your vehicle checked for winter. Brakes need to be checked, tires need to be inspected, and fluids need to be topped off. Having your vehicle in tip-top shape for the winter is a must. The weather in Michigan is so unpredictable, one day it could be sunny and 50 and the next day we have one foot of snow with sleet coming down! 

ArborMotion is ready to make sure that all of our customer’s vehicles are prepared for whatever winter has to throw at them. Remember to keep things slow this time of year. Prepare to add additional travel time and make sure to keep safe distances between you and other vehicles.

Schedule Service on Your Domestic, Asian or European Vehicle Today!

Regular maintenance and service on your Domestic, Asian or European vehicle allows us to diagnose issues before they become severe and possibly more expensive to repair. Contact Us to schedule an appointment today!

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Racing

Good Mid-October HTA fans and readers! I assume that if you are a consistent reader of Hittin' The Apex then that makes you a fan, but you know what they say about assumptions right? They can't be wrong. As I stand to write this, yes I have a stand up desk and no I don't care if you think that's weird, I recently returned from beautiful southern Virginia watching three days of fantastic racing at the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, held this year at Virginia International Raceway (VIR for those in the know). This beautiful renown track is located almost literally on the Virginia border it shares with North Carolina, right in the middle of the lateral line of the state. When I say beautiful, I mean beautiful. Small, dense patches of trees, trackside condos and even hotel rooms outline the course that features elevation changes and multiple turns both fast and challenging. Taking a quick lap around the track, the hairpin that makes up turns one and two put you into a short chute to dual left turns separated by the shortest of straights known as "Nascar", followed by a quick right that has you heading uphill through some elongated esses before you hit a large right-handed hairpin turn known as "Oak Tree Bend". This was named for the gigantic oak tree that  the turns bent around that of which sadly fell 6 years ago. Once clear of the late apex there you are headed back down hill into a corkscrew style turn known as " The Rollercoaster". This off camber series of turns twists you right then left, and points you towards " Hogpen" an elongated right hand turn that sets you up for the long front straight, back to turns one and two and around again. Fourteen laps around this 3.27 mile course is what six hundred plus drivers from all over the US, parts of Canada and even Puerto Rico showed ready to drive in twenty four different winner take all races that crown a National Champion in twenty eight classes. I have been to many of these end of the year events at four of the eight different tracks they have been to over the years, twenty to be exact, and this year proved to be a new experience for me. Never before have so many cars been in the lead of the race, many running away from the rest of the pack, either break down or spin out by their own doing. Out of all twenty four races, ten of them had this happen, with only one person managing to retake the lead and claim champion. One race had two leaders break on the exact same spot of the track on the same lap! it was crazy! This spectacular and unusual display of error and futility was a first for this prestigious event and that had me reflecting on the nine hour ride home. I have eluded to this before, motorsports is a rollercoaster of emotion. You can experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows within even one two minute lap. That is one of the things I love about racing, it is a gamble! All the prep work, everything done leading up to getting the car on the grid goes out the window when the green flag flies. Debris on the track, overzealous competitors and mental errors are just some of the things that can derail weeks and months of prep and effort. I myself have experienced this rollercoaster, and no matter how low the lows of blowing a tire or getting caught up in someone else's wreck was, it is and will always be worth it to experience the highest of highs, taking that victory lap after a hard earned win.

The Runoffs weekend signals not only the end of the SCCA racing season, but also the end of the season for me attending any track events or really caring about other events that still happening, as I am laser focused on SCCA specifically. It is now time for me to focus on my projects at home both house and race car related, and look forward to the 2020 season. We will see what next year holds for me but as always I am anxious to find out! Join me next month, and every month after for thoughts, musings, rants and stories and even more detailed laps around some of my favorite tracks as I did VIR today.

Until next time,


Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Faces Behind ArborMotion!

We’re going to take a step back from “talking shop” to talk about the faces behind ArborMotion! 

A lot of our customers know the employees at ArborMotion really well! They know our organized chaos and witty banter, but here are some things that truly make ArborMotion employees the best! 

There are two seasons here: University of Michigan Football and University of Michigan Basketball, everything else in between is a count-down to the next season! We do have a couple Michigan State fans, so football season can become pretty tense!

Every week, everyone gathers around the service desk to enjoy a “hot treat.” This is where one or more people bring in either hot salsa or a hot dip and we see who can handle the heat! Everyone usually gets in on the action! We’ve seen the hiccups, red faces and even tears. 

Chuck Hartmeyer, Senior Service Advisor in some tears after trying hot sauce.
Nick Pott, Shop Manager, after testing the legendary hot sauce! 
Tom Neil, Parts Specialist, see's if he can take the heat!

