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Detroit paramedic drunkenly sideswipes cars with a patient in ... - Washington Times

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By Brad Matthews - The Washington Times - Saturday, December 2, 2023

A Detroit Fire Department paramedic was drunk behind the wheel of an ambulance with a patient in the back when he struck parked cars Friday, city officials said in a release.

The ambulance was being driven in Hamtramck in southeast Michigan around 1:10 a.m. local time when the paramedic purportedly sideswiped three parked cars. The paramedic then stopped the ambulance and waited for Hamtramck police to arrive.

The patient in the back incurred no injuries from the crashes, Detroit officials said. The patient’s son was also with her; she had been having a hard time breathing before the ambulance was called.

After the incident, the paramedic was tested as per department rules and was found to have been under the influence of alcohol when the crashes occurred, city officials said.

The paramedic, who was not named, is a six-year veteran of the department and is now on unpaid leave pending further review. He had no prior history of accidents or alcohol violations.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for the use of alcohol while on duty and will take the appropriate action. We have an outstanding team of EMTs and paramedics at DFD, and it’s unfortunate that this incident detracts from the lifesaving work they do every day,” Detroit Fire Department Commissioner Chuck Simms said in the release.

No criminal charges have been publicly announced against the paramedic.

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Questions and answers from the ‘Car Doctor’ - The Saratogian

Q. Are electric cars really almost maintenance free? I am considering an electric car and the idea of no filters, no oil changes and coolant to worry about is certainly appealing.

A. I would consider an electric car, low maintenance. Although there are no oil and filter changes, the cabin air filter needs replacement, some vehicles have coolant for the battery management system that needs attention periodically. Electric cars, the brakes last much longer due to regenerative braking, but due to the weight of an electric car and the instant torque, the tires wear much quicker. Like gasoline cars, electrics cars have a series of checks that need to be performed periodically, such as checks of suspension, steering, wipers, and other components.

Q. My husband insists on shutting off my car (2012 Honda CR-V) at every stop to save fuel. He does this because his Ford F-150 does it automatically. Does shutting off the engine really save that much fuel?

A. On a vehicle that is designed with start/stop technology like the F-150, it has been shown that you can save up to five percent of fuel usage when driving in stop and go traffic in the city. The difference with your Honda is that although you will save fuel, the starter and battery were never designed to be utilized in this way. So, you may save on fuel put you will likely be buying a starter and battery more often. If you are stuck in a lengthy traffic jam, yes you can shut the car off to save fuel, but at typical stop lights or the coffee drive, through the fuel saving in my opinion will not offset the wear and tear to the starting system.

Q. Hi, I have a small leak of radiator fluid from under the front of my 2002 Honda Accord. Do you think it is the water pump? As a temporary measure can I try a leak stopper like K-Seal?

A. The best thing to do would be to have the car inspected by a good shop. They will pressure test the system to determine the leak. It certainly could be the water pump, but it could also be a radiator hose, or even the radiator. As far as a leak stopper like K-Seal, it has its place, but not here. I would just keep the coolant full and limit driving until you can get the leak diagnosed and repaired. On this engine if it is the water pump, it would be cost effective to replace the timing belt with the water pump.

Q. I have been fan of your column and have been following it for many years. I have a question, my Honda Pilot 2016 EXL Touring 71,000 miles, was brought new seven years ago. Since then, I had transmission issues, then an issue with the emission systems. Both were fixed in the last couple of years. Now two errors come up on and off, the first an issue with the all-wheel-drive system and the second a problem with the keyless start system. I am debating now to trade in for a new SUV. What do you suggest? Is it worth keeping the SUV for long run?

A. Typically, the Honda Pilot has an exceptionally good reputation and holds its value better than almost any SUV. So, if you were considering trading the combination of age and mileage, you are probably in a good spot. To see what the car is worth try some of the online buying services, such as CarMax, Carvana and Vroom. It also would be worth having the car looked at to determine the issue. The items you mentioned are extremely sensitive to battery voltage and the problem could simply be a battery at the end of its life. A new vehicle could bring you the latest convenience and safety technology but depending on your finance’s monthly car payments. The car you have now, perhaps with some minor repairs, could bring you many more miles and years of trouble-free driving.

