NORTHSTAR MOTORSPORTS BLOG
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Pagid Racing Brake Pad Compound Overview Video
HANS Device Review and Demo Video
Introducing Northstar Motorsports GIFT GUIDE!
Northstar Motorsports Video Compares OMP Driving Suits - Entry Level to Top of the Line
Northstar Motorsports Video Compares Entry Level, Composite and Carbon Fiber SA2015 Auto Racing Helmets
Northstar Motorsports Video Compares an SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet vs an M Rated Motorcycle Helmet
Northstar Motorsports Video Demonstrates the Proper Fit for an Auto Racing Helmet
Northstar Motorsports Sponsors Hole at Recent PCA Golf Outing
Northstar hosts Windy City BMW Club Tech Session - February 7, 2015
Northstar Motorsports Unveils Its New Website
PCA Fall Tech Session held at Euroquipe, St Charles, IL - November 3, 2013
Northstar Motorsports Named Offical Safety Equipment Supplier of MVP Track Time
Northstar Motorsports Selected For Exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
Northstar Develops a Spring Safety Equipment Checklist
Northstar Motorsports Attends OMP Worldwide Dealer Meeting in Italy
Northstar Customers Qualify Well for Races at Daytona
Northstar's John Ruther to Speak at Winter Bench Racing Session at VFC Engineering
Northstar Provides Pagid Brake Pads and other Equipment to several teams running in the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Northstar Motorsports to Sponsor Golf Outing with Michael Andretti to Benefit the Homeless
Northstar Motorsports Provides Safety Equipment for Stunt Drivers in New Batman Movie
Northstar Motorsports Sponsors SCCAs June Sprints
Update on SA2015 Helmet Availability
SA2015 Helmet Availability
Brey-Krause Introduces a Harness Mount Bar for Porsche Cup Cars
Stocking Stuffer Ideas - $50 and under
Is it Brake Pad fade or Brake Fluid fade?
Why is brake bedding important?
Unique PAGID Brake Pad Steel Backing Plate Design
When Should I Replace My Safety Equipment?
Price Reduced on all HANS Device Sport Models
Virtually All Helmet Manufacturers Have Full Stock of Their SA2010 Auto Racing Helmets
Update on Impact Racing Product Decertification by SFI
SFI Foundation Decertifies Certain Products Manufactured and or Distributed by Impact Racing
Northstar has Produced its Own In-Car Videos of the Countries Best Road Courses
What's the Difference Between Major Brands of Racing Brake Fluids?
Hans Device Probably Saves F-1 Drivers Life
What's the Difference Between a 5-Point and a 6-Point Competition Belt?
Mounting Race Seats as Low as Possible
Hans Device only works if worn.
F1 Cockpit Protection, Helmets and HANS Devices
Red Bull Team Members Get Bonuses for Winning Championships
The Young Gun Has Won! Vettel's Title Winning Season
Why Tyre Size Matters - Bridgestone Explains
What Lewis Hamilton Drives Everyday?
MTM Audi TT RS Packs Up To 424 Horsepower, 185 mph Top Speed
Ferrari Preparing Hardcore 599 GTO?
Another Day, Another Racing 911: Introducing the Porsche GT3 R
Car and Driver Runs Porsche Panamera turbo in The 24 Hours of Dayton
Seven New Porsche Models Reportedly Due Over Next Four Years...Could There Be More?
BMW M3 GTS is Unveiled!
Evidence Mounting That 2010 Audi S4 is Underrated
Porsche 911 GT3 RS Reportedly Laps the 'Ring' in 7:33
From the Prancing Horse's Mouth: Montezemolo Reportedly Confirms Ferrari 458 Spider
Porsche Unveils 2010 911 GT3 Cup Racecar Ahead of Frankfurt Auto Show Debut
Porsche Unveils Sportier 2010 911 GT3RS
First Images of Gemballa's Mistrale Modified Porsche Panamera Surface
GM Reveals Details on New Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2 for ALMS
Ruf Updates Its Lineup With the 685 HP RT12S
2010 Ford Mustang GT500 Production Limited to 2,000 Units
In Car Navigation Systems Set To Go 3D?
BMW Considering Offering M3 GT4 to Gentlemen Racers
BMW Readies It's New M5 To Arrive Sometime in 2011 or 2012
Porsche Driving Pointers With and Without ABS
Jaguar UK Launches a New Police Package for XF
Audi Dropping 3.2 Liter V6 From 2010 A3, A4 and TT
2010 Porsche 911 GT3 runs the 'Ring in 7:40
BMW M3 GT4 to Campaign in Nurburgring 24-Hour Enduro
Homewood, AL Has a Porsche 930 Turbo As Its Latest Police Car
Audi Releases More Details on the R15 TDI
Porsche Unveils the New 2010 GT3 at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show
Porsche Unveils Updated 911GT3 for 2010
New Porsche Museum Opens This Week in Stuttgart
Spy Shots of New Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Porsche Unveils its Latest GT3 RSR
Audi Motorsport Announces New R8 LMS GT3 Customer Racecar
American LeMans Series Consolidates Racing Classes for 2010
Ayrton Senna Documentary Starts Rolling
Porsche's Legendary 917 Hits the Big 4-0! Happy Birthday!
