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Owner Operator Insurance – Non-Trucking, Bobtail & Unladen Liability Definitions and Impact

As in any business model, Motor Carriers (MC) utilizing Owner Operators (OO) enjoy certain benefits while also assuming additional risks. One such risk is the potential “uninsured” exposure of the OO while not in a “business use” capacity for the Motor Carrier. The MC’s Trucking or Commercial Auto Liability (AL) insurance policy provides coverage for the motor carriers’ owned units as well as any hired tractors and trailer during their time of hire. Coverage ceases for an Owner Operator once they are no longer in a “business use” capacity for the Motor Carrier. The concern is the OO continues to utilize their vehicle while displaying the MC placard and may not have other insurance available. Many times, the “deep” pocket of the MC is called upon to make the injured 3rd party whole.

Three products have been developed to address the coverage gap for the Owner Operator.

Non-trucking Liability:

Cost: Low

Protection to Motor Carriers Auto Liability: Low

Market Availability: High

Non-Trucking Liability provides protection for “personal use” by utilizing a Trucking or Commercial Auto Liability policy form and attaching a “business use” exclusion. The difficulty arises in that the definition of “business use” is not typically defined in the policy rather it is derived directly from various state and federal court decisions interpreting this phrase.

Unfortunately, “business use” has been interpreted very broadly and extends beyond “dispatch”. Following are some typical scenarios that would not be covered by the Non-trucking policy due to the broad interpretation of the “business use” exclusion:

  • OO drops load and his heading home to include a trip deviation to the grocery store (courts determine OO is owed a trip home)
  • OO takes vehicle to garage on weekend for maintenance (courts determine OO is maintaining unit in accordance with MC lease requirements)
  • OO is out of town, between loads. He goes to movie theatre. (courts determine OO is out of town at direction of MC)

Example of Coverage: OO utilizes their truck on personal time to run to grocery store and hits another vehicle.

Bobtail Liability:

Cost: Medium

Protection to Motor Carriers Auto Liability: Medium

Market Availability: Low

Many in the transportation industry use the same terminology for Bobtail Liability and Non Trucking Liability, when actually they are quite different. Bobtail defines coverage as “any time the trailer is unattached” whether or not the OO has been dispatched by the motor carrier.

Example of Coverage:

  • OO drops load and bobtails to pick up next load.
  • OO drops load at end of day and bobtails homes.
  • Be aware the Bobtail Policy will not respond anytime a trailer is attached, even if truly in a personal situation, e.g.:
  • OO brings homes an empty trailer and runs to the store on the weekend.
  • OO uses his tractor to a move a mobile home on weekend.
  • OO assists a friend in moving by pulling trailer with household goods

Unladen Liability:

Cost: High

Protection to Motor Carriers Auto Liability: High

Market Availability: Very Low (Per Class Basis)

Unladen Liability provides the least ambiguity in coverage and the broadest level of protection for the MC and OO. This policy provides coverage while bobtailing (no trailer attached) as well as while deadheading (trailer does not contain or carry any cargo – no bill of lading), regardless of dispatch. The difficulty with this coverage line is the low availability (typically not available in a master settlement deduct program; rather the OO’s need to obtain on a direct basis).

There are pros and cons to each of the coverage models which vary depending on the risk tolerance and the operations of the Motor Carrier and Owner Operator. Deciding on the right program can be critical to managing your risk. Enlist the help of a qualified insurance broker to review your current insurance programs and operations and to provide suggestions and options that best fit your needs.

Current Ferrari Models and Their Characteristics

Ferrari 458 Italia

The Ferrari 458 Italia is an expression of the most advanced concept of sportsmanship, represents the latest eight-cylinder supercar and it is the complete essence of what a Ferrari should be: power, extreme technology, pure driving pleasure. The 458 Italia affirms a new philosophy: lighter, faster, yet more environmentally friendly. Created to be even more extreme than the successful F430, the Italia does not sacrifice the driving pleasure in traffic or at low speed. The 458 Italia is built using the most advanced engine, chassis and aerodynamics technology ever developed by Ferrari, a feature that is partly due to working closely with the F1 Team in order to combine exceptional performance with reduced consumption and emissions. The new 4,499 cc V8 engine is a veritable powerhouse, punching out 570 hp. Equipped with the 7-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox, the 458 can sprint from 0 to 60mph in under 3.4 seconds reaching a maximum speed of over 202 mph. Ferrari Silicon Valley is currently accepting interest list applications for the 458 Italia.

