Michael Lombardi And His Electric Car

Michael Lombardi, The Sky Is The Limit

I find it very encouraging when talking to young people today, to see that some are actually being very productive and not just sitting around addicted to their cell phones or computer games.

Recently I was chatting with my nephew, Michael Lombardi, on Facebook after noticing a photo he posted of his new electric car. I wanted to know more so I got in touch with Michael, and his response was, “I made it.”

This of course sparked my curiosity since Michael is only 10 years old. I knew I needed to dig into this a little deeper. Michael has always been a very bright young man who impressed me even at an earlier age.

It was almost as if he’s had an older soul since birth.

Michael’s younger years were very challenging, to say the least, but I firmly believe he prevailed, not only because of his so called older soul, but also because he has a father who loved him very much and was very supportive.

I contacted Michael by phone to ask some questions about the self made electric car. The first question was, what started the idea of building an electric car? He responded proudly and with some excitement in his voice that he asked his science teacher if he could have one of the small electric motors that were left over from another project. The teacher happily responded, yes you may, but you will need to make it a project. Let’s see what you can do with it as a science assignment.

Being very excited to be given this electric motor, Michael already had an idea in mind of what he was going to use this motor for; building an electric car.

Michael rushed home after school to show his father the electric motor and to discuss building an electric car with him. The first step was to plan out what parts he would need to build the car, and then purchase them. They headed to the hobby store in order to purchase pulleys that he would need to move the vehicle, and then set out to the Dollar Store to buy a friction car.

Oh, and let’s not forget the power for this car, 2 – 9volt batteries. Back at home, Michael’s dad was preparing a business for grand opening, so a friend of his father’s stepped in to help Michael begin his fabrication of an electric car.

Since this was all new to Michael, there were many things he would need to watch and learn how to do. Like soldering the wires on the motor and attaching them to the batteries, installing an on and off switch, installing pulleys, cutting the car door for access to the motor, and finally, adding the switch to make it run. After watching the first solder operation, Michael was ready to finish the rest.Michael and car

All the parts were in, wiring installed, and now the true test, flipping the switch. But there was one minor problem, the car only went backwards! This really confused Michael since he knows he installed everything correctly. Since his father is very good with electrical circuits and electronics, he pointed out to Michael and explained to him about reverse polarity.

Normal polarity in electronics is when the positive is hooked up to the positive battery terminal and the negative to the negative terminal. Reverse polarity would be having the positive hooked up to the negative terminal and the negative to the positive terminal. The same concept can be applied to magnets.

So Michael reversed the polarity and the car was now heading in the correct direction. I asked him what he learned from this project. He replied, I never knew how to solder before, I didn’t know how to install wires, and especially, I never knew about reverse polarity. But I do now.

Michael proudly took his electric car to school and demonstrated it to his Science teacher and the class, which earned him an extra grade. The teacher was so impressed by what he learned from this, that she advised the class that if anyone wanted to attempt such a project to ask Michael for some advice. Who knows what his next project will be or what he might invent for the future? The sky’s the limit.

AWAF Working Hard For Women In The Automotive Industry

AWAF Working Hard For Women In The Automotive Industry

With all the challenges that women undertake on a daily basis in the automotive industry, it is nice to know there are organizations out there working hard to help make the road a little easier to travel.

I recently came across an organization dedicated not only to women, but women in the automotive industry. Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) promotes leadership by women in the automotive industry by awarding scholarships to women who are either entering into, or seeking to further, their careers in the automotive field. When AWAF became a non-profit organization, that to date, they have awarded nearly $230,000 in scholarships to 93 deserving recipients pursuing a wide range of automotive disciplines.

AWAF was started over 20 years ago and was established as a non-profit organization in 2001.

The Executive Board of AWAF is made up of the Officers of the AWA Foundation who are employed within the automotive industry. They are elected by the Board of Directors with a term of one to two years.

Currently, members are mostly concentrated in southeastern Michigan, but they do accept members from all over the world. How can you become a member of such a great organization? Go to their website, and click on the join button. What are the benefits of becoming a member of AWAF?

· Support the automotive education of women

· Build relationships with a dynamic group of automotive professionals

· Learn from leaders who have shattered the glass ceiling

· Stay connected to news, with special discounts on select business publications.

Women are proving to be a very vital part of the automotive industry, and not just as consumers, but so much more. Women have been inventors of products such as the windshield wiper, airplane exhaust muffler, even Kevlar. If the world only allowed men to be inventors, it would be doing everyone an injustice.

