12 Daring Women Who Changed Racing History

When you think of women in racing, you probably think of today’s big names like Danica Patrick or Courtney Force. March was International Women’s month, but it’s always a good time to honor some of the women who paved the way in motorsports, as well as the female drivers out there winning races today.

Helle Nice

You might think that women are only now breaking into the boys’ club of racing, but there have been women on the rack nearly as long as there’s been racing. Case in point: Helle Nice who was dubbed “the Queen of Speed” after winning the Grand Prix Féminin in 1929.

Nice had been a dancer until she injured her knee skiing. She did the natural thing and switched to auto-racing. Nice was the subject of a 2004 biography titled Bugatti Queen.

Helle Nice in Brazil, 1936. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Kay Petre

Kay Petre drove in many races in the 1930s, including finishing the 1934 24 Hours of Le Mans with teammate Dorothy Champney. As ESPN points out, Petre stood 4’10”, but that didn’t stop her from racing a 10.5 Liter V12 (you can see pictures over at Silodrome). She just had to attach wooden blocks to the pedals so she could reach. She briefly held a Ladies Land Speed record with that car at over 134 miles per hour. Petre retired from racing after suffering serious injuries in a crash. That didn’t keep her away from the automotive world, though. She went on to design fabric patterns for the original Mini.

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9 Best Car Movies to Watch

Great car movies love to show off great cars. They test their rugged performance, sometimes in the form of a high-speed chase or race that would never actually happen. They reveal the passion and pride that goes on behind the wheel. But most of all, they make cars a central part of the story.

Of course, many films have featured or debuted rare or new cars, but this list is concerned with the movies all about cars. So with the 90th Academy Awards fresh in our minds, here’s a list of top car movies and documentaries to check out.

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

A nerve-racking chase, a gang of unique characters, and a race against the clock to snag some of the most expensive and desired cars (at the time), this action flick has all the elements of a great car movie. It tests the endurance a prized Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 code-named Eleanor, but also has some neat cameos, like a 1995 Ferrari F355 GTS, a 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30, and refurbished 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible. See the entire list.

I’ve never watched the original version from 1974. However, this remake is still binge worthy, especially if you want a nostalgic taste of some high-end models from the ‘90s.

Le Mans (1971)

First, it has Steve McQueen, who is in Bullitt—another great movie not on this list. Second, it has real footage from the 1970 Le Mans Grand Prix. Third, it’s a movie about the love, courage, and perils of racing. Add in some high-intensity racing scenes makes it a great movie if you’re into racing.

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Announcing the Winner of the 1A Auto Empower Sweepstakes

Congratulations to our lucky winner, Matthew!


To all who participated, thank you for all your hard work. It was great to see people build skill and confidence by learning how to do their own car repairs.

Over 1,500 people showed off their new skills. They tackled repairs ranging from an ignition starter switch, to a set of spark plugs, and even a first try at changing brake rotors and pads. It’s great to see our customers take on a new challenge. Isn’t it satisfying to fix your own car?

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Why Won’t My Car Start?

We depend on our cars to always be there when we need them. That’s why it can be such a shock when you turn the key and your car doesn’t start. If that happens to you, don’t panic. A lot of times the problem is relatively simple to fix. To figure out what’s going on, pay careful attention to what happens when you turn the key.

Click what happens when you turn the key to jump down to your specific issue:

 

Nothing Happens When I Turn the Key

Say you turn the key and nothing at all happens. Dead silence—no dash lights, no interior lights. That means your car’s systems aren’t getting any power from the battery. The most likely culprit is a dead battery, but before you spring for a new one, you should check that your battery connections are good. Check by hand that the terminals are tight on the battery. If they feel loose, tighten the nut on the side of the terminal. If they feel tight, but there’s a lot of corrosion and buildup, that might reduce the effectiveness of your battery. You might want to take the terminals off the battery posts and carefully clean the posts and terminals. Often you can get the terminals clean enough just using a wire brush, but this video will show you a more thorough procedure to keep your terminals cleaner long-term:

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Car Shaking After a Snowstorm? Here’s Why & How to Fix It

 

It’s common to feel your car shaking while driving after a snowstorm. Many people experience vibration in the steering wheel, the seat, or underneath the car. You might not even feel it until you pick up some speed. This can be alarming and sometimes a little scary, but the cause is usually benign.

Why Your Car Vibrates

The vibration comes from snow and ice stuck in the wheels. The snow acts as a weight and throws off the balance of the tires while driving, wobbling them up and down or front and back, wherever the snow is. Yes, snow is light, but it takes less than an ounce of added weight to throw off your tire’s balance.

If you feel vibration in the steering wheel, seat, or chassis, the tires likely have too much snow in them. Vibrations felt in the steering wheel usually come from snow in the front tires, and vibrations felt in the seat usually come from snow in the rear tires.

Driving on unbalanced tires can wear out the suspension and steering parts over time and make for an unpleasant drive.  It’s best to pull over in a safe spot and fix it, especially if you’re driving a long distance.

How to Fix the Vibration

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Do I Need Premium Gas?

Gas station Does your car recommend you use premium gas? Or if it doesn’t, when you’re pumping your regular gas, do you ever wonder if you would get a boost by paying for high-test? Or have you ever had an old-school car guy tell you that you need to run premium sometimes to clean out your gas tank?

There’s a lot of confusion out there about premium gas, what it’s good for, and who does or doesn’t need it. So, let’s clear things up once and for all.

Why Do Some Cars Use Premium Gas?

Some cars either recommend that you use premium gas or require it. Many cars will have a sticker inside the fuel door that tells you if it recommends or requires premium gas. You can always check your owner’s manual.

So why would you need premium gas? Cars that call for premium gas tend to either have high compression engines or forced induction (supercharging or turbocharging). That means that the fuel and air is under very high pressure in the combustion chamber. That’s one way to make a high-powered engine.

High compression and forced induction introduce their own complications. High pressure (along with heat building up in the engine) can cause the gas to combust before it should. That’s called pre-ignition, detonation, or engine knocking. Knocking can cause damage to engine components, especially if it recurs over a long time. You can recognize knocking as a metal-on-metal “pinging” sound under the hood.

You may have noticed the different octane ratings on the fuel pump: usually numbers like 87 for regular, 89 for mid-grade, and 92 (or thereabouts) for premium. A higher octane rating means that the gas is less likely to pre-ignite.

Which Cars Require Premium?

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My Car Won’t Start After Getting Gas & How I Fixed It

A few months ago, my 2007 Hyundai Accent had a bizarre problem. After I filled it up at the gas station, it would not start unless I depressed the gas pedal while cranking.

Other days it started right up, but any amount of fresh gas created start-up problems. It didn’t matter how much gas was in the tank, and there was no check engine light or codes.

Turns out this also happened to others that own Accents and Sonatas, and there could be a few fixes.

Troubleshooting Different Gas Fill-Up Scenarios

I work with some knowledgeable people here at 1A Auto, so after sharing this with them, a few experts gave me a some “tests” to try first to make sure there wasn’t an outside cause.

Before spending money on parts, here are the scenarios I tested for:

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