Larry Printz Archive

Roadside chain and its cones –once dominated American highways

The arrival of warm weather always takes me back to the family vacations I took while growing up. Typically, this meant traversing the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Philadelphia, where we lived, to Pittsburgh, where my grandparents lived.

FantomWorks automotive restoration shop revs up for reality show

 Daniel Short no longer watches automotive television shows to relax. “Now,” he said, “I watch them to see what they’re doing.” And with good reason.

The Pilot’s auto expert puts down his pen and picks up a torque wrench for a shift on the Volkswagen factory line.

 Ever since a fateful summer decades ago, assembly lines have represented failure to me. That year I was working in a dismal, dirty plumbing-parts factory near Philadelphia.    

A smooth ride on Virginia roads. What are the odds of that?

Not long ago, I received an email from esurance.com, the online insurance company. The attached press release detailed the odds of events happening while driving.

Your car’s name may be saying more than you think

A perfect name can summarize a car or truck’s personality perfectly: Mustang, Ram, Impala. But the wrong one can send a message the automaker never intended. In 2003, executives at General Motors Canada were surprised to learn that the name of their full-size Buick sedan, the LaCrosse, was a French-Canadian slang term for masturbation.

2013 Toyota Avalon: a worthy recast

 With the redesigned 2013 Avalon, Toyota is seeking to appeal to those who would never contemplate buying the full-size sedan.

Maybe they should have considered a new name, or at least one that doesn’t refer to the legendary island of the dead where King Arthur is buried. After all, this car has traditionally offered a similar dose of eternal serenity. But not this time.

Before you get hitched: A guide to safe hauling

The weather is warm, and that means many of us will be towing trailers more frequently. There are some things to keep in mind before tugging that boat down the highway. First – and this may sound obvious – compare your vehicle’s towing capacity against the weight of the items you’re towing.

Auto safety advances through the decades

It’s hard to imagine, but most items on the long list of safety features offered on modern cars were developed only in the past 50 years. In the early days of the automobile, just getting cars to run reliably was a miracle. Still, there were safety advancements.

40 mpg? It’s common in these cars

Fighting the high price of gasoline has never been easier, according to the EPA. For 2013, there are 17 models that return 40 mpg or more in combined city and highway driving, although, as the agency will tell you, results can vary for many reasons, including conditions and how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

An impressive new flagship for Chevrolet

 San Diego, Calif. My brother called me a few years ago from a rental car counter. He, along with four co-workers, was trying to figure out which car would hold them all, along with their luggage. Among the candidates offered, only one was a full-size car: a Chevrolet Impala. I told him to go for it.

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