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Mac Demere

Mac Demere is a veteran automotive journalist and a recovering race car driver. He raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona and NASCAR Southwest Tour series, and co-drove to victory in five 24-hour races. In addition he was a certified test driver for a major tire maker. He currently is an instructor for an advanced teen driving school.

Stories by Mac Demere

What to Do If You Have a Tire Blowout While Driving

Jul 16, 2019

Imagine a professor saying, “A passing grade requires you to do nothing.” That’s exactly what I told the 1,500 or so drivers I taught to safely handle a tire blowout. Blowing a tire can be scary, and resisting the urge to do something can be hard, but practice makes perfect — so I put my students to the test. With a student […]

Upgrades and Upkeep for Older Cars

Jul 9, 2019

Perhaps you’ve inherited an old family vehicle. Or, you’re about to hand down an older car to a young driver. Maybe you want a lower-priced vehicle to save some money. If so, you’re not alone. I drive an older four-door with nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer, and it’s been through two teen drivers. But with a little work and preventive maintenance, […]

Tires Can Wear Out Even If They Haven’t Gone Very Far

Apr 12, 2019

If you’re thinking about buying used tires for your vehicle, there are some important points to consider. When a tire is between six and 10 years old, its rubber and internal components will begin to get dry rot. (If there is dry rot, you’ll notice cracks in the treads, discoloration and that the tire is […]

Don’t Let Road Gators Bite: Tips for Avoiding Tire Debris

Oct 24, 2018

Blown-out tire treads lying on the road are known in the trucking industry as “road gators.” When you’re driving down the highway, the textured rubber of a tire tread lying flat in your lane can almost look like the ridges and scales on the back of an alligator lying in wait. Road gators can happen at any time, especially […]

Chips and Cracks: When to Repair or Replace a Damaged Windshield

Sep 13, 2018

If your vehicle’s windshield gets chipped or cracked, should you repair or replace it? Regardless of where you live, your windshield may take a beating. There could be pea gravel falling from uncovered construction trucks, sanitation vehicles laying down salt and sand when the weather calls for it and the occasional chunk of unknown debris kicked up by cars passing by. I once […]

Fuel Functionality: What If You Add the Wrong Fuel To Your Tank?

Apr 26, 2018

Today’s gas pumps display a potentially confusing array of names, colors and alphanumeric symbols. Gasoline comes in five or more varieties, and that doesn’t account for diesel. Mix them up and the results may result in a ruined engine, corroded fuel lines or, if you’re lucky, no serious damage. What Happens When You Put Gasoline Into A Diesel […]

Gas Tanks: Why Aren’t All Fuel Doors on the Same Side?

Mar 27, 2018

In the United States, there are no regulations that specify where a fuel door should be placed. So, car-company engineers can place the door to the gas tank on whichever side offers the easiest packaging, according to Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer. “The placement of the fuel door is mainly a factor of fuel tank design, […]

Understand Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Jun 25, 2015

Warning lights on your dash shouldn’t be ignored. They’re there to alert you when some aspect of your vehicle needs attention, typically in an attempt to protect the vehicle and/or its passengers. But one warning that was added to dashboards in recent years could use some clarification: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light. The TPMS light is […]

Big Rigs and Cars: Tips for Coexisting on the Highway

May 22, 2014

Imagine your doctor has ordered you to exercise on a running track surrounding a college football practice field. You must use the track and share it with the university’s athletes. Sometimes, 350-pound linemen lumber along, blocking your way, but then they’ll break into a sprint until you can feel their breath and sweat. Meanwhile, lightning-fast […]

New Tires To The Rear

May 13, 2014

If you buy only two new tires, consider putting them on the rear axle. Purchasing four tires is the ideal, but as a cheapskate, I understand the pain of tossing two half-worn tires when the other two are completely worn out. I’m here to help fellow tightwads stay safe. Stop with the “even ifs.” No matter […]