Ferrari California

The Ferrari California is a bold addition to the Ferrari range: an eight-cylinder model with a grand touring remit. The Ferrari California is a model whose charm, exclusivity and performance can attract the interest of those who have not yet approached Ferrari and are interested in a “grand touring” type of vehicle. It is a very different sort of Ferrari: a more sensual Gran Tourer with a folding hard-top roof that promises everyday ease-of-use. The Ferrari California is powered by a new 4,300 cc V8 engine, mounted for the first time in the marquee’s history in the mid-front position, and sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds. Paired with the 7-speed dual clutch, the car’s performance delivers a superior driving experience, improves ride comfort and reduces fuel consumption and emissions. The F1-Trac traction control system in the Ferrari California made its debut on the 599 GTB Fiorano. Brembo brakes in carbon-ceramic material disks provide the Ferrari California with superbly efficient braking performances.

New three-layer colors and bi-color solutions for the exterior and new leathers as well as fabric for the interiors are some of the latest personalization options now available for the Ferrari California. In 2010 the HELE system was introduced in the Ferrari California. HELE stands for High Emotion Low Emissions and is a system designed to reduce C02 emissions without taking away from the joy of driving a Ferrari.

Following are some of the most important technical measures of HELE System that allow a 23 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. The start/stop function that can restart the car in low as 230 milliseconds, a displacement air-conditioning technology electronically controlled an intelligent engine fan and fuel pump control and adaptive gear shifts.

Ferrari 599 GTO:

The 599 GTO is a blend of some of Ferrari’s top technology from Formula One and road cars and occupies a niche between the 599 GTB & 599 XX. More menacing and less refined than a GTB, less raucous than an XX. This car is the best expression of a sports car Ferrari has ever made. A 6.0 liter, V12 engine that produces 670 hp at 8500 rpm and 457 lb-ft torque at 6,500 rpm and capable of impressive acceleration numbers to the tune of 0 to 62 mph in just 3.35 seconds. The engine is paired with an F1 six-speed gearbox, which has the same 60-millisecond shift times as the 599XX. The car has a curb weight of only 3,538 lbs. Only 599 cars will be produced and there are several custom colors and two-tone paint finishes exclusively for this GTO model. Designed by Pininfarina, the front, side and rear are bolder and more aggressive than its parent. Inside, a Virtual Race Engineer allows the driver to monitor the status of the car and its performance. Extensive use of carbon fiber is apparent, including in the cockpit where it is used both to reduce weight and as a design element. Ferrari’s dedication to the GTO model is legendary, with two previous highly revered models. The three iconic letters, which stand for Gran Turismo Omologato, summon the spirit of the original 1962 250 GTO, the 288 GTO which helped spawn the modern supercar era and the F40, the fastest street legal production car from 1987 to 1989 and the most expensive model at that time. The 250 GTO won no fewer than three consecutive World Sportscar Championships and it is today the most sought-after collector’s car on the market.

Unions and Management – Can’t We Just Get Along?

Initially it seems like oil and water, or cats and dogs; they just don’t get along. But that perception, and the fundamental reality, is changing.

THERE’S MORE IN COMMON THAN YOU MAY THINK

Unions want to gain higher salaries and more benefits for their members. They also want job security, good working conditions, and career opportunities. And, they certainly will defend members who are being treated unfairly.

Management shares some, if not all, of these objectives. They don’t object to fair compensation, want a stable workforce, and would prefer to have fairness and equity among employees.

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

The profit motive necessitates efforts to contain or reduce the costs of doing business. Labor is almost always the major expense. So management desires to keep a lid on salaries and benefits. This factor alone creates a conflict between management and the unions that represent their employees.

Unions need to gain concessions from management to satisfy their members (who pay dues to get this representation and clout). Management, on the other hand, needs to show profits to satisfy their stockholders and owners.

DISAGREEMENTS CAN GET UGLY

When unions and management fail to adequately resolve their differences through negotiations, the consequences can be profound. There can be strikes, walkouts, lockouts, slowdowns, rotating absences, etc.

Most unions have distanced themselves from the thug tactics of yore, although occasional incidents of violence, intimidation or other unfair practices still occasionally occur.

Management can also be tough. When the air traffic controllers went on strike in 1981 President Regan fired them, assigned military personnel to handle their jobs, and eventually replaced them all.