In organizations such as this, women now have the opportunity to surround themselves with others who share the same passion and dream. Women have come a long way over the past 30 years and are making further strides every day.

I was pleased to learn that Board Member, Patricia Price, will be my special guest on Teresa’s Garage radio show airing

Patricia Price

Patricia Price

May 5, 2015. Be sure to tune in at  2:00 pm PST, you won’t want to miss it.

So for more information on the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, go to Become a member, it just might be what you were looking for.

What Does A Vehicle Salvage Title Mean?

What Does A Vehicle Salvage Title Mean?

A Salvage Title on a vehicle typically means that at some point in the vehicle’s history the car has been claimed a total loss by an insurance company because of an accident or flood damage. It can even apply in some states if it’s a recovered stolen vehicle – so, all pretty much not good things. Also, government agencies routinely test new vehicles, and cars sold after the government gets its use out of them are given a Salvage Title as well.

When a total loss happens because of damage, the car can sometimes be bought back by the owner or sold to someone who will repair the vehicle and put it back on the road. When this happens it’s issued a Salvage Title. Laws and regulations regarding salvaged titles vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your state’s motor vehicle department for the most accurate information.

Salvaged cars typically go through an inspection by the state’s motor vehicle department before being issued a Salvage Title, but inspection procedures also vary by state and some may be a simple VIN code and emissions system check. Others may be a more thorough safety inspection.

A Salvage Title can significantly change the equation when you’re looking into buying a car. In many states, this type of title indicates that the vehicle has been damaged, recovered after being stolen, or written off as a total loss by an insurer. In some states, a Salvage Title may prevent you from legally driving the car on the road and might even prevent you from purchasing the car in the first place. On the other hand, some of the reasons a car may receive a Salvage Title have little to do with its history, functionality or safety.salvagetitle

While every state has different regulations, there are a number of common reasons for a car to receive a Salvage Title. Insurance companies will consider a vehicle totaled if the cost to repair it after an accident exceeds a certain percentage of its value. Many states specify standards for this valuation, though for many insurance companies, the standard limit is 75 percent of the vehicle’s total value. In this situation, the insurer sees replacing the vehicle as a more financially wise option than repairing it. (Source: Carfax.)

A Salvage Title should, first and foremost, be a warning flag that a car may have been damaged in an accident. The plastic body panels and high-tech components that go into today’s cars can mean that even a small accident might lead to very expensive repairs. An accident could also cause subtle but irreparable damage to the car’s frame or other critical parts.

Insurance companies may be more likely to repair a car if they choose to use alternative parts components from manufacturers other than the one that built the car. While the quality of these parts is supposed to equal that of the original vehicle, it’s worth investigating how a car was repaired if it was ever in an accident. If the car was totaled and you’re in the market for a fixer-upper, you owe it to your safety and that of your future passengers to thoroughly understand the extent of the damage, and determine if it’s within your ability to repair it. Improperly selling a salvage vehicle can be a serious felony offense. Sellers must disclose in writing that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle.

In the state where I reside, Nevada, let me explain the rules pertaining to Salvage Titles.

“Salvage vehicle” is a motor vehicle that at one time has been declared a total loss vehicle, flood-damaged vehicle, non-repairable vehicle, or had “salvage” or a similar word or designation placed on any title issued for the vehicle.

Total Loss – A vehicle that has been damaged to the extent that the estimated cost of repair, not including the cost associated with painting any part of the vehicle, would exceed 65 percent of the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before the damage was incurred. Vehicles with less than 65 percent damage are not considered salvage vehicles.

Flood Damaged – A vehicle that has been submerged in water to a point that the level of the water is higher than the door sill of the vehicle and water has entered the passenger, trunk or engine compartment of the vehicle and has come into contact with the electrical system of the vehicle; or a vehicle that is part of a total loss settlement resulting from water damage.

Non-Repairable – A vehicle, other than an abandoned vehicle, that has value only as a source of parts and scrap metal, or has been designated by its owner for dismantling, or has been stripped of all body panels, doors, lights, etc., or has been burned or destroyed beyond a restorable condition.

Salvage vehicles in Nevada are issued an orange-colored Salvage Title. A salvage vehicle may not be registered or operated on any public street until it has been rebuilt and inspected. Once a salvage vehicle has been repaired, it becomes a rebuilt vehicle and may be registered and/or sold if the proper procedures below have been followed. Non-Repairable vehicles are issued a Certificate and may not be restored to operating condition.

