Thursday, May 23, 2019

I love it when a plan comes together!

I have watched a lot of races in person. With the company of my father, I have been spectator at 18 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at three separate tracks, each Runoff averaging 25 individual races, countless regional race weekends with an average of 15 races per weekend, a handful of dirt track races and 4 NASCAR races. I have also driven in many races. To many of you, that is a ton of races. To me, it is just the tip of the iceberg. I would rather be at the race track than just about anywhere else. Is it because of the sounds and smells? Sure it is. Is it the competition? Of course. The part I love most is the joy I get in watching driver's game plans unfold and people adjusting to the ever-changing circumstances. All race car drivers start a race, whether it is a small regional "sprint" style or a longer championship style race with a plan. Most people think that the plan of any race is to go as fast as you can to win! What is not known by most is what effort is put in to plan a race. Whether it has been a couple qualifying sessions over the weekend, testing for weeks, or even a full season, each drive knows what to expect from his car and competitors. He may know that that Honda positioned ahead of him on the grid is brutal on his tires, so he may jump out to a strong lead, then fall back as he loses the steady traction. Speaking of tires, he may know that he is on the softer compound tire, so they may wear away quicker than other drivers out there. Weather plays a huge role in the driver's mind. If it is cooler, his car may run better than he is use to, or worse, depending on his tuning. If it is a hotter day, the track may be very greasy and not the track he was use to in testing. And let's not forget rain, if it rains, we race! Cars will often act much different in the rain, and tracks will too. You will hear people talk about the "rain line", which is the fastest way around the track when it is wet. To make a long, boring technical lecture short, when cars go around the track, small pieces of rubber fly off the tires and collect "off line". When it is wet, the normal race line is very slick, so the fast line is actually where all that rubber has gone to, making it the "rain line". Sorry, that was longer than I though it would be, but no less important! Now, where was I? Oh yes! There a lot of things that a driver has to plan for, but my favorite is the driving style and planning of the driver I call "The Cerebral Assassin". this is the driver that has lap after lap planned out. You can often find him in 2nd or 3rd place during the race, not making many moves to pass and get further ahead. Like a predator, he is steady stalking his prey, waiting for the perfect time to strike. He will follow right behind the driver he is stalking, noting where he puts his car at each turn, where his braking points are, and where he knows hew will be able to overtake them. He wont attempt a pass for laps, knowing that he could. He drives steady, knowing that his prey is constantly checking his mirrors with wide eyes, knowing that it is coming but can't do anything about it. The longer the race goes, the prey will start making mistakes, anticipation when the Assassin will strike. He will brake too early, take a turn off line or even put a wheel or two into the grass, but the assassin does not flinch or make his move. He waits until the perfect time, a point in the race he decided he would make his move way back on lap 3. The last couple turns on the last lap. Only then he will break stride and attempt a pass the prey had no idea was coming, and its too late to counter or protect. The race that the prey had led almost the entire way, is now fully in the control of the Assassin. These races are why I keep watching, and why I am yearning to go back the second I leave a track. Its almost race season here in the Midwest folks, can you feel it? I sure can!

 Until next time,  Keep the shiny side up!

 Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Best Road Trips in Michigan

Summer is the time for road trips, and what better place for a scenic trip than Michigan! 

ArborMotion is happy to help out with preparing your vehicle for summer fun. Stop in and have our technicians check your vehicle; oil change, fluids, brakes, lights, and wiper blades. 

Once your vehicle is all set and ready to go, here are some amazing trips to take with your family this summer:
foreign car repair ann arbor

US-2 from St. Ignace to Manistique

This trip calls for a ride across the Mackinac Bridge, which is a sight in itself! The highway joins the Lake Michigan shoreline for several miles which allows for breath taking views. Locals stop along the way for picnics on the dunes and of course, swimming in Lake Michigan. Obviously, any trips to the Upper Peninsula call for an authentic pasty. 

M-23 from Tawas City to Alpena

Considered Michigan’s “Sunrise Coast,” this trip offers up a Great Lakes setting. Lake Huron will be the main attraction for this trip, offering places for you to picnic and beautiful scenery. Alpena’s waterfront park is adjacent to the marina of the shores of Thunder Bay, making it a perfect stop. 

M-22 from Arcadia to Frankfort

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a highlight of this trip! Start off your trip in Arcadia at the scenic turnout called Inspiration Point. Once you climb the steps, you’ll be able to witness a spectacular view from on top of the bluffs. Once you make it to Frankfort, grab a Michigan craft beer at Stormcloud Brewing Company and have a stroll along the pier to a lighthouse. 

