Ford + Tucker = An Impressive Failure

When Henry Ford teamed up with Preston Tucker and Henry Miller to build a winning racecar, the Indy 500 should have been in the bag. The result, however, certainly wasn’t the financial win they hoped for.

A Grand Idea

The story of Preston Tucker and Henry Ford starts (and ends) in 1935 with the Indy 500. Preston Tucker was a former Ford assembly line worker who developed an interest in the Indy 500 after he left the Ford company. He teamed up with Henry Miller, an Indy racing engine maker and a talented engineer, to form a company that would build racecars. This company, Miller and Tucker, Inc., then teamed up with Henry Ford in what would turn out to be a big, embarrassing mistake.

A Business Deal to Race 10 Cars at Indy

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Image via Flickr by Rex Gray

Some stories say that Tucker approached Ford, and others speculate that it could have been the other way around. Regardless of who initiated contact, in January of 1935 these three men arranged a business deal. Miller and Tucker would build racecars, with Ford (more…)

Best Ways to Prep for a Long Drive

Tires don’t pop nearly as often as they used to. Back during the golden age of whitewalls, you couldn’t have a road trip without fixing at least one flat, but these days tires can go years between replacements, especially if you take good care of them. But flats still happen, and they can be a real pain if they happen on a long road trip (which describes just about every road trip in Texas). So, while chances are your tires will do fine, it pays to know what to do if one goes flat.

Know Your Equipment

Best ways to prep for a long drive - changing tire - castle hills motors lewisville Tx

Image via Flickr by robmba

By law, car companies have to sell vehicles with a spare tire or at least a way to repair a flat. That second option is becoming more common thanks to emission standards and weight reduction, but either way, there should be a solution under the floor of your trunk or cargo area. If it’s a spare tire, you should also find a car jack and a lug wrench to (more…)

The Best Apps to Stop Distracted Driving

“Distracted driving” is any moment when a driver’s attention is on anything aside from the road. The list of possible distractions is long, but it includes:
  • Eating and drinking
  • Shaving and applying makeup
  • Listening to a loud radio
  • Talking with someone in the next seat
  • Rowdy kids
  • Using a cell phone for calls, texting, etc.
That last distraction is especially dangerous, and while it’s less dangerous to use a phone hooked into a hands-free system, you’re still paying attention to something other than the road. That’s why plenty of companies out there have created apps that either let you use your phone without touching it or turn it off completely as soon as the car starts moving. If you want to stop driving distracted (or at least distracted by your smartphone), you have a few options. (more…)

How to Cope With No AC in Your Car

The saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” is surely true when it comes to the scorching heat of summer. With triple-digit temperatures in Denton, Texas, it’s hard to manage a howdy when the air conditioner in your car isn’t working. In fact, it’s downright dangerous. Surviving the summer becomes a real problem if precautions are not taken when the mercury line rises.

Stay Hydrated

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Image via Flickr by just_a_name_thingie

Have you ever ended an afternoon game of Frisbee at North Lakes Recreation Center with a fierce headache? If so, your body could have been suffering from dehydration. Extreme heat causes you to sweat profusely, and to stay healthy you must replenish the lost liquids with water. Sitting in rush hour traffic on Interstate 35E without relief from the hot weather could turn into a severe medical issue just as quickly as playing a sport in the heat of the day. Keeping a cooler with frozen bottles of water in your car will hydrate during your travels and lower your temperature. (more…)

Why Hazy Headlights Are a Bad Thing

There are a hundred things that can go wrong with your car, and some of them more obvious than others. A common but often ignored problem on automobiles is the issue of hazy headlights, or the clouding that occurs in headlights as the car ages. This is more than a simple cosmetic problem. Hazy headlights create a danger to both the driver and other people on the road, and they are a concern that all drivers should look out for.

Headlights Become Hazy Over Time

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Image via Flickr by autobaptistgallery

Modern car headlights are not made of glass but rather polycarbonate. As your car gets older, a number of environmental factors conspire to eat away at the clear, glass-like surface of your headlights, giving them (more…)

Find Your Summer Fun in Lewisville

Texas summers are so relaxing. The heat slows the pace of the daily shuffle, and the sunshine brightens moods. Some Texans look forward to summer all year, and then it’s over in the blink of an eye. Pack your summer with fun at these awesome Lewisville summer events. They’re all coming up quick, so grab a friend and start making plans.

Sounds of Lewisville: Every Tuesday in June and July

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Image via Flickr by Lodian

The Sounds of Lewisville summer concert series is a weekly event that takes full advantage of the beautiful summer evenings. Starting at 7 p.m. and rocking for two hours, the free concert features a different band each week and is fun for all ages. You can make a full evening of it and visit one of the downtown restaurants before the show, or you can keep it casual by purchasing food or drinks from the vendors that will be servicing the event each week. There is no seating provided at Wayne Ferguson Plaza, so bring your favorite picnic blanket and get comfortable on the grass.

Friday Family Matinee: Every Friday in June and July

Take a break from the sun and visit the Lewisville Public Library. At 2 p.m. every Friday in June and July, the library will host a screening of a popular movie that everyone in the family will enjoy. Each week is a new film you won’t want to miss. The event is free of charge, and no registration is required, so gather up the whole crew for a cool afternoon in the library. On your way out, browse the shelves for a few books or sign up for some other library events to keep you busy until you come back for the next week’s matinée.

