Tips for Protecting Yourself and Your Car Against Potholes

As springtime thaw nears, James Bell shares tips and tricks for navigating the potholes that winter has left behind.

The winter of 2013-2014 will go down as one of the most brutal, icy, frigid and snowy in U.S. history.  From Denver to Boston to Atlanta and many points in between, Mother Nature has left “souvenirs” of her wrath in thousands of new potholes erupting up and down our roadways, and the resulting long lines at tire replacement shops and car dealerships around the country.

On the personal side, while I live in mild Southern California, my job with GM takes me on many of the frozen and afflicted highways and byways in rental cars where I have had my share of BAM “what was that???” moments, followed by breathless dread waiting for an indication that the unexpected pothole has graced me with an unexpected flat tire…or bent wheel…or worse.

With these experiences seared into recent memory, I was excited to (cautiously) head out to GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan to experience the “depths” Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac go through to make sure drivers are provided with confidence that their GM vehicles are prepared to take on even the most evil potholes.

While the extreme laws of physics prove difficult to ultimately defeat, I was impressed by the repeated “beating” we administer to our cars and trucks while in development and certification.  And I have to admit it was also a lot of fun to do some pothole testing of my own – in a vehicle that I do not own, of course!

I also picked up a few tips for avoiding and managing potholes – and beware as the springtime thaw is when they can be at their worst:

  • Always inflate tires to the number on the tire inflation placard on the inside of the driver’s door opening
  • Tire inflation should be checked cold, before driving
  • Each 10-degree Fahrenheit change in ambient temperature changes the effective inflation pressure by 1 pound. This means that during the course of a winter day going from 40 degrees F at noon to 0 degrees F at night, tire pressure can drop 4 pounds, enough to affect its ability to resist pothole damage
  • Use winter-rated tires
  • Watch for street hazards and standing water that could be hiding a nasty, new pothole
  • Remember that dirty headlamps and worn wipers hamper visibility
  • If you hit a pothole, and feel there may be damage, pull off the road into a safe place where you can get out and visibly check your wheel and tire for obvious damage. Then, have your dealer check to see if the vehicle needs a re-alignment or if there is suspension damage. In an emergency, if you have a GM vehicle with an active OnStar subscription, you can always press the “OnStar” button to ask an Advisor for assistance.

To read the original article, click here.

Chevrolet Tweet House Unveils The Next Big Thing In Social Media

Back in 2006, Andy Grignon had left his printed out directions for his meeting at the office and he was already en route to his destination. So he picked up his prototype phone and looked up his route on Google Maps. It was this “aha” moment when he realized that the top-secret project that would become the iPhone in 2007 would change the way people live.

Grignon was a key member of the team Steve Jobs assembled to create the iPhone, which did almost instantly revolutionize the way the world communicates. But the App Store, and even the concept of mobile gaming, weren’t part of the initial blue print for the device. These types of insights were shared by Grignon in front of a packed audience at the Chevrolet Tweet House at SXSW 2014, which was held at Mellow Johnny’s bike shop in Austin.

Grignon has teamed up with Apple alums William Bull, who designed the iPod Classic, and Jeremy Wyld, who launched iOS, iPhone and iPad; to create the next big thing in social media. He offered an exclusive sneak peek of his start-up, Eightly, at the invite-only event.

Eightly has been designed to seamlessly allow anyone – with absolutely no programming or Web site creation experience – to instantly build out interactive channels filled with photos, videos, audio and text. Grignon’s team has designed the Eightly Experience Engine, which is the foundation on which every individual’s story will be built. The key to the mainstream success of this new operating system is its use of pictures and symbols to quickly build out channels around anything, whether it’s a unique take on New Orleans Cajun cuisine via photographs or a video series that explores the latest technology innovations from Austin, TX. And it only takes minutes to achieve today what it might have taken hours or days for professionals to accomplish yesterday.

Grignon has watched social media explode – in large part because of the smartphone revolution he helped spark – as everyone instantly shares pictures, videos and thoughts with the world through outlets like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Vine. But what he believes is missing from this socially connected society is true creativity. With Eightly, if you can dream it, you can bring it to life. It’s as simple as pointing and clicking to build out feature-rich, interactive experiences that celebrate every aspect of life.

Eightly fit in nicely with SXSW 2014, as start-ups in gaming, technology and new business were a key focal point for the convention. Grignon’s newest venture also connected with the dawn of 4G LTE vehicles. Chevrolet showcased a 2014 Impala, equipped with 2015 technology, that features high speed Internet, which will drive off assembly lines this summer. The ability for connected vehicles to provide passengers instant access online will allow future Eightly users to use laptops, tablets and even smartphones to share their lives through personal channels from the road.

To read the original article, click here.


John G

John Gaudiosi is editorial director for shacknews.com. As a seasoned games journalists who contributes to Fortune, CNN, Money, AOL and Gamerhub.tv., John has covered the world of video games for nearly 20 years.

A Look Back at Two Significant Corvettes

Dan Adovasio and Jake Drennon of the Official C5/C6/C7 Registry take a historic look at two of the Corvettes damaged at the National Corvette Museum.
 

On behalf of the Official C5/C6/C7 Registry and its members, we were all stunned by the news that broke last week of eight very significant Corvettes being damaged by a sinkhole in the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum. As GM prepares to oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged, we wanted to take a look back at how two of these vehicles fit into Chevrolet’s history.