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Gears Up For Grand Opening in 2010
Which Car Holds the Official Nurburgring Lap Time Record for Production Automobiles?
Martini Girl Messes up F1 Racers in Monaco
Enjoying Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
GingerMan Raceway and Visiting the Nearby Towns.
When Should I Replace My Safety Equipment?
Last Updated: 2016-02-02 08:50:48
Each piece of your Drivers Safety Gear has a different useful life and hence, a different expiration date. Below are the guidelines you should use.
Most sanctioning bodies will allow a helmet to be used if it is the current Snell rating or one back. At the moment that would mean the current Snell rating is SA2015 and one back would be SA2010. However, since the SA2015 helmets have been slow in becoming available many sanctioning bodies are going to allow the SA2005 helmets to be used until at least June. You should check with your sanctioning body to make sure. So the message is, if you're still using an SA2005 helmet you should start looking for a new SA2015 helmet.
From a sanctioning bodies perspective if you purchase a helmet right when the new certification comes out it would be possible to get 10 years of use from it before it would no longer be considered current. That being said, all helmet manufacturers recommend your helmet be replaced every 5 years. Why are these two recommendations different? The helmet manufacturers realize that the impact absorbing material inside your helmet (usually a hard dark grey liner material that is between the shell and the interior padding) gets hard with exposure to the atmosphere and heat from your head and as a result will not absorb energy like it did when it was new. The problem is you really cannot tell when it won't do it's job anymore. Hence, the 5-year life recommendation from the manufacturers. Obviously, if you are involved in an incident and your helmet has come into contact with your roll cage (or anything else for that matter) you should inspect it for signs of cracks, severe scufffing etc. and replace it if the helmet has sustained this type of damage. Bell is the only manufacturer we are aware of that can X-Ray your helmet. If it needs to be replaced you will get a certificate from Bell for a discount on a replacement Bell helmet. This service is something we offer to our customers.
All head and neck restraints need to be certified as SFI 38.1 or FIA 8858. Most sanctioning bodies do not have an expiration date for head and neck restraints as long as they are either SFI or FIA certified. That being said, SFI has instituted a recertification program for HANS Devices. This program requires HANS Devices be recertified by the manufcturer every 5 years. Also, during this recertification process the HANS tethers, which are made of the same polyester material as used in seat belts, should be replaced. The exception to this is if you are involved in any incident with a significant impact you should have your HANS tethers and belts replaced immediately. These types of belt material stretch when subjected to an impact and once they have stretched they will not return to their original condition. If your HANS device needs to be recertified you must return it directly to HANS (now Simpson Performance Products) for recertification. We are not allowed to send the HANS in for you to have it recertified.
There are essentially two types of belt materials used in auto racing belts. Each of these materials will determine what certification and useful life the belt will have.
All belts that are FIA certified are good for 5 years. The FIA tag on the belt will say "Valid Thru 2016". So these belts are valid thru December 31st of that year. Most FIA approved belts are made of polyester, which degrades much slower under light than Nylon. Polyester also does not absorb moisture so the performance won't change when used in very humid environments.
Most belts that are SFI (only) certified are good for 2 years from the date of manufacture. The SFI tag is white with black print and the date of manufacture will be punched on the tag. The reason for this is that most SFI (only) approved belts are made from Nylon rather than polyester.
Some belts are both SFI and FIA approved. In this case, they would be valid for 5 years.
If you are involved in any significant impact you should replace your belts since they have likely stretched. This applies even though your belts have not "technically" expired.
Most sanctioning bodies require a one piece fire retardant driving suit. Usually a two layer suit or a one layer suit with fire retardant underwear is the minimum requirement. Two or three layer suits meeting SFI 3.2A/5 or FIA 8856-2000 are strongly recommended. If your suit is FIA certified as FIA 8856-1986 it is no longer considered current. All FIA approved suits also have a date of manufacture on them. This is not really considered from a certification perspective as long as the FIA certification number is 8856-2000, which is the latest FIA standard. (Unless, of course you are racing professionally with IMSA or the like, in which case a tech inspector may have a problem with a suit that was manufactured in 2001 even though it is FIA 8856-2000 certified.) The irony here is that you can no longer wear a top of the line 2 or 3 layer suit with a FIA 8856-1986 certification, but you can wear a single layer SFI 3.2A/1 suit with fire retardant underwear!
Some sanctioning bodies (like NASCAR or LeMons) require all of your safety equipment including your shoes and gloves to have an SFI tag on them. Many others will accept either an SFI or an FIA tag. If your gloves and shoes are FIA certified, just be sure the tag says FIA 8856-2000, which is the current standard. Just like your suit, if the tag says FIA 8856-1986 they are not considered current and should be replaced.
You should frequently inspect all of your safety gear for any signs of fraying or ripped seams etc. If you notice any seams on your suit or gloves that have come apart be sure to repair them. Only use Nomex thread for any repairs to these items. We stock Nomex thread in most colors at Northstar Motorsports. Call us if you need Nomex thread to make a repair. One other item concerning the care of your suit - We always recommend dry cleaning your suit. This will insure it doesn't shrink and the colors will last much longer without fading.