A PARTNERSHIP IS NEEDED

Businesses need workers and workers need jobs. The fundamental rationale for cooperation is, therefore, in place. However, as with most things, “the devil is in the details.” EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regulations, the Civil Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Practices Act, Minimum Wage standards, and many more legislative and legal provisions form a legal foundation for labor issues. Bargaining Agreements, Labor Contacts, Binding Arbitration requirements, Past Practices history, etc., also govern the relationships between labor and management in a more explicit fashion. But the fundamental requirement for constructive relationships between the parties is based on cooperation, respect, and a genuine partnership to achieve mutual objectives.

There are many examples of these types of positive, constructive, results-producing partnerships. One that I am personally familiar with is SEIU (Services Employees International Union) and the County of Los Angeles where the union sponsored their members to attend a certification program for Medical Records Coding. The County’s health department needed the coders, and the unionized clerks wanted better career opportunities. So the County arranged for the instruction, and the Union paid the tuition and purchased the necessary computers, software, and textbooks. In return, the County agreed to hire the program graduates. Of course there are numerous other examples of this type of cooperation in the telecommunications industry (GTE), the automobile industry (all the majors), high-tech manufacturing (Siemens), hospital restructuring (several), etc.

LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION IS REQUIRED

Economic conditions and requirements have changed so rapidly that outmoded ways of doing business can no longer be indulged. Although I am not part of a growing chorus of managers and business leaders who believe that unions have “outlived their usefulness,” I do believe that a more cooperative relationship is required. Business is a partnership, and the stakeholders include labor, management, regulators, consumers, government, and the public.

Organized labor is well-aware that a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship that emphasizes productivity, competitiveness and cost containment/reduction is essential to maintaining and growing the business sector, our economy and society. The same imperative applies to the government sector where unions have made substantial inroads in organizing public employees. A changing economic world means confrontation must be replaced by concessions, cooperation, and the identification and support of mutual objectives.

Copyright © 2010, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA. All Rights Reserved Worldwide for all Media. You may reprint this article in your ezine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, leave my name and bio box intact, and you follow all of the EzineArticles Terms of Service for Publishers.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Cruise Control

It’s an American tradition – cruising down the highway, the radio blaring and the windows rolled down to enjoy the warm, sunshiny day. Except when you go to hit the cruise control to maintain your speed, nothing happens. The cruise does not seem to be working even though it was fine just the other week. What can possibly go wrong with a cruise control button? In reality, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, just like any other electrical system on the car you drive. How you treat that cruise control button will determine a lot of how well your system works in the future.

For people who drive on the highway a lot, they might just leave the cruise control button set to on all of the time. That way, whenever they feel the need to set the speed, they just have to flick one more button and it is on. But this habit can be damaging for the cruise as it is always on and at the ready. Being always on and not used can wear out the control mechanisms of the system.

Another habit people have with cruise control is stepping on the brakes to disengage the speed control instead of turning it off. Is that method safer that turning the system on or off at the controls? The answer depends on who you ask. Conservative mechanics say that if you are going to engage the speed again as soon as the person ahead of you moves, then it is fine. It is easier and faster to hit resume than it is to turn the system off, start it all over again.

Other mechanics say that tapping the brakes can wear on a system. Just slightly. The systems are so advanced these days, however, that it would take a lot of starting and stopping to cause any sort of wear and tear on a system. Cars are built with a lot of great features that are meant to last for the life of the car and the cruise control is one of them.

If the cruise control does not seem to hold the speed or engage, then it might be worth taking it in to an auto shop. There could be a wire disconnected or a short in the system that requires an easy fix to get it up and running again. Cruise control is a great feature to have so it is worth the expense to get it fixed on your car. You never know when, but having the speed set could prevent you from getting a ticket since you know where the speed is set and can focus on the road and not the speedometer!

Buying Bulk Oil for a Mobile Oil Change Business

If you own a mobile oil change business and you have at least 100 monthly customers or 300 customers total you may wish to consider buying bulk oil to save costs. Oil is a large cost in the mobile oil change business, although not as much as labor. But any savings you get means more profit for your small business.

As the Founder of the Oil Change Guys, let me share some secrets with you. You see suppliers for bulk are usually regional and sometimes for best service and price you may find it is more a matter of the area rather than the brand. Although for customers it is more about brand. Some larger fleet customers will specify brand and you want to make sure you can oblige otherwise your competitor gets the account instead of you.