Older Vehicles

Vehicles 10 model years old or older are not considered salvage vehicles if the only repairs needed are a limited A-on-production-linenumber of items. Specifically, the hood, the trunk lid, and/or up to two of the following: doors, grill assembly, bumper assembly, headlight assembly and taillight assembly.

If the vehicle requires more repairs than this, the 65 percent damage rule applies (other states are higher). For example, the 65 percent rule would apply if the grill, front bumper and one headlight assembly were replaced. If only the hood, the grill and the bumper were replaced, the 65 percent rule would not apply and the vehicle would not be considered a salvage vehicle. The 65 percent rule does not include any cost of paint or labor to paint the vehicle.

Rebuilt Vehicles (Non-Salvage)

Vehicles which have had certain repairs must be titled as Rebuilt even if they do not meet the definition of a salvage vehicle. See Non-Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles. (Source: NRS (Nevada Revised Statue, state of Nevada.)

If you’re interested in a car that has a Salvage Title, and the owner claims it was stolen and recovered, find out why the car hasn’t been re-titled yet. The owner should have done this before offering the car for sale as a matter of good business; failure to do so may be a sign that there’s something else wrong with the car.

So if you are purchasing the vehicle of your dreams, make sure to check the vehicle’s history to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Why Is My Car’s Temperature Gauge So High?

Windy weak bladderWhy Is My Car’s Temperature Gauge So High?

The temperature gauge measures the temperature of your car’s engine coolant. It is important to take note of this gauge because it will tell you if your engine is overheating. Typically, the gauge should read “cold” when you start the car and get warmer as you drive.

1. You have lost coolant. This may mean a small leak or gradual evaporation. Check your engine to make sure you have enough coolant and add more if necessary.

2. The thermostat is broken. A malfunctioning thermostat may not be letting coolant into the engine.

3. There is a water pump or a water pump gasket failure. This failure may cause the engine to overheat.

If you notice the temperature gauge is reading higher than average, and it is not particularly hot outside, you should have your car’s cooling system checked out as soon as possible. If the temperature warning light comes on or the gauge reads higher than average while driving, you should safely pull over to the side of the road. It is likely that your car’s engine is overheating and further driving may cause severe engine damage.

You can turn on your car’s heater to cool down the engine as you pull over. If it is hot outside, you can also roll down the windows and direct the air vents away from passengers. This is a quick way to cool down the engine as you look for a place to pull over to check the engine’s coolant and water levels. You should never open a hot radiator. If needed, you can add water through the overflow tank.

How To Clean Your Car’s Battery Terminal Ends

How To Clean Your Car’s Battery Terminal Ends

Wet cell type batteries have a tendency to build up corrosion on the battery terminals and cable ends that rob a battery from cranking power to start the engine.. There is a chemical reaction created by the electric fuel cell concentrate around the connections of the battery cable ends. Eventually the mixture of the gases and oxygen will create build up which will interrupt the current flow.

Not cleaning off the built up corrosion will drain the battery, making it unable to start your car’s engine. Maintaining your battery regularly will prolong the life of your battery and it will perform for you when you need it. 

I am often asked how you should clean your battery terminal ends. Here is the step by step process that I use to perform this task.
Negative lead, black terminal

Begin by working on the negative terminal lead first. This is very important. If you remove the red or positive terminal lead first, you leave yourself open for accidental shorts that can explode a worn battery, or create an electrical fire within the wiring harness. Always work from negative, (black), to positive, (red), when removing the cables from the battery, and then in reverse when reinstalling, to prevent creating a dangerous work environment. Always wear Personal Protective Equipment while working on or around automotive batteries.

Tools You Will Need:

 Corroded battery cables

 Correct size wrench or Crescent wrench

 Screwdriver

 Baking Soda

 Toothbrush

 Cloth/rag

 Warm water

 Battery Terminal cleaning brush tool

 Personal Protective Equipment: Safety glasses, safety gloves, and work clothing or apron

 Anti-corrosion terminal pads

Mix 2 tbsp. of baking soda in 8 ounces of water.
Use a spoon to agitate the fluid until the baking soda is completely dissolved.
Put 2 tbsp. of baking soda in a bowl. Take a toothbrush and moisten it in the water and baking soda solution. Then set it into the bowl of dry baking soda. Place it off to the side.
Use a combination of rinse and scrub techniques to remove all the corrosive dirt and debris.
terminal brush tool