Q. My DIY neighbor uses brake cleaner for everything, cleaning grease, checking for vacuum leaks and even killing hornets. Can this stuff be dangerous?

A. Brake cleaner can contain a chlorinated base product (there are non-chlorinated versions). Both work well for cleaning oil and other contaminates. Where I would not use it is for checking vacuum leaks or cleaning metal prior to welding. The chlorinated version can turn especially nasty when burned. When heated, the solvents can produce Phosgene gas.

Corrections and comments: Regarding selling a car to Carvana, the folks from Carvana wanted to clarify the process. They told me the process is simple, enter your car’s VIN, answer a few questions about mileage and condition (on the website) and they will provide a firm offer. Depending on location, you can complete the appraisal online, drop off the vehicle at select locations and receive a check the same day (which is a new offering). Alternatively, you can schedule a pickup with one of our customer advocates and they will hand you a check. The link to Charles the Humble Mechanic on YouTube may have been broken. The correct link is

Got a car question, email the Car Doctor for a personal reply. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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What is a rebuilt car title? -

(iSeeCars) – Every vehicle has a car title, which is a legal document that shows proof of ownership. Car titles also reveal whether a car has been badly damaged. If you’re looking for a used car, you might come across a car listing for a rebuilt title vehicle.

What does this mean and should you still consider a car if it has a rebuilt title? We have the answers.

Car titles fall under two major categories: clean and branded. A clean title means that a vehicle hasn’t had any serious damage or issues, while a branded title means that the car has a serious issue that needs to be disclosed to potential buyers. This could include that a vehicle was in a serious wreck, was stolen, had the odometer rolled back, or sustained hail damage or was in a flood. The most common branded title is a salvage title.  (For more examples of branded title vehicles and a description of salvage title vehicles, check out our handy guides.)

A salvage car has incurred major damage likely from an accident and has been deemed a total loss by an insurance company. Or, in its simplest sense, it costs more to repair the vehicle than the insurance company is willing to pay. If the car has been rebuilt and passed a safety inspection, it becomes a rebuilt title vehicle. 

Title laws vary by state, but in most states a car must pass an inspection in order to be issued a rebuilt title. State laws also vary as to what percentage the damage is of the vehicle’s value in order to brand the title. For example, in New York, damages must be at least 75 percent of the car’s value in order to be designated as a salvage title vehicle.

In Georgia, a buyer must be a licensed rebuilder in order to purchase a salvage vehicle. While in Nevada, vehicles are titled as rebuilt even if they weren’t previously salvaged. Nevada’s rebuilt title designation indicates that a vehicle has had a major component replaced such as:

Cowl – (Space between car hood and windshield where wipers are located) Roof  Rear clip  Floor pan  Adding a major component to the frame   Complete front inner structure 

Once repairs have been made to a salvaged vehicle, the rebuilt vehicle must be inspected by a body shop licensed by the state. If the shop determines the salvage title car is roadworthy, the vehicle owner can exchange their salvage title for a rebuilt title.

There are risks associated with rebuilt title cars. 

Safety Risks: The main downside to buying a rebuilt title car is the inherent safety risk. Even if the car has been completely rebuilt and passed an inspection, it may not have been repaired well. There may also be significant structural damage that can’t be properly repaired.  Lastly, vehicles with flood damage may not have visible damage at the time of inspection, but the water damage can reveal itself over time. Limited Insurance Coverage: Many car insurance companies don’t offer policies to cover rebuilt title cars. Or, policies will only include limited coverage that doesn’t include collision and comprehensive coverage. However, some insurers do offer full coverage, but the premiums are likely very expensive. Difficult to Finance: Many major banks will also not finance rebuilt title vehicles. Voided Warranty: When a vehicle is designated as salvage or rebuilt, it’s manufacturer warranty is voided. That means you would have to pay for major repairs even if the car is almost new. Low Resale Value: When it comes time for you to sell your vehicle, it will have a low resale value. Additionally some dealerships don’t buy rebuilt title vehicle cars, so you might have difficulty unloading it.

There are also advantages to buying a rebuilt title car:

Documented Repair Work: Seller’s of rebuilt cars should have the carefully documented repair work that was needed to have the title issued. In many cases, this repair work provides more information on maintenance than what is typically provided in used car transactions.  Significant Discounts: Cars with rebuilt titles sell for far less than those with clean titles and can have discounts of up to 50%.