We have always found that a proper deal with a local regional supplier can in fact be significant, even to the point where the regional Oil Company reps pay you a visit and see what they can do to help you. Including things such as no-interest loans and/or financing deals based on purchases or guarantees of purchases. This can assist you with expansion dollars to take on larger local and regional accounts and expand your business, buy new units or buy out a pesky competitor, which can add accounts without long travel times.

To find a bulk oil supplier you will probably need to check around. Let’s say you are in OH for instance. This is a good state for jobbers and suppliers, which means there are some really good choices and a little bit of competition for you to get better services, extras and a lower price. Of course too across the River in KY you will find a support structure available through Valvoline, although they might also consider you competition to their own in-house mobile oil change units. They do have mobile oil change company software.

Of course if you are doing fleets and intend to do more you may not wish to put all your eggs in one basket as some larger fleets prefer Chevron which has a huge following and others will only use Shell Rotella; http://www.rotella.com/ One good place to check to see which jobbers are in your area servicing oil needs is to check with the local School District, why not check with the Superintendent of Transportation, where do they buy

their bulk oil for the buses? That might give you a good lead?

Indeed it pays to shop around when looking for a jobber of bulk oil and it further makes sense to use a local supplier as they may end up referring business to you, because they know you will be using their products. So think on this, as you supplier is part of your business team, all the way around it. They know it and you should know it too.

Federal Government Personal Loans for People With Bad Credit – Does It Really Exist?

Having bad credit is actually a common issue in United States. Many people fail to pay back their outstanding balances to their lenders on time and as a result, their credit scores are badly affected. Some of them are sued by the creditors and they have to declare bankruptcy. When these people need loan for emergency situations, are they able to get help since they have negative items on their credit files?

In the real business world, when you have credit problems which can’t be resolved, who do you look for help? Most probably you will look for family members or friends for assistance. Sometimes, due to dignity, it is hard for you to ask for help. You would rather look for banks or other financial institutions for help. But since your credit is bad, most of the traditional banks are not willing to lend you a hand. Who else you can refer to?

As a tax payer, you may think of getting help from the federal government. Nowadays, there are many service providers who claim that you can obtain government grants and government loan through their assistance. They try to convince you that getting the government grants is as easy as ABC. These companies are willing to help you to apply for the loan. In return, you just need to pay them back certain service fees. Are these companies really sincere in helping you to overcome your hardships?

If you think about this matter seriously, is it rational for the government to provide loan to those citizens who have bad credit? Seriously speaking, our federal government only provides FOUR types of personal loans to its citizens, i.e. student loans, home loans, small business loans and disaster relief loans. If a person with poor credit needs cash for other purposes, such as paying medical bills, going for honeymoon, purchasing automobile, paying off credit card debt, etc., it is for sure that he or she will not be able to obtain the loan. For those companies who claim that they are the government agents who can provide such financial assistance, you are reminded to stay away from them. They are scams. They just want to make profit from you. Please be realistic. You need to be smart. Federal government personal loan for people with bad credit doesn’t exist at all.

Don’t be upset with this truth. There are many legitimate non-bank lenders who are available in the market to provide loan for people with bad credit. Some even offer “no-credit-check” loan for people who have steady employment. Don’t depend on government. Work out the solutions on your own.

Get Involved – Advice For the Entry Level Drag Racer

So you have the car and the desire but you currently lack the right direction in where to show off your hot rod. Pointing newcomers in the right direction is something I can assist with. However, the desire to put forth an effort and build a suitable car that you enjoy is truly in your hands. Assuming you already have the race car, then you are right on your way to being ready to make your drag strip debut.

Making the choice to take your car to the drag strip is a wise one. The alternate, illegal street racing is just that: illegal, reckless, and deadly. Driving on public roads is a privilege, not a right. So always consider the consequences of driving reckless on the streets and understand you put your and innocent bystanders’ lives at risk.

The National Hot Rod Associate (NHRA) was founded over 50 years ago to combat an epidemic that existed then and still remains a serious issue today. NHRA’s original motto was and still continues to be their “dedication to safety.” Organized drag racing meets sprouted up throughout southern California in the early 1950s with a reason. Race organizers worked with law enforcement to create an alternative for speed hungry gear heads. Rather than spend time and resources trying to catch and arrest illegal street racers, sanctioning bodies began hosting drag meets, offering a safe and legal environment to race their cars.