Loosen both battery cable clamps from the power supply posts.
Remove the cable ends from the battery once the clamps have been loosened enough to pull the wires free from the battery posts. 
Remove the black, negative cable and then the red, positive cable. The battery cable clamps will need to be kept from coming in contact with the battery posts after they are disconnected and while cleaning the battery cables.
First tie the black, negative battery cable back from the battery using a tie wrap so the end of the cable can be cleaned away from the battery. Do the same for the red, positive cable once it has been removed.
Follow the black, negative battery cable back to its secured, ground anchor. Both cables can be vulnerable to corrosive materials and power robbing buildup. Find the black, negative battery cable anchor location and clean the cable end there first.
While secured in position, coat the ground anchor where the negative battery cable ends at the engine with the baking soda and water solution. Let stand for three to five minutes.
Brush the cable end and fastener on the engine with a toothbrush loaded with a dry baking soda. Let it stand for thirty seconds and pour more of the mixture solution of baking soda and water over this junction. Wipe dry and scrub with a rag after cleaning.
Submerge both cable ends, with clamps, into the solution of baking soda and water for up to five minutes. This cleaning should eliminate any corrosive buildup on the outer surfaces of the cable, cable clamps, and battery cable protective coating.

Use the saturated baking soda and water solution to break up any buildup of corrosive material. Then use a more concentrated solution with a toothbrush to remove the material in grooves and cable strands that are visible.
Use the dry baking soda and toothbrush to get more of the reactive material inside the grooves and tight corners of the cable ends and clamps.
Scrub the inside and outside of the cable clamps and cable ends that show metal or cable strands by using your battery terminal brush tool. Pour the solution over the end after scrubbing, then rinse with pure water, and wipe dry with a rag. Install your terminal protecting pads on the terminals.
batt. terminal pads

Fasten and secure both cables back to the battery, replacing the red, positive battery cable first, and then the negative cable.

Cover the clamps with post protectors to reduce the amount of water that can reach these connections. The presence of oxygen and water increase the amount of corrosive material an old battery will produce and can be managed with the simple protective measures listed here.

Cover the clamps with post protectors to reduce the amount of water that can reach these connections. The presence  of oxygen and water increase the amount of corrosive material an old battery will produce and can be managed with the simple protective measures listed here.
Replace the outer battery box panel (may vary on all vehicles) and
 close the vehicle’s hood. 

Dina Parise – From Ice Capades to Hairdresser to Drag Racer

Dina PariseDina Parise – From Ice Capades to Hairdresser to Drag Racer

Dina Parise grew up in Long Island, New York and always wanted to hang out with the boys; not because she wanted to date them, but wanted to compete against them. Her first love was hockey, but her mother put her foot down and said, No Way!

She was always competitive, from eight years old until she was in her 20s when a friend approached her and advised her that she should try out for the Ice Capades auditions. Dina put in her application. One of the questions was how tall you were, since the requirement was at least five foot five inches. Dina, who was five foot one inch, had to tell a little white lie and wrote on the application that she was five foot five inches.

The auditions all happened within a day or two, and they notified you pretty quickly after your tryout. Dina was chosen to go on tour, and the first tour was the 50th anniversary of the Ice Capades, which lasted eight months.

Before the tour began, all skaters had to undergo off-ice skating with choreography. There were so many steps and counts the skaters needed to learn and remember in order to prepare for the tour. She traveled all around the United States and into Canada for four years, performing line skating and ensemble skating.

dina parise2After four years with the Ice Capades, Dina decided to hang up her skates and go back to hairdressing. Not long after she stopped skating, her husband Andrew decided to get involved with cars. Around 2005, Andrew built his first car, a 1967 Camaro. At first he wanted to show it at car shows, then it progressed to race car, and it ended up being a fully tubbed machine.

That lasted for about a year or so when Dina fell in love with Drag Racing. Never having been to a drag race, Dina decided that she wanted to drive the ’67 Camaro. She decided to become a drag racer, so she enrolled in the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, earned her Super Drag Racing License, and began racing the Camaro.

Being a beginner, her husband thought that going Top Sportsman was the first choice, but Dina chimed in and stated that she was thinking more in the line of Pro Mod. Andrew about passed out when he heard that, and Dina about had to pick him up off the ground. Dina and Andrew put their heads together and began working on the marketing strategy. The rest is history.

Today, Dina drives a Modified Cadillac, with 3000 Horse power, which will have its first race on April 17, 2015 at IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals in – Bradenton, Florida.

Photos compliment of