Before purchasing a used car, you should always get a vehicle history report from Carfax or Autocheck and run a VIN check. One tool, the iSeeCars free VIN Check, provides a comprehensive analysis that answers all the key questions shoppers should ask before purchasing a used vehicle.  

The iSeeCars VIN Check provides detailed title information when provided by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It will indicate if the vehicle has a clean title or if it has a rebuilt or another type of branded title. 

The report also links to CarFax or AutoCheck vehicle history reports, which are often free. The car’s history reports include detailed information about the vehicle’s title. For example, if a rebuilt certificate was issued after an accident, the vehicle history report will provide details about the accident. Or, if the vehicle was stolen or damaged in a natural disaster, that will be indicated as well.

If a car deal seems too good to be true, you should do your research to see if it has a rebuilt title.  

Buying a car with a rebuilt title comes with many risks that likely outweigh the savings. However, there might be a rebuilt vehicle that was properly repaired or didn’t sustain extensive damage. While it’s important to have a trusted mechanic inspect any used vehicle before purchasing, it is especially important if you’re considering a rebuilt car. 

More from iSeeCars:

If you’re ready to take to the web for your own car buying process, you can search over 4 million new and used cars with iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check report. You can also filter by title, ensuring the cars you find have clean titles.

This article, What is a Rebuilt Title?, originally appeared on

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IndyCar "desperately" needs new car says Pato O'Ward -

The new-for-2024 power unit remains equipped with the current 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, but will be upgraded with hybrid components that will provide up to an additional 150 horsepower when deployed.

The 24-year-old Mexican is coming off an impressive post-season Formula 1 test at Abu Dhabi earlier this week, completing 103 laps and placing second in McLaren’s MCL60. He was also recently confirmed as a 2024 reserve driver for the program.

Additionally, though, the flurry of a busy offseason also had O’Ward among the short list of IndyCar drivers that have tested the hybrid, doing so at Sebring International Raceway in late September. Recalling the experience, he expressed some of the difficulties that are to be expected.

“It'll be a challenge for next year, definitely,” O’Ward told “I think it'll be a challenge reliability-wise for everyone. I think it'll be a challenge in terms of maximizing it.

“And I think the rules are still very unclear of what exactly, or how exactly everything is going to be ruled out and what you can and cannot do. So, waiting for that. But it's going to be a work in progress. It's going to be a learning curve.”

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

The hybrid engine has been part of IndyCar’s plans since the eve of the 2022 season, with 2.4-liter powerplant the original plan before swerving to the current configuration last December.

However, O’Ward would have rather seen a new chassis brought to the grid for 2024. Dallara’s IR12 (commonly referred to as the DW12 in honor of the late Dan Wheldon) debuted in 2012, with its last significant update happening in 2018 - to the universal aero kit - and being renamed the IR18.

“I'm definitely one of the ones on the new car boat,” O’Ward said.

“It's annoying that this new era of engine isn't coming with a new car because we desperately need it. We desperately need a new car before we need a new engine, in my opinion.

“But, you know, I don't make the calls. All I can do is drive the cars and help develop it the best that I can and maximize it.

“But I really think that IndyCar is in a position where we got to evolve, and we got to take a big step. We can't take baby steps.”

Furthering his stance, O’Ward pointed at the design of the hybrid cars in the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s GTP class, along with Formula 1.

"Look at IMSA with those new LMDh cars, they're bad ass,” O’Ward said. “Their engine turns off halfway through pit lane and you look at them and you see the technology and it's freaking cool.

“You see these F1 cars and everything that goes into 'em, there's not one person that doesn't come here that then says... everybody forgets about the racing and they're just like, 'Holy shit, this is so cool.’

“If I was the one in charge, my goal would be you want people to be saying, 'Holy shit, have you seen the new Indycars?'

“You don't want people to say, (heavy sigh) 'Have you seen the Indy cars?' You want them to be so excited about what's coming and what's getting evolved. You know, it's what it is right now."

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Free Review:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Will Professionally Evaluate Your Vehicle!


Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisal(s).

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Offers Quality Fleet Appraisals!


If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!


Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We offer an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - We Value Car Clubs and Repair Shops!