Today, young tuners and hot-rodders are offered the same opportunities. Test ‘n Tunes are the easiest way to break into the sanctioned drag racing scene. They are inexpensive, safe, and enjoyable. Typical test ‘n tune events cost approximately $15-20. Yes, that abandoned country road is free, but just consider that for only $15 you can race on a professionally prepared and well lit racing surface that the pros race down, collect data on your car with time slips, and meet a bunch of fellow racers with your same interests.

Taking your car to the track for the first time is an exciting experience. Cruising through the pits, making laps down the track, and showing of your set of wheels is fun and rewarding. NHRA/IHRA sanctioned drag strips require strict, although reasonable technical specifications for the cars in competition. So before you get too lost in your drag strip day dreams, be certain you are brining a race ready car that is legal for on track activities.

First, buy the latest NHRA rulebook. Non-NHRA members can pick up a hardcopy of the 2010 rulebook for $10. NHRA members have the option of downloading the free online E-Book or spending $7 on a hard copy. To participate in your local tracks’ weekly bracket program or test ‘n tunes DOES NOT require a membership with that sanctioning body. The rulebook will serve as your guide to race car and safety gear requirements. Generally, the quarter-mile elapsed time and mile per hour of your vehicle will dictate specific rule requirements.

For racers entering a test ‘n tune at an NHRA sanctioned track, their car will be expected to meet specifications set forth for the Summit Racing Series. The Summit Racing Series is NHRA’s regular weekly bracket series held at NHRA member tracks. The Summit Racing Series consists of four primary classes: Super Pro (7.00 – 11.99-seconds ET), Pro (9.00 – 13.99-seconds ET), Sportsman (12.00 – 19.99-seconds ET), and Motorcycle (7.50-seconds ET and slower). Depending on the track, a High School only category may be contested.

Assuming you intend to bring your street legal vehicle to the drag strip, your car will most likely only need to comply with NHRA Summit Racing Series sportsman and pro class requirements and specifications.

So you’ve thought about it and finally have chosen to take your street vehicle to the drag strip to get a first-hand sense of what the drag strip is really all about. Don’t feel obligated to shell out your hard earned cash on a top notch race only drag car right away. Simply taking your street vehicle to a test ‘n tune will give you a feel for the drag strip and help you decide if this is something you really want to get involved in. For many racers, one blast down the drag strip commits them for life, as they instantly become addicted. That’s a good thing. Yes, it is an expensive sport, hobby, or profession but you can spend your money, time, and effort in far worse ways.

So you have your bone stock street vehicle and the desire to drag race. Now what? Well, it is pretty simple at this point: go drag racing! Well, almost. Let’s take a quick look at the driver credential requirements.

All drivers at any level racing on an NHRA-sanctioned drag strip are required to have a state or government issued drivers license that exceeds a learner’s permit. If, however, you plan to compete at an NHRA divisional or national level event, you will need an NHRA membership and an NHRA competition license. There are also required licenses for drivers who run 9.99-seconds or quicker. There are four license-Types: Type-A: Longer than 125″ wheelbase (typically dragsters), Type-B: 125″ wheelbase or shorter (funny cars or door cars), Type-C: Pro Stock and Pro Modified classes, and Type-D: Reserved for motorcycle or all-terrain type vehicles. To each license type are various classes signifying what specific classes or ETs that license permits the driver to run. For all specially licensed drivers running 9.99-seconds or quicker, a physical is required before licensing can begin.

As suggested in the NHRA rulebook, novice racers are invited to seek advice in getting started by calling NHRA headquarters, (626) 914-4761.

How to Get a Free Car – Find Out Exactly How to Get a Brand New Car Without Spending a Dime!

Would you like a free car? Well, who wouldn’t! But, is this actually possible? The answer is yes! Certain advertising companies offer free vehicles to drivers who are willing to help them increase their exposure to the general public. The auto wrap is different than typical advertising and offers a unique and cost effective way for the company to get its brand name out there.

If you live in a capital city of US, Great Britain and certain European countries, then you are the ideal candidate. Of course, you also have to own a full driver’s licence, and have a good driving record. Another thing that these companies usually ask from you is to drive a minimum amount of miles per month. This amount could be from 400 to 800 miles and don’t believe that you can simply lie about it. The company may decide to check your mileage odometer to verify that you are telling the truth and if you aren’t, you may be disqualified. If you do get accepted, your only expenses will be some money for gas and car insurance.