A lot of our customers have seen Nick Pott’s awesome mini toy car collection! Our Internal Marketing Specialist Emily Martin’s favorite thing to do is hide the cars around the shop to see if Nick can find them. Sometimes Nick finds them within the hour and sometimes it goes on for days. Either way, Emily plays a joke on him whenever she can! (She even gets Chuck our Senior Service Advisor, in on the action too!) 

As you can see, ArborMotion is made up of many different types of people. We cheer each other on and comfort each other. No matter the time of day, you’ll always hear laughing, and see some smiling faces!  

Schedule Service on Your Ford Today!

Regular maintenance and service allows us to diagnose issues before they become severe and possibly more expensive to repair. Contact Us to schedule an appointment for your Ford! Our team at ArborMotion is eager to meet you!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Make This Tailgating Season The Best Yet!

Football season is upon us and that means tailgating with great food, friends, family, and hopefully an interesting game. If you’ve been to a tailgate, you’ve probably noticed the best ones have a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure the event runs smoothly. 
Chrysler Service Ann Arbor

Here are some tips and tricks from the pros of tailgating! 

1. Arrive in plenty of time before the game starts, preferably 4 hours. This will allow for setup time and time to eat before the game starts! 

2. Keep your tailgate essentials in a tool box or bin in the trunk of your car. This could include: cooking utensils, grill utensils, sunscreen, bug spray, wipes, hand sanitizer, matches and more. Nothing is too big or too small! 

3. Learn how to professionally pack your cooler! Put cans and bottles on the bottom (chill beverages and certain food the night/day before packing). Put a layer of ice on top of the bottles/cans, then stack your water-tight reusable containers with food, layer any bagged items on top of the containers before filling the rest of the cooler with ice. The ice should fall in-between the crevices cooling anything and everything in your cooler! 

4. The more you can do the night before, the better! Slicing veggies, forming burger patties, organizing the appetizers, and any other prep will help save time. When it comes time to set up for lunch/dinner, all you’ll have to do is set everything out and take lids off! 

5. Label Label Label! The easier it is for you and your guests to find drinks, food, and utensils the easier and smoother your tailgate will be!

6. Bring a first aid kit. There’s definitely a big chance touch football games will be happening. It’s always best to be prepared for cuts and scrapes! 

7. Make sure your vehicle has a set of jumper cables. Your vehicle is going to see a lot of action and when it’s finally time to go home, you don’t want to get stuck with a dead battery. 

Of course, there are more tips and tricks, but the most important thing you and your family and friends can do is have fun! Being over prepared means less stress and more fun! You can find more tips online and if you’re driving to a tailgate and want to make sure your vehicle is ready, stop by! The service writers at ArborMotion will talk football all day! Contact us today!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Safety: The Result of the Dark Side of Racing!

Full-faced helmets, head to toe layers of nomex, head and neck restraints, window nets, side impact nets, roll cages, 7 point harnesses, fuel cells, electric kill switches, push-button fire retardant systems, and one piece racing seats. These are only some of the basic safety needs of both a racer and race car must have in perfect working order every time they are on the track. Each piece and item regulated and tested and certified to give the racer the safest on track experience possible. The sobering reality is that each one of these items came to be after someone was killed or severely injured enough to make people think change was necessary. Racing is a dangerous sport, and the very staggering fact is that after all these years the possibility still exists for death to occur. The silver lining, if you can see it as that, is the racing community learns from these incidents and works to make the sport safer. No-one knew what a head and neck restraint (hans) device was until Dale Earnhardt passed away in the final turn of the 2001 Daytona 500. For the better part of 12 years, they now have been mandatory in almost all forms of racing. This is just one example but there is at least one similar story for each safety advancement made. With the history of the sport what it is, one thing is for certain, every driver strpping in is aware of the risk. They are pushing a 2,000 lb missile around a track, past limits the car was often designed to do after all. Being aware however, does not mean they are driving scared or thinking about the risks. On track they are laser focused on doing what they love. The risk is only assessed prior to getting in the car.  Niki Lauda famously drove only one lap of the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix because the risk with the weather that day was too much for him. The love and passion for racing is why we as drivers drive despite the risk. You cannot push boundaries, test limits and feel the adrenaline rush of those limits without facing those risks. By now you have noticed that this edition of Hittin' the Apex is a little more monotine, a bit darker. Discussing the sport without addressing the risks doesn't paint the full picture and doesn't do anybody any good, so here we are. I want to make it perfectly clear here. Although racing has a side of ot that is absolutely dangerous, every other aspect of it is amazing and so much fun! Like any sport, the glory is worth the scars and pain. All you have to do is understand that, like any sport, a person is fueled by that passion. Dangerous or not, don't be the person to ruin that passion for them. Until next time!

Read more of Nick's blog posts here!