2009 ZR1 “BLUE DEVIL”

Folklore has it that the then CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner, a Duke University graduate, saw the nearly completed C6 Z06 prototype in 2004. He wondered aloud what the Corvette design team could create if it had a mandate to develop a $100,000 Corvette.

At the time, Corvette Chief Engineer David Hill and Corvette Engineer Tadge Juechter took Wagoner’s challenge to heart and went to work to develop a significantly more powerful Corvette that would be called the ZR1. Then Vehicle Line Executive Tom Wallace stated that this project had the code name “Blue Devil” after Wagoner’s alma mater. Wallace continued saying that this prototype test vehicle needed to push the technology envelope into the supercar realm so that this Corvette could take on any production car in the world.

We now know that this “Blue Devil” was built to test the engineering standards necessary for the ZR1 to achieve astronomical performance characteristics – including the ability to be the fastest production automobile that GM has ever built. Never in the history of GM has a production automobile been produced with a 638 HP and a top end speed in excess of 200 mph. So, we’d say that the “Blue Devil” is certainly one of the most historically significant Corvettes ever on loan by GM to the National Corvette Museum.

2001 MALLETT HAMMER Z06 CORVETTE

Chuck Mallett was one of the premier tuners of the C5 era. Mallett is credited as being one of the first tuners to apply his craft and customize the C5 Corvette for superior handling and performance.  When the Z06 was introduced in 2001, Mallett quickly grabbed hold to engineer and develop the “Mallett Hammer” Z06 Corvette. Historically, this Z06 is significant because it was one of the first Mallett Hammers engineered to take the 2001 Z06 to a whole new performance level with outstanding handling characteristics never felt before on the race track.

Kevin and Linda Helmintoller of Tampa, Florida recently donated the Mallett Hammer Z06 that was swallowed by the sinkhole to the museum.

Mallett set the benchmark with the Z06 Hammer for a whole army of tuners to follow, thus beginning the legendary C5 Z06 Tuner Era. From this point forward, Mallett and others pushed the Z06 Corvette to limits well beyond the standard factory package. The Helmintoller’s raced their Z06 on tracks all over the east coast, just as many of the Mallett Hammer Z06 owners did. This Mallett Hammer’s significance lies in the fact that it was a forerunner of the C5 tuner experience. We feel these were track cars designed to give you the kind of performance required to win races at the track.

For more information on all eight vehicles affected by the sinkhole and the efforts being made to restore these historic Corvettes, visit the National Corvette Museum’s website. You can also see a live stream of the Skydome restoration here.

To read the original article, click here.

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is Most Fuel Efficient Car on the Market

In its 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, the United States Environmental Protection Agency puts one car at the top of the list when it comes to fuel efficiency: the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV.

With an EPA-estimated 82 miles of driving range and a fuel economy equivalent of 119 MPG, the average driver can save $9,000 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.

2014-Chevrolet-SparkEV-040-mediumLast year’s top ten list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles was comprised entirely of electric vehicles, so it’s not surprising that this year’s ranking is also packed with EVs.

The Spark EV, sold in California and Oregon, is also the first vehicle in the U.S. to offer the SAE International fast-charge connector as a vehicle option. The new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector is accessible via a single charge port on the vehicle and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate.

How much faster? DC fast charging charges 80 percent of the Spark EV’s battery in just 20 minutes for over 65 miles of range. By comparison, AC 120V charging, which can be done using a conventional household outlet, takes around 17 hours to fully charge. AC 240V charging reduces recharging time to less than seven hours for a full charge, but it requires a dedicated 240V charging station.

Many major automakers have announced they will adopt the SAE combo fast charge connector standard. Adopting an industry standard for EV charging is an important step in growing the public charging infrastructure.

GM is committed to leading the charge in the U.S. to develop energy alternatives like EVs and biofuels that help reduce dependency on petroleum, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

ChevySparkDCFastCharge01-mediumIt’s why we were part of the unveiling of the very first public SAE combo DC fast charging station last year at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego.

And it’s why our engineers work tirelessly to bring greener vehicles like the Spark EV, Chevrolet Volt,Chevrolet Cruze DieselCadillac ELR and the bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala to market.

If this year’s list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market tells us anything, it’s that EVs are continuing to grow in popularity. And as more and more hit the market, choices for potential buyers will only increase, which means good things for the wallet and the environment.

To read the original article, click here.

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Enters Supercar Territory

Chevrolet enters supercar territory with the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history, the 2015 Corvette Z06. It pushes the performance boundaries for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, an all-new supercharged engine with at least 625 horsepower and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, while bringing additional capabilities to the seven-speed manual transmission.

Bowman ChevyThe Corvette Z06 leverages the same driving technologies from the Corvette Stingray and also features the same aluminum frame, which will be produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. The stiffness of the stronger frame also allows the Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. The advanced driver technologies and race-proven design all contribute to increased capabilities and world-class performance.

An available track-focused Z07 performance package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling.

During its first outing at the track, the 2015 Corvette Z06 recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.

Production for the Corvette Z06 will begin at the end of 2014 and will begin shipping to customers in early 2015.

To read the original article, click here.