Take advantage of living in the Great Lakes State and make it a summer to remember! And let us, here at ArborMotion, make sure that your vehicle is in great condition for all of your summer fun. Contact ArborMotion today – we specialize in foreign car repair in Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Music that Drives You

Hi All! Is there a better feeling on a sunny day than rolling down the windows and cranking some tunes on a country road? for sure, yes there are many better things, but it still is a pretty cool feeling. Now, before we go down this road I have a disclaimer or two. I believe that everyone has the right to like and dislike any music they want for whatever reason they want, and no-one is in the wrong. My iTunes, for example, is full of many different kinds of songs and genres, including country, classical, rap, pop, rock and 80's hair. If I like it, I like it, and you should play what you like too. The second disclaimer, is that I don't care to talk about songs with cars in them, or songs about driving. I like Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway" very much, but not at all a fan of the Beach Boys' "Little Deuce Coupe" or Van Halen's "I Can't Drive 55", and I am not about to make a dumb list about car songs that people will argue and debate over. That sounds awful. Like that Van Halen song. What I am talking about is music that hits whatever mood you are in while driving, and makes you feel "it". What is "it"? I don't know really, just that when you feel "it", you know "it". I drive 50 or so miles one way from Maumee, Ohio to Ann Arbor, Michigan on my daily commute, and I listen to a ton of music. I put my iTunes on and hit shuffle, hitting the next button until I find a song that fits. Sometimes, I don't find that song until I am pulling in the parking lot, which is as frustrating as it sounds. When I do find that song, I might play it over and over again to keep "it" going. I don't have a very good singing voice by any means, but that doesn't stop me from singing at the top of my lungs, if I am so inclined. I wouldn't advise singing as loud as possible when there are other passengers in the car, but hey, whatever you want to do, do it! That's the whole point here. Music and driving can intertwine to create an amazing experience, and has for me for many years. When I got my first car 20 years ago, I helped my dad install in it a slammin' Aiwa flip-face CD player and Sony 6" door speakers. For the little 1981 VW Golf, that was more than enough. That CD player found it's way through my next couple cars until college where I hooked it up an amp and two 12" Rockford Fosgate sub-woofers. I sincerely apologize to everyone in my life back then for being "that guy". I have learned from that era, and keep the music a little less intrusive. I also don't wear hoop earrings, frost the tips of my hair or wear ridiculously baggy pants anymore, which has nothing to do with this entry but I feel it necessary to make that clear. Various poor style choices aside, music while driving folks, is where "it's" at. 
Keep The Drive Alive!

Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I can't drive 25!

It's spring! Ok, I know that spring does not officially start until March 20th and yes, I had to look that up and yes, I know that likely there is snow yet to fall, and people will still complain about how cold it is, but March will always mean spring to me. I love spring. Michigan has their spring football game (weather permitting), race cars start hitting the streets for illegal test drives and thick winter coast are shed for lighter jackets. It also has an effect on people's psyche. My father has a saying "People are solar powered", meaning they generally start coming out and about more when the weather turns nicer. The reason I l love it is guessed it, the race car part. Race cars (generally) are not street legal, but when the weather breaks, you just GOTTA fire it up and take it for a spin. There literally is no other option for a race car maniac like myself. So what do we do? We carefully back it down the driveway, take one last look around to make sure there are no cops, and SLOWLY take off. As you start to move, your confidence grows, and you give it a little more throttle, shift into 2nd gear, and by now, you are confident enough to give a 4,000 RPM BRAAAAAP! when you pass that one neighbor that always give you sideways looks. Then, after a trip down the block, NEVER on a busy street, its back up the driveway, back in the garage where your wife is, giving you her BEST annoyed look. "I thought you were only going to start it in the garage!?!?!?!?!?!!?" The only response is a grin and a shrug, because YOU JUST DROVE YOUR RACE CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR!!

Happy spring everybody!!!!

Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Easy Ways to Go Green with Your Car

Nowadays, people are more conscious about reducing their carbon footprint. Using less plastic, renewable energy (solar panels and chargeable vehicles), and composting are just a few ways that we can create a greener tomorrow! 

A lot of these choices definitely require a large lifestyle change, and if you’re not quite ready to jump head first into the “Green Lifestyle”, start by making a few small changes. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, and use glass containers for leftovers instead of plastic. You can also buy glass or paper straws instead of using plastic ones! 

One of the bigger, less expensive, easiest “Green Lifestyle” changes you can make is with your vehicle! Cars are leaving a huge footprint on our planet and the more we’re aware of what we’re putting into our car or how we’re fixing our car, the more we can help in the long run.
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Keep your vehicle properly tuned for optimum performance. If you’re on top of this, there’s a higher chance your technician can find problems before they turn into costly repairs. Get into the habit of getting your engine regularly serviced. This will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent more car trouble down the road. 