Freedom Festival 2017: July 4

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Image via Flickr by Steven Leonti

Dress in your red, white, and blues and get ready to celebrate Independence Day in Lewisville. The Village Shops and Plaza are the perfect lakeside location for the free activities like bounce houses, face-painting, balloon artists, and a giant water slide. Many local food trucks will park nearby to offer their best concessions to the festive family crowd. Find a lakeside spot to lay your blankets or chairs and get ready to cheer along with the crowd at dusk when the fireworks display lights up the Texas sky.

Lewisville High School HeyDay!: Aug. 17

Experiencing the excitement of HeyDay! will make you wish you were a high school student all over again. Teachers, students, coaches, neighbors, and future high schoolers are welcome into the school for an evening of games, food, live band music and a Lewisville High School pep rally. Admission is free and doors open at 6 p.m., so bring a big crew and some gently used books to donate to the collection for the #FarmersREAD Campaign. High-energy and full of spirit, HeyDay! really gets the community pumped for the start of the new school year. It’s no secret that Texas does everything big, and Lewisville clearly does summertime like a true Texas town. They’ve got music, community pride, and entertainment to keep you smiling all season.

3 Hatchbacks You Can Get for Under $20K

They might not be considered the most glamorous cars, but hatchbacks have a lot going for them. They are efficient, practical, and yes, they can even be “hot.” What’s more, there are plenty that you can pick up for under $20,000.

2017 Chevy Sonic LT

If there’s one car that proves hatchbacks can still be sexy, it’s the Chevy Sonic. Coming in at just $18,455, it packs a powerful punch with a 1.8-liter, 138 hp engine. The great thing about the Sonic series, though, is that you can upgrade from the basic trim to the Sonic LT for $700, still pay under $20K, and get a whole host of extra features for your money. The LT boasts (more…)

7 Car Terms You Should Probably Know

To communicate with your car salesperson or mechanic, you need to speak the language. While no one expects you to be fluent in auto-speak, here are seven car terms you really should know.

Base Price

Image via Flickr by TuRbO_J

Image via Flickr by TuRbO_J

The base price is a car’s cost without any optional extras. This is the cost of the car you’ll see printed on the sticker. It includes the manufacturer’s warranty and all standard equipment, but you’ll pay more than this for extras like leather seats rather than cloth ones, for example. Luxury cars typically have more features built into their base prices than more economical vehicles.

Add-On Interest

Ordinarily, interest is paid at the end of a term, usually a month. Add-on interest, which often applies to car loans, is a bit different because it is calculated at the start of a loan and added to the principal. When a loan company charges add-on interest, you’ll always need to pay some interest on your loan, even if it’s paid off early.

Engine Liter Size

The larger a car’s engine liter size, the greater the space in its engine cylinders for the fuel-air mix. The greater the amount of fuel-air mix, the more powerful an engine can be. That’s why V8 cars are typically more powerful than vehicles with V6 motors.

Torque

Torque is twisting force, or the force you feel when your vehicle accelerates. Considering a car’s torque alongside its horsepower provides a more complete picture of its power output. Torque is measured in pound-feet or lb-ft for short. One pound of force applied to a one-foot lever equals one pound-foot.

Torque Steer

Torque steer is a phenomenon which causes a car to turn in one direction or the other whenever you accelerate your vehicle. It’s more common in front-wheel drive cars but can happen in any kind of vehicle. It also often occurs when a car’s drive shafts are of unequal length, although this isn’t always the cause.

A, B, C, and D Pillars

A, B, C, and D pillars are vertical pillars on your car’s body. The A pillars hold either side of your car’s windshield in place. The B pillars are in between the driver and passenger side windows looking along the length of your car. Typically the C pillars hold the sides of your car’s rear window in place. Some longer cars may call this the D pillar and have a C pillar in between their B and D pillars.

Coolant Flush

Your mechanic is likely to give your car a coolant flush every two years or for every 30,000 miles driven, whichever occurs first. During this process, your mechanic will drain all the fluid, often the coolant, from your car’s holding tank, clean the tank out, and replace the fluid with a fresh batch. This process stops damaging corrosion from forming in your engine. Since it’s a complicated procedure that’s essential for your car’s health, you should trust it to your mechanic. Remember these car terms to speak to the motoring experts in your life with confidence.  

Spring Comes to Lewisville

Although Lewisville, Texas, may not receive the same attention as larger Dallas suburbs like Plano, Irving, or Denton, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the most fun and exciting cities in the area. The best part is that spring is right around the corner, bringing events that are sure to delight just about anyone regardless of your tastes or interests. If you’re searching for some events to fill the calendar this spring, here are a few ideas to get you started.

ColorPalooza: A Celebration of Spring

Spring in Lewisville

Image via Flickr by mabecerra

(more…)

Need to Know: Jump-starting a Car

Jump-starting a car isn’t rocket science, but it requires care and precision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 19 percent of people injured in battery explosions were trying to jump-start their cars. Follow the steps below to learn how to safely jump-start your car.

Do Your Research

Before you grab the cables, read your car’s manual or do a quick Google search to make sure the vehicle tolerates jump-starting. Many newer cars with electronic ignition systems or alternate fuel systems shouldn’t be jump-started to prevent damage to the vehicle and voiding of the warranty. Next, double-check that both cars involved have the same battery voltage. Finally, make sure the battery is the problem. If you hear clicking when you turn the key, or if the engine starts but won’t turn over, you have another problem altogether. (more…)