How To

10 Ways to be a Better Aggressive Driver

Posted in driving, How To by Gerri | October 23rd, 2013 | 1 Response |

10 Ways to be a Better Aggressive Driver

Driving can be daunting, especially in a big city. There’s nothing worse than being cut off time and time again, or having to wait 20 minutes just to change lanes. Here are ten ways you can effectively — and safely — become a better aggressive driver and stop letting people nearly run you off the road just because you’re too timid or polite. Read More…

School’s In: The Latest From AMG’s Driving Academy

Posted in AMG, Cool Stuff, driving, Educational, How To, Videos by Kurt Ernst | August 5th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Since my last post, the AMG Driving Academy has put out three more videos on technique. The first one, video number five, covers how to pick a line through a corner on a racetrack, while the next in Mercedes-Benz specific and covers their stability control programming. Finally, the last video is an introduction to drifting, which Tommy Kendall describes as requiring him to “unlearn” everything he’s ever learned about going fast on a racetrack. Read More…

Learn To Drive, Courtesy Of The AMG Driving Academy

Posted in driving, How To, Mercedes Benz, Videos by Kurt Ernst | July 24th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

I’ll be honest with you: most of the “how to drive” videos I’ve ever seen are absolute crap, either slapped together by amateurs who don’t know what they’re talking about or filmed using pros who fail to explain exactly what they’re doing. Worse, some of these videos make track driving look deceptively easy. Which it is, until it very suddenly isn’t. Read More…

Five Tips For Staying Safe Behind The Wheel

Posted in driving, How To, Lists, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | June 28th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

A friend of mine had his brand new Mazdaspeed3 totaled on Friday night. He hadn’t been drinking, he wasn’t racing and it had nothing to do with conditions. Turning left at a four-way intersection, he had the misfortune of being the first car in line. An oncoming Volkswagen Tiguan, driven by a 23 year old unfamiliar with the vehicle, ran the red light and broadsided my friend’s car somewhere north of 40 miles per hour. Thanks to the design and construction of the Mazdaspeed3, he walked away from the crash with a sore ankle. I don’t have all the details yet, but I’ll assume that there was driver distraction involved. Read More…

Five Tips For Avoiding An Accident

Posted in driving, How To, Promoted, Safety by Kurt Ernst | May 26th, 2011 | 11 Responses |

To a lawyer, there's no such thing as a minor accident. Image: David Shankbone

Let’s face it – no one ever plans on getting into an accident, and most of us are over-confident in our driving ability. If you spend enough time behind the wheel, sooner or later the odds just don’t play in your favor. It’s like the opposite of a trip to Vegas, with the jackpot replaced by a roadside call to the police that none of us ever want to make. Accidents are stressful enough, but these days it’s rarely over after the police report is written. If you’re at fault, plan on being sued, which will cost your insurance company (and, potentially, you) serious money to fight in court. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff (the guy suing you), expect to lose a substantial part of your income, possibly for a long, long time. Read More…

Five Tips To Save You Gas

Posted in driving, Guide, How To, Promoted by Kurt Ernst | May 25th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Ouch. Image: Paulo Ordoveza

If you’re like most Americans, chances are good you’re heading out on the roads over the Memorial Day weekend. Oddly enough, gas prices seem to be coming down instead of taking their usual skyward trend on the first weekend of the summer vacation season. That may be a good sign, but gas is still damn expensive; in fact, it’s doubled in price since 2009, and I’d be willing to bet that most of our incomes haven’t kept pace. Short of trading in your current ride for something more fuel efficient, what can you do to reduce your gas bill as much as possible? Below are five tips that can save you money at the pump. Read More…

This Is Why Budget Doesn’t Rent Ferrari 458 Italias

Posted in Ferrari, How To, Videos by Kurt Ernst | April 30th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

Ferrari tells you that their 458 Italia is designed around the driver, and that’s absolutely correct if the driver is an F1 pilot. For us mere mortals, learning how to drive a 458 is an exercise in needless complexity. Consider the steering wheel, where Ferrari puts the paddle shifters and horn (good), but also includes the start button, turn signals, high beam switch, windshield wipers, suspension de-coupling(?) and Manettino switch. I don’t even know what the Manettino switch does (and neither does Google Translate), but I have to assume there’s an espresso / cappuccino maker somewhere in the dash. God knows I enjoy a good cup of Manettino after banging off some hot laps. Don’t expect things to get easier from there, since the dash allows a high level of customization, and Ferrari’s big on redundant controls: what the hell are all those dials for under the right hand nav controls, anyway? Do they launch chaff? Pour oil slicks behind the car? Preheat the Manettino maker? See if you can figure out how to drive the 458 from the video below. Read More…

What Factors Determine Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Posted in Car Buying, How To, Lists, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | April 19th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Here's one...

Getting a quote for car insurance used to be simple: you’d call up an agent, give him your age, sex, marital status, inseam length, body mass index and frequency of fingernail clipping, then he’d punch the numbers into a calculator and quote you an annual rate equivalent to the gross national product of Bolivia. Unless, of course, your were trying to insure something with more than 30 horsepower, in which case your rates would be substantially higher. Thanks to the information age we now live in, car insurance rates are based on a lot more variables than they used to be. For most people, that’s good news that potentially results in a cost savings. For others, it’s bad news since things like your credit score now impact your auto insurance rates. Car-insurance.com has taken the mystery out of calculating car insurance rates, so below are the factors and their weights that go into setting them. Read More…

No Paint Booth? No Problem

Posted in DIY, Guide, How To by Kurt Ernst | March 31st, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Jay Leno's Garage

One of the biggest challenges faced by backyard car restorers is paint. Good paint jobs cost serious money, which is fine if you’re restoring a high dollar ride, but what about those of us with more modest tastes, like a 1972 Ford Pinto? The car is easy enough to wrench on, but even the though of a same-color respray gives me a cold sweat since I don’t have access to a spray booth or sterile environment. There’s not much of a market for restored Pintos, so farming out for a pro-quality paint job is a money-losing proposition. If I were building a race car that would soon be trading paint anyway, I could probably do a passable job in the garage with an airbrush and a compressor. If I actually wanted to sell the car, the only cost effective option would be to do the prep work myself, then trust Maaco or Earl Schieb (“Any car, any color, just $99.95!”) for the paint. Yikes. As this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage shows you, 3M has a few solutions of interest to backyard car restorers everywhere. Read More…

Learn To Hoon With Chris Pfeiffer: The Stoppie

Posted in Cool Stuff, How To, Motorcycle Rides by Kurt Ernst | March 29th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Chris Pfeiffer wants you to not try this at home...

Just a few days ago, Chris Pfeiffer showed you how to do a wheelie. Of course this was for research purposes only, since neither BMW Motorcycles (who produced the video) nor your friends at RideLust would ever encourage you to do something that dangerous. In fact, we recommend you stay safely glued to your computer, refreshing RideLust for updates, while the world passes you by outside your window. It’s really in your best interest, since anything we do or talk about here comes with inherent risk that we can’t ask you to take.

At least that would be the case if we were lawyers, but we’re not so hoon at your own risk. The number two video in BMW’s “how to crash your motorcycle in several easy lessons” series is below; this time Chris Pfeiffer gives your tips on how to do a stoppie. My own advice on doing stoppies is even more succinct: don’t, unless you really want to know what missing front teeth and ruptured testicles feel like. Read More…