CarReview's Tire Shopping Guide – Don't ignore the most important thing between you and the road!

Thursday March 4th, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

flat tire -- calling for a tow truckBy Greg Gaillard

Tires are basically four patches of rubber between you and the road. Often ignored or neglected, those four contact points are ultra-critical to the safety and performance of your car. If you think about it, tires are crucial to keeping you ON the road and avoiding potential hazards. The condition and quality of your tires affect the ride quality, fuel economy efficiency, the amount of traction, and the braking distance. We might go so far as to say that a good tire choice can be the single best upgrade for improving the performance of your favorite ride, whether it be your daily commuter, family urban SUV, or your garage queen. Wouldn’t you want the best when thinking about safety, performance, and fuel economy for something you rely upon almost daily?

Over the past 20 years advances in tire technology have dramatically improved the modern driving experience. The latest tires enable vehicles to deliver a smoother ride, sharper handling and better mileage than their predecessors. As important, today’s tires deliver these improvements with extended service life and improved safety.

Since today’s tires are so refined and have effectively become an integral part of a car’s suspension, choosing the right replacement tire is more complex than it used to be. Add to this increased importance choices of style, specialized performance and cost and the process can feel overwhelming. Most people just want to quickly pick up new set of tires at a fair price. That is certainly possible, but a little extra homework can go a long way in making an efficient, informed choice.This overview offers some general guidelines to consider when shopping for new tires and will provide basic insight into reading the Rosetta Stone of tire sidewall markings.

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Posted in Feature Articles, Tires |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


Choosing The Best GPS System For Your Car

Tuesday December 15th, 2009 at 3:1212 PM
Posted by: Derek

3.5 inch portable GPS

Automobile GPS navigation systems provide drivers with dynamic street and highway maps, driving directions, and directories of restaurants, hospitals, car services, and other points of interest (POI). Voice prompts and alerts let the driver keep his attention on the road.

The newest and best GPS systems have full-color 3-D street maps, traffic alerts and rerouting, integrated hands-free cell-phone use, and easy touch-screen controls. Some of the best GPS models, such as the Garmin Nuvi 1690 and 1490, have wide-screens, FM transmitters so that you can hear your voice prompts and alerts through your car stereo system, Bluetooth wireless connection to your cell phone, theft prevention features, long-life battery operation, and more.

People who use such systems for the first time are usually amazed at the devices’ incredible accuracy and almost-magic capabilities. They often wonder why they didn’t get one sooner and how they could possibly do without one in the future.

There are three ways to acquire a car GPS system.

One is to buy a new vehicle with the navigation system already installed. The second method is to buy an aftermarket in-dash unit (e.g., Pioneer) that replaces your standard radio or stereo system. And the third method is to buy a separate portable unit, such as those by Garmin and TomTom, that can be easily mounted to your vehicle’s dash or windshield.

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Posted in Car Stereo and In-Car Electronics, Feature Articles, GPS Navigation Systems |Tags:, , , , , , || 12 Comments »


CarReview Holiday Shopping Gift Guide For the "Car" Guy in Your Family

Tuesday December 8th, 2009 at 8:1212 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

red car wrappedBy Greg Gaillard

Shopping for a car enthusiast can be a challenge as they tend to dream about seemingly exotic and expensive purchases. While others may wish for simpler things, the car buff dreams of pricey performance parts, specialized tools and exclusive driving schools. While it’s fair to say that everyone at CarReview would love a $1400 gift certificate to drive a Lamborghini for a day, we also believe that there are simpler and less expensive ways to celebrate the season with your favorite car enthusiast.

The list below includes relatively inexpensive gifts that should be appreciated by anyone who loves cars and driving. Note that this list is a bit unconventional in that it is quite specific and developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. No advertisers or government committee was involved.

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Top 5 Portable GPS Navigation Systems and Buying Guide

Thursday December 3rd, 2009 at 9:1212 AM
Posted by: m35man

best car GPSBy Edsel Rollin (Updated December 2010)

Choosing the Best GPS System for the Car

Several few years ago, satellite-based navigation systems were available only as expensive, built-in options on new vehicles. Nowadays, portable GPS devices that can be hooked up and fully operable in minutes have become accessible and affordable to every driver, not just those with cash to spare. I was amazed at how quickly the portable GPS technology has progressed.

I have a factory installed GPS in my Infiniti that I rely on more everyday to tell me where to go. I used to have problems finding places. I would get lost all the time and it ended up being a real issue. Getting directions from people is time-consuming and MapQuest isn’t always 100% accurate, so having a reliable GPS has undoubtedly saved me tons of time and gas money.

top 5 GPS devicesThere are a few things to seriously consider prior to purchasing a portable GPS. Hopefully we can assist you in locating the portable GPS that’s ideal for your particular needs and specifications. For most folks, price is the first thing to consider. Portable GPS navigation devices (PND) range from as little as $129 to more than $2,000. Fortunately, there are a lot good portables available for less than $500. The second question is what you want your GPS to do. If you want all the bells and whistles, you’re obviously going to pay more. The more pricey models feature things like Bluetooth handsfee technology, live updates, turn-by-turn directions, and more. But, if all you want from your GPS is for it to get where you’re going, accuracy and ease-of-use are obviously the top priorities.