Does this sound to good to be true?

Well, the truth is that there are a few downsides:

  • New cars may not be readily available, so you might need to wait a few weeks. Also you may not be able to get the model of your choice. However, usually there is enough variety for you to find something that you really like.
  • You don’t always get to pick what kind of product you want to promote or how big the ad that goes with the car is going to be. In the case that you are not happy with the product, you can turn down the offer and wait for something better to come along.
  • The car won’t really belong to you. It will belong to the advertising company. After the end of the contract (usually 5 years) you will be asked to either give the car back or renew the contract.
  • The ad will stay on your vehicle day and night for 7 days a week, without you having the right to remove it. This means that you must be prepared to drive a vehicle wrapped in advertisement everywhere you go – to work, to school, to weddings, to funerals etc.
  • The competition for getting a free car is very fierce, and in some cases you may need to wait for a couple of months, before you get accepted into this program.

DIY Brake Pad Replacement – How to Change Pads and Avoid Common Mistakes

Doing your own brake job, if done properly can save a lot of money. But if a brake job is done improperly it could very well cost more than if a professional was paid to do the job to begin with. I’ve done hundreds of brake jobs in the last 25 years as a Master Auto Technician and in this article I’ll outline some of the basics. I also point out some common mistakes that beginners and even pros can make when doing a brake job.

Pulsating?

If the car shakes when the brakes are applied, this means that the brake rotors are warped. Excessive side to side run-out causes the car to shake especially when stopping quickly from highway speeds. The rotors can be machined or resurfaced to make them true again as long as they are thick enough. If there is no pulsation or brake shake, brake pads can be replaced without machining them. In my experience though, if machining or replacing the rotors is not done when doing a brake job, most of the time there will be excessive squeaking noises after a very short time. I recommend taking care of the rotors by having them machined or replaced when doing the brake job.

Lifting the Car Safely

Sounds a little too basic doesn’t it? I’ve seen many people under cars without having a jack stand in place for safety. Hydraulic jacks are great, but what if one slips or fails in some way while someones under the car working? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having the car safely raised with a jack stand in place, just in case the car falls for some reason. A jack stand under the car is very important for anytime work is to be done under the car, like for oil changes, starter replacement or any other job that could crush a person if the jack failed. I once worked with a mechanic that was changing his starter at home. His hydraulic jack had a slow leak and before he realized that the car was lowering gradually onto him, he was pinned under the car and couldn’t get out from under it. The compressing of his chest only allowed him to take very shallow breaths of air, which limited his ability to cry for help! Luckily a friend stopped by, saw what was happening and raised the car for him. If not for luck this could have had a totally different outcome, his mistake could have cost him his life.

Removing Wheels, Calipers and Rotors

After removing the wheels find the caliper bolts and check to see what type of head the bolts have to determine what tools will be needed. Common fasteners will have either regular bolt heads, allen or torx. Typically there will be two bolts holding the caliper and two bolts holding the caliper bracket. Usually just the caliper can be removed if just replacing the brake pads. Suspend the caliper with an elastic cord or something similar to prevent the weight of the caliper from possibly damaging the brake hose. If the rotor is being removed to be machined or replaced most of the time the caliper bracket will need to be removed as well. Rotors will either just slide off or on older style setups will be held on by the wheel bearings. Most cars today will have rotors that slide off. The wheel bearings on this design are not serviceable, meaning they are lifetime greased and can only be replaced when they fail so they are not repacked with grease during a brake job like in the past.

Pushing the Piston

Pushing the brake caliper piston back in is required to install the new brake pads. The piston slowly extends out as the brake pads wear. This is why no brake adjustment is needed for the disc brake system, it’s basically self adjusting. Big channel lock pliers can be used to compress the piston back into the caliper. There are also brake tools that can be used to push the piston back in. A big C-clamp used to be my favorite method for returning the piston back into the caliper. If working on rear disc brakes, a piston wind back tool like the KD 41540 (one of DenLors best sellers) is usually required to push and turn the pistons back in. It is recommended to open the brake bleeder screw when pushing the piston, this allows it to go back in easier and prevents possible damage to the master cylinder and/or ABS (Anti Lock Brakes) pump or valves from forcing old fluid back into the system. Closing the bleeder valve immediately after the caliper piston is pushed back in will insure that bleeding the brakes will not be necessary. If dust boots in the caliper are broken, caliper replacement is necessary. Broken boots will allow moisture and dirt to enter the surrounding area of the piston and will cause it to stick or seize. There are slides on some caliper brackets that can freeze up or seize also that can cause uneven pad wear. The slides should be taken apart and lubricated with silicone gel or disc brake grease. The slides must work freely for the brakes to work properly.