Drive smart! Your fuel economy is greatly affected by how you drive. Combine all your errands into one trip, try to avoid sudden starts and stops, and try to go the speed limit. One of the best options is utilizing your cruise control! When you’re driving on the highway, even for a short period of time, switch on your cruise control to help your vehicle maintain the same speed. This will save you gas (and money!). 

Lighten your load. If you’re not going on a road trip, helping a friend move, or if you have a habit of living out of your car, lighten your load! Take out all the unnecessary junk from your trunk, back seat, and the front seat. All these extra items weigh your vehicle down, causing an increase in gas usage. Items you should keep in the car are emergency items, such as a spare tire and a first aid kit, just in case! 

Change your filters! Filters won’t improve your gas mileage, but they’ll improve the air in your vehicle. A filter can get clogged with dust, bugs, and dirt, which cuts off the air. This creates a mixture that causes the engine to lose power. By replacing the air filter, it will improve your vehicles performance and acceleration. 

Always check your tires. When your tires have proper tire pressure, this can improve your gas mileage by 3.3% or 10 cents per gallon! Tire pressure should be checked monthly, and always make sure to check the spare! If your tires aren’t properly inflated, they add rolling resistance which makes your engine work even harder. 

Foreign Car Repair in Ann Arbor: Schedule Service Today!

There are many more ways in which you can create a “green” vehicle! Here at ArborMotion, our specialists for foreign car repair are happy to help! Keep this list in mind when you come in for your next appointment. You may not see the results right away, but your vehicle will thank you over time. A happy vehicle makes a happy owner, and a happy owner makes happy drivers! 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Power of Love By: Nick Pott

foreign car repair ann arbor

What is love? Baby, don't hurt me. Don't hurt me no more. Most people should by now have thought "Where have I heard that before?", and now that you have figured it out, nodding your head to the beat like the Saturday Night Live skit of the past. But lets talk about love for a minute. Love is everywhere. People love each other, they love their kids, their jobs and even their cars. I am not at all qualified to talk about love and what it is and why we love, but I am qualified to talk about love affairs with cars. Many, just love cars in general. Some love specific makes, some specific models even. There are car clubs for everything it seems. There are Miata clubs, Porsche clubs, BMW clubs, there is even a Chevy Caprice Club. Don't get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm, its all great! For me though, the love is not a make, or a model, it is what I can do with the car that I love. I LOVE TO DRIVE CARS. Not that I love to drive long distances, rather I love to drive cars on a performance basis. To make a sports car handle through turns the way it was designed, or point a big,  throaty V8 and put pedal to the metal baby I am there! The best feeling though, that I get with cars is when we make adjustments to get more out of the cars. To drive a Ford Mustang GT handling on the track like a dream, or a lowered and widened Porsche that makes everything it does right even better, THAT is when I am happiest and at my best. That is what I love about cars. Whatever you love about them, foster it! Until next time, keep that head nodding!

Read more of Nick's blog posts here!

Ignore These Repairs and You May Get Pulled Over!

It happens to all of us, a turn signal goes out or a windshield gets cracked and we end up pushing it under the rug. These may seem innocent at the time, “I’ll fix it next time I’m in the shop!” but some of the things can get you pulled over or – even worse – get you a ticket! 
foreign car repair ann arbor

Here are some items that should be addressed as soon as they come up, including: 
  1. Turn signals, headlights and/or taillights that are cracked/broken or have burned out. The majority of states require all vehicles to have functioning turn signals as well as two working taillights and headlights. If your taillights are cracked, they can often give off a white light, which may also result in a ticket – they should always give off a red light. 
  2. Cracked, discolored or tinted windshields may result in a ticket for the driver and possibly a fine. 
  3. Make sure that your license plate is readable! Clean off the dirt, mud or anything that’s covering it. If the paint on the letters or numbers has come off, it’s time for a new one. Also, check and make sure your license plate light is properly functioning. 
  4. Having a loud exhaust system can also result in a ticket or fine! Whether this was due to a modification or a repair, check with your state to see what they define as “loud.” 
All of these may seem small and sometimes inconvenient, but these are a few of the skipped repairs that will get you pulled over! If you’re lucky, you might get off with a warning, but it’s better to be safe than sorry while protecting yourself and others on the road by making necessary repairs.

Specialists for Foreign Car Repair in Ann Arbor

At ArborMotion, we make it as easy as possible to get repairs done quickly. You can easily make an appointment by calling us at 734-761-1088 or by clicking HERE. Let us know if you'd like a complimentary loaner vehicle or if you want to take advantage of our daily door to door shuttle service and we will happily make those arrangements for you. Drop off and check in are a snap and you'll be off to start your day. Stay safe out there and if you need any help or information on repairs, give our specialists on foreign car repair a call today!