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Posted in Car Stereo and In-Car Electronics, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, GPS Navigation Systems |Tags:, , , , , , , || 32 Comments »


Lease Swapping Gaining Popularity

Thursday June 18th, 2009 at 7:66 AM
Posted by: m35man

Car lease trading — a way for drivers to cut their auto lease payments — is becoming more popular in the midst of the current economic uncertainty. People don’t know what’s happening tomorrow with their jobs, homes or finances, so they’re opting to get into a shorter leases with less commitment, and lease trading is a great way to do it.

Cincinnati-based Swapalease.com expects nationwide growth to be up 30 percent from last year, projecting 100,000 transactions for 2009.

Miami-based Leasetrader.com is projecting 60,000 nationwide lease transfers for 2009, up 24 percent from last year.

John Sternal, vice president of marketing and communications for Leasetrader.com, said they have a waiting list of people interested in picking up short-term leases.

“In this economy, people are really hesitant to sign up for a long-term financial commitment,” he said.

Lease trading allows a lease holder to get out of an auto lease if they can find someone to take over the monthly payments. The new owner is only responsible for the remainder of the lease contract — not a down payment like the original lessee — and can choose to purchase the car at the end of the lease.

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Leasing vs. Buying a New Car

Wednesday May 6th, 2009 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: Derek

buy leaseReprinted with permission from the original author, Steve Haas

A few years ago it seemed that cheap lease programs were available from every car manufacturer. These days, the loss of captive finance arms (like GMAC for GM which is now owned by Cerberus) and the credit crunch brought about by the financial crisis may have reduced the availability of great new-car leasing programs, but they aren’t gone completely. As an example, my local paper had an ad for a 2009 Mazda3 5-door (with automatic) for a lease payment of $219 per month for three years. This sounds like a very affordable payment for a new car, especially one as universally acclaimed as the Mazda.

I believe that there is still quite a bit of mystery surrounding auto leasing and a bit of education can go a long way. The small print in the ads is often intimidating and full of unusual terminology. Additionally, unlike traditional car loans the detailed financial terms of an auto lease don’t have to be disclosed so they usually aren’t. In order to decide whether a lease is a good deal for you or not, let’s review some basics.

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Used Car Sales Intensify As Economic Outlook Deteriorates

Friday March 6th, 2009 at 9:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

empty used car lot

Well here’s one from “No kidding” file: As new car sales tank, used car sales are on the upswing. Even in January, when some automakers experience more than a 50 percent drop off in new car sales, used car sales were up a remarkable 10 percent. Naturally, the hop in used car sales is directly connected to the faltering economy. It makes sense, since used cars are usually thousands of dollars cheaper than their newer counterparts. And that leads many buyers to skip the new car showroom in favor of used car lots.

One of the downsides though, is that as more people frequent used cars dealerships, prices increase, in spite of the down economy. Steve Jardine, a dealership owner in New York, remarked to Newsweek that a 2006 Toyota 4Runner was selling for about $14K in November, can now easily fetch $19K. And since there are fewer new cars being sold, that means fewer used cars on the market, which caused Jardine to predict that used car prices “will go even higher”.

Naturally, if you happen to own a late-model, low-mileage car, you could profit from this recent market shift, since dealers are doing everything they can to secure quality used cars. Some dealers are even going as far as offering owners a new car without increasing payments.

Source: LeftLaneNews

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Tips for Trading In Your Car–A Pop Quiz

Friday February 6th, 2009 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: goofshow

quality pre-owned vehiclesBy Harmon Leon

Trading in your vehicle can be a very emotional experience. It’ s like saying goodbye to an old friend (or an old enemy if the car has been a bothersome a piece of crap). Despite the obvious, car owners have more of a sentimental value (“This is the first place I lost my virginity!”) to their vehicle compared to its actual worth when it comes to trading it in.

So here’s a little auto trade-in pop quiz to help you can do it right. Hopefully this will make the experience less painful than a nerve-exposed tooth pulled with rusty pliers.

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Dude, how do I donate my car?

Friday January 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 PM
Posted by: goofshow

donate your carBy Harmon Leon

Donate your car, fool! Why go through the hassle of trying to make a little extra scratch trying to sell that old clunker when you can be a doer of good? That’s right, by being a doer-of- good you can also get a good size tax reduction while at the same time helping out a charitable cause. It’s fast! It’s easy. There’s no muss! There’s no fuss! There’s no unsightly panty lines!

So, which of the following are good reasons to donate?

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Posted in Feature Articles |Tags:, || 1 Comment »


Ten mistakes to avoid before buying a used car

Tuesday January 20th, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

used car salesmanBy Harmon Leon

I can think of nothing more nerve-racking and less enjoyable than shopping for a used car. Ok, maybe dental surgery with rusty pliers. You take a big spin of the wheel hoping it doesn’t’ roll up lemons, putting blind trust into a commission-hungry salesman or random private owner. How can you really know the car’s true history? Will it break down the first time you back it out of your driveway? Is the car haunted? Was there a dead body in the trunk? These thoughts and more race through used-car-shoppers’ heads as they try to find new used wheels.

So here are a few tips to help you get on the road (no pun intended), so you don’t make the 10 most crucial used car-buying mistakes.

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Posted in Feature Articles |Tags:, || 5 Comments »


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