Installing the Brake Pads and Calipers

Take note of any possible differences in left side brake pads and right side brake pads. Also there is sometimes differences in inboard and outboard brake pads. Obviously the friction part of the brake pad goes towards the rotor. My uncle a long time ago, before I ever started working on cars did a brake job on his Cadillac. I remember hearing that he placed the brake pads in backwards! He ruined his brake rotors. It seems like an impossible mistake, but when you’re not familiar with what you’re doing anything is possible. With aftermarket brake pads, most of the time they will come with their own noise insulators that fit onto the back of the pads. Some will have adhesive backs that will have plastic to peel off before installing, others may have tabs built into them. Note that if these are supplied, the OE (Original Equipment) pad insulators will not be re-used. After the pads are in place, be careful not to TWIST the brake caliper hoses when putting the calipers back on. It’s a common mistake to twist them and the hoses can kink on turns.

Pump the Brake Pedal!

After everything is back together, it’s time for a test drive. But first pump the brake pedal before putting the car in gear! The pedal will go to the floor and you may be headed for a crash if you don’t. When the pedal is pumped the pistons are pushed out and the pedal becomes firm. There was an auto technician that I worked with that forgot to pump the brakes after doing a brake job. He backed out of his service bay, when he hit the the brakes the car kept going and he drove into the car that was half way up on the rack behind him. It broke the rear window of the car he was driving, luckily there was no other damage.

There are many types of brake systems but most disc brakes are basically the same. Following the steps I’ve listed here should help in replacing your brake pads. But if you are not completely confident, it’s always a good idea to ask a friend that has some hands on experience to help guide you through your first brake job.

Ferrari Cars and Some of Their Famous Owners, A Brief Guide

Ferrari luxury sports cars have always had a special affinity with the association of not only the racing world and upper echelons of the Formula One Grand Prix, but also a popular choice for the rich and famous.

A Ferrari parked outside an expensive boutique or a café in Monaco wouldn’t ever “look out of place”, would it? This is probably due to the fact that Ferrari sports cars have always had a reassuringly rather large price tag to go with their image of wealth for its owner.

With this in mind, the cars that belong to celebrities, Hollywood actors and famous people have always attracted even more attention than their less famously owned counter parts. So when some of these famously owned cars end up at a classic car auction or are announced that they will be sold, a media frenzy starts and so does a bidding war for the top price.

In a recent classic car auction at the Silverstone, a rare 2003 “Ferrari 575 Maranello” with only 10,000 miles on the odometer was eventually sold for £66,000 and was purchased by an unknown private buyer. What was unique about this car was its special provenance from its famous previous owners.

The fact this Ferrari was not just rare, but its previous owners included; the legendary guitar hero “Eric Clapton” and the BBC Radio and TV presenter Chris Evans, who are both huge Ferrari fans in their own right.

Chris Evans has been in and out of the motoring world press for the last few years, with his growing collection of Ferrari’s, which now includes seven in the line-up. But his latest acquisition is the one that’s got everyone talking. It’s a very rare 1960 Ferrari 250 California Spyder, that cost over £5 million at auction. What makes this classic car even more special is that its only number 13 of only 56 cars ever produced of this model, but it was formally owned by the late (great) film actor James Coburn, who was a massive Ferrari fan.

James Coburn got his love of cars from his father and was reputed to have turned the automotive-fanatic actor Steve McQueen onto Ferrari sports cars back in the early sixties.

Other celebrities and star’s who share a love for Ferrari sports cars are most notably Jay Kay from the band Jamiroquai who has had a number of Ferrari’s including; a Ferrari F40, a 360 Spider, Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari 456GT. Veteran rock singer Rod Stewart also owns a Ferrari F40, a 360 Spider and now new Murcielago.

Star of film and TV, Joanna Lumley has a classic Ferrari 328 GTS Targa, where as lead guitarist of the Who rock band also has a passion for Ferrari’s, as Pete Townshend currently owns a Ferrari